ELAQUENT - WORST CASE SCENARIO
Growth is about adaptation, existing in transit, and nourishing flux. It gives us a reason to move on to our next project, challenges us, and feeds our creative hunger.
Sona Elango, as the multi-talented Elaquent, captures a catalogue of experiences and feelings that span time zones from over the better part of 2016. Elaquent has created a reflective sound weaving themes of travel and personal growth into the core of his music. Worst Case Scenario is a record with roots in Europe and Japan, inspired by moments of reflection in hostels, airports, and trains. It boasts Elaquent's growth not only as a beat maker and producer, but as an artist, conscious of peers, music lovers, and strangers alike. He explains how "I wanted it to feel personal and conducive to who I am, but I'll let everyone deduce what they want about each song. It's open to interpretation." Elaquent demonstrates that relative themes have a power that is bigger than ourselves. He manages to hit the bittersweet mark of self-reflection perfectly, reminding us that sometimes the most daunting and intimidating reflections, can secretly be moments of peace and reassurance.
"...going on 30, no longer feeling like you're invincible, everyone is getting married and living a completely different kind of life. I don't want to get old, wondering whether I did everything in life that I wanted to do. This album, Worst Case Scenario, it's the idea that if all else fails, I'll know that at least I was able to do all these amazing things in my life".
Worst Case Scenario is ultimately a public chapter in Elaquent's life, embodying an unhurried yet vibrant form of personal storytelling. "It's a soulful and colourful record" he says. "I was in a different mindset; it was a challenge to myself. I wanted to expand on previous concepts, and make a record that is about doing things not just to do them, but because it makes sense". Unabashedly human, and eager to make it count, Elaquent is a reminder to us all that we're here for a good time, not a long time.
FORTUNATO x DJ IV - 2 Bad Dudes
Toronto Born MC Fortunato has teamed up with Nova Scotia's own DJ IV and New Brunswick producer Juliano to create "2 Bad Dudes".
Recorded in one session which lasted five hours, the album pays homage to the mixtapes of old and has no features from other artists.
Expertly blended into one continuous mix and featuring beats from only one producer creates a seamless musical landscape for Fortunato.
He takes full advantage with tracks like "Johnsonville" and "Built Like This" to burn anyone who wants to test. Fortunato will be
touring across Canada this June alongside Doom Squad so stay tuned for upcoming show announcements.
MOKA ONLY - TO THE NEXT SEASON
"Well... I don't want to brag, but I did it. 12 albums for 2016 and I'm happy with all of them. It's hard to pick a favourite, they all have their own flavour. I wanted to close it on a good note with this album. This one is sort of an extension of Martian Xmas in a sense that winter is the prevailing theme. This project ends where the new year began, with a track that was intended for the Brutal album. I figured that makes sense with this project since 'World of Mine' was recorded last December. 'Goin with this' was another Brutal track that just didn't fit on that project. It's delicious here. There's more nostalgia on this album than I've showcased in a long time. I mean, it's often nodded towards, but I went deep up in it on this collection. The song 'Come Back' is urging the old heads to come back to a world in which they probably never should've been distanced from. One of my faves on the album is 'Where Did All the Muffin Shops Go'. It's a bit silly, but valid as a perfect example of how so many standards of the 90s have been largely forgotten in favour of the next trend. It speaks metaphorically of 90s hiphop too. 'Join Me Now' is a cool ass winter track from 2014. Had to include it here. It fit. Just so you know, I don't just go looking for old filler. It's not as if I don't record a ton of new tracks for every project, but rather I pull old tracks for the pure purpose of contextual enhancement. Sometimes it's older instrumentals and sometimes it's vocals. That is just how I do art.
