POP.MORRIS

We’ve written about P Morris (real name Philesciono Canty) before. His glitzy hybrid of trap, chopped and screwed R&B and cavernous bass music (which he refers to as Goombawave) is characterized by lush melodic arrangements with long almost classical sounding interludes. He’s released several quality EPs (via Bandcamp) through his Bear Club Music Group over the last couple of years. He’s also a pretty active DJ, as his POP.Morris mixes attest.

Loaded with edits, bootlegs and re-fixes, these tapes encompass a wide range of pop music from various eras and sides of the Atlantic—from golden-age hip-hop to ’90s Euro-trance to the songs you’d find right now on the radio (if you still listened to the radio)—all twisted and processed through the Goomba-filter.

Vol. 3 kicks off with a Fetty Wap edit called “God Save the Trap Queen” and from there goes through obligatory stuff like Drake, D.R.A.M. and Nicki Minaj, but Annie Lenox is also there as is an extended portion about angry Frank Ocean fans (related through a broadcast news feature) reacting a hoax regarding new material from the singer.

Volume 1 & Volume 2 from earlier this year are also still available as pay-what-you-like downloads.

Bastien Keb

These days, the best music (IMHO) either picks a single idea and just nails the fucking shit out of it, or, it draws upon many disparate and sometimes contradictory influences and melds them in a manner that seems so natural that you wonder why no one has yet thought to do this. The music of London-based multi-instrumentalist Bastian Keb falls neatly into the latter category, drawing on a cornucopia of influence from jazz and funk, to world music, a cappella music, boogie disco and hip-hop.

His debut Dinking in the Shadows of Zizou recently released via One-Handed Music is simply stunning debut. Keb plays all of the instruments on this record (and there are many—probably more than can be counted on two hands) and chops it all up with some deft MPC sampler skills to boot.

His multifarious compositions have grit, soul and striking originality, a combination of qualities that just seems to be in short supply these days—particularly in loop based music.

I’ve literally been listening to this record on repeat like what for the past two weeks or so.  Get it here (vinyl run sold out already unfortunately) or at his Bandcamp.

Knxledge

There are a lot of guys that try to make this kind of music. Legions of MPC (er-Fruity Loops)-wielding crate diggers trying to find that perfect obscure soul sample to flip into a beat. And everyone inevitably evokes J Dilla or Madlib when describing this sort of endeavor. Press releases want you to know this is like a Jay Dee track, or that is Madlib-inspired. Music writers are probably even worse with the lazy comparisons. And the producers themselves? Well most would probably welcome being called the next Dilla or the next Beat Konductor.

So, at a certain point, one just get kind of desensitized to it all. I used to be really into “beats,” but it all got so eff-ing predictable—just a copy of a copy of a copy of someone raiding J Dilla‘s vinyl collection.

Enter the Knxledge.

Pronounced Knowledge (the ex is actually an oh), this guy has been on the scene for a while now, but this year he’s really blowing up with a slew of high profile production credits (including Kendrick Lamar’s opus To Pimp a Butterfly) and an absurdly dope long-player called Hud Dreams released via Stones Throw Records.

He’s got a ton of stuff out—srsly, a metric shit-ton of stuff—but let’s just talk about that album. It’s laid out like a mixtape with the beats (usually under 2 minutes) running into each other. There aren’t a lot of crazy production tricks or studio gimmicks here, just a really good ear for sampling and a (obviously) deep crate digger with an intuitive flare for rhythm. These tracks sound effortless, sloppy even, but in the right way if you get me? They’re busting at the seems with the DNA of obscure soul, doo wop and jazz, all chopped into swaggering boom-bap that recalls the golden days of yore.

One final point to consider, because I am going to place this in it’s rightful lineage: How many of knock off Dillas can say they signed to Stones Throw, the label that actually put out all that seminal Dilla and Madlib? Exactly.

But, why take my word for it, give it a listen yourself:

Here’s a sick video of him jamming some beats live in the basement:

And here’s the first single from the man’s R&B project titled Nx Worries.

Also, dude is putting up new beats on his Soundcloud like daily, check it out:

Iman Omari

It’s sort of remarkable how broad R&B has again become. Not all that long ago it was as stifled and formulaic as light jazz or contemporary pop country—just a bunch of nameless R. Kelly and Destiny’s Child clones clogging up urban radio.

But the so-called “alt-R&B” movement, which has been gathering steam since at least 2011, changed all of that. Freed from the shackles of A&R men, and spurred on by the breakthroughs of James Blake, The Weeknd, How to Dress Well and others , the once stale niche has been steadily expanding and mutating (Check our DecibelCast Vol. 19 for the bass-ier side of that spectrum).

Among those at the forefront of this expansion, is 23-year-old Iman Omari, a gifted and super prolific (releasing EPs via his Bandcamp page almost monthly these days) composer, producer/remixer and vocalist. The Los Angeleno, who has ties to Kendrick Lamar and Knxledge, actually got his start writing beats with MTV Music Generator on the original Sony Playstaion.

Omari’s take on the genre is essentially hip-hop based, but he also draws on decades of West Coast music– from cool jazz of Brubek to the shamanic acid imagery of The Doors to the squelchy sythesized funk of Parliment, all the way up to the post-millennial boom-bap of the Low End Theory collective. (The way in which he crafts his beats in particular, recalls the off-kilter wonk of Flying Lotus and the Brainfeeder camp.)

Omari’s sound is heavily atmospheric, with multi-layered ambiance created from chopping and looping vocals, synths and samples. In a manner parallel to the mainstream obsession with extensive vocal processing, Omari frequently treats both his own vocals and other instruments, with a heavy amount of effects.

