REVIEWS

SHIT YOU NEED TO HEAR (SYNTH – 19)

Artist: Main Source
Album: Breaking Atoms

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The chemistry between the Large Professor, Sir Scratch, and K-Cut was powerful to make Breaking Atoms an appreciated album since its release in 1991. The production credits on Breaking Atoms go to the collective Main Source, the raspy drums and the groove and soul music samples that typically identify the Large Professor’s production. Breaking Atoms featured original styles, innovative production, and meticulous lyrics. Personal favourite, second track of the record, ‘Just Hangin’ Out’ employs a wild horn loop underneath a slow and melodic string sample, rapping over, with Sister Nancy’s Bam Bam. The tracks on Breaking Atoms are infused with shining instrumentation, creative scratching, entertaining bridges, and proficient lyrics, all of which combine to make this a memorable album sure to live in the annals of hip-hop’s influential recordings.


Artist: El Michels Affair
Album: Enter The 37th Chamber

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Rap would be so awesome if it just didn’t have any vocals or lyrics, kidding. Luckily for me, there is El Michels Affair, a funk-soul supergroup of sorts, whose latest album is composed entirely of instrumental versions of classic tracks from the hip-hop pioneers Wu-Tang Clan. Their hits like ‘Shimmy Shimmy Ya’, ‘Protect Ya Neck’, and ‘C.R.E.A.M.’ are all present in Enter The 37th Chamber. What makes Enter the 37th Chamber such an interesting idea is there are no vocals. This album proves that Wu-Tang Clan’s songs were more than just raps. El Michels Affair is clearly a talented and versatile group, willing to merge genres and experiment with new musical ideas. To think about El Michels Affair serving as the live backing band to the Wu-Tang Clan emcees became a reality as Michels, for the past few years, had gone on the road to back Raekwon and some of his Wu-Tang Clan associates. Watch Enter The 37th Chamber LP demo on YouTube and get them online at The Barbershop Music.

Artist: The Last Shadow Puppets
Album: The Dream Synopsis

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After the release of their last studio album Everything You’ve Come To Expect, The Last Shadow Puppets are back with another release. Collecting different cover versions they’ve performed on their 2016 tour and some re-recordings of songs from their last album, The Dream Synopsis is a neat little companion piece to the 2016 tour, and a generally enjoyable EP. For those wanting recordings of their live covers or simply seeking more from The Last Shadow Puppets, the collection offers a lot. This is definitely a release for the fans, and one they should enjoy immensely. The Dream Synopsis EP is also of the latest arrivals in The Barbershop Music store.

 

Artist: Sleep
Album: The Clarity

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The Clarity is a reissue from back in 2014 that will come in special vinyl designs. For those of you who missed out on this gem, the track from the get go is funky as hell. It starts with this fun progression of bright and deep notes, just to make way for some groovy and haze ridden riffs. Still with that signature Sleep drone effect, this is one of the band’s more stand out tracks. Whether it’s through crazy long singles, or music that shifts from an atmosphere of chaotic drones to dragging, Sleep have always found unique ways to spin their jams. The Clarity is one of the best examples for this, for it takes the base of stoner pleasure, and turns it into a wild and adventurous time, with a mist of darkness all around it. The Clarity reissue making for an excellent and rare part of Sleep’s discography, you won’t want to lose out on this gem. Purchase of the vinyl can be made here at The Barbershop Music.

 

Artist: The O’Jays
Album: Ship Ahoy

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When I think of 70s protest soul, The O’Jays straight away came to my mind. Their album ‘Ship Ahoy’ should join Marvin Gaye’s ‘What’s Going On’ or Curtis Mayfield’s ‘There’s No Place Like America Today’ as one of the 70’s most questioning, confrontational works. Ship Ahoy is a dark work wrapped in a honeyed veneer. Produced by their producers/writers Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, and showed how inventive they had become. They crafted a remarkable work that built on the success from their breakthrough album, Back Stabbers. In the wrong hands, Ship Ahoy would all sound like a grim sermon. In the hands of The O’Jays, never has an album so angry sounded so sweet. Get their albums at The Barbershop Music.