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Curated by Ricardo Miguel Vieira

CANNIBAL OX ARE BACK WITH “BLADE OF THE RONIN”

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In the same week that Fact handed to Cannibal Ox’s debut record The Cold Vein (2001) the top spot in their 100 best indie hip-hop records of all time, Harlem duo Vast Aire (Theodore Arrington) and Vordul Megalah (Shamar Gardner) streamed their new album Blade of the Ronin ahead of its official release next week.

The second studio record bridges up a fourteen-year hiatus since Jux Definitive label put out the abstract, experimental record that ascended to cult status in the subsequent years. In their argument about their choice on The Cold Vein, Fact highlighted that the underground record actually wasn’t perceived as such a genre-bustling album for years to come, and only in recent times has El-P’s masterfully produced score been perceive by the critics as an head-of-its-time work.

Although Blade of Ronin had Bill Cosmiq and Black Milk as the cut-and-paste producers, the sound keeps flowing within the experimental layers synthesised beats. MF Doom, Elzhi (Slum Village), U-God (Wu-Tang Clan) are some of the bars-droppers present in the album.

Blade of Ronin is officially released on March 2 and will be available worldwide by the next day. Below is the full stream available for pre-released listening.

NEW WAVE NEW YORK

The world is fucked, the city is gone.

When MC Wiki of New York noise-rap collective Ratking spat those bars on ‘Protein’ from last year’s So It Goes LP, it struck a chord with listeners who felt that the Big Apple has been rotting in recent years and a younger generation that feels shortchanged by their city.

Native NYC youth are pissed off with the post-9/11 disappearance of the ‘gritty old’ city thanks to the policies of an establishment with a dull and sanitised vision of what New York should become. This process manifests itself in fast-paced gentrification, police brutality, the snubbing-out of local communities and the loss of diversified cultural and artistic scenes – ultimately squashing the city’s identity. This peaked when Taylor Swift – a recent import to NY – was crowned as the city’s ‘welcome ambassador,’ galvanising the grass roots to stand up against the corporate selling-out of NYC

Roy Vlcek, a 20-year-old Tribeca local has seen this wilful mischaracterisation of NYC since his childhood and came to the conclusion that art was the only weapon to restore the city’s long-held living idiosyncrasies. Without a budget and just a $350-rented camera, the young writer, filmmaker and student at Columbia University went out to give a platform to the city’s voiceless and gave birth to the New Wave New York (NWNY) project.

NWNY is a set of video interviews with young New York artists – from Brooklyn to Manhattan, from Harlem to Upper West Side – who vent their resentments towards New York and share their inspirations, motivations and mind-set. The series is paving the way to a soon-to-be-released short documentary, featuring the city’s brightest young creatives alongside defining cultural figures like Wu-Tang Clan’s Raekwon.

I spoke to Roy to find out more about the project and his beef with the Big Apple. It’s on Huck Magazine.

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ARTIST DAN MCPHARLIN’S TRIBUTE TO EARLY SYNTHESIZERS

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Art: Dan McPharlin

Australian artist Dan McPharlin has a deep interest in the sci-fi scene. He’s works in 2D and 3D design and illustration ranges from portraits of infinite, unparalleled universes’ to maquetes of technological paraphernalia of endless languages, knobs of variant electrical frequencies, buzzing sounds and unreachable-by-head numbers of binary instructions.

His latest showcase is a set of hand-made miniature sculptures homaging the early electronic recording equipment and synthesizers that paved the way to the continuous evolution of sound manipulating apparatus. Framing matt-boards, paper, plastic sheets, strings and rubber bands, are the materials featured in the 3D compositions.

Back in May, art and culture magazine Juxtapoz highlighted McPharlin’s drawings of far-flung planets and surreal landscapes, which ended up as album art in music records of Prefuse 73 and Pretty Lights. Music and the complexity of what’s beyond our planet are concatenated in the Aussie’s artist portfolio.

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(Source: Juxtapoz)

“BKWYA” BY WATI HERU X KASHAKA

Videographer: Tanner W. Jarman

“BKWYA”‘s really sticks to the mind and ears. It is a minimalistic, buzz-dragging beat by Brooklyn’s producer Kashaka followed by a drowsy, loose flow by also Brooklyneer emcee Wati Heru. This is the first single of Heru’s upcoming LP Dystopia FM, due March, and it sounds like a darkish night, unsettling night in NY’s most populous borough.

Source: Mass Appeal

 

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE FRESH DRESSED?

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The answer lays back in the 1980’s as hip-hop, connected with b-boying and breakdancing, fostered a new cultural movement that shifted from the ghettos and slums to city center’s and worldwide.

Multinational clothing brands saw the earning’s potential of such movement and came closer to the people bonded to street culture. One those companies actually started giving out free clothing to the street kids so the brand could evolve with a linkage to hip-hop culture.

The history of fashion and hip-hop and it’s social evolution is the premise of graffiti historian, journalist and hip-hop analyst Sacha Jenkins documentary Fresh Dressed: The Revolution of Fashion Born On The Streets, which debuted last January in Sundance Film Festival.

The documentary features two-cents by Kanye West, Andre Leon Tally, Riccardo Tischi, Dapper Dan, from Harlem, and one of the founders of the Lo Lifes, Thurston Howell III.

The documentary will be aired on CNN in 2015.

Source: Mass Appeal