But rather than autotuning, the kind of effects processing he prefers is this distinct warbling kind of thing, that creates woozy, psychedelic melodies that feel bent or wavy, kind of like the way sunlight passes through water.

From the latest “tape,” Vibe Tape +++3:

“Bars w/ Cav”

“Buildin'”

 

And some older stuff:

“Addicted [flip]”  from  Vibe Tape +++(2)

Iman Omari – “Too Late ft. MoRuf”  from (VIBE)rations LP

“Take Away feat. Good Joon”  from Energy EP

“No Stress”  from (VIBE)rations LP

“First Time”  from Energy EP

Omari recently dropped a guest spot for the radio show Soulection, playing a mix of original stuff (starting at about the 1:30:00 mark) and then stick around for an interview.

Mo Kolours

Joseph Deenmamode, who records as Mo Kolours, has been on the my radar for a little while due to his affiliation with London’s One-Handed Music camp. The half-British half-Mauritian percussionist/vocalist/producer has a free-hand minimalistic approach to production that feels effortless, and live even though it’s largely based around loops.

Deenmamode’s songs are framed by skeletal percussive-heavy outlines, and embedded with raw elements of soul, hip-hop, Afro-beat, dub and various tropical styles such as reggae and calypso. His background as a percussionist shines through in the deceptively simple less-is-more character of his rhythms, which ostensibly are crafted from his original recordings. Inventive sampling, breezy accoustic guitar licks, steel drums and Deenmamode’s own dusty croon add splashes of color to the mix.

The 18 tracks run together through various interludes and skits making the 30 minute album play like something of a mixtape. Excepting a couple of singles, most have a raw sketch-like feel, and rarely top 2 minutes. This is not in any way a slight though, as the “unfinished-ness” actually works strongly in Deenmamode’s favor. In a world of beatmakers where the norm is rigid, mechanical and constricted by anal retentive adherence to digital “production values,” this is a breath of fresh air– the ideas, partially formed, are alive with possibility.

“Mike Black” is the first single from the album

The whole thing is available on his Bandcamp page as a pay-what-you-want download
http://mokolours.bandcamp.com/

Here’s a lo-fi visual excursion for the album’s other single “Little Brown Dog”

In addition to his vocal, percussive and production talents, Deenmamode is a first selector. His recent Resident Advisor mix, probably one of their best this year, is full of unfamiliar sounds perfect for the summer months ahead.

Mo Kolours Resident Advisor Podcast RA408

Tracklist
Jeen Bassa – 19 call some
Jeen Bassa – Final Report
Jeen Bassa – Not a fighter
Reginal Omas Mamode – As we move (omas celesrial)
Paul White – Missin Love
Al Dobson Jr – Good good Juices
Mo Kolours – See your face
Mo Kolours /Jeen Bassa – Untitled (crisp eve)
Tenderlonius – Hold on
Tenderlonius – Big Bass
Jeen Bassa – Body talking
Reginald Omas Mamode – Interlude cungaz
Al Dobson Jr – Big bags
Al Dobson Jr – In the world
Mo Kolours – Mike Black
Legbah – Fire Jive
Henry WU – Fiascoedoh
Paul White – Follow it through
Reginald Omas Mamode – Skit Interlude 9
Al Dobson Jr – Chicken on the side
Jeen Bassa – Wailer
Jeen Bassa – Fari
Jeen Bassa – Bumpin
Al Dobson Jr – Rocker island
Mo Kolours – Afro Quarters
Paul White – Tap tap
Paul White – Sunshine studio
Mo Kolours – Brain like Rain (part 2)
Reginald Omas Mamode – Welcome all
Reginald Omas Mamode – Keep on Walking
Al Dobson Jr – Everybody (vers)
Jeen Bassa – Just as music

Ditto that for his recent Solid Steel Radio session.

Tracklist
George Clinton – “Cambodian Rock Mash”
Ebenezer Obey – “Tribute to the late chief Obafemi Awolowo”
Jafari – Nieves “Eternas”
Andy Bey – “The power of my Mind”
Unknown – “Unknown”
Taj Mahal – “Why did you have to desert me?”
Jose Manual & Carlos ‘Patato’ Valdez – “Guaguanco”
Edward brathwaite – “The Emigrants”
The last poets – “Black is”
Ras Micheal and the sons of Negus – “Rasta Man Chant”
Sugar Minott – “Oh Mr DC”
Ainu – “Upopo”
Phil Ranelin – “Vibes from the Tribe”
Bernard Purdie – “Where B’s At”
Bruce Haack – “Interlude 2”
Tony Allen – “Hustler”
Menwar – “Ras Dimunn”
Lindigo – “Tangaty”
Milford Graves – “Nothing”
Scott Colley – “Usual Illusion”
Donald Byrd – “The Black Disciple”
Archie Whitewater – “Cross country”
Sergio Mendes – “Promise of fisherman”
Danyel Waro – “Bayoun”
Francoise Guimbert – “Sak la Point”
Sun Ra – “Hidden Spheres”
Jeen Bassa – “Canibais Valle”
Jeen Bassa – “Bumpin”
Al Dobson Jr – “Lady Blue (welcome)”
Al Dobson Jr – “Maiysha (blues)”
Paul White – “Happy All Round”
Paul White – “The Horn Jump”
Tightface – “Something For”
Reginald Omas Mamode – “Hebru”
Tenderlonious – “Little D”
Henry Wu – “All over”
Mo Kolours – “Outro: Esoteric Deep House”