The beat miner from down under Inkswel just released his new conceptualized album The Snaglepuss: Chasing Infinity (Cosmocities Records) and it seems no stone was left unturned. The album features an assortment of featured artists, opening with the golden aged “Let It Grow” featuring Talib Kweli, Erin, Buku & Baba Israel. But the album also includes the innovative Dudley Perkins, Lee Scratch Perry, Amp Fiddler, Oliver Night, and so many others. The album is a galactic odyssey of sound, with space jams that reach much further than Terra Firma. This is Hip-Hop mixed with jazzy soul and Boom-Bap deliveries and it’s worth digging into.
Sit back, relax and just wait for the weather to get warmer because that’s when all the summertime hits are released. That’s what we like to tell ourselves anyway. The weather makes way for sunshine, sandy beaches, and pool parties, far away from slush-covered urban streets and dead leaves falling from trees. Occasionally though, some move quicker than others, jumping in front of the line as Spring has sprung.
We once looked at central hubs like New York, L.A., Miami, and such for the tastemakers until we had to expand searches all across our continental U.S. of A. For some reason though, Canada is always an afterthought although there’s a healthy dose of artistry coming from our neighbors up north. Tossing in their proverbial hat into the ring is Busty And The Bass, an electro-soul and Hip-Hop outfit out of Montreal, all of whom first met while attending college. Eight of the original nine founding members continue to play within the group and including Nick Ferraro (vocals/sax) EvanCrofton (vocals/keys/synths), Scott Bevins (trumpet), Chris Vincent (trombone), Louis Stein (guitar), Milo Johnson (bass, Eric Haynes (keys/piano), and Julian Tivers (drums). And while the group has released material in the past, this time around Busty And The Bass collaborate with Philly rapper/emcee STS, also known as Sugar Tongue Slim.
The group has just released the genre-bending KARNEVAL EP (Arts & Crafts) filled with soaring vocal harmonies, rhymes, funky rhythms, and an assortment of brass & synths, walking a tightrope anywhere between Hip-Hop, soul, jazz, and R&B at any given moment. Given, each genre is specific on its own but collectively united.
Busty And The Bass & STS is selective on where each song may head. We can take “Memories About You (feat. Jordan Brown)” as an example where every nuance of the group’s being comes into play. The jazzy soulfulness is undeniable as Brown’s soft & alluring vocals float all across the musical backdrop. When he sings “I can’t make it on my own,” it isn’t in the literal sense as STS waxes poetic through the pain, the hurt, and confusion. It’s heady and emotional. It’s a mic drop moment, leaving no stone unturned lyrically and that’s not an easy task to achieve. But the group isn’t a one-trick pony, finding dance grooves within “Everything comes In Waves” with cascading guitars, an infectious rhythm, and cooing background vocals. STS kills it here, finding his own melody within rhymes. This, by any means necessary, should be the jam of the summer. It’s difficult because the explosive “Time Bomb (Devil’s Eyes),” the release’s bonus track, is a hard-hitting knocker that comes as a surprise. The group takes chances here, diverting from its course but it fits. Space is made for horn solos that are atmospheric, embellished with guitars.
The only complaint regarding KARNEVAL is probably its brevity. Yes, we end up knowing it was an 8-song EP but really, it should have been much longer to allow listeners more time for a greater exploration rate. Regardless, KARNEVAL is all too stunning.