hip hop . wonky-hop . breaks


Genre pick of the week Cover of The Mouse And The Mask by Dangerdoom.
For the first time in a decade Lex reissue a limited quantity of Dangerdoom's 'The Mouse and the Mask'.

The much talked about Danger Mouse and MF DOOM full length collaboration finally comes back! On "The Mouse And The Mask" Dangermouse builds the beats while DOOM raps, while there are guest spots from hip hop superstars Ghostface, Cee Lo and Talib Kweli. Having already produced the Gorillaz "Demon Days" LP, "The Grey Album" (his infamous Jay-Z / Beatles mash-up) and "Ghetto Pop Life" (his hugely acclaimed debut LP with Jemini), DM now teams up with MFD, also well known for just the odd one or two brilliant solo releases ("Operation Doomsday" and "MM... Food"), his work with Madlib as Madvillain, and under disguises King Geedorah and Viktor Vaughn. So, with a pedigree like that, can this duo's debut live up to expectations? You betcha!! Along with the likes of Madlib, Common, Kanye West, Outkast etc, these cats are just so far ahead of the game it's untrue!

Lex has a history of lavish packaging but this remains one of the lushest sleeves in the catalogue. Design by EHQuestionmark, the outer vinyl LP sleeve is made from thick translucent textured plastic with DOOM's mask printed on cover, and mouse ears on each side of the mask forming a pattern that looks like a Rorschach test. The inner sleeves, visible through the outer at first glance pattern based on an Ishihara test, but inside the circles in the pattern are tiny icons depicting a different disasters - climate change, acid rain, holy war, nuclear leaks.


2xLP Info: Limited edition deluxe LP comes with printed outer PVC sleeve.

Ltd CD Info: Limited edition deluxe CD comes fold out digi-pack with printed outer PVC sleeve.

Manu's Archeo Recordings specialises in old, lost, obscure and forgotten gems from the rich musical history of il bel paese and up to press the label haven't put a foot wrong. Fully licensed by the artists and original labels, remastered and housed in beautiful sleeve designs inspired by the original artwork, each of the three releases so far has made its way into the bags and collections of all the true heads. This collection of some of the heaviest and most sought after drum breaks in the history of Library Music looks certain to follow suit. The man responsible for these hard hitting rhythms is renowned percussionist Tullio De Piscopo, whom the Balearic brigade will know and love from his classic "Stop Bajon (Primavera)". Before he hit the charts as a solo artist, Tullio worked as a session player with Gato Barbieri, Fabrizio De Andre and Pino Daniele, and joined Pino Presti to form the finest rhythm section the Med had to offer in the 70s. This collection of fierce drum tracks, originally released in 1974 has become a true Holy Grail among DJs and producers so make sure you don't miss this chance to land a copy for less than £200.


LP Info: This release is individually 1000 hand-numbered limited edition. Includes full colour 12"x12" insert.

Knxwledge makes his Stones Throw Records debut with Hud Dreems. Knxwledge (pronounced “knowledge”) is a 26 year old, Los Angeles based beat maker making his debut on Stones Throw, with the album 'Hud Dreems'. Standing out in a sea of producers rising from the Low End Theory scene, the prolific artist and record collector produces his sound by creating a pastiche of soul, jazz and hip-hop that melts together in a style uniquely his own. He has produced for hip-hop powerhouse Kendrick Lamar on 'To Pimp A Butterfly', for Joey Badass on 1999, and has released dozens of remix and beat tape collections on his Bandcamp. He calls these his “light work.” Knxwledge has found a home at Stones Throw, working closely with fellow beatmaker Mndsgn. He has also partnered with Anderson Paak as the R&B / hip hop duo Nxworries, whose highly anticipated debut is scheduled for release later this year. Hud Dreems is a 26-track album of all new instrumental hip-hop, including 14 tracks not included on the album’s initial digital release.

For the fifth release on his so far unblemished Intimate Friends imprint, Marcel Vogel turns to the new keeper of London's soul, Reginald Omar Mamode IV. Hailing from the same fertile scene responsible for Tenderlonious, Paul White, Mo Kolours and Jeen Bassa (the latter two of which are his flesh and blood) Reggie merges soul and jazz tones over hip hop rhythms and warm boogie grooves to create an organic sound which seems simultaneously futuristic and rooted in the past. Undoubtedly a true spiritual cat, Reggie moves from the Dam-Funk stylings of "Real Thing" (produced by Jeen Bassa) to the blunted funk of "Ain't I Been Good To You", before simmering through the loose and wonky bedroom soul of "All Together" to arrive at the Balxploitation strut of "Try Again". The B-side opens in strong fashion with the emotional punch of standout track "Fussin N Fightin" and the Dilla-esque "Mercy", before the frankly indecent freak-funk of "Sugar Cane" takes us to the bedroom eyes of curtain closer "Bye". Another wonderful release from the London musician, and another beauty from the Amsterdam label.



    The metal faced and fingered one released this, his third album of 2004 (Madvillain and Viktor Vaughn being the two previous) obsessing about various forms of food and drink along with the usual anecdotal asides. Produced almost entirely by the man himself (Count Bass D, PNS and Madlib drop a track each too), it's amazing that he can still come up with such a delicious and satisfying menu whilst still pushing the envelope. Worth the price of admission alone for "One Beer", a Madvillain production only previously available as a super-rare Stones Throw Fan Club 45.

