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Aesop Rock

Integrated Tech Solutions

    A tech company's "senior spirit guide" finally comes to the defense of the "financially unsuccessful" Vincent van Gogh; wonders of the natural world are reimagined as "muster points for brainstorming innovators"; the "artificial char lines" on fast-food burgers are cited as if signs of the apocalypse. For the better part of three decades, Aesop Rock has used the syntax of the moment to pinpoint the fault lines in that moment's supposedly solid foundation. With his tenth album, Integrated Tech Solutions, Aes wields insidious corporatespeak as a tool to pry that parasitic worldview away from the parts of life that truly matter.

    A concept album about an organization offering "lifestyle- and industry-specific applications designed to curate a desired multi-experience," Integrated Tech Solutions picks apart the charlatan language that hears app inventors put themselves on continuums starting with cavemen and continuing through da Vinci. On "Mindful Solutionism," the wheel evolves seamlessly into modern agriculture—and then into atomic bombs, Agent Orange, cigarettes, and surveillance cameras. In a rare moment of transparency, the engineers Aes give voice to sum up this spiral in just a few words: "We cannot be trusted with the stuff that we come up with."

    Appropriately, the album sounds like the past and future at once. Largely self-produced, Integrated Tech Solutions catches Aes at his leanest and most innovative, leveraging "Solutionism"'s careening bounce against the wistful "By the River" or the slow creep of "Salt and Pepper Squid." The effect is a record that sounds itself like an organism growing, mutating, hurtling toward profitability-and then destruction. As fans have come to expect, Aes is cuttingly funny and slyly profound at once, whether recounting a childhood restaurant run-in with Mr. T ("100 Feet Tall") or quipping, on "Pigeonome- try," that "white dove is a pigeon-you motherfuckers is bigots." At the same time, Integrated Tech Solutions is working on another parallel project: tracing the sprawl of modernity and cutting directly to its core. "I've been doing laps of the lost worlds," he raps on "All City Nerve Map," sounding at once wearied and reinvigorated. "I can draw a map to the raw nerve."


    TRACK LISTING

    1. The ITS Way
    2. Mindful Solutionism
    3. Infinity Fill Goose Down
    4. Living Curfew ( Feat. Billy Woods)
    5. Pigeonometry
    6. Kyanite Toothpick [feat. Hanni El Khatib]
    7. 100 Feet Tall
    8. Salt And Pepper Squid
    9. Time Moves Differently Here
    10. Agressive Steven
    11. Bermuda [feat. Lealani Teano]
    12. By The River
    13. All City Nerve Map
    14. Forward Compatibility Engine [feat. Rob Sonic]
    15. On Failure
    16. Solid Gold
    17. Vititus
    18. Black Snow [feat. Nikki Jean]

    Viktor Vaughn

    Vaudeville Villain - 2023 Reissue

      Back in 2003, during an incredible period of growth and reinvention for legendary artist MF DOOM, he introduced us to one of his numer- ous alter egos, Viktor Vaughn. As the story goes, Viktor Vaughn was an interdimensional time-traveling MC from an alternate realm where Hip-Hop was banned. He’d been exploring time and space looking for new dimensions to sharpen him to 90s era NYC, where he found himself stranded due to a mechanical mishap with his time machine. He began hitting open mics and small venues, battling other MCs and picking up a few side-hustles in order to raise enough funds to repair his time machine and get back to his travels.

      Vaudeville Villain is a concept album like no other, where MF DOOM re-envisions himself as a younger, hungrier, more brazen persona, in order to explore subjects new and old from a different point of view. Of course, developing a second self from a more technologically advanced universe, he wanted to take a new approach to the produc- tion too. Viktor Vaughn fittingly raps over next-school beats that move freely in spaces between Electronica and Hip Hop, all courtesy of Sound-Ink producers King Honey, Heat Sensor and Max Bill, with the exception of one track produced by RJD2. Featuring all original lyrics by DOOM, with a few notable guest appearances from M. Sayyid (Anti-Pop Consortium), Lord Sear, Apani B Fly MC, Louis Logic, and more, Vaudeville Villain is one of the more uniquely creative entries in the MF DOOM universe.

