Showing posts with label Ratchet. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ratchet. Show all posts

Thursday, 30 July 2015

DJ Mustard - The Mixtape Volume 1 (10 Summers)

After the disappointing 10 Summers album of last year I didn't think I'd be going back to DJ Mustard at all. I thought his time was up and it was time to move on but after listening to RJ & Choice's Rich Off Mackin my mind was swayed to believe he still had something to give. You would have thought he'd have distanced himself from the 10 Summers title though, so it's a little odd that he recycles it for this much improved release. I assume Choice who turns up here is the same man as Royce The Choice of the great Midnight Run which was my favourite tune from DJ Mustard's brilliant Ketchup mixtape from 2013. Anyway Choice along with RJ dominate this mixtape appearing on a third of the tunes. Mustard's old mates Teeflii, Ty Dolla $ign and TC4800 pop up on a tune or two each. YG is is conspicuous by his absence. Iamsu! from the HBK Gang is a fabulous new Mustard trump card. Iamsu! should be as big as Kanye and perhaps he will be. He's got the pop smarts with a delivery that's 2010s rap perfection. Broke Boy is soo good, surely it would be a no 1 smash if released as a single. Mustard is upping the R&B dosage and cutting back the banger intake but that's not a bad thing at all. There's nothing worse than a tune wanting to be a banger but not working. RJ & Choice are pretty much killing everything they do in 2015 and somehow Mustard leaves room to let their idiosyncrasies ferment even further. Dijon (Mustard geddit?) surely realises he's struck gold with these two artists and compliments RJ & Choice with his beats rather than upstaging them. Previously it sometimes sounded like Mustard's rappers had been given a completed beat where they had to try to fit their raps to it, no matter how unaccommodating it may have been. Now it feels like Mustard is more flexible, organic and collaborative. I don't know if he's changed his working methods but it sure sounds like it. Last year I thought DJ Mustard had reached some kind of sonic arrested development but here he proves, with a little perseverance, that he is still mutating. Regression is part of this move ie. several tunes go further back than his past retro-activities ie. some songs reference stuff earlier than Dre circa 92/93 or mid 90s Three Six Mafia. Some of this stuff has got 80s R&B, funk and slow jam vibes. I guess he was always tipping his hat to these zones but perhaps not as deliberately or explicitly as he does here. Then you would swear Shooters was an instrumental outtake from Tricky's Maxinquaye. Actually come to think of it a few tracks have a Massive Attack/Trip-Hop feel. I haven't counted but there seems to be less military chanting on Vol. 1. which is probably a good thing as that started to seem a little formulaic and stale. I don't know who Justine Sky is but fuck she gives Cassie and Tinashe a run for their money on Love. This mixtape ain't no Ketchup but it also ain't no bloody 10 Summers either ie. I'm not deleting this off my computer, I'm about to give it another spin. Dj Mustard is transitioning. Let's hope he continues to in a good direction.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Drop That Kitty - TY$ Feat. Charli XCX & Tinashe

Here we go 2015 has begun this sounds pretty good. Via Juicy J on twitter, He approves. They go low.

Mustard on the beat here. Dunno about this one yet. I really like those keyboards toward the end though

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Tinashe With Mustard Again

Just saw this. This is what we want Tinashe working with DJ Mustard. I dunno if this is anywhere near as good as 2 On but then again how many tunes are?

I did like this one from her album Aquarius. Mustard not on this beat though, but he might as well have been.

Friday, 14 November 2014

Where To Begin

There's been a stack of new things recently that I just haven't got around to listening to yet. There's been a batch of new releases from the west country noise farmers doing their mad cow diseased electronics and gumboot industrial ie. IX-Tab, Kemper Norton, Howlround, Ekoplekz but I think I've missed Hacker Farm's tape as it sold out before I even heard about it. Plus there's more on the way soon from their hauntological cousins The Advisory Circle and I assume the usual season's greetings from Moon Wiring Club. Some very old faves have been busy too The Church, Einsturzende Neubauten (must admit haven't listened to a new record of theirs since Ende Neu) and Scott Walker (no I haven't listened to it yet! Perhaps tonight's the night). Some slightly younger old faves Fennesz and Vladislav Delay (remember Multila?, he was also Luomo) have new records too. When the hell will I listen to all these? Mike Fresh, Vell, Future, Cheif Keef, Salva, Lil Boosie, King Louie and many others have new mixtapes over in the trap/ratchet zones. Then we've got Beatking Presents Houston Vs Everybody which is a compilation featuring Houston's finest plus Beatking's Club God 4 is on its way too! I can't wait for the new Kevin Gates album The Luca Brasi Story II which is also coming soon.

