Posts By Michael Russam

smoke dza

Smoke DZA – Dream.ZONE.Achieve

Smoke DZA – Dream.ZONE.Achieve R.F.C. Music Group: 2014 An ear for great beats has always been Smoke DZA’s not-so-secret weapon. None of his previous projects has demonstrated this to the same degree as Dream.Zone.Achieve, his latest album (that’s album, not…

madlib freddie gibbs

Madlib & Freddie Gibbs – Pinata

Madlib & Freddie Gibbs – Pinata Madlib Invazion: 2014 Piñata, the new collaborative album from Freddie Gibbs and Madlib, radiates nothing if not class, right down to the elegantly minimal cover art and uniformly one-word song titles. That word –…

pharrell

Pharrell – G I R L

Pharrell – G I R L Columbia: 2014 The fact that people care about G I R L, the new Pharrell Williams album, even a little is pretty incredible in and of itself. It follows In My Mind (2006), an…

com truise

Com Truise – Wave 1

Com Truise – Wave 1 Ghostly: 2014 Com Truise is a giver, at the very least. He might not have released a full-length of new material since 2011’s Glactic Melt, but his output since then has included an EP, a…

6c415430

Speedy Ortiz – Real Hair EP

Speedy Ortiz – Real Hair  EP Carpark: 2014 If you aren’t one of the people who was already wooed by Speedy Ortiz’ debut as a full band last year, Major Arcana, here is a brief, slightly reductive breakdown: Imagine the…

tree

Tree – The @MCTreeG EP

Tree – The @MCTreeG EP Scion AV: 2014 Tree’s Sunday School II: When Church Lets Out was not only one of last year’s finest hip-hop releases, but also one of the most unique. He further refined his signature “soul-trap” sound–a…

sean-price-m-phazes-land-of-the-crooks

Sean Price & M-Phazes – Land of the Crooks

Sean Price & M-Phazes - Land of the Crooks Coalmine Records: 2013 On last year’s Mic Tyson, NY knuckle-head Sean Price brought exactly what he always does and exactly what fans of grimy street rap wanted and expected; gruff, artfully nuance-free bars…

7-days-of-funk-cover

7 Days of Funk – 7 Days of Funk

7 Days of Funk - 7 Days of Funk Stones Throw: 2013 To say the g-funk that helped propel Snoop Dogg to fame in the early ’90s influenced the retro-futuristic grooves that Dam-Funk has been crafting for years would be slightly disingenuous. But it…

samiyam-wish-you-were-here

Samiyam – Wish You Were Here

Samiyam - Wish You Were Here Leaving Records: 2013 He might not have quite the same outsized sonic personality as darkly somber stoner Gaslamp Killer, wigged-out space cadet Ras G, or psych-jazz auteur Flying Lotus, but Samiyam has more than proved…

lorange-stik-figa-the-city

L’Orange & Stik Figa – The City Under The City

L’Orange & Stik Figa - The City Under The City Mello Music Group: 2013 In a recent interview about the creation of their collaborative The City Under the City, producer L’Orange and Kansas City spitter Stik Figa described the album as…