W3NDCH3LL (Chicago Instrumental Project) Review

Chicago is a fickle beast. There are millions of us microorganisms living in the tangled fur of this lumbering metropolis. All of us experience the city from a different angle, a different height, with different motivations. Each person uniquely digesting the cities beauty and despair, as it grinds relentlessly forward day after. In a city where intimacy is forced by proximity, it’s strange that the lingering sensation is often seclusion.  Everyone has a different concept of home.

Intricate familiarities that provide comfort and warmth are completely unknown to the person sitting next to you on the train. It’s easy to succumb to these familiarities, surrendering to only what you know. For those of us longing to spiral out, to peer into unfamiliar parts of the city and its inhabitants look no further than W3NDCH3LL.

W3NDCH3LL is a 39 song compilation that details just about every emotion you could feel in a bustling city. Hoisted into the clouds by goliath skyscrapers. Submerged in dirt, traveling through the seedy underbelly in a dimly lit tin can. The compilation is split into three parts Soul, Space, and Slap, each one allowing the listener a glance at the sweeping cityscape through the eyes and ears of the Chicagoan producers. Peering through fogged glass windows at their interpretation of home.

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Soul seems like it’s broadcasting from an ancient boombox nestled comfortably in the hot sand overlooking Lake Michigan. Playing over laughter as cheap beer is enjoyed between friends. One of those memorable Chicago days in which the freezing cold waters of the lake seem to wash away in lasting care.

Space is as it sounds. Complete and utter isolation amongst the clouds. Cast into a comfortable solitude 100’s of floors up with nothing to do but to think.

Slap is a testament to the weird nights that only happen in Chicago. The nights where midnight turns into 4 a.m.  and you’re inexplicably drinking Seabreezes on a roof with an old man that’s offering to take you to a full contact Asian strip club. The gloriously, wonderfully weird morsels this city has to offer.

This Chicago instrumental project is one giant, creative exhale from the windiest of the windy.

Free Download:

Part 1: https://mishkanyc.com/bloglin/2015/05/25/mishka-records-presents-w3ndch3ll-pt-1-soul

Part 2: https://mishkanyc.com/bloglin/2015/05/27/mishka-records-presents-w3ndch3ll-pt-2-space

Part 3: https://mishkanyc.com/bloglin/2015/05/29/mishka-records-presents-w3ndch3ll-pt-3-slap

Stream: https://soundcloud.com/neonpajamas/sets/w3ndch3ll

Jetlag

The swirling grey, elephant skin sky drowning the city in a wintry abyss seemed less concentrated. Veins of sunshine made it appear a finished puzzle, the freshly compressed corners were satisfying. What was driving this? Was there actual warmth to follow? I stared wholly into the reflection on my phone confused albeit delighted. A gust of paralyzing wind sent me retreating further into the depths of my coat. Recoiling and finding brief sanctuary in the intricate threads of the fabric. I clicked the top button to check the time and saw something that wasn’t there before.

A photograph of pure nonchalance. Strangely enough on an airplane which is usually synonymous with despair. I could see the wrinkles and booze stains even through the glossy phone screen. I could smell the cigarettes. It appeared a simpler time, or perhaps just one that gave less of a shit. Free from the confines of relentless broadcasting and sensory overload.  I remembered that it was the album art of an instrumental album I had downloaded the previous night, Jetlag.

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Jetlag is a versatile instrumental from everywhere and nowhere. It features artists from around the globe though there’s no real way to tell where anyone is from, that is without the guidance of the track list. A testament to how much musical expression differs from verbal or even visual, completely void of any preconceptions. A vacuum of beautiful sound. It’s a strange phenomenon in which each producer unveils their sonic personality while also surrendering themselves to whatever it is Jetlag is.I’m still uncertain what it is. As far as I can tell it is an uncommonly malleable organism that can inexplicably be played both zoning out at work and stoking charcoals at a barbecue with friends you’ve known since third grade. It is the gust of warm air on a cold day and the gust of cold air on a warm bus. Both contrasting sensations, both completely necessary.
Download for free: http://mishkanyc.bandcamp.com/
Also check out the Seasick counterpart: http://mishkanyc.bandcamp.com/album/seasick
Stream: https://soundcloud.com/neonpajamas/sets/records-seasick-jetlag

Kameleonz Bali Review

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There are certain moments when eyes aren’t meant to be seen. They beg for the friendly confines of obscurity. After a grueling day crushing tall boys at a festival, your eyes demand some type of obstruction. Something to keep both the sun and the judging eyes of others at a safe distance. Something to level the playing field, to obliterate any assumptions. Enter the Kameleonz Bali sunglasses.

