Young Thug x Future - SUPER SLIMEY:
Halloween came early, fools! Our two favorite Atlanta bachelors have teamed up and surprised us with a few tricks, a few treats, and a very special mixtape, Super Slimey. Thirteen tracks made of pure codeine and promethazine is exactly what we needed to ease us into the weekend.
While Future and Young Thug have not always been the closest friends, nor have they collaborated on many projects, us trap nerds didn’t need eHarmony to tell us that these two goons could make magic together. Their respective styles and sounds on Super Slimey prove to be compatible, with beat production from other Atlanta greats like Southside and Wheezy.
Young Thug never ceases to amaze me with the sounds he can produce from his own mouth. I don’t know how anyone can listen to his voice without smiling from ear to ear, especially on “Killed Before” when he croons “My Bentayga clean like bleach/ On a yacht with blue water and blue cheese.” After a rough couple weeks for Thugger and his very public breakup with Jerrika Karlae, it’s nice to see Thug dust himself off and get back to business.
Future’s voice is raspier than ever, I truly haven’t heard him mumble rap this well since the DS2 days, especially on “Feed Me Dope” and “Patek Water” with Offset. On the track “4 da Gang,” Future pays tribute to the late audio engineer Seth Firkins, who he has dubbed his “white brother” on multiple occasions.
I would be doing everyone a disservice if I didn’t comment on the magnificent cover art for Super Slimey, as it is undoubtedly the hardest design I’ve laid eyes on in a long time. A green slime-colored snake wrapped around and twisting through what looks like a bird skull sets the tone for this slippery record. My only beef with this mixtape is that the tracks feel too short, with most songs under or around three minutes. Then again, our boys like to keep it short and sweet, with just enough spark to set your ears on fire. NATASHA
RIYL: quintessential Young Thug, MadienYTO, Migos, Young Dolph
Recommended Tracks: 2, 5, 6, 7, 10, 11, 12
Vector Families - For Those About To Jazz/Rock, We Salute You:
So, since at least the time of John Locke, one very pervasive aspect of Western philosophy has been the implicit connection between freedom and peace of mind. For example, the American “hippy” movement of the 1960’s tried to achieve peace of mind through freedom of expression and by shedding the constricting rules and standards of the society they came from. This focus on freedom is in stark contrast with many Eastern philosophies, such as Zen Buddhism, where peace of mind is achieved through strict adherence to rituals that have been practiced for centuries. So who is correct? How do the Buddhists reconcile their individual personalities with a system that governs so much of their everyday actions? How do the hippies keep their free society from descending into chaos as so many shitty free jazz albums tend to do?
One way to achieve peace of mind, as I’ve discussed before is to achieve unity between your values and your actions. The point of ritual in Eastern society is to force one to contemplate one’s values with little to no analytic judgement, thereby achieving a value system based largely in aesthetics. In many ways, the actions of the rituals themselves don’t matter, so long as the contemplation is happening. In contrast, I feel like much of Western freedom boils down to doing whatever one feels like doing just to prove that one is free. Such conduct is not inherently flawed up to the point where the actions taken in the name of freedom are no longer supported by sound values. Even worse acting “freely” in this way often separates one from one’s immediate surroundings thereby making peace of mind continually harder to achieve. In short, freedom should be freedom to choose one’s values rather than a value in and of itself.
So sure, freedom is great, being able to choose your values is great. But doing whatever you want whenever you want is not a pure form of expression, and is no way to achieve peace of mind. If you want your work to seem “pure,” or a “pure expression of yourself,” the way to do it is not by doing things just because you can, but by making your actions natural extensions of your values and by keeping the aesthetic quality of those values in mind. Working in this way can help one to achieve peace of mind. JATIN
RIYL: The Gang Font, Lake Minnetonka
Recommended Tracks: 1, 4, 5
King Krule - The OOZ:
How am I even supposed to review this album? I hope you’ve already heard it. I can’t really tell you anything you don’t already know. But here I go! Shouting more love into the void.
