Audio Reviews
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chops \’chäps\ noun plural alteration of chap c.1589 1 : JAW 2 a : MOUTH b : the fleshy covering of the jaws (a dog licking its chops) 3 : EMBOUCHURE; broadly : the technical facility of a musical performer 4 : expertise in a particular field or activity (acting chops) By definition, the members of Finn Riggins have chops. Inarguably: the whole jaw-mouth-teeth-lips assemblage. Yup, no Da ... Continue Reading

Posted: November 7th, 2007

As far as typography, glyphs, and logograms go, the ampersand ranks up there with the em dash, the asterisk, the interrobang, and the swing dash as one among my favourite written symbols. I may not necessarily use it all that much in my own writing (not the typed variety, at least), but I nevertheless appreciate the ampersand for its enigmatic concision—its ability to be so mysteriously squiggly a ... Continue Reading

Posted: October 25th, 2007

Over the last five years, few producers have made themselves as visible as 9th Wonder. Since Little Brother’s The Listening, 9th has crafted beats for Mary J. Blige, Jay-Z, and Destiny’s Child, and is almost single-handedly responsible for the recent resurrection of the Boot Camp Clik, producing records for Buckshot, Sean Price, and Black Moon. Armed with Imagine-Line FL Studio 4, the influence ... Continue Reading

Posted: October 22nd, 2007

The hip hop mixtape is an amorphous entity. Sometimes, established artists continue to pump material into the mixtape circuit between proper albums to stay sharp or to reconnect with their original fan base. Unknown artists have long employed the mixtape as a blunt instrument to break into the industry. PenDragon’s Revenge of the Harm City King is the latter, and as far as blunt objects go, it’ ... Continue Reading

Posted: October 16th, 2007

“Well, it’s been a long time, long time now. Since I’ve seen you smile,” wails Zach Condon’s vibrato on “Nantes”, the second track off the latest Beirut LP. Though officially released October 9th, the record has already taken off via internet leak, live tour, and an album website with videos shot by Vincent Moon for each track ( The audio, live, and video versions of The Flyi ... Continue Reading

Posted: October 9th, 2007

What do you get when you cross legendary hip hop producer, his associate, and the keyboardist from the perhaps greatest funk collective to survive the 1970s? Apparently, an infant pachyderm. Baby Elephant is the newest experiment concocted by hip hop genius Prince Paul, Newkirk, and Bernie Worrell, late of Parliament Funkadelic. The album's melodies are driven by Worrell's fingers, and his soun ... Continue Reading

Posted: October 8th, 2007

Even if you've never heard of Valgeir Sigurðsson, it doesn't mean you haven't heard him. Not only was he a key producer on several of Björk post-Homogenic works, Sigurðsson has shared his studio wizardry with both Bonnie "Prince" Billy and Cocorosie. Imagine a Timbaland with a bit more art school cred. . . And like the aforementioned "promiscuous boy," Valgeir has stepped into the foreground wi ... Continue Reading

Posted: October 7th, 2007

Army of the Pharaohs is a super group of sorts, comprised of a number of mostly Philadelphia-based emcees, DJs, and producers, including Vinnie Paz, 7L&Esoteric, Apathy and Celph Titled. Created by Paz, founding member of Jedi Mind Tricks, Army of the Pharaohs was meant to be a living entity, a vehicle of fluid membership, untapped collaborative potential and raw energy for the creators of underg ... Continue Reading

Posted: October 3rd, 2007

Modern pop collectives are, for most, a bit of an acquired taste. The average pop imbiber has few-to-no problems with the accepted power trio (+1) formula of a drummer, bassist, lead and rhythm guitarists, where one doubles as lead singer. But, should you include a fifth member whose duties extend anywhere beyond posturing and holding a microphone, odds are exceedingly good that you’ve stretched t ... Continue Reading

Posted: September 30th, 2007

For all of its avant-garde swagger and presupposed ineffability, it seems that post-rock has begun its inevitable compromise towards a middling membership in that all-encompassing mess of melting-pot mediocrity more commonly known as “pop.” Sad, yes, but true; it happens to the best of us eventually, I suppose. Middle age hits, the belly expands, the muscles slacken, and your hair begins its myste ... Continue Reading

Posted: September 27th, 2007

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