Review: Sev Statik – Sophy EP

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Perhaps one of my favorite parts about listening to (and consequently supporting) music created in the 518 is the opportunity for intimacy as listener. Simply knowing that the music was created locally, from its inspiration to its conception to its recording process to its release, automatically makes it more appealing to me. It’s impossible to say but maybe I’m unlike other people or maybe I’m like every other listener in that regard. Simply, if I enjoy or connect with the music, I want to know more about the musician. And vice versa. That desire for curiosity happens less often for me in the mainstream music sphere and that’s why I place value and emphasis on focusing on discovering music on independent, underground and local levels.

It’s all subjective, of course, and that’s why a big part of me fights the urge every blog post to not simply say “Here’s music I recently found and here’s the download link. Listen.” Perhaps some people would prefer that method of writing about music but to me there’s value in spending more time crafting reviews and I hope at the very least, you do take a minute to listen.

A recent example comes from the latest release from hip hop artist Sev Statik. His EP, Sophy, is out today on Sub-Bombin Records and is available for free download. The EP is entirely produced by PJ Katz of Pig Food Records, features a track with Animal Cracker and cuts by J-Live. The EP is in advance of a full length record which will be released later this year. By the people, for the people.

Hit the jump to read my full review.

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Review: Kite Person’s “Tonight We Run”

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It’s a good week for Kite Person. Today marks the dropping of his debut EP on Sub-Bombin Records and this Thursday, Kite Person will be performing for free alongside Elsphinx, The Black Ships, Party Horn, Rally and DJ Mercy at the Fuze Box. Don’t you just love when things happen in a nice, chronological order?

Tonight We Run is a collaboration between local musicians and producers Kite Person and Rawhead, both of whom call home to the Sub-Bombin roster. These two working together makes perfect sense with a very complimentary combination of distinctive vocal stylings over ambient electronica beats. Their first time working together was supposed to be a one-off single that ended up leading to a full seven-track EP. You know, lock two creative souls in the studio and see what happens. I’m not mad about it.

At first listen, I was a bit surprised. Sub-Bombin has consistently featured a lean towards quality hip hop and downtempo instrumentals and this release just goes to show taste-making is just as adaptive and open-minded an art as anything else. (In fact, I believe I said something along the lines of, “why didn’t anyone tell me this was gonna be kinda weird-in-the-good-way?”) Regardless, it fits in its own place.

Kite Person features subtle tastes reminiscent of Phantogram, Of Montreal and maybe even Ariel Pink, while also appealing to those who gravitate towards experimental electronic production. Kite Person could easily perform both on bills comprised of indie bands or of forward-thinking DJs or perhaps be the linking thread between the two genres. It’s upbeat, easy-listening that doesn’t lose its voice or point of view in its experimentation.

The lyrics and vocals alike are both a bit whimsical in nature that helps inspire an element of visual storytelling that would translate quite well to a movie soundtrack or what have you.

You can preview the song “Know Yr Rites,” courtesy of Sub-Bombin and download a digital copy over at the label’s store. Listen and get excited for Thursday.

KAB picks: “Know Yr Rites,” “Hipster Fatigue,” “Squadron Dogs”

Review: Mitochi’s “Cryptic Cosmic”

Sub-Bombin Records, based out of Glens Falls, has always kept it fresh. The local label has curated a catalog of sounds from artists that each fill their own side of the venn diagram, but also share a common ground rooted in originality, quality production and that necessary balance between hard work and talent.

For Sub-Bombin, quality is a key word to the label’s aesthetic. The imprint aims to preserve the physical allure to music; something that so often is lost in the digital landscape. Sub-Bombin recognizes that the digital format is necessary in today’s music marketplace but also pairs each release with a physical element, either in the form of a customized USB or pressed on wax.

For their latest release, Mitochi’s “Cryptic Cosmic,” the music comes by way of a special USB card, which showcases the album’s artwork and can safely fit in a wallet. The USB card is a move of the future and an interesting way to distribute music. It feels sleek to the touch and is honestly the first of its kind that I’ve ever seen. The USB drive for Mitochi’s first release also features two additional bonus tracks.

Mitochi, (phonetically mi-ta-chi), is the moniker behind Lake George native Derek Mitchell. Mitchell has a background learning the trumpet and guitar early on, and moved onto beat production in 2002 after humbly realizing his talent did not lay in writing rhymes in high school. Over the years, his music has become more experimental and his latest album, “Cryptic Cosmic” is an interesting result of conceptualizing and creating a futuristic dossier of tunes.

The record has a balance of ambient and downtempo instrumental pieces but also samples hip-hop flavors. It’s an album that you can listen to on repeat or on shuffle or both. The tracks are all different without losing the touch and taste of the artist along the way. For one example, there is notable sampling of a slowed down Mitochi take on Dead Prez’s “Bigger Than Hip Hop” on the track “The Unknown Deep.” I personally don’t have a favorite individual track and appreciate the work as a whole, which I find to be a bit rare these days.

The tracks hold substantial weight and have a peculiar sense of intellectualism painted over them while still managing to showcase a feel of danceability. The album is adaptive for listening while driving, working, reading or browsing the Internet. The music is laid-back in nature but is by no means boring or simple.

Preview a track below and check out Mitochi’s album for yourself over on Sub-Bombin’s recently revamped website.

Latest from Sub-Bombin Records: Mr. Complex

Just like some people solely sing in the shower, I’m one who primarily listens to hip hop when I’m driving. There’s something about driving around to J Dilla’s Pandora station that hits me just right. Recently, at the 4th Annual Beat*Shot Spins for J-Dilla (dubbed Dilla Break-A-Dawn!) I picked up an advance copy of Mr. Complex’s new 12″ release courtesy of local label Sub-Bombin. Since then, thanks to the digital availability of the tracks via a special edition USB accompanying the release, I’ve been driving around with Mr. Complex for the past couple of weeks.

The album was officially released on Sub-Bombin last Tuesday on Valentine’s Day (sweetness intended!). “Swiss Chocolate Cake” is available locally at Divinyl Revolution in Saratoga Springs, as well as online at Fat Beats.

KAB picks: Holy Smokes, I Wanna Rock, How to Write a Rhyme and Flying High.

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