    Nottingham duo Sleaford Mods release their third ‘proper’ album via abstract-punk label Harbinger Sound on vinyl and CD. The album will be housed in a gatefold sleeve designed by Steve Lippert and was mastered by Matt Colton at Alchemy. Everything else was done by Sleaford Mods. “Key Markets was a large supermarket bang in the centre of Grantham from the early 1970's up until around 1980,” explains Jason Williamson. “My mum would take me there and I'd always have a large coke in a plastic orange cup surrounded by varnished wood trimmings and big lamp shades with flowers on them. Beige bricks with bright yellow points of sale and large black foam letters surrounded you and this is why we called the album 'Key Markets'. It's the continuation of the day to day and how we see it, the un-incredible landscape.”

    “The album was recorded in various periods between summer 2014 through to October of that year. We worked fast as we normally do, the method was the same as the other albums and like the other two, the sound has naturally moved itself along. 'Key Markets' is in places quite abstract but it still deals heavily with the disorientation of modern existence. It still touches on character assassination, the delusion of grandeur and the pointlessness of government politics. It's a classic. Fuck em.”

    Sleaford Mods are: Jason Williamson – words Andrew Fearn – music.


    Ltd LP Info: Green vinyl exclusive to independent stores.

    Wax Poetics

    #62 - Giorgio Moroder / Ratatat


      Giorgio Moroder
      The Ladies of Chic
      Steve Arrington
      Unknown Mortal Orchestra
      The Photography of Les McCann
      Van Hunt
      Divine Styler
      Nu Shooz
      Jamaiel Shabaka
      Seven Davis Jr.
      Bixiga 70
      Nick Hakim
      45 Francki of IAM
      Shusei Nagaoka


      Iconic computer composer Giorgio Moroder got his start writing and producing pop music in Germany. But a chance encounter with American session singer Donna Summer would change the course of his career. A string of hits together would make Summer an R&B and disco superstar and Moroder a wanted musical asset in the States, and their proto-techno, all-synthesizer dance track “I Feel Love” set the tone for the future of music. As Moroder embraced the Moog synthesizer and continued to revolutionize dance music, he transferred this electronic sentiment to multiple soundtracks, including the now-classics Midnight Express and Scarface. After a cameo on Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories, the seventy-five-year-old composer now returns to the scene with a new album, Déjà Vu.

      When fellow college alums Mike Stroud and Evan Mast ran into each other in Brooklyn and decided to jam together, they realized they had a penchant for making catchy yet cerebral instrumentals.Their newly formed band, Ratatat, featured smart interplay between guitar, synthesizers, and crisp beats. Four albums later—and collaborations with Kid Cudi and Jay Z along the way— the multi-instrumentalists return with their fifth LP, Magnifique.

      With Chic, Nile Rodgers and partner Bernard Edwards created sophisticated dance music draped in mystery and anchored in the unison singing of a rotating cast of female vocalists—Norma Jean Wright, Luci Martin, Alfa Anderson, Robin Clark, Diva Gray, Michelle Cobbs, and newcomers Folami Ankoanda-Thompson and Kimberly Davis.

      In the 1970s, Ohio’s blue-collar cities started churning out the hardest-working musicians in the business. Dayton native Steve Arrington came up watching the Ohio Players in the spotlight, spurring him to grind. As the drummer for the R&B band Slave, he quickly rose to take over as lead singer, which led to a successful solo career. But when he found a new calling in the Lord, he dropped out of the business altogether. After decades away, Steve is dipping his toes into the musical waters once again.

      The third 'Sources' package comes from one perhaps one of the most radical of the New York underground independent labels in several different areas - avant-garde, dance, hip-hop and freestyle, so welcome to the one and only Sleeping Bag Records. Founded in 1981 by Arthur Russell together with Will Socolov and Juggy Gayles, the label kicked off with the seminal “Go Bang!” by Dinosaur L (Arthur Russell in disguise) and quickly established itself with further dancefloor smashes from Class Action, the Jamaica Girls and Konk among others. However undoubtedly one of Sleeping Bag’s most significant signings would turn out to be producer extraordinaire Kurtis Mantronik, who, with rapper MC Tee under the name Mantronix, would produce many of the most cutting-edge hip-hop and electro classics of the 1980s including “Needle To The Groove”, “Ladies”, “Bassline” and “Who Is It”, all of which are included here as well as producing a brace of international smash hits for Joyce Sims including the electro-funk masterpiece “(You Are My) All & All” and the super-slinky “Come Into My Life”. Sleeping Bag would remain at the forefront of dance music culture with numerous other significant dance-floor smashes from the likes of Tricky Tee, Felix, Nocera, Dhar Braxton and Kariya’s brilliant “Let Me Love For Tonight” among many others.

      In many ways Sleeping Bag exemplified the perfect New York independent label of the 1980s with its shrewd A&R philosophy and an interesting balance of staff who were divided between old music industry veterans together with a brace of young keen new inductees who kept the label close to the streets – a winning combination all round. Out of all the labels featured in the Sources series, Sleeping Bag was the most consistently successful in its era and was undoubtedly the label which was the most hardwired into the sensibilities of the times. This is the most comprehensive anthology available of one of the greatest independent record labels of the 1980s.

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