Holy Smoke – Holy Smoke

These guys – Jeremiah Jae & zeroh – have made one of the best experimental hip-hop albums of 2016 and maybe to this date. The aesthetic that this album gives off sounds like the tracks were fumigated with smoke in a dungeon that hadn’t seen light until our third-eye spitters entered.  The music starts straight-forward; the production on “Turning” has me reminiscing over old Exile beats from Below the Heavens and then we run into something a little more western and tribal on the next track “Pitchforks”. It seems like the audio is disintegrating as the albums continues and we’re quickly met with noisy vocals and bizarre soundscapes. When zeroh isn’t reading parables from stone or Jae isn’t spitting as if he’s in his hardest b-boy stance, the production is flooding the gaps in between their disquisitions, whether it literally be sounds of water on tracks like “Lazy Day” or the jingle bells on “Soy Cheese”. Zeroh and Jae are not rookies to the game and have been making interesting rap music for quite some time now. Both are incredible producers that run in the same vein as Flying Lotus/Captain Murphy and the context of their lyrics is just as, if not more intriguing.  Stream the album below and I apologize for not getting this out sooner so you could get your hands on the smokey 10″.

EDIT: Zeroh also recently released his long-awaited solo LP under Hit+Run Records. You should check that out here.

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.:: water.lo ® ::.

For the newest artist profile, we’re looking at the youngin’ water.lo from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Lo is only eighteen years old racking up over tens of thousands of plays for multiple tracks on his soundcloud. How long he has actually been recording and taking his art seriously is unbenounced to me, but his attention to minor details is very noticeable. What I find interesting about Lo is that he takes voice modulation in a different direction in terms of recent hip-hop releases. While also producing a majority of his available tracks on soundcloud, he warbles his voice through walls of noise on tracks like “Times Like This”. But whether he’s autotuning his high notes or cloaking his lows, he blends his vocals behind his instrumentals which almost provides an easier listening experience. Instead of trying to catch clever metaphors or double entendres, Lo rides the production with a sort of elegance I can only depict with the image of somebody bullriding perfectly. While following bucks and adjusting for hard turns, on tracks like “Wasted”, it sounds like he’s recording his vocals in a beehive. It’s not surprising he’s had a successful come up with connections to the wave starter that is Indica and also being in a group with him and other great, noteworthy acts.  With no projects out and all the time in the world, Lo has a very bright career and is one of the more exciting artists coming out of the genre. Stream his loosies below and follow him on twitter in anticipation of his first release.