Thursday February 11, 2016
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!K7 Celebrates 27 Years of Independent Music (@K7Records)

!K7 Celebrates 27 Years of Independent Music

Courtesy Stephen B.

How much do you know about !K7? They’re the German label that does the DJ-Kicks mix series, the one that includes that Kruder & Dorfmeister mix that routinely tops Best Mix Album Ever charts, right? Well, yes, all that’s true, but there’s a lot more to !K7 than that. On the 27th anniversary of the company’s existence, the label is taking a look back on nearly three decades of playing an integral role in the trajectory of electronic music, and the independent music landscape as a whole.

The !K727 celebration - see what they’ve done there – will involve a special release of new music, a multi-media event centered around this year’s Berlin Festival, and a website highlighting the company’s history and featuring thoughts on the changing musical landscape from a varied group of musicians and industry leaders including DJ Jazzy Jeff, Richard Dorfmeister, Mark Arm of Mudhoney, Peter Silberman of The Antlers and many more.
Horst Weidenmueller founded !K7 in Berlin in the mid-’80s. As a young man he’d moved to the city (at the time still divided by the Berlin Wall) and become inspired by the nihilistic noise of industrial pioneers like Einsturzende Neubauten. Compelled to engage with the creative dynamic around him while not playing an instrument himself, Weidenmueller began video recording the live shows of the artists that inspired him. Indeed !K7 was originally conceived as an outlet for these video recordings, including work with Nick Cave, Swans, Lydia Lunch, Testdepartment, Psychic TV, Shark Vegas, and others.

In the ‘90s, as electronic music and techno became more and more a part of the youth culture in Berlin, Weidenmueller noticed that it was this community that best exemplified the spirit of independence and creativity that he prized in the artists with whom he’d been working. It also occurred to him that the grassroots aesthetic of the scene at the time and the ephemeral nature of the live events limited the appreciation of the music to an in-the-know few. !K7 pioneered the idea of long-form videos of DJ sets with their X-Mix series, a concept that has since become a staple of websites such as Boilerroom. Then, in 1995, the company launched the DJ-Kicks series, which took the DJ mix from a hand-to-hand promotional tool to a fully licensed album, available in any record store. DJ-Kicks went on to become the best known and most influential mix series around, acting as an up-to-the minute reflection of the electronic music landscape. More than 15 years after its genesis, the series remains strong with outstanding recent additions from house DJ Maya Jane Coles, bass music veteran Photek, dubstep-minimal hybridist Scuba, New York nova disco crew Wolf + Lamb & Soulclap and German electronic maestro Apparat.

!K7 has never been just about mixes though. The label has maintained a high standard of artist signings including projects from Tosca, Funkstörung, Bomb The Bass, Princess Superstar and many more. The label is currently home to Danish band When Saints Go Machine, Canadian synth pop duo New Look and classical techno fusionists Brandