Sunday, 25 January 2015

2014 Roundup Part One: KO (Up In The Ear) and J. Rizzle (Gimmie That Beat...) Reveal Favourite Artists, Albums, Software and More!

The New Beatmaker is very proud to announce part one of a four-part special feature, breaking down the highs and lows of what proved to be another eventful year in music and music production, with some of our favourite writers and artists of the year.

Join The New Beatmaker and our very special guests as we share our thoughts on the best music, artists, hardware and software of 2014.

Part One: Blogosphere Friends Share Their Favourites of 2014 and The New Beatmaker Shares Our Favourite Blogs / Websites of the Year

The New Beatmaker couldn't think of a better way to start than by catching up with two of our favourite DJs, bloggers and writers of 2014: Khalid Golding aka KO and J. Rizzle.

With his heartfelt writing on music, culture and society, Khalid Golding and his Up In The Ear blog quickly became a The New Beatmaker favourite in 2014. 
     
Below, in an exclusive interview, Golding spills the beans on his favourite hardware and music of the year and more.

Featured Guest: Khalid Golding (Writer, DJ, Music Maker)


Filmed by Islah Abdur-Rahman Edited by Khalid Golding.

Many thanks to Khalid and Islah for taking the time out to put together the above.

Now, one of the most hardworking men in the game, J. Rizzle is a writer, DJ and music, sneaker and cap connoisseur to boot!  He is clearly a man who has learned the secret of how to not need sleep.

His output includes instrumental / beats blog Gimmie That Beat, the DJ-Centred Check Deez, and 'KIX & LIDZ', dedicated to his love of sneakers and caps.

J. Rizzle: DJ, Writer, Music, sneaker and cap connoisseur.

Like Golding, J. Rizzle is one of The New Beatmaker's favourite bloggers of the year, so it's with great pleasure that I present his favourite hardware, software, and music of the year - with just a little sport thrown in too for good measure.

Featured Guest: J. Rizzle (Writer; DJ; Music, Sneaker and Cap Connoisseur)

Favourite hardware of 2014: Apple iOS
Favourite software of 2014: Google Chrome
Favourite freeware of 2014: AnyBurn - CD / DVD / Blu-ray burning software
Favourite song of 2014: Common 'The Kingdom'


Common 'The Kingdom' Feat. Vince Staples: 
J. Rizzle's favourite track of 2014.

Favourite album of 2014: The JazzJousters 'New Genesis'
Favourite musician, producer or beatmaker of 2014: Cool FD
Favourite app, blog or website of 2014: TheNewBeatmaker.com & Sneaker Politics
Highlight of 2014: Cowboys getting robbed with Dez Bryant catch, lol
Low point of 2014: Catching the Flu (right over the Holiday season)
The New Beatmaker is glad to hear that J. is on the mend.  Here's to a happy, healthy, safe and prosperous new year to both J. Rizzle and Khalid Golding.  Thanks again for taking part, guys.

The New Beatmaker's Favourite Blogs, Websites and Webisodes of 2014

Up In The Ear: Up In The Ear mixes music, culture, society and charity together in a way which is fun, informative and heartwarming.  Bravo! (upintheear.com)

Gimmie That Beat: Whether you are solely a fan of beats / instrumental hip hop or a beatmaker yourself, Gimmie That Beat is an essential resource for you. (gimmiethatbeat.blogspot.co.uk)   

Mass Appeal's 'Rhythm Roulette': Want an insight into your favourite beatmaker's workflow?  Looking for a way to break the dreaded 'beatmaker's block'? Don't worry, this excellent web series has you covered. (youtube.com/user/massappeal)

Apollo Brown featured on 'Rhythm Roulette': 

BBoy Tech Report: A longtime favourite of The New Beatmaker - get the lowdown on all the latest kit, from keyboards to beatmaking apps, to interviews with the men behind the machines behind the music, here.  Oh, and check out The New Beatmaker's guest posts here.  (bboytechreport.com)

Sounds And Gear:  Did someone say kit?  With informative and fun reviews from one of the most knowledgeable, charismatic and amiable men in the game, this website is another must for anyone who is looking into getting their hands on the latest and best production gear.  Make sure you check out The New Beatmaker's exclusive interview with Sound And Gear's JK Swopes aka saintjoe here. (soundsandgear.com)

BeatTips: The go-to site for in-depth educational posts on the origins, the science and the culture of hip hop production, sampling and beatmaking.  Check out the beattips top 30 beatmakers of all-time list from last year, which features in-depth reasoning for each of the placements, as a wonderful introduction to the site.  Oh and be sure to enjoy The New Beatmaker's exclusive interview with BeatTips' Amir 'Sa'id' Said here. (beattips.com)

Today's Future Sound: To paraphrase, 'Today's Future Sound uses music production and media arts as vehicles through which to empower youth as artists and community members while fostering their well-being as individuals.'  The New Beatmaker's favourite charity of 2014 as well as one of The New Beatmaker's favourite websites of 2014, learn how you can help to make a difference by checking the site out here. (todaysfuturesound.org)

 For more details on how you can help make a difference, visit: todaysfuturesound.org.

The Drum Sample Broker: Whether you are looking to buy sample packs from some of the biggest names in beatmaking, or eager to check out a blog full of great interviews, tutorials and opinion pieces that will educate and inspire the beatmaker, new or old, The Drum Sample Broker has you covered. (thedrumbroker.com)

Pensado's Place: Super mixing engineer Dave Pensado and his manager Herb Trawick host this wildly popular web show.  2014 saw production luminaries including the legendary Teddy Riley and Noah '40' Shebib in the hot seat.  Dave's weekly tutorials are a must-see. (pensadosplace.tv)

The Recording Revolution: Another long-time favourite of this site, The Recording Revolution specialises in video tutorials and essays relating to acoustic / rock / worship music.  As I have said before though, even if your music falls outside of the remit of these genres, you'll still learn a tonne from the RR. (therecordingrevolution.com)

Praverb.net: One of the biggest tragedies to befall the hip hop / beatmaking scene in 2014 was the untimely death of Earl Patrick McNease aka Praverb the Wyse.  A The New Beatmaker favourite website of 2014 on it's own merits, Praverb.net, with it's vast collection of how-to pieces, interviews and new artists spotlights, is still an essential resource for any independent artist and is a fitting testament to how much Praverb cared for the online hip hop and beatmaking communities.  Rest in peace, Praverb.  (praverb.net)

Coming up Next: Look out for part two, featuring some of The New Beatmaker's Favourite artists of 2014 giving their breakdowns of the best and worst of the year, coming soon.

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Saturday, 10 January 2015

'Your Beats': Bless 1 Graces the Listener with 'Love': Heartfelt and Engaging Instrumental Hip Hop

A Wonderful, Emotion-Filled Introduction to one of 2014's Breakthrough Talents

The New Beatmaker took a bit of a break during the Autumn months of last year, and what better way to spend this hiatus than by enjoying some of the projects sent to the site during this downtime.

One of the projects that immediately became a favourite was the instrumental hip hop project 'Love' by Bless 1



Bless 1 is a versatile producer / composer from Chicago, with placements on networks including VH1, Spike TV, Oxygen, and TLC.  He also scores short films & webisodes for Dallas Penn & Rafi Kam aka The Internets Celebrities.

"Love" is his first instrumental album release.  Bless 1 is equally comfortable making atmospheric dance tracks as he is soulful hip hop, but it's the latter style which he fully employs and explores so well throughout his debut full-length.  He explains the project as thus:

"Love" is a collection of Hip-hop instrumentals that all sample soul songs about love. Its style is inspired by instrumental albums of some of my favorite producers who sample records. The title is short and to the point like the cover art. Whether religious or non-religious, I believe that we all should live by the one universal law - LOVE'

The New Beatmaker couldn't agree more.  Whilst this sentiment is praiseworthy in itself, it also helps that the project is masterfully put together and is one of The New Beatmaker's favourite albums of 2014.

The brevity of each track, as well as the beatmaking techniques skillfully applied and emotions evoked, brings to mind classic projects like J Dilla's 'Donuts'.

Bless 1's short and sweet - or perhaps short and bittersweet - tracks are individual chapters which, thanks to the clever sequencing of the project, tell the listener an engaging sonic story.
...One of The New Beatmaker's favourite albums of 2014... Bless 1's short and sweet tracks are individual chapters of an engaging sonic story.
The first four tracks capture the giddy feeling of infatuation and new love, what some may refer to as the honeymoon period, filled with a warm fuzziness.

Someone needs to get Common and Kanye on the phone, as the hip hop world needs to hear them spitting, 'Be' style, over such sweet soul bangers as project opener 'Hey Baby'. Likewise, the spacey yet soulful synth strings of track three, 'Close', are crying out for Ghostface to explore his sensitive side over them.

The middle of the project, specifically tracks five to ten, tell of a relationship gone sour.  The suspenseful, high-pitched strings, nimble bassline and mournful wails of 'Call Me' and the outright drama of 'She's Gone' speak of a love gone wrong.  The operatic-style vocal flip and military drums at the beginning of the latter track are especially nice touches; and just wait until the beat drops.
The operatic-style vocal flip and military drums at the beginning of 'She's Gone' are especially nice touches; and just wait until the beat drops.
'Best Days', another of 'Love's explorations of heartache, flips a vocal and sitar sample that was from a very specific era in soul music.  One which, interestingly enough, may be set for a big resurgence in modern soul music, given the way in which D'Angelo has recently mined it to great effect on his victorious return and another of The New Beatmaker's favourite albums of 2014, 'Black Messiah', on the closing track 'Another Life'.  I bring this point up as, with 'Love' dropping three months prior to 'Black Messiah', some extra props are due to Bless 1 for his prescience in paying homage to this sweet sound before it got reintroduced to a wider music buying public once more.

The Internets Celebrities' 'Food Warriors' features music by Bless 1. 

Later tracks including 'Hey Girl' have a more ambiguous vibe: has the once-errant love returned? Or have both parties moved on, and we are now witnessing a return to the intoxicating early stages of a relationship with a new object of affection?  Either way, the crunchy drums, dramatic strings and fluid yet understated bass make for another winning track.
...the crunchy drums, dramatic strings and fluid yet understated bass of 'Hey Girl' make for another winning track.  
'Everything' brings back the high vocals and sitar of 'Best Days', with a nice reworking of arguably the most well-known and well loved soul classic of it's kind. 

'Greatest Creation' lovingly flips another much loved standard in an unexpected manner; showing again that this beatmaker is just as adept at taking standards in fresh directions as he is digging for and using less obscure sample sources. 

'Love' is one of those wonderful projects that is sure to give MC's the world over the urge to write and rap to, but at the same time it is equally engaging and enjoyable as a collection of lovingly created instrumentals.

If you're a fan of big, boom bap drums, finely chopped soul samples and tasteful arrangement and sequencing, fall in love with 'Love' today.

http://bless1music.bandcamp.com
https://soundcloud.com/bless1 
http://bless1music.tumblr.com/
https://twitter.com/Bless1music

Bless 1 was featured in Episode Six of 'Soundcloud Sessions'  here.

For all 'Your Beats' posts, click here.  Looking to showcase your music?  Find out how via 'Contact'.

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Saturday, 20 December 2014

The Return of D'Angelo, Thundercat, Van Hunt and many more! 'Soundcloud Sessions' Episode Eight Christmas Special

So, this is Christmas, as a wise man once said.

In this month's roundup we have the much heralded comeback of D'Angelo - and what a comeback it is!  Elsewhere we have friends of The New Beatmaker including Phashara aka Corry Banks, Lanzo, Central Parks, Time Traveling Toaster, Van Hunt and Jay Bishop.  Part two is party time! Including more friends of The New Beatmaker: Malice and Mario Sweet and Tall Black Guy.



The New Beatmaker would like to take this time to wish you all a very Merry Christmas / happy Holiday season and a happy New Year.  Here is to wishing you all a happy, healthy, safe and prosperous new year.

Rest in peace to Praverb the Wyse and Larry Smith.

Image: jamestyson.deviantart.com
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Evil Alex 'Right Now': A Musical Triptych that Boasts both Signature Sound and Experimentation

Chicago beatmaker whets the appetite with a musical triptych that boasts both signature sound and experimentation



Regular readers already know that The New Beatmaker is team Evil Alex all day.

With his latest 3-track release  'Right Now', Alex has perfected the delicate balancing act of both maintaining a signature sound whilst taking chances and exploring new musical avenues.

