The tragic cosmic mulatto Victor Vasquez just dropped this double tape, please believe and understand that it’s full of the oceanic vibes you’ve come to expect from the Oakland native. Couple friends of the sweats in there, shouts to Steel Tipped Dove and Bill Ding. Verses from Chippy and Lakutis, tracks brought to you by Mike Finito, Amaze 88, Young L and Vic V himself. Now please stop reading this and hop over to Kool AD’s bandcamp so you can put this shit in your speakers.
New video from Brooklyn’s own 8-bit boy band, Anamanaguchi. The vid follows the adventures of Peter, James, Ary, and Luke at Daddz Fun Zone, a supernatural arcade where each band member gets to live out their gaming fantasy (except for Luke, who conducts a séance with Hot Sugar). Internet people like Molly Soda make appearances. The animation is bright and rad. Just check it out. If you dig the Furby, video games, pizza, or chiptune, pop over to their soundcloud and tumblr pages and be sure to keep watch for Anamanaguchi’s second full-length release, Endless Fantasy, due spring 2013.
So here’s a list of what I loved in 2012. It isn’t comprehensive by any means, but represents a wide range of releases from both up-and-coming and veteran musicians that left me hoping for more in 2013.
Flying Lotus – Until the Quiet Comes
Experimental and distinct from his peers, Flying Lotus delivers the most varied soundscapes of any single album of 2012. The jazz influences keep the album organic and soulful while his electronic experimentation allow the mood to vary from halcyon peace to frantic and disjointed.
Hima is probably my breakout star of 2012 and one listen through Nehru Jackets will demonstrate his ample lyrical prowess and thoughtful commentary. Sad to see him and Vic split, but if this is any indication of what is to come, I won’t complain.
The kid’s my runner-up for 2012 breakout artist with good reason. 1999 is a surprisingly mature and creative album, with production credits to J Dilla, Chuck Strangers, and MF Doom, Joey Bada$$ is lightyears beyond your favorite 17-year-old M.C.
No one does it quite like Victor Vasquez. 51 is the end-all wiki rap album, Vic shows he can create hilarious punchlines over beats from Amaze 88, Kassa Overall, and Young L. Awno if it’s the Cuban heritage or west coast sensibilities, but this guy has an ear for the smoothest beats and one of the freshest flows in the game.
Purity Ring - Shrines
Although a couple tracks were released late 2011, the album wasn’t released in its entirety until 2012. A fantastic debut from the Canadian duo that blends dark lyrical content with a delicate voice and head-nodding, undulating synths.
Teen Daze – The Inner Mansions
Sublime and sunny. Teen Daze never disappoints, delivering an electronic album that feels as natural as time spent with friends.
Abelard – Abelard
Crystal Castles – (III)
Diplo – Express Yourself
Heems – Wild Water Kingdom
Hot Sugar - Midi Murder EP
Lil Ugly Mane – Mista Thug Isolation
RiFF RAFF – Birth of an Icon
Sludgehammer - Slime Journey
XXYYXX – XXYYXX
Okay okay okay. I heard this track (minus Heems’ verses) at the Grog Shop back in July and I know caught Hima tweeting that Nick Cage line a couple months ago. Heems’ verses are just getting more and more solid as Wild Water Kingdom approaches. Hot Sugar on some dial-up shit. MiDi Murder EP drops tomorrow. Get real hip to this over at XXL.
Let me qualify this at the beginning by saying this track only has like five free downloads left so ya better act quick. Triple Six Mafia mixed with Danny Brown. Nueport has been putting out hot mixes lately so you best act like you’ve known. Check the player below for the download and make sure to peruse his crazy tumblr page while you’re at it. (edit: Whoops, fucked up the artist credit on this one. Shouts to Wak Lyf for setting me straight!)
Tannins. Vic drops some utopian lines over . It’s like the track and vid don’t know they’re antithetical to each other: Victor’s soft flow and Keyboard Kid‘s celestial production serve as a beautiful foil to the chaotic scenes playing out in the video. Kinda reminds me of a slower “Hyphy Ballad” from the EP of the same name. Listen / watch below and get a feel for the very oceanic “All Skreets”.
Sounds like it belongs in a dimly lit European dance club. Swedish producer Owl Vision is no rookie in the death electro scene but “Witchcraft” is still a notable departure from previous sounds. Dense with angry reverberating synths and a driving, four-on-the-floor bass kick, it’s not your average rave banger. Give “Witchcraft” a listen below and head over to Comorbid Records’ soundcloud page for more trakcs by Owl Vision and his labelmates.
Neuport mashup of Chippy Nonstop + Mascara. Driving bass kick and Chippy’s vocals make you wanna go dumb. Mascara keeps it dark. Do the money dance. Fortunately for ya’ll Neuport posted another link to the “Shadow of Tonight” remix after it hit it’s limit so make sure to cop that below. Read up on Mascara and Neuport at their respective Soundcloud pages. (Shouts to Chippy ’cause she’s hot)
Himaaaaa! Fresh track from the upcoming Wild Water Kingdom. Hook provided by Cee Gee, loopy vocal samples brought to you by Keyboard Kid. You’re gonna want to play it back a few times. Stream “Let It Go” over at Pitchfork or download it by clicking right here. Wild Water Kingdom out on Greedhead October 15.