Saturday, July 30, 2005


Look Records - San Francisco, California.
Grip Grand – “Poppin’ Pockets (Remix) feat. A.G.” from Poppin’ Pockets 12” (2004, Look Records)
A.G. – “If I Wanna” from Look Records 2005 Sampler (2005, Look Records)

A few of the latest offerings from the promising Bay Area label Look Records. Keep an eye out for a full length album from A.G. on Look Records featuring production from Madlib, Oh No, J Dilla, Lord Finesse, Showbiz and several others. You can purchase the Poppin’ Pockets 12” from the Look Records store here. Currently all orders ship with a free copy of the Look Records 2005 Sampler.

Production Credits:
“Poppin’ Pockets (Remix)” produced by DJ Design.
“If I Wanna” produced by Jake One.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Soloplexus - The Illusive Avenues of 6 Intrinsic Musicians

"Should I Letem In?" from The Illusive Avenues of 6 Intrinsic Musicians (2005, Bad News Records)
"The Magic Instrument" from The Illusive Avenues of 6 Intrinsic Musicians (2005, Bad News Records)

The latest Japan-only release from Boston native Insight: Soloplexus - The Illusive Avenues of 6 Intrinsic Musicians. If you were a fan of "Seventeen MC's" (a track from Insight's stellar 2004 release "The Blast Radius" in which he forms a one man posse cut, speaking in seventeen different voices), this is the album for you. The fictitious group Soloplexus is Insight himself, slimming his roster of alter-egos down to six for the length of a full album. Insight goes to great lengths to add to the illusion, as far as to list himself as a guest artist on a few tracks and have some non-descript bios cooked up (enjoy the broken English, haha). Trust me, he isn't fooling anyone. All six emcees hardly depart from Insight's standard vocal offering, you'll have a hard time telling the seven apart. This is a small shortcoming in the grand scheme of things though. All nitpicking aside, you're left with a very solid album. Soloplexus' emcees rarely take the music's content too seriously, often devoting whole tracks to the simpler conflicts and activities of life (answering a knocking door, confronting a tow truck operator, and enjoying a lazy day to name a few). Many listeners will appreciate the departure from the standard braggadocio-laced Hip Hop fare. Sit back, relax and enjoy the rhymes.

This album is available for online purchase through Bad News Records for 2,400 yen (link). I know importing music can be expensive, so here's some good news for those who can be patient: word is Insight will be releasing the album stateside sometime in 2006.

Not familiar with Insight? Visit his website,

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Florida: Hip Hop's Best Kept Secret? [Part 1 - CYNE]

CYNE (Cultivating Your New Experience)
"Steady" from Movements 12" (2003, Botanica del Jibaro)
"Automaton (Four Tet Remix)" from Running Water 12" (2005, City Centre Offices)

I had the pleasure of getting my hands on an advance copy of CYNE's sophomore album, "Evolution Fight" in March. We're at the end of July, it's yet to leave my rotation. Consistant conscious lyricism backed by soulful beats, this album is solid end-to-end and not to be slept on. Do yourself a favor and pick this one up when it drops, it has "Top 5 of 2005" written all over it (at least in my opinion).

It's a shame their music isn't readily available in the United States. I had a hard time purchasing their music, even through online Hip Hop retailers. I finally managed to cop both a Japanese version of their debut album "Time Being" and a Japan-only collection of b-sides entitled "CYNE Collection (1999-2003)" through the online retailer Forced Exposure. $21 a pop is a little steep, but it was well worth it. If you enjoy the music, definitely go out and (attempt?) to cop a release. Hopefully their sophomore effort will be a little more easy to come by stateside.

To learn more about this Florida-based Hip Hop crew hit up CYNE's Official Website or their MySpace. "Evolution Fight" is due out August 23rd, 2005 on City Centre Offices (CCO).