Evil Alex has perfected the delicate balancing act of both maintaining a signature sound whilst taking chances and exploring new musical avenues.

The captivating title track, with it's relentless drums and filtered, multilayered sampling, is reminiscent of his earlier work; and yet there is an added feeling of verve and muscularity at the same time; an increased sense of confidence and, dare I say it, polish.  'Right Now' is a track of the year and no mistake.


[Video: 'Evil Alex: Snack Wrap'. One of The New Beatmaker's favourite Evil Alex tracks, from his previous album and a highlight of 2013, 'iGeneration'.  Read more about 'iGeneration' here.  Photography and Music by Evil Alex. "iGeneration" is available to download at evilalex49.bandcamp.com].

Up next is the cheerily titled 'Quarter-Life Crisis'.  This track mixes the layers of samples that Alex has become known for, but with the addition of some big analogue synth chords and absolutely huge kick drums which pound away underneath the video game-style keys and tortured-soul vocal samples.

Up next is 'El Topo' which would sound right at home on earlier Alex outings like 'Hate' and 'iGeneration'.  Alex utilizes a drum fill sample wonderfully, whilst a set of unnerving vocal samples gnaw away at the listener's peace of mind.

[Video: 'Evil Alex Presents: The Thousand Frame Stare'.  A time lapse taken on Wacker Drive in Chicago, Summer 2011.This was done as a test run for the "Love, Chicago Style" video. Photography and Music by Evil Alex. "Love, Chicago Style EP" is available for free download on evilalex49.bandcamp.com].

With this three track outing, Evil Alex shows an exciting sense of progression, whilst retaining, even building on the elements that made him such an exciting artist in the first place.

Alex shows an exciting sense of progression, whilst retaining, even building on the elements that made him such an exciting artist in the first place.

Look out for 'Sounds in a Vacuum' Evil Alex's forthcoming LP in the new year.

Evil Alex has very kindly written an exclusive feature on one of his biggest beatmaking influences, Prince Paul, for The New Beatmaker.  Be sure to look out for that over the coming weeks.

Evil Alex is featured on 'Soundcloud Sessions': a back-to-back collection of future beats, hip hop, jazz and more.  To enjoy previous episodes click here.  To never miss a post again, subscribe below:

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Friday, 19 December 2014

Carlo Muscat: 'The Sound Catalogues - Vol. 1 (EPK)'

Featured recently on 'Soundcloud Sessions' Episode Eight with the wonderful 'Totoro', Carlo Muscat is one of The New Beatmaker's breakthrough artists of 2014.



His project 'The Sound Catalogues - Vol. 1' is one of the highlights of the year.  What better way to learn more about it, than by checking in with the man himself?

Says Carlo about the project:

'The Sound Catalogues' (2013) - A recent artistic concept with the objective of compiling various volumes utilising music composition and performance as the primary artistic medium, recording inspiring events, figures, eras, inventions, and more.

The first volume is titled 'Extraordinary Episodes'. In an attempt to flee the prevailing digital age, this album takes into account a series of historic events. By creating a specific set of jazz compositions, the emotions related to each event are explored and allowed to re-surface. The music will transmit these emotions.

The line-up for this album features saxophonist Carlo Muscat, guitarist Sandro Zerafa, pianist Joe Debono, bassist Mátyás Szandai, drummer Lionel Boccara and guest trumpeter Daniele Raimondi.'

Purchase from iTunes store
Purchase from Amazon mp3 
Twitter: @soundcatalogues
www.facebook.com/soundcatalogues

EPK by Laurent Coq
Recorded 8th May 2014 at Studio Sextan (Paris).
Mixing & Mastering by Katsuhiko Naito at Avatar Studios (NYC).

Carlo Muscat is featured on'Soundcloud Sessions': a back-to-back collection of future beats, hip hop, jazz and more.  

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'Live at Berklee': 3 Sudacas, The Berklee Indian Ensemble, Aviations, Simon Moullier Quintet, Laney Jones and the Lively Spirits and Apoena

Live, Intimate Performances from the World's Largest Independent College of Contemporary Music

The New Beatmaker is very proud to present the latest in a regular series of videos capturing live, intimate performances from students and alumni of the world famous Berklee College of Music.


