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Monty "Nothing Wrong"

Over the last year or so, I've become a huge fan of Monty's material. Dude's just got this hypnotic neuro style that has me open each and every time he drops. Dropping on December 7 is his Spatia EP on Alix Perez's 1985 Music imprint, and to celebrate its release, they gave away this intoxicating number, "Nothing Wrong." This cut is only available on the vinyl version of the release, and is very necessary.

You can stream and download this one below.

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Trenton Makes: How 'Analog Trenton' is Capturing the Sound of the City

Heading out to Bill NobesDirty Old Robot Studio on a chilly fall evening can be downright scary. While some of the brightest stars in Trenton’s local music scene head down there to contribute to Nobes’ Analog Trenton project, you get the feeling that Nobes wants it that way.

The reason for my trek to this quiet part of Jersey was to see the punk-rock outfit PISSED! record a special version of their song “Hands Up” for Analog Trenton, a project that Nobes describes as “capturing the Trenton music scene in 100% analog.” Without understanding the scope of the project, I recall seeing images of the likes of Molly Rhythm and Black Collar Biz recording at spots like Champs in Trenton (as well as a special recording session during Art All Day 2018 at Trenton Coffee House & Records featuring Skelly, Nikki Nailbomb, Josh Adair, Bern the Bastard, and more) for this compilation, which aims to feature 30+ artists from a number of genres into this compilation that’s being pressed to vinyl (with CD and digital versions also being made available). Additional acts that have recorded for the project include Roebus One, DATA_WOLF, and Wade Wilson, among others.

Analog Trenton cover created by @BayronIllustration

Analog Trenton’s Indiegogo campaign is set to end on Black Friday (aka November 23, 2018); more than half of the $12,000 needed to complete the project has been raised, but they are still looking for funding. Perks for backers include everything from pre-ordering the vinyl, CD, and digital versions of the compilation to producer credits, chances to attend recording and mixing sessions, and more.

Amidst the theremin and Moog keyboards and tape decks and massive multi-track mixers sitting in the dining room area of Nobes’ home (“a real dorm room feel,” Nobes described), Bill shared the genesis of Analog Trenton. The concept for a compilation of this size started out roughly two years ago, around Thanksgiving while Bill was on his “way to Nikki (Nailbomb)'s birthday party at Abdul's. At that party it was just all musicians just playing to celebrate Nikki's birthday, together. It wasn't about anything other than that. I was like, ‘we should probably record this, this whole thing.’ I think that might be the first night I came up with the idea.”

Like many collaborative projects in the art and music scenes in Trenton, it snowballed from there. Nobes would speak about it to one person, and they’d be interested in the idea. Slowly, it morphed into the series of recording sessions that not only went down at Champs, but Trenton Coffee House & Records as well, that is numbering over 20 acts, and is set to wrap in late December of 2018.

This isn’t a project Bill dived into on his own, though; while it’s his vision, he recruited Nikki and Griff Sullivan to act as co-producers on Analog Trenton. They both are mainstays in the Trenton music scene, and help bringing in talented individuals that truly highlights what Trenton makes. “It's extremely important that we represent as much as we can the city of Trenton and all of its diversity,” Bill explained. “It wasn't just about what we like. It's about a true snapshot of what makes Trenton music right now. We have way more than will fit in a vinyl so what we're gonna do is sit down with the tracks and figure out which ones create that best snapshot.” Don’t fret; while the vinyl release might be limited to 20 or so artists, the CD version will add more acts, while the digital version of the compilation will feature everything recorded.

For music lovers, especially fans of music recorded before the dawn of the digital age’s impact on music, the idea of recording straight to analog might not be foreign. For those who just love a good song, it might be a tad confusing. Seeing Bill—a true renaissance man who’s done everything from directing his own stage plays to managing events in the New York and Hoboken scenes—in his element, guiding PISSED! through their roughly two-hour session, it’s an amazing sight to see. Bill’s doing everything, from troubleshooting instrument levels to picking the exact moment to stop the recording (hopefully those seconds of vocal+resonating cymbal sounds stay in the final version). There’s a sense of performance to his producing, with his ever-present hand signals at the start and end of each recording. Even if he’s just speaking aloud, making sure that all systems are go before pressing record, you get the sense that Bill has a particular way of producing, a true passion for committing the sound of Trenton to analog tape.

