I got this album by rapper Creature a few weeks ago. The album is named after crime novelist “Chester Himes.” Since I haven’t read anything by Himes, I’m not exactly sure of the correlation.
Not to label Creature’s style, but I would describe it as abstract rap. If you’re confused by the term or concept of abstract rap, think Kool Keith, MF Doom or now Shabazz Palaces. Could you imagine all of them on tour together? That would be awesome.
Here are the tracks that really caught my attention.
Embrace the Day
This is more or less freeform rhyming around the concept of taking chances and well…embracing the day.
Frying in the Sun
The concept to me is kind of vague, but from what I picked up it’s a freeform rhymes relaying around the theme of contradiction. The beginning is reminiscent of Devo’s cover of the Rolling Stones “Satisfaction” with an electronic 8-bit-ish production.
Afraid to Fly
This features Creature’s ability to speed rap over an electronic beat that sounds like an acid trip with old school Atari blips and beeps during the hallucination.
In closing, “Chester Himes” is an EP that’s ahead of its time and if you’re interested in something outside of the traditional rap mainstays, this could be of interest to you.
From the rapper who brought you “Slaughterhouse”, “Cannibal Ferox” and “Kain Made Me Do It” I bring to you “Sutter Kain L.O.V.E. (Life Obsessive Violent Emotions).” Instead of the expected blood splattered nightmares of previous titles, Sutter Kain shows an emotional yet still infuriated side over being heartbroken. Instead of the usual sampling of the endless array of “suffix-core” subgenres he samples “I Remember” by singer/songwriter Damien Rice.
Kain’s usage of Rice’s “I Remember” sets the tone for a heart-felt break up letter over what some would consider an unlikely sample. But, judging from his past productions an unorthodox sample should be expected. “L.O.V.E. (Life’s Obsessive Violent Emotions) compliments the meaning of the Damien Rice. What I’m fascinated by is how he pasted a song that has a 3/4 waltz beat over a 4/4 beat.
On 10/9/2011, I got a link from fellow writer/wrestling fan Darryl Jackson that was a video of a guy with an acoustic guitar and a loop machine. Since Darryl and I have similar if not identical taste in music, I trusted his judgment. I’m glad that I did too. When I first saw the name Berhoft and he was from Norway, I thought “Bernhoft? Did Darryl send me a video of some dude about to sing acoustic black metal or something?” Well, instead of doing music about the blackest part of your soul, he just has “soul.” Jarle Bernhoft is a Norwegian singer/songwriter whose use of acoustic guitar and smooth vocal is a surprise to say the least.
To others that know music, it probably shouldn’t be that big of a surprise. Europe actually has a history of appreciation and love of R&B, blues and soul music. Don’t believe me? Look up the Northern Soul sound of the U.K.
Honestly, Bernhoft’s setup isn’t exactly innovative to me, I remember seeing comedian Kyle Dunnigan use a loop machine but in Dunnigan’s case, it was more in the vein of a novelty though. Also, to say that K.T. Tunstall’s use of a loop machine on “Black Horse and the Cherry Tree” was notable would be an understatement. But, it’s not always the tools; it’s the ability of the artist. In this case, Bernhoft definitely has that.
Konichiwa folks! As I was checking out my timeline on Twitter I got a link from wrestler/friend to the site, MVP to a funk band out of Japan! Yes, I said Japan. Honestly, I’m not surprised that Japan would have a funk scene though. I remember finding a YouTube video of this group called “the Low Lows” covering Stax duo Sam and Dave’s “Soul Man” and another deep funk band called “Timos” back in ‘07.
Is there anything the Japanese can’t do? I mean whether it’s animation, wrestling or …*ahem* other forms of entertainment…they seem to surpass us! I’m not mad though. I’m excited.
Kenta Hamano (Vo & Leader),
Keita Murakami (Ba),
Akira Ohgi eon (Gr),
Makoto Nagata, T. (Ds),
Yoshihiro rear seat (Sax),
Forest Kubota (Tb),
based on Murakami (Tp)
“Scratch” is a deep bass grooved, brass heavy, scratchy guitar throwback to the 60’s Stax sound but at a faster pace that although has contemporary edge it doesn’t stray too far from its American predecessors. After repeated listens, I noticed that they kind of reminded me of No Wave band James Chance and the Contortions.
In closing, if you’re a fan of bands like The Heavy, James Chance and the Contortions and Fitz and the Tantrums, you would probably enjoy Zainichi Funk.
You ever see a video really late at night that has a song so out of your realm of possibility that you thought you dreamt it? Well, this is one of those moments. Let me explain, I can’t remember how old I was exactly but I woke up out of a deep slumber and somehow I stumbled onto MTV2. The video for “Epic” by Faith No More was on. After watching it, I fell asleep without realizing it. For two weeks, I thought I dreamt the surreal mix of rap, pseudo-neo classical guitar and Bjork’s goldfish. After watching the video for Muthawit’s “Wasted (Fill my House with Salt)” I got the exact same feeling I did then.
The video is kind reminiscent of Jamiroquai’s Virtual Insanity video…well minus the part where the whole room being moved. I admit that I’m a sucker for videos that add concert footage. Bighead Scientists directed the video, I’m not exactly sure who “Bighead Scientists” are but they did a good job.
Musically, how can I describe “Wasted (Fill My House with Salt)?” A maniacal mix of saxophone, horn hits, distorted bass, swinging drums, subtle string, flanged out guitar and this shift from jazz to blues vocals or in other words UrbAlt.
In closing, if you’re a sucker for videos that have a direct to the point concept and interweaved with live footage, you’ll enjoy the video for “Wasted (Fill My House with Salt).”
Fusing the emotionally charged rapping—well more like “emotional recitation” of Donnie Darko over chugging, down tuned guitar samples. Darko paints a bleak, cold picture of a world of despair and pain that is a reality for some. DJ Bless’s aggressive chanting compliments Darko’s venting. I noticed that ”U.F.O Transmissions” is kind of reminiscent of another rap song with an intergalactic theme. That being Kanye West’s waltz timed “Spaceship.” I mean, aside from concept of space travel, the similar theme of both songs is hoping for a better present than the one that they’re experiencing. In closing, I feel that DJ Bless use of djent or metalcore band “I The Breather” compliments the delivery of Donnie Darko.
written by John M. Ellison IV
Insane Clown Posse, Jack White and JEFF the Brotherhood walk into a bar…well, studio and somebody brought in the sheet music for Mozart’s “Leck Mich im Arsch” or “Lick me in the Ass” in English. Actually, I thought it was a joke. Not in the fact Insane Clown Posse has anything to do with the project but in the fact that up until recently it was a known that Jack White hated rap music.
I begrudgingly admit that I forgot this piece by Mozart’s existed and when I heard about it back then I thought that was a hoax. I mean, c’mon! Mozart wrote a piece about licking ass? I couldn’t fathom the idea back then. But on the other hand, why am I not surprised? I mean, he’s Austrian. Interesting enough, this isn’t the first song that featured Insane Clown Posse and a classical sample. The Psychopathic Records supergroup “Dark Lotus” that’s current lineup consists of Insane Clown Posse, Blaze ya Dead Homie and Twiztid. The group had a song called “Pass the Axe” that sampled Beethoven’s Symphony #9. At this rate, I wonder what they would do with Stravinsky.
In this case, you have Jack White playing the role of producer, Nashville sibling rock duo JEFF the Brotherhood on drums and guitar and Insane Clown Posse rapping. Drum wise, Jamin’s playing a steady beat that’s complimentary and not overplaying. Jake’s guitar tone simulates the timbre of an organ that’s reminiscent of the White Stripes “Blue Orchid.” Just for another laugh, Jamin and Jake’s last name are Orrall. Rap wise, you have Violent J using his shouting, barking kind of out of tune flow which he uses for more rap-metal based tracks. Although, it can be considered grating and amateurish to listenersthat are unaccustomed to it, it complements the aggression of the instrumentation of JEFF the Brotherhood. Shaggy who I feel is the stronger rapper of the duo, has a similar but more fluid flow though.
Overall if you’re not up to listening to a rap-rock ode to anilingus…stay clear from this or you’ll end up with the “you ate ass” face.
But, if you’re up to gross out, juvenile lyrics that are reminiscent of a schiesse film. Feel free to check it out.
Check out a preview from Lawrence “L*A*W*” Worrell’s upcoming 3rd mixtape “The St. Marks Avenue Chronicles”
I’ve been on this Hendrix kick as of late thanks to Spotify and Youtube. I stumbled across Hendrix’s live version the Chuck Berry classic “Johnny B. Goode” than Jimi did back in 1970. At first listen, I’m thinking “Johnny B. Goode’s a song that’s three chords, pretty uptempo and well Jimi’s version has an edge to it…wow, Hendrix was really onto something.” No, I’m not saying Jimi started “punk” per se, but to me his version kinda sounds like a predecessor of the 70’s punk sound. Tell me what you think…
Jimi Hendrix-Johnny B. Goode