The holidays are the one time of year when I appreciate the fact that my Facebook and Twitter feeds are flooded with promotional posts. That’s because the holidays are the time for giving, specifically the time when producers dump all of their bootlegs/edits/unfinished tracks on the unsuspecting masses. The quality is generally a mixed bag, but we’ve received a deluge of heat in the past few days that deserves its fair due. On the raps front, Lil B, King Louie, Fredo Santana, Lil Silk and Fabolous have let loose new tapes over the past week or so. All deserve your attention, although save Lil B’s 05 Fuck Em and maybe spend a little more time with Silk and Louie.
The good folks at Mixpak were also kind enough to hand out a bundle of free tracks from their roster and beyond. The Holiday Bundle evokes the grime, dancehall and soca-based riddim culture that Dre Skull has so carefully curated over the past few years. Sudanim, Murlo and Koyote all bring their best to the table.
You’ve likely seen these already as well, but big hitters Flying Lotus, Zed Bias, Ryan Hemsworth Clams Casino all gave bundles of tracks away in the past few days. Casino’s third Instrumental Mixtape is probably the most cohesive attempt of the bunch, but FlyLo’s assorted beats, remixes and bootlegs offer some intriguing insight into the producer and his cohort’s recording processes. The Hemsworth collection is largely edits he’s designed for live play and the “Post-Rock Tears” version of Future’s “Honest” is a real beauty. Two step legend Zed Bias handed over 200 MB of live recording, remixes and production work under both his ZB sobriquet and his Maddslinky nom de plume.
Hit the jump for a jambalaya of free tracks…
Remember rap in 2003? Sinjin Hawke certainly does. Specifically, Just Blaze production circa 2003. Sinjin has been strutting his production acumen across a dizzying array of styles this year, whether they be bombastic takes on ghetto house classics, wildly textured club machinations or space-age grime/Memphis amalgamations. For his latest feat, the Barcelona-based producer has been enlisted by Mixpak Records to remix label boss Dre Skull’s “First Time”, the advantageous dancehall slumper released earlier this calendar year. In the finest form of his career, Sinjin took original and put it through the grinder, transforming the sunny original into the best Just Blaze approximation we’ve heard in years. Considering his prodigious use of brass, it should come as no surprise that Sinjin can pull this off, but it still managed to catch this listener off guard. The remix is up for free download (along with a Curses remix) so stream below and grab the package here.
Last Summer, Mixpak boss and Calvin Broadus collaborator Dre Skull released the infectious dancehall-crossover tune “Loudspeaker Riddim”, but the track didn’t ever really catch on. Just under a year later, Mixpak’s profile has risen exponentially and the man born Andrew Hirshey has been penned in for a number of hiiipower collaborations, including bringing in Megan James (of Purity Ring) and Jamaican vocalist Popcaan for an redo of “Loudspeaker Riddim” that is sure to reach the furthest extremities of the blog body. James’ vocals have always lacked a certain emotive quality for us, but she excels on the surface of Dre Skull’s production, rising above the shimmering synths and booming kicks. “First Time” is out now on Mixpak.