Today is 8/8/18. Some will probably attempt to look at it like there’s something special about it but no, it’s just a date. Just get back to work, leech off of your family, grind on what you’ve been doing, or handle whatever hustle you’ve been on. End of story. Well, not literally the end of the story but if you’re reading this, you know what my point is here…if I actually had one.
I think we’re at a point where we can talk about it right? Soundcloud is still a factor in our world and I hope it continues to be one simply for the fact that it’s used as a tool by artists for the musical output and for listeners, like myself, to discover uncharted waters. Everyone associates Soundcloud with its Hip-Hop poster-boy, artist-done-good Chance The Rapper but there’s still a lot more on the web that hasn’t yet surfaced. I was listening to something the other day about how some producers try to focus on the 10 to 20 top artists that are out there. With the explosion of the internet, there are millionaire independent artists that many don’t focus on. Many are completely oblivious to it and how platforms like this one can allow an artist a shot at independent stardom.
FLY ANAKIN AND BIG KAHUNA – LIFE & TIMES OF BIG FLY (MUTANT ACADEMY)
This allows a segway to a new find here in Fly Anakin and Big Kahuna OG, both of whom are part of the Mutant Academy label based out of Richmond, Virginia but are establishing themselves as a couple of emcees with much to say. The two recently released a collaborative effort entitled Life & Times Of BigFly, which is a 5-song effort that’s probably not long enough for anyone to make an effective dissection of sound and lyricism. But I will here. Life & Times has 3 different production credits here but it doesn’t seem to matter because it flows seamlessly with both emcees rapping effortlessly on top. Opening with its “Anthrax,” as production goes to Gray Matter, who’s also part of the Mutant Academy fam, his heavy-handed beat is juxtaposed with sweet piano work. Big Kahuna OG has a strong delivery wrapping quick-witted words around that backdrop of sound, and while Fly Anakin’s delivery isn’t as in-your-face, his role shouldn’t be looked passed, as his cadence shows far more originality when he spits. This one track alone will peak interest as you let the rest of the album play. You’ll be happy you did too. “Riot Gear (Prod. By Ohbliv)” holds an old-school jazzy Hip Hop vibe to it while “F.M.K. (Prod. By ewonee) is a bit more flows freely, almost reminiscent of a last-minute freestyle joint pieced together, but there’s more control here, as the emcees let the beat ride out until it closes. But it’s back to business with “On Retainer (feat. Monday Night & 3Way Slim, Prod. By ewonee)” as you get that full-frontal assault here. Monday Night & 3Way Slim hold their own with Fly and Big, with all four emcees forcefully attacking with venom in their words. Closing out with “Talk In Code (Prod. By Ohbliv),” we find the dynamic duo spitting over a sparse backdrop that turns these inner city sounding denizens into art-rap rockers. It’s obvious here; throw on any kind of beat and these two will dismantle it, making it their own! In honesty, one would hope Life & Times Of BigFly held more tracks because only five songs from Fly Anakin and Big Kahuna OG…it just isn’t enough. This is just that good.
SPURV – MYRA (FYSISK FORMAT)
I never pretend or feign knowledge of something I have absolutely no idea about. Even less about anything regarding the Norwegian Spurv, an instrumental post-rock sextet that many might be quick to ignore but shouldn’t. Myra marks the sophomore release by the Norwegian group, and it’s first release since the band’s 2015 full-length debut, Skarntyde. I’m as frugal as they come so it’s no problem on my end to make comparisons here, although as post-rock instrumentalism goes, Spurv has set the bar pretty high for itself, only sharing the little bit of oxygen in the atmosphere with a couple of contemporaries. I’ll get to that in a moment though. As I’ve mentioned, Spurv is a sextet so having a number of musicians handling a variety of sound on this release works in the group’s favor. Myra’s “songs” shouldn’t simply be looked at as a matter of your standard verse-chorus-verse structure but rather, as movements because the underlying feel is more classical in nature. Spurv throws caution to the wind to piece together something more…elegant, that does more than splatter instrumentation across a blank canvas. On Myra you’d be hard pressed to favor one track over another, instead, everyone will be willing to listen to each track one right after the other. Repeatedly. Myra opens ominously with the 43 second “et løfte i fall” before exploding into “Og ny skog bæres frem,” moving at a mid tempo speed but powerful. But honestly, every song seems to captivate with that same dynamic, regardless of how slow or fast it moves but the masterful closing track “allting får sin ende, også natten” that astounds. It bounces back and forth from haunting to a catastrophic metallic grind that works in the band’s favor. Never have I heard something so evocative since, dare I say, Mogwai. Yes, it’s a comparison in the best way. Myra is just that good.