Haruki or Takashi? The former has a thing for cats. So, him. Time travel. Lucid dreaming. Shifting reality. Words and stories. Made In Heights read The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle and made a song.
Kublakai is back with a new album (KUBI ZOO coming early next year), a new single (“The Only Dance There Is” which you can stream below) and some new merch (that’s his adorable little penguin avatar on the hoodie above). At the risk of turning this post into a full-blown promotional for the underground rapper, I’ll also say if you’re into gonzo-style, free-associative press emails, then hit the man up to get on his distribution list. You won’t be sorry.
PhilHarmonic was one part of the two-man local crew called Superfire who, back in early 2011, submitted the soulful joint “Searchin” to this blog’s TRACKMEET competition. The other half of that duo is a cat named Elan Wright who now makes moves with Sol’s production team The Zillas. These boys all growed up now and Phil has moved on to solo work. Drones is his latest project and it gets blessed by former partner Elan and the lyrical stylings of Rebel and Kung Foo Grip.
In partnership with Jae Change (whom you would recognize as Know Choice), 206UP.COM dips its pinkie toe into the wild waters of video interviews. Seattle’s The Flavr Blue sat down with us in the green room at NYC’s Mercury Lounge mere minutes before wheels up on stage. Thanks to them for the time!
You’ll see that I don’t appear in the video. That was by design. Jae and I are still developing my on-camera persona, which will likely end up being some combination of David Letterman, Nardwuar and Psy. It would’ve been wrong to subject Lace, Parker and Hollis to that kind of cult-of-personality just before performing.
Nu Era recently dropped a three-piece called A Start 2 The Beginning and it’s tight as fuck. Preview below and throw some change at the quartet for the tracks.
I expose my deepest darkest secrets and most aspirational dreams with B-Dub and Shao Sosa, your loyal weekly purveyors of that good Pacific Northwest rap shit.
Really tho, thanks to Razor Tongue Radio for having me on. Never thought I’d be asked to give my opinions on Seattle rap in a radio interview format, but it was definitely a lot of fun. Stay up on RTR at their official (yet still under construction) website, here.
You know that shirtless dude with the trumpet who’s always wildin’ out on stage and in videos with Macklemore and Ryan Lewis? That’s Owuor Arunga, unsung hero of team M&RL. He’s got a new self-produced single called “Black As They Come” featuring MC Dadabass. It’s rich, worldly and well-composed. Check for it below.
NEW MUSIC: “Keys” – Deniro Farrar, Gucci Mane, Nacho Picasso, & Mack Shine (prod. by Blue Sky Black Death)
Blue Sky Black Death recruit the dark side of the rap force for “Keys”: Deniro Farrar, Gucci, Nacho, and Mack Shine. This is sulfur, charcoal and potassium nitrate with BSBD as the casing.
Cloud-trap. Or something like that. Cam The Mac with Petty Pro on production here. “Lord” goes good with a late night smoke session. Or so I’m told.
Winner of a past edition of THE TRACKMEET, rapper Araless hit the 206UP inbox with his new track “Attention” (produced by Bellingham’s Goldenbeets). Boom bap with clear reference points for hip hop heads (check that Brother Ali flow in the second verse). I like this.
Heads will turn and nod upon the release of Digital Wildlife, the new album from The Physics — set your calendar reminders for December 13. The group has billed the record’s heavy electronic influences as a deviation from their normal sound, but I respectfully disagree. It’s true that early drops like “Am I Crazy?” and “Fix You” are variations in sonics, but the whole of Digital Wildlife retains that classic Physics composure heads have become accustomed to over the course of four stellar albums now. I think you could make the argument that they’ve been moving in this direction for a while. DW is The Physics trying on a new vibe but finding that it already fits like a perfectly tailored suit. “Deviation” is the wrong word; “evolution” is more accurate.
Tacoma’s The Breaklites make rap kitsch and tongue-in-cheek Americana worship hella catchy on “Shine”. No small feat. Watch for I ❤ America coming this winter.
You might know Perry Porter as one half of Sleep Steady, the enigmatic duo that’s been making underground noise around Town for the last five years or so. Kings Only is Perry’s new solo EP and the rapper sounds the most self-assured he’s ever been. Vocal comparisons to Jay Z are a little lazy but not completely out of bounds (from a superficial standpoint anyway). Nay, Perry Porter seems like that rare cat who marches to the beat of his own inner metronome — definitely one to watch. Kings Only features production by the Supreme Sound Architects (BlackMic x The1storn x DJ Semaj).
Fresh off the internets today: A remix version of Ka.lil’s “Whiskey Mask”, featuring Grynch and Fatal Lucciauno. Check for Ka.lil’s Between Saturday Night & Sunday Morning here.
On the strength of his recent Eyes Open EP (and a very dedicated local fan base), Sol packed out the Showbox at the Market last Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving — that’s no small task. City Arts collaborated with the rapper for this short documentary piece on the making of Eyes Open.
Another You’re-Crazy-For-This-One! clip from Seattle court jester and verbal acrobat Sonny Bonoho. “Carry On”, the track, was produced by Trox.
Peta Tosh borrows four beats from Big K.R.I.T.’s 4evaNaDay instrumentals album for this brief mixtape, Thanks Krit.
Thaddeus David goes in a different sonic direction with the first drop from his upcoming Laws of Attraction. “Sarah’s Last” is a glance at the rapper’s more introspective side over an emotive track by SAT Beats.
Avatar Darko with a new video for “I Ain’t Even Tripping”, off his recent Boris The Blade EP.
[The image above was stolen from Bambu's Instagram feed on November 21. Kind of like how America was stolen from Natives that one time. Enjoy your meal and the football game. Also, this image will feature on a limited-edition t-shirt, on-sale tomorrow at Bam's online store. Show your solidarity by purchasing, here. Peace.]
Bellingham x Seattle hip hop band The Bad Tenants dropped a new video yesterday. “Not Quite Perfec” was directed by Knapp Bros. Studios and the track was produced by IG88. Shout-out to group member Casey G for sending me the video. And catch his group live at Nectar on January 4.
No frills here. Just four Northwest underground rap luminaries building in the studio and rapping in the booth. Thanks to DJ Able for hipping me to it, and watch for a new EP from Tulsi dropping January 1.
Made In Heights seems to get busiest during the Holiday season. Winter Pigeons found the first light of the internets in December three years ago. When we caught MIH’s first live show in Brooklyn last month, my fiancee described their music as “romantic”. I agree, and what better time of year for romance than the Holidays. “Pirouette” is a delicate ballad to curl up to.
The stark, striking new visual for Sol’s “Turn Me Loud” was directed by Ryan Hills. The rapper is headlining at Showbox at the Market tomorrow night, but unless you bought tickets earlier you won’t be going. Shit’s sold out, dunny. Purchase Sol’s recent Eyes Open EP here, and read 206UP.COM’s insightful interview with the globetrotting MC here.