Tuesday, 24 November 2015

2015 RAP

Houston's Beatking and Atlanta's Young Thug have just released another quality album each. For me right now there are four rappers who stand out from the pack Young Thug, Kevin Gates, Future and of course Beatking. I love me Lils too ie. Boosie, Duke, Durk & Herb. HBK, MPA and Sauce people are real good too. It's hard to leave out the perennially underrated Starlito. Then there's Gangsta Boo, Youngs Dolph & Scooter, Zuse, RJ, Choice and a bunch of others. One thing I'm way not getting is the Awful Records roster. Every artist on this label seems to get a great critical response with every album they issue and yet I couldn't name you one that I thought was any good and I've listened to at least half of Awful's catalogue. Some things are for other people I guess, people not like me.

Those 4 aforementioned rappers are just several notches higher than the rest at the moment. Kevin Gates usually has the best quality control of these four but he's only released one short mixtape this year Murder For Hire that was a bit hard to handle as the djs were a bit overbearing, smothering Kev's idiosyncratic tunes. So really apart from those 7 tracks so far we've only got 4 tunes that are slowly trickling out of i-tunes from his LP Islah which now has a release date for 2016. What's goin on Kev? We were getting two quality albums/mixtapes for the last three years running and that was an unsurpassed winning streak for recent rap. Perhaps I should give Murder For Hire another chance. So 2015 has been a tad disappointing for Gates fans after those previous three years. I don't read gossip columns so maybe I'm missing something like record company troubles, parole violations, legal issues, personal problems - possibly all of the above. Of the remaining 3 it's hard to say who's on top. Thugga and Beatking have released 3 albums/mixtapes each in 2015. Young Thug can be a bit erratic while Beatking is very consistent but can be a bit samey so it's a toss up between those two. Future's released 3 albums/mixtapes as well this year but he has the edge I reckon because he did that collaboration with Drake What A Time To Be Alive which is surprisingly good. Anyway it's not football so we can enjoy everyone's season and I'm pretty sure before the year is out Young Thug and Future could have at least one more release left in them each. As Gates says these four guys 'don't get tired.'

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Big Black & Stuff

I used to think this was a top tune/racket, still pretty good innit?. Those Big Black records were good as I recall. The Rapeman album and the first three Shellac 7"s I thought were classics back then, sure I haven't listened to them in years but old Steve had a bit of talent. I couldn't get fully into Shellac's debut album At Action Park so I didn't really follow his work after that. Dog And Pony Show is the outstanding tune I remember from that LP. He did a great job recording, producing, engineering (whatever he used to bloody call it) particularly on that first Breeders LP, Pod and of course Surfer Rosa from The Pixies. He recorded a million bands, most of which are probably not worth listening to. Steve produced some non angry men like Labradford and Low. He even produced a couple of good Australian bands ie. Crow and Dirty Three. One aspect of Albini's personality that really endeared me to him was that he was a huge Wildlife Documentary fan. Rock people didn't say shit like that in the 80s/90s. I thought that was pretty bloody punk or was it anti-punk? It certainly was not cool or in any way fashionable. I also liked Albini's writing. He might have been the reason I first got turned on to Slint's Spiderland as he wrote a review of it in the pages of Melody Maker, I'm pretty sure. He also produced their inferior debut Tweez. Come to think of it I'm pretty sure I read an article that Steve wrote where he went through a bunch of records he'd recorded and he slagged off Surfer Rosa. He was was just being honest, many thought he was a c***. You used to be able to just write what you thought back then and it was ok. Now all these sensitive little kittens would call him a bully or a troll, wankers! I think I'd rather be a c*** than a troll. Trolls just remind me of those stupid little dolls with pink hair.

