Tek.lun – The Green Box [EP]
I’d think Tek.lun toted a decade’s experience given his winning streak. The producer understands what’s worth sharing with the world, as lags in his expanding catalog are increasingly difficult to discover. Based in Maryland, he first snatched my attention with “Hip-Hop (Interlude),” a crown jewel in DMV rapper GoldLink’s electro-infused debut, The God Complex. Since, Tek has gone on to drop stellar song after stellar song, offering originals and reworks that each generate SoundCloud streams in the 10s of thousands.
I can’t deny his consistency, nor would I. Tek.lun’s innocently titled EP, The Green Box, removes any strand of doubt I may or may not have had (I had no such thing, but that’s not the point here). “Heart In Mind” initiates the head nods in a matter of seconds with smooth synth grooves and a sampling of interchangeable vocal tones, among other things. As if acknowledging the growing concern many fans feel toward atmospheric music (re: it all blends together), he levels off his beat — creating a low-lying plane — before hurling a handful of sounds in alternating slots. “Boredom” is one word you won’t expect to see in the same sentence as The Green Box. Oh, and he throws Big Sean samplings into the mix for good measure. Suffice to say, this tape is worth a download. Tell your friends and join the party. – Alex Siber
You can download the EP here.
Ethereal – Blackli$t [EP]
Whether Ethereal samples bits and pieces of the Pete Rock-produced classic, “The World Is Yours,” on his latest project’s intro, he still cements an inviting vibe from the jump. Blackli$t, the Awful Records rapper’s respectable, seven-song effort, is an entirely self-produced affair. His sleepy demeanor on the tape’s cover (seen above) does more than a solid job at indicating just what you’re in for: drowsy introspection.
His words, already swathed in a natural mellowness, ooze along with the lo-fi viscosity of a number of ‘li$t‘s beats. I’d advise against taking this short project on during the evening’s later hours — you might just nod off if you’re alone — but it’s damn near designed for smooth, moonlit cruises, so feel free to test those waters on your own. And beneath the lackadaisical deliveries are laudable rhymes — any mixtape with the line “Pull up on ya blasting Black Sabbath” earns a positive evaluation from this writer.
Though it might become tiresome to revisit after a few thorough listens, Blackli$t emphasizes Ethereal’s delicate sonic palette. His artisanship comes in the form of reservation, which he achieves rather well here. Can someone secure an album from that Alexandria girl though? She sings like a somber Beyonce on the final song, even when sounding like she’s crooning in a chamber room. – Alex Siber
You can download the EP here.
MoGiLLaH – social life [Album]
Mogillah has blessed our online archives since 2012, so we always feel a surge of heartwarming excitement when the producer returns with new material. The traditionalist is far from just that, putting clever twists on odes to yesteryear. Start-stop boom bap and Biggie samples fill this record’s running time, recreating an older era without the usual regurgitation.
“it’s always sunny in brooklyn” is one such song that nods at Wallace, borrowing from The Notorious B.I.G.’s “N*ggas Bleed.” Mogillah superimposes the late legend’s smooth flows over wavy, tropical strings. Simply put, this seven-song project clocks in under 13 minutes, a swift refresher to relax nerves and recollect about the glory years (I was born in ’94, so my glory years don’t exactly coincide with Big’s heyday but ah well). Enjoy your mind with some help from Mr. Mogillah. – Alex Siber
You can download the project here.