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Following up ‘The Power of Same‘, the first single off 14KT’s new project, featuring Muhsinah, and remixed by Kaidi Tatham, “For My Sanity” is a “freedom project”, an album rooted in free creation, without being tied down by bars, patterns, scenes, and sequences. The intention behind this long-player is clearly stated all throughout the 12 tracks: releasing the angst of the current climate we are facing through collective artistic means.

“I made all the music really late at night after my day-to-day work, as an escape from “what I normally do”. Paired with the everyday struggles of being an artist, it was very stressful hearing about so many deaths––especially due to law enforcement. Making “For My Sanity” was how I was trying to find peace of mind every night so I could go to sleep.”

“I made all the music really late at night after my day-to-day work, as an escape from “what I normally do”. Paired with the everyday struggles of being an artist, it was very stressful hearing about so many deaths––especially due to law enforcement. Making “For My Sanity” was how I was trying to find peace of mind every night so I could go to sleep.”

The themes of the album sway gracefully from personal philosophies and creeds, to burning social matters and celebration of the importance of family and genuine, fruitful friendships. If we were to classify this in a genre, we would say “For My Sanity” is a jazz record, at its core, but elements of hip hop, soul, r’n’b and latin music are easily recognisable and at home on the album.

I challenged myself to create a jazz album, primarily using Native Instruments Maschine. 85% of the album was created on there. The rest was my amazing friends and myself playing instruments.

“For My Sanity” features an array of fellow visionaries – Jimetta Rose, Masego, Mark de Clive-Lowe, Muhsinah, James Poyser, Stro Elliot, Rasheeda Ali, Farnell Newton, Kris Johnson, Magestik Legend –– who help deliver the message and further relay the essence of what the album stands for.

The journey of this release is a story in itself, as the primary thought wasn’t for it to be released, especially with a label. But when this landed in DJ Gilla’s inbox, and then shared with the First Word team, it was clear that the music was right up First Word’s street. 

IAMABEENIE is a name that denotes a series of jazz-Influenced albums 14KT is currently working on. 

The post 14KT Returns With “For My Sanity” IAMABEENIE appeared first on WEUNDERGROUND.

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Jack Waterson is the acid that Adrian never took as a kid. The result, as you’d expect, is both colorful and dark; full of sonic and musical surprises. The creative relationship they have questions the social order of the United States, yet theirs is a quintessentially American Story: Kindred spirits 

Punk rock and hip hop came from the same place, fueled by identical sentiments: people taking the music back, reclaiming it, and finding a new audience. Waterson, primed from the mid-70s Punk scene, began his musical career in ’79 as a founding member of Green on Red. They inspired artists as diverse as My Bloody Valentine, Wilco and Mazzy Star with their records and psychedelic palette. Years later, Waterson continued his influential journey by opening the revered musical instrument store, Future Music, a Los Angeles staple. 

In ’99, an 18 year-old Younge realized that he wanted to create music that sounded like the records he was sampling. Unbeknownst to him, he serendipitously wandered into Future Music. It’s there, he realized his dream was possible. Intrigued by the stores focus on pre ’83 equipment, Waterson soon became a mentor in developing Younge’s unique analog sound. They spoke heavily about the importance of vintage equipment and it’s use in creating revolutionary worlds. 

During these years, Waterson schooled Younge on psych and art rock; Younge returned the favor by schooling him on Hip Hop, the origins of sampling, and its source music. Together this unlikely duo manifested new revolutionary worlds with Waterson appearing on every Younge album within the last decade. 

Adrian Younge presents Jack Waterson” is getting lost in the impressionistic and at times jarring world of psychedelia, questioning what is real and challenging to question the role you play in this world. These kindred spirits have created a cinematic psych album with no boundaries. Laced with hip hop breaks and acid rock, their intention is to subvert the designation of what is black vs. white music.

The post Adrian Younge presents Jack Waterson appeared first on WEUNDERGROUND.

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Following the announcement of his forthcoming ‘Flamagra‘ album, Flying Lotus has shared three of the 27 cuts that will appear on the new LP. Following the release of “Fire is Coming,” which features an eerie appearance from David Lynch, Flylo releases two new songs, “Spontaneous,” which features Little Dragon, and Takashi,” which is named after artist Takashi Yudo.

