Archive for danny brown

Slacker Shack’s Top Ten Albums of 2016

Posted in Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 17, 2016 by dc

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As I get older and busier, I feel it is only right I take things a bit easier and just pick ten favourite albums this year. Don’t get me wrong, it’s been a great year for music, it’s just that ten seems a bit less daunting than the usual twenty as I sit here arguing with myself.

2016 saw the return of hip hop legends A Tribe Called Quest and De La Soul and great new albums from Slacker Shack favourites like Bon Iver, Future Of The Left, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, Danny Brown, Aesop Rock and Cate Le Bon. All on fine, fine form.

As far as new artists go nothing’s cracked my top 10. There’s been loads of great music from debutants like Swedish producer sir Was (who’s sound is intriguingly described by his label, “as though D’Angelo and Prince threw David Crosby into the studio with Tame Impala and Talk Talk’s Mark Hollis”), 4AD’s latest quality find, Pixx, Toronto indie-rockers, Weaves and The Magnetic North with their excellent concept album, Prospect Of Skelmersdale. But nothing that quite squeezed in.

So, my top ten. I like to think it’s a vaguely eclectic mix (variety is the spice of life and all that). Firstly, there are brilliant sophomore releases from Morgan Delt (Phase Zero) and D.D Dumbo (Utopia Defeated). The former is a truly joyous album, all psychedelic curiosity and playfulness – a retroist summer of love album that gurgles and floats without ever seeming kitschy or forced.

Two British albums make the cut. Cate Le Bon returned with Crab Day, and I had the pleasure of seeing her live earlier in the year in Manchester. The album is a heady mix of Magic Band jerkiness, Kate Bush meets Nico wonderment and gloriously skew-whiff melodies, and I’ve had it on heavy rotation for months. The second British pick is The Future Of The Left’s latest, The Peace & Truce of Future of the Left. Lead Leftie, Andrew Falkous remains not only one of my favourite current lyricists but one of the best of the past 15 years. A sardonic wit underpinned by a chugging post hardcore malevolence, his band’s latest album, might not quite reach the dizzying heights of a couple of it’s predecessors, but it’s a fascinating and humorous growl of a record nonetheless.

As far as rock music goes the real stand out album this year was King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard’s psych-rock chug-a-thon, Nonagon Infinity. I’ve loved their last three albums (particularly last year’s Paper Mâché Dream Balloon), but Nonagon Infinity just turns the amps up to 11 from the off and stays there.

2016 been a good year for hip hop too. Albums by Kool Keith, De La Soul, Pusha T, Kendrick Lamar, Anderson Paak, DJ Shadow, Open Mike Eagle, clipping. and London’s very own, Skepta, were all whiskers away from my top ten. Three albums did make it onto the shortlist though.

Firstly, Danny Brown’s Atrocity Exhibition – an album that widens his sound palette further, pulling in everything from trap to free jazz, and from grime to dubstep – all of it smothered in Brown’s nasty rasp and hyperactive flow.

My next pick is the latest album from one of my favourite rappers of the past fifteen years, Aesop Rock. The Impossible Kid is probably Aesop’s most accessible album to date without losing any of the verbal dexterity and poetic wordplay that have graced his previous albums. This time though there’s less abstract thought and surrealism and something all together more autobiographical.

My final hip hop choice is A Tribe Called Quest’s glorious return, We Got it From Here… Thank You 4 Your Service. With the untimely death of founding member, Phife Dawg, the album was always going to come with a lump in the throat and a tear in the eye, but what gets you is the overwhelming joy of it all from start to finish. The people making this album clearly loved being involved, everyone just bounces and buzzes off each other and it acts as a mighty epitaph to Phife.

Penultimately, one album I’ve only really found and got into over the past month is Nicolas Jaar’s, Sirens. It’s a fairly sprawling affair but after a few listens it becomes a wide-eyed and cinematic landscape of an album. Cherry picking all kinds of influences it’s held together with a kind of electro-jazz wizardry. It thrills both the beard stroker and foot tapper in me simultaneously. Given a few more months of frequent listens and it might even have grabbed Slacker Shack’s coveted (pfft) top spot!

