Browsing All Posts published on »February, 2013«

Beattrix – Take It Back To Bring It Forward (hip-hop)

February 15, 2013

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‘Our story of music begins in the dim distant past,’ announces the sample with which this album commences; it’s followed by a boom, and shortly thereafter, by a bap. This is twenty-first century music, today’s music, produced with today’s tools, with a sound that is distinctly located in the now, but it situates itself proudly in a tradition that will always be associated with the nineties. Everything about it is funky, bouncy and brash, and it roams freely over the last fifty years of popular music history like a wayward stylus. Coherence can be an elusive quality on hip-hop albums, especially when they feature a large cast; those that are produced by a small coterie on both the production and vocal side of the equation usually fare the best, but even…

Urban Homes – Centres (electronica)

February 8, 2013

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Altin Village & Mine sent me some great CDs for Christmas… well ok, it was after Christmas, and they sent them to me to review, but you get the picture. This is the third and last of that batch (and looking through their recent release schedule it appears that I’ve reviewed the label’s entire output since October 2011). Like Pttrns’ Body Pressure, Centres has a sound that’s redolent of the 1980s, although unlike that band Urban Homes don’t wear an allegiance to the decade on their collective sleeve. The resemblance is less clear and direct, but striking nevertheless, for all that it is arrived at by an additive process of combining ‘house music, dub, kraut rock, balearic and disco’; of course the combination of kraut rock with more …

Various Artists – Singles and EPs

February 4, 2013

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There are ‘pieces’ that are undeniably rap, and definitely not poetry, such as The Sugarhill Gang’s ‘Rapper’s Delight’, and there are others that are undeniably poetry, and definitely not rap, such as John Donne’s Elegy XIX: To His Mistress Going To Bed. This emphatic distinction is a matter of customary usage however, not of hard and fast definitions, and to look for the precise boundary between the two is to fall into an essentialist fallacy. Nevertheless, many assume the existence of such a defensible frontier, which can make for a strong reaction to its penetration, either of outrage or amazement. The Ruby Kid straddles that imaginary barrier without difficulty; the songs/poems/raps on Strange, Lively & Commonplace are both one …