      TRACK LISTING

      01 - Overture
      02 - Vaudeville Villain
      03 - Lickupon
      04 - The Drop
      05 - Lactose And Lecithin
      06 - A Dead Mouse
      07 - RaeDawn
      08 - Let Me Watch Feat. Apani B. As Nikki
      09 - Open Mic Nite, Pt. 1 Feat. Brother Sambuca, Lord Sear, Louis Logic, Rodan As Dr. Moreau.
      10 - Saliva
      11 - Modern Day Mugging
      12 - Open Mic Nite, Pt. 2 Feat. AJ Ready Wright, Creature, Lord Sear
      13 - Never Dead Feat. M. Sayyid As Curtis Strifer
      14 - Popsnot
      15 - Mr. Clean
      16 - G.M.C.
      17 - Change The Beat

      Atmosphere

      So Many Other Realities Exist Simultaneously

        The new album from hip-hop duo Atmosphere, So Many Other Realities Exist Simultaneously, opens with veteran rapper Slug and seasoned producer Ant taking a gentler approach. A departure from the brute intros of earlier works, the lead-off track “Okay” sounds focused on comforting and reassuring the listener, as if informed by fatherhood and implicit duty. With Slug rapping over one of the most twinkling productions Ant has released, the song lays the groundwork for an album-length exercise in fumbling consciousness without setting a precedent for how they intend to navigate it. Yet, as gently as the album begins, there’s an unmistakable sense of unease from the onset that continues to evolve throughout the project, as Slug and Ant weave the listener through indistinct themes of insomnia and woe.

        From the subtle panic at the heart of songs like “Dotted Lines,” to the overt anxiety of songs like “In My Head,” the tension seems to cede and swell, but just as the tears begin to well, they seem to find resolve again through songs like “Still Life,” whose hopeful outlook undercuts the tensity of the album. Meanwhile, the rhythms on So Many Other Realities are some of the most inventive of Ant’s career. The playful percussion on “In My Head” acts as a nice counterweight to the roiling writing, while the drum patterns on “Holding My Breath” and “Bigger Pictures” allow Slug to play with his
        flow to emphasize the anxiety driving the record.

        Where previous records in this most recent act of Atmosphere’s career have been focused on emphasizing the parts of life that carry the most meaning—family, brotherhood, purpose—So Many Other Realities is an almost unnerving excavation of paranoia that can be grafted onto the general malaise of a pandemic weary society full of civil unrest. The
        tension of these songs is palpable, but the album’s mere presence is a testament to the hope that has to underpin even the most stressed out songs. Regardless of when the curtains might close, the music goes on.


        TRACK LISTING

        01 : Okay
        02 : Eventide (feat. Shepard Albertson)
        03 : Sterling
        04 : Dotted Lines
        05 : In My Head
        06 : Crop Circles
        07 : Portrait
        08 : It Happened Last Morning
        09 : Thanxiety
        10 : September Fools’ Day (feat. Kim Manning)
        11 : Talk Talk (feat. Bat Flower)
        12 : Watercolors
        13 : Holding My Breath
        14 : Still Life (feat. Murkage Dave)
        15 : After Tears (feat. Sa-Roc)
        16 : Positive Space
        17 : Bigger Pictures
        18 : Truth & Nail
        19 : Sculpting With Fire
        20 : Alright (Okay Reprise) 

        KMD

        Black Bastards - 2023 Reissue

          Before MF DOOM donned his mask and became one of the most prolific MC-producers of modern Hip-Hop, he was a member of KMD, an early ‘90s rap group whose work still goes criminally under-appreciated to this day.

          Following their 1991 debut album, Mr. Hood, the former trio shed one member leaving only two remaining – Subroc and his brother, Zev Love X (better known today as MF DOOM). Originally scheduled for release in 1994, their sophomore album Black Bastards showed clear progression from their debut. It was a truly amazing record, both sonically and lyrically, full of youthful creativity and tinged with the stresses of growing up as Black men in urban America. Songs like the lead single “What A N*gga Know”, the slippery, bass-driven “Get U Now”, and the album’s title track explore Black consciousness viewed through young-but-experienced eyes. Musically alternating between bouncy and raw – many times both, concurrently – the tracks gave the MC’s the springboard they needed to express themselves clearly.

          Sadly, Subroc would face a sudden and untimely death in 1993, just as the duo were finishing the album. Grief-stricken, his brother Zev Love X – now the sole remaining member of the group – was determined to carry the legacy of KMD onward, but Elektra Records unceremoniously shelved the project in the eleventh hour, due to controversy surrounding the album’s provocative cover art. Following the fallout with Elektra, Zev tried for years to release the album on other labels, but he was continually met with dead ends. Struggling through the pain of losing his brother, coupled with the inability to release their final project together, a discouraged Zev Love X quietly withdrew from the scene and began quietly plotting his revenge on an industry that had broken him spiritually. Thus, in order to understand the true origin story of the super-villain, MF DOOM, one must recognize and appreciate the evolution of his former group, KMD, and the backstory of their pivotal album, Black Bastards. 


          TRACK LISTING

          00 : Garbage Day #3
          01 : Get-U-Now
          02 : What A N*gga Know?
          03 : Sweet Premium Wine
          04 : Plumskinzz (Loose Hoe, God & Cupid)
          05 : Smokin’ That S*#%
          06 : Contact Blitt
          07 : Gimme
          08 : Black Bastards!
          09 : It Sounded Like A Roc
          10 : Plumskinzz (Oh No I Don’t Believe It!)
          11 : Constipated Monkey
          12 : F*#@ Wit’ Ya Head
          13 : Suspended Animation

          MF Doom

          Operation Doomsday - 2023 Reissue

            Underneath his mysterious metal mask, MF DOOM hides the cachet underground legends are made of. After his first group KMD’s sophomore album Black Bastards was shelved by Elektra in 1994, and his blood brother Subroc — one half of the sibling rap duo — passed away, surviving frontman Zev Love X slowly mutated into the supervillain MC known as MF DOOM, and the rap world is better for it.

            The 1999 release of Operation: Doomsday marked MF DOOM’s official debut, reintroducing a mysterious figure who would soon become one of underground rap’s greatest voices. Within its 19 tracks, Operation: Doomsday reveals the confluence of DOOM’s tragic past, personal interests and daring creativity. His clever rhymes and remarkable schemes stood out against the landscape, and every sound he touched — from cartoon theme songs, to ‘80s soul, to rap classics and more — got reinterpreted into something brand new and surreal.

            Decades later, MF DOOM is still celebrated for all facets of his work and influence. In the face of tragedy, DOOM re-infiltrated the rap game on his own terms, and crafted an instant cult classic. Operation: Doomsday stands as a testament to the power of betting on yourself against all odds. 


            TRACK LISTING

            01 : The Time We Faced DOOM (Skit)
            02 : Doomsday Feat. Pebbles The Invisible Girl
            03 : Rhymes Like Dimes Feat. DJ Cucumber Slice
            04 : The Finest Feat. Tommy Gunn
            05 : Back In The Days (Skit)
            06 : Go With The Flow
            07 : Tick, Tick... Feat. MF Grimm
            08 : Red And Gold Feat. King Ghidra
            09 : The Hands Of DOOM (Skit)
            10 : Who Do You Think I Am? Feat. X-Ray, Rodan, Megalon, K.D., King Ghidra & Kong
            11 : DOOM, Are You Awake? (Skit)
            12 : Hey!
            13 : Operation: Greenbacks Feat. Megalon
            14 : The Mic Feat. Pebbles The Invisible Girl
            15 : The Mystery Of DOOM (Skit)
            16: Dead Bent
            17 : Gas Drawls
            18 : ? Feat. Kurious
            19 : Hero V.s. Villain (Epilogue) Feat. E. Mason

            Aesop Rock

            Bazooka Tooth - 2023 Reissue

              Originally released in 2003, Bazooka Tooth was the fourth studio album by Aesop Rock. His first full-length recording following the lauded Labor Days album, Bazooka Tooth debuted at #112 on Billboard’s Top 200 chart and #44 on their Hip-Hop and R&B charts. On Bazooka Tooth, Aesop’s dizzying delivery and oscillating growl paired well with the produc- tion, delivering more apocalyptic angst and future-funk flavor than its predecessors. Buried within these sawtooth grooves, listeners have discovered a plethora of Aesop’s keen observations on the state of the industry, the state of the world and the state of humanity.

