Category Archives: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

Album reviews.

Memory Lane :: (RAS) Riders Against The Storm Revisit ‘In The Light’ With New Remix And Video

One thing I like about (RAS) Riders Against the Storm is that they have a strong sense of where they come from, both culturally and creatively.  After a long run of success in the wake of their relocation to Austin, it seems that the group has been taking a bit of time to reassess their journey and reflect on the past, and in a couple of instances, that has resulted in new material born from the old.  In the case of In The Light, a single that the crew already had released with a video, the decision was made to have producer Ayuma take a stab at the remix, while footage of Uhura (Michelle Nichols) from the original Star Trek series is used to bolster the sense of having a groundbreaking spirit.  I will always support new material from (RAS), but if their reflections of the past continue to result in strong output like this, I don’t mind them looking back as well.

-chief

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Real Talk :: N∆TE Visits ‘Rappers Playing Games (RPG)’

Way before Rappers Playing Games (RPG) and Baby Lion were a thing, Protexter was paying dues weekly at Spider House Ballroom with Austin Mic Exchange.  It took more than Protextor, however, to make that happen, and one of the key cogs in the machine was N∆TE, the self-proclaimed Casey Jones of the rap game, Austin or otherwise.  It makes it doubly fitting, then, that he would stop by to discuss his upcoming release The Ballad of Casey Jones over a session of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II : The Arcade Game.  Check it out, because you already know what you’re getting when Baby Lion is behind the content.

-chief

Lo-Fi Displacement :: Virgil Wolfe Gets Raw With ‘Temporary Residence’

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Hip-hop can be quite the bittersweet discipline.  For all of the beauty and raw emotion it harnesses and unleashes, beneath that initial layer lays this ability to peel away all layers of lies and falsification in order to hit true nerves and address issues directly.  It can be a jarring process, but ultimately quite the therapeutic one for both listener and MC.  Exhibit A : Virgil Wolfe and his latest single, Temporary Residence.  While I don’t know what has gone on in his personal life, as a friend of his, I do know that he’s been on the same rocky road that many of us have been on recently, and with a recent laptop crash, that can leave a songwriter and recording artist feeling constrained and restricted.  Wolfe, however, is one of the more resourceful creators out there, and after a bit of time with a SP404sx, he was able to record Temporary Residence, vocals and all.  You can hear the emotional release that the process gave him in his performance, and it bolsters the track greatly.  Definitely a diamond produced from the pressure that is life.

-chief

World Music :: Salvasquared Releases ‘The Overseas Instrumentals’

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Nothing rejuvenates and uplifts the human spirit like traveling, especially traveling to locations that are considered ‘exotic’, for lack of a better word.  Austin-based producer Salvasquared recently got to experience this via a stay in South Korea while traveling through Asia.  I am sure that his life changed in many ways, but one tangible bit of proof that the trip had an influence on him is The Overseas Instrumentals, a group of beats with Salvasquared‘s foundation used to build towers of sound influenced by other parts of the world.  The Asian influence is clearly there, but aspects of Latin and African music also find their way into the mix as well.  This is definitely eye-opening and mind-expanding music, even in instrumental form, as it shows how all of our worldly textures can be weaved together into coherent and moving compositions.  Definitely check this one out, and encourage others to do the same.

-chief

Funky Dividends :: Poolboi Blu Drops ‘Shmoney’

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If feels like poolboi blu just blessed us with ANTSY, but clearly, he is not one to rest on his laurels.  After ‘taking January off’ like a lot of us creatives did (taking the month off being tongue in cheek, as we were still putting in work), poolboi blu is back in full swing for February with a follow-up track drop to his latest entry in the sincere mix series.  The track, shmoney, is a Cardi B flip with the distinct characteristics of both the sampler and the sampled present.  As a bit of a bonus, the mutual homie Red Comet stepped up with a video flip as well that perfectly suits the track.

Check out both of these gems, do the appropriate amount of downloading, commenting, sharing and all that, and don’t forget to support your local creatives!

-chief

Collected Works :: Gost Continues The Work With ‘Vol. 2’

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My man Gost has a clear gameplan in mind it seems, and that plan is to significantly step his status level up in the near future.  Step one has emerged in the form of what appear to be a series of EP length volume releases, with Vol. 2 being the latest installment.  The beats on this one have that classic hip-hop feel, and Gost spits bars about (and with) pure confidence as he speaks on living your dreams and fulfilling your potential.  This is music with a positive message behind it that will still bump in the whip, so don’t sleep.

-chief

Heat Check :: Kenny Casanova Drops ‘HONESTLY, FUCK IT’ EP In Anticipation Of A Big Year

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PNTHN is at the starting point of making major moves in 2019, and the cool thing about being a member of a crew is that these opportunities allow individual members to strike while the iron is hot.  Kenny Casanova has been cooking up a solo project for a moment now, and while doing some recent hard drive cleanup, he decided to throw together a few loose tracks as a taste tester for the full project.  HONESTLY, FUCK IT may not be the project, but it definitely has enough energy and personality to make a run on its own.  Kenny drops a handful of different styles over some short but memorable bangers, making a nice collection of mixtape-worthy tracks that folks like myself will definitely be peppering into our mixes.  Check out the project, keep an eye on Kenny and PNTHN while they continue to make bigger and bigger moves, and always support your local creatives.

-chief