Czarface (7L & Esoteric and Inspectah Deck)

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Inspectah Deck has spent nearly two decades supplying classic Wu-Tang verses without ever dropping a classic Wu-Tang album. The fact that he committed to a full project is somewhat surprising to see from the 42 year old MC, and even more surprising are some of the features on Czarface. 

Roc Marciano, Mr. Muthafuckin’ Exquire, Oh  No and Action Bronson contribute verses to Czarface, and the album itself is a collaboration with underground duo 7L & Esoteric. 7L supplies some throwback sample driven boom-bap which is obviously familiar territory for Deck.

Ghostface shows up on the track “Savagely Attack”, and DJ Premier disappoints with the lackluster “Let It Off”. The Roc Marciano cut “Cement 3’s” sounds built for a 1996 tapedeck and overall Czarface will certainly please fans of 90’s era crime rap. These three work well together and the production in particular bumps and doesn’t show many signs of weakness. 

Check out some cuts from Czarface below.

— Daniel

 

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KZUU’s Cure For Your Boredom

If you’re anything like us or what seems like 90% of campus right now, then you’re probably sick. Which means you’re also probably lying in bed bingeing on Netflix. No shame in that. But if you’ve already run through every season of Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead then check out these awesome music videos by some of our favorite bands right now (and then maybe take a shower ya slob).

Ra Ra Riot – Beta Love

If you’ve listened to KZUU at all in the past couple of weeks then you’ve probably heard the title track off of Ra Ra Riot’s Beta Love at some point. But have you seen this video? I mean, nothing puts a smile on my face faster than watching white people in bright outfits from the ‘70s awkwardly dance. Let’s all just laugh at them for a moment. Done? Good. Because in 20 years our children will be laughing at the videos of us dancing. Or crying…I’ve seen you at Stubbies you dirty dirty kids.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra – So Good At Being In Trouble

What do you get when you cross Unknown Mortal Orchestra, a hippie commune (possibly cult), and an older, crazed McLovin bashing a baseball bat around with pantyhose on his head. The video for UMO’s track So Good At Being In Trouble off of their sophomore album, aptly titled II, of course! Along with McLovin, (or Chris Mintz-Plasse if you prefer to refer to his birth name. I do not.) the video also stars director Ruban Nielson, who has worked with Animal Collective and Black Dice.

Aan – Mystery Life

If you missed Aan at the Belltower on February 8th for the Built to Spill show then I don’t know what to tell you. Basically you need to reevaluate your life choices because it was an amazing night of music. These guys are super cool and apparently know how to put together a super cool music video as well because this one is fantastic. It’s a story of life, friendship, betrayal and, ultimately, death. Plus it’s just f$%#ing funny.

MØ – Glass

Danish electro-pop artist MØ (known by her mother as Karen Marie Ørsted) is one bad ass chick. Or at least that’s what I gather from this video for her amazing track Glass. She twirls a hula hoop in slow motion, smokes cigarettes at a casino, hangs out at aquariums, uses a vacuum to suck up her hair, whips her hair back n forth, and has a very sad goth friend who appears to enjoy grocery stores and rubik’s cubes. If that isn’t the epitome of a badass then I don’t know what is. But in all seriousness, the only thing that matters in this video is THAT VEST. Holy mother of god is that not the best thing you’ve ever seen? I see a new project in my future…

Also, FYI: MØ’s debut LP Waiting For Something To Happen will be released sometime this year.

Foxygen – San Francisco

This is another track that’s been getting a lot of airplay here at KZUU and for good reason! I double dog dare you to try to be sad while listening to this song. It’s not physically possible. It’s all happy, sunshine, sparkles, and freaking rainbows coming out of the speakers through this song. This correlates squarely with the ‘70s in my mind. Ahhh the days of love, peace, music, and drugs. Foxygen’s latest release, We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors Of Peace & Magic is very clearly ‘70s influenced and there’s no reason the video should be otherwise. Just sit back, relax, maybe smoke a bowl (hey it’s legal now! I can say that!) and let Foxygen take you on a beautiful ride to happiness.

Portland Cello Project – Please Leave a Light On When You Go (featuring Patti King), from Beck Hansen’s Song Reader

Call me a nerd, but the cello may be one of my most favorite instruments in the entire world. Portland Cello Project has been together for six years and covered the gamut of artists such as Radiohead, Kanye West, and Justin Timberlake. But the sextet has stepped its game up and has taken on all of Beck Hansen’s Song Reader. If you’re unfamiliar with what that is, basically Beck decided to release his latest album as sheet music only, for artists to take a stab at playing and putting their own spin on. Portland Cello Project and Patti King of Radiation City took on Please Leave a Light on When You Go and it is fantastic. Seriously. Check out their entire album on iTunes.

Oh, and you’re welcome.

– Jasmine

Album In Review: Young Dreams’ “Between Places”

Going through multiple albums a day at the KZUU offices, I rarely get this excited about an upcoming artist. Nevertheless, I haven’t been this impressed and absolutely enthralled in a debut album of this caliber for quiet sometime. Young Dream’s debut album Between Places is a carefully crafted indie-pop explosion of shimmering synths, lush samples, grand choruses, pounding percussion, and the always gravitating Beach Boys influence. It’s a collection of songs that reignite the listeners youthful side, hopeful for what tomorrow has to offer.

