Addressing or thinking of Austin hip-hop outfit Magna Carda within the very narrow scope that most ingest hip-hop in is a disservice to not only Magna Carda, but to individuals with such limited and reductive thinking. While the music of Magna Carda has always been forward-thinking and full of emotional depth and sonic texture, To The Good People finds the duo taking an evolutionary step in terms of how sharply and precisely they are able to communicate and execute their ideas from song to song. While Megz Kelli firmly plants her feet in the sand with her signature laid-back but forceful flow, everything that surrounds her musically has the ambition and sonic quality of a mixture between Sade‘s Sweetback backing band and more youthful experimental outfits like the Steve Lacy-driven The Internet. While Austin is no stranger to popular musicians, hip-hop is a genre in which fame outside of Texas has been elusive, but if given the right opportunity, a band like Magna Carda could use an album like To The Good People to make some noise for themselves outside of the standard boundaries of success artists from this neck of the woods are accustomed to. Definitely take the time to check out Magna Carda‘s latest offering, and if it speaks to you, donate and download if you can, but share regardless.
I love how The Vapor Caves can simultaneously sound ahead of the pack and rooted in the past with what seems like relative ease. For Dreams, the duo tapped guitarist Jackie Venson to add a little spice to their synth-based funk for a song that sounds like it belongs on a mixtape between Sheena Easton and Sheila E. I don’t know how BoomBaptist and Yadira Brown continue to ride this wave of beautiful sonic creation, but it doesn’t look like it will crest at any point in the near future, even with the industry at large in a strange ebb. Long story short, check out this track, download it, stream it, request it from your favorite radio or TV show, hack into an HEB public intercom and play it loud, or just throw it on repeat and take a drive. In all seriousness, share this one around, follow The Vapor Caves on your favorite social media hangout, and always support your local mad geniuses.
Also, shout out to René Cárdenas for the dope cover design.
Recently, StereoFiend lead MC SymmaTree took a break from his daily meme onslaught to drop some sad news : the San Antonio-based band has officially ended their long run with the release of their final single, Hennessey. With so much talent in the group, it’s a shame that things have come to an end, but Hennessey is definitely a high note to go out on… Joy is not only singing with the kind of soul that comes with personal experience, but her lyrical imagery is a rich as the grooves that the band is laying down. Definitely cop this track if you have a buck to support, share it around, and help keep the name of StereoFiend alive past the band’s selected end date.
This Saturday night, Austin-based musicians Chief and TheDoomsdayDevice and Henry + the Invisibles will meet on Henry‘s Instagram Live (@HenryInvisible) for their own version of the currently popular VERZUZ battle series. In what may possibly be a short series, the two will set it off going funk track versus funk track. Any and all proceeds obtained will go towards the medical funds of Lauren Bruno, a friend of Henry‘s in need. If you find yourself free this Saturday night at 10:30 PM (CST), be sure to tune in for what should be a memorable event!
With varying degrees of ‘shelter in place’ rules in effect all over the nation, many artists have been forced to become inventive with presentation and performance methods. The Vapor Caves, who have always been ahead of the curve in terms of content, decided to take the opportunity to turn the internet into their broadcast network by creating Shelter in Caves, a web series featuring live performances of their music and sketches created by the duo and their collaborators. BoomBaptist and Yadira Brown are natural entertainers with great chemistry, and they really make the program work, with episode one even including the premier of a brand new song. With the first episode completed and more to come, I’m certainly looking forward to what’s in store. The episodes air on Tuesday nights across all streamable platforms, so if you’re interested in catching the show, follow The Vapor Caves wherever you watch your social media videos, and support your local creatives!
Holy smokes y’all… I knew that The Vapor Caves were already one of my favorite projects making music these days, but I didn’t know how bad I apparently needed a Yadira Brown rap verse in my life until I heard Bitch to the Boys. Like many of their songs, The Vapor Caves drench this one in an old school aesthetic, employing shades of Neneh Cherry meets Mary Jane Girls for this round. This album doesn’t appear to be a concept album, per se’, but the way that BoomBaptist and Yadira Brown execute their ideas so fully is impressive and inspiring. This one will make some lists at the (rapidly approaching) end of this year… mark my words. Check it out, spread it around, and support your local creatives!
I love putting the spotlight on Electric Mayhem… working as a team is dope. Sometimes, however, I gotta sit back and admire the times when I cut loose. These mixes are moments that I have enjoyed during various DJ gigs, whether they be club, wedding, house party or whatvever… these two mixes are from last week’s Electric Mayhem (Monday nights, Triple Crown).