              TRACK LISTING

              01 : Bazooka Tooth
              02 : N.Y. Electric / Hunter Interlude
              03 : Easy
              04 : No Jumper Cables
              05 : Limelighters / Flunkadelic Interlude (feat. Camp Lo) 06 : Super Fluke
              07 : Cook It Up (feat. Party Fun Action Committee)
              08 : Freeze / Honeycomb Interlude
              09 : We’re Famous (feat. El-P)
              10 : Babies With Guns
              11 : The Greatest Pac-Man Victory In History
              12 : Frijoles
              13 : 11:35 / Ketamine U.S.A. Interlude (feat. Mr. Lif)
              14 : Kill The Messenger
              15 : Mars Attacks 

              Aesop Rock

              None Shall Pass - 2023 Reissue

                Originally released in 2007, None Shall Pass was the fifth studio album by Aesop Rock. Created over a two year period following the release of his Fast Cars, Danger, Fire & Knives EP, the album would prove to be Aesop’s final release on the now defunct Def Jux label. The critically acclaimed album debuted at #50 on Billboard’s Top 200 chart and #35 on their Hip-Hop and R&B charts, and includes the title track “None Shall Pass” which has proven to be one of Aesop’s most popular songs to date. None Shall Pass documents the vast amounts of personal change Aesop had been experiencing at this time while still deftly depicting scenes and stories relative to all ages of life.

                TRACK LISTING

                01 : Keep Off The Lawn
                02 : None Shall Pass
                03 : Catacomb Kids
                04 : Bring Back Pluto
                05 : Fumes
                06 : Getaway Car (feat. Breeze Brewin & Cage)
                07 : 39 Thieves
                08 : The Harbor Is Yours
                09 : Citronella
                10 : Gun For The Whole Family (feat. El-P)
                11 : Five Fingers
                12:NoCity
                13 : Dark Heart News (feat. Rob Sonic)
                14 : Coffee (feat. John Darnielle Of The Mountain Goats) 

                Aesop Rock

                Spirit World Field Guide (Instrumental Version)

                  Following the success of Aesop Rock's most recent solo album, Spirit World Field Guide, he returns to deliver the instrumental version of those interdimensional adventures. Aesop has long been celebrated for his talents as a lyricist, but he has continually grown and evolved as a producer as well. While the original Spirit World Field Guide was packed with insightful chapters of firsthand know-how into the terrain, wildlife, and social customs of our parallel universe, the Spirit World Field Guide Instrumentals not only set the tone but also provide the roadmap for you to take your own journey. Welcome to the Spirit World. Explore with intention.

                  TRACK LISTING

                  1. Hello From The Spirit World (Instrumental)
                  2. The Gates (Instrumental)
                  3. Button Masher (Instrumental)
                  4. Dog At The Door (Instrumental)
                  5. Gauze (Instrumental)
                  6. Pizza Alley (Instrumental)
                  7. Crystal Sword (Instrumental)
                  8. Boot Soup (Instrumental)
                  9. Coveralls (Instrumental)
                  10. Jumping Coffin (Instrumental)
                  11. Holy Waterfall (Instrumental)
                  12. Flies (Instrumental)
                  13. Salt (Instrumental)
                  14. Sleeper Car (Instrumental)
                  15. 1 To 10 (Instrumental)
                  16. Attaboy (Instrumental)
                  17. Kodokushi (Instrumental)
                  18. Fixed And Dilated (Instrumental)
                  19. Side Quest (Instrumental)
                  20. Marble Cake (Instrumental)
                  21. The Four Winds (Instrumental)

                  Aesop Rock & Homeboy Sandman

                  Lice

                  Both Aesop Rock and Homeboy Sandman are regarded as top tier lyricists known for pushing the envelope of creativity in their writing, while covering a wide range of topics and moods. However, sometimes things are inherently simple. Take for example, the origin of their collaboration, born from a mutual appreciation for each other as artists which became fully realized when Aesop Rock invited Homeboy Sandman to join him on tour in 2015. Traveling the country together, they built a connection beyond the music, resulting in a friendship that led to recording a few songs together, and before they knew it, "Lice" was conceived. 