Archie Marshall, a.k.a. King Krule, a.k.a. Red-haired beauty with a voice deeper than Lake Baikal, is evolving. His sophomore album The OOZ remains true to his sad, surfy, and watery guitar sounds, but there’s something more profound here. He seems to be going further. Take “Lonely Blue” for instance, his voice here wobbles, as if he is imitating crooners of old and the boys in Burger Records bands. It’s more dimensional and expressive; he still growls his Archie growls, but there are more levels. He whines, he howls, it echoes, it feels like his heart is in his mouth. His vocals in this song alone have a visceral, intimate quality that is unlike what we’ve seen from him before.
The first track off of the album, “Biscuit Town” must also get the recognition it deserves. From the first soft loop of what sounds to me like the gentle hum of a dryer, to the beginning notes on the keys, the song warns us how wild this 19 track ear bath is about to be. Archie’s voice sings “I seem to sink lower” and you feel yourself sinking into this world he’s creating. Then it picks up and he’s almost rapping and it’s all sort of creepy and cinematic and perfect.
There are also significant jazz and contemporary R&B elements of this album that seem to draw from a variety of influences. There are times when the synth is reminiscent of the feel of Noname’s Telefone, as well, and the piano and sax borrow heavily from classic jazz. In this way, the album can be comfortable and familiar, but is balanced with unexpected moments, like the absolute discord at the end of “A Slide In (New Drugs),” the luxurious tangent of rain noise and whispered Spanish (?) in “The Cadet Leaps,” and the lil’ sample of the theme from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia on “Midnight 01 (Deep Sea Diver).”
This is an impossible review to write. I could do my thesis on it. But TL;DR, Archie is doing real things out here. Every track is like a unique room in the incredibly gorgeous and ornate mansion that is this album. VIRGINA
RIYL: Cosmo Pyke, HOMESHAKE, Bane's World
Recommended Tracks: 1, 9 12, 16, 18
Chelsea Wolfe - Hiss Spun:
Chelsea Wolfe is a doom metal electric folk singer based in Los Angeles, but this album was recorded in Salem, Massachusetts. The eerie vibes of the Salem witch hunts are definitely present in this album. Hiss Spun, her sixth and most recent album, is an electric doom folk masterpiece. It’s the perfect Halloween soundtrack for dark and spooky vibes! This is her heaviest and album yet. She has come a long way from the folk songs I fell in love with on her 2012 album, Unknown Rooms, like her song “Flatlands.”
Hiss Spun, on the other hand, is dark. It’s more of a metal album than a folk album to be honest. It honestly sounds like the devil himself is talking to you in “Vex” about 2 minutes into the song. Pretty badass. It’s spooky and beautiful. My two favorite tracks on the album are “Spun,” and “Twin Fawn.” In “Twin Fawn” she starts off singing quietly—almost whispering—but then a heavy wall of sound erupts suddenly in the most beautiful way. Her lyrics are about pain and heartbreak. In “Twin Fawn” she powerfully sings out, “you cut me open/ you lived inside/ you kill the wonder/ nowhere to hide.” She gets back to her folky roots toward the end of the album, like in the beginning of “Two Spirit,” but the darkness is still present on this track. Hiss Spun will definitely be on my year-end list for the top albums of 2017. CHRISTINA
RIYL: Deafheaven, Boris, Swans, King Woman, Drab Majesty
Recommended Tracks: 1, 2, 3, 7, 8, 9
Leonce - Heatwave 2:
Heatwave 2 slipped under the radar, garnering few mentions across the digital media landscape apart from Fade to Mind's obligatory promo posts. Released on Bandcamp as a "name your own price" from 0 - infinity, this mixtape is packed with a bunch of quality bounce mixes from Leonce.
Pretty much all the tracks feature the same modifications from the originals: flanger snares, a pitched up "Fade to Mind" sample that fades out from somewhere in the beginning, and a twinkly instrumental lick dangled over it all.
All in all, its a pretty low-comital mixtape with a bunch of solid edits. If you're looking for something new but not too far outside your comfort zone, give it a listen CAMERON
RIYL: Fade to Mind in general, SZA, Tinashe, Mssingno, bounce music
Recommended Tracks: 1, 2, 3, 4, 7