I've only just got around to listening to The Interweb Halloween bonanza of mixes. There were two from Death Waltz which I managed to download but I think you can only stream them now. They are both as you would expect excellent. Andy Votel from Finders Keepers put in a sterling effort as well with his Histoire Dhorreur Mix. I don't know if you can still download that but have a search. Then there was something a bit different over at Blog To The Old School. They usually do a darkside jungle mix at Halloween but this year they put together a compilation of recent jungle on the dark tip. Check it out if you get the chance, although they seem to be offline presently.

What Have I been listening to then you may well ask? Ariel Pink's Pom Pom is pretty hard to get off the hi-fi, i-pod etc. But when I do get it off I'm trying to figure out what the hell the attraction to Gucci Mane is. I've got a selection of like 10 of his recommended best mixtapes and I'm giving them a go. I have to say I don't think it's going well for me and Gucci so far. I can't really understand what he's saying but the beats are stellar. He only registered on my musical map after seeing Spring Breakers. Then I only listened to him this year because of his collaborations with Young Thug. These mixtapes with Mane & Thug were not a patch on Young Thug's 2013 mixtape 1017 Thug or Young Thug's brilliant 2014 collaboration with Bloody Jay Black Portland or even his more recent collaboration with Rich Homie Quan & Birdman as part of The Rich Gang whose mixtape Tha Tour I've previously posted about. I'm wondering if Gucci should stick to acting but that might be a bit hard as he's doing some time for assault and firearm charges. The only one that's stood out so far is The Movie 2: The Sequel released in 2012. This could be due to it's guests though Snoop, Trey Songs, Nicki Minaj, Waka Flacka and Shawty Lo. There are choice beats and many hooks though. We'll see, although I might retire that project for a bit to catch up on what's going on now.

"Spring Break...." Gucci Mane.
Now I have had a few listens to IX-Tab's R.O.C. (get it here) and it's sounding pretty good to these ears so far. More thoughts on this later. One track has a sample of a hypnotist/meditation guru and I swear it's put me to sleep three times, sure I've been in bed and on painkillerz but....

The only other thing I've given a quick listen to is Vell's Stay Down To Come Up. Don't know much about him except he's a young chap from Oakland and he's doin some fine ratchet. He's got Mustard on the beat on 5 trax here as well as YP Spoelestra on a handful of tunes. So he's in good hands. His rap delivery is occasionally a little too close to Jay-Z but he sings as well giving him enough originality to get by. Perhaps this is what 10 Summers should have been. YP is on an unbelievable roll at the moment. So Vell is definitely a rising star, whether he can transcend his influences or not time will tell. Stay Down To Come up will be getting more air time round here as opposed to Salva's highly rated Peacemaker which left me cold. Can't understand the fuss about that one but who cares?, I suppose.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Ratchet & Trap Explained Part 2

"That description of ratchet doesn't really capture the stylistic essence of things like "Rack City" and all that followed it, though does it - "simple rhythms, kicks and claps, squelchy synth bass" - i'm not sure i can do any better, though! Deceptively simple, i think would be the first nuance i'd add. Mustard's tracks are like Dre's classic beats, in way -- not doing anything very flashy or obviously avant, but real groovy. harder than it looks, i'll bet. With Mustard, the signature features are the snare rolls with the paradiddle-like military feel, the HEY!HEY!HEY!HEY! Marine-regiment doing-drill chants, and, more recently, those re purposed and slowed-down 90s house licks and vamps."

This was left on the comments page of Ratchet & Trap Explained by the one and only Simon Reynolds. Now that's an explanation of Mustard & his ratchet. Onya Simon! To tell you the truth I thought Anonymous may have been him or some other such luminary.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

DJ Mustard - 10 Summers

How Is He Going To Top This?

With this?

I don't know if he can top 2013's number 1 sonic document, his Ketchup mixtape, with his follow up 10 Summers. Judging by the little radio skits that contain nothing but past Mustard hits toward the end of this album. Where someone keeeps flicking the dial on the radio only to find old Mustard hits, I think he's already feeling his past as a bit of an albotross. Perhaps he's looking for a way forward or just something as classic as My Nigga, Rack City, I'm Different, Show Me, Paranoid, 2 On, Lady Killa, Midnight Run et al.

