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Album Reviews Music

T.Shirt & Darvin Silva – The Tan Face Children EP

Tan-Face Children EP

Free mixtapes and EPs are usually unpolished and gritty.  Slapped together on tight schedules and low budgets, they’re a way for rappers and producers to generate noise without much expense (and, sometimes, effort).  The prevalence of mixtapes and EPs in hip-hop is probably due to a combination of several things, including the culture’s DIY aesthetic, the widespread availability of music production software and the lack of formal training and equipment necessary to spit a few rhymes (anyone can rap into a mic, playing even a basic melody on an instrument takes practice and, obviously, an instrument).

T.Shirt and Darvin Silva’s new EP, however, seems to defy that logic.  Called The Tan Face Children EP, it sounds distinctly professional.  It borders on experimental, with the electro drums, pulsating bass lines and off-kilter, almost broken beat sequencing that’s popular nowadays.  A couple of songs feature indie melodies and hooks, and Shirt and Silva bolster the EP’s coolness and esoteric factors by sprinkling Walt Whitman quotes throughout (hence the title).  The lyrics are generally good, especially on “24 Frames (Movie Night),” on which all three verses are composed entirely of movie titles – and it actually works.  Even better, it’s extremely well mixed, and sounds like it was recorded in a studio rather than some dude’s basement.  And for a free EP, you can’t ask for much more than that.

DOWNLOAD: T.Shirt & Darvin Silva – The Tan Face Children EP

01. Pioneers! O Pioneers!
02. (Written Somewhere In Miami)
03. Monday Massacre
04. 24 Frames (Movie Night)
05. Recommendation
06. Starry-Eyed
07. Allure (Must Have Been Love)
08. Outro Music


2 Hungry Bros – Back for Seconds

2HungryBros - Back for Seconds

Yesterday, producers Deep and Ben Boogie – collectively known as 2 Hungry Bros – released Back for Seconds, a free mixtape.  And it’s damn good.  The album’s beats are incredibly diverse, ranging from rare funk and jazz grooves to more recent House tunes like Lady (!) and Music Sounds Better With You.  They’re not samples either, but rather the full tracks, preserved in their original glory for the album’s featured emcees to rhyme over.  It’s a unique experiment, for sure, and probably not for everybody.  But if you’re looking for something new and diverse, check this out for sure.  You won’t be disappointed.

DOWNLOAD: 2 Hungry Bros – Back For Seconds


Little Brother Release First Single from Last Album

El bee's curtain call

Little Brother has released “Curtain Call,” the first single from their forthcoming and final album, LeftBack.  The track features a rad ’80s sample, embellished with synth drum fills and a smooth bass line.  Lyrically, “Curtain Call” has got to be one of their finest efforts.  It’s littered with the kind of witty punch lines and awesome references (“Not even Clarissa could explain it all”(!)) that make the best hip-hop joints worth re-listening to.  And it shows how far Rapper Big Pooh and Phonte have come as emcees; they’re definitely at the top of their game, and it’s a shame we won’t get to hear them together any longer.

But my favourite part of the track comes at the end, when Phonte passes the torch on to the next generation of Little Brothers*.  Here’s hoping the cats he names, including Tanya Morgan, J Electronica, Wale and others, can fill their shoes.

DOWNLOAD: Little Brother – Curtain Call

(via NahRight)

*And bringing harmony to the universe: the group originally named themselves Little Brother because musically, they thought of themselves as the younger siblings of “Tribe, De La, P.E.”

Awareness Music

Blogger Takes On Popular Music Blogs

Earlier today, Pitchfork reported that Blogger, the venerable Google-owned blogging service, has shut down several music blogs, including Pop Tarts Suck Toasted, I Rock Cleveland, Living Ears and It’s a Rap (none of which I have admittedly ever visited).  Apparently, the free music offered on the blogs violated Blogger’s terms of services.  As of about 11 a.m. PST, attempts to visit the blogs returned one-line ‘Blog not found’ error messages.

The website The Daily Swarm has compiled several responses to the move, as well as a copy of an email sent from Blogger to I Rock Cleveland and the blogger’s reply.

Obviously, this story is still unfolding.  Whether or not it represents the opening salvos in a new crackdown on illegal music sharing remains to be seen, but hopefully it’s an aberration that won’t have any wider implications.