To end this off, I must give a big thanks to URBNET for allowing me to make this dream come true! I've always wanted to be with a label that gave me the freedom to be as creative and prolific as I want. URBNET is my home base and I'fm very thankful for them. Big thanks to St. Mic for mastering ten out of these twelve albums, you've been great. Thank you to the legions of Torcharoons who keep me rolling. Torchlight Commission is my crew. Happy New New, people. Love." ~~ Moka Only
MOKA ONLY - Martian XMAS 2016
Well here we are at the end of 2016 and the Martian XMAS series is still rolling. It's funny when I think back to when i did the first one in 2004, I had no plan on making it an annual custom but it has become just that and is always one of my more stranger efforts out of my catalog. This one definitely nods heavier to the nineties. The jazz is thick, the terminology and phrasing is to be noted as a bastion of that era as well. I don't think we were done with that era, we moved on too quickly. Anyhow that's the energy I'm from and I do stay connected to it. Pacific northwest winters are notedly different than winter anywhere else on the continent. At times it's hard to tell if it's really winter at all but on some years such as now it is extra soggy and dreary. Those are ingredients that seem to bring the best out of the martian editions. Umbrellas, Carhartt, Boots, Northface, Coffee, crosstown traffic, low clouds, grey beach scenes and more coffee, home studio, it goes on. I started this year's martian a little earlier than normal because I wanted it ready for a late November release. No guests this time around with the exception of my man Chin who laced the best for 'The Wish'. I added a little extra synth and some audio clips and singing vocals paired with his. The track 'Bread and Butta' is actually a leftover track from last year's martian, but I felt it didn't fit the format for that one. It works here perfectly. You'll definitely note there is a healthy presence of upright bass samples. I'm back on that shit for real. All jazz all day, you know how i do. Anyhow in keeping this brief I hope you'll enjoy and keep this rocking beyond the holidays. It's for the winter on a whole. I'm off to the barbershop to get my baldy touched up. Straight blade. Thanks to URBNET for letting me be me. I am planning a 'martian companion' project of sorts to be released in December so these vibes can continue. Stay tuned and spread these tunes... I triple dog dare ya. - Moka Only
PREM ROCK & FRESH KILS - LEAVE IN TACT
Taking two of the most tireless acts away from their passports has yielded an album and stage show fit to clobber any unsuspecting rap lover. Fresh Kils is a "producer/DJ/sample magician...involved with two of the 5 most written about rap albums in Canada", according to Allya Kanani at Imprint Show Review.PremRock is no slouch either: "The hirsute and hooded rapper casts himself in a very short but worthy lineage...of rhymers artfully influenced by Aesop Rock" says Jeff Weiss of Pitchfork/LA Weekly.
Thousands of words have been spilled on the technical prowess of Toronto producer Fresh Kils and his assault on the MPC, while New York emcee PremRock has written thousands more crisscrossing the globe studying Tom Waits and Ernest Hemingway. After three tours, countless studio sessions in Toronto, and numerous jaunts spiked by booze in back alley shakedowns, PremRock and Fresh Kilshave officially linked up on record and on the road to milk their notoriety for all it's worth.
SWAMP THING - PRAY TO SCIENCE
For the past five years Toronto's three-headed rap monster, Swamp Thing (Timbuktu, Chokeules & Savilion), have delivered a special sonic treat every Halloween. This year is no different. Back again with perhaps their greatest achievement yet, Pray To Science is a distinguished and sizeable creation, conjuring up themes of the mythical, bizarre, and ultimately, the unknown.
Produced entirely by Savilion and Timbuktu, Pray to Science was conceived and recorded at a remote Muskoka cottage, and features the cuts of DMC champ DJ iRATE. The record delivers uptempo grooves and deep pocket space-aged boom bap, born of and created for the musically creative.
Digging into the pantheon of underground hip hop, the records features collaboration from Ghettosocks, Birdpares, Ambition, Wordburglar and Nilla.
ANDREW CONROY - 1AM IN MONTREAL
Andrew Conroy is a Vancouver-based songwriter, musician and producer. He is a versatile, multi-instrumentalist who has performed all over North America,
including the famed Viper Room in Hollywood, and as far south as Bucerias, Mexico. For the past 8 years, Conroy has dedicated his time to producing,
engineering and writing songs.
His debut album, 1AM in Montreal, is a 7-track pop exploration of modern love. Conroy laments the isolation that comes with so much closeness, the irony
of high-density urban living combined with high-volume internet-dating. The album was inspired by a "cold December night in Montreal that involved a
depressing strip club, a nameless beautiful girl from McGill University, and my friend getting hustled out of a hundred bucks.
DEF3 - WILDLIF3 (Late Night Radio Remixes)
Canadian emcee, Def3, has recently teamed up with Denver, Colorado based producer, Late Night Radio, for a full length collaboration album titled "Small World". The album release is scheduled for late 2016. Both artists have made quite a name for themselves in the past few years amidst the underground hip hop and bass music scenes and have been featured performers in each others sets at Shambhala as well several of Late night Radio's U.S. shows including his sold out Ogden Theatre performance in Denver and Colorado's world famous Red Rocks Amphitheatre where he opened for a sold out Thievery Corporation show. That being said, to celebrate the announcement of this highly anticipated project, the two decided to give you a taste of what's to come, and drop 5 new LNR remixes from Def3 and Factor Chandelier's 2015 WCMA award winning album "WILDLIF3". Side A features the LNR remixes while Side B will include the 5 original Factor Chandelier produced tracks. Enjoy!
