Available: 14th July 2021
The explosion of indie Hip Hop labels in the early 90s resulted in an ongoing snowball effect that started to shift the narrative around an artist’s need to sign to a major label. Coincidentally, quality home recording equipment was also becoming more easily accessible and, with the rising popularity of CD-R technology, this allowed artists to write, record, and manufacture their own albums right at home.
Appleseed was a highly celebrated and influential release from that era, cementing Aesop Rock as a new face whose talent could not be denied. The album explores creative concepts with inventive writing and stripped-down yet melodic and melancholic production. Six out of the eight songs were produced by Aesop Rock, with Omega One producing “Sick Friend” and longtime collaborator Blockhead handling “1000 Deaths”, and the project’s sole guest lyricist was Doseone.
The DIY process was followed in every aspect, as Aesop himself recalls, “I did the Appleseed hand style while working at Tepper Galleries in NYC. The cover was made at Kinko’s. The first Appleseed CD’s were CD-R’s I duped at home and sold from my backpack at an MF DOOM show at Brownies, which was right below my apartment at the time. I continued to sell hand to hand in NY, while Blockhead started fielding some mail orders from a young internet. People would send us cash or a check, and he’d cut the covers out and mail them off.“
The two of them were able to move a couple thousand CDs that way before turning their attention to newer projects, particularly Float in Aesop’s case. As a result, Appleseed went out of print for many years before resurfacing as a merch item on tour. However, in all that time it was only available on CD, directly from Aesop. Finally, 21 years after its debut, Appleseed officially returns, now available on all digital platforms, as well as on vinyl for the first time!
a1. Appleseed (Intro)
a3. Same Space (The Tugboat Complex) (Part 2)
a4. Sick Friend
b1. Hold The Cup
b2 1000 Deaths
b3. Blue In The Face
b4. Odessa (feat Dose One)
Release Date: 8th October 2021
Following their last release, The Day Before Halloween—an imaginative, distorted-synth-driven concept album—Atmosphere returns with a refreshing new project, simply titled WORD? Steering back toward their signature sound, the album further highlights producer Ant’s undeniable talents as the project leans into the classic boom-bap aesthetic, bringing a unique energy out of Slug’s wisdom, wit and delivery. From onset, WORD? proves to be every bit an exercise in refining and advancing their craft as it is a harkening to earlier work. That is, while their releases have grown more broodingly cinematic, and increasingly concerned with the human condition and mortality, WORD? manages to reintroduce moments of levity and lightheartedness throughout, an approach seldom heard on their albums of late.
From album opener “Fleetwood,” with its razor-sharp snares and warm fleshy bassline, to the resonant melody of “Clocked”, there are strong hints of Atmosphere’s nascent years within the sound. Meanwhile, songs like “Woes”, “Strung” and “Vanish” cheerfully make light of daily hardships, but they’re more likely to be remembered for making listeners want to bob their heads and sing along. With Slug and Ant directing the course, the album plays like a joyride through a range of experiences and emotions, with an extensive cast of special guests hopping in and out along the way, including Evidence, Muja Messiah, Musab, Nino Bless, Nikki Jean, Anwar HighSign, BlackLiq, Sa-Roc, Haphduzn, Lateef the Truthspeaker, Aesop Rock, and the late MF DOOM (RIP). The result is a project that feels like it came from the era or, perhaps more fittingly, the mindset that created albums like God Loves Ugly, Seven’s Travels, or the popular Sad Clown series, while sounding as polished and perfected as more recent albums like Mi Vida Local or Whenever.
Ultimately, WORD? pairs the breadth of Atmosphere’s talents with the beauty of their growth, all while showing they still have a lot of fun in the process and don’t mind letting the listener in on the fun as well.
3. Crumbs (feat. Evidence & Muja Messiah)
5. Strung (feat. Musab)
7. Sleepless (feat. Nino Bless)
9. Carousel (feat. Nikki Jean)
11. Pressed (feat. Anwar HighSign, BlackLiq, Sa-Roc, Haphduzn, and Lateef the Truthspeaker)
14. Barcade (feat. Aesop Rock & MF DOOM)
a1. MF Doom - Beef Rapp
a2. MF Doom - Hoe Cakes
a3. MF Doom - Potholderz (Prod. Count Bass D)
b1. MF Doom - One Beer (Prod. Madlib)
b2. MF Doom - Deep Friend Frenz
b3. MF Doom - Poo-Putt Platter
b4. MF Doom - Fillet-o-Rapper
b5. MF Doom - Gumbo
c1. MF Doom - Fig Leaf Bi-Carbonate
c2. MF Doom - Kon Karne
c3. MF Doom - Guinessez (Ft. Angelika & 4ize)
d1. MF Doom - Con Queso
d2. MF Doom - Rap Snitch Knishes (Ft. Mr Fantastic)
d3. MF Doom - Vomitspit
d4. MF Doom - Kookies
Release Date: 19th February 2021
*Strictly 1 per customer only - any multiple copies or orders will be cancelled*
In 1998 Zev Love X of the seminal rap group KMD re-emerged as a masked super villain known as MF DOOM. The following Year he release the ground breaking independent classic Operation: Doomsday. Doom only added to the mystery by creating multiple aliases (King Geedorah, Viktor Vaughn, etc.) and taking a no holds barred approach to his musical career. With collaborative side projects with Madlib (Madvillain) and most recently DANGERDOOM with Danger Mouse, MM..FOOD marks the super villain's long awaited follow up to Operation: Doomsday.
a1. Beef Rap
a2. Hoe Cakes
a3. Potholderz (feat. Count Bass D)
b1. One Beer
b2. Deep Fried Frenz
b3. Poo-Putt Platter
c1. Fig Leaf Bi-Carbonate
c2. Kon Karne
c3. Guinnesses (feat. 4Ize & Angelika)
d1. Kon Queso
d2. Rapp Snitch Knishes