14 Feb Abra, Allergy Season, Cherushii, Discwoman, Famous Dex
So unless you live under a rock, you most likely have heard about the Women’s March on Washington a couple weeks ago, where more people showed up than at Trump’s inauguration. In correspondence with the inauguration, New York label’s Allergy Season and Discwoman released “Physically Sick,” a charity album where 100% of the proceeds go towards The American Civil Liberties, Callen-Lorde, The National Immigration Law Center and Planned Parenthood.
This 42-track compilation of protest is intended for the purpose of alleviating “Facism, Bigotry, Violence, and Demagoguery.” Opening with rRoxymore’s “Universal Struggle,” I flash through images of the medically ill being denied help. A lingering guilt flutters in the beneath the surface.
If this soundtrack to human rights makes you uncomfortable, then that is precisely the point of this project. FBI Warning’s “Dead By 3” is where things really picks up. Cryptolect’s “Punished” is a definite high point. Kirk the Flirt’s “Back2Biz” has an infectious dance rhythm. The Movement Trust’s “Less Work” has an educational dialogue. I’m particularly fond of Yaeji’s work, so I loved “Full of It.”
Cherushii – Manic EP
Unfortunately, I did not hear Cherushii’s music until hearing about her passing in the Oakland fire incident along with 35 others. Which is a bummer for endless reasons, but discovering her music the following day clicked with me in ways I did not expect. There is a very fun energy that exists in Cherushii’s music that many genres of music from edm to future funk do not resonate with me in the same way. I’ll post a link in the online version of this review that demonstrates what I’m talking about.
Those acid tech house vibes are in “Rudy’s Party.” The “[Magic Touch Instrumental]” version of “Manic” is not just an instrumental with vocals, but more a of remix/extension. [Bobby B’s Ambient Mix]” of “Rudy’s Party” is very much a remix that is well, more ambient. The “[Deep Version]” of “Manic” is a Deep House remix with a lower kick and reverberating synth without the original’s flanger.
RIP Chelsea Faith and the victims of the 2016 Oakland Warehouse Fire.
Famous Dex – Dexter the Robot
Famous Dex the South Side-Chicago entertainer’s “Dexter the Robot” was released after not making XXL’s freshman of year. Maybe 2017 will be different? I feel like him and Adamn Killa are up next. Famous Dex has a really damaged reputation from beating his girlfriend. Puma responded to the incident by severing all ties with the rapper. In an interview with No Jumper from last week, Dexter jumped right into discussing the situation. He summarized what happened in the phrase “A lesson is a blessing.”
The first track on the mixtape “New Glock” features Ugly God and Dexter’s signature “OhhMannGoddDamm” flow. “Feeling Good” is produced by Lil Uzi Vert’s frequent collaborator Maaly Raw. “Link” lyrically has no mention of the Legend of Zelda protagonist. “With Me” features Fauni, and questions why anyone f***s with him. “Pulled Up In Ghost” is about exactly what the title says. The following two tracks feature Lite Fortunato. “Speed Way” has a looped sample that feeds into a trap beat sounding like a receipt machine.
Trill Sammy introduces some different spice to the tape. Maxo Kream’s second verse opens with “Ocarina diamonds dancing”, which gives me the Zelda reference I was looking for. “Took Time” is basically all Dee. Dexter can be heard softly in the background.
Even though almost every Famous Dex track sounds the same. Same flow, same ad libs, and usually same voice (unless he is singing, which is rare, but should happen more). I know I will be tired of it eventually, but he keeps it positive like Lil B.
Abra – Princess
Opens with the sensual downtempo “Come 4 Me.” Is followed by post disco “Vegas.” Abra, for those who are unfamiliar with her work, is the Darkwave Dutchess hailing from Atlanta and signed to Awful Records. “Princess” is Abra’s latest work since the “Sick Girl” single, and 2015’s “Rose” EP. I personally think she is the best R&B vocalist since Aaliyah.
“Crybaby” has an 80s drum kit pattern, with high pitched toms, cowbell, and a bass sawtooth line. At times she evokes the feeling of listening to Sade’s “Diamond Life.” Abra produces and writes all her music herself.
Tommy Genesis raps on “Big Boi”, a brooding thriller track. Abra does glossolalia in the background before repeating the refrain once as the song ends. “Pull Up” has vocal melodies that remind me of Spooky Black, but way better.
Very excited to hear what’s next from Abra. “Bounty” which dropped on her soundcloud a month ago tagged as “WILDER WEST” has an almost FKA Twigs vibe, but still has that coldwave chill. The iridescent cobra artwork captures the feeling well.