Anyone trying to get a read on your level of intoxication will be sorely disappointed. All they can see a reflection of themselves in what appears to be the liquid that Alex Mack turned into on Nickelodeon.  I think the lenses use the same cloaking technology as Predator did. You’ll feel like an American Gladiator from the future or an aggressively oiled Macho Man Randy Savage gliding through air off of the top turnbuckle. All while comfortably concealed under the neon oil embrace of the Bali lenses.

The lenses are as hypnotizing as 1,000 Jigglypuffs singing in unison and the frames are light and comfortable as though they are made of tightly woven, carefully extracted locks from the back of Jean Claude Van Damme’s mullet.

Damn solid shades hit them up and use the promo code TIE for 15% off any sunglasses:

http://kameleonz.com/collections/sunglasses

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Aquarian God Form

Artist: Mackned
Album: Aquarian God Form
Rating: 4.6/5.0
Download: https://mackned.bandcamp.com/album/aquarian-god-form

Aquarian God Form
was produced and recorded in a Hyperbolic Time Chamber.  An oasis of exhaustive solitude, where days are years and inner turmoil flourishes. The type of seclusion that causes complete banishment from reality. Providing time to cherish thoughts on existence and creation. Consider the past and future in no such order. There’s a certain reverence for this type of isolation, a longing for it. Reality is overrated.

The backwards progression from industrious torment into a subdued passivity is a fascinating evolution. Like a creature elaborating into its perfect form. The first half of the album is a consuming and destructive, the sounds mined directly from Saturn’s Red Eye. It fervently depletes every ounce of available energy. The second half of the album is subtle and reflective. Spiritual. Otherworldly. Containing the buoyant, ethereal state of the night sky as it’s examined on a, seemingly endless journey home.  It recognizes the absent energy, and settles into an enjoyable, relished state of exhaustion. The lyrics and sounds forming a spiraling, elevating, dew filled cloud. A graceful vessel to sail off into the abyss. A restful sanctuary in another reality.

This is the second air tight effort from Seattle rapper Mackned and a slew of producers and artists, who may or may not be  universally adorned artists on another planet, as they should be on earth.

Best Songs:
https://mackned.bandcamp.com/track/stay-posi-prod-by-uptown-greg
https://mackned.bandcamp.com/track/kid-trunks-ft-western-tink-prod-by-mackned-ooooo

 

 

 

IVRY

Artist: 100s
Album: IVRY
Rating: 4.6/5.0
Download: http://www.foolsgoldrecs.com/100s/

The perfect circumstance for IVRY to glide seamlessly into your ears is underneath a glistening disco ball, drenched fully in lit dry ice, while emerging from a crushed velvet sofa from the back of a club. You’re likely bathed in different types of silk and or cashmere garments. Perhaps a satin turtleneck. Certainly some gator skin. An uncomfortably large rope gold chain rests steadily on your breast.  Everyone else in the club was unaware of your presence, secluded in the plumes of dry ice exhaust, that linger on you momentarily as you effortlessly float to the dance floor. It’s undetermined if they are more mystified by your presence, that they are now aware of, or the existence of a crushed velvet sofa. Either way it is beyond crucial.

The smoothness of IVRY is unrivaled. It’s a glass of 25 year Macallan. A perfectly vintaged saison. Its the slow motion cascading Carmel in the twix commercials. A chinchilla that took a dust bath in cotton candy threads. The consistency of  T1000 from Terminator 2 when it interacts with fire. It has notes of a house party in the mid to late 90’s where everyone has achieved a perfect buzz and has abandoned any self awareness. Lending themselves wholly to the joy of the music and the accompanying bad dance moves. Harmony.Flow.Delivery. Drop the top and enjoy.

Mackned: Alice Gla$$

Artist: Mackned 
Album: Alice Gla$$
Rating: 4.7/5.0
Download: http://mackned.bandcamp.com/album/alice-gla

The deterioration of main stream rap music has been welcomed, crumbling and receding with relative quietness. There will always be those that blindly agree with whatever the blundering, disconnected stooge puts in his top 50 albums of the year in Rolling Stone. (Yeezus and Magna Carta Holy Grail in the top 5 is an abomination) Complacency is key, consuming whatever watered down sediment being served. For the rest of us willing to even scratch the surface of the seedy underbelly of the rap underworld…the treasures and rarities are immense and endless.

Digging deep into the dark, sulfurous and belching mine of rap albums, a vein of lustrous, unblemished gold is unearthed, Alice Gla$$. The cover art alone is enough to fascinate, and beckon the listener deeper into the unknown. In this case a mysterious pool of all encompassing sound. Each song urges the listener to wade further and further out. Making the comfortable shore line less visible. Most sound like something Dr. Frankenstein indulged in, in the more heightened moments of enlightenment during the creation of his monster. Or Dr. Gero tinkering away at his coveted androids. Sounds that could exist in a laboratory abandoned several years ago. Unknown remnants glued on thousands of broken testing tubes trembling on the floor. A faint green glow of a desktop computer that has been on for a decade. The beats and verses are unfamiliar, rich, and uncanny. Sprawling with a digestible tension. The beat remains at its best when it cuts out to acapella for a poignantly delivered punchline.

