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BASTARD JAZZ RECORDINGS

Captain Planet is back on Bastard Jazz with the second volume of his Mystery Trip series. Digging deep into his record collection housed in a Flatbush storage unit, the Captain has pulled out a hefty selection of joints from all over the world and has deftly chopped, sliced, skewed, and reworked them into a full mixtape full of his exclusive edits, and an ultra limited run of white label, hand stamped 12"s with the choicest dancefloor cuts from the tape.
Things kick off with "Oluku", a bubblin' Nigerian dubby disco jam with a heavy bassline and pounding drums, followed by "Manman Mwan" - a big uptempo, percussion and chant heavy African killer. On the flip, "Sapatiero" heads to Brasil with it's bouncing synth bass, beefed up drums and dreamy vocals, while "El Marcianito" rounds things off on a chugging, ultra funky Cumbia note.

Comprised of Vancouver producers and multi-instrumentalists Nick Wisdom and Astrological, Canadian duo Potatohead People boast a number of noteworthy accolades thanks to a their signature sound drawing influences from 90's boom-bap, future soul, classic jazz, deep house and boogie/funk. Beginning with a series of EP's, including their landmark "Kosmichemusik" EP, Potatohead People's productions quickly made their way to artists like Illa J who tapped the duo to produce his now critically acclaimed self-titled album, as well as producers like Kaytranada (who co-produced Illa J's "Strippers" with the pair). Supporters such as Soulection, Nightmares on Wax, Pomo, DJ Spinna, Big Boi, and Phife Dawg have also played formidable roles in championing the sound of Potatohead People worldwide.

Now with three years since their last release, 2015's critically acclaimed debut album Big Luxury, Potatohead People are back their long awaited new album Nick & Astro's Guide To The Galaxy (due out May 11th via Brooklyn label Bastard Jazz) The record picks up right where the pair left off, showcasing a leap forward in production chops, musicality, and songwriting. The first single "Quest For Love" "with it's neck snapping drum break, lush rhodes chords, cosmic synths, guitar & horn flourishes and unexpected musical changeups bring in the hip-hop infected musicality the duo has become so loved for, while Nick & Astro collaborate vocally on top. "Morning Sun" featuring Danish vocalist (and Anderson.Paak collaborator) Nanna.B is in part a melancholy piece with knocking drums, an infectious bassline and a soulful, shimmering hook, while "Do My Thing" featuring Canadian singer Kapok and Illa J is a neck-snapping Hip-Hop joint perfect for the dancefloor. "Liftin' Up" featuring San Francisco's K-Maxx ventures into West Coast boogie territories, while the album's closer "Rituals" goes for a deeper more atmospheric electronic vibe.

STAFF COMMENTS

Millie says: Providing the most elective hip hop vibes around this stunning album, I particularly like the quantity of time Illa J appears and how it effortlessly creates a soulful hip hop masterpiece.

From deep musical origins in Detroit, rapper / singer / songwriter Illa J has been slowly navigating his way through the oft-turbulent waters of hip-hop since the tender age of 13, when the young John Yancey aka Illa J wrote his first rhyme alongside his brother, the late great J Dilla. After his brother's passing in '06, he began teaching himself piano, bass and taking vocal lessons while finding himself touring the world and recording a slew of Dilla-related projects. Feeling the need for a change creatively as well as geographically, in 2012 John moved to the future music hotbed that is Montreal ultimately making the connection with Canadian producers Nick Wisdom & AstroLogical aka Potatohead People. The success of their initial collaborations inspired the team to dive into the studio and embark on Illa J's new self-titled solo album, and present an entirely fresh sound of his own.

The self-titled album, produced alongside a few ground-breaking co-producers, showcases a more mature and at-ease Illa J who is equally comfortable on top of an electronic boogie-inspired beat ("Universe") as he is getting grimey over a trunk rattling G-Funk joint (the Kaytranada co-produced "Strippers"). On tracks like the sparse, Rhodes driven "Cannonball" (co-produced by Montreal's Noo Bap), and the early 90s spiritual / acid jazz inspired "Sunflower", Illa flexes his muscles through both song and rhyme. And of course being true to his roots, the classic Detroit boom-bap sound is ever present on joints like "French Kiss", "Perfect Game" (quite possibly rap's only ode to bowling), and "Never Left", a touching tribute to his brother and a call-out to abusers of Dilla's legacy. Vancouver mainstay MC Moka Only contributes invaluably to the cohesive sound of the album as well, providing signature smoothed-out vocal choruses to tracks like "She Burned My Art", "All Good Pt. 2" and "Who Got It" (co-produced by Mosaic). 


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