Flying Lotus - Fire Is Coming feat. David Lynch - YouTube

‘Flamagra’ will arrive on May 24 via Warp Records. The album features a squadron of superstars which includes George Clinton, Anderson .Paak, David Lynch, Tierra Whack, Denzel Curry, Shabazz Palaces, Thundercat, Toro y Moi, Solange and more. It is the first full-length album we’ve seen from Flying Lotus since the release of his Grammy-nominated LP ‘You’re Dead!‘ back in 2014.

The post Flying Lotus Readies New Album, “Flamagra” appeared first on WEUNDERGROUND.

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Kiefer is a keyboardist first and foremost, taught to play the blues by his father practically before he could walk. He started producing his own beats at around age twelve, and eventually went on to study under renowned jazz guitarist Kenny Burrell at UCLA’s Jazz Studies program. There, he started to toy with the synergy between the jazz piano he studied and the beats he created outside of school. While his peers performed over live instrumentation, Kiefer produced electronic beats completely free from sampled melodic material or drum breaks. 

While Bridges remains true to his jazz and hip-hop roots, the release between full-lengths was an opportunity to take his sound in new directions. “My dad always told me any time you work on something, make it better than last time,” he says, “I want to approach things in a new and updated way.” 

No longer driven solely by Kiefer’s signature piano, several songs on Bridges incorporate new instruments, including a range of analogue synths. They also display a renewed emphasis on arrangements. Steering away from the improvisatory, beat-tape styles of songs on Kickinit Alone and Happysad, Kiefer focused on a structured approach to composition and more intricately orchestrated moments, giving the title its second meaning — the musical bridge. 

Kiefer will take this new material on the road throughout 2019 backed by a team of A-list jazz musicians including Jonah Levine (trombone, keys), Sam Gendel (alto), Andy McCauley (bass), and Will Logan (drums). The dates include a US leg in April followed by Kiefer’s first solo European headlining tour in May. 

Put simply, Kiefer hopes his music and live shows can help inspire joy. “It’s comforting to see someone who is truly dedicated to making beautiful stuff,” he says, “I want people to see someone genuinely pour their heart into something.” 

The post Kiefer Takes His Sound in New Directions On, “Bridges” appeared first on WEUNDERGROUND.

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Beat Culture & the SP-404 with Dibia$e, Flying Lotus and Ras G - YouTube

In the early 2000’s, Los Angeles cultivated an underground hip-hop beat culture, where every budding producer were on the same wavelength, experimenting like mad scientists in laboratories, and producing their next instrumental masterpieces.

A community formed around these artists who crafted a lo-fi, gritty sound that warbled and hissed like worn cassette tapes and vinyl. Glitched effects, samples and loops—driven along by a minimal kick/snare/hat groove—were created and performed on the Roland SP-404 Sampler.

This video shares memories from Dibia$e, Flying Lotus and Ras G but barely scratches the surface of a scene that grew from the roots of Project Blowed, Sketchbook, Boombox and Low End Theory. Now, from dedicated YouTube channels to SP-based Beat Maker showcases to loyal online communities, this underground beat culture from L.A has now found a global home.

The post 404 Day: Celebrating Beat Culture & the SP-404 with Dibia$e, Flying Lotus & Ras G appeared first on WEUNDERGROUND.

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“The Loop” is the new LP by Los Angeles based polymath Shafiq Husayn, an epic project which saw its inception in 2012 through a series of studio sessions at Shafiq’s home, including collaborations with the likes of Thundercat, Erykah Badu, Flying Lotus, Bilal and Anderson Paak.

Amongst a close knit circle of friends and family the golden tones of “The Loop” were created, deeply rooted in ideas of song, story, history, guidance and spirituality. The album bumps, jumps and jangles through progressions in jazz, hip hop, soul and funk, following on from his debut album ‘Shafiq En’ A-Free-Ka’ and adding further to his rich history of timeless, unique music.

