Qwazaar & Batsauce - Stress Chasers EP - January 28, 2014
January 14, 2014 by G4
Qwazaar & Batsauce - Stress Chasers EP
Released digitally by Galapagos4 on January 28th 2014.
Qwa & Batsauces newest platter, an EP entitled Stress Chasers, begins with "Love Liez", a perfect curve replete with gauzy keys and the indomitable Qwa intoning that hes "never felt so free, never felt so special…" Its an unexpected opening for the heroic South Side rhyme champ, a hooky Trojan horse with incisive critique hidden in velvet melody. Undisputable ear candy, "Love Liez" also rebukes those who "never care, never dare to be true". Stress Chasers sees Qwa and Bat crossing the boundary from rap phenoms to great songwriters, genre-bending world-class musicians entering a blue period.
The EP consists of 6 short tracks, the longest clocking in at barely 3 minutes and change, a throwback to the tight songcraft of 60s pop, when entire Beatles albums were only 30 minutes long. Qwa is entering territory where most MCs cannot follow, blending a growing love of psychedelia and a beguiling fluidity with cornerstone golden-era references and dashes of brawn that only serve to punctuate his acuity. One cant help but think of Roland Kirk playing two saxes at once. In "Pop Smurf" he deadpans "at least a hundred styles / my memory is rough." Batsauce continues to impress, adding another gem to his oeuvre, showing undisputable skill with an impressive array of sounds. "Rough Out There" would be perfectly at home on the first Blueprint album, until Qwa, insistently going against the grain, leans into a deceptively off-accent rhyme pattern that most MCs would drown in. The EP ends with the unhinged uptempo rave-up "Daddy Smokes," Bat neatly twisting rap conventions with a plucky keyboard line, underwater bloops, and taut R&B drums, Qwa singing with fried abandon that "your dad smokes marijuana…and you will, too…" before launching into a precise rapid-fire spit that belies the EPs stoned ethos. Wild howling wafts through the background and Qwa and Bat manage to sound light-hearted, screwy, and ominous, all at the same time. Essential listening for the vanguard.
added by: G4
Offwhyte + KK - GO EP: Out August 27, 2013
August 19, 2013 by Offwhyte
New from Galapagos4:
Offwhyte + KK "GO" EP G40064 / LVDD-012
Out August 27, 2013
"GO" is an EP featuring five songs that will pique your artistic curiosity. Meaning "five" in Japanese, "GO" is Offwhyte's first official release in as many years, and on this digital EP he is paired with renowned Japanese beatsmith KK.
Co-released by Galapagos4 and KK's own label Lo-Vibes, the sound on "GO" reflects much of what KK has been doing within his own faction for the past several years. A fixture of the Tokyo music scene, KK aka The Khaosist has been trying to accomplish a bigger sound. On "GO", dubstep and glitch influences are present amongst KK's impeccable sample sequencing.
Themes on the EP shift from Offwhyte's immovable ideology and opinionated stubbornness ("Divider") to current methods of communication via technology ("Mediums"). Offwhyte's usual themes of inner struggle and retaining individuality shine bright on all five tracks here, culminating on the EP's lead single, "Country of Islands", a tribute to his native homeland of the Philippines.
Offwhyte is a founding member of Chicago based independent record label Galapagos4 and has several acclaimed releases and worldwide touring over 10+ years under his belt.
After playing various musical roles such as arranger and keyboardist, KK began his career as a hip hop beat artist around 1996 and was featured on DJ Krush's "Kakusei" in 1998. This lone wolf beat artist based in Tokyo also started his own label Lo-Vibes Recordings as well as the dope beat party "Mo' Fun".
See more at galapagos4.com/go/
added by: Offwhyte
Qwel & Maker - Beautiful Raw - May 7 2013
February 28, 2013 by Jeff
New from Galapagos4:
Qwel & Maker 'Beautiful Raw'
Out May 7 2013
Check out the Qwel & Maker 'Beautiful Raw' album sampler mix by DJ Bizkid:
01. Beautiful Raw
02. Long Walkers
03. En Garde ft Qwazaar
04. Wreck Room
05. Pilfer ft The Grouch & Swamburger
06. On One
07. Lake Effect
08. Broken Pendulum ft Scud One
09. Through The Sidewalk ft Wes Restless
10. New Cents
12. If I Could Sing
13. Keep It Movin
14. Reach For The Sky
‘Beautiful Raw is the highly anticipated 4th release from Chicago duo Qwel & Maker, whose previous releases and worldwide touring has raised them as the bar against which all raw complex underground hip hop is to be measured.
This new album is a testimony to the hard work and thoughtful care that the two put into all of their music. Each carefully crafted track could stand alone as a highlight, claiming rightful shine as the lead single, yet the album as a whole complete work is a single seamless journey. The tale of the humble plant, once sewn deep beneath the concrete of the inner city slums, that against all odds has grown up through the concrete toward the light. Proof of hope is the recurrent theme and grimy raw is the soundscape.
"They said it couldnt be done, this ones for provin ‘em wrong, seems only suitable its beautiful raw. Planted the seed beneath the street but it was rooted too strong, grew to the sun and called it beautiful raw."
In an unexpected and rare turn for the team, Qwel and Maker have commissioned a little help on this album, pulling collaborative magic from fellow veterans such as The Grouch (Living Legends), Qwels fellow Typical Cat Qwazaar, Swamburger (Soliloquists Of Sound), Wes Restless, Scud One, D-Styles & more. The guest lyricists all help air out the record from Qwels dense spitfire lyrics.
