Album Review: Poolside, Pacific Standard Time

Posted in Album Review, Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on Tuesday, April 16, 2013 by Eric Gilardi

Poolside PacificStandardTime

Greatness in the most subtle form is “pure blissfulness”. Poolside, an electronic duo based out of Los Angeles, has done just that; made an album that equates to “pure blissfulness”. If you have never heard the delicate electronic music, from Filip Nikolic and Jeff Paradise, that has you wishing you were sipping a mojito poolside. Then take a gander over to that oversized lounger and order yourself a mojito. Their debut album, Pacific Standard Time, starts off real mellow and real instrumental. “Tulsa” lets you in, gets you comfy and gets you ready for the rest of what is to transpire over the course of the next 68 and a half minutes. Let me tell you, it won’t seem like that long once you drift away in this great and magical album.

The second track, “Next to You”, is an upbeat electronic jam with a chorus that is heavy on harmonic melody. Even when the harmonized lyrics are not being sung, you can still hear where they would fit in perfectly with the music.  In “Why You Wanna” they come at you with less harmony and a little more direction. Continue reading

The D.O.T.-How We All Lie

Posted in Life Perspectives from T.S. Niebeling, Mind Inversion Exclusive, Music News, News, Video with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on Friday, April 12, 2013 by tsn_

After Mike Skinner put The Streets to rest after 5 albums I didn’t think I would hear much from the bloke.  I waited for some time, and nothing…  I followed Skinner on his blog http://mikeskinner.so and watched for him to put out something new.  Nothing happened…  I mean, there were some new posts and interesting photos, and words, but no music.  And then-a few months back, I became aware that I was literally on Mike Skinner’s personal emailing list.  A message popped up from one of my favorite anti-mainstream mainstream artists.  I had received an email from the man as if he had risen from the grave.  I was bestowed upon some great and inspiring new sound.  Kaboom!

And here it is in video form incase you missed it.  (above)

This catchy tune takes a few listens to warm up to.  You know I am crazy, so I sat around all day banging this shit out on loud, macbook style.  My GF got a little mad, by the end I was singing along (out of tune of course) and getting scolded.  I felt I knew the song and the artist a little more, I felt there was promise in this new material.  May I say I am a bit excited for the full length album?  I felt the video was entertaining (I had heard about this filming technique in Boulder, CO).  After listening to this song, and viewing the innovative video, I realized that what The D.O.T. was doing was actually pretty good.  I felt the same emotion that I had gotten from a lot of The Streets’ albums after the first and second listen, “Cult classic, not bestseller”.  But sales don’t matter, the sound is important, and this song is very catchy and has an incredibly memorable melody.  I woke this morning singing the chorus.

Before this message from Mike Skinner, I had little knowledge of The D.O.T., I assumed Skinner produced the songs.  I had no idea who the singer was.  So let me fill you in:

The D.O.T. Official Website

They have some interesting videos, venue tickets, downloadable songs, and other merchandise.

The D.O.T. project’s site is visually appealing and artsy, while remaining easy to navigate.

In all honesty I love how abstract and collectively cool Skinner is overall; most (universally), if not all of The Streets’ material is exceptionally well made, as Chuck Klosterman wrote-he (Skinner) is ‘advanced’ as an artist.  The music he puts out is real and relatable, there is an essence of humanity within his lyrics and delivery.  Also, Rob Harvey, of The Music, sounds great on vocals, and harmonizes well with Skinner.  At times I feel that Skinner wants to put more vocals into the song; however, it sounds pleasant the way it is presented.

Happily I am intrigued and I want to hear more.  If you could hook it up with a free CD, Mr. Skinner, that would be excellent, pre-release if possible???  Thanks.

Watch out for The D.O.T.’s new album “Diary” due to drop May 6, 2013.

Because Geezers truly need excitement.

R.I.P. Gavin Theory (January 30, 1985 – April 10th, 2012)

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on Wednesday, April 10, 2013 by Tim Althaus

G

I’ll still never forget the first time I actually met Gavin and had an in-depth musical conversation with him. Gavin was with Lucas Dix, and they were performing a Hip-Hop show at a local bar in my hometown; to be clear, this was well before Lucas & Gavin moved out to Portland.

Having an entire family that is from Kenosha, Wisconsin, I was able to find some sort of common ground with both Lucas and Gavin almost instantly, but (no offense Lucas because you know I love your music) Gavin was the producer, and I was more interested in picking his brain. I remember having an intense discussion where we talked about everyone from J Dilla to El-P, and I was able to take a sneak peek into the mind of a genius. People have always said, “be confident, but never cocky”, and upon meeting Gavin, it’s possible that people (myself included) mistook the extreme confidence that he exuded for cockiness, but in all reality, he is one of the most humble dudes I ever met.

