I’m following on from our series of breakdowns and styles to talk about one of the most famous and arguably one of the ‘Adam’s Ribs’ of sampling and electronically produced music; The Amen Break. Those not familiar with the name of the break will undoubtedly know it once they hear it. But its place in the sampling hall of fame firmly plants it near the top.
Do you remember Curtis Jackson? Back before Waka Flocka Flame and Young Jeezy took incomprehensible rapping to mean dollar signs and before getting shot at was a sport there was a dude with a story more inflated fiction than solid fact. Shot nine times and left to die and a protégé of a protégé of one the pioneers of West coast rap, 50 Cent was big enough to spawn himself a quite playable videogame alongside his highly popular ‘Get Rich or Die Tryin’ debut and infamous club shootings persona. But nearly ten years later, what does he do now? Surely he has made enough coin to get him into some mediocre mansion or have him perpetually sitting in the producer’s chair stealing lesser rapper’s income. Enter ‘Animal Ambition’, the fifth and most likely not the last attempt Jackson makes to remind us that the gangsta never leaves the man despite the Gucci manbags doused in Cristal.
From Russia, by way of Germany then to your ears by way of Audiocracy.
The album is extremely impressive and holds up to repeated dips. After the initial apprehensive and exciting wade into their waters the urge to revisit them is immediate and strong. Read more…
I thought I would do an EP round up as there seems to be quite a lot coming out lately and instead of putting them in their own reviews, I would do small ones of each. Here goes!
Infected mushroom have been releasing EPs in the interim between their last stellar album ‘Army of Mushrooms’ and their soon to be released album which will return to the chiller, down tempo styles of ‘Converting Vegetarians’, and this volume 3 collections follows on from the previous two volumes under the same name. With the release of EP number 3, people had high hopes for it with many an internet fiend bandying about terms like ‘best ever’ and ‘Infected at their greatest’. But is it really?
I’ve been waiting quite a while for this one after the incredibly honest and raw solo release several years ago, which put Joelistics well outside his former group’s shadow. TZU were one of those groups that Australian independent music embraced, even though they were part of the Gudinski juggernaut. I used to put TZU on par with the best stuff coming out of labels such as Elefant Traks and despite being on Liberation, I always felt their home was with ET. So its fitting that after the effective dissolution of TZU, with pairing MCs Pip Norman and Joel Ma going in different directions, Joel would resurface on Elefant Traks. But Voyager was incredible. It had maturity, intelligence, top level production and power to the lyricism which highlighted Joel’s bush poetry slam thought patterns. But what of Blue Volume? Is it more of the same or just a weakening of Joel’s creativity?
Australian hip-hop is more often than not pervaded by themes of parties, backyard BBQs and white middle class themes. Mekong Delta Sunrise, the third album from Elefant Traks’ Astronomy Class, is a huge breathe of fresh air. I was only just recently talking of such high praise for L-Fresh’s debut and even went so far as to compare him to Ozi Batla, and after listening to Mekong Delta Sunrise; I’m convinced they are two of the best MCs in Australian hip-hop. Yeah sure, Ozi Batla’s been one of the longest players in the game of Australian MCs, but he hasn’t lost a single edge against the new up and coming upstarts in the game. Mekong Delta Sunrise is by far their best release yet and it shows that when you carry a strong theme throughout an album, it elevates it to a level no one could ever have imagined.