Dopamine Hit (I Need A Hit Remix)
No Half Steppin' Records
You'll know Chrome's production skills of course, whether under his Deftex or Telemachus roles, but his own output, namely his 'Dopamine Hit' full length, might have passed you by. Amend that oversight by snapping up this gorgeous seven-inch, which contains the hyperkinetic ton-of-fun that is the title track, but also a supastoopidfresh re-rub from Smoove (Wack Records), as well as the fuzzy funkbeast that is new non-album track 'The Big Apple' (which itself gets a ruff-as-fuck electro remix from SuperJB). Bargain fun bomb of the month.
DJ Muggs X Eto
Soul Assassins Records/Kobalt Music
Ohhh fuck, Muggs has been binging on early '70s Miles Davis again, specifically by the sounds of it 'Rated X', and its ancient/futurist Xenakis-style ruckus. Keyboards that genuinely sound like those moments when Miles leant on his Farfisa to shut everyone up, utterly dejected yet raging rhymes from Eto, and a general sense of minimal granular menace that's utterly compelling. Hoping this points to more from this collabo, 'cause this is fucking black gold.
Czarface & Ghostface Killah
Silver Age Records
When are Czarface gonna fall off? They just KEEP giving up the goods, and the new 'Czarface Meets Ghostface' set, from which 'Iron Claw' is the lead-off single, just might be their finest yet. This track is beautifully controlled, heavy as fuck in the undertow, the sung robo vocal of "don't push me" threaded through as a hook in-between vital, vibrant rhymes from Ghostface and the crew. Play loud and strap yourself in for the album. Superb.
Pan Amsterdam X Iggy Pop
The wonderfully wayward wonder that is PA (check out last year's 'Pocket Watch if you haven't already) is going to start releasing a series of EPs entitled 'Elevator Music' as the year goes on, the first of which will contain these two tracks, here available on seven-inch. Iggy, a bit of a PA fan, adds some wonderfully deadpan hooks to 'Mobile', an indescribable mix of jazz, art rock and hip-hop, while on the flip, fellow Def Presse psychonaut Madison Washington's Malik crafts a supremely strange warp of distended lunacy/lucidity in '15 Seconds'. Names and a label to watch all year.
Madison Washington feat. The Abolitionists
'Plantation Earth/Divine Frankensteins'
'Divine Frankensteins' you might, sorry SHOULD, already know (it's from last year's stunning '((((FACTS))))' set), but 'Plantation Earth' is a whole new kettle of brilliance, Malik hooking up with childhood friends The Abolitionists (Kasual Tee, Seven Divine and Cee N Eye) who he's pulled from Paris, Oakland and Brooklyn to spit over a supremely sunny and engaging jazz funk backdrop. A posse cut in the fine old tradition of Main Source, and the kind of spring-borne track that will bring summer to your door a few months early. Ace.
The Alchemist X Meyhem Lauren
'Still Playing Celo '
"Getting more massages than Kobe beef." As rugged and raw as I've heard from the Alchemist in a while — a deep bass rhythm with minimal treble, little curls of piano, strings and guitar slithering in crepuscular stealth over the mix, Meyhem doing his usual bang-up job of making a track that already sounds hostile sound even more aggravational. Fingers crossed this fanfares a forthcoming full-length from this duo, 'cause goddamnit it works.
You might be surprised by Smoovth's new full-length, 'Young SmooVth': it's a subtle album, less concerned with packing in heat and bangers, and more concerned with just letting SmooVth flow as he sees fit over un-intrusive, almost ambient backings, very reminiscent for me of prime J.Rawls. This track sees SmooVth hook up with old compadre Hu$ Kingpin, and is as agitated as the album gets. Even so, it's still a mellow kind of murderousness. Summer's coming in a blaze of red.
CRIMEAPPLE X DJ Skizz
Different World Music Group
DJ Skizz has a stripped down, yet slightly unhinged sound that suits Crimeapple's narratives perfectly, matching his mid-syllable moves from the concrete to the abstract, the mundane to the metaphorical, perfectly. This title track from the new full-length is all the warning you need for what a caboodle of addictive dankness it is, and what a progression from the maximalism of 'apple's previous work is going on here. Production with such a contact high, it's like Sonnyjim's slipping you a wrap. Superb.