Fresh Fish: Never MP- Not Never! (2011)

17 03 2011

While Diggin’ in the massive vaults that are Soundcloud, I came across this new album/Playlists from unknown Hip Hop beatminer Never MP titled Not Never! -A solid Release of Instrumentals from across the pond, great for freestyling or just loungin’ on a saturday afternoon. I must say, I love that dusty vinyl vibe on these songs. the samples all sound at least 50 years old! Dope!

Happy Patty’s day everyone! -Armordillo


The Squeezebox: Mogwai- Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will (2011)

15 02 2011

Scottish Post-Rockers release a surprising but welcome album that incorporates new instrumentation and emotion into their repertoire. Adding to their traditional (mostly) Instrumental approach of rising guitar epics with new-found sounds like synthesizers and vocodors. making for a sort of electro-rock on part of the album which makes it lighter and warmer than its predecessors. Granted, it still Rocks like no other, but instead of pummeling the listener into the earth, Hardcore will never… aims for the heavens. Listen to the opener White Noise which feels like flying in an Airplane over the cloud-line or Rano Pano– a slow rocking mammoth of a song fit to accompany a view of mountainous terrain. When all is said and done, this is one of the best Post Rock album this listener has heard in a very long time

88%- Armordillo

The sound quality is pretty bad but this is the best I can do for now. Rano Pano


Fresh Fish: Dela – Untitled (Far Away) (20??)

27 12 2010

Chill Instrumental Hip Hop for Jazz Lovers. Originally on this Compilation/ Concept Album about a Russian Girl reaching the Moon, This Track features Smooth Guitar licks, xylophones, warped, phased-out Vocals,  and a bobbing bass-line Perfect for Working out the Post- Traumatic Holiday Disorder.. Check this track out if you like The Production of Sound Providers, Pete Rock, or Peanut Butter Wolf.


Dela- Untitled (Far Away)


The Squeezebox: Flying Lotus – Pattern + Grid World E.P.

23 12 2010

Flying Lotus‘s second release of the year and only three months after releasing his crowning achievement – Cosmogramma, a bold, experimental, opus that pushed the both the boundaries of his music and the genre. Now that he’s created his most widely acclaimed record by far, what will Steven Ellison do next?

E.P.s are usually stop-gap releases filled with a single or two and then some other more experimental leaning song’s not fit for a full length. Unfortunately that is exactly what this EP seems to be.  After hearing the lead single “Kill your co-workers” – A thrilling  drum-n-bass track with gleeful 8 bit Casio sounding keyboards that plays like the video game soundtrack of yester-year. Reminiscent of   Mouse on Mars and Square Pusher’s best work without being derivative and with a killer video to boot. This awesome new sound for Flying Lotus doesn’t carry over to the rest of Pattern + Grid World however, leaving some of these songs sounding sketchy, (Jurassic Notion/M theory) meandering, and sometimes, downright obnoxious (Pieface)  versions of his previous work.  It’s worth checking out for a few choice songs,(Clay is Quality) but not for casual Flying Lotus Fans or people not yet convinced by his work.  If you want to start somewhere go with the reset EP or any of his full length’s since this isn’t characteristic of his “normal” glitchy Trip-Hop style.

6.3/10 -Armordillo

The Squeeze box: Blockhead – Downtown Science (2005)

21 12 2010

Most underground hip hop fans probably know Blockhead as Aesop Rock’s favorite producer. Downtown Science sounds very different from any Aesop produced track, however. The familiar use of orchestral samples is still present but more restrained, and in many cases has been replaced by more electric sounding guitars. Blockhead uses a lot of strange sounds that come and go at a moments notice, but every song still has a solid foundation for this schizophrenic sense to work within.

Released in 2005 Downtown Science succeeds where many others have failed. Instead of trying to repeat the formula of his predecessors in instrumental hip hop from the mid 1990’s, Blockhead has his own unique style. This is a huge improvement over his previous effort 2004’s Music by Cave light. While that album sounds like a few gems drowning in a sea of boring mediocrity, these songs are multi-layered arrangements that reward repeated listens. The album starts with “Expiration Date” which uses a simple sample and heaving pounding drums. This is followed by the standout track “Roll Out the Red Carpet” which sounds like an updated science fiction version of Miles Davis. “Cherry Picker” “Good Block, Bad Block” and “Quite Storm” all continue the understated fragmented melodies and add to the album’s cohesiveness. The one exception is “The Art of Walking” where Blockhead takes a light-hearted detour into an homage to 70s funk.

What sets Science apart from a lot of modern day hip hop is Blockhead’s understanding of sped up soul samples. Often times these are used as the focal point of songs and end up making them sound whiny and annoying. In this case though, they are chopped up and pop in and out of the melodies instead of overwhelming them. Blockhead basically treats them like another instrument and this adds to the texture of the songs in a very enjoyable way. This album is probably not for everyone, but it deserves recognition for it’s originality. Fans of Cannibal Ox’s Iron Galaxy and Company Flow’s Funcrusher Plus should find it enjoyable. 8/10


The Squeezebox: Hir-O – The Voyage Home

20 12 2010

When it comes to instrumental hip hop, I am a hard one to please.  Sure, there’s plenty of great beats out there (Amon Tobin, Flying Lotus, Dabrye, et cetera et cetera), but the repetitive nature inherent in Hip Hop beats wears me thin real quick.  Most instrumental albums I can’t even enjoy in one sitting.  I just get bored and stop paying attention.

But this couldn’t be farther from the truth for Hir-O’s newest release, The Voyage Home.  Like any great producer, Hir-O understands that instrumental Hip Hop is more than just beats without an emcee.  His beats on this album are big, beefy, crisp and unique.  And best of all, there’s actually lots of variation and thematic arc to the songs!  The sampling is excellent too, especially on the lyrical tracks like Headlock and I and I, echoing the vocal sampling skills of greats such as RJD2 and DJ Shadow.

The Voyage Home, available for free download at Hir-O’s Bandcamp page, is yet another strong addition to the ever growing library of exquisite SE Michigan Hip Hop, and we here at Balafonic are glad to welcome it to the club.


Download The Voyage Home for free here

Track Runners: Chilled out Mix

12 12 2010

A new Mix for lounging. Chilled out, relaxed,with some instrumentals for your snow time vibes Many More Mixes to come…..


1.Linctus- Aim
2.I Know-The Beta Band
4.Song 1- DJ Krush
5.Misnomer-Four Tet
6.Quiet Now-Daedelus
7heroes eligy- Blue States
8.Hatoa- Bonobo
9.Marvellous-Noonday Underground
10.Your girl- Blue States
11.What does your soul look like?-DJ Shadow
12.Synopsis- Fat Jon The Ample Soul Physician
13.Aquarium- Casino VS. Japan
14.Mad Blunted Jazz-DJ Cam
15.Words to that Effect-Hint

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