BLK ODYSSY are the Best Show in Live Music | LA Recap
Flashes of lights, propelled by drum kicks and lyrical bars, make time bend with unpredictability. A frenzy of torrid guitar solos and epoch-defying basslines amalgam with blistering keystrokes and timeless brass. A rare spoken moment from the frontman or his supporting soulstress addressing the crowd is bookended by countless more songs, disappearing into one another with compositional silkiness. Genre, as we know it, dies a thousand deaths on the stage at a BLK ODYSSY show, and something so much greater - the defiance of its very existence - is born in its place. It’s music, and it’s as simple as that. But from the Austin-based group of musical misfits turned sensational sonic alchemists doing so many things so very never done before with such grace and sultry stamina, it’s a complex zenith of modern performance. And of you’re a fan of a mosaic of preconceived musical spaces, it’s the greatest show on Earth.
Daniel Caesar Live at The Fillmore
Superpowers Tour. Denver, Colorado. September 16, 2023.
BLK ODYSSY | Live at The Moroccan Lounge
Los Angeles | September 14, 2023
Ron Obasi at The End in Nashville
A week-and-a-half ago, one show in particular spoke to the quickly changing, stereotype defying, ultimately collaborative stance that makes the real Nashville a breath of fresh air compared to cities with less youthful, creatively driven populations. Ron Obasi — a steady leader in a rising Nashville hip-hop scene that is as defined by a simultaneous attachment to lyricism and instrumentation, as it is to Southern bass and candy paint — shared the same stage with Mercury — a local indie rock band boasting an adherent Gen-Z fanbase, and Prince of Eden — a sandal-touting, guitar plucking folkster spouting story-driven acoustics.
Mo Better at The Blue Room | Nashville, Tennessee
August 25, 2023 featuring performances by Brian Brown, TriplePlay Squeek, OGTHAGAWD, Saucyy Slim & Moddy
Hip-Hop 'til Infinity Exhibit | 50 Years of Hip-Hop
Banshee House, Denver, August 11, 2023
An Interview with AB Eastwood
It makes sense for a producer to have a wide set of interests. Constantly creating is a challenge all by itself, but creating in an effort to constantly collaborate with a mosaic of other artists is a whole different skillset that requires of a producer breadth, bridge-building, and the creative navigation of thoughts and ideas. For AB Eastwood —who grew up as a multi-instrumentalist and spent a stint learning to produce beats in Miami before returning to his native Nashville — that range of interests is almost as impressive as his ability to tie them together, and link everything back to music. At his studio, called Shangri-La — where dim lighting, comfortable couches, and a barrage of instruments promote comfort and creativity — we sat down with the man whose production has become synonymous with the city’s ever-evolving, always growing rap and soul scene, helping a young class of artists establish their signature sounds, and have fun while doing it. And the conversation was broad, to say the least, and yet still made so much sense in a way that only a producer could navigate so fluidly.
iNTRO | Girls (this is not about you)
Like watercolor bleeding across the page, swirling, repetitive synth strokes and a quick drum pattern coalesce with the dynamic flow of iNTRO, who, at the onset of DREAM GIRL, is re-introducing listeners to his fast-paced, floaty raps in the introduction of his first project in years: GIRLS (this is not about you). It’s only a three-pack and comes in well under 10 minutes, but the EP is one that nonetheless acts as a dynamic glimpse into the old-school roots, new-school experimentalist, fun-loving nature of a lyricist and vocalist that has for years painted with a one-of-a-kind brush. And starting with opener, DREAM GIRL, he proves his artistry focused on building up what he laid as foundation with last project, 2021’s Welcome To Next Year. Where then, he operated much more broadly, weaving through the half-hour long project with wide opportunities to slow down and take on new sounds, here he’s hyper-intentional with his sonic spaces.
We Designed a Cocktail Book to Pair with Blvck Svm's 'Mangalica Mink'
It was originally his vision, or at least his idea. The Chicago-based rapper had long ago written out his thoughts behind the inspiration and titling of the tracks that make up his 2022 breakout project, Mangalica Mink, in hopes of editing them into a cocktail book meant ot be paired with the release of the project on vinyl. But ultimately, he never got around to desiging it. So, we thought we'd save him some time and energy...
Adekunle Gold | Tequila Ever After
Adekunle Gold’s is the kind of auditory aesthetic inexplicably tethered to the elements, to positive emotion, to friendship and love. It’s overwhelmingly applicable to those situations that feel particularly deserving of music; especially in need of a soundtrack. And yet it’s also the kind of music tuned perfectly for the moments when we need courage or strength. His vocals and his words, his profoundly traditional instrumentation bleeding into his brash experimentation with modern production and a mosaic of other musical influences, lend themselves to powerful emotion, and that inner soundtrack we all need from time to time. His music is cinematic, and Tequila Ever After is his masterpiece.
Get to Know : Elmiene
It’s that mystery, that effortless delicacy with which he navigates the ever-expanding extents of his range in new, and seemingly easy directions, that makes the UK singer, songwriter, and instrumentalist not simply an artist to watch, but one whose music, now in this moment, should be known by anyone who treks through Neo-Soul, R&B, folk-acoustic, and beyond.
Tobi Loiu and Chief Keef Got Each Other Back in their Experimental Bags
It’s not on one track, but two, where Tobi Lou and Chief Keef link during ‘Decent. And something about their collision of sounds, of energies, of narratives feels propelling for both artists. Both Chicago rappers who led a subgenre shift that skyrocketed them to recognition; both unique characters whose internet presence feels as documented by forces outside of music as it does by the force they hold within it; both trailblazing creatives who seemingly need a little spark to unearth something new for themselves at a time when audiences always want to hear the same old signature. Both, together, radically new for themselves, creating again, as they once did: freely.
