Tuesday, April 6, 2010

In Stores Today: April 6, 2010

Liar & a Thief
Viper Records


The prodigy of Immortal Technique, Long Island's own Diabolic has been keeping his fans in Detox-like anticipation for his debut album since the mid-2000s. Spitting wicked lyrics over threatening underground soundscapes, it's easy to associate Diabolic with other emcees pigeonholed as "angry white boy rappers" like Apathy and Esoteric. Stereotypes aside, Diabolic is amongst the best in this category.

Delivering his fair share of punchlines and metaphors, Diabolic's aggressive verbal assaults are more hit than miss. Tracks like "Riot" and "Soldier's Logic" are like target practice, an exhibition show of well-directed spit fire. Diabolic knows how to slow it down too though, and sometimes that's when his artistry is best put on display. On "Truth Pt. 2", he goes on a barrage of get up, stand up political chants - a delight for Technique fans, no doubt. He also shines brightest when he's waxing nostalgic on the drinking woes of "12 Shots" featuring Nate Augustus. Expect nothing but honesty from the Liar and Thief: Diabolic has unleashed one of the most anti-jiggy albums of the year.

Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings
I Learned the Hard Way
Daptone Records


The '60s soul revivalism of Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings is marvelous not simply because they're emulating retro sounds; rather it's because they're recreating it. On I Learned the Hard Way, Sharon and the Kings play off their strong Memphis roots, simultaneously adding the sounds of Motown to their color palette. Vintage as those sounds may be though, the music is as prevalent as ever as Jones croons on the bluesy recession woes of "Money": "I got to pay my bills, got to pay my rent/I'm hungry and I'm tired, but my money's all spent."

I Learned the Hard Way finds Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings playing to their greatest strengths. Over blazing horns and swinging grooves, Sharon Jones, one of the strongest female vocalists this side of Tina Turner, takes command like a general in war. As much as she'll admit in her lyrics that she's been hurt time and time again, there's still no stopping her. With passion and a stirringly energetic holler, she sings of anguish and love lost, wearing them proudly like badges of honor. If you missed 100 Days, 100 Nights the last time around, now may be the best time to get on board!

Young Jazz Rebels
Slave Riot
Stones Throw Records

Preview & Purchase

The nephew of trumpeter Jon Faddis, Otis Jackson Jr., best known as Madlib, is a bonafide jazz head and apparent insomniac. Diligent is the best word to describe this relic who's made it his mission to release amazing music as fast as his fans can hear it and move on to his next work. With this album, Slave Riot, Madlib has aimed for far-left field on an experimental '70s jazz record intended solely for a very finite and particular audience. On Slave Riot, 'lib & Co. play with a wide array of jazz styles, employing tribal, electronic and fusion sounds. Dense and inexplicably convoluted that it's difficult to determine original instrumentation from Madlib's library of sample material, sonically, it feels like an accompanying soundtrack to an excursion through a rainforest. I can dig it.

MP3: Young Jazz Rebels - “Forces Unseen”