Thursday, March 29, 2012

Walkman Rotation Double Vinyl

Better Days

Ranked up there at the tippy here at beetbak, this fantastic '98 compilation from Seattle's Conception Records got dubbed to TDK on the first listen, and then that tape LIVED in my tape deck for months.  It's a dope collection of all-Conception artists, many of them from the Northwest, but also featuring cats from places as diverse as Cali, Ohio, and Canada.  Producers Jake One and Mr. Supreme pretty much set the screw-faced theme and run the show here, concocting their signature blunted urban atmospherics.  As beatmakers go, I always thought these two worked incredibly well together - their beats quite often were placed on opposite sides of the vinyl from one another, creating two distinct, yet complimentary moods.  It's one of the reasons Conception wax was always such a pleasure to hear; they were more than just singles - they were cohesive and complete documents, thanks to the ebb and flow Jake and Supreme set down.  Another reason for Conception's greatness, obviously, was the amazing lyrical talent.  I swear, there wasn't a weak verse in their entire catalog.  
This comp features many of the dopest tracks from Conception's short-lived output.  Fourfifths, Kutfather, Arcee, Eclipse, Third Degree, and Samson represent vocally with tracks off of their various 12"s, with outside production by Samson & Swift on their track and MoSS one of Eclipse's tracks.  In addition, there is exclusive output on this comp from J-Rocc, Diamond Mercenaries, Jake One, 3D, and Arcee.  It's more than just an overview of the label, it's crucial listening.  Period.  
The CD version was given the Beat Junky treatment, with J-Rocc providing the tracks in mixed form, keeping shit funky.  The release I'm providing is from my vinyl copy, (the same that got the dub tx) which comes unmixed, so you can hear each track in its complete form.  Listening to it as I write, it's still as mind-blowing and groovy as it was when I first heard it.

Walkman Rotation

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Days Go By

Feenom Circle, 2001

Nice bay area underground from the Feenom Circle.  Rawj, Sidebee, Tope, Boog and DJ Panic created some great noise at the time, as this single demonstrates.  "Days Go By" is a 6-minute epic that could go on twice as long and still seem too short, while "Tunnelvision" clocks in at less than 2 minutes.  "Days" is the jam:  A smooth groove, with live organ and layers of percussion.  A sing-song chorus and lightly reverbed vox make the track an atmospheric classic.  I can listen to it over and over again...  There's no place like the west coast.

Days Go By

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Bring That Beat Back, Vol. 3

Touch Me I'm Dick

Volume 3 of what I guess is a monthly compilation of current and semi-current Northwest acts that somehow find their way into our arthritic, miserly clutches.  Good shit from the H2-Oh-Six.

Track List:
1. The Ana-Doap - Dirty Scientifix
2. The Crown - The Good Sin X 10.4 Rog
3. This Is My Planet feat. Jarv Dee - Helladope
4. Why Warrior feat. Mind Movers - Waves Of The Mind
5. Something Like feat. Sol, Jerm - Hi-Life Soundsystem
6. Open Bars (Happy Hour) feat. Kung Foo Grip - State Of The Artist
7. Texas Instrument - Khingz, Inkubiz, Phree Wil, Suntonio Bandanaz
8. Archangel - Chev
9. Rep This City feat. Yirim Seck and Silent Lambs - LaRue
10. A Rap Song About Things - Ricky Pharoe
11. Concrete - Specs One
12. What's It Gonna Take - OTOW Gang
13. Connect For - Common Market
14. Beit feat. Sabreena Da Witch - Gabriel Teodros
15. Smirk Waitin' - L Double

Sunday, March 18, 2012

New Neila Album, "Marked For Breath"

Extremely Limited

Neila has a new record!  Rejoice!  Apparently only one hundred of these cd's will be made, ever.  So get over to Neila's FB Page and tell her you want one, quick!  Features Doc Lewd, EVS, Zen, Jimi The Mantis Claw, and Jason the Argonaut, along with Deeskee, Ridd?, Elon, EVS, and others on production. Recorded betwixt 2001 and 2009...

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Specs Wizard's Tape Game Vol. 1

Here's a brand new mix from Specs Wizard and -  Up on mixcloud.  This is a 40-minute mix, and from what I gather it's part one of a series covering hip hop from 1986-2000.  Dopeness, peepness.