Bill’s also learning on the job. He shared his experience recording Jersey hip-hop luminary Roebus One and his unique way of recording vocals. “He did every third verse,” Bill explained, “and then he did two tracks fill in here, fill in here, fill in here. We had five levels of fill in.”

“When [Roebus] writes,” Bill continued, “he overlaps the words. When I was listening to some of his tracks, I was like ‘how are we going to do that in analog?’ We had him doing some crazy stuff for the final fills. At one point I had him stand eight feet away from the mic and yell stuff. Then the next one I put in a ribbon which is very sensitive and have him get right next to it and whisper.”

The spirit of experimentation is alive and well in his studio, although with PISSED!, the session was much more straightforward than you’d imagine for a bunch of Capital City punks. The four-man outfit began the session working out some of the changes in this special version of “Hands Up,” and after two run-throughs of the song in full, they laid down two takes on the song (which questions the issue of police brutality) before doing individual takes of each instrumental and vocals. Bill was always willing to try something new, making sure the musicians felt comfortable with their take before moving to the next step. It was collaborative, and fun; a truly welcoming environment to record in (or just be a fly-on-the-wall of).

In the end, Bill made sure to point out that while this compilation will highlight the sound of Trenton, Analog Trenton’s mission runs deeper than that. “[The] idea started as a snapshot of Trenton music,” Bill shared, “but it's turned into a snapshot of Trenton community.” He recalls one session where the family vibe of the scene was alive, with Nikki and company working on vocals while chilli was being served to those in the session. Anyone who’s worked near the art and music communities in Trenton have had that moment, where the family vibe of the scene makes these events about more than the music. It’s people coming together and building something, or just watching out for their peers. It’s the spirit of Trenton that gets lost in the salacious headlines about the city. It’s what true Trentonians (and those who’ve been adopted into this patchwork community) see, feel, and experience on the regular.

After PISSED! completed their session and took off into the November night, Bill and I parted ways. Stepping into the cool evening air, I felt like I’d truly experienced...something. Going to see music performed live can be a life-altering experience. Dropping by Dirty Old Robot and seeing a piece of Analog Trenton be constructed right before my eyes? It puts a different spin on the concept of live music, and more importantly, what makes up the Trenton music scene. For such a historic town, committing that excellence to analog tape is fitting, and should be a part of every true Trenton music scenseter worth their weight in pork roll.

Interested in contributing to Analog Trenton? Head over to their Indiegogo campaign page TODAY!
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Supper Club "Fall Back"

While he might be everpresent on IG, it feels like it's been forever since I've gotten new material from Fresh Daily. This week, he sent over "Fall Back," a cut from his new group, Supper Club. Story is, upon moving to Cali, Fresh would link up with fellow emcee Stanley Ipkuss and producer Chris Keys on Wednesdays to get creative. A year later? We're getting the fruits of those Supper Club sessions.

The first, "Fall Back," is a chilled dose of blunted bounce, all hypnotic keys and precise lyrics. You know that sample, and you should be ready for this project. I know I am. Where the munchies at? Stream "Fall Back" below.

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Kemba ft. Smino "Exhale"

Seeing Kemba mature into the Republic Records-signee that he now is has been one of the best things about maintaining this blog. And while he might not feel pressure from niggas like me, he might not need to—judging by the Smino-featured "Exhale," which dropped not long after the news of his new deal, Kemba's on the right track.

In speaking to The FADER about the new song, Kemba said that this track "is the feeling of being pulled in every direction by the people in your life. You have your family telling you to be more like them, your girl saying be like what she wants, and the pressure you’re putting on yourself to follow your dreams. Sometimes you just have to take a step back and breathe."

That last line will hold true to everyone, everyday, but for Kemba, this next phase of his career should be the best phase. If he can't do it, no one can; he just has to breathe in, exhale, and ride the wave.

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Pugs Atomz Drops Album Number 10, 'Highly Irregular'

Pugs Atomz is an artist we've always dug. The Chitown-repper has always made sure that we were up on his new material, yet him sending a kite with his tenth(!!!) studio album in it was still surprising. But it's true; working with his longtime producer/engineer Mulatto Patriot, Pugs dropped Highly Irregular, which is not only a perfect term for his zone as an artist, but definitely signifies the dubs we rock with around here.

