Potholes In My Blog Cross-Post

REVIEW: Happy Belated – Chaz French

Chaz French - Happy BelatedChaz French
Happy Belated
Self-released (2014)

Score (Potholes In My Blog scale): 3 / 5

Chaz French is a blue-chip rap prospect from the Washington, D.C. area whose debut album, Happy Belated, has been making the requisite blog rounds for the last couple of weeks. And, while it’s mostly enjoyable hearing Chaz slam home vocal alley-oops over the production work of fellow upstarts — names like Kris Minor and Super Miles — Happy Belated ends up feeling more like 28 points scored on 10-for-thirty shooting, rather than an efficient use of the rapper’s obvious natural talent…

[Click here to continue reading.]

REVIEW: Yawn Zen – Mndsgn

Mndsgn - Yawn ZenMndsgn
Yawn Zen
Stones Throw (2014)

Score (Potholes In My Blog scale): 4 / 5

This album review was originally published on September 3, 2014 on Potholes In My Blog.

Mndsgn (or Mind Design, if you’re still scratching your head) is the latest in a long line of vowel-dropping producers to emerge from the Los Angeles beat scene, a fertile stomping ground for those electronically-minded, obsessively-curating crate diggers who find glorious voltaic release—and sometimes world renown—on the dank, nocturnal stages of Boiler Room and Low End Theory club showcases. Yawn Zen is Mndsgn’s official Stones Throw debut and it’s a generally pleasing, listenable excursion through the compositional tendencies of a cat with a genuinely compelling pedigree.

(Click here to continue reading.)

REVIEW: Barkada – The Bar

The Bar - BarkadaThe Bar
Beatrock Music; 2014

Score (Potholes In My Blog scale): 4 / 5

Prometheus Brown and Bambu are brothers musically, socially and ethnically. Their Barkada is party music with a revolutionary spirit. Check out my review for Potholes In My Blog.

REVIEW: Smell the DA.I.S.Y. – De La Soul

De La Soul - Smell the DAISYDe La Soul
Smell the DA.I.S.Y.
Self-released; 2014

Score (Potholes In My Blog scale): 4 / 5

De La Soul prepare for a big 2014 with the first of three planned releases: Smell the DA.I.S.Y., a free mixtape available via BitTorrent, is a reworking of classic De La raps over previously unreleased J Dilla instrumentals. It’s both charming for fans of the legendary rap crew and reverent to the late, great producer and his family. Read what else I had to say about it, here.

REVIEW: Cognitive Dissonance: Part One – Raz Simone

Raz Simone - Cognitive Dissonance coverRaz Simone
Cognitive Dissonance: Part One
Black Umbrella; 2014

Score (Potholes In My Blog scale): 4 / 5

Raz Simone’s first album since inking a deal with 300 Entertainment is an instant Northwest classic that also stands as tall as many of the best national releases of 2014. Read what else I had to say about it over at Potholes In My Blog.

REVIEW: Abrasions: Stitched Up – Apollo Brown & Planet Asia

Apollo Brown & Planet Asia - Abrasions Stitched UpApollo Brown & Planet Asia
Abrasions: Stitched Up
Mello Music Group; 2014

Score (Potholes In My Blog scale): 3 / 5

In which my 36 year-old man sensibilities kick in and realize they don’t make ‘em like Premier and RZA anymore (obvi). Read my review of Apollo Brown and Planet Asia’s new EP, Abrasions: Stitched Up, here.

REVIEW: Digital Wildlife – The Physics

The Physics - Digital WildlifeThe Physics
Digital Wildlife
Self-released; 2013

Score (Potholes In My Blog scale): 4 / 5

The Physics tackle one of the most relevant questions of modern-day music-making on their new album, Digital Wildlife: How does the digital realm affect our understanding of, and interaction with, the analog when it comes to recorded music? Click here to read my album review over at Potholes In My Blog.


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