Back in December, we caught our first taste of Oakland duo Main Attrakionz’s upcoming 808s and Dark Grapes mixtape, the followup to the 2011 tape that launched them into the national consciousness. That song, the Friendzone-produced “G.O. All I Know”, is now available for free download and offers a lens into where Squadda B and MondreM.A.N.’s minds are at. Stream and download the song below and hit the jump to peep the accompanying video.
So Friendzone’s long-awaited Kuchibiru Network 3 mixtape has finally hit the webs today and it is even greater than we ever could have imagined. Exclusives from Jerome LOL, Main Attrakionz, Ryan Hemsworth, Keyboard Kid and more were the first lines to catch our mind’s eye, but Silkky Johnson, Finally Boys and Shady Blaze also feature prominently and more than hold their weight on an impressive lineup of contemporary MCs and producers. You can stream and download individual tracks below, but you should really just grab the entire tape in one fell swoop right hurr.
Grown Folks have been inextricably linked with Main Attrakionz for the past few years, acting as their tour DJ(s) and handling a good amount of production work, so it only makes sense for the Montreal duo to handle production on what is probably the last single off of Bossalinis & Fooliyones. The album drops in a few weeks (October 22) via Young One Records and should be Mondre and Squadda’s magnum opus. On a side note, it’s really nice to see their songs actually, you know, mastered and shit. As much as I love (and hate) the whole “cloud” aesthetic, lo-fi is almost always a bad look for hip hop artists. Just ask Blu. Stream and download “Cloud Body” below.
Say what you will about Main Attrakionz, but they have the best taste in beats. In the last year alone, Squadda and Mondre have worked with Ryan Hemsworth, Supreme Cuts, Friendzone, Beautiful Lou, Keyboard Kid, Spaceghostpurrp, Jam City and Clams Casino. If that list doesn’t make you drool, get out. For their latest cut, the Oakland duo have enlisted New York native Harry Fraud (who helmed Curren$y’s latest project). “Do It For The Bay” is decidedly more straightforward than the stream of consciousness flow and hazy instrumentals that the duo have become synonymous, but Fraud’s triumphant horns allow Squadda, Mondre and DaVinci to wax poetic about the Yay Area. At this point is it suitable for Bay Area tributes to make a comeback? “Do It For The Bay” is off of Main Attrakionz’ next project, Bossalinis & Fooliyones, due out October 22 on Young One Records.
Been a little slow to get this one up here, but that happens when you work out in the woods for the summer. Peaking Lights dropped what is, in my opinion, one of the best albums of 2012 so far. Peaking Lights have been emerging onto the scene since the release of their debut album, 936, in 2011. Composed of Aaron Coyes, and Indra Dunis, the duo have already established a a huge following with two lp’s under their belts and a 936 Remixed project. The remixed project features artists Dam Funk, Damu, and Main Attrakionz reworking some of the classic tracks.
The duo capitalizes on hidden guitar riffs and synths interspersed with vocals from Indra. “Lo-Hi” is a perfect example of the smooth production that has been integral to Peaking Lights’ success. Even with the vast conglomeration of sounds on the track, “Dream Beat”, the duo blends these assorted sounds flawlessly.
I highly recommend giving this album a spin and it can be found on the Weird World Record Co’s soundcloud page here along with the 936 album and the remix project. The 936 remixed album also has some gems on it, like this remix from Main Attrakionz. Check out that entire project here.
So the TNGHT (Hudson Mohawke + Lunice for those living under a rock) EP saw its American release today. Instead of an album review (words don’t do it justice), we’ve decided to compile a little retrospective on British producers lending their talents to American hip hop. In an interview with FACT last month, Lunice had this to say:
We’ve been doing this shit for years, and it’s not like we’re new or anything, it’s not like we’re new money shit, it’s not like we came out of the blue and we blew up like crazy. We’ve built a whole foundation of our work. So it’s about that time. I feel like that sort of movement is backed with all of our homies together, like: “This is us! You can’t do this shit! You can’t just take our ideas and come up with it all after all these years. We’re coming for you!