Free music from Del the Funky Homosapien

Huge props to p.o.b over at Metafilter for posting this.   Apparently Del decided that people need a bit of a pick-me-up in these tough economic times, so he has released a couple of small EPs for free (and legal) download.  The two song packs available for free download aren’t very long or anything, but they are definitely worth checking out.

Click on the links above to stream them before you download.


LastSharp lets you jack music from Last.fm

Lifehacker has run a post on a program called LastSharp.  At a glance, LastSharp will let you download those Last.fm tunes that you so greatly admire.

Not that we endorse it, of course.

Use it here.


Wale’s ‘Mixtape About Nothing’ drops (Free Download)

For those of you who’ve been paying attention, we’ve been hyping up Wale for a little while now.

Wale has been working on a Seinfield-inspired mixtape, amusingly called the “Mixtape about Nothing“.  I haven’t given it a listen yet, but it’s up and available for download thanks to Elitaste.

Click here to go download it.

Just to get an idea, here’s the tracklist:

1. “The Opening Title Sequence” (produced by Best Kept Secret)
2. “The Roots Song Wale Is On” f. Chrisette Michele (produced by ?uestlove & James Poyser)
3. “The Feature Heavy Song” f. Bun B, Pusha T and Tre from UCB (produced by Best Kept Secret)
4. “The Freestyle (Roc Boys)”
5. “The Perfect Plan” (produced by Best Kept Secret)
6. “The Kramer” (produced by Best Kept Secret)
7. “The Crazy” (produced by Best Kept Secret)
8. “The Vacation From Ourselves” (produced by Best Kept Secret)
9. “The Remake of A Remake (All I Need)” f. Tawiah (produced by Mark Ronson)
10. “The Grown Up” (produced by Best Kept Secret)
11. “The Manipulation” (produced by Best Kept Secret)
12. “The Artistic Integrity” (produced by Best Kept Secret)
13. “The Star”
14. “The Skit (Untz Untz)”
15. “The Cliche Lil Wayne Feature (It’s The Remix baby!)” (produced by Osinachi)
16. “The Bmore Club Slam” (produced by Scottie B)
17. “The Chicago Falcon Remix” f. The Budos Band (produced by Mark Ronson & Eli Escobar)
18. “The Hype” (produced by Best Kept Secret)
19. “The End Credits” (produced by Best Kept Secret)

[Source: Okayplayer]

Geek Music

Deezer is free music

In the latest of our string of posts about ways to listen to music online for free, 4080Records proudly presents Deezer.

As far as we can tell, Deezer is a french website that lets you stream popular music from a variety of wicked bands.  For example, click here to check out Portishead’s album Third, which was only released a month or so ago.

So far, it’s on the up-and-up.  Deezer has negotiated with the French version of RIAA and have somehow worked out a deal to stream this content.  Record companies seem pissed, so don’t be surprised if this disappears rather fast.

Source: Lifehacker

Cool Music

Major music label exec supports file sharing

The news seems to be getting better and better for music lovers who prefer the digital atmosphere for this sort of thing. CNET News.com reports that a former Google Executive has become the President of the digital music division of EMI, one of the major labels.

This is potentially huge news for music fans of all kinds. EMI represents artists like Daft Punk, Queen, Gorillaz and many others. Having this kind of variety means they appeal to a huge portion of the music listening public.

Douglas Merrill, the ex-Googlite and new EMI Digital honcho has expressed some views that are actually rather contrary to the common stereotype of the major labels and the RIAA in general. This is what he has to say on File Sharing:

“For example, there’s a set of data that shows that file sharing is actually good for artists. Not bad for artists. So maybe we shouldn’t be stopping it all the time. I don’t know…I am generally speaking (against suing fans). Obviously, there is piracy that is quite destructive but again I think the data shows that in some cases file sharing might be okay. What we need to do is understand when is it good, when it is not good…Suing fans doesn’t feel like a winning strategy.” –CNET

I think that’s completely an underreported statement. In an age where way too many fans are getting sued by the RIAA, having someone in a position of authority with one of the big 4 record labels come out and say that he doesn’t believe in the tactic is a big paradigm shift. Not to say that this will have any effect on the tactics being used, but I’d like to think it may at least turn some heads.

More importantly for the label itself is the fact that bringing in someone with a reputation for innovation is a step in the right direction. For a stuffy old label, it is vital that they understand the nature of the
internet and the growth of digital music sales. Exploring new models for music distribution (e.g. free, but ad-supported; subscription models; DRM-free) is the most important thing Merrill can do.