Alice Gla$$ is the Venice Beach of lyricism. Something for everyone willing to embrace the grime, a wormhole of weird.  A verbal onslaught covering every topic anyone could possibly dream of. Harry Potter, poverty, Dragon Ball Z, pharmaceuticals, money, life, lean, death, religion, Sailor Moon are all addressed. Super Saiyan focus on every track. Carving through beats like a perpetual Super Spirit Bomb. Alice Gla$$ could mess around and get rap album of the year.

Best Track:
http://mackned.bandcamp.com/track/future-trunks-ft-key-nyata-nacho-picasso-prod-by-raisedbywolves

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Music That Kills Winter

This winter has waged a gruesome bloody war with everyone’s sanity. Around now is the collective breaking point for the entire city. Where one more 0 degree day will shatter both the spirit and the skin around the fingernail of each ungloved hand. The bleakness is driving and consuming. Every wind gust violently depletes every ounce of moisture from the skin. Flakes from the sky flow as evenly and steadily as flakes coming from neglected cracked lips. It’s undetermined what is more insufferable, the fact that the winter complexion resembles an odd stagnant beige color (like a cardboard box left out in the rain) or that there is an unbearable and eternal itch that exists on malnourished skin during the winter months. A fun weekend includes sleeping. Even teeth are pale and veiny.

Here are a couple of dope albums to add to Spotify that will remind you all is not lost. To escape the uncompromising battering that Old Man Winter has layed on each and every one of us.

Frightened Rabbit-The Midnight Organ Fight
Rockie Fresh-Electric Highway
The Hold Steady-Boys and Girls in America
Panda Bear-Person Pitch
Surfer Blood-Astro Coast
Band of Horses- Cease to Begin
Japandroids-Post Nothing
Deniro Farrar-Just in Case the World Ends

Sol Invictus

Artist: Bolo Nef
Album: Sol Invictus
Rating: 4.6/5.0
Download: http://underworlddustfunk.bandcamp.com/album/sol-invictus

Sol Invictus is a pharmaceutical vortex of beats and feelings. The meditative tones carefully cradle introverted, spiritual and resolutely desolate lyrics. These are the sounds playing as an ancient Samurai bladesmith crafts a flawless and honorable sword. Rhythmically folding and pounding the white hot Tamahagane, shrouded, inhaling and exhaling an undetermined murky haze. Or an astronaut wandering thoughtfully and aimlessly on a sandy dune in a vacant desert planet several galaxies away. An album made for the past, and the future, and no time in particular.

Listen: http://underworlddustfunk.bandcamp.com/track/mud

My Name is My Name

Artist: Pusha T
Album: My Name is My Name
Rating: 5.0/5.0
Download: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/my-name-is-my-name/id706222334

Pusha T contains a maniacal confidence. It is ruthless. Equal parts infectious and poignant.  Every word delivered is teeming with excitement, regret…anger and remorse. The who album propels forward with an immense velocity, an enduring climb. Always building. Aforementioned confidence isn’t a generic and unwarranted arrogance either. Sure, there’s expressed certainty in his superiority for both rapping and selling coke but there is also conviction in his weaknesses. A deep and reoccurring repentance.

This contradiction lends itself to an engaging narrative style of rapping, the intimacy of stories told around a camp fire, on a dark and wintry night. Hearing charming, time old tales of coke stashes bigger than mountains and more burner phones than pebbles of sand on a beach.  I’ve listened to My Name is My Name 12 times all the way through and feel like I still haven’t come close to scratching the surface, each listen unearths new intricacies. An immediate candidate for album of the year. Favorite two songs below:

Repave

Artist: Volcano Choir
Album: Repave
Rating: 4.8/5.0
Download: https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/volcano-choir/id445959577

There’s a certain brilliant malaise that is unique to a Monday.  A characteristic that is not necessarily exclusive to Monday’s, however the degree and regularity of that sentiment on that particular day of the week is a phenomenon unlike any other.  All activity in the days prior become irrelevant, though certain circumstances can make it more miserable than usual.  Ineptitude and futility are the primary personality traits examined. There’s a certain elevated awareness, though frustrating…as it functions only to enhance the ability to notice things that annoy. The lingering day dreams are somewhat enjoyable, though also contribute to ultimate ineffectiveness.

It is important to find an asylum on days like these. Repave functions as that. Allowing the slow welcoming piano, guitar strokes and hollow voice to provide shelter. Getting contentedly lost in the calming lyrics seemed to somehow mercifully expedite the passage of time.

An amazing donation of thoughts to nothing in particular.