Noah, host of the venerable Coffeebreak for Heroes and Villains hip-hop show here at WFMU, shares his belated top picks of 2010:
1. The Sampler Platter - The Custodian Of Records
One of the top producers of recent years and keeping a sound that I like; DUSTY! He is also one of the people that I started the Coffee 2 Go podcast with and has been a staple in the weekly show since it's first airing. Check out this album if you like your hip hop sounding classic, oh yea, it's FREE too! [mp3]
Download it here.
2. Fly Casualties - MC Esoteric
Another solo outing by one half of 7L & Esoteric released on his Fly Casual Records imprint. This is a collection of tracks that never made it to his other albums. Definitely not a "leftovers" type of record. All songs here have solid production and tough lyrics. Lets not forget that all of his albums have amazing art to boot! Don't be a fool, go out and buy this - NOW! [mp3]
3. Blac Sabbath - Blacastan
Brick Records did the world of rap a solid service by releasing an album by one of the toughest MC's I've heard in a long time. Blacastan hails from CT with a voice that sounds like he drinks a mixture of fire water, nails, broken glass and eats cities for breakfast! Don't sleep on good music! [mp3]
PS: Check out his mixtape cd "The Master Of Reality" as well...
4. Destroy All Movies
Editors Zack Carlson & Bryan Connolly, along with a few other contributors, watched over 20,000 movies which 1,100 of them made it into this book. Those who know me know I have a real love for punk rock music and film. Destroy All Movies adoringly brings both worlds together in this well designed unholy writ! It really brings me back to the days I used to hang out at a video store in South Orange called "We Got Movies", who's shelves were loaded with sleazy VHS tapes of movies you just couldn't wait to see! Shout out to the whole staff of employees there, especially Mark Schatzberg!
5. Classic - Rah Digga
Rah Digga released her first album in 2000 and her second in 2010, her two lone album are still more lyrically dense than most MC’s 15+ releases. Classic is justifiably titled!
6. Street Level vinyl re-issue - The Beatnuts
Shameless plug here as I wrote the liner notes on this. However, it’s one of my top albums from the early 1990’s. This re-issue is also the perfect example of how it should be done. Paste on / heavy card stock jackets, extended art, bonus audio etc.
7. The Big Payback - Dan Charnas
If you like reading about hip hop history with exciting anecdotes, than this book is right up your alley. Dan tells the story that has not been told before in the rap game; the history behind the business of it. Everyone is covered in here! Russell Simmons, Rick Rubin, The Source, Andre Harrell, Chris Lighty, The Dust Brothers, and even WFMU’s own Monica Lynch!
8. Nineteen Ninety Now - Celph Titled & Buckwild
The Demigodz frontman and D.I.T.C. producer teamed up to release a rap record that shines from the 1990s. With Buckwild tracks that were actually made in the ‘90’s, Celph’s witty wordplay, Mista Sinista’s classic scratching this album was born from the boom bap! Also features R.A. The Rugged Man, A.G., Sadat X, Treach, O.C. and others. A solid record for the hope of hip hop’s survival!
9. How To Wreck A Nice Beach - Dave Tompkins
Chronicling the history of the vocoder was not an easy task, but somehow Mr. Tompkins managed to do something that would have made any average human lose their sanity. He traces that funny voice manipulator that everyone knows from Zapp records back to the late 1920s and how it was created by Bell Labs, also to distort conversations during World War II. Who knew? The hip hop community that later embraced the sound didn’t know, and the people who created it sure had no idea it was used for music. No one before has ever made the connection and done it with such dash!
10. Madlib Medicine Show #5 The History Of The Loop Digga, 1990 - 2000
Another collection in this on-going series. This release takes you down Madlib’s early days of beat making, and is such a MASSIVE neck snapper! Amazing cartoon booklet drawn by Benjamin Marra is also included in The Revenge Of Rapper X.
11. The Vinyl Conflict - Slayer
This is it! If you’re a fan of the group you will want to pick this up as it's remastered from the original analog flat master tapes, and pressed on 180-gram audiophile vinyl. It’s the complete American Recordings LP collection and they have never sounded better! I was lucky enough to be asked to help out on this project and hearing the test pressing blew my mind to say the least. This collection must also weigh about 10lbs, one can use it to work out with!
12. A Miraculous Kind Of Machine - Junk Science
A long time friend of the show’s, super swell guys, super great music makers and their first release on their own label; Modern Shark! Another group that gets it as far as making quality art, even down to the lovely die-cut cd jacket. Junk Science continue making music that will last! [mp3]
13. VA: Psych Funk Sa-Re Ga! Seminar: Aesthetic Expressions Of Psychedelic Funk Music In India 1970 - 1983
20 tracks laced with fuzzy guitar, hard bass lines and lots of funky groovin’ thanks to the musicians that created this playback music from Indian Cinema