Category Reviews

Aesop Rock – Skelethon – Album Review

Artist: Aesop Rock
Album: Skelethon
Label: Rhymesayers
Released: July 10, 2012

Skelethon was the long awaited release from Underground Hip Hop legend Aesop Rock, both a phenomenal lyricist as well as one of the most interesting producers. Currently residing in San Francisco Aesop has been under the radar for the past five years. Skelethon was his sixth studio release, the first album under Rhymesayers Entertainment.

If you are familiar with Aesop’s music you are aware that he uses a very unusual musical style. He uses heavy wordplay with unique rhyme schemes. The word selection chosen by Aesop continues to wow his audience. It would drive the lyrically interpreting listeners crazy. One is unable to decipher the code that is Aesop’s lyrical style. However he does provide great imagery for the listener, it is not recommended to dwell any deeper then that.

Aesop has always had a pessimistic style frequently discussing death and leaves a feeling of being in a nightmare in many of his tracks. Skelethon maintains this style we have grown accustomed to. There is no time to rest with the constant lyricism on top of the incredibly mastered beats. Skelethon is the first fully self-produced album. This provides the album with a very unique feel. He was able to match every beat with the lyrics at his own will.

The album is a constant lyrical assault that doesn’t even rest for a chorus. There is a minor break on the track “Crow 1” where he features Kimya Dawson with some vocals. Her appearance adds an interesting flavor to the track. The voice doesn’t seem menacing however it contains morbid thoughts similar to the rest of Aesop’s album.

Overall Skelethon is another Hip Hop album for the books. Aesop has gone a long way since his first release of “Float” in 2000 but it is very refreshing to know that he still manages to produce quality work. This album will be listened to for years to come.

Reviewed by Max Nelson
September 17, 2012

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Review: Andre Detoxx – She Believed in Me EP

Uk / Poland based Dj / Producer serves up some fresh material with his newest EP She Believed in Me. This EP features two new original tracks as well as a remix of the first track, Nightchords, and two of the second, Redeem. Read More

Review: Monkey Kids – Wild Attraction EP

Artist – Monkey Kids

Artist – Monkey Kids

Album – Wild Attraction EP

Label – Umalu

Release Date – Nov 18th, 2011

    Umalu Records and Kahua Promotions bring some new and interesting material this month with the release of a new artist, Monkey Kids, and their debut EP “Wild Attraction”. This four track preview is a tribute to the last few decades of psychedelic pop. It has a more modern spin with late 80’s inspired dance and ambient synths along with its’ share of house beats, 8-bit sounds and various elements of reggae. The layering of each track can, at times, get fairly complex, but the overall mood stays temperate which reflects the album’s house and psychedelic pop influences.
    The beginning of the EP starts with a dancy house song. This tune is driven by its analog bass,up-tempo house beats and features plenty of chip-tune embellishments with beeps and bops spread out over the whole song. This song is an example of simplicity, yet it still manages to have a good groove and get people grooving dancing.
    This leads into the next track, which is full on psychedelic pop/rock. This track is driven by piano with accompaniment from guitar and a drony walking bass line.  As the track progresses, synths tones begin to replace the piano as the sound molds and develops into a modern version of the song’s opening progression.  Much of the piano’s progression is very reminiscent of a few song by Pink Floyd, especially when the added guitar tones and embellishments are melded into the track with the modern synths which eventually make their way into the song.
    Afover glancing back over the last few decades on psychedelics, we sway into the next track which keeps the same psy mood from the previous one but is more house and funk influenced. Ambient synths on house beats pair with a funky bass line to lay down a foundation for this track. These layers are then drawn together by some gritty synth embellishments and reggae inspired vocals. This song was likely my favorite of the entire EP. It keeps the same temperate mood that has flowed through the each song but takes things in more of a funky direction. It makes you want to get down.
    The EP is then topped off with its final track which features more of an electronic pop style, somewhat similar to such groups as Cut Copy and early Tears For Fears. The song is driven by catchy bass and drum line. The song is completed by its dualing bright and warm analog leads which meld a melody that can only be completed by the lo-fi vocals.
    The lyrical styling in this album is simple and seems to be just be thought provoking one liners which are repeated throughout the whole song with slight differentiation between each phrase with added effects to catch your attention. Some reverb and other slight sounds are added to some of the vocals, but for the most part they stay pretty clean.
    If your looking for something thats a little dancy, has easy going synths and vocals, and a world feel to their psychedelic roots then Monkey Kids Wild Attraction is right up your alley.

Attached is a link to Kahua’s soundcloud which features a preview of each track on the EP, ready to listen to at the click of a button!

Ian Anderson (DJ POWDER)

Ian Anderson (DJ POWDER)

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