"Tomorrow's looking shit and it's Tuesday" — OMFGodfathers, what a twisted collection of talent has come together here. Milkavelli, Lee Scott, the mighty Trellion and Sumgii (producer behind the equally mind-bending Piff Gang and Problem Child) knock six tracks together, available as limited-edition cassette and also download and vinyl. Groggy, wasted, drugged to the eyeballs, trippy-as-fuck production populated by nowt but Theremin and slo-mo dub dementia, truly diseased rhyming particularly from Trellion, a general feel of deranged untrammelled nastiness and 24/7 fucked-upness that's addictive and compelling. If I was editor of the NME I'd have these sick bastards on the cover like fucking YESTERDAY. The true sound of the estates. Search for Cult Mountain on Bandcamp and gorge yourself soon as. Single of the year thus far.
'5 a.m In LA'
Oh fuck — something about the phrase 'Vine sensation' has me thinking of that uber-c**t Dapper Laughs, but don't let the means of Atlanta upstart OG Maco's meteoric rise blind you to his skills. '5.am In LA' is only one-hundred-and-ten seconds long but within that time-frame he absolutely grabs you by the lapels and makes you listen. There's an insistence and grain to his voice that suggests a deep intent to communicate, there's a brilliant sparseness and robot-like repetition to the track that makes a minute-fifty both fly by and loop in on itself. What you'll keep rewinding for is the verbals though, tangled, suggestive, great punchlines, truly atmospheric. I'm going backwards from this to the '15' EP and holding tight for the 'Children of the Rage' album that'll be dropping later this year. I stongly suggest you do the same.
Loose, langourous, jazzy track from CD's just-dropped 'Avant Garde' set. Could be from any point in the last 30 years but no less on-point for it: good to hear razor-sharp clarity in the beats, loops and rhymes here as opposed to the overly-impressive racket so many crews shoot out there. Tasty.
Professor P & DJ Akilles feat Rah Digga
'For the City'
Pro&Ak HB/ Ill Adrenaline Records
Yes it was the Rah Digga cameo that suckered me into this but damn glad I investigated cos this is, as we used to say, some ill shit. While normally resistant to the US MC/European producer matrix that seems to be becoming a habit for so many US rappers in search of fresh inspiration, Pro-P & Ak have been creating great beats for a long time out of Upsaala, Sweden, and 'For the City' is no exception, a simple but rich and warm roll and ruckus, not especially innovative but as comfortable and enjoyable as anything off those Phryme/Bada$$ albums you're all bumping right now. And of course, a joy to hear Dirty Harriet herself Rah Digga spitting on such a sweet backdrop. From an EP called 'All Year: Every Year: Winter' that forms one seasonal quarter of a soon-come album. Love it.
Big Shug feat Termanology & Singapore Kane
'Off Rip '
Can't stop listening to that Phryme album partly because Premo seems so liberated by finally collaborating more on the musical side of things, contributing only as part of a team — here he's back on his own producing but does seem to have been affected by his experiences with Adrian Younge, the strings here descending like black clouds, the orchestration as sublime as an Axelrod or Barry. Massachusetts heavy hitting veterans Big Shug and Terma (and new Bostonia spitter SK) add to the growing sense of apocalyptic doom and menace — this is determinedly grainy, rainy, East Coast hardcore hip-hop that bodes enormously well for Shug's soon-come newest opus 'Triple OGzus'. Superb last blast of winter.
'Ratchet Commandments '
Because I feature nowhere near enough female MCs but this isn't here for tokenism, it's here cos it's catchy as fuck. "If you know your rent's due get the fuck out da club!" — something about Tink I like. I think it's her unwillingness to fit with any of the previous archetypes for femme-MCs, her guardedness, her refusal to give everything just yet. Also the girl can spit — there's great lines here that you feel are only scratching the surface of everything Tink has to say. Just wish Timbaland would find some more interesting beats for her to spit on. For now though — get your daughters into this and watch their minds grow.
BADBADNOTGOOD & Ghostface Killah feat DOOM
Always worry when live bands and hip-hop meet — for me always in danger of slipping into noodling jazz-funk territory and surrendering of the essentially mechanical, inhuman and futurist elements of hip-hop production that have always most excited me. Hats off to BADBADNOTGOOD for managing in a live sense to actually replicate a dementedly clipped kind of nu-school production, a meandering slice of jazz-funk played as if it's a loop, strings and colour building the intrigue until 'Ray Gun' reaches the kind of lush and lurid heights and depths of a primo Lalo Schifrin production. Ghostface and Doom on point but wish I could hear more of them — the aptly-titled album 'Sour Soul' is on the shopping list for shitsure.