Monday 10 September 2012

Hip Hop Grab Bag

It's that time once again, where I go trawling through my files for listening/sharing purposes. I was tracking down Boards Of Canada's early and rarer works when that hip hops itch needed to be scratched once again. And I decided the only cure was a little bit of everything, in the vein of my older pick 'n mix styled posts. More words and music after the art, as usual.

Now, Boards Of Canada. Usually ambient electronic tunes right? well, back when they were signed to Skam Records, they donned the name Hell Interface for a couple remixes on a couple of compilation/sampler type dealies. Much like AFX, BoC took the opportunity spread out genre wise with the new name, leaving their techno infused ambient vibes behind for this one. And because of that we get a sweet techy sounding rework of Midnight Star's Midas Touch.

Mr. Scruff is a mainstay of mine for chilled out hip hop vibes, Keep It Unreal has some real quality on it, especially during the opening half. A lot of it seems to be overshadowed by the (admittedly brilliant) Get A Move On, so enjoy the track immediately after that: Midnight Feast. It's a slow moving number fitting of it's title, with some smatterings of piano throughout, not unlike Krush's Song 1 I put up not too long ago.

A brief turn to the upbeat before we dive back into mellow vibes, Mehdi's earlier works are pretty special themselves, his unique brand of hip hop/electro melding that I thought was underused on Lucky Boy is out in full force here, and it's terrific. The samples are well selected and brilliantly executed throughout, the break at 0:45 being the highlight of it all for me.

I mentioned the hip hop bits spliced between the D&B on the E-Z Rollers Weekend World before, there's only a couple so I got worn out on them for a long while. After I gave them a rest for about 5 months, this popped up again on shuffle, and it was fresh once again. It captures that hazy lounge feel very well indeed, not something you'd expect from a largely D&B record, but it works incredibly well both on the LP and by itself.

And lastly, the opening cut from Tricky's debut Maxinquaye. If we're talking hazy atmospherics, this one is the undisputed king. From the moment those beats come cascading in, backed by those swooping synths until the end, it just doesn't stop. Of course, the vocal stylings of Martina Topley-Bird play a big role in the atmosphere as well, as she almost whispers through the verses. A real classic, and probably the best stylistic example of trip-hop there is.

Drop Hazard,
-Claude Van Foxbat

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