Archive for the ‘Tanya Morgan’ Category

Order restored

May 31, 2008

With the addition of a new network card, via a new computer, and the inclusion of an Apple Time Machine to my world, I’ve finally restored some normalcy to my own WWW. No more manipulating the rabbit ears to check my email.

My inconsistent WWW over the previous month has left me feeling a bit out of the loop. I’m not sure how accurate my own perception is, however. I’ve still managed to procure Tanya Morgan’s The Bridge, Kidz in the Hall’s, The In Crowd, Al Green’s Lay It Down, Jackson Conti’s Sujinho, and most recently, Common Market’s Black Patch War. I’d say that’s a pretty good yield for a month. Isn’t it interesting that there’s an apparent correlation between my WWW access and music acquisition? I can’t say I saw this coming in 1998, when I was still racing to Music in Your Ear on Thayer St. with my boy Skillz to cop Blackstar and The Love Movement.

Thanks to WTR for throwing that Common Markets track out there. I’ve been listening to Black Patch War for literally 24 straight hours. Sabzi’s production is a subtle throwback. Kind of reminds me of late 1990’s Shawn J. Period, employing lots of floating horns, flutes, scratches, etc. And RA Scion makes me think of Talib Kweli without the nasal congestion. Feel of album is akin to the contemporary-old school-feel goodness that has been coming out of the Pacific NW, see Blue Scholars & Ohmega W-W-Watts, Watts. (Note: I’ve also added Common Market, conveniently located on the WWW too).

Al Green’s Lay It Down. Talk about a throwback. Maybe I’m an ageist, but I usually don’t get too amped when old school cats come out with new albums. It’s a long story I suppose, but in short, it has something to do with the given, now-aged artist, attempting to contemporize their style in a new context. It’s a tough task. Or…maybe I am just an ageist…(or maybe I just have the bad tastes of Mariah Carey and Mary J. Blige in mind). Whatever the case, Lay It Down exudes the familiar Al Green of I’m Still In Love With You…30+ years later. Much of this credit of course is due to the man himself. His voice is as smooth as ever. Green’s adlibs are fresh. The man is soulful. The title track, featuring Anthony Hamilton, has Green all over the musical scale, but it works just as it did on “Call Me.” On the production side, The Randy Watson Experience (James Poyser & Questlove) continue to make amazing music. The backdrop they provide Lay It Down preserves Al Green’s soulful crooning. Some how they manage to capture soul of Green’s early days within a 2008 context. At points through Lay It Down, it’s difficult to date the song. That’s the definition of timeless.

Sujinho brings together Madlib and Brazillian drummer/percussionist Mamao, as Jackson Conti (their respective last names). Sujinho is Madlib doing his homework. This isn’t him simply diggin’ through some crates and putting a YNQ spin on some old standard, or concealing some 1964 drumline in some far-out, Quasimoto-Monk Hughes amalgamation. This is Madlib, as Otis Jackson, being the music fan and doing his homework; traveling to South America; eating local cuisine; and kickin’ with an old-school drummer. The result plays like a jam session. Sure, it’s got that now-classic YNQ style to it – the indiscrete shifts in tracks, the occasionally discordance of sounds – but this time, you can hear that more than one person and his imaginary friends are playing together. Madlib and Mamao have made what I presume all jazz-fusion albums of the 60’s and 70’s were like. A few dudes getting together and trading industry secrets, and experimenting. This is nicely demonstrated on “Brazillian Sugar.” Honestly, I’m still digesting the final product. While I’m not a music theorist and cannot dissect the the technicalities, I can judge feelings sounds provide; the overall sound is dynamic, feel-good, & is a perfect Spring-Summer soundtrack.


Spring Mix

April 22, 2008

Just a brief list of tracks I’ve become cozy with:

1) Tanya Morgan – “Waiting for You,” Tanya Morgan is a Rap Group – Soulful production. Entertaining tale. Ilyas continues to come up with the hilarious verses/delivery. Although, I am underwhelmed with the other TM mix that came out this year, Tanya Morgan presents: Beat Thieves 2, Tanya Morgan is a Rap Group is one of my favorite 2008 releases; I’m really looking forward to their next album.