Part 2 coming up of my appraisal of 10 Summers. Once I've had more than a few listens. Stay tuned for the next episode of DJ Mustard's 10 Summers.

Friday, 1 August 2014

Ratchet & Trap Explained

"Trap = derived from southern "gangsta" rap; particularly mid-2000s stuff like gucci mane, young jeezy, t.i. lots of intricate, rattling 808 percussion & snare sounds along with booming kick drums and bass. a lot of the original producers used a lot of big wall-of-sound, gothic sounding synths and there was a noticeable influence from electronic genres like trance and electro, but filtered through a rap production aesthetic. now a huge influence on rap, r&b and electronic music, and the production is often a lot sleeker and less bombastic."

 "Ratchet = term for the recent production style that draws on hyphy (e-40, keak da sneak, mistah fab etc), jerk music, crunk and g-funk. lots of simple rhythms, kicks and claps, squelchy synth bass. i think the term was originally used by lil boosie in Louisiana but now usually refers to west coast rap and r&b stuff like dj mustard, yg, ty dolla sign etc."

*This was left by an anonymous commenter. Thanks Anonymous I think you know your shit!

They've intermingled and cross-pollinated though haven't they and not just with each other but most other forms of 90s electronic music and some 90s rap ie. 666 Mafia, right?

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Sex, Drugs & R&B, Ratchet, Trap etc...With Cassie, Young Thug & Gucci Mane

Wow, I haven't heard the word heroin or been around it since the 90s. That was probably the last time it was fashionable, but hello it's one of Cassie's drugs of choice along with cocaine. This tunes got a bassline straight out of a 90s Metalheadz tune don't you reckon? Or maybe a No U Turn tech-step track. Maybe heroin's makin a comeback. I mean they're all into codeine so I don't see why not.

It's pretty clear here what Young Thug wants. He'll have a spliff and two cups stuffed with Lean. He be from Atalanta. Is there something in the water down there? I mean apart from cough mixture?

Well this one's pretty self explanatory. Weed & Lean be the drugs of choice here. You can really get inside this track's luxuriant wasted vibe, even without the weed & Lean. But they would help.

Great beatz from my main man DJ Mustard. It's a shame Mane didn't write a good song on top of it. More references to lean and not being able to feel your face. They're still on about gettin some pussy even though they've had so much lean they feel like they're "from outer space". That 'Hmm' bit is so irritating it ruins one of the best beats Mustard ever put down. What a waste.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Sex Drugs & Ratchet Again.....With Beatking

More Sex, Drugs & Ratchet. I think Beatking's music is the most fully realised confluence of 90s rave culture and 10s rap so far and it's such an addictive sound. This one from last year's got rave horns, talk of mixing Es with codeine and echoes of 4 Hero's (Mr Kirk's Nightmare and Where's The Boy?) cautionary tales. Beatking says "These Molly's are gonna kill you in 5 years. But it's not 5 years right now so mix that shit with codeine." Not quite the same but 5 years is a long way off so party on right?

Friday, 11 July 2014


Created a bit of discussion over at Mess&Noise with my thoughts on the new Total Control album. Someone called me Space Dickhead which I liked, might even change my name to that. Big ups to Anok, checkers, MelonHCST, Seahunt, __v & amazinglyblended.

You can check out my love here for Mikey and his cohorts Ooga Boogashere as well!

I'm not sure what the Mess&Noise meant by linking that Tinashe remix, by Drake, in the forum though (If it was sarcasm it didn't come across. They're a bunch of writers though surely they understand that sarcasm doesn't work in written text) As much as Drake might come off as a winging rich arsehole in his music (which I'm not even sure I really like) he does have some sense of the now and not just the resigned retro now. His tune Marvin's Room/Buried Alive is undeniably a milestone in rap culture whether you like it or not. My point on that post was how pointless are remixes (well 99.9% of them)? Having said that I love the original version of 2 On by Tinashe, that's a 2014 killa.

Random thoughts: What the fuck is the difference between trap and ratchet? Do I need to know? Should I care? C'mon all you micro-genre nerds what's lowdown?

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

2 On -Tinashe, Drake & Other Remixes.

This is pretty much a Drake version of 2 On and it's pretty good but not really bettering the original. After the first minute of Tinashe's original he takes it over and makes it his own for the rest of the tune.