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Hailing from the arctic temperatures of Norway, it’s surprising Young Dreams pull off a sound that resembles nothing short of a warm summer breeze. The act itself is led by Matias Tellez and Chris Holm, yet the group exists as a ever changing line-up accounting for as many as twelve band members. That being said, the groups abundance of minds could be a good explanation for each tracks dense wall of sound, existing of layer upon layer of floating string arrangements and playful vocal melodies. This group’s exuberant energy leaves little bits of personality in every track.

“First Days of Something” one of the albums many highlights, deems the most approachable track. Blooming with each delicate background harmony, the song’s instrumentation is rich with vibrant synth-lines and Zimbabwean-style guitar rifts. As the track progresses it utilizes all previous instrumentation into a frenzy of countless melodies. The track’s alluring indie-pop landscape is a delightful addition to any summer playlist. However, the album’s most intriguing moment takes place at “Through The Turnstiles,” coming close to nearly seven and a half minutes in length, this particular track draws from the vocal stylings of Brian Wilson and heightens them to the most whimsical degree. The contrast between orchestral bliss and dance-floor ready synth-lines pulls the listener in a time warp, reciting musical formulas from 60’s dream pop to 90’s trance. It’s the type of epic track that encompasses music’s densely populated genres and morphs them into something so much more.

Between Places is an album that takes a perfectly crafted indie-pop formula and amplifies it with all the bells and whistles. Young Dreams bombastic approach to indie-pop constructs a collection of songs that prove to be just as grand as you envision them in your mind.

-Brennan

Hip-Hop Top Charts: K-OS “Black on BLonde”

Check out this past week’s top Hip-hop charts with Toronto, Canada’s K-OS (pronounced “chaos”) hits #1 with Black On BLonde. Right behind him was SF’s Alexander Spit with the psychodelic album A Breath Taking Trip To That Otherside. Check out the full charts below!

1. K-OS – “Black on BLonde”

2. Alexander Spit – “A Breathtaking Trip To That Otherside”

3. Pillowfight – “Pillowfight”

4. Theroretics – “Plenty of Anthing”

5. P.O.S. – “We Don’t Even Live Here”

6. JJ Doom – “Keys to the Kuff”

7. Roc Marciano – “Reloaded”

8. Pro Era – “Run of Fly”

9. Nu Mark -“Broken Sunlight”

10. Curren$y – “New Jet Life”

DFD – Old Boy Jon

Dumbfoundead just dropped a brand new album yesterday titled Old Boy Jon to celebrate this birthday. The project is produced completely by Duke Westlake and brings the style DFD has crafted that fans love so much. This project is more than fans could ever expect as his music continues to flow, while he released his most recent album Take The Stares in October that is still on constant rotation. He brings the homies Wax, Pigeon John, Danny Cho, Matik and others in for features into his new project. DFD also reps “Knocksteady”, a collective hip-hop group from Los Angeles that is pushing alternative musicians to the masses by exposing each artist’s individuality. Check out www.knocksteady.com for more goods from the collective crew. Peak the new album below and make sure to DL that tape cuz it’s DOPE!

-bryce

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Rainy Milo – “Limey”

I’ve been meaning to write about this little EP for a long time. After much delay, I figured Valentines day would be the best time for it. “Limey” actually made it’s way to ears late last year, but as a whole, was very, very overlooked by many people. Rainy Milo is a south London native, and her accent is so clear it gives the EP a really neat touch. Her voice is soft yet oddly commanding. She ranges from a clear to a smoky sound. The beats are simple yet oh so groovy. The soulfulness is reminiscent of Amy Whinehouse but with the composure of Aluna Francis, and a ton of shy innocence, or calm sternness  Either way, it’s easy to get lost in this mixtape, filled with musical joys that will move you one way or another. It’s a really gorgeous mix of R&B, soul, and hip hop beats, as well as an inkling of garage. Even whispers of a jazz influence is there too. Indeed this mixtape is a near celebration of back to basics vocal ability and musical wonder, that is certainly hard to find nowadays. It’s easily one of the more vocally unique bits of individual creativity I’ve heard in a while. Songs range between emotions akin to mournfulness, admiration, wistfulness and longing. Like floorboards of an old building, the creaks and odd variances in Rainy Milo’s voice have a story to tell, and strength is within their respective experiences. Every track on this EP is gold. I promise it is definitely worth your time, no matter what your musical preference may be.

As an added bonus, the EP is available for a free download. (Link is on her soundcloud.)

– Nick

M.E.D./Blu/Madlib – Burgundy Whip

Los Angeles MCs M.E.D. and Blu are teaming up for a brand new project titled The Burgundy EP and “Burgundy Whip” is the first single to be released on the nine track collaboration. M.E.D. has been on the Stones Throw roster for a while now, and he’s always seemed to have a spot on some primetime Madlib beats such as this one. Blu is an underrated rapper whose 2007 LP Below the Heavens with producer Exile saw the rapper detailing very personal tales of his young life. He hasn’t quite found his groove since then, but 2011’s NoYork saw Blu rapping over electro beats with great confidence. That album was one of my favorites of the last few years, and it really proved that Blu can handle any style of production skillfully.

Here Madlib provides some loose snares and smooth bass with a somewhat goofy vocal sample for a chorus. The track fits both rappers well but Blu really steals the show with effortless punchlines and clever delivery. Madlib beats are always worth a listen and these rappers compliment that notion well.

— Daniel

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