The original album was a successful collaboration which weaved interludes and inspiration from Adult Swim TV show characters like Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Space Ghost, Harvey Birdman. Guests included Talib Kweli, Ghostface Killah, and Cee Lo Green.
The 3xLP vinyl remastered reissue courtesy of DOOM’s own label METALFACE Records has extra tracks and comes with the previously digital-only Occult Hymn EP and two more tracks, ‘Mad Nice’ featuring The Roots’ Black Thought & Vinny Price, one of which you can hear below.
I remember being in college at the turn of the century when Since I Left You was on everyone’s iPod. I remember falling in deep with this crazy sample-tastic warm retrofuturistic dance record. I remember seeing The Avalanches when they played at Witnness in 2001.
Things went quiet after a while. As long as the internet existed, The Avalanches were “rumoured” to be making an album.
This morning, we know it’s actually happening. After rumblings and suggestions of “something” as there has so often been in previous years, followed by some tour dates, including Primavera this week and Field Day, the Avalanches’ second album is called Wildflower and is out on XL recordings on July 8th (CD/Vinyl). The artwork was inspired by Sly and the Family Stone’s There’s a Riot Goin’ On.
The first single is here in both single and extended formats ‘Frankie Sinatra’ and features both MF DOOM and Danny Brown along with samples by calypso musician Wilmoth Houdini and Rodgers & Hammerstein.
The band were on with Zane Lowe last night too and they told him that the album features Father John Misty, Biz Markie, Toro Y Moi, Jennifer Herrema of Royal Trux, Camp Lo, Jonathan Donahue (Mercury Rev), and Warren Ellis (Bad Seeds/Dirty Three).
Rappcats have a new album coming ou which features all Madlib instrumentals that was put together by Blu and MED and features rhymes/vocals from MF DOOM, Aloe Blacc, Hodgy Beats, Anderson Paak, Mayer Hawthorne and Dam-Funk.
It’s called Bad Neighbor and it’s out on October 30th digitally and on CD with vinyl on December 1st. Here is ‘Knock Knock’ the excellent bumping first single.
The LA label Stones Throw has held a high watermark in the quality of its musical output in the world of hip-hop, and in its latter years, beyond the fringes of rap, into punk, electronica, outsider music and jazz. It has been consistently referenced into the fabric of posts on this site, since I started.
More than any other label, independent or otherwise, it has stamped its communication and catalogue with its own identity, whether it’s their online site (a good example of how to do a music label website right), email marketing, their artwork or their personal touch (the label’s artwork director and co-founder Jeff Jank once emailed me to tell me about a new Dilla release which doesn’t really happen with most labels).
The film recounts the history of the label, giving context through a prologue about Peanut Butter Wolf, the label’s founder. Wolf has an aspiring musician, a music-mad kid who spent his lunch money on vinyl and with his friend, recorded a radio show-style chart countdown of the albums they collectively owned. The recording ends abruptly, when the budding DJ is forced to end play time to finish a book report for school.
That enthusiasm and thirst for music lead Wolf to form a group with his lifelong friend and rapper Charizma, only for the progressing career of both to end with the untimely passing of Charizma in a random car jacking.
That sadness and leads to a void musically, that is partly filled by the set up of Stones Throw, which Wolf sets up after meeting Madlib and his then group, Lootpack.
The film charts the ups and downs of the label between profiles of its artists, given insight by peers, label admirers and clear enthusiasts including Questlove, Mike D, Common, J Rocc, Talib Kweli, Flying Lotus, Portishead’s Geoff Barrow and Kanye.
The back stories of Madlib, MF Doom and J Dilla and how they came to be on Stones Throw are among the most fascinating. Small details matter: while Madlib was sleeping in the Stones Throw label HQ, MF Doom would be down in the bomb shelter studio recording vocals over tracks Madlib made that day that would eventually become one of the best rap albums of all-time – Madvillain. The only thing they did together was “chocolate mushrooms.”
