Friday, 4 June 2010

Recommended Listening: Scorzayzee, Jon Phonics, Blacastan, Abstract Soundz, Sandman, Screaming Soul, & Northern Hostility

Have been really busy of late with this and that, whatnot and stuff and as you can probably tell Certified Banger really took a back seat. Doesn't mean I haven't been listening to music though does it? No. Here's some stuff I've been listening to that you might want to turn your ears to:

Sandman's 'Code of the Road Runner' is some refreshing Dubstep/Dub/Reggae inspired UK Hip Hip which features Ghetto Priest, Farma G, Seanie T, Stig of the Dump and Skrein amongst others. The album is available for just £5 at Bandcamp.

Sandman is also a part of the Screaming Soul crew alongside Ghetto Priest (who has worked with Asian Dub Foundation). Screaming Soul is made up of a whole host of musicians (read more at Bandcamp) and their album 'Ghost In A Shell' is more of the Dub/Dancehall/Reggae/Hip Hop goodness (with less emphasis on the Hip Hop) that can be found on Sandman's LP. This album is also available for a fiver - a bargain as this is a superb collection of tracks suitable for the current weather.

What else have I been checking out? Oh yeah, Abstract Soundz (a producer) dropped an absolute gem from out of nowhere featuring a whole host of interesting MCs who I'll definitely be on the look out for. The release is just called 'Abstract Soundz presents...' and it features a whole host of accomplished and funky productions, rappers such as Brotherman, B'Tol, Chalk MC, Louis Vines, Equis (who's French), Skunkadelic, Tom Long, Kaos, A Kid and The Ruby Kid and the sublime vocals of Eva Lazarus - don't be put off if you don't recognise some of these names - they are all worth listening to. Download it for free here.

Over to the US now with Blacastan's 'The Master of Reality' mixtape - proof that decent artwork and packaging has a huge effect on a potential listener. Basically, the CD is presented as a mini vinyl LP in the cut and paste style of Black Sabbath's 'Master of Reality' album complete with a Vertigo style CD. The tracks are raw, gritty, street rap and the stand out tracks for me are 'If You Only Knew' which perfectly interpolates Henry Mancini's 'The Windmills of Your Mind' and 'Martyrs' which samples Simon and Garfunkel's 'The Boxer' - a track which I've been brought up on. Not sure how you'd get hold of one of these as they're limited edition but I'm pretty sure a quick internet search would turn up a download - try it now.

Jon Phonics has a new thing out, 'Half Past Calm 2' , which you can get for free by simply signing up to get mail outs from YNR Productions by clicking here. It's a fairly dark affair in the vein of the recent work of M9, Triple Darkness and the like and it features T-Bear, Nasheron, M9, Masikah, Verb T, Kashmere, Fliptrix, Cyrus Malachi, Micall Parknsun, Kosyne and newcomer/one to watch Kal Sereousz. Check Jon's exceptionally crafted, blazed-out beats.

I was rather excited to ear-peep Scorzayzee's mixtape 'Raging Bull' because he is such an engaging and entertaining MC and I really wasn't disappointed. Right from his 64 bar romp over De La's 'Babyphat' at the beginning I was hooked and you will be too. Download it for free now. Simples.

Lastly is yet more proof that Yorkshire, especially the West side of said county, is where it's at right now, especially if you're into heavy, unadulterated old school-influenced rap. Northern Hostility, the crew consisting of scores of MCs, producers, DJs and smaller crews, have put together their 'Bad Language Mixtape' and it's pretty good. Verbal Contact, Alphabetix and Defenders of Style all contribute to this free download.

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