Active Child – Curtis Lane

 

Active Child is polarizing in that you either love his falsetto, or can’t stand it. I, for one, think it’s fantastic and being a fan of How to Dress Well this is hardly surprising; similarly, fans of the aforementioned should like Active Child. That being said, it’s a lot less melancholic and a lot more avant-garde, dream poppy. It is also one of the few cases where I think using the avant-garde tag isn’t completely inappropriate and obnoxious. I’ve only listened to his Curtis Lane EP so far, and it has made me want to get more of his stuff; but for now,

Download: Active Child – Curtis Lane

Amerigo Gazaway of Gummy Soul – Fela Soul

Okay, so when I read the summary of this my mind was blown. The bandcamp sums up what this is very well, but long story short: De La Soul acapellas mirixed with afrobeats (traditional Nigerian instrument samples), swanky horns, and everything in between.

Then here is the actual bandcamp summary:

“What do you get when you put together afrobeat legend Fela Kuti and rap pioneers De La Soul? You get Fela Soul; a musical tapestry created by Gummy Soul artist Amerigo Gazaway. More than just a clever title, Fela Soul is an 8-track, 33 minute journey into the world of afrobeat rhythms, funky horn riffs, and classic hip-hop gems. Using dozens of hand-picked samples from the Nigerian instrumentalist and political figure Fela Kuti, and 8 carefully-chosen acapellas from the Native Tongue rap trio De La Soul, Amerigo seamlessly intertwines the two into something completely new and original.”

Link to their Bandcamp

Cradle Orchestra – Velvet Ballads

More Jazz Hop, a lot more piano than your usual, but very, very catchy. Also features C.L. Smooth, The Roots, Dilated Peoples, Othello and some other names. Notable tracks: So Fresh, Cheers, All I want In This World.

Download: Cradle Orchestra – Velvet Ballads

Oddisee – Mental Liberation

Oddisee is a producer who’s worked with Black Milk, and to be honest that’s the only name I recognize from his undoubtedly impressive repertoire of associated artists. Nonetheless, his beats are certainly cool, with a lot of soul (both meanings of the word), and a true underground feel. Mental Liberation is a 2009 release with a collection of tracks that he has collaborated and produced on. It has some really cool tracks such as ‘Let the Music’, ‘Q&A’, and ‘Rhymes Get Written’. Check it out!

Download: Oddisee – Mental Liberation

K-Nine – Best Kept Secret

One criminally under-listened to MC, THIRTY FIVE LISTENERS, it’s a DAMN shame because it is a solid, solid rap album. It has a very back to the classics / oldschool feeling and the level of production is astoundingly high for someone who I assume is unsigned. The rapping is slow paced and very straightforward, but it should definitely not be disappointing someone looking to listen to some solid hip hop. Don’t go in looking for anything groundbreaking, however!

Up for free download on his bandcamp here: K- Nine – Best Kept Secret

Pase Rock – Bullshit As Usual

Apologies for the really small image, google images is acting up. Pase Rock is a ‘one cool MF’ who sports a really, really sick flow, over very smooth, fast-paced, jazzy beats. The album is aptly titled, as it really just sounds as this MC is dealing with all the bullshit as usual and not giving a fuck.

Download: Pase Rock – Bullshit As Usual