Category Archives: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

Album reviews.

Verbal Assault :: Crew54 & CientifiQ Drop The Long-Awaited ‘Slap Rapz 2’

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There are some things in this life you can count on.  You can count on the sun to rise in the east and set in the west.  You can count on most politicians to keep their own self interests above those of their constituency.  Most importantly, you can count on Crew54 to always lace listeners with bars on bars on bars over rock solid beats.  The guys have been talking up Slap Rapz 2, a collaboration with producer CientifiQ, for quite a while, but the wait has been well worth it.  If you find yourself expecting run of the mill quality because these cats are ‘local’, go ahead and slap yourself for being shortsighted.  These tracks could fall right in line with anything currently playing on the radio, TV, and so on… the songs are structured tight, the wordplay is enticing, and the chemistry between Crew54CientifiQ and the featured artists is volatile in the best ways.  Definitely an early contender for tops of 2018.

-chief

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Soul Searching :: Unusuals Talks About Love With ‘Slip Into Darkness’

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It seems that all of my Texas music making peers have been putting in major work in their respective labs this summer.  Unusuals, for example, has been lacing folks with a steady stream of singles over the past couple of months, as well as livestreams of beatmaking sessions and his KZSM radio show.  The latest single, Slip Into Darkness, is a breakbeat-based exploration of longing for a loving connection (somewhat inspired by the legendary words of Mary J. Blige).  The track features a guest vocalist (Andres, and I have suspicions of whom that might be) rather than opting for the usual vocal sampling utilized by Unusuals.  It’s good to know that the folks I dig are out there exploring their feelings via their creative sides and keeping momentum flowing in the right direction.

-chief

Upward Bound :: Cameron Elise Releases ‘Home To The Hounds’ In Memory Of Merlin Luck

Even in our times of glory, tragedy can strike.  It is on us to determine how we accept these tragedies, how we process them, and how we move forward.  Cameron Elise, currently in the process of recording songs for an upcoming project, took a moment to commemorate the recent passing of San Marcos-based bluesman Merlin Luck via Home to the Hounds, a somber ode to making sure you leave as strong an impact as you can before you move on.  The song not only serves as a tribute to a man who left it all on the stage every time he played, but as a reminder to the rest of us to do the same while he have the opportunity to.

-chief

Seismic Sounds :: Bird Peterson And Shack Baker Drop ‘Floor Shaker’

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Bird Peterson is the man right now… there appears to be no end in sight to his continual rise and his constant stream of quality output.  Bird recently announced the upcoming release of his new album Infinity Molasses, and to put a ripple in the waters so that waves can be created, he’s dropped the single Floor Shaker.  Bird‘s production sets the table for Shack Baker to lyrically serve the listeners, then Bird jumps back in and builds up the track to a wonderful release, allowing Shack to show us the way out and back to our everyday lives.  If Floor Shaker is an indication of what Infinity Molasses will be, I think I’m ready for the ride.

-chief

Double Dosing :: Clemits Drops Back To Back Instrumental Bangers

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Anybody with their finger on the pulse of the Austin hip hop community has had an eye on Clemits for the past couple of years, for sure.  After spending some time bubbling with the rest of the underground pack, a concentrated effort has been made to push ahead.  This has resulted in a handful of strong songs and videos from last year’s solo LP CRUSH, some exposure on a few mainstream blogs, and recently, back to back strong singles in Fentanyl and Gangster Jazz.  Each of these tracks are befitting to their name… Fentanyl has a trippy air to it, with it’s wet percussion, immersive bassline and completely wild flip at the end… Gangster Jazz goes for more of a DITC feel with its musclebound bass and drums imposing a space for the horn loop to move freely.  Clemits has always been one to imprint his soul on the work, and with the release of these two strong instrumentals, my anticipation of what a full-length beat tape (his first in 4 years) could bring is high and hopeful.

-chief

Open Book :: Nathan Painter Leaves It All On The Table For Debut ‘Welcome To Reality’

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Sometimes, being new to a discipline is a benefit, as you do not have the burden of unlearning habits or hesitation.  For example, Austin-based artist Nathan Painter recently dropped his debut project Welcome to Reality, and the gems he’s dropping are those of a seasoned veteran.  This album definitely shows that he is not afraid to hold the mirror up to society, his contemporaries, or even himself, with extremely forthright insight and honestly exploding off of these tracks.  If you’re a fan of the new wave of brutal honesty coming out of the Austin hip-hop scene, Nathan Painter is definitely for you.

-chief

Animated Action :: Chief And TheDoomsdayDevice Drops ‘Gut Feeling’ Video

We gotta keep folks guessing when it comes to the creativity.  I’ve been dropping the DoomFace art for years now, and I’ve been trying to figure out ways to progress things.  With the creation of DOOMonFILM, it seemed like an opportunity to do something new, and that is where the idea of the talking DoomFace originated.  Rather than sit on the idea forever, I wanted to see how it looked, and with no music video output for This Town Has Turned To Dust on the slate, it was time to do some quick thinking.  The result was the weirdo masterpiece you see above you, and it will hopefully be the start of a bigger YouTube presence that is unique from the legions of creators already out there.  If you dig the video, give it a like, share and a comment, and throw a subscribe in there while you’re at it.  Every little bit helps.

-chief