Insomniac Museick

The Singles

I'm sorry my vinyl is so beat to fucking hell, but that's what I got.  You can choose to think that the pops and crackles and vinyl warping just brings out character.  Not that this record needs any more than what it already comes with; as this is a sick 12".  Four of the best tracks from the great, great 14 Fathoms Deep compilation.  Samson S and Swift, known as 22nd Precinct lead off with a clean edit of "Great Outdoors", while N.S. of the mysterious O.N.E. Corporation gets his claustrophobic "Insomniac Museick" featured in clean form as well.  The B side features Blind Council's (AKA Silas Blak's) classic "Interrogation," and the final cut is Mad Fanatic, Ragchyld, and Mr. Supreme's head nodder "Official Members".  Sadly no instrumentals or bonus tracks are featured - why I don't know, but there you have it.  Still, a more solid selection of music would be hard to come by in my book.  
Seattle flavor.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Full Circle

Clear Speak

This release marks the final 12" from one of my very favorite Northwest acts, Source of Labor.  To me, SOL was the culmination of that era of Seattle hip hop - they blended the prevalent elements of jazz, consciousness, grit, and focus.  Emcee Word Sayer never wasted a moment on the mic; his impassioned delivery was fleet-footed and overflowing with information.  It was his testimony, and his need to tell it like it is.  His urge, or compulsion even, to speak his mind and inform the people, was palpable on the tracks presented here on this 12".  His cohort Negus I still maintains one of the top spots in my "favorite beatmaker" category.  His beats were as dense and layered as Word Sayer's lyrics, and yet the two amazingly molded their music into one flowing river, rather than battling each other for space.  Frequent colaborator Vitamin D (who takes the lion's share of producer credits on this record) usually has a laid-back sound to his music, but with SOL he morphed his beats  and scratches to fit the intensity required.  Maybe it was Word Sayer's gravity well of influence that caused this, or maybe it was just the right combination of people vibing the right way at the same time; in any case when SOL came together they were like no other act.
This was the leadoff 12" for the bands' only released full-length, Stolen Lives.  That was in my headphones all summer when it dropped.  Shortly afterwords Source of Labor parted company; going he way of my other favorite acts Black Anger, Sinsemilla, and Ghetto Chilldren; just another nail in the coffin of Seattle hip hop's second wave.  Of course Vita still does his thing, Word Sayer now runs a successful management company, and Negus I moved back east, from what I've heard.  Things change.
I've also heard that back in the day SOL made an album with ex-co-lyricist Blazay Blah; that album was shelved, but I know I'm not the only one who would love to hear it.   Hopefully some day that sees the light of day.  For now, listen to this this record, one of the last from this incredible group.

Full Circle

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Fsh & Khule on German Radio + 3 Hour Live Set!

Beetbak Exclusive

All praises due to the brother Rob from Germany for hooking me up with this.  Rob is a dude I've come to know over the months through correspondences and a shared love of underground hip hop.  He's an all around good human, and I feel very blessed indeed to have made his acquaintance.  We've been trading files back and forth for a little bit now, and he just recently and very generously hit myself and Jibs (over at This Is For The Hustlers) with a couple astounding audio documents.  Up until now he was probably the only person on the planet with these tapes, so I'm grinning big when I listen to such rare stuff.  The first you can find over at Jibs' site, which is a German radio show regarding the So Far West tour of 2004 featuring NgaFsh, Ellay Khule, Taktloss, Brodhi, and (for a little while at least) Kegs One.  
The second you can find here.  This is a 25-minute interview with an elevated/hellafaded Fsh and Khule, then a nearly three-hour live set featuring Brodhi, Tatkloss, Jack Orsen, Fsh, and Khule.  Kegs is unfortunately no longer part of the tour, but it's still a dope, dope, DOPE recording.  Fsh apparently had some stomach trouble at the time, but he still spits like a mad man, and Khule is on fire.  The German emcees are absolute heat, and even though I can't understand anything except the swear words they certainly hold their own next to the Goodlifers.  If this set is any indication the tour must have been an incredible event.  Be sure to thank Rob in the comments for hooking us all up with this gold mine!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Jedi Knights: I Know What You Did Vid

The freshest of fresh Jedi Knights Circle joints, courtesy of Cosmic, Maleko and Optimus Rhymes!
Check it out!