GENEVA - EXHALE EP
EXHALE EP: Geneva's powerful debut EP "Exhale" takes the listener on a sentient journey through the mysterious corridors of the heart; at once vulnerable and confessional, yet strong and surefooted, Geneva weaves together a moving tale of endings and new beginnings with the self-assuredness only experience can bring.
With subtle nods to hip hop, electronic and jazz-infused R'n'B, Geneva's raw songwriting capability and rich, sultry vocals shine over production by Jazzfeezy (T-Minus, Boi-1da) and Burd & Keyz (Kardinal Offishall, Meek Mill, Pusha T). Step into Geneva's dreamy realm and discover another Toronto gem worth knowing about.
BIOGRAPHY: With provocative elements of R'n'B, hip hop and jazzy, honeyed soul in the mix, ElectroSoul songstress Geneva maintains a classic appeal while offering up futuristic flavour. Cutting her teeth in underground hip hop, Geneva has collaborated on dozens of tracks, including songs alongside DL Incognito and LA's 2Mex (The Visionaries), while also releasing house singles with the likes of Ancestral Soul's founding father Boddhi Satva and electronic powerhouse Ron Allen. Articulate, emotive and drenched in sensual energy, Geneva excavates her soul and bares it on any microphone she touches.
BUDAMUNK & ILL SUGI - SPIRIT OF THE GOLDEN ERA
URBNET proudly signs Japanese beat maker/producer duo BudaMunk & ill Sugi and launches their new album Spirit of the Golden Era on March 25th, 2016. The release will be available on limited edition cassette and digital download.
The 90s were, in many ways, the golden era of HipHop music -- a time when its expression was still pure and raw. BudaMunk is one of the rightful heirs to that golden era, and together with the younger Nasty Ill Brother Sugi (who has also studied HipHop's lineage) the two artists form an intergenerational sound that honors the soul of HipHop's remix legacy. Excavating beats from the dusty depths of HipHop's past, the duo refashioned forgotten beat-styles (like the "boom bap") to vibrate once again in a manner that is very different from contemporary offshoots of the sound. The "boom bap" was never truly gone-it just fell out of style. But it has returned and found a new home in the aesthetic spirit, vision and composition of BudaMunk and Ill.Sugi. These beats will surely put the diaphrams of your audio equipment to work!
BREVNER - BREVNER EP
With the few successes of Vancouver's remote hip-hop scene fading away into history, Matt Brevner's arrival in marked the start of a new generation of game changers for the city. Shaped by his Trinidadian and Japanese roots, Brevner's gritty honesty, matched by his consistent hustle, set a new standard for the underground.
URBNET UNDERGROUND HIP-HOP VOL.9
The long-running #URBNET branded Underground Hip-Hop compilation series returns in 2016 with Volume 9. This fourteen track collection features new music from EVIL EBENEZER, Moka Only, Elaquent, Myka 9 + Factor Chandelier as well as tracks from Animal Nation (Mike Animal-Nation Armitage/ Garnet Animal-Nation Clare) Matt Brevner, Bless Platinumberg, Philly Moves, Swamp Thing, Fortunato Tacchini and more of your favourite underground hip hop artists from the URBNET roster. Only $7 Digital/ $10CD. Get your copy at urbnet.com/ughh
MYKA 9 & FACTOR - Famous Future Time Travel
Famous Future Time Travel is Myka 9 & Factor's latest collaboration and debut UBRNET release. Famous Future Time Travel could be the duo's best work yet, with a banging and fresh West Coast hip hop feel. This hip hop duo's last joint-effort, on the critically acclaimed album Sovereign Soul, hit #1 on the CMJ Charts. No doubt Famous Future Time Travel will soon boast the same.
Myka9 is a rapper and producer from Los Angeles, California and co-founder of the legendary hip hop crew, Freestyle Fellowship. Myka 9 has been bringing innovation and his dope skills to the world of hip hop for over two and half decades. Whether Myka 9 is snarling, scatting or singing into the mic, he is always delivering hot and clever lyrics in his signature jazz-influenced style.
Factor Chandelier is a Saskatoon-based producer who started out as a DJ in 1998 and is now one of Canada's most notable independent hip hop producers. Known for his distinct style and progressive beats, Factor is in-demand and prolific, having an impressive array of both solo and collaborative projects in his discography.
Famous Future Time Travel is available May 19th, 2015 on CD, limited edition cassette and digital download on the URBNET Shop!