Posts Tagged ‘El-P’

Spotify My Soul – November 1

November 29, 2011

A couple of weeks late due to traveling and work, but a few albums and singles and the best week ever for prog fans since Rush re-emerged in 1997?

  • Black Lips, Arabia Mountain.  The latest album from the Atlanta garage rockers, I was relieved to see they’d ditched some of the darker, slower numbers from the second half their last album.  I was wondering whether Mark Ronson’s influence (he produced the album) would be evident, but I didn’t really feel this was anything much different than other Black Lips albums, which is fine by me.  They still are standard bearers for the latest generation of garage rock bands.  Favorite song so far, the whistle-driven “Raw Meat.”
  • M83, Hurry Up We’re Dreaming.  Garnering a 9.1 review from Pitchfork that included some rapturous praise, I decided to check out this double-CD.  There’s some good stuff on here that veers toward shoegaze (my favorite track was “Wait”), but overall I wasn’t understanding the “epic”-ness that this album was characterized with.
  • Justice, Audio, Video, Disco.  Another album from an electronic artist, but this one is a serious curveball.  The French duo’s first album was full of some club-ready bangers, most notably the true-to-its-name “D.A.N.C.E.”  Their followup, while referencing disco in the title, has its main influence in the progressive rock of the 1970s (think Rush, Yes, Queen, etc.).  While I applaud their effort to pay homage to music that they obviously love, I have a feeling they didn’t really care if this alienated fans of their first album.  While songs like “Canon” are enjoyable as  pastiches of prog stomp (think Queen) and noodling, as an album it just didn’t hold up.
  • El-P, Rush Over Bklyn.  Continuing the prog revival is El-P with his latest single.  Ummm, yeah you probably weren’t expecting to ever read that sentence.  The independent MC and producer is known for dense, complicated beats and equally complex rhymes.  Released on Legitmix, a new outlet for artists to legally sample copyrighted music without going through sample-clearing process, El-P actually makes a hip-hop song work with the main samples consisting of Rush’s “Tom Sawyer”.  You can listen to it here.
  • Black Keys, Lonely Boy.  Since this single came out, several other songs from the forthcoming El Camino have also been released.  So far, this would be the stand out track from the ones I’ve heard.  Continuing some of the more upbeat, less bluesy tunes on the fabulous Brothers album, this is a hard-charging tune that still packs in some cool riffs and a very catchy chorus.  And much like the Keys, a simple yet effective video accompanies the song:

Instrumental Goodness

May 23, 2010

The Day After Yesterday – El-P from Collecting the Kid

Known as one of hip-hops most verbose MCs, El-P has also proven he can let his music speak for itself.  First with Company Flow’s Little Johnny From the Hospital, and in his later solo efforts, El-P has created some memorable hip-hop instrumental tracks.

This one gets me because it takes abrasive sounds and makes beautiful music.  A fuzzed-out synth, an almost hammer-like breakbeat, and a sampled “woo” form the guts of this song.  He then layers in horns which come and go, adding a ghostly quality to the song.  While the breakbeat stays pretty constant throughout, the synth is working to its own beat, moving around at its own pace, especially during the last minute of the song.  The off-kilterness works.  There is definitely a free-form jazz quality to this, which isn’t suprising since this was in the follow-up to an album he did collaborating with a jazz band.  I hope El-P continues to explore this side of his musical talent.