When I listen to Escaping Stasis I’m still blown away by everything that Gavin was able to accomplish on the boards before he started using the MPC; the ethereal quality of his music is incredible – and it always has been. The first time I listened to Edifice I was completely blown away; I couldn’t believe the sounds that I was hearing. It was almost as if Pete Rock and El-P had a love child, and Gavin’s production was the bi-product. Gavin laced Edifice with spacey synths and even more sublime samples – the stuff I love. In his short time with the MPC 2500XL, it seems as though he was able to master the machine that turned regular, ordinary men into legends, and it’s unfortunate knowing that I’ll never be able to see just how far he could have pushed the boundaries of Hip-Hop by punching the pads.

In remembrance of G-Theory’s passing, Lucas Dix let this brilliant gem loose that features Sandpeople crew member IAME. The track – “Po’est Pimpin” – contains one of the last beats that Gavin ever made, and it has his signature sounds succinctly spread all over the soundscape. Me and Lucas were discussing this beat, and although it’s a toned down version of what Gavin was capable of, we both agreed that anything Gavin made was truly exceptional.

Album Review: Tyler, The Creator, Wolf

Posted in Album Review with tags , , , , , on Tuesday, April 2, 2013 by Dylan Isensee

TylerTheCreatorWolf

I would assume that you probably know who Odd Future is by now, and if you don’t know who they are, then I would assume you’ve been living under a rock for the past five years. Tyler, The Creator dropped his third album, Wolf, today, and you can say I’ve been looking forward to it. I listened to both Bastard and Goblin a ton, and Wolf will also be getting regular rotation from me. Tyler’s music seems to get better the more I listen to it. I’ll admit the first time I heard “Bastard” I didn’t really like it, but the more I listened to it the more I liked it.

Odd Future is known for having graphic material in their songs; Bastard and Goblin both had a lot of songs about murder and rape, and while Wolf definitely has it’s fair share of outrageous lyrics, Tyler has toned it down a little bit. He has definitely moved away from the ridiculous shock raps and the “fuck everybody” punk attitude. The themes that show up on Wolf include dealing with fame and success, girl problems, having an absent father, and his career thus far. His flows are all pretty nice on this album. When it comes to the beats, Tyler has stepped his production game up – a lot. The whole album is entirely produced by him, and the beats sound great. His production style is very unique and he’s definitely created his own sound.

The single off the album “Domo 23” has Tyler bragging over mischievous horns, while the following track “Answer” is much darker with Tyler longing for his late grandmother and absent father over a relaxed guitar track and bright organs. “IFHY” is one of my favorite songs on this album. Tyler talks about his conflicted love interest over a dark organ track which evolves into electric synthesizers while the darkness is continued in the bass and drums. “Rusty” is the standout track on this album. The beat almost sounds like something RZA would’ve done in the 90’s, and Tyler’s verse is on point. He basically gives all of his critics a big “fuck you” and finishes off his verse with “Fuck buying studio time, I’ma go purchase a shrink/ record the session and send all you motherfuckers a link”.

While Tyler’s production is better than it’s ever been, his rhyming hasn’t really gotten any better. He’s definitely not a bad rapper, and it’s good that he’s moved away from the rape and murder, but his rhymes aren’t any better than they were on Goblin. With that being said the album still has some of the best songs he’s ever written. There are several tracks really dive deep into his personal matters, and “Rusty” is one of his best lyrical performances to date.

Overall, Wolf is a beautiful sounding album. The production is beyond great, and rather than venting his anger like Bastard or Goblin, Tyler has opened the doors to show off the talent behind his music.

7.5/10

Step Brothers (Evidence x Alchemist) Will Release Lord Steppington in 2013

Posted in Album Update, Video with tags , , , , on Friday, January 4, 2013 by Tim Althaus

First off, let me say that I can’t believe I’m writing this post; this project had almost reached Detox status for me.I realize that both of these dudes have been extremely busy over the last couple of years, but damn…

I feel as though all of my Hip-Hop prayers have been answered. I just peeped this video the other day on Ev’s twitter, and it got my super excited. I’ve been waiting for an Evidence and Alchemist full-length since they mentioned their Step Brothers project back in 2009. What makes this project even more special? It’s being released through Rhymesayers Entertainment – talk about dope. There are a few assumptions that I can make about Lord Steppington: First, the beats are going to be raw;  the equivalent of having your skin scraped off after a fall on the pavement. Second, the album is going to be chocked full of humor; we all know that Evidence and Alchemist are hilarious dudes.

