Hip Hop

The Mountain Will Fall (CD)

On The Mountain Will Fall, DJ Shadow’s first album in five years, the groundbreaking hip-hop/electronica producer proves he’s still one of the most forward-thinking artists in the game. The atmospheric, instrumental title track opens the album with dreamy, futuristic vibes before launching into the funk-inflected “Nobody Speak,” which features Run the Jewels. German ambient/modern classical composer and producer Nils Frahm makes an appearance on “Bergschrund,” where spaced out washes of sound meet hyperactive textures and beats. The LP finds Shadow pushing the limits even further on his own original compositions, but of course half the fun is guest appearances from the previously mentioned artists, as well as avant grade electro dude Bleep Bloop, bass-heavy experimentalist G. Jones, and bright young UK jazz trumpeter Matthew Halsall.

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Best Day Ever (CD)

Mac Miller's Best Day Ever*wasn't just another mixtape some rapper dropped online. It was a sonic boom. Since it's release five years ago, it's been downloaded over a million times and streamed nearly as much. For its fifth anniversary, Rostrum Records is re-releasing the megahit for the first time commercially. Newly mastered and having spent two years clearing the rights for all the samples, Best Day Ever returns as one of the decade's best party albums. Your ear instantly gets addicted to the choppy beats and Mac Miller's adolescent flow that is as raw as it is fun. Mega-single "Donald Trump," made in the days before he was the GOP candidate, is the teenage fantasy created to fuel parties. It's all a facetious romp about the wealth, the women, and the good times Donald Trump has that Mac Miller wants. "In The Air," with its minimal beat that feels like it was composed by Mark Mothersbaugh, embodies what made Pittsburgh hip hop so unique at its time. Even a track like "She Said" has a great funk beat with a rap that comes out so naturally with all the raunchy attitude and crassness of youth. It's unpretentious fun that is all about just kicking back and enjoying yourself. It feels quaint now that he's signed to a major label and has been a huge part of the hip-hop scene, but Best Day Ever feels like the best capsule of earlier times that were as fun then as they are now. Light that joint, spin this record, and just chill

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