In a Christmas bumper special, we have, from top to bottom: Latin jazz courtesy of 3 Sudacas, with their original composition "Tarde de Abril"; The Berklee Indian Ensemble cover A. R. Rahman's 'Jiya Jale" (Dil Se)' in honour of the living legend visiting Berklee; the supercharged metal of 'Concrete Kitten' by Aviations; the jazz of Simon Moullier Quintet's 'Birth'; folk in the shape of Laney Jones and the Lively Spirits; and last but definitely not least, we have 'Wild Bird' from a band that may just defies classification, so you will have to hear them to believe them, Apoena.

The New Beatmaker would like to wish all the artists below and all involved at Berklee a Merry Christmas / happy Holiday season.   Look for more 'Live at Berklee' in the New Year.
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Saturday, 13 December 2014

$1 Bin: 'Bermuda' Remix; Scratch DJ Academy; 'A Week With $1 Bin' Feature

Shout out to $1 Bin, who chopped it up with the good people over at Scratch DJ Academy about his influences and his name change due to an indie rock band.  This short but sweet video intersperses $1 Bin in the Scratch studio along with scenes of the man himself performing at this years AFROPUNK festival. 



The festival, dubbed as 'a platform for the other Black experience, the one we don't see in our media' saw $1 Bin share the same stage as acts as legendary and diverse as Bad Brains, Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, Lianne La Havas, Body Count, and Shabazz Palaces to name just a few, so props are most certainly due. 

'...$1BIN shared the same stage as acts as legendary and diverse as Bad Brains, Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, Lianne La Havas, Body Count, and Shabazz Palaces to name just a few...'

To see an exclusive assignment of the week in the life of $1 Bin, running up to and including the big day at AFROPUNK, check out 'A Week With $1 Bin' by journalist Cara McGoogan.

caramcgoogan.wordpress.com/2014/09/01/a-week-with-harlems-1-bin/

And, if that is not enough for you, be sure to check out these tasty treats. 
 
 


Here's what I had to say about the sample pack previously:

''The Ensemble has a very satisfying selection of both one-shots and loops. As well as a rewarding variety of prerequisite kicks, snares and hats, the producer throws in some quirkier sounds to help get your creativity moving in a different direction. The left-field samples include the 'found sounds' of hair clippers and jet engines. Rounding off the pack, the beatmaker lets loose with audio interpretations of connecting dots and other humorous noises.

...This kit would be well worth checking out even with a price tag. Whether you are looking for...sounds to use as the foundation of a track; or hankering for something a little different, be sure to get rummaging in "$1 Bin's Drum Ensemble Vol.1...

This kit would be well worth checking out even with a price tag. Whether you are looking for some industry standard and time-honoured sounds to use as the foundation of a track; or hankering for something a little different, be sure to get rummaging in "$1 Bin's Drum Ensemble Vol.1''.

If you're loving the drum samples (which you should be), check out where to download them for FREE, here:

Video  Credit: scratchacademy.com

$1 Bin is featured on the forthcoming episode of 'Soundcloud Sessions': a back-to-back collection of future beats, hip hop, jazz and more.  To enjoy previous episodes click here.  To never miss a post again, subscribe below:

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M Slago 'Old Jonesy': A Satisfying Selection of Soulful Samples and Spacey Synths


The more eagle-eyed readers will have noticed The New Beatmaker has taken several short hiatuses over the last several months.

During this time, there were, of course, numerous releases that became the soundtracks to these short breaks away from the blogosphere.

Highly enjoyable throughout and worthy of repeated, regular listening, one of them was 'Old Jonesy', an instrumental project from an artist who is arguably one of the best-kept secrets in hip hop, M Slago.



Says M Slago about the release: 

"Old Jonesy could be considered the follow up to the Nag Champa Sessions (2009) release via Gritty Goat Records. This time around there is a more intimate journey into M Slago's production style. The music created for other artists and previous beat tapes has always been soulful, but this particular trip is definitely one to be felt as well as heard."

Agreed.  Throughout 'Old Jonesy', soulful samples are expertly sliced and combined with drums guaranteed to get you moving, whilst the occasional splashes of tastefully place keyboards add another welcome dimension to his productions.

...soulful samples are expertly sliced and combined with drums guaranteed to get you moving, whilst the occasional splashes of tastefully place keyboards add another welcome dimension... 

