Thought on Tracks takes pride in our focus of covering our local music scene while also branching out to promote our favorite records that are being highlighted all over the blogsophere. Sometime in between telling readers which bands that they had to see in Indianapolis and providing our passionate opinions on the latest releases, I began to observe a heavy lift on international coverage. This coverage was most notably coming from bands out of Australia. While it is almost impossible to keep tabs on all the incredible bands coming from all the pockets all over the United States, we had somehow gained a firm grip on the scene happening in the land down under. I would love to be able to explain my monthly migrations to Melbourne to provide readers feedback on what imports that you should buy next, but the time and that kind of money just do not exist. Instead I will take the time to recognize a fellow content provider that provides Thought on Tracks with most of our Aussie ammunition, Bandcamp Hunter.
Bandcamp Hunter is run by Aussie J.J. Baker who has a true vision of what he wants to accomplish with his service. In his about me page he states, “This tumblr is intended to promote bands and bandcamp. If you like the music, support it…I’m based in Melbourne, Australia and as such there will be a generous proportion of local music on here.” Baker has created a tool not only to endorse, band promotional engine, Bandcamp.com, but also serve as a spotlight for independent music in Australia. This approach is appreciated by not only me, but also the nearly 1400 others that follow his account on Twitter. My latest approval of Baker’s Aussie introductions came in the form of Central Coast, NSW band Phobiac.
Ever since BCH’s post on Phobiac’s EP All Boys I have been soaking in their music. They provide a comfortable indie rock vibe that fits nicely in the summer months. A certain catchy appeal comes across with lead singer, Marcus Frangos’ vocals throughout the brief 6 songs. Track, “Steve Wonderful” provides an opening for those still deciding on a summer anthem. The summer sound reminds me of last year’s summer EP, ROAR from Dirty Gold. Both provide a relaxed style on their sound that hits my headphones during the appropriate season. BCH supplies another Aussie introduction that will make your Midwestern weekend road trips to the lake memorable.
While it is amazing to pick up on new bands throughout the blogosphere, it is even more satisfying when I began to recognize my dependence on them. Baker’s project BCH has been influential in many of my posts here and I am glad I finally found an opportunity to say thanks. Be sure to check out the daily posts on his site…I am sure you will see our team continue to expand on these recommendations. Listen and download All Boys below.
Connect with Phobiac via Facebook
Written by Brett McGrath
After releasing his official major label solo debut The Stoned Immaculate last month, inexhaustible New Orleans rapper Curren$y, aka Spitta, is back with Cigarette Boats, an EP produced by Harry Fraud (the man behind Smoke Dza’s stellar album Rugby Thompson). In my review of Rugby Thompson, I had some less than flattering words for The Stoned Immaculate, Curren$y’s first real stab at a crossover album. Curren$y delivered a solid batch of verses as usual, but the random big name guest appearances and glossy, overproduced beats put a bad taste in my mouth and left me wondering if Curren$y’s days of making elegant playa/pothead records with his rapper friends, and producers like Ski Beats and The Alchemist, were over. Curren$y’s smooth style usually made up for his limited subject matter, but his most recent material had me wondering if his lack of substance had caught up with him.
Not long after Rugby Thompson was released, Curren$y and Fraud announced they would be teaming up for a collaborative EP. Not only did the combo make sense, as Spitta’s appearance on Rugby Thompson was one of the album’s highlights, but it was a return to the one rapper/one producer format that has delivered all of my favorite material from Curren$y. I immediately had visions of a repeat of Spitta’s amazing EP with The Alchemist from 2011, Covert Coup. While it would be tough to match the creative peak that Covert Coup climbed to, Harry Fraud’s recent track record gave me confidence that Cigarette Boats could be a special EP. While Cigarette Boats clocks in at less than 15 minutes and only has five songs, not a second is wasted and both Harry Fraud and Curren$y contribute some of the best music of their careers. It almost feels as if Curren$y anticipated a degree of backlash from his major label debut and rushed to get a project out there to remind his longtime fans that he hadn’t forgotten about them.
Right from the jump Curren$y is in vintage form, laying one of his best verses on the opener “Leaving The Dock”. Curren$y’s laid back confidence and smooth delivery makes lines that might sound boring coming from other rappers stick in your head like mantras- “Fools hear our verses and rewrite that shit they scribblin’, bitches see my bitches and consider trying women”. Harry Fraud’s breezy synth beat rides out after Spitta’s verse and gives you a feel for the Vice City like vibes to come. Fraud’s stretched vocal sample and intricate drum pattern set the stage perfectly for Spitta and guest Styles P to trade wordplay rich verses on “WOH”. Styles shows he still has it, rapping “You ain’t real high, you mid-level/ smokin’ on that shit we let the kids peddle/ I made a couple ends off what those kids peddle/ Speak on my name wrong, you’ll see those kids’ metal”. On the wish-it-was-longer “Biscayne Bay” Curren$y glorifies material excesses over one of Harry Fraud’s best ever beats. Fraud recently spent some time with Rick Ross in Miami making beats, which makes me wonder if some of the tracks on this EP were born out of those sessions. Every track has an 80’s Miami feel without utilizing obvious Scarface samples or bordering on the cliché. Fraud’s resume is getting more and more high profile, but it is niche projects Cigarette Boats that are making him one of my favorite producers around.
Curren$y closes the EP with a collaboration with Smoke Dza on the plush playa anthem “Mirrors” followed by the late night burner “Sixty-Seven Turbo Jet”. The fully evolved “Sixty-Seven Turbo Jet” compares Curren$y’s grind as an artist to that of a successful hustler and features the addictive chorus, “Money in the floor case they kick in the door, Saran wrapped in the wall case they bring them dogs”. Curren$y ends “Sixty-Seven Turbo Jet” with the telling line- “The one’s that’s sleeping on it don’t deserve it”, an indicator that while Spitta may have signed to a major label, he doesn’t plan to abandon his roots, or his fans that have been along for the ride. Download/Stream Cigarette Boats for free below.
Written by John Bugbee
The last time I mentioned Serengeti he was in character as Kenny Dennis, rhyming about the Steve Bartman incident on his video for the song “Don’t Blame Steve” from his style flipping Kenny Dennis EP. Working with the same producers in Jel and Odd Nosdam that knocked out of the park on the last EP, Geti returns with a single off of his upcoming C.A.R. album, “Talk to Me”. While his Kenny Dennis albums are always a lot of fun and show off Geti’s incredible artistic range, his stream of consciousness flow on “Talk to Me” is his bread and butter, and a perfect example of why I love rap music so much. Grab the .mp3 below, and pre-order your copy of C.A.R. via InSound.
Written by John Bugbee