liner notes from the future

It has been a good summer for albums, and we’re only halfway through it.  To wit:

Atmosphere – When Life Gives You Lemons, You Paint That Shit Gold is a gorgeous, gorgeous album of utterly tragic hip-hop.  The production, (with one or two annoying exceptions) is lush, acoustic magic, and the vocals are profoundly, profoundly depressing.  As an indicator of what I mean by depressing, the two upbeat tunes are about cocaine and speed, repsectively.  With that said, it remains a gorgeous album.

Cyne – Evolution Fight is less overwhemlingly sad, but also less varied in terms of backing tunes:  Piano over samples breaks is pretty much the order of the day.  This is by no means a bad thing, especialy where songs like ‘Arrow Of God’ are concerned…but a track or two that didn’t all have the same sounds would be nice.

Steinski – What Does It All Mean, of course, all sounds like Steinski.  This is a mind-melting album:  A first disc of the man’s legendary bootleg / mashup / mixes, including ‘Lesson 2’, ‘Lesson 3’, and ‘The Payoff Mix’ and then a second disc with his (mind-boggling) Solid Steel mix from 2002.  Sample culture owes this man a huge debt of gratitude, and this music is why.

Baby Loves Hip-Hop Presents – The Dino 5.  What happens when Prince Paul collects a bunch of hip-hop’s finest?  They make a kid’s album.  About dinosaurs.  With tracks like ‘I May Be Big and Scary But I’m Really Pretty Nice’.  Obviously.  This is pure class – thanks to Terence for the tip.

Steve Reich – Music For 18 Musicians.  My feelings on Mr. Reich are pretty well known.  That is to say, I love this album.

Jesse Somfay – A Catch In The Voice.  The next album by one of Canada’s finest techno people sounds like being lost in a forest with light tumbling through the trees.  A deer may nuzzle your hand, and then leap away.  Beautiful stuff.

Limbo – First Person is my pal Liam from deepest Saskatchewan.  His first album is all psy-edged techno, detuned pads, gorgeous leads, and sly, snappy drums.  Highlights are ‘I Like Turtles’ and ‘Flying Kites’, which sounds like every Minilogue track ever mixed into a single 10-minute joyride.