Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Choked Up

Analyze.

Shadow records was a great label. In the time they were around, they managed to introduce some of the most memorable and enduring acid jazz records to the American audience. DJ Krush had his American debut with his album Krush, as did DJ Cam's Mad Blunted Jazz. Funki Porcini, 9 Lazy 9, Dj Food, and Up, Bustle, and Out were just a few other notable names on Shadow's roster.
Shadow was distinctive. Not only did they cater to a specific audience who was into trendy, late-90's trip hop and acid jazz, their releases were easy to spot, as they came in distinctive brown cardboard gatefold covers. That made it easy for collectors like me to spot them. So, although the Sharpshooters were a US group, I probably wouldn't have known about them if they hadn't been part of the Shadow Records family. Even if I did live in the same city as them.
The Sharpshooters were a duo consisting of Seattle producers Mr. Supreme and DJ Sureshot. Supreme distributed their work on his own indie hip hop label, Conception Records. And, although they were local, Conception at that time was just starting, and had some steam to build still. So, it was through a distribution deal with a label that specialized in waking up American audiences to foreign artists that I heard about a group and label that lived a couple miles from me.
Their sophomore release, Choked Up, is a cool, blunted slab of jazzy hip hop. Flutes, saxes, and vibes dominate the mix as much as the drum loops do, creating a smoky blend of coffee-house jazz hop. Vocal guests including Four Fifths, Mad Fanatic, and Kylea from Beyond Reality add flavor to a few select tracks.
I have an idea. Do yourself a favor; save this record for the summer. Put this on a playlist along with other like-minded albums of the time (Krush's self-titled record, Digable Planets' Blowout Comb, and Guru's Jazzmatazz vol.2 are good recommendations). Find something pretty to look at. Then sit back in the evening, let the records play, and see where you go.

Choked Up

No comments:

Post a Comment