Three piece literature rock outfit, Sincerely, Grizzly from Adelaide, Australia have just released the first single titled Us; or Optimism off of their debut record “Halves”. Literature rock is a hybrid of both art and math rock, combining time signature changes and intricate guitar and percussion work. The forthcoming album “Halves” is the bands’ attempt to understand and reconcile musical, personal and philosophical dichotomies. Us; or Optimism was recorded in Melbourne with Jez Giddings at Hot House, mixed by Brad Wood (Sunny Day Real Estate, Smashing Pumpkins, Placebo) and mastered by Emily Lazar (Brand New, Death Cab For Cutie, Wu Tang).
Sincerely, Grizzly this year alone have supported the band responsible for their musical existence, …And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead as well as embarking on two national tours of their own and sharing the stage with artists such as JAPANDROIDS and The Presidents of The United States of America. You can stream their new single below and follow the band on Facebook for more information. They embark on a national tour of Australia tomorrow so if you’re from there check out the dates here.
DOWNLOAD: Childish Gambino – Royalty
2. We Ain’t Them
3. One Up (feat. Steve G Lover)
4. Black Faces (feat. Nipsey Hussle)
5. Unnecessary (feat. ScHoolboy Q & Ab-Soul)
6. Shoulda Known
7. R.I.P (feat. Bun B)
8. American Royalty (feat. RZA & Hypnotic Brass Ensemble)
9. It May Be Glaour Life (feat. Ghostface Killah)
10. Toxic (feat. Danny Brown)
11. Silk Pillow (feat. Beck)
12. They Don’t Like Me (feat. Chance The Rapper)
13. Arrangement (feat. Conage)
14. Won’t Stop (feat. Danielle Haim of Haim)
16. Wonderful (feat. Josh Osho)
17. Make It Go Right (feat. Kilo Kish)
18. Real Estate (feat. Alley Boy, Swank & Tina Fey)
Wugazi, the mashup project of Cecil Otter (of Doomtree fame) and Swiss Andy, have just released their album 13 Chambers. Wu-Tang Clan acapellas from their legendary Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) album are paired with Fugazi tracks from fan-favorite 13 Songs, resulting in thirteen fantastic mixes.
I know what you’re thinking: you’re tired of all these Wu-Tang mixes. This isn’t the first mashup of the Wu and I can guarantee you that it won’t be the last, but the unique pairing of punk-rock and rap make this album a must-listen. Check out “Sleep Rules Everything Around Me”, “Sweet Release”, and “Forensic Shimmy” below for a preview.
Max Tannone, the producer behind Jaydiohead, Mos Dub, and Dub Kweli, has just released his brand new mashup project. This time, he pairs Wu-Tang Clan‘s Ghostface Killah up with African funk to create Ghostfunk. Just hours after the album’s release, Max took some time to discuss his new project with us. Check it out below.
Despite being a largely consistent critical hit across the fifteen years in his solo career, former Wu-Tang Clan member Ghostface Killah has never been able to tap into the commercial success of his former group. His last album, Ghostdini was panned for straying from what he did best, and some feared that he was beginning to lose his touch. His ninth album, Apollo Kids, proves that this was only a misstep and not an indication of future trends.
Ghostface employs his traditional alchemy by combining ’70’s samples, innumerable guest stars, and stories of growing up on the streets of Staten Island, yielding gold in track after track. One of the better samples comes immediately, with Ghostface asking on “Purified Thoughts”, “Am I a good man?” A reverent reflection on how far he has come, the theme of divinity is appropriate for his status in the rap world. This segues nicely into the acceptance of his rise in “Superstar,” boasting some of the strongest music on the album.
Not content to bask in the good life, though, Ghostface is quick to pay respect to his roots, and a good half of the album focuses on different facets of this theme. The gritty “Black Tequila” draws comparisons between New York gangs and Italian mobsters. “In Tha Park” traces Ghostface’s origins, paying homage to his musical and social influences. The album’s best track, “Ghetto” hits all of the right notes. The sample (Marlena Shaw‘s “Woman of the Ghetto”) is touching enough on its own, but to hear the Ghostface and his guests’ responses to such questions as “How do you raise your kids in the ghetto?,” driven by an appropriately soft beat, propels the song to a new level.
The album’s tracks focusing on relationships, or lack thereof, are less effective. The sample on single “2getha Baby” breaks the pace of the song (and through a bold looping decision, even breaks its own pace), but it just isn’t impactful enough to warrant such a break. “Handcuffin’ Them Hoes” is a standard “love ’em then leave ’em” rap that delves into crassness that Ghostface should be above by this point in his career. Guest artist Jim Jones‘ voice fits the beat and lyrics, but that isn’t necessarily a good thing.
Jones aside, many of the guests on Kids pack a punch. Busta Rhymes intricately weaves his way through an exciting verse on the already energetic “Superstar.” Black Thought infuses his rhymes with real passion on “In Tha Park”, aptly concluding his story with “That’s the reason for my real rap penmanship. / That’s where I started it and that’s where I’mma finish it.” Fellow Wu-Tang members Raekwon, U-God, and Method Man bring the album to a strong finish. If the other guests fall short, it’s more often because of what they’re stacked up against rather than their own deficiencies.
Even though Kanye West shook up the rap world only a few weeks before the release of Apollo Kids, Ghostface shouldn’t be overlooked. In contrast to West’s bombastic, radio-friendly songs, Ghostface’s gangster rap is more down to earth, focusing on the content instead of catchy choruses (half of his songs don’t have one to begin with). It won’t make him a commercial success, but it demonstrates his continued relevance in the rap world.
Standout Tracks: “Superstar”, “In Tha Park”, “Ghetto”