Monthly Archives: January 2015


Liquid Swords

I was browsing Reddit today, as every productive day starts, and came across a thread about the most under appreciated album of all time.  One user mentioned Gza’s Liquid Swords.

I remembered this album from when I was much younger, and honestly don’t remember it that fondly.  But I took the advice in the thread and gave it another listen.  That one listen made me realize I was a giant idiot in my youth, and I had missed out on gold.  So, to publicly embrace my idiocy, here is an album you all probably know and love.


Stro Elliot – Kamaal Coltrane

Last month, LA-based producer Stro Elliot released this mash-up of Coltrane’s “Giant Steps” and the Dilla-produced beat to Q-Tip’s “Let’s Ride“. Actually, mash-up is probably the wrong word: it’s more of a simultaneous re-interpretation of both tunes. The interesting connection here is that Dilla sampled the guitar version of “Giant Steps” on the Q-Tip beat.


Johnny Thursday & Berta – The Basement EP

A little #Cancon for you this fine Monday evening: an EP of jazzy beats and complex rhymes by Montreal emcees Johnny Thursday and Berta. “Bohemian” and “Time” are first listen highlights, but the whole thing is good.


The Underachievers – Amorphous (Feat. Portugal the Man)

Art Cool Music

Rhythm Roulette Illustrates the Art of Sampling

For at least a year now the magazine Mass Appeal has been producing a Youtube series called Rhythm Roulette. The premise is simple: a producer has to make a beat from three records he picks at random. Some sessions aren’t great – there’s a reason why a lot of records are never sampled – but other producers are able to whip up really solid beats, proving the creativity and technique that goes into making good hip-hop. Here’s the session with DJ Nu-Mark, but be sure to check out the whole series.


Sidewalk Chalk – “Them, Us”

A lot of musicians have responded through art to the tragedies in Ferguson, Staten Island and elsewhere, including the Chicago band Sidewalk Chalk, who’ve released this video to their powerful song, “Them, Us.” Check out the tune and then preorder their new album and hit them up on tour.