Monday, April 16, 2012

Li-Fee

Seattle What You Playin' On?

I had never heard of Li-Fee before I found this single in a dusty stack somewhere, and I admit I was a little wary of an unknown artist with at song title like "Seattle Holla", but I found my reservations were unfounded as soon as I listened.  The two tracks on this 12" ("Lockdown" on the A-side and "Seattle Holla!" on the B) are both great tracks, and Li-Fee's flow dominates.  His voice is akin to Guru (RIP) at times, but grittier and more intense, and his flow is quick and fervent as it skips and wraps itself around the beats.  "Lockdown" is the song that sticks in the brain, with it's smooth production and vocal hook provided by Crystal.  "Seattle Holla" has a rigid, mechanical beat behind it with a grimy hook courtesy of Li-Fee himself, and acts as a nice foil to the smoother A-side.  Apart from this 12" the only music I can find from this guy is a Mr. Hill-produced track "They Don't Know", which you can hear on his Soundclick page.  Don't sleep, it's good ish.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Bring That Beat Back, Vol. 4

Yet Another 206 Compilation


More from the 206 and neighboring environs.  Probably my favorite and most varied installation in the beetbak compilation series to date.  Seattle's a pretty small town geographically, but you'd never know it from all the talent pouring out of here.  Give a listen.

Track Listing:
1. Uh... No - Katie Kate
2. Glory - RC feat. Dee Ale
3. Animal Planet Rock feat. Hollis of Canary Sing - Don't Talk To The Cops
4. Midnight Special feat. Vitamin D - Brothers From Another
5. Brain Champagne - Helluvastate
6. The Lazerbeams - Fresh Espresso
7. Stay Strong feat Rajnii of Alpha P - Josh Rizeberg
8. The Youth Dies Young (Douster Remix) - Mad Rad
9. Hustle Feet feat. Jerm (Lemon Kush Remix) - OCnotes
10. Cloud City - Cheo Lopez
11. Forever feat. Nam - Hi-Life Soundsystem
12. Reality Check - Yirim Seck
13. The Four Horsemen - Noah 23, Ricky Pharoe, Tru-ID, Byrdie
14. Bellowing Scum feat. Julie C, Suntonio Bandanaz - Wings and Wounds
15. 50 Thousand Deep - Blue Scholars

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Request.... Jun Dax

First Fresh Page


Request... Here's Hawaii emcee Jun Dax's fresh exercise in lo-fi genius from 2000.  For those of us who love that 4-track sound, Spills is a real joy to listen to.  Bubbling up through layers of murky overdubbing and background noise, the beats and rhymes Jun Dax employs come across refreshingly naive and youthful and un-self conscious, in a way that only a home-made cassette can sound.  The limitations of the technology back then required that a lot of imagination and ingenuity be employed, for both musician and listener.  Case in point, you can't just sit and listen to this tape; you have to ride the volume dial, and constantly play with the bass and treble in order to hear Kea's murmured vocals over mud of the low-end. In today's creative reality of inexpensive computer programs, virtual instrumentation, and endless overdubbing, the rough magic of the tape recording has become at most a novelty, and by most accounts the art form is dead.  That's what makes recordings like Jun Dax's Spills even more cherished; not only is it a singular work of beauty and wild creativity, but it's from a world that is rapidly diminishing more and more each day.  Remarkably, Jun Dax and her various bands (Private School, Record Players, INK) managed to hold on to this aesthetic well into the 2000's and various technological upgrades.  It demonstrates a real love of the art form and the sound of the four track.  Listen carefully, devote your attention.  Long live lo-fi!

Spills