Anyway enough words have been spilled onto pages about Albini and I'm not trying to get a job at Mojo so the reason he's being discussed here is because there's a recent podcast with a conversation between Albini and Ian MacKaye from Minor Threat and Fugazi. I was having a depressing Sunday and trying to take a nap so I thought 'Why the hell not? This might lull me into sleep'. Funnily enough the only time I ever saw Shellac was when they were supporting Fugazi at The Collingwood Town Hall in Melbourne, perhaps in 93 or 94. Shellac were an incredibly impressive live unit, Fugazi were alright but I think I may have left during their set in search of a pub (no booze at these shows, god even the Puritans loved their booze). This podcast chat is a couple of old geezers reminiscing about the good ole days. One thing I didn't know was that MacKaye had done a project with Al Jourgensen, he of Ministry and immense drug taking fame. So that must have been weird because wasn't MacKaye straight edge? How on earth did they get along? Anyway I've never heard that record by Pailhead....I might check it out....nah I doubt it. Ian and Steve discuss recording, the UK, crashing at people's houses, Chicago, Touch & Go, Wax Trax, a mutual love of Adrian Sherwood, boring shit, more boring shit and there's plenty of arse kissing despite them being occasionally critical of one another. It wasn't as boring as I thought it might have been. I must admit I did nod off towards the end, hey it was long, they are musicians ie. they sometimes make good music but that doesn't mean they're dazzling conversationalists and geez...guess what? It's only part 1 apparently.

Anyway this goes out to Ant, my first blog member who loved his Fugazi back in the day and followed Shellac long after I did. Let me know what part 2 is like as I don't think I'll be downloading that one.

A better podcast featuring Albini sans tedious twat MacKaye is here. Albini discusses his love for Baseball and it turns out he's he's a celebrity poker player and lover of cats.

I loved this cover of Supernaut when it came on the radio in 91 but I don't even think I knew it was a Black Sabbath tune at the time. All I'd heard of Sabbath back in 91 was the Paranoid album which I had on a cruddy tape and on the other side was Pink Floyd's Piper At The Gates of Dawn. That's a strange combo but I guess they both became beloved by my rock brain. I can't say I was a Ministry fan, like my mates were but this is Jourgensen and co along with Trent Reznor on vocals. Now, I did not know that he was singing on this until yesterday. Is it true? and who really cares? I still like it despite being aware of the Black Sabbath version for like 20 years now. Steve Albini would hate it.

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Young Thug - Quarterback

I don't think I posted this before but it's a toss up between this and the previously posted Best Friend for best tune of the year for me I think. Young Thug should do a whole album of tunes with the vibe of those two tracks, that'd be the best LP of the 2010s don't ya reckon? Barter 6, Slime Season 1 & 2 have 53 tracks. I've made a mixtape featuring the best 29 songs from those three releases called 2015 THUG, if he'd released that it would have been an all time classic. Then there's all his features including 5 on Gucci's Brick Factory 3 and that Metro Thuggin mixtape bootleg and so many more I didn't include. You could probably make another classic mixtape of the best of all those, I'm sure I've missed a bunch too. Does anything recorded go unreleased? Beatking on his closing monologue from 3 Weeks calls it 'the mixtape grind'. I kinda don't get it. Do the rap guys feel they have to keep pumping out so much stuff just to remain constantly visible? Anyway over 29 top choonz in a year is pretty bloody impressive. 

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Tales From The Black Tangle - Howlround

Good old Robin The Fog is back under the Howlround moniker with a terrific new record Tales From The Black Tangle. This one is definitely heading further into the darkness. This LP is engulfed in fog. Foggy drones, foggy playgrounds, foggy cities, foggy horns, foggy radios, foggy sirens, foggy trains in foggy shipyards and foggy miscellaneous sounds all add to the foggy magnificence of this eerie little, shall we say, foggy gem. The foggiest record of the year. Thanks to Foggy Robin and his foggy friend. In a word Foggy.

I didn't think the video was dark or foggy enough, so i turned down the brightness to its lowest, changed the picture quality to its worst and slowed the music by half, fuck that was cool.