Cory Henry | Live At The Piano
It’s rare enough these days to be so wholesale connected to analogue instrumentation. It’s rarer still to make an album out of it. But to release an entire live album, full enough of the emotion and energy that drives performance, yet that is listenable whilst in any room, is a dying art, revived again - or perhaps simply continued forward - by way of Cory Henry’s Live At The Piano.
PHABO | Don't Get Too Cozy
‘It’s purposely peaks and valleys placed throughout the project so that you don’t get too comfortable in any mindset, like “Ooh, look at him. He in love on this song. He’s talking like he don’t even care to be here type-sh*t on ‘Your Loss’ with Kalan.FrFr.” It’s just unpredictability in that sense. New words, new inflections, new beat patterns [and] new cores. [It’s] more authenticity from the start to the finish. I feel like people can look forward to those notes of classic R&B that they grew up listening to and loving as well as the sound that we’re trying to push forward as well,’ Phabo told Rated R&B.
Adi Oasis | Lotus Glow
From Brooklyn, by way of Paris and Martinique, with love, Adi Oasis has been showering the Neo-Soul world with the warmth of her new album, Lotus Glow since it was released at the beginning of March. From Adeline to Adi Oasis, the Parisian-born, New York-based soulstress’s new project is a cementing stamp of her moniker shift, steeped deeper in the now-clear signature definition that years of prolific features across the globe, and solo efforts spanning soulful influence from the Caribbean, France and her now home in the US, have brought into focus.
Baby Rose & Q Gallery
Through The Soul Tour | Marquis Theater, Denver | June 10, 2023
Femdot | Free Samples, Vol. 1
“When in doubt, feed the streets,” reads the slogan on the branding of his newly minted faux grocery chain, WFFL Goods, from which the thematic discourse of his new extended play, overflowing with the widest of stylistic and story-immersive cuts, emanates. Free Samples, Vol. 1: Variety Pack is the first iteration in this seeming short series, but owing its due to Femdot’s constant drive for growth and evolution, reads like one of his most refined, meditative, and complete works to date. And that’s saying a lot.
Baby Rose | Through and Through
There’s something innately powerful about the little things when they’re given the space and attention that they need to in order to bloom and flourish. The microcosmic, too, can be cosmic when you really focus in on the details. For Neo-Soul flower child, Baby Rose, and her unparalleled ability to hone in on one syllable - one note - one moment’s minutiae - and breathe the life into it necessary to expand its bounds into a sonic universe all to itself, the little things take center stage.
Q | soul,PRESENT
No one is questioning that Soul’s presence in modern music is still very much alive, but in tandem with the funk and unendingly danceable groove that swept across the soundwaves of the late 70’s and early 80’s; along with the presence of a later 80’s disco wave that rollerskates on synth-soaked wood grain; hand-in-hand with the sultry vulnerability of Golden Era R&B; and bathed in a retrofuturistic soultronic boldness, ‘soul,PRESENT’ rejoices into modernity as a new moment for what Soul and its stylistically vast grey areas can sound like when kaleidoscoped through Q's tantalizing range.
GZA | Liquid Swords Live
The Genius, GZA turned back the clock and performed the entirety of his acclaimed 1995 album, ‘Liquid Swords’ with the backing of a full band, the Phunky Nomads. Live at Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom in Denver on May 22, 2023.
Ron Obasi | Notes on a Scale 3
Akin to its predecessors, ‘Notes on a Scale 3’ is here to shine a light on where it is that @ronobasi is now, creatively exhibiting his wide range, his fiery lyricism, and his ever-blooming stylistic signature through the dedicated structure of four quick-cutting tracks. Again with @mixedbycole tying it all together behind the curtain, and also weaving in a trio of wide-ranging features - @jxdece, @ayywille & @neaux.id - the EP broods with an outspoken bite that underlines its entirety, and reinforces Obasi’s prophetic, prolific signature.
Isaia Huron | LIBBIE 02
It was released just in time for Valentine’s Day this year, but Isaia Huron's ‘LIBBIE 02’ - a nearly-analogue reconstruction of his 2020 debut album, ‘LIBBIE’ - is hitting its stride in the rainy months of Spring. The grey, melancholy tangent is a testament to the innately emotional space his voice inhabits aligning with the continuation of an existing acoustic lane in his album’s reworking. The Neo-Soul phenom, born in Carolina and now living in the musical hotbed that is Nashville’s emerging Neo-Soul and Hip-Hop circuit, pours over his music with the kind of subtle soul that can only be unearthed by someone with a voice as soft as silk, as buttery and authentic as they come.
IDK | F65
Eclectic has always fallen short as an adjective when describing the vast sonic breadth - and even wider artistic reach - of PG County, Maryland’s @idk. Ignorantly Delivering Knowledge, the 30-year-old rapper, vocalist, designer, collaborator, and more than anything, alchemist, is well-aware that what he’s delivering most is boundless stylistic experimentation. His fourth studio album, ‘F65’, spans 22 tracks, at least as many musical motifs, folds in a swatch of creations in the physical world ranging in collaborations from @nike to @lanvin to @mercedesbenz - and is loosely - and of necessity - tethered by a racing theme.
Suté Iwar's Debut, 'ULTRALIGHT' is an Altè Masterclass
In Suté’s words, ULTRALIGHT is “a journey that takes you through a range of emotions, from the high energy and excitement of life to the introspection and self-reflection that comes with it… [his] goal was to create music that speaks to the heart and soul, to evoke feelings of love, hope, and inspiration. Each track on the album tells a story and takes the listener on a journey through soundscapes that are both familiar and new.”
An Intimate Evening with Joey Bada$$
Live at Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom in Denver, April 23, 2023