Love, life, regret, money, drugs, joy, sorrow, lies, truth… but most of all hope, is what this album is about.
added by: Jeff
Robust - Fillin In The Potholes - Out November 6, 2012
October 16, 2012 by Jeff
Back in 2004 Galapagos 4 released the official debut album of an up and coming Chicago MC named Robust entitled "Potholes in Our Molecules". Considered an independent hip hop classic in many circles, the album captured the essence of a young pessimists take on the world from a ‘glass half empty perspective. Often riding the thin line between the popular abstract styles of the time, and classical boom bap rooted production and lyricism. It stands today as an audible record of a young Chi-Town rapper finding his own unique voice in the often redundant world of underground hip hop.
8 years, 7 releases, thousands of weed sacks, and a countless amount of shows later, we find Robust returning to the potholes concept with a completely fresh approach. From the gate you can tell this album is clearly not a case of him trying to recapture the glory of the original release, hes simply tackling the idea from a more experienced and seasoned angle. However, his original modus operandi of making true to life songs containing social commentary, sarcasm, and introspective satire over dope beats is ever-present.
Never one to be accused of wack beat selection, Robust chose a wide assortment of beats from an all-star cast of Chicago hip hop producers. Max, Meaty Ogre, Pore, PNS, Maker, DJ Alo (who also did cuts on the album), and Jackson Jones all contributed beats to the project. Even Bigga himself produced a couple of the tracks, proving that he can definitely hold his own on the production side of things as well. Collectively, the style of beats he chose for the album could be considered as a sort of post-modern boom bap with scattered soulful undertones. Its a style that perfectly complements Robus'ts notorious ‘in the pocket cadence and honesty fueled song topics.
As fans, we all too often find ourselves yearning for our favorite artists to recapture a moment in time that has long passed by for the musician themselves. We fall in love with a debut album, and then we tend to pick apart the artists future releases with a fine comb, often forgetting it was the ground breaking spirit that gave us the original album to begin with. "Fillin in the Potholes" is much more than just a sequel to Robusts G4 debut. Its almost as though the original album was a pothole he dug for us deep in the Chicago streets, and in typical City of Chicago fashion it took 8 years to fill it back in.
added by: Jeff
Typical Cats - 3 - album out Septmber 25 2012
August 1, 2012 by Jefe
Typical Cats return, the last of the great true school crews—bearers of transformed tradition, innovators par excellence, and heralds of an undying devotion to the science and magic of boom bap music. The latest installment in the TC saga is 3, their third studio full-length. It plays like a message in a bottle from Hip Hops timeless present to the bizarre post-physical, digital, viral world in which we live. DJ Naturals production chops have only deepened with time, and the rugged loops of the self-titled "Orange Album" and the live instrumentation of Civil Service have melded to yield a mélange of soul, jazz, funk, roots, radical politics, and a sly refusal to bend to the dictates of current fashion. Kid Knish reprises his role as hip hops all-time greatest unseen crew member (sorry, Jarobi), serving up samples, historical references, and vinyl oddities for Natural to slice and serve as android slabs of production genius.
TCs trio of MCs—Qwel, Denizen Kane, and Qwazaar—rhyme like men breathing from the soles of their feet. The basis of their legend is in full effect—crackling chemistry, unnerving flow, and true stories. The album plays like a jazz-era cutting session turned confessional booth, a stylistically freewheeling effort threaded together by moments of revelation, underpinned by fiercely focused production and dominated by stories of journey, moments of transformation, and warnings against coming catastrophe. For TC, the MC is a misunderstood figure, a musical seer, a minor prophet, and reluctant hustler, using words to outwit enemies, trump circumstances, and emerge from the belly of the beast with respect and rent money.
Highlights abound—Kane returning to his spoken word roots on "Denizen Walks Away," Qwel giving his early battle rap classics a run for their money on nickel-plated platters like "My Watch" and "Gordeon Knock," and Qwazaar flexing uncanny musical intuition, anchoring the record with meditative efforts on "Puzzling Thing" and "Reflections from the Porch" before pummeling tracks like "Better Luck" and "On My Square." Although the LP is studded with solo shots, crew tracks are the soul of the record. "On My Square" opens with a flurry of horns before exploding into an array of signature styles—multisyllabic combinations from Qwel, laid-back but incisive chatting from Kane, and a classic Qwa verse full of declarations, threats, and witticisms, all cemented by a Qwel chorus imbued with requisite layers of meaning. Naturals production evolves with each verse, sliding from Meters style guitars with knocking drums to moody keys with ease.
The first single, "The Crown" is a frenetic display of jagged guitars and style-shifting that makes it a perfect complement to the Orange Albums classic "Reinventing." The name, however, is something of a misnomer. TC have never been interested in being kings. Theyve been griots shouting from the village limits, stoning the village idiots, interrupting thieves, and solidifying sterling reputations as rappers rappers, smokers smokers, underground Gs, tribal chiefs. There will never be another Typical Cats. They leave the set like five men exiting a burning building, leaving wrecked stages and a catalog of classics in their wake. With their exodus, we find ourselves suddenly grown, having come of age with the culture, standing, as always, at the crossroads. With the music, we move like Gayle Sayers, howl like Magic Sam, see the city like a kid on the project bench, and mark it all down in a black book that will never close. It is what it is. Forever.
added by: Jefe
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