Then there's this which is pretty odd but this stays Tinashe's track. Although the whole vibe of the tune is moved to somewhere else not as compelling. The rap ain't anywhere near as good as the original Schoolboy Q cameo though. What was Vado thinking? How on earth was he gonna top one of the great rap cameos of all time? He shouldn't have even bothered. I imagine Schoolboy Q being not too threatened by its lameness. I love that string loop thing though, nice. Remixes: What were they for again?

The Original and Best Version. 2014 Classic!

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Kevin Gates/Beatking/Dizzy Wright

Only just heard this track from last year and OMFG! How good is it? I know what to call it - Magnificent!

Now this is some tripped out ratchet that seems to have gone over the edge. What about that absurd drum machine. 2014 Digital psychosis!

Anthemic tune from Wright's 2014 mini album State of Mind.

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Caustic Window

From the new 'old' Caustic Window LP ie. it's from 94 and never got released. Makes you remember where a lot of your favourite music came from, doesn't it? Aphex Twin aka Richard D James aka Caustic Window had a great patch of, well, most of the 90s when he could do no wrong. This puts him back into historical perspective. Also Caustic Window is a great now album.


Now this is a weird one it could have been made 5 years earlier (back then) with it's acid squelches and lovely piano riff but he puts this strange feeling over the top of it. Which gives the tune, that usually would have been upbeat, a melancholy vibe. Years ahead of Ratchet's 'downer euphoria' or Hauntological's uncanny zones. Can't finish post dog annoying me....

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Leave It - Mustard & Iggy?

This has been on a couple of DJ Mustard 2014 mixtapes. I know I've seen a couple of videos from Iggy Azalea* so I was a little surprised that this one was her. I'm not sure if this even made it onto her album. The intro (and pretty much the rest) is pure Kraftwerk, goin back to hip hop's roots. Mustard doesn't put his usual "Mustard On The Beat Hoe" trademark on this tune which makes me wonder if it's him at all? His other sonic trademarks are here though but he's got imitators who are according to him are"Fucking up the Money!"

*Ok I can see the contradiction here (ie. she be an Aussie) and no I'm not currently listening to Andre Rieu. But here's a funny picture for you all, if you missed it last year on Twitter. Have a good look. I can't get enough of this!

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Crunk Gabba & What (ever else)

DJ Snake & Lil Jon - Turn Down For What (via Energy Flash). I always like it when any kind of rave, hardcore or electronic vibe turns up in rap. Do these people even acknowledge Gabba, PCP, Cold Rush, Belgium etc. I know years back Timbaland being very cagey about his influences. Many people at the time were thinking it had to be comin from jungle, drum n bass etc. IE the UK. I don't think he ever owned up to it though. It's like Americans can't stand having to acknowledge anything European influenced. Like it's un-American or in some way or weakens their art. Funny considering Afrika Bambaataa's Planet Rock sampled Krafwerk in the very early days of hip hop (1982). DJ Snake is French though, I think, so he's kinda bringin the Euro vibe like Gesaffelstein did with Kanye last year.

Anyway I was thinking with one of the brands of Lean off the market now, (haven't done the research to see if there are still other brands still making it) what affect is that gonna have on the whole Ratchet/DJ Mustard scene. I guess the track above is one direction, kind of like a noise made for Meth-Heads. The pummel with surely appeal to people mixing alcohol & Meth & whatever else. Ecstasy and pot ain't goin nowhere though. Perhaps the downer euphoria will dwindle a little. Stay tuned.

