Tim Hecker — Live Room

Rarely do I hear music that makes me stop what I’m doing, sit down, and listen. On even rarer occasions do I stop what I’m doing, sit down, turn off all the lights and listen with closed eyes. This would be one of those occasions.

Tim Hecker is an electronic musician. However, for this track (and for lots of his new album) he incorporated live instrumentation. Good luck trying to figure out what bits are human and which are beamed straight from an alien planet. Either way, this is one of the most beautiful things I’ve heard this year.

Shame — Arti$t

If you’ve ever walked around NYC you’re used to being yelled at by strange men, “Hey you, cop my CD! Get some of this hot shit now!” And if you’re a true New Yorker, you’ve turned your head away and hurried your steps to cross the street. However, today I bring you a homie from NYC that you shouldn’t forcibly ignore.

He goes by the name Shame, reps his crew NIKY Mob and just released his debut mixtape “Arti$t.” While I think rappers need to stop adding a dollar sign to every motherfucking word, that shouldn’t stop you from checking out his tape. It’s always interesting to hear new artists find their voice, test out different soundscapes and above all, feel their passion for their work.

One thing that sets Shame apart from the rest of the rap game is his poetic side. And I don’t merely mean he waxes poetic. Where normally you’d have album skits, Shame has tracks where he spits actual poetry. It helps give the mixtape an overall vibe as well as show two lanes of attack for Shame to pursue in the future.

My favorite cuts on the mixtape are Mellow and Icepick. Shame seems to be at his most natural rapping over classic hip hop styled beats like Mellow, and his charism really shows through here. Icepick on the other hand ditches the introspective strings and instead goes for a more modern sound: smashing 808’s, pitch shifted vocals and Shame speeding up his flow to knock out some killer lines. My only critique would be to lose the ending laugh. Not everyone has to be Wiz Khalifa.

In closing, support your lovely NYC, cop this free tape and get a bump up in your knowledge of hip underground musicians. You know, so you can brag to your friends about hearing them first.

http://shame-the-mc.bandcamp.com

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Fiona Apple — Hot Knife

Most of the time I find Fiona Apple’s music to be rather whiny, overly dramatic and obnoxiously esoteric. But not today. Hot Knife robustly pushes all my complaints away with its very cool production of funky timpani drum line, Portishead-esque piano and a choir of Fiona Apples singing gaily. It’s also, surprisingly, a song where Fiona seems actually happy.