Here’s a little taste of what to expect:

Mind Inversion Exclusive: Lucas Dix Weighs in on Hip-Hop in 2012

Posted in Year in Review with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on Thursday, December 27, 2012 by Tim Althaus

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Top 10 Albums (no particular order)
Kendrick Lamar: Good Kid, m.a.a.d. City
“Swimming Pools (Drank)”

Kendrick Lamar has the Outkast factor.  I can listen to his songs, intently focusing on the lyrics while getting lost in the scenes he vividly describes, or I can zone out, not pay attention to what he’s saying and dance to the beat while singing along with the incredibly infectious hooks.  GKMC feels like 3 Stacks and Big Boi rolling through Compton with Caine and O-Dog from Menace II Society.

Standout Tracks:  Money Trees, Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe, The Art of Peer Pressure, Swimming Pools (Drank), The Recipe Continue reading

Timoteo’s 2012 Year In Review

Posted in Year in Review with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on Tuesday, December 25, 2012 by Tim Althaus

Me and Hansen

Is it really that time of year again? I have no idea where 2012 went; it seems like it was just January a few short months ago. In this seemingly short year, there has been a slew of superb releases – especially in the Hip-Hop realm. Like I’ve always said, making a year-end list is no simple task, and it’s inevitable that someone (or a lot of people) will disagree with my choices; however, opinions are unique to each individual, and we are all entitled to our own. If you feel the need to voice your opinion, leave a comment in the C-Section.

Continue reading

Jellyfish Brigade: The Art of Being Pulled Apart 

Posted in Album Update, Media with tags , , , , on Thursday, December 6, 2012 by Tim Althaus

The Art of Being Pulled Apart

Let me tell you, it’s been one hell of a hectic day filled with slightly overwhelming obstacles, but I’ve come out victorious, and now I get to listen to Jellyfish Brigade’s new EP – The Art of Being Pulled Apart. I posted the lead single – “The Character is Me” – last week, and now we’re getting the full three track EP.

Here’s what the guys had to say about The Art of Being Pulled Apart:

“The Art of Being Pulled Apart is a short story about the heart, mind, body and soul drifting in separate directions and how we must inevitably pull our different selves back together. By intertwining tales from the river, love notes from distant cities, and fears of the unknown, we created a project that explores the breakdown process and the beauty in getting a chance to reassemble one’s self after a life changing experience. This collection of songs is influenced as much by campfire folk tunes and early 90’s R&B as it is story telling hip hop and melodic electronic beats. Its setting is somewhere in the Columbia River Gorge on a highway during a Sunday evening sunset. It touches on recognizing each person’s individuality while also realizing our tiny place in the collective. It jovially compares our fate to that of the salmon, who spend the autumn traveling back home to their demise. I guess, in short, we make honest, heartfelt songs about love, life and nature, all of which we enjoy deeply.”

I am completely blown away by all three of the tracks on this project, and it’s making me crave a full-length effort from these guys. As I mentioned in my post about “The Character is Me”, Lucas Dix is showing a great deal of vocal dexterity on Jellyfish Brigade’s new material, and it’s fascinating to watch him grow as he realizes his full potential as an artist. With every release the water becomes a little bit clearer for Jellyfish Brigade; however, something else becomes evident: The smack is growing, and it’s only gaining more momentum.

You can jump over to Jellyfish Brigade’s website and download the EP for free.99 here.

Jellyfish Brigade, “The Character is Me”

Posted in Audio, Media with tags , , , , , on Thursday, November 29, 2012 by Tim Althaus

jellyfish brigade photo by Amanda Barber

I woke up knowing that today was going to be a special day for one reason in particular: it’s Jellyfish season. You definitely heard me right, the smack is back, and they’ve got a lead single from their forthcoming project The Art of Being Pulled Apart – which drops on December 6th.

I’ve been craving new material from Mr. Dix & Mr. Acciaioli since they dropped Gills and a Helmet and Sunflowers last year, and “The Character is Me” is exactly what I’ve been waiting for.

Propelled by The Great Mundane’s mesmerizing melodies, Dix spits an eye opening retrospective and philosophical narrative about his life experiences in the Midwest and how they’ve shaped him into the man that he is today living in Portland:

” I think that I’ve learned the simplest things last/every situation ain’t a riddle or ink splat/As a teacher I can spot the shittiest mishaps/and know just what to say to make a miserable kid laugh/a warrior/a worrier/performing like a mourning bird chirping to the chords of a Wurlitzer”

If you know Lucas Dix, then you know he loves Andre 3000 because he’s such a versatile emcee. When I listen to “The Character is Me”, the influence of Three Stacks is ubiquitous; not only does Dix deliver vivid verses, but he boldly steps out of his comfort zone and defiantly delivers the track’s hook. In doing so, he expands his vocal dexterity as an artist – something that even Andre 3000 could definitely respect.

Pac Div feat. Blu & Kendrick Lamar – “Cross Trainers”

Posted in Audio with tags , , , , on Wednesday, November 7, 2012 by Dylan Isensee

Pac Div keeps it West Coast with Blu and Kendrick for this Swiff D produced track, which will be on their November 27 release “GMB.”