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.

Malibu Ken - Malibu Ken

Malibu Ken is the pairing of Aesop Rock and Tobacco. The two artists initially met about ten years ago when they toured together. They had always floated the idea that they should work together, but things just didn’t line up until now. Three years after Aesop Rock’s Impossible Kid and Tobacco’s Sweatbox Dynasty, the duo now presents their self-titled debut album. Tobacco is a private and quirky musician, but his music has drawn in a lot of fans over the years due to the ways he’s able to coax interesting sounds and beats out of old analog synthesizers and drum machines and turn them into these eerie sci-fi-sounding beats.

Lex the Lexicon Artist - A Mob Psycho 100 EP

Lex the Lexicon Artist is an emcee from the Bay Area who made a splash last June, when she released her debut album, Raging Ego. She starts off 2019 on a slightly different note, releasing an anime-inspired EP, Special: A Mob Psycho 100 EP. When an artist makes a project like this, it can generally go one of two ways. In one direction, it can be very myopic and only appeal to hardcore fans of the source material, because the payoff comes in the references.

K.Raydio - 1:11

K.Raydio is a vocalist from the Twin Cities who is most notable for her collaborations with Psymun and O-D. It’s been a couple of years since her last project, but she enters 2019 by releasing 1:11, the first in a series of demo EPs, self-produced and recorded. While K.Raydio established herself as a vocalist a while ago, this is really our first introduction to K.Raydio the beatmaker, and it’s a good one.

Kay the Aquanaut & Maki - Earth Station 7

Kay the Aquanaut is an emcee from Saskatoon, best known for his work with producers Factor Chandelier and Maki. Just last year, he released an album with Maki called Yeah, Riot! He now starts off 2019 by teaming up with Maki for their third album together, Earth Station 7. Depending on where you know Kay from, and which albums you’ve listened to, you might think of him as a big personality, one that can really rock the crowd and entertain the masses.