The film really gives a sense of the “quiet power” and mutual respect between producers Madlib and Dilla, who made the Jaylib Champion Sound record together after Dilla was tractor-beamed into the sunny world of LA by the label.
The section on J Dilla, who of course died of a rare blood disease in 2006 remains poignant, particularly the story about him wearing 45 records on his wrist as a boy and the footage of him in the wheelchair at a gig shortly before he died. Music was his life, and he left a elegant parting gift in the stunning soulful sample-heavy beat record Donuts.
After Dilla died, the label went through some turmoil that resulted in some terrible releases: Gary Wilson, Wolf’s alter-ego Folerio, Wolf’s brother’s punk band. It’s understandable that labels will hit bad patches but the film paints this period as sort of an identity crisis, but talking heads like A-Trak are too polite and respectful of the label to say so.
Similarly missing in the film are details of record construction: surface level details are given about now-classic records but little else in terms of creativity and process. But those omissions are forgivable thanks to the film’s positivity, which is warranted and infectious.
In the last five or so years, the label had a renaissance of sorts, while moving away from its core sound of hip-hop, that lead to the release of records from soul-nerd Mayer Hawthorne, the classic-soul of Aloe Blacc and the west coast funk of Dam Funk. Hawthorne and Blacc both moved to major labels in 2011, a move that presumably helped the financial stability of the label at the time.
Wolf talks about the difficulty of running a label who want to remain staunchly independent, resisting being bought out by a major. He defines Stones Throw in opposition to the major label system, which moulds artists for an audience where as Wolf is a curator, a finder of artists who just need a family, an audience.
I did find myself wondering if, with Blacc and Hawthorne, Stones Throw could have made a distribution deal with a larger label to get the music out while retaining creative control. Wolf acknowledges he may not have made the best business decisions. That Aloe Blacc declined to be interviewed for the film maybe tells you how the vision differed in that case.
But Our Vinyl Weighs A Ton isn’t a film about the business acumen of a record label. It’s a film about a shared ethos, a thirst and desire for creativity, for the love of it. It’s a film about a label as a home, a family, as Questlove puts it, who are welcomed into the fold by Wolf, a man “embracing the unembraced.”
While a radio rip of the Madvillain remix of ‘Victory Laps’ appeared a couple of weeks back, here the official stream of DOOM and Ghostface Killah’s tune from their collaborative project DOOMSTARKS. Order it at Nature Sounds.
It’s a day I’ve been long waiting for. Though it could be a brutally disappointing gig – will he turn up? Will he play for longer than 30 minutes? Will he send a fake? DOOM is finally playing Ireland and to get you in the mood regardless of what happens, here’s a mix from DJ Mayhem courtesy of Choice Cuts which is all MF Doom.
It’s been a long time coming. DOOM aka MF Doom aka Victor Vaughn has finally set a date to play Dublin on October 12th in The Button Factory. Tickets are €30 excluding booking fee on sale from ticketmaster and tickets.ie. They’re not on sale yet though but they will be this week.
Huge props to Choice Cuts for bringing him over. The press page says a new album is due in September 2010. Let’s hope it’s not an imposter then. (more…)
Born Like This is another brilliant DOOM album, dispensing with the MF and “all big letters but it isn’t no acronym” this time around and pairing up a raspier Daniel Dumile up with Ghostface, Raekwon, Dilla beats and more cartoon samples. That’s flawless enough for me. As an added bonus we got the extra track of the album which is Mr Radiohead’s singer remixing ‘Gazzillion Ear’ somewhere between the cracks of his own Eraser material and Modeselektor.
I’d love to post a track from the album but Lex Records have kinda asked nicely not to post tracks from the it (so I hope the bonus track is OK). Anyway you can listen to the whole album @ http://www.myspace.com/mfdoom. You should just buy it anyway.
Time for another short trawl through some music news, audio and linkage.