So, onto the winner – Bon Iver’s 22, A Million Slacker Shack’s album of the 2016. It was a far odder album than I expected. Something more experimental and abstract than I’d envisaged and in many ways it’s a beautiful album of opposites and gentle curveballs. Justin Vernon’s lyric’s are oblique and obtuse but there are pockets of tender, personal snapshots and warmth. Vernon even manages to make his heavily processed vocals sound touching and soulful like an alien Neil Young. Some reviewers have compared it in spirit to Radiohead’s Kid A and I can see the comparisons. Both have an electronic, experimental and alien approach but both have a real soulfulness and soft underbelly too. At times I’ve listened to 22, A Million on repeat, getting gently hypnotised by it all and lost in all the strange glitches and gurgles. I love it.

Bon Iver – 22, A Million

Nicolas Jaar – Sirens

A Tribe Called Quest – We Got it From Here… Thank You 4 Your service

Aesop Rock – The Impossible Kid

Morgan Delt – Phase Zero

King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Nonagon Infinity

Cate Le Bon – Crab Day

Future Of The Left – The Peace & Truce of Future of the Left

Danny Brown – Atrocity Exhibition              

D.D Dumbo – Utopia Defeated

Danny Brown – Smokin & Drinkin – new video

Posted in Music with tags , , , , , , , on September 20, 2014 by dc

Busdriver – Ego Death (Feat. Aesop Rock and Danny Brown) – new video

Posted in Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on July 10, 2014 by dc

Vampire Weekend and Danny Brown collaborate on ‘Step’ remix

Posted in Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 2, 2014 by dc

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Brooklyn’s Vampire Weekend have release a ‘Wintertime Remix‘ of Step from their last album, Modern Vampires Of The City. The remix features rapper (and Slacker Shack favourite) Danny Brown, as well as two ex-Das Racist members, Heems and Despot. The even better news is that it’s a triumph – check it out below:

Danny Brown – Dip – new video

Posted in Music with tags , , , , , , , , on September 19, 2013 by dc

Detroit rapper, Danny Brown‘s forthcoming album, Old is only 11 days away from release, and he’s just released another brain rattling new track (and video) from it.

Dip is the kind of treat I’ve come to expect from one of Slacker Shack‘s favourite current rappers – check the video out below:

Old is out on the 30th September.

Danny Brown – ODB – new video

Posted in Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 29, 2013 by dc

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US hip-hop is having a peculiar year. From Kanye West‘s opinion splitting, but frequently mesmeric Yeezus LP, through to the ongoing rise of Trap, the return of Boom Bap and the hazy purple drank production underpinning tunes by rappers like A$AP Rocky, SpaceGhostPurrp and 2Chainz. It’s all over the place – restless and fidgety.

‘Restless and fidgety’ is a good place to start with Danny Brown‘s latest offering too. ODB is a psychedelic curdle of a tune with Brown rhyming all over it like a wild-eyed and eloquent crackhead. The synths sound like the high pitched soundtrack to a forgotten horror movie and the whole thing makes me think of the Spaceman 3 album title, “Taking Drugs to Make Music to Take Drugs To”. It’s disorientating but not unpleasant.

It took a few listens to sink into it, but now that I have I’m mildly obsessed with it. See what you think:

Danny Brown‘s latest album, Old, is out on the 30th September.

Danny Brown performs new tune ‘Dope Song’ at Coachella

Posted in Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 22, 2013 by dc

Detroit rapper Danny Brown‘s forthcoming Old album is one of the LP’s due out this year that I’m most looking forward too.

His last album XXX was probably my favourite hip-hop album of 2011 and I get the feeling that, Old is going to send him stellar.

Last weekend, Brown performed at Coachella music festival, debuting new tune, Dope Song, as part of his set. Check out the footage below: