Basshead Jazz - Sidea Grits

In May of last year, I went to the Lobotomix showcase in Birmingham. Headlining the bill that night was a new group called Basshead Jazz out of Mobile. I had seen one of the members perform solo before, but besides that I knew very little of what to expect. By the end of the night, due to their absolutely electric set, everyone in attendance had become their biggest fans, me included.

Elyzr - Jazz Cabbage

There’s not a lot of biographical information available on Elyzr, but I can tell you that the multi-instrumentalist/producer/vocalist is from Baldwin Park, California. I can also tell you that this is his debut LP, Jazz Cabbage. While the back story to the album and the artist might remain a little bit of a mystery, what it always boils down to is how enjoyable the album is to listen to, and on that count Jazz Cabbage is a success.

Klassy - Dirty Cortez

Beatrock Music has brought us a lot of great music over the years, from LA to the Bay, including Bambu, Rocky Rivera, and Ruby Ibarra, just to name a few. One name you might not be familiar with yet is Klassy, although she did make a guest appearance on Ruby Ibarra’s “Us,” from her album CIRCA91. Now you have a chance to get to know the Los Angeles emcee really well, as she drops her EP, Dirty Cortez.

Kadesh Flow - Otaku Moods

Last March, we got an EP from Kansas City emcee/trombonist Kadesh Flow titled Room Service, which marked a new phase in his career as a full-time musician. Since that time, he’s been touring, worked on some collaborative projects, and has been working on a new solo album. With the new album still to come, he now tides us over with an EP called Otaku Moods. For Otaku Moods, Kadesh Flow works with producers Atlas, The Xtraordinairs, 1Bounce, D.

Third Root - Trill Pedagogy: Winter Flex

The San Antonio/Austin group known as Third Root has been busy recently with a project known as Trill Pedagogy. Trill, of course, being the word coined in Port Arthur combining the words “true” and “real,” and pedagogy meaning the practice and method of teaching. They’ve already released two volumes of EPs for the project, Summer Semester and Fall Semester. Things now move into the intense period of learning, Winter Flex.

Thorts/Kady Starling - Come What May/Waiting To Expire

Thorts and Kady Starling are a husband and wife duo from Australia who have both been part of the alternative hip hop scene there for years. For their latest release, they take the split EP approach, with each artist contributing a complementary collection of five songs. The result is the compelling Come What May/Waiting To Expire. Split EPs are always interesting projects to approach, and some work a lot better than others.

Tensei - Constellate

Tensei is the Chicago production duo consisting of Midas Wells and Chris Kramer. They have been making music for several years, and have released a number of EPs, working with numerous Chicago musicians along the way, from soul to jazz to hip hop and everything in between. It’s been a couple of years since we got a proper release out of Tensei, but that changes with the first of what promises to be multiple releases on Tokyo Dawn, Constellate.

Sev Seveer - Shelfie Baps II

Sev Seveer is a producer from Chicago and part of the Push Beats Collective. The last time we heard from him was back in 2016, when he released his EP Smithereens. Now he comes back with a collection of beats, Shelfie Baps II. As you might infer from the title of this collection, this release is the second installment in a series of previously unreleased boom bap material that had been sitting on the shelf, or “shelfie baps.

Oso Negro & PH8 - Glory and Gory Stories

Oso Negro is an emcee from Pensacola, Florida. We last heard from him back in April of 2017, when he released an EP with Boise producer Weighn Beats called Werebear. Now he teams up with a producer from Taos named PH8 to drop a new EP, called Glory and Gory Stories. What the title of this EP means is that you’re getting seven songs with tales about power and corruption. By this, I mean that Oso Negro is taking more of an abstract philosophical approach to the subject matter, asking questions about the nature of humans and why people take this route so often.

Moodie Black - M B I I I

Moodie Black is a hip hop/noise act that was based out of Minneapolis for many years but has recently relocated to Los Angeles. Last year saw them release a major album in Lucas Acid, which not only marked a shift in musical style, but also marked their first release since emcee/producer KDeath came out publicly as transgender. Now that they’ve navigated those waters, Moodie Black releases a four-song EP to start off the new year, simply titled M B I I I.