Clearly, Lunice believes that American hip hop producers have been misappropriating hip hop-indebted UK bass for a minute now and are taking a stand. While I don’t think Toomp and Hit-Boy are listening to too much Mount Kimbie, I get it: Lunice has a persecution complex… just kidding. With the EP set to take the States by storm and the duo’s remix of Flocka’s “Rooster In My Rari” igniting the interwebz, it’s easy to see where Lunice’s frustration is coming from. As the UK sound constantly progresses into exciting new territories via labels like LuckyMe and Night Slugs, American producers are often too content to find a sound and stick with it. As a result, some of the best interpretations of American, especially Southern, hip hop have come from British producers. TNGHT might be the apex of the trend (yes we know Lunice is Candian), but many other (mostly) pasty perpetrators have attempted to freshen up Stateside hip hop tropes, both new and old. This is not meant to a comprehensive review, because that would be impossible. It’s just a list of a lot of really fucking good producers remixing a lot of really ignorant hip hop music.
Dubbed by some as the “British Diplo”, it made all too much sense for Sinden to host volume two of Mad Decent’s Free Gucci series. The Burrrtish Edition features 16 remixes of Mr. Radric Davis’s trap anthems, courtesy of a coterie of revered Brits: HudMo, Rustie, Melé, Mosca and Toddla T just to name a few. Predictably weirder than the Diplo hosted Volume One (with the exception of the Flying Lotus contribution), the tape is an exhibition in low end sounds with varying levels of success. HudMo’s take on “Party Animal” essentially spawned TNGHT, is utterly playable to this day and should probably soundtrack your next night of drunken shenanigans. Melé also wins big with his wonky reinterpretation of “Missing” from The Appeal: Georgia’s Most Wanted (a largely overlooked Gucci project). Stripped down and menacing, “Missing” is a precursor to some of Melé’s more recent Soundcloud uploads. Burrrtish isn’t much of a cohesive project drawing from every realm of bass music, but who cares when HudMo, Melé, Rustie and Sinden bring the collective heat?
Hit the jump for the rest of the retrospective…
If you missed the announcement, Rock The Bells announced its lineup yesterday. Like always, Guerilla Union made waves, bringing in Nas, Ice Cube, Kendrick Lamar, Dipset, A$AP Rocky and many, many more (check the full lineup here). Deltron 3030, the supergroup of Del, Dan The Automator and Kid Koala were also brought in. What brought the tidal wave though was the 20 year anniversary of Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, performing E. 1999 Eternal in its entirety. In hip hop’s history, no set of artists have perfected a sound quite like Bone Thugs. Their gospel infused, sing-rap harmonies were unmatched in their time and have yet to be truly replicated in 2012. One collaboration comes close though. When Oakland’s Main Attrakionz (who we tried to interview once) and fellow Bay Area residents Friendzone get together, the result is pure, blissful hip hop. Remember “Perfect Skies” off of 808’s and Dark Grapes II? Friendzone. Shady Blaze’s “Follow Me”? Friendzone. The newest cut from the two brings the comparison to another level. “Green Ova To The Top”, featuring Shady Blaze, is vintage Bone Thugs. The light-hearted guitar, sing-song chorus and bitter-sweet verses are all there. Main Attrakionz are not Bone Thugs. Not even close. But when they get together with Friendzone, the two make some uncanny throwback joints. Stream and download below.
Photo from facebook
Well this is quite the coincidence. Back in February, we covered cloud rap aficionados MainAttrakionz performance at Pomona College. La Hambra beatsmith Jonwayne just happened to be opening up for the Oakland duo that night. In a comical turn of fate, legendary IDM producer Odd Nosdam mashed the two unlikely collaborators into one track using Main Attrakionz “Chap 3” and Jonwayne’s “Bowser I.” The track would undoubtedly sound better yell-rapped in a dark club, but what you do? Shit bumps. Stream/download below.
Photo by Gabe Meier
For The Astal Plane’s second live review, we’re stepping our game up a little bit. Unlike our last review, we managed to bring a camera (fully charged!) and got some nice shots. Last time it was Tokimonsta’s b-day set at Low End Theory. This time, we caught Jonwayne and Main Attrakionz at Pomona College. Like last time, we hit a few bumps in the road though. We planned on doing a video interview with Mondre and Squadda B of Main Attrakionz, and in fact, we did interview the Oakland “cloud rap” duo. We also forgot to turn on the mic. As a result, instead of a five minute interview with Mondre and Squadda, we have five silent minutes of me looking awkward and them looking inebriated. In fact, it was actually a pretty decent interview covering topics ranging from how they met Clams Casino (through Keyboard Kid), coining the term “cloud rap,” and wanting to create their own legacy among Bay Area legends. Mondre and Squadda were more than willing to do the interview and were amiable throughout it. Read the rest of the review after the jump and check out photos from the show here.