Lazerbeak - Lava Bangers
There’s no doubt that the hip hop crown belonged to motor mouth rap collective Odd Future for the majority of 2011, but that was then and this is now - and whilst last year indefinitely belonged to the East, 2012 sees a whole host of West-side talent swaggering back into the fray. When he’s not busy playing guitar in small-time indie band The Plastic Constellations, Aaron Mader; aka; Lazerbeak can be found on producing duties for the Minnesota based Doomtree, alongside the company of six other talented emcees and producers. But for the second time in his career, he’s going it alone on his second full length solo album; Lava Bangers.
The album kicks off with the beat heavy instrumental number ''Mighty Jungle' - which sets the tone for the majority of the record (it is an instrumental album after all). The first vocal of the record doesn’t come in until four tracks deep on 'LRL' with an expertly looped vocal progression that cements Mader’s talent for reinventing the same sort of sound that was present in many nineties mix tapes.
The titling of tracks 'Had Enough' and 'Finally Bac'k present the record as Mader’s perspective grows with age, and seems more mature than on previous records; Hand Over Fist and Legend Recognise Legend. 'Knight Fighter' is one the standout tracks with its disco vibes that mingle interchangeably with a strong backbeat, it’s just a shame that it clocks in at a mere 1 minute 15.
Having a twenty track album may seem intimidating to many listeners but Lazerbeak is nothing if not consistent. It’s never going to make waves in high places, but when it can remain a best kept secret for many hip hop fans that harbour a secret passion for 70s disco music, it needn’t have to.
Purchase and listen
FatCat record’s Brighton based sister label, Palmist are a beacon of principle in a sea of compromisers. They cling to vinyl in a digital world and they work with artists they love not those from whom they could make a quick buck. They’re made the way independent labels used to be made. After the idiosyncratic coupling of US Girls and Slim Twig their latest split 12” is a more complimentary affair. [read more]
This is the third album by acclaimed Canadian songwriter Dan Mangan, and the follow-up to his Polaris prize nominated Nice, Nice, Very Nice. Although Mangan often gets saddled with the 'folk' label, his arrangements are bigger and very ambitious than that might suggest, and for every wistful reflective acoustic moment there is a string part or brass section to reach out and grab your attention. [read more]