October 31, 2022

Who Am I? (Kokane) - Addictive Hip-Hop Muzick (1991)

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Hip-Hop
Style: Gangsta Rap, G-Funk
Label Number: 468828 2

© 1991 Epic/Ruthless Records
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tags: who am i kokane, addictive hip hop muzick, 1991, flac,

Clayborn Family - Clayborn Family (2004)

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Hip-Hop
Label Number: THR-6461

© 2004 Threshold Recordings
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tags: clayborn family, clayborn family album, 2004, flac,

Megadeth - The Sick, The Dying... & The Dead! (2022) ⚓

*Standard pressing. 
Contains 12 tracks total.
Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Thrash Metal
Label Number: B0034810-02

© 2022 UMe/T-Boy Records
The return to form that began on 2016's Dystopia continues with The Sick, the Dying...and the Dead!, the 16th studio album from metal institution Megadeth. As with Dystopia, Megadeth ringleader Dave Mustaine and his bandmates focus on precision thrash, this time around turning in a tighter, cleaner batch of songs that feel both intently focused and streamlined for maximum intensity. The time leading up to the album wasn't an easy one for the band, however, and the six years that passed between the last record and this one stand as the longest time between new material in the band's nearly 40-year history. The turbulent time spent working on The Sick included not just Mustaine being diagnosed with and aggressively treated for throat cancer but also Megadeth co-founder and bassist David Ellefson leaving the band due to his involvement in a sex scandal. The hard-fought nature of this particular chapter in the band's development can be heard in the songs, which are, for the most part, no-nonsense ragers marked by the kind of technical perfection the band made their name on in the '80s and '90s. After the title track opens the album with a somewhat conceptual, meandering arrangement, Megadeth gets right down to business with the speedy and powerful "Life in Hell," a song that matches the snarling menace of anything in the band's catalog. New drummer Dirk Verbeuren makes his debut on The Sick, and his economical but relentless playing is a huge factor in the direct force that defines the album. Six-and-a-half-minute mini-epic "Night Stalkers" is a swarm of riffs and Mustaine's well-established war imagery, with an unexpected voiceover cameo from Ice-T. The band stays primarily in full-on mode, with sinister blasters like "We'll Be Back" and "Celebutante" giving way to only slightly less brutal workouts like the creeping "Killing Time," which includes one of the album's most masterfully constructed breakdowns. Mustaine has sounded angry and irritated on almost every song he's ever recorded, but the bile is a little thicker on The Sick. It's a tense and impatient record, even by Megadeth's standards, and re-affirms the band's status as completely essential metal deities who are still operating on a level of excellence most of their peers fell from decades ago.

tags: mehadeth, the sick the dying and the dead, 2022, flac,

Xavier Pasos - El Conjunto De Los Pobres


*Este casete no incluye año/fecha en las notas lineales. 
Contiene las grabaciones/versiones originales. 
Se incluye una foto del casete en el archivo RAR.

Country: Mexico
Language: Spanish (Español)
Genre: Cumbia, Tropical
Label Number: 1095

© ???? Rio Bravo
*No professional reviews are available for this release.

tags: xavier pasos, el conjunto de los pobres, flac,

Iggy Pop - New Values (1979) ☠

*European first pressing. 
Contains 12 tracks total.
Country: U.S.A.
Genre: New Wave
Label Number: 260 997
☠: Selected by Lass
© 1979-1990 Arista Records
From the time the Stooges first broke onto the music scene in 1967, Iggy Pop was rock's most remarkable one-man freak show, but by the mid-'70s, after the Stooges' messy collapse, Iggy found himself in need of a stable career. The rise of punk rock finally created a context in which Iggy's crash-and-burn theatrics seemed like inspired performance rather than some sort of cry for help, and in 1979, with everyone who was anyone name-checking Iggy as punk's Founding Father, he scored a deal with Arista Records, and New Values became his first recording since the new rock gained a foothold. These days, New Values sounds like Iggy Pop's new wave album; while former Stooges associates James Williamson and Scott Thurston worked on the album, the arrangements were dotted with synthesizer patches and electronic percussion accents that have not stood the test of time well at all, and the mix speaks of a more polite approach than the raw, raging rock of Iggy's best work. But the growth as a songwriter that David Bowie encouraged in Iggy on The Idiot and Lust for Life is very much in evidence here; "Tell Me a Story," "Billy Is a Runaway," and "How Do Ya Fix a Broken Part" are tough, unblinking meditations on Iggy's war with the persona he created for himself, and "I'm Bored" and "Five Foot One" proved rock's first great minimalist still had some worthy metaphors up his sleeve. If New Values wasn't a great Iggy Pop album, it was a very good one, and proved that he had a future without David Bowie's guidance, something that didn't seem so certain at the time.

tags: iggy pop, new values, 1979, flac,

The Others - Past Futuristic (2004)

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Hip-Hop
Label Number: 3EM-032

© 2004 Third Earth Music
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tags: the others, past futuristic, 2004, flac,

Reks - Grey Hairs (2008)

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Hip-Hop
Label Number: SHOW-BRK 084

© 2008 Showoff/Brick Records
Boston native and underground rap veteran Reks scores big on his sophomore studio LP, GREY HAIRS. Working with longtime collaborator and fellow Massachusetts homie Statik Selektah, as well as some of the most prominent producers in the rap game (DJ Premier, Large Professor), Reks unleashes his lyrical fury over 20 tight tracks. The Beantown MC shows off his versatility on the ambitious “All in One (5 Mics),” paying tribute to Tupac, Biggie, Big Pun, and Big L as he imitates their flow and lyrical content one verse at a time.

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tags: reks, grey hairs, 2008, flac,

October 30, 2022

Gang of Four - Entertainment!/Yellow E.P. (1995) ☠

*This is a compilation that compiles the 1979
Entertainment! album and the 1980 Yellow E.P. on 1 disc. 
Contains 16 tracks total and features remastered audio.

Country: United Kingdom
Genre: Post Punk
Label Number: 9 14502-2
☠: Selected by Lass
© 1995 Infinite Zero
Entertainment! is one of those records where germs of influence can be traced through many genres and countless bands, both favorably and unfavorably. From groups whose awareness of genealogy spreads wide enough to openly acknowledge Gang of Four's influence (FugaziRage Against the Machine), to those not in touch with their ancestry enough to realize it (rap-metal, some indie rock) -- all have appropriated elements of their forefathers' trailblazing contribution. Its vaguely funky rhythmic twitch, its pungent, pointillistic guitar stoccados, and its spoken/shouted vocals have all been picked up by many. Lyrically, the album was apart from many of the day, and it still is. The band rants at revisionist history in "Not Great Men" ("No weak men in the books at home"), self-serving media and politicians in "I Found That Essence Rare" ("The last thing they'll ever do?/Act in your interest"), and sexual politics in "Damaged Goods" ("You said you're cheap but you're too much"). Though the brilliance of the record thrives on the faster material -- especially the febrile first side -- a true highlight amongst highlights is the closing "Anthrax," full of barely controlled feedback squalls and moans. It's nearly psychedelic, something post-punk and new wave were never known for. With a slight death rattle and plodding bass rumble, Jon King equates love with disease and admits to feeling "like a beetle on its back." In the background, Andy Gill speaks in monotone of why Gang of Four doesn't do love songs. Subversive records of any ilk don't get any stronger, influential, or exciting than this.

tags: gang of four, entertainment yellow ep, 1995, flac,

Iggy Pop - The Idiot (1977) ☠

*U.S. first pressing. 
Contains 8 tracks total. 
Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Post Punk
Label Number: 0777 7 86152 2 4; V2-86152
☠: Selected by Lass
© 1977-1990 Virgin Records
In 1976, the Stooges had been gone for two years, and Iggy Pop had developed a notorious reputation as one of rock & roll's most spectacular waste cases. After a self-imposed stay in a mental hospital, a significantly more functional Iggy was desperate to prove he could hold down a career in music, and he was given another chance by his longtime ally, David BowieBowie co-wrote a batch of new songs with Iggy, put together a band, and produced The Idiot, which took Iggy in a new direction decidedly different from the guitar-fueled proto-punk of the Stooges. Musically, The Idiot is of a piece with the impressionistic music of Bowie's "Berlin Period" (such as Heroes and Low), with it's fragmented guitar figures, ominous basslines, and discordant, high-relief keyboard parts. Iggy's new music was cerebral and inward-looking, where his early work had been a glorious call to the id, and Iggy was in more subdued form than with the Stooges, with his voice sinking into a world-weary baritone that was a decided contrast to the harsh, defiant cry heard on "Search and Destroy." Iggy was exploring new territory as a lyricist, and his songs on The Idiot are self-referential and poetic in a way that his work had rarely been in the past; for the most part the results are impressive, especially "Dum Dum Boys," a paean to the glory days of his former band, and "Nightclubbing," a call to the joys of decadence. The Idiot introduced the world to a very different Iggy Pop, and if the results surprised anyone expecting a replay of the assault of Raw Power, it also made it clear that Iggy was older, wiser, and still had plenty to say; it's a flawed but powerful and emotionally absorbing work.

tags: iggy pop, the idiot, 1977, flac,

Various Artists - Buffalo Gals: Back To Skool (1998)

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Electronic, Hip-Hop
Label Number: P2 51124

© 1998 Priority Records
One of the most peculiar and wonderful albums of early hip-hop is Malcolm McLaren's groundbreaking 1982 release Duck Rock. A mixture of hip-hop radio links (starring the World Famous Supreme Team from New York's groundbreaking WHBI 105.9 FM) and source recordings of traditional forms of Latin and African music, along with gimmicky singles like "Buffalo Gals," "Double Dutch," and "Duck for the Oyster," Duck Rock was humorous, pan-cultural, and genuinely fascinating. 1998's Buffalo Gals Back to Skool is a sort of self-tribute to Duck Rock, with the original World's Famous Supreme Team links interspersed with new recordings by second-string '90s hip-hoppers (Rakim and KRS-One are the highest profile rappers, although De La Soul's Dave Jolicoeur remixes the World Famous Supreme Team's 1983 single "Hey DJ") and spoken-word reminiscences from McLaren about how Duck Rock came into being when he was introduced to hip-hop while in New York during his tenure as Bow Wow Wow's manager. The resulting album is a patchy, scattershot affair that doesn't have anywhere near the impact of the original, but the obvious fondness all concerned have for Duck Rock and its impact on the original New York hip-hop community makes Buffalo Gals Back to Skool possibly the first true hip-hop nostalgia album.

tags: various artists, buffalo gals back to school, 1998, flac,

Anomos/Stealth - From Here On... (2000)

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Hip-Hop
Label Number: 1005

© 2000 NPO Records
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tags: anomos stealth, from here on, 2000, flac,

October 29, 2022

This Heat - Deceit (1981) ☠

*First pressing. 
Contains 11 tracks total.
Country: United Kingdom
Genre: Post Punk
Label Number: HEAT 2
☠: Selected by Lass
© 1981-1991 These Records
Out of all the boundary breaking that occurred during the fertile era of post-punk, This Heat's Deceit is one of the most expansive, imaginative, and remarkably wild records to have been produced during the time -- and very possibly the last three decades. It's an impressive procession of tangential shards that encompass tape collages, Middle Eastern motifs, barbaric vocal clamoring, and occasional pointy-jagged-atonal guitar passages that alternate between hypnotizing and shooting clean through your spine. The typical structures of jazz, world music, and rock & roll are heaved into a blender, cooking up a post-punk paella that's about as relaxing as a crosstown walk through a hail storm. It ends up hardly resembling anything it takes cues from. As with a good number of the album's ten tracks, random peeks into "Paper Hats" at the minute markers will hardly sound like the same song. And that song hardly resembles any of the others on the record; yet, it encapsulates what makes the whole thing so exciting. The song in question trots along arrhythmically with some bass, drum, and spindly guitar interplay until sputtering into a wreck of those instruments and who knows what else -- this 20-second interruption, which resembles the Junkyard Gang's idea of warming up, abruptly gives way to a march down a Twilight Zone-themed corridor of snaky guitar, pulsing high hats, and creeped-out atmospherics. If you can make out any of the lyrics (the ones in "Independence" should ring a bell, though), you'll realize the mushroom clouds and political figures depicted in the sleeve aren't the only evidence that the record is about war and nukes. Know this -- if you really want to be thrown around a room, there's hardly a better source. No greater record has been made in an abandoned meat locker.

tags: this heat, deceit, 1981, flac,

The Chameleons - Script of The Bridge (1983) ☠

Country: United Kingdom
Genre: Post Punk
Label Number: CDST 17
☠: Selected by Lass
© 1983-1985 Statik Records
With two years, numerous radio sessions, and incessant gigging under their belts since their debut single, "In Shreds," the Chameleons came to the studio determined to make a great first album with Script of the Bridge. To say they succeeded would be like saying Shakespeare did pretty well with that one Hamlet play of his. Script remains a high-water mark of what can generally be called post-punk music, an hour's worth of one amazing song after another, practically a greatest-hits record on its own: the John Lennon tribute "Here Today," "Monkeyland," "Pleasure and Pain," "Paper Tigers," "As High as You Can Go," the breathtaking closer, "View From a Hill." Starting with the passionate fire of "Don't Fall," Script showcases how truly inventive, unique, and distinctly modern rock & roll could exist, instead of relentlessly rehashing the past to little effect. The scalpel-sharp interplay between the musicians is a sheer wonder to behold, the Dave Fielding/Reg Smithies guitar team provoke nothing but superlatives throughout, and John Lever and Mark Burgess make a perfect rhythm section -- while the crisp production of Colin Richardson and the band adds delicate synth lines and shadings, courtesy of early touring keyboardist Alistair Lewthwaite, and just the right amount of reverb and effects on the guitars. Add to that the words of Burgess, one of the few lyricists out there who can tackle Big Issues while retaining a human, personal touch, and it all just adds up perfectly. The best one-two punch comes from "Second Skin," a complex, beautifully arranged and played reflection on the meaning of music and fandom, and "Up the Down Escalator," an at once harrowing and thrilling antinuclear/mainstream politics slam. [An important note: avoid at all costs the original U.S. vinyl issue on MCA, which not only switches the song order but removes a full third of the songs.]

tags: the chameleons, script of the bridge, 1983, flac,

Scratch - The Embodiment of Instrumentation (2002)

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Hip-Hop
Label Number: 93096

© 2002 Ropeadope Records
The Roots' human beatbox has been wowing listeners with his bag of vocal tricks since he debuted on the band's Illadelph Halflife; whether offering an amazing simulation of a DJ working a pair of turntables or adding even farther-out effects, he's become a deserved showstopper. But the gymnastic beatboxing and faux-scratching would merely make his first solo album a one-listen novelty, if he hadn't surrounded them with tunes worth hearing more than twice. Luckily, on the majority of this debut, Scratch is able to do just that, especially when he teams with fellow Philadelphian Bilal for the Prince-like stomp of "Square One" and pumps up the pulsing "That's What We Talkin' About" with an authentic brass section. The album's flaw is a common one to the hip-hop genre: too many guest MCs (there are 20-odd vocalists credited). And most of the rhymers Scratch enlists aren't up to the level of his bandmates Malik B and Black Thought, who enliven the very Rootsy "U Know the Rulez." But on the whole, The Embodiment of Instrumentation offers more than just the expected "oohs" and "ahs."

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tags: scracth, the embodiment of instrumentation, 2002, flac,

Time Machine - Slow Your Roll (2004)

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Hip-Hop
Label Number: GITD003CD

© 2004 Glow-In-The-Dark
Los Angeles via Washington D.C. trio Time Machine's debut album opens with "Time's Fly," a dreamy bit of down-tempo hip-hop based on clavinet and vibraphone samples that recall the acid jazz moment and a goofy but positive lyrical message that smacks hard of De La Soul's 3 Feet High and Rising. Elsewhere, bits of A Tribe Called Quest ("Reststop Sweetheart"), Arrested Development ("A Cold Day in Hell"), Digital Underground ("Let's Not Be Real," which also starts and ends with a great West Coast piano jazz sample that sounds like Vince Guaraldi's work on the Peanuts specials), and the rest of the pre-gangsta golden age get their due. Even commercial happy-rap folks like DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince or Kid 'N Play come to mind on overtly silly tracks like "Spelling Bee." Slow Your Roll adds little that's new to the hip-hop lexicon, but its evocation of the past is done with such obvious affection and knowledge of the style that it's close to impossible not to find it endearing.

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tags: time machine, slow your roll, 2004, flac,

October 28, 2022

Monsta Island Czars - Escape From Monsta Island! (2003)

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Hip-Hop
Label Number: None

© 2003 Metal Face/Benn Grimm/Rhymesayers Entertainment
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tags: monsta island czars, escape from monsta island, 2003, flac,

October 27, 2022

Cobra Verde - Viva La Muerte (1994) ☠

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Alternative Rock
Label Number: SCAT36
☠: Selected by Lass
© 1994 Scat Records
On Viva la Muerte, Cobra Verde does for the blues what fellow Ohioans the Afghan Whigs did for soul on Gentlemen -- namely, revamp the sound into a straightforward rock approach while retaining the feel and thematics of the original form. Viva la Muerte contains stunning lyrical portraits of sex and death supported by guitar-driven dirge rock with overwhelming shifts in tempo, volume, and distortion. Together with the music, John Petkovic's voice warbles, shrieks, bellows, and intones the meaning that the words themselves don't suggest. And musically, Cobra Verde -- borrowing from blues and punk -- sounds fresh.

tags: cobra verde, viva la muerte, 1994, flac,

Cobra Verde - Egomania (Love Songs) (1997) ☠

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Alternative Rock
Label Number: scat67
☠: Selected by Lass
© 1997 Scat Records
Atmospheric, earthy sounds are what Cobra Verde specialize in, and they deliver the goods yet again on Egomania (Love Songs). It's a compilation of new songs, unreleased material, and tracks that have been previously unavailable on CD (from 45s released on the Sub Pop, Scat, Wabana, and Get Hip labels from 1995-96). The band shows off its many moods on this potpourri of contagious, rough-and-ready rock. The best track has to be "For My Woman," where singer John Petkovic growls like a caged animal (with a razor-sharp bluesy edge), as a tough guitar riff fights him for the spotlight. "Chinese Radiation" momentarily serves as a calm retreat, until the group kicks into highgear MC5-style, and "Still Breaking Down" features guest vocalist Robert Pollard (of Guided By Voices, whom Cobra Verde have now joined forces with) harmonizing on its melodic chorus. It wouldn't be a Cobra Verde album without at least one in-your-face, violent thrasher, and "A Story I Can Sell" certainly does the trick. All of the songs share a common theme -- love. Good love, bad love, torturous love, and homicidal love.

tags: cobra verde, egomania love songs, 1997, flac,

Cobra Verde - Nightlife (1999)

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Alternative Rock
Label Number: ROOM4

© 1999 Motel Records
Glam and shades of new wave live in John Petkovic's post-Death of Samantha project Cobra Verde. The band behind Guided by VoicesMag Earwhig! has its own history as an unwieldy Cleveland garage band with political activist and radio announcer Petkovic as their fearless frontman. But the music is anything but public-radio serious; entire musical phrases are lifted, like David Bowie on "Conflict" and Iggy Pop and Roxy Music at once on "Crashing in a Plane." "What Makes a Man a Man" is over-the-top cabaret; "Between the Seasons" is a symphonette. Cobra Verde should have written the score to the glam-rock tribute film Velvet Goldmine. Instead, they've got their own high-drama project, its varied moods as timeless as an old "art-rock" record.

tags: cobra verde, nightlife, 1999, flac,

Nas & Ill Will Records Presents: Queensbridge The Album (2000)

*A photo of the disc is included in the RAR file.
Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Hip-Hop
Style: Gangsta Rap
Label Number: CK 63807

© 2000 Columbia/Ill Will Records
On the celebratory posse cut "Da Bridge 2001," Nas laments "We from the largest project/Yo, the biggest on earth/Queens know the history/Left y'all cursed." While Nas' salvo may at first appear to be nothing more then your typical MC hood-rappin' rhetoric, there is truth to his manifesto. After all, the infamous borough of Queens has churned out a distinguished list of influential MCs and producers. While Nas offers QB Finest as the first project for his newly birthed record label, Ill Will, this enigmatic compilation only hints at the talent residing in the bridge, as it comprises strictly the thug element of Queens' storied existence. Granted, QB Finest scores points for resurrecting the career of the bridge's first lady, Roxanne Shanté, who makes a triumphant comeback on "We Live This" featuring Havoc and Big Noyd. Yet, excluding the more notable individuals (Run-D.M.C.RakimKool G Rap, and LL) who helped carve out QB's reputation lends an unpolitically correct stigma to this unfulfilling gathering. Though Nas is a very active participant in a few underdeveloped cuts, the "Nasty" side of his personality surfaces on the introspective solo cut "Find Ya Wealth." Achieving an Illmatic lyrical intensity, the track's dusty soul sample mirrors the wisdom and pain Nas is so capable of conveying with his rhymes. Yet, minus a few crucial momentum boosters -- Prodigy's heavily peddled, mixtape banger "Pile Raps" and Nature's conversational "Fire" -- there is very little left to cling on to with QB Finest.

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tags: qbs finest, nas and ill will records presents queensbridge the album, 2000, flac,

Swell Maps - A Trip To Marineville (1991 Remastered Edition)

 
*Reissued and remastered in 1991 by Mute
This pressing contains 22 tracks total.

Country: United Kingdom
Genre: Post Punk
Label Number: 9 61199-2

© 1979-1991 Mute
Swell Maps' debut album was a scattershot affair, ranging from blistering three-chord punk to free-form noise experiments, that was intriguing, yet frequently incoherent.

tags: swell maps, a trip to marineville, 1979, 1991, remaster, flac,