Casual radio listeners, conditioned to judging a station's format by whatever they hear upon first tuning in, sure must be dumbfounded if they ever stumble upon KALX at 90.7FM on their radio dial. Because at any given time you never know what kind of music you might hear on the eclectic, non-commercial, UC Berkeley listener sponsored radio station, currently holding their Fall Fundraiser. For example in one freeform music hour over this past weekend the diverse music mix shifted through varying genres, decades and BPMs. Tracks off such new albums as De La Soul's recommended hip-hop release and the Anonymous Nobody...(also on LP) and LA rock-cellist Helen Money's (Alison Chesley) Become Zero on Thrill Jockey got played alongside such previous era releases as the 2002 album Thought for Food (Tomlab) by "folktronic" duo The Books, and the early 1970's pop rock, doobie themed hit "One Toke Over the Line" by Brewer & Shipley. And it all flowed together perfectly thanks to the DJ on the air: Alisa, Queen of the Cowbell. It was the final hour of the always excellent and enlightening longtime KALX DJ's biweekly, Friday night, 9:30pm to midnight, slot that she alternates with Berkestir. Both are among the volunteer roster of gifted DJs on the East Bay radio station that has long championed eclecticism in its programming.
New Hip-Hop Arrivals @ Amoeba Oct 14th 2016
1: Mr Lif & L'Orange The Life & Death Of Scenery (Mello Music Group)
2: Swet Shop Boys Cashmere (Customs Records) (aval as LP)
3: Derek Minor Reflection (E1 Music)
4: Wax Tailor By Any Beats Necessary CD (LAB Records Ltd.) (avail as 2LP)
5: Grand Tapestry Grand Tapestry (Grand Tapestry)
Five-Star Vinyl Reissue of the Week:
Licensed To Ill:30 Year Anniversary LP The Beastie Boys (Def Jam/Columbia)
Upcoming Week Release Top Pick:
Cypress Hill 25th Anniversary Skull
This week's new releases include the Swet Shop Boys Cashmere (avail also on vinyl/ LP), Derek Minor's Reflection, and the self-titled release Grand Tapestry. Also just arrived in Amoeba is Wax Tailor's By Any Beats Necessary The producer's new full-length, that is also avail as 2LP set, features the advance single "Worldwide (feat. Ghostface Killah)." Released by LAB Records Ltd.and filed under either electronic dance or hip-hop, and features such other guests as the emcees Rashaan Ahmad and RA The Rugged Man.
Turns out that all those 'return of the record' stories over the past number of years were quite accurate. Records are back, and in a big way. Between new releases and reissues there's an increasing stream of new vinyl pressings dropping each and every week: from the majors as well as the indie labels who spearheaded this vinyl renaissance. Record Store Day also gets some credit for this resurgence in popularity. Note that this year's Record Store Day (coming up on November 25th) is rumored, as per a Reddit leak this week, to include new RSD vinyl exclusives from such artists as Run-D.M.C., Rudy Ray Moore, The Sugarhill Gang, The Stooges, Prince, Sun Ra, UGK, and The Kinks. But in the six weeks until then, there's no shortage of new vinyl releases getting released every Friday.
E-40 has enjoyed an illustrious, prolific career (mostly as a solo artist) since embarking on his unique rap career in the latter half of the 1980's with family group MVP who would soon after morph into The Click featuring fellow members B-Legit, D-Shot, and Suga T . And that long-running successful career of the artist / entrepreneur born Earl Stevens (also the name of his popular wine brand) shows no sign of slowing down. On November 18th E-40 will drop his latest solo project: the two album set The D-Boy Diary Books 1 & 2 (scroll down for complete track listing).