                  Initially released in 2015 as a free direct download, followed by an extremely limited vinyl pressing sold exclusively on tour, Aesop Rock and Homeboy Sandman's "Lice" is finally available to fans everywhere. The first in a series of EP releases, "Lice" featured production from DJ Spinna, Optiks, Blockhead, Alex 'Apex' Gale and Mike Shinoda. The original cover art was designed by renowned illustrator Jeremy Fish.

                  TRACK LISTING

                  1. Vertigo
                  2. Katz
                  3. Environmental Studies
                  4. So Strange Here
                  5. Get A Dog / Fort Minor Remix

                  Aesop Rock & Homeboy Sandman

                  Lice Two: Still Buggin

                  Both Aesop Rock and Homeboy Sandman are regarded as top tier lyricists known for pushing the envelope of creativity in their writing, while covering a wide range of topics and moods. However, sometimes things are inherently simple. Take for example, the origin of their collaboration, born from a mutual appreciation for each other as artists which became fully realized when Aesop Rock invited Homeboy Sandman to join him on tour in 2015. Traveling the country together, they built a connection beyond the music, resulting in a friendship that led to recording a few songs together, and before they knew it, they were in the middle of a three EP run of records.

                  Initially released in 2016 as a free direct download, followed by an extremely limited vinyl pressing sold exclusively on tour, Aesop Rock and Homeboy Sandman's “Lice Two: Still Buggin'” is finally available to fans everywhere. The second in a series of EP releases, “Lice Two: Still Buggin'” featured production from Dan Hayden, Mondee, Aesop Rock, SoberMindedMusiC and Mono En Stereo. The original cover art was designed by renowned illustrator Jeremy Fish.


                  STAFF COMMENTS

                  Matt says: My favourite of the three records. There's just something almost telepathic about their interplay and question & answer flow. Both rappers possess a unique voice, both sharp and drawl in equal measure - it must be a New York thing!

                  TRACK LISTING

                  1. Zilch
                  2. Couple Things
                  3. Oatmeal Cookies
                  4. Mud
                  5. Stop The Bleeding

                  Aesop Rock & Homeboy Sandman

                  Triple Fat Lice

                  Both Aesop Rock and Homeboy Sandman are regarded as top tier lyricists known for pushing the envelope of creativity in their writing, while covering a wide range of topics and moods. However, sometimes things are inherently simple. Take for example, the origin of their collaboration, born from a mutual appreciation for each other as artists which became fully realized when Aesop Rock invited Homeboy Sandman to join him on tour in 2015. Traveling the country together, they built a connection beyond the music, resulting in a friendship that led to recording a few songs together, and before they knew it, the “Lice” project had been conceived – a three record series concluding with this, “Triple Fat Lice”.

                  Initially released in 2017 as a free direct download, followed by an extremely limited vinyl pressing sold exclusively on tour, Aesop Rock and Homeboy Sandman's “Triple Fat Lice” is finally available to fans everywhere. The third in a series of EP releases, “Triple Fat Lice” features production from Cohen Beats, Oh No, Ben Boogz (of 2 Hungry Brothers), Quelle Chris and M Slago. The original cover art was designed by renowned illustrator Jeremy Fish.


                  STAFF COMMENTS

                  Matt says: Concluding the tryptic on a lyrical high, Homeboy and Aesop collude on subject matter such as parent's disappoint, food, pandemic woes and a whole host of other quick-witting, sharp observations. Two of the most unique voices in the rap game; the production is deliciously old skool - with whiffs of boom-bap mixed in with experimental sample usage and skeletal instrumentals. A masterpiece!

                  TRACK LISTING

                  1. Pins And Needles
                  2. Comfy
                  3. Pizza And Burgers
                  4. Yoohoo
                  5. Panacea

                  Aesop and Blockhead have never done a full album together, until now. “Garbology” came together over the course of the pandemic during stagnent periods for both – a dry creative period with neither really having any focus – so Blockhead started sending Aesop some beats for him to write over; with no real expectation, direction or end goal in sight, their creative juices began to flow naturally once more…

                  “Garbology” encapsulates much of the claustrophobic tension of of current times, capturing a snapshot of Aesop and Blockhead expressing a means of entertaining themselves the midst of a major global crisis.

                  Blockhead’s thick, atmospheric street beats compliment Aesop’s unique, quick-fire flow perfectly. Almost instantly transporting you under railway bridges, to underground subway stations, crumbling corner shops and abandoned waste grounds. If you’ve obsessed over the gritty cinematography of Detroit, Baltimore, Gary and other forgotten industrialized areas of the US (the label is based in Minneapolis); then this dark, isolated and wrought piece is the perfect soundtrack. Lyrically it’s poignant and tight, Aesop’s storytelling able to evoke thoughts, feelings and memories that the listener may not have experienced first hand but can completely sympathize with through the duo’s honest and authentic presentation. Possibly my favourite release from Aesop Rock and a brilliant showcase of Blockhead’s beats – which are unlike any other available in the market! 10 outta 10 all around – top of the class for these two.


                  TRACK LISTING

                  1. The Only Picture
                  2. Jazz Hands
                  3. Wolf Piss
                  4. Legerdemain
                  5. Difficult
                  6. All The Smartest People
                  7. Oh Fudge
                  8. More Cycles
                  9. Flamingo Pink
                  10. All Day Breakfast(feat. Homeboy Sandman)
                  11. Fizz
                  12. That Is Not A Wizard
                  13. The Sea
                  14. Abandoned Malls

                  The explosion of indie Hip Hop labels in the early 90s resulted in an ongoing snowball effect that started to shift the narrative around an artist’s need to sign to a major label. Coincidentally, quality home recording equipment was also becoming more easily accessible and, with the rising popularity of CD-R technology, this allowed artists to write, record, and manufacture their own albums right at home.

                  Appleseed was a highly celebrated and influential release from that era, cementing Aesop Rock as a new face whose talent could not be denied. The album explores creative concepts with inventive writing and stripped-down yet melodic and melancholic production. Six out of the eight songs were produced by Aesop Rock, with Omega One producing “Sick Friend” and longtime collaborator Blockhead handling “1000 Deaths”, and the project’s sole guest lyricist was Doseone.

                  The DIY process was followed in every aspect, as Aesop himself recalls, “I did the Appleseed hand style while working at Tepper Galleries in NYC. The cover was made at Kinko’s. The first Appleseed CD’s were CD-R’s I duped at home and sold from my backpack at an MF DOOM show at Brownies, which was right below my apartment at the time. I continued to sell hand to hand in NY, while Blockhead started fielding some mail orders from a young internet. People would send us cash or a check, and he’d cut the covers out and mail them off.“

                  The two of them were able to move a couple thousand CDs that way before turning their attention to newer projects, particularly Float in Aesop’s case. As a result, Appleseed went out of print for many years before resurfacing as a merch item on tour. However, in all that time it was only available on CD, directly from Aesop. Finally, 21 years after its debut, Appleseed officially returns, now available on all digital platforms, as well as on vinyl for the first time!


                  TRACK LISTING

                  1) Appleseed Intro
                  2) Dryspell
                  3) Same Space (The Tugboat Complex, Part 2)
                  4) Sick Friend
                  5) Hold The Cup
                  6) 1,000 Deaths
                  7) Blue In The Face
                  8) Odessa Feat. Doseone

                  MF Doom

                  MM..Food

                    In 1998 Zev Love X of the seminal rap group KMD re-emerged as a masked super villain known as MF DOOM. The following Year he release the ground breaking independent classic Operation: Doomsday. Doom only added to the mystery by creating multiple aliases (King Geedorah, Viktor Vaughn, etc.) and taking a no holds barred approach to his musical career. With collaborative side projects with Madlib (Madvillain) and most recently DANGERDOOM with Danger Mouse, MM..FOOD marks the super villain's long awaited follow up to Operation: Doomsday.

                    TRACK LISTING

                    1. Beef Rap
                    2. Hoe Cakes
                    3. Potholderz (feat. Count Bass D)
                    4. One Beer
                    5. Deep Fried Frenz
                    6. Poo-Putt Platter
                    7. Fillet-O-Rapper
                    8. Gumbo
                    9. Fig Leaf Bi-Carbonate
                    10. Kon Karne
                    11. Guinnesses (feat. 4Ize & Angelika)
                    12. Kon Queso
                    13. Rapp Snitch Knishes
                    14. Vomitspit
                    15. Kookies


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