There's a number of sounds on here, from Windy City boom bap and more Soulection-tinged sounds to a full-fledged juke workout to close the album out (shouts to DJ Gant-Man, who is featured on the final track, "Tides"). Artists featured include GLC, Awdazcate, Maggie Vogel, and many more. It's an intriguing ride, and one we don't want to get off of anytime soon.

Stream Highly Irregular below, and download it today via Bandcamp.

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Cymarshall Law Is Outta Control

Jersey's Cymarshall Law has been raw; we've known that. It's dope to see other outlets, especially the legendary Rap Is Outta Control show on Shade45, giving him the time to shine. He recently visited with Raf Almighty, and while Raf goes for his during the first minute of this clip, CyMar goes dumb for almost two minutes. Styling, punches, he's got it all. If you aren't up on him yet, get to know him NOW. His latest album, Imperfectly Perfect, is a great place to start.

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EZRAKH's outlet.fyi mix #2 is a Whole Vibe

The week of Thanksgiving is always a weird one; you're either getting work done before the vacation time or you're on you're already back home, creeping around your childhood haunts. For those of you in need of a soundtrack to for any of those situations you'll encounter, grab EZRAKH's latest. He has a dope selection here, from a choice throwback of a DZ edit to material from Cajmere, El-B, and more, as well as a grip of fly edits.

Stream and download this set below. You're welcome.


Cajmere & Dajae - Brighter Days
Black Rose - Anthem
Niniola - Maradona
Les Sins - Grind
E.S.G. - Moody (Spaced Out)
Urban Soul - Alright (Kaytronikz Movement pt. 2)
Debonair - Follow Me On Time
Suzi Analogue - Touchin' The Bottom (EZRAKH Park Dub)
George Kranz - Trommelantz
Mike Dunn - Magic Feet
DJ Mehdi - I Am Somebody ft. Chromeo (Kenny Dope Old School Mix)
ByronTheAquarius - Traveling Again
Adeva - In and Out of My Life (Herbert Harmonix ReDub)
Freezrock - Inside the Love Prototype
D.J. Sound - Paradise Drummer
Masters at Work & Liliana - Brazilian Beats (Dope Mix)
Rod Lee - Latin Groove
Nshona Muzick - Naano!
Grizzy - Look Like You (DJ Tjaey Afrobeats Remix)
ENI ft. DJ CRE-8 - Clout
Mc Federado - Passinho do Volante
Kelela - Rewind (MC Bin Laden Remix)
Daina Murel - X (TAH Remix)
EZRAKH - Facetime
El-B - El-Brand (Vocal Mix)
Yak - Mido
Philistines - Twerk That
Cassie - All My Love (KK Edit)
DZ - What You For Love
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K. Sparks "Say Less" (Video)

While our consistency on this site has been up and down over the last 11 months, one person we really got to see push his music out there was K. Sparks. Ya mans really made sure word got out about his latest album, Note to Self, and with the album finally out, he's made sure to drop some visuals to those intoxicating tracks. For "Say Less," Sparks' video "follows three main characters. Although their journeys are different, the common theme is that they all seek to find happiness. Greatness is complicated. Choose wisely."

You can check out the "Say Less" music video below, and download Note to Self via Bandcamp.

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DJ Ends Bounces Back With '808s & Hard Breakz'

Over a month after introducing us to Kraut Juke, DJ Ends returns with one of the best-titled releases of 2018: 808s & Hard Breakz. Representing Munich, Ends is really coming into his own. Cuts like "Baile Drunk," which bring Brazilian funk to life, or the jungle'd vibes of "Wot R U Doin" aren't what I'd have expected from him even six months ago. There's some growth going on with his sources, and it's ill to see him bringing those influences to life.

You can stream 808s & Hard Breakz below, and download it over on Bandcamp.

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A-Trak Releases '90s Backpacker Rap Set

For Boiler Room's MIXTAPE series, they decided to get A-Trak to drop a guest mix, in which he took it back to the '90s for a special backpack rap set. Loads of '90s NYC hip-hop, from MF Doom and Mos Def to J-Live and CRU, among many more. Recently, Boiler Room shared the video for the set, but it was unfortunately it was only half of the set!

A-Trak, being the stand-up dude that he is, had the full audio from the set, and decided to share it via SoundCloud. Anyone rocking with this site should know what time it is with the tracklist, which is below. Perfect Sunday house cleaning (or weed smoking) material.


Mos Def - Universal Magnetic (instrumental - intro)
Mos Def & Talib Kweli - Definition
The High & Mighty ft. Mike Zoot, Mos Def & El-P - B-Boy Document
Big L - Ebonics
Rasco - Unassisted
Dilated Peoples - Work The Angles
De La Soul ft. Common - The Business
Jurassic 5 - Concrete Schoolyard
Reflection Eternal - Fortified Live
Natural Resource - Bum Deal
The High & Mighty - Open Mic Night
Frankenstein - The Rain Is Gone
Street Smartz ft. OC & Pharoahe Monch - Metal Thangz
D.I.T.C. - Day One
Company Flow - Vital Nerve
Company Flow - 8 Steps To Perfection
Defari - Bionic
Gang Starr - The Planet
Show & AG - Spit
Large Professor - The Mad Scientist (Instrumental)
Kazi - A.V.E.R.A.G.E.
Ill Bill - Gangsta Rap
Mos Def - If You Can Huh You Can Hear
Da Bush Babees ft. Mos Def - The Love Song
MF Doom - Gas Drawls
Slum Village - I Don't Know
Erule - Listen Up
Arsonists - Session
Lootpack - WhenImondamic
L-Fudge ft. Shabaam Sahdeeq, Talib Kweli & Skam - What If?
Blahzay Blahzay - Danger
J-Live - Braggin Writes
D&D All-Stars - 1,2 Pass It (Remix)
Royal Flush - Worldwide
Crooklyn Dodgers - Crooklyn
East Flatbush Project - Tried By 12
Afu-Ra - Whirlwind Thru Cities
Shadez Of Brooklyn - Change
Non Phixion - Black Helicopters
Big L - The Big Picture
Cru - Pronto
Smut Peddlers - One By One (Instrumental)
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DJ Filthy Rich Drops Tribute Mixtape, 'A Clan Called Wu - Enter The Marauders'

On November 9, 1993, two of the most important albums in my growth as a hip-hop fan (and as a man, to be fair)—Wu-Tang Clan's Enter the Wu: 36 Chambers and A Tribe Called Quest's Midnight Marauders—hit shelves. Trying to speak on how vital they are to the world is pointless 25 years later. I usually just listen to them ad nauseum (and watching the Wu perform on GMA) and go on with my life. This year? Shit's a little different. DJ Filthy Rich cooked up A Clan Called Wu - Enter The Marauders, a fresh blendtape putting the Wu's lyrics from Enter the Wu over the classic instrumentals of Midnight.

When speaking on the tape to 2DBz, Rich said "The intent was not to improve on the originals in any way… that would be impossible, as I consider them both to be perfect bodies of work. Rather, it was about orchestrating a fun concept, and putting a totally new spin on these well-worn classics. The contrast of Wu’s gritty street raps over Tribe’s jazzy production works in a pleasantly unexpected way."

Welcome to your weekend soundtrack.

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PREMIERE: Zilla Rocca ft. Curly Castro "Name On The Buckle"

This sounds like heaven. On November 9, the Philly-based rockthedub-fav Zilla Rocca will be dropping his first completely-solo album in eight(!) years, Future Former Rapper, via POW Recordings (shouts to the squad). Because of how long we've rocked with Rocca and company, and what we've done over here for what feels like eons, we've been given the go to premiere the Starkey-produced(!), Curly Castro-featured cut from the LP, "Name On The Buckle." And it's murdaaaaaaah (word to Ja).

This Philly trifecta really lean into the "street bass" tag that Starkey and the Seclusiasis crew have been championing for years with this heavyweight, anthemic electronic beaut of a tune. Zilla and Curly are two emcees who've always understood how to slide into the pocket of these dense grooves, retaining lyrical potency while lounging in the pocket with a few fingers of fine brown liquor. Starkey does what Starkey does: channel integalactic excellence into bassbin-rumbling numbers, washing hypnotic synths atop like its nothing. It's insane to think that this is their first collab since Curly and Zilla linked up for their "Holodeck" remix years back.

You can stream the full track below, and on Spotify, and be sure to grab Future Former Rapper (which features production from Small Professor, Messiah Musik, and more) when it hits on November 9.

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