2) Buckshot f/ Talib Kweli & Tyler Woods – Hold it Down,” The Formula – 9th Wonder taking it back to The Listening days on this. I’m nervous about The Formula, however. Through a few previews, I’ve noted a handful of tracks that feature a female singer on the hook who can’t sing/sounds like she’s 12. What’s the deal with that? (Check De La’s “Much More” feat. Yummy from The Grind Date to get my drift).

3) Kenny Segal f/ Abstract Rude, Aceyalone, Busdriver, Dr. Oop, & Nocando – “Backyard BBQ,” Platinum Dreams – Platinum Dreams is a mix released from 88-Keys, presumably as a primer for the release of his Death of Adam project (due out soon I think). It’s a potpourri of artists, instrumentals, etc. I love the guitar sample in this. Reminds me of something that would have been on ATCQ’s Beats, Rhymes, & Life. And, Aceyalone is awesome.

4) Kidz in the Hall – “Work to Do,” Geniuses Need Love Too/Kidz in the Hall & Mic Boogie Present: Detention – Subtitled Obama ’08. I know this technically came out in 2007, but it’s a dope track.

5) Black Spade – “Evil Love,” To Serve With Love – Chopped up beat. Black Spade sings and raps his way through this love gone wrong plot, “Why do we make up just to break up like this beat here, here…” His stutter delivery is reminiscent of Dilla. A great track off a great album.

6) 100dbs and Ryan O’Neil – “She Got a Body,” The Adventures of The One Hand Bandit and the Slum Computer Wizard – Again, this album/track came out in 2007, but I love this track. Nothing groundbreaking as far as the story goes, think Mos Def’s “Ms. Fat Booty.” 100dbs’s production is solid through the album. I love the subtle horns and keys on this one.

Tanya Morgan is a rap group

March 31, 2008

I really enjoy perusing hip hop blogs to see what everyone is listening to; who likes that album, track, beat, emcee, etc. Since the Tanya Morgan/DJ Soul mixtape, Tanya Morgan is a Rap Group, has hit the web, I’ve been surprised at the little I’ve read on it. I’m still spinnin’ New Ameryah, and of late, have been going through my De La discography; but Tanya Morgan is a Rap Group has really been a speaker hog. Their full length, Moonlighting, was certainly in my top 5 of 2006. And, while this mixtape is an amalgam of sorts, representing old TM, random tracks/cameos, and presumably some tastes of TM to come, I think it’s one of the better listens out right now. I know I don’t live in a vacuum – hence, my suprise at the little blog space I’ve found sharing thoughts on TM. I’ve read quite a bit on Guilty and eMC (since the latter’s official release, even more so). I’ve had two questions:

First, is Tanya Morgan is a Rap Group kind of overlooked because it is a mixtape, and not an “official” release? I can see this happening (or, are listens too wrapped up in Ode and The Show to notice?) I tend to categorize mixtapes differently than LPs; but, I think TMRP is just that dope! Secondly, are people turned off of TM because they’re seen as “hipsters?” I never thought about this, but I have seen some bloggers express that they’re turned off by the “hipster movement.” I was 10 when 3 Feet High & Rising came out, so I wasn’t privy to real-time discussions on that album; But, as afterthoughts years later, I do recall a similar critique of De La Soul. De La responded by titling their sophomore release, De La Soul is Dead, as a humorous answer to the hype around 3 Feet. Hence, I guess this contemplation has spawned a other questions:

Is there a “hipster movement?” If so, does it have a definitive shelf life? If TM are hipsters, who joints them in their movement? (they need allies, no?) Are they trying to take over the world? Or are they trying to save the world? Are they entwined in a rivalry? Perhaps hipsters are affiliated with backpackers? How do hipsters feel about the rising gas prices? Do they not rhyme about watches and cars because they can’t afford them? Will they have their own video game? Who would play Von Pea in a movie? Just because Illyas got locks, does it mean he’s Jamaican? Who’s more likely to back their movement: Obama or Hillary?

I know, I’ve given you a lot to consider. It will help you if you put your Tanya Morgan playlist on; be sure to include any Von Pea you can get.


Killa Tape Interlude…

March 20, 2008

Pete, did you peep the “Killa Tape Interlude” on the new Tanya Morgan mixtape (track 8)?

That’s why I have love for these guys. They make the music that we would make if we could make music.