Archive for the Not Riffs Category

You just can’t knock that soul: Subway Joe

Posted in Not Riffs with tags , on March 7, 2018 by Ben

Hot, hot shit.



Platypus: Sleaford Mods

Posted in Not Riffs with tags , , on March 6, 2018 by Ben

Music is a constantly evolving beast, mutating outwards from its primitive origins in eccentric spirals. As time, technology and culture progressed, music kept pace, fragmenting and crystallizing along a thousand different paths. Since I already call myself a tenant in the derelict and frequently condemned hostel that houses a majority of music that people consider unlistenable noise, I have found that this have given me a much more open temperament to some of the more esoteric evolution’s music has brought forth.

Sleaford Mods have already blown up (They’re in a The Prodigy song. Shit, The Prodigy are still making music?) but are a recent discovery for myself. In terms of platypus-esque evolution, these guys rank damn near the top, with a caustically unique sound that strains the relationship with what you can argue as music versus noise. Their music is as simple and unpretentious as pain; vaguely melodic electronic loops used as propulsive wallpaper for the seething vitriol shout-sung in a thick fucking accent. I can’t help but think of a lyric from Future of the Left; “Our survey says that shouting inanities in a regional accent is valuable to culture. Look at Eastenders, Soccer AM or the Queen’s Speech.”

A weird evolution of slam poetry, lo-fi electronic and punk politics that just works. It’s an angry everyman howling about life and things that piss him off, things that more’n likely piss you off too. The burly accent is a large part as well, one part that’s totally dependant on your preference and background. Raised in Canada, this album hits my ears a certain way but for UK native it probably hits different. The accent is defining feature yes, but only if it sounds like an accent to you, it’s a non-issue if you’re from that part of the world. Usually I wouldn’t waste breath on dissecting this idea but when an accent being used like a lead guitar you have to have this conversation.

They’ve released 10 albums since 2007, you can find one down below along with the video for “Tied Up In Nottz” that spawned this whole spiel.

Rowdy Elegance: Charles Mingus – Blues & Roots

Posted in Not Riffs with tags , on March 2, 2018 by Ben

I am tired. In lieu of any effort on my part, please enjoy one of my all-time favourite jazz albums from the crazed perfectionist himself, Charles Mingus.

Broken Strings: Buena Vista Social Club & Anthony Bezel

Posted in Not Riffs with tags , , on February 15, 2018 by Ben

While the majority of my time is spent surfing through the varieties of guitar-centric music, occasionally I’ll burst up through the surface, purge my blowhole (a-HA) and snag some tasty morsels floating outside of my comfort zone. Here’s two.

Buena Vista Social Club – S/T

I found this album after randomly watching a documentary of the same name, (obviously) about the making of this 1997 Cuban ensemble album. Apparently, this album was hot shit in the 90’s, with the album winning a Grammy and the documentary I mentioned taking home an academy award.

For music this far out of my regular, scummy circle, I really have no background to ramble on about. It boils down to a gut (ears really) reaction on how I feel about the music in question. In this case, I think it’s a beautiful and subtle album, with exceptional vocals and musicianship. For all that’s worth…

Anthony Bezel – The Events That Follow

I really wasn’t going to post about this album because it’s way the fuck out there for me. Even for the rap I do listen to, this sound is not something I historically had any time for. But like I mentioned above, the gut calls the shots and it was rumbling along something fierce to The Events That Follow.

It’s a local effort with mean flows and some top-shelf production, crisp highs and thoroughly rattling bass. Good shit.

For the Homies

Posted in Not Riffs with tags on January 4, 2018 by Ben

Not being ironic.

ICP got some pretty good tracks.



Lost the Plot: Aesop Rock, Darkhouse Family & Jackie Shane

Posted in Not Riffs with tags , , , , , on December 4, 2017 by Ben

For the last couple weeks I’ve been on a steady streak of new musical consumption but the majority of it has been far to the left of the usual fare posted here. I can’t exactly have an establishment called Church of the Riff and be posting stuff without riffs can I?

But I will anyway. Here’s a taste of where my tastes have been for the last little while.

Aesop Rock – The Impossible Kid

Aesop Rock is a long in the tooth rapper that has been putting out music since the 90’s. His distinct style is staked out by his complex and far reaching lyricism, rapid-fire slabs of dense references and tangential verbiage. It’s like listening to an audio book on fast-forward, delivered with a nasally twang and slapped over some excellent beats. An artist that is definitely not everyone’s cup of coffee, I personally love his shit, the combination of esoteric rhymes and unexpected flows always hit home for me. The album streaming above is his latest, released last year, and you can also check out 2012’s Skelethon on that Bandcamp as well.

Darkhouse Family – The Offering

This is another random stumble from the Bandcamp homepage and was one of my most pleasant surprises this year. Darkhouse Family is the name given to a pair of producers, Metabeats and Jamal, working together on this newest effort, The Offering. A masterclass in electronic fusion and hip-hop instrumentals, these guys weave together myriad influences and sounds over the 11 tracks on this record. Tasteful combinations of live instrumentals and vocals with electronic ambience are weaved together to make some seriously dank grooves. Mellow. Classy. Rock solid.

Jackie Shane – Any Other Way

Another excellent production from the The Numero GroupAny Other Way is a collection of tracks by Jackie Shane, a little-known soul singer who reached her peak in Toronto in the 60’s. A perfect slice of gritty R&B and soul delivered with all that tasty 60’s dirt intact. Easily on par with her contemporaries of the day, there’s plenty of ass-shaking groove and soulful swagger to be found across these 25 tracks.

Music Video Oscar; DJ Shadow feat. Run The Jewels – Nobody Speak

Posted in Not Riffs with tags , on March 14, 2017 by Ben

I was on a work trip to the UAE for the last week. The hotel TV didn’t have anything to watch so I spent a lot of time on Youtube, leading me to find the music video for “Nobody Speak” from the newest DJ Shadow album. I’d never heard of DJ Shadow before but I knew who Run the Jewels were, so I decided to give it a go.

Hip-hop may or may not be your thing (I dig it) but genre aside, this video is fucking superb. Goddamn Academy Award-level shit. The setup, production, acting, song beats, the song itself. The whole thing gels so damn well it almost brings a tear to my eye. Usually the actors are the weak link in the lip-syncing-a-rapper video segment but in this case, these actors fucking kill it.