This upcoming E-40 release will unleash over forty new tracks and feature guest spots from such (mostly Cali) collaborators as G-Eazy, Stresmatic, Gucci Mane, Lil B, Nef The Pharaoh, Droop-E, Jay Rock, Kid Ink, B-Legit, Mistah F.A.B., Casey Veggies, Husalah, Turf Talk, Ricco Barrino, and Joe Mo. The follow-up to his last two-part release in December 2014: the dual albums Sharp On All 4 Corners: Corner 1 and Sharp On All 4 Corners: Corner 2 these upcoming new pair of albums from "Forty Wata" will bring his total number of solo album project releases to 27 albums! Add to that his recordings with The Click such as their now legendary Down and Dirty CD that was re-released by Sony Classics, and all the compilations he's appeared on plus the countless cameos he's made on so many other artists albums, and you have one mind boggling back catalog! Not bad for an artist who, when he first started out his rap career, was written off by most hip-hop elitists who could not get with his most unusual rapid fire lyrical flow.
As for the new album's content E-40 says of his upcoming two-part release, "What's happening at this point in my career defies logic. I still spit the realest and rawest shit of anyone in the rap game right now. The D-Boy Diary will lace the unlaced, will tutor the truant--it's a guidebook for a street life." To be released in regular and DeLuxe versions, the new two-part release will feature the two previously released singles "Slappin'" and "Petty (feat. Kamaiyaha)" in the deluxe version.Like fellow Bay Area rap veteran Too $hort, with whom he's collaborated many times including on the 2012 album History: Mob Music, E-40 defies is another anomaly in the notoriously fickle rap world where careers are lucky to last past a couple of hit albums, the artist displays unusual longevity. While most artists begin their careers with a bang and then trail off, both 40 and $hort somehow continue to beat the odds and get more popular with time. In May of this year for example the RIAA certified his 2015 national hit single "Choices" as a Gold Record. And already the aforementioned single "Slappin' (feat. Nef The Pharaoh and D.R.A.M.)" has garnered over 1.1 million views on its official YouTube channel. See the "Slappin'" video below along with some other classics from E-40's long and illustrious career plus the full track listing for the two new albums. And be sure to pick up the two new E-40 albums when they arrive into Amoeba Music next month on November 18th, 2016.
Fresh from doing a showcase headlining set at the big 2016 DMC World DJ Championship Finals in London a week ago (where, as pictured, Tony Prince awarded Qbert as a DMC Legend), the Invisibl Skratch Piklz (ISP) are in New York currently where they were at the Maker Faire NYC in Queens over the weekend and later today (Monday October 3rd) headline the Highline Ballroom. At tonight's 8pm (door 7pm) show at the Chelsea district venue the ISP will perform their new album The 13th Floor (avail on vinyl in Amoeba stores): similarly to how they did at their recent in-store at Amoeba Berkeley and at other concerts on their ongoing globe trotting turntable tour. Tonight's show in New York City by the Bay Area's premiere turntablist ambassadors, featuring D-Styles, Shortkut, and Qbert, will be an extra special one since the opening act will be none other than the X-Ecutioners.
Formerly known as the X-Men, with whom the Piklz famously battled it out back in 1996, the X-Ecutioners feature Rob Swift, DJ Precision, Boogie Blind, and Mista Sinista. Perhaps tonight they will do a recreation of that legendary crew battle from 20 years ago, or maybe a dedication to the late great "grandmaster" Roc Raida of the famed NYC DJ crew. However confirmed for tonight is an exhibition battle between Killa-Jewel (Canadian Thre3Style Finalist) and DJ Perly (2016 NYC DMC champ and 2016 DMC US Finals runner up). Tonight's must-see show, which will be hosted by Statik Selektah, will also feature an all 45's set by DJ Shortkut, Tix and more info.
As widely publicized, at another NYC concert last night, Kanye West cut short his set abruptly during the Meadows Music and Arts Festival during which time he told a loudly disappointed audience that, "I'm sorry, family emergency....I have to stop the show!" This announcement came upon him hearing that his reality star wife, Kim Kardashian, had reportedly been robbed at gunpoint in Paris. France. No word so far as to whether West, whose most recent album releases include this year's The Life of Pablo and 2013's Yeejus, will return to finish that shortened concert set.