Kiefer - Happysad

Kiefer might be best known as part of Mndsgn.’s live band, but just last year, he released his debut solo album on Leaving Records, Kickinit Alone. Now, the UCLA-trained jazz pianist/beatmaker comes back with his sophomore effort, Happysad, this time on Stones Throw. It might seem a little obvious to say it out loud, but what helps separate Kiefer from the rest of the pack is the combination of his ability as a general hip hop producer and as a jazz pianist.

The Midnight Hour - The Midnight Hour

The Midnight Hour is a project that’s been a long time coming. Los Angeles producer/composer Adrian Younge has been making quite the name for himself over the course of this decade, releasing some great solo albums alongside collaborations with the likes of Ghostface Killah and Bilal. Back in 2013, he found himself working with the legendary deejay/producer Ali Shaheed Muhammad of a Tribe Called Quest, and soon the skeleton of this album was formed.

Longshot & Lazerbeak - Parades

Longshot is an emcee originally based in Chicago, but now lives in Minneapolis. He’s also one of these artists that has flown under the radar for a lot of people, but it you talk to someone from one of these two cities in the Midwest, they’ll probably start gushing about how good he is. Fortunately, one of those people that did know how good he is was none other than Doomtree producer Lazerbeak.

Handbook - Reminiscence

Handbook is a producer from York, England, who has been releasing music at a steady clip since the beginning of this decade, collaborating with the like of Sol Supreme and The Paramedics along the way. His latest release, an EP by the name of Reminiscence, comes courtesy of French label Cascade Records. The songs on Reminiscence were all written at a certain point in Handbook’s life when he was very happy, and it comes through in the music on this EP.

Lex the Lexicon Artist - Raging Ego

Lex the Lexicon Artist is an up and coming emcee from the Bay who has been making some big splashes in a short amount of time, including being one of Scratched Vinyl’s favorite acts of SXSW 2018. After putting in the work, playing shows, writing songs, and building a following, the time has finally com for her debut album, Raging Ego. Lex is an interesting artist for a lot of different reasons, including her background, which she gets into a little bit over the course of the album.

The Red Giants - The Shade EP

Jermiside is an emcee and producer from Cincinnati that’s put out a few releases on HipNott Records, and also contributed to the supergroup Lessondary. One of the many other members in Lessondary was a producer also from Cincinnati, Brickbeats. The two actually met back in 2003, and released their first collaborative project, a self-titled album, back in 2006. As long as they’ve known each other and have been working together, it’s been six years since we got a release from the duo by themselves.

Creative Mind Frame - Standard Deviations

Chances are that even if you’re not familiar with Dallas artist Creative Mind Frame as a solo artist, you’ve seen him hop on stage or on record with another nerdcore artist, playing saxophone or rhyming. That said, as great of a collaborator as he is, he’s also a solo artist whose last release came two years ago, when he dropped Nerdcore Emulation Station 3. Now he comes back with an EP called Standard Deviations.

Elder Orange - All My Friends Believe in Ghosts

Elder Orange is a producer from Vermont who first started releasing music in 2014 as part of the now defunct World Around Records. All he’s put out so far have been singles and contributions to some collaborations. Now, he’s finally ready to release his debut album, All My Friends Believe in Ghosts. There are a lot of different ways to approach a solo instrumental album, whether it be sample-based beats, or a series of collaborations, or any number of things.

Daedelus - Taut

Daedelus has been one of the most innovative and prolific artists working in hip hop and electronic music over the last twenty years. The Los Angeles producer hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down, either, with his entry into Fat Beats’ Baker’s Dozen series coming out last year. Now he comes back once again with another full-length album, Taut. Daedelus was part of a wave of really innovative electronic music coming out of Los Angeles in the early ‘00s, and over the years he’s given us a lot of different looks, never resting on a predictable sound.

Mecca:83 - Midnight Radio EP

Manchester producer Mecca:83 has been doing his thing all decade long, carving out a little niche for himself along the way with some great soulful and jazzy beats. The last time we heard from him was last September, when he delivered Life Sketches Vol. 3, which served as the soundtrack to the all the changes in the last five years of his life. Now he comes back with something with a bit lower stakes, Midnight Radio.