Monday, 26 May 2014

Lean & Mustard

Mustard On The Beat (at) Ho(me) still. Love the bass pressure in this one. Doesn't August Alsina (and Mustard brings his a game on the beat) just capture losing it perfectly, that point where you're so wasted (sorry faded), just when it's all gonna go pear shaped. Cough mixture be the drink of choice among this lot, Reynolds reliably informs me. I was comparing the wasted sound of this scene' tunes to being sonically akin to mixing painkillaz (and by that I mean codeine or Oxycontin) with alcohol & whatever else. Dextromethorphan is a popular ingredient in cough medicine in America, which in high doses can causes hallucinations. But the cough mixture of choice is the one containing codeine and promethazine. It all reminds me of a story Jim Carroll wrote in his book Forced Entries, if memory serves, about the New York scene in the early 70s. When there was a heroin shortage they'd get into the cough syrup with the codeine in it, just get it over the counter at the Chemist (Aussie term for drugstore) no questions asked.  There was a great Townes Van Zandt track too, Waitin' around to die, that was a love song of sorts to one his many drugs of choice codeine. Now kids and the rappers mix these syrups with soda and call it lean which my brother in law told me about last year. I think I was asking him "what do you reckon is in those red polystyrene cups in all these music videos?" He then said "You mean lean." I went "right" thinking it was something like what the Peruvian musicians have been into since the 60s, Chicha. Chicha being an old Inca alcoholic drink that was used in rituals and festivals. Anyway I was a bit off the mark. Actavis (the pharmaceutical company) even pulled the plug on production on their Promethazine Codeine syrup a month ago due to its growing cult and the way it's being abused. Lean apparently causes euphoria along with motor skill impairment and a dissociative feeling from other parts of the body("I can't feel my face, I'm so numb") . Some rappers have even been overdose victims of Lean mixed with other substances. The promethazine is the catalyst for intensifying the euphoric effects of the codeine in your system. There's a whole list of other slang names for Lean: Purple Drank, Sizzurp, Texas Tea etc.

A cumbia/Chica tune from 1970. Sex Drugs & Tropical Chicha! Good vibes on this one man.

Friday, 23 May 2014

Sex Drugs & Ratchet

DJ Mustard's still on the beat round these parts. Reynolds mentions a few more here This one I can't deny. I love that minimal spooky fade out at the end but Mustard makes spooky a 'subdued mood of depressive hedonism.'* That's the best description I've heard so far of this sub genre of a sub genre.

Mustard has turned me around on other things. I couldn't get into this at all when it came out. I knew the sonic production was v cool. I thought it was depressing though but now I get that downer euphoric vibe. Like painkillaz and alcohol. I'm not even sure what other drugs this relates to weed, ice? A heroin-y E maybe? Anyway it's a hell of a vibe. Only took me 2 years to get it. Jesus what next Drake?

Actually It was probably this tune that got me to go back and listen to Kendrick Lamar's Good Kid... cd. How is Mustard not on this beat?

I hated Gas Pedal when I first heard it, then hated it again when I gave it another go. I think it was Reynolds who said (and I agreed) it was just a rip off of Snoop & Pharell's Drop It like Hot but then he had it in his singles of the year. So I gave it another go, still hated it. 5 months later now I'm fully into it. The druggy vibe can't be too wasted because they still be horny dudes. The vibe of this song encompasses a panopoly of drugs and alcohol while being on the prowl for some tush (kids, that means booty).

Then there's magic! (I know this is a bit off topic but it kinda fits.) I get chills every time I hear this. I mean it's pop, it's got hooks and it's so fucking anthemic I can't believe it. And I hate that whole New York cultural tyranny thing, makes me never wanna go there. But this song is so good it doesn't matter what it's about. It could be about my dog doing a poo and I'd still get chills every time I heard it. Z does mention E's, well MDMA during this track so that gives you an idea of where the euphoria in this lies. I mean apart from the songwriting and musical arrangement which is enough. A bit like MBV's best tunes it's so euphoric it feels like your on drugs anyway. This is the sonic equivalent of Champagne and an E chased with a few lines of coke.

Also I think this maybe the best pop tune in history.

*That's me paraphrasing a Simon Reynolds quote.

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Mustard On The Beat Hoe

Mustard on the beat (at) ho(me) non stop. After Reynolds recent posts on all things Ratchet & B I'm on a Mustard bender. Love this one a lot it's got such a great pop chorus with a harp I think. Maybe not for mainstream radio with those lyrics but fuck me it's pop-tastic.

How bout this one?! It sounds like there's a sample of Laika circa Sound Of Satellites in there. Well it's the same keyboard sound/model anyway, last heard in a section of a Peaking Lights track. It wouldn't surprise me if Dijon was fan of either group. They've got more in common than you might think.

Wow DJ Mustard's even made J-Lo sound good. I'm sure she's had other good trax though, none come to mind at this moment.

This is sweet and yet so filthy. "Gettin faded till we trip." Lovin Schoolboy Q's guest spot on this. Best tune of 2014?

Speaking of best tunes of 2014 maybe this has pipped Tinashe at the post. The sound of being wasted/loved up science fiction stylee. Mustard not on this beat hoe.

Aural Splendour....and well I could keep posting Mustard trax all nite because there's way more.