On “The Loop” past, present and future are brought together through a psychedelic concoction of time traveling drum machines, celestial string sections and trails of synthesizer vapour. Inflections of Sly Stone, Pharaoh Sanders and Earth Wind And Fire traverse with Marley Marl and Dilla-esqe drums making for an organic yet LA-trifying experience.

Shafiq has brought together an impressive array of LA’s musical royalty, enlisting the likes of Thundercat, Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, Kamasi Washington, Chris ‘Daddy’ Dave, Eric Rico, Coultrain, Computer Jay, Jimetta Rose, Om’Mas Keith, Kelsey Gonzalez, I-Ced and more to provide the backbone to his recording sessions. Drawing in features from an international cast of performers and artists like Erykah Badu, Robert Glasper, Hiatus Kaiyote, Fatima and Karen Be amongst others.

Now complete and finally ready for release in 2019 “The Loop” is truly something to behold. The records is accompanied by a series of paintings by acclaimed Japanese visual artist Tokio Aoyama, who worked in tandem with Shafiq to create a painting for each song on the record.

The post LA Based Polymath, Shafiq Husayn, Drops Epic New Project, ” The Loop” appeared first on WEUNDERGROUND.

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Artwork by Stéphane Carricondo

The journey of “A Quest Called Tribe” was birthed through a series of portraits drawn by Stéphane Carricondo in 2017, dedicated to the hip hop luminaries. As a partner in the arts, Medline proposed to create a soundtrack accompanying the portraits, interpreting ATCQ’s classics through the past, present and future influences.

On the visual side: 
Stéphane Carricondo’s natural lines highlight each member’s soul map. The alchemy of the dark ink on emptiness gives them an impressive sparkle of life.

On the musical side: 
The classic themes are transformed into a polymorphic fusion, where jazz, funk and soul from the original sample sources converse with Tribe’s characteristic beats. Medline added his own littlemagic – unique rhythms, improvisations, arrangements, original orchestration and inspired melodies.

The album is an ode to the band, an as Elton John referred to them; “the seminal hip-hop band of all time.”

The post Medline Presents: “A Quest Called Tribe.” A Tribute to the the Seminal Hip-Hop Band of all Time. appeared first on WEUNDERGROUND.

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“Guns” is Quelle’s third studio album in three years: each Quelle Chris album is distinct and fully-realized: see 2017’s “Being You Is Great, I Wish I Could Be You More Often,” an off-kilter probe into the ways we see ourselves, or see last year’s collaboration with Jean Grae, “Everything’s Fine“, which was biting satire for the dawn of a new dystopia –– and which was adored by critics, being named to ‘best album of the year’ lists by countless publications, including Pitchfork, The Wire, and Bandcamp, who dubbed it the best album of 2018. 

Every time a shooting makes the news talking heads pop up in small boxes and make loud arguments about how we shouldn’t rush to politicize what just happened. After all, the heads argue, guns don’t kill people. People kill people. But how true is that? Are the tools we use simply tools, innocuous until we give them meaning? Or are the things we surround ourselves with –– the things in our arsenal –– begging to be weaponized, for good or for evil? Guns, the new album from the critically acclaimed rapper and producer Quelle Chris, is a careful study of all these questions, an urgent record for urgent times. 

“Guns is an arsenal of both sounds, styles, and subjects, Quelle says, taking a thorough look at “the words we say, what we fear, how we love, how we live, what we ingest, what we believe in, who we idolize, shit like that.” To this end, the New York by-way-of Detroit savant attacks his topics from multiple angles: there’s the jagged, minimal “Obamacare,” which plays like a confrontation, but there’s also “Wild Minks,” where Quelle and the enigmatic New Jersey rapper Mach-Hommy spin silk out of the softest textures in their parents’ record collections. In the service of examining big ideas with grave consequences, we get to hear a master technician deploying every piece of ammo he has. 

In times that are often beyond parody, Quelle has never been a writer to shy away from the absurd. But Guns is dotted with references to the very real, painfully ordinary fates that might befall us –– be they getting gunned down in church on a Sunday or simply being forgotten by our friends after we’re gone. In preparation for both, Quelle lays his psyche bare. Maybe his identity is best summed up by the three-word descriptor he gives himself toward the record’s end: “handsome, black, and headstrong.” 