More details on the new MF Doom album (now just Doom) – Born Like This will be out on Lex Records on March 23rd and features guests rhymes from Ghostface and Raekwon with the producers J Dilla (R.I.P), Madlib and Jake One contributing. Meanwhile, Fact Magazine are pretty excited by a five track sampler. Listen to ‘Ballskin’.
Really taken by the title track from Camera Obscura’s forthcoming new album My Maudlin Career. The album is out on 4AD in April.
Una has decided to stop blogging (for now). Quitsies. A real pity.
Kode 9 debuted a new Burial track during Benji B’s 1Xtra show last week. I really enjoyed the whole show (see playlist) especially Jaylib’s ‘The Red’ and Hudson Mohawke too so I hope to tune in again. Download the show here.
The Pirate Bay and other sites which facilitate illegal music sharing are to be blocked by ISPs in Ireland.
A gig of note from two of Belfast’s best bands at the moment – Escape Act and Cashier no. 9 takes place in Whelan’s on Saturday.
Epic lol – Bill Callahan’s new album Sometimes I Wish We Were An Eagle comes watermarked with a comedy car horn during the tracks. Listening to it is like listening to Jackass airgolfing the entire album!
Nialler9 was included in Shane Hegarty’s piece about 20 most essential Irish blogs in the Irish Times over the weekend.
Halves are heading off to Montreal to record with Efrim of Godspeed You Black Emperor at Hotel2Tango. Efrim did a great job on British Sea Power’s Do You Like Rock Music? album last year. The band have a new single called ‘Blood Branches’ will be available on 7″ in March as a split with Subplots.
From the new album Born Like This coming soon (we don’t really know when)…thanks to Ste for this. Streaming on Myspace.
In other Lex-related news, Shape of Broad Minds main (and pretty much only) dude Jneiro Jnel has a new album out now under his first moniker Dr Who Dat? called Beyond 2Morrow which is digital only and a lot darker than before. Shall we take a track from it? Yes we shall.
It’s called Born Into This and is out on October 21st on Lex Records. It’ll be his first proper solo record for four years and includes production from J Dilla and Dangermouse with appearances from Raekwon and Ghostface Killah. Apparently he’s now calling himself simply, Doom.
Dangerdoom – The Mouse and The Mask is a collaboration between legendary rapper MF Doom and the elusive producer Danger Mouse which was released about four months ago. Somehow none of these songs ended up on my Best of 2005 list , which is unfortunate, because its a pretty amazing album.
The album is littered with voices from Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim shows like Aqua Teen Hunger Force and Space Ghost but the real draw here is the pairing of Doom and Dangermouse. MF Doom’s raps are as bizarre as they are brilliant. Lines like “Hey yo, I know this dude right, Karl, he wore tight blue sweats but wasn’t glued too tight, All he had upstairs was a crude light, You think that’s weird he lived next door to a food fight.”. Musically, Dangermouse’s Technicolour productions are a great foundation for the cartoon characters and MF Doom’s clever wordplay.
So, after listening to this every day for the last week or so, and thanks to my mate Mike’s insistence on MF Doom’s brilliance, I turned to wikipedia to learn more about this mad hoor and found a great biography on Doom. I’m amazed at the number of persona’s he’s taken on – Zev Love X, Metal Fingers, King Geedorah and Viktor Vaughn. It appears MF (stands for Metal Face) Doom like his themes with many of the samples on his albums taken from cartoons and old movies to produce a theme like he did on Mmm… Food (An album about Food).
I’m particularly interested in King Geedorah which is supposedly Doom as a giant three-headed lizard from outer space. This whole album is Geedorah’s alien perspective on humans,” Doom explains. “This is done intentionally to show the listener a mirror image of his/herself and the way we see each other. On the album we cover different subjects ranging from race issues to the neglect of children. Some might find the word “Nigger” offensive, or the line about the young girl not being able to read maybe considered a “bad taste” joke. All these insecurities are within us.”