Soulmate Records artists and management would like to wish you and yours a very safe and merry Christmas, and a happy and prosperous New Year in 2011.
Thanks again for your amazing support this year. We promise to make 2011 bigger and better with a bunch of national tours in the works, as well as highly anticipated new releases from 360, Pez, Syntax, Bright Young Things and P– that’s it, I’ve said enough.
Peace & blessings,
Hit The In Sound From Way Out now to peep the Christmas treats!
Not necessarily the best albums of the year, but the ones that hit the hardest for us. More heavy on the hip-hop side of things this year, which is a great sign. Let us know if you agree / disagree and whether we’ve missed anything! Let’s go…
Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam)
For an artist so well known for his emotional outbursts and heart-on-sleeve demeanour, Kanye West sounds disaffected, cool, aloof for much of his latest masterpiece My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Album openers ‘Dark Fantasy’ and ‘Gorgeous’ see Yeezy almost in dead-eyed Havoc-and-Prodigy mode, a casual contempt for the haters softly discernible through his slow-flowin’, ice-grillin’ mumble. It’s only on the Bill Conti-inspired, cast of thousands-featuring ‘All Of The Lights’, the Pusha T-assisted ‘Runaway’, and possibly ‘Power’, that we hear that characteristic Kanye anguish bleeding through the mic again. That’s not to say that there isn’t effort and artistry on show here, far from it – lyrically, Kanye is probably in the best shape of his career – it’s just a change in tack befitting his new musical surrounds. Where Graduation was in many ways a joyous and uplifting listen, MBDTF is very much a post-808s & Heartbreak album, in which the bubble of superstardom has well and truly burst and the hero is left to pick up the pieces. Musically, the album-formerly-known-as-Good Ass Job is thrilling: anyone who can incorporate contributions from Bon Iver, Fergie, Raekwon, La Roux, Elton John and ex-Gap Band leader Charlie Wilson on the same disc is either crazy or a genius, and in Kanye’s case, he’s both. But although the highlights come thick and fast – a soulful sample-led Kanye morphing into an orchestra-assisted Rick Ross on ‘Devil In A New Dress’; a hungry Nicki Minaj tearing ‘Monster’ a new arsehole with her gold-plated fangs; Kanye going in on a former flame who got “blackmailed for that white girl” before Chris Rock brings the house down on ‘Blame Game’ – none can come close to ‘Lost In The World’ (and its companion piece ‘Who Will Survive In America’), in which West takes Bon Iver’s lo-fi vocoder serenade ‘Woods’ and subverts it into an edge-of-apocalypse battle cry, complete with African tribal chants, impassioned choir vocals and a decades-old-but-shockingly-relevant spoken word monologue from Gil Scott Heron. It’s hard to say whether Kanye is back from the post-VMAs brink, or still on it, but when he’s making music this good, who the hell cares?
Key track: ‘Lost In The World’
More after the jump…
Bright Young Things producer Jon Westenberg has made his first foray into hip-hop with a drop on Melbourne up & comer Ryan Egan‘s new tape The Wonder Kid called ‘Who Am I’.
Download the track here.
You can cop the full mixtape over at the Cassette Walkmans blog.
I dunno what the fluck this is about, but it features 360 so it should be slightly less fruity than the fluoro-friendly flyer suggests.
Tickets now available via Moshtix, more on the door.