As a longtime supporter, peer and fan of Bird Peterson, I would’ve been happy if he kept to the release schedule for projects it seemed he was establishing… after a flurry of mixes and remix projects, Plume dropped in 2015. Four years later, the stellar Infinity Molasses was released. Based on this pattern, I was set on Bird Peterson until the mid-2020s. Yet, here we are, nine months after Infinity Molasses, and Bird Peterson has yet again raised the bar with I Am What You Am I Am. Between the solid production (a Bird Peterson signature), the Bleubird guest feature and the litany of vocal samples, Bird is entering the realm inhabited by producers like DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist. To put it plain and simple, don’t sleep on this album, as it has made a clear-cut case for album of the year right out of the gate. Check it out, support if you can, and share it around regardless.
Austin-based record label Cream Dream Records, the collective brainchild of standout artists Bird Peterson and BoomBaptist, has been making a push for the ages in 2020. After using the label as a foundation for a solid run of Bird Peterson releases, the new year finds the roster expanding, and one of the promising additions is King Khary. His debut single, the hypnotic Stuck Off The Realness, uses a familiar sample from Prodigy of Mobb Deep as the main vocal element, but the lush and inspirational instrumental he surrounds the sample with re-contextualizes said ‘realness’ into a thing of beauty rather than a celebration of grittiness. Based on this small sample size, I can only imagine the sonic landscapes that King Khary has in store for us.
Most any ‘old head’ hip-hop fan remembers a time when jazz and hip-hop were tied deeply to one another. This pairing, be it one born from inspiration or comparison, is one that has been rich with creative output for nearly 3 decades now. Short of Madlib and a handful of other producers, however, most hip-hop tracks that land in the jazz realm are made in the vein of jazz, rather than being outright covers. Flobama and Ayuma, however, have proven they aren’t afraid to make that forward step (no pun intended), and this proof is found in Big Ol’ Steps, and extremely funky cover of the John Coltrane classic Giant Steps. Whether or not you’re familiar with the original, I urge you to check out this classic for yourself… give it a listen, a share, and if you feel like supporting, maybe even a download with a donation.