Abundance Of Stuff

Well it's been quite a couple of weeks for new releases, a bit like the old days when you didn't know which releases to get because there were so many that you wanted to hear. Now though the ones you don't buy you can just download, I suppose, plus many are free downloads anyway. Beatking and Young Thug releasing new albums/mixtapes in the same week is a good week which ever way you look at it. God I'm still getting my head around Thugga's Barter 6 and the first volume of Slime Season and now we've got Slime Season 2. His new mixtape Slime Season 2 (after only a couple of listens) is quite possibly up there with his two classics Black Portland & 1017 Thug. Young Thug also has a collaboration mixtape with Migos about to drop at any moment plus another official solo LP. He's the new James Brown ie. the hardest working man in show business. Beatking's 3 Weeks is his third album of the year as well and his quality control is usually the highest in the rap game only rivalled by Kev Gates. Beatking has signed with Sony and he made an LP for them in 3 weeks. It's not as dementedly bangin as something like Gangster Stripper Music 2 from last year but he's still funny, profane, non PC and hey it wouldn't be a Beatking release without a version of Kiesha, surely this is the 17th time this tune has turned up, I expect a version on all his albums till he retires now. Is earnestness starting to sneak in to his array of aesthetics though? He may be stupid but Beatking's not dumb so naming this album 3 Weeks feels to me like a disclaimer as it's probably the lesser of his three releases this year. He's letting you know this was chucked together very quickly. Hopefully I'll have some further thoughts on this stuff once my mind has processed it all. Boosie Badazz (some of this sounds outstanding, after one initial listen), Zuse and Amber London have released worthy new material in the rap zones too in the last week or so. Recently Gangsta Boo, Skipper, Ty Dolla Sign and Lil Herb have put out mixtapes worth listening to as well and I reckon I've probably missed a few too.

In electronic zones Rustie creator of possibly the best record of the 2010s (well at least one of the top 9), Glass Swords, has a new album called EVENIFUDONTBELIEVE and it sounds really bloody good compared to last year's disappointing Green Language so that's exciting news as I was ready to write him off. Arca and Mark McGuire have new LPs plus I just discovered Steve Moore's synth soundtrack The Guest that was released earlier this year. That Visionist album Safe still has me transfixed and slightly perplexed as I can't quite pinpoint why I like it so much. Then there's the archival box from Harmonia which I guess is really only of interest as it includes the previously unreleased Documents 1975. I believe this is getting its own separate release which I can't wait for, in fact I'm gonna have to download that right this second I think.

Then I discovered That Bret Easton Ellis does podcasts. I've checked out the episodes with Kim Gordon, Ariel Pink and Doors drummer John Densmore, which are all worth listening to. This guy can talk and then talk some more. Sometimes I wonder if he needs guests at all. His epic intros are gloriously verbose. It's all about Bret and it's fascinating as is his obsession with LA.

Finders Keepers Radio did an excellent Halloween special although their shameless self promotion is starting to wear thin. These guys are obviously massive music fans but business and marketing are starting to cloud their vision slightly.

Last but not least I've discovered the dudes from the legendary but now dead sharity blog Mutant Sounds have started doing podcasts as well. They've done two episodes so far of Mutant Sounds Radio. If you loved the Mutant Sounds blog you'll know what you're getting here ie. Seminal music from subterranean fringe dwellers brought to public consciousness by counter obscurism.

Oh and one last thing......I was going to post this tune last week as I've been getting into the 2003 Ricardo Villalobos LP Alcachofa and then I noticed this has been issued on a 12" recently which is weird. Anyway me love this tune a lot.

This is on the other side of the 12" and is the opening track from Alcachofa and it might even be more awesome than Dexter. Legendary.

Oh then there is more stuff..... this time in Hauntological zones......maybe next time......

Monday, 2 November 2015

Lunatic Asylum Mix

I don't think I've posted this before maybe some blog I frequent has, I dunno, but I only converted this to mp3 today and geez I like. The first half in particular is gloomtastic and the second half is good too in gabbalerous/hard trancemania style. It's all hardcore. All trax are from Dr Macabre aka Renegade Legion aka Lunatic Asylum aka many other monikers. This is rave music for the Apocalypse. When he gives it a bit of kick early on in the set the bass drum is so fucking thick it's awesome. If you're happy when it rains this doomcore will have you in gloomy euphoria. Bring on the end.

This 3 cd set on Megarave Records from 1999 should be in every gloomcore freak's household. It has tunes from all his aforementioned aliases plus a few others like French Connection, Slut Burger, Negative Burn, Micibri and guests Rotterdam Terror Corps. This would be in my top ten single artist compilations of all time, he being Guillaume Leroux a French bloke.