The album is filler-free, but immediate standouts include the spacey funk of  'Bordeaux' (featured  here) and the sensual, evocative 'Hazel Eyed Woman'. 

'High Trip' shows that this producer is just as comfortable with skillfully reworking much loved samples as he is with reshaping less well known sounds.

The more fortunate amongst you will have had this project on regular repeat since September.  For the rest of you, I advise, get introduced to 'Old Jonesy' today. 

soundcloud.com/m-slago
   
M Slago is featured on the forthcoming episode of 'Soundcloud Sessions': a back-to-back collection of future beats, hip hop, jazz and more.  To enjoy previous episodes click here.  To never miss a post again, subscribe below: 

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Friday, 28 November 2014

Black Friday at The Producers Choice and The Drum Broker: 50% Off



Head over to theproducerschoice.com for massive Black Friday savings. For one day only, get 50% savings on all sample packs using the code BLACK50 in the checkout voucher code section.

Choose from packs from Ski Beatz, Sean Divine and more, and styles from boom bap, to trap, from strings to RnB hooks and vocal samples.  All with 50% Black Friday Deal Savings.

To buy, visit theproducerschoice.com and pass this link to your friends and social media pages: http://bit.ly/1nDh09R.

Once you are done there, head over to out to thedrumbroker.com for their annual Black Friday sale, with 50% off there too!

Use Promo Code: BLACKFRIDAY at the checkout to enjoy these massive savings.

Spread the word on social media using the #drumbroker hashtag and link this: bit.ly/12b3dl9.

New releases include packs by Foreign Allegiance, Havoc of Mobb Deep, Jake One and G Koop and many more.

Visit thedrumsamplebroker.com to enjoy these massive Black Friday sales.

For more black friday deals on all things music related, visit our other affiliates via our affiliates page here: thenewbeatmaker.com/p/store.html.

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Alkota: Business Class 
NEWS: Alkota x !llmind ASR USB Blap Drive

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Flying Lotus; J'Von, Blu and Ivan Ave; Cor Stidak and Es-K; Ackryte; Tracy Cruz and more! 'Soundcloud Sessions' Episode Seven

A Back-to-Back Collection of Future Beats, Hip Hop, Jazz and More.  

A little later than planned, here is episode number seven of 'Soundcloud Sessions'.  Can you believe we are seven months into this hugely popular feature?

Originally planned as a Halloween special, there are spooky numbers from Flying Lotus, Venetian Snares, Nobody and another The New Beatmaker favourite and friend of the site, Mr Morbidly-o-Beats; check out the exclusive interview we did with the man himself - entitled 'Heavyweight Funk - here.

But it's not all chills.  As far as hip hop is concerned, we have gone collab crazy this month:

There is seductiveness from AR Wesley and Queen Tut; introspection from J'Von, Blu and Ivan Ave; social commentary from Ed Rowe,Concept and Sleep Sinatra; rugged realness from Cor Stidak and Es-K; and Pharaoh Monch and my favourite MC of all time, Black Thought, going in over a Marco Polo production.  Wowzers.




Looking for something to have a little boogie to? Well, check out the uptempo RnB of Tracy Cruz; the house-meets-soul of Adesha, the classic Todd Edwards remix of Pheonix's smash hit 'If I Ever Feel Better'; and rare groove goodness from Personal Life.

Beats-wise there are Ackryte, Radius, Lion, Young Heavy Souls, Sev Seveer and more, representing as lovely as ever. 

Speaking of Sev Seveer, you must check out this heartfelt and thought-provoking project by the Chicago beatsmith: Sev Seveer x Beats of All-Nations: "Constant Elevation: Odessa Star" is a Very Personal Exploration of an Oft-Misunderstood Epidemic

And, you absolutely owe it to yourself to cop the phenomenal new Mad Satta new album too.  They are featured with the sultry 'Reach Out' here.  The album has got to be heard (cough *bought* cough) to be believed: http://madsatta.bandcamp.com.

As usual, big love to all featured and enjoying the sessions; with an extra special set of thanks going out to Sev Seveer, Phashara / Corry Banks (bboytechreport.com) and Evil Alex for the drops.

Until next month, enjoy. 

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