Quelle handles the vast majority of production duties himself, with assists coming from Dane and Chris Keys. Guns covers sonic ground quickly: it opens with the skeletal creep of “Spray & Pray” and closes with “WYRM,” which is sweeping and contemplative. In between there are detours to the lush and playful (“PSA Drugfest 2003”) and to the grim and digital (“Mind Ya Bidness”). As always, Quelle delivers music that’s innovative and idiosyncratic without sacrificing the gut-punch of more commercial releases; in fact, there are moments when Guns rattles trunks like few rap LPs in recent memory.

Guns” is slated for release via Mello Music Group on March 29

The post Quelle Chris Returns with “Guns” appeared first on WEUNDERGROUND.

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Imagine if you could put together a dream line-up of MCs and producers from all four corners of the rap world? 

That’s what artist and illustrator Gangster Doodles set out to do when he put together a stellar collection of tracks by the rappers and talent that inspire his work. 

The all-star line-up features everyone from hotly-tipped emerging producers like Eets, Caleb Stone, Maze Mountain and LoVibe next to underground perennials like Onra, Mndsgn and Jon Wayne all the way up to top flight producer Kaytranada and established rap vets like Madlib, Oh No, Blu and Defari. 

This second collaboration between All City Records and Gangster Doodles is a jam-packed sonic adventure featuring 27 killer tracks from some of the finest creators out there. 

Doodles had the idea for a comp two years ago. Hyped after partnering with All City for Knxwledge’s “Wraptaypes” project back in 2015, they initially set out to put together an EP but as the tracks kept coming in it exploded into the sprawling double LP of low-slung grooves and bangers from the best in the business. 

With everyone on the record being a friend or friend of a friend, the comp just kept growing as GD went to work with the hustle he has learned from penning his post-it sketches day in day out for the last decade. 

Word spread fast and soon he was being sent beats from all over, even reaching behind the prison walls of Bergen County Jail, New Jersey and securing a track from former Dipset affiliate Max B. 

The last few years have been busy for Marlon “Gangster Doodles” Sassy. He released his acclaimed Gangster Doodles (The Book) alongside an ever-expanding array of prints, original works, apparel and exhibitions across the globe. Topping that off with animation projects, a graphic novel in the works and now, with this LP titled ” Gang$ter Music Vol 1″, he is about to debut his first ever music compilation. 

He says himself: “Every time a new track came in it was like running down the stairs on Christmas morning to open a present. What started as a slow trickle of work coming in soon turned into a tsunami with some of my heroes like Onra, House Shoes, Blu, Jeremiah Jae joining up with young guns Kojaque, Kean Kavanagh, Dream Panther and others to beef up the record. When an email pinged through with a track from brothers Oh No and Madlib it felt like the final gift and Gang$ter Music Vol. 1 was complete.” 

Gangster Music Vol. 1 releases March 1, 2019. Preorder here.

The post Artist Gangster Doodles Gets to Put Together a Dream Line-up of MCs and Producers for, “Gangster Music Vol. 1” appeared first on WEUNDERGROUND.

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For the seventh installment on Kutmah’s experimental IZWID imprint, south London DJ and producer Al Dobson Jr. creates a 23 track deep, exploration of soulful, tribal drums and abstract musical curation. 

Otherworldly and nuanced beats re-imagine the score of the sampledelic funk tale. One that’s non-geographical but rather lost in loops, journeying through the time and space that exists within your headphones.

Alternating between cosmic vocal rips and a myriad of loose, soul-infused beat tape-style sketches with its digital flourishes, “Sounds from the Village Vol. 2” sees the sunrise and sunset over a bohemian musical vista.

As with all of the output on IZWID, Kutmah’s hand drawn artwork brings to life the story of the release, revisiting a boundary-less and positive manifesto that reputes the tyranny of genre.

The post Al Dobson Jr Returns With “Sounds From The Village Vol. 2” appeared first on WEUNDERGROUND.

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