Monday, June 24, 2013

My last few reviews for Word Is Bond

Word Is Bond's sister site Word Is Bondage is going over quite well with the kinky crowd.
I joined the Word Is Bond crew in March, and since then, I've been enjoying writing about artists I'm familiar with (Bambu, Adrian Younge) and artists I'm not so familiar with (The Doppelgangaz). Here are links to--and passages from--my first five album reviews for WIB.

The Doppelgangaz, Hark (March 12, 2013)
"I don't think I've ever heard bursitis mentioned in a hip-hop track, let alone any kind of track, outside of Al Bundy and his elderly musician friends singing a 'We Are the World' parody about how 'We are the ones who wear bifocals and have bursitis.' That's an example of how unique and original The Doppelgangaz are as storytellers."

Bambu, The Lean Sessions (March 19, 2013)
"The new EP may be far from a last hurrah for a skilled emcee who'd rather devote more time to family and community activism, but if Bambu wants to completely quit the game, The Lean Sessions proves that he has a future as an astute TV critic ('Man, they keep killing black people on Walking Dead, so I switched/Breaking Bad been my shit, that 40-ounce got me blitzed')."

The L.A. record store that Adrian Younge runs and owns is also a hair salon. That LP copy of Fulfillingness' First Finale may not be so great as a hair weave, but it makes for one helluva stylish sun hat. WARNING: Although it looks good at first, your LP sun hat will wind up severely warped after you first wear it.
Adrian Younge
Ghostface Killah and Adrian Younge, Twelve Reasons to Die (April 14, 2013)
"Younge has taken elements of Morricone's sound--the fuzz guitar riffs that are highlights of Morricone's Danger: Diabolik and Once Upon a Time in the West scores, the chimes and the wordless melodies--as well as some touches from other film composers (like the sitar towards the end of 'The Sure Shot,' which is reminiscent of Manfred Hübler and Siegfried Schwab, or the piano licks that are all over the RZA's projects, like his Ghost Dog score), and he's brought his own stamp to them. Younge has provided Ghostface with the imaginary soundtrack for the superhero movie he must have always wanted to star in."

Trebles and Blues, From My Father (April 30, 2013)
"This kind of dramatic, trying-to-overcome-barriers material can turn kitschy or sappy. Think unintentional laugh riots like 'Accidental Racist' or any of the family photo slideshow videotapes that a lot of my Filipino parents' friends would subject their party guests to back in the '80s and were often soundtracked with ballads by Whitney Houston and Surface or, ugh, any non-Sid Vicious version of 'My Way' (let's face it, yo: Vicious recorded the only take on 'My Way' that's worth a damn). But fortunately, From My Father, an instrumental work as effective and beautifully crafted as The Blue Note, is neither of those things."

Eric Lau, One of Many (June 24, 2013)
"The best way I'd describe U.K. neo-soul producer Eric Lau's sound would be 'It brings to mind the minimalist production wizardry of Dilla, but without any recognizable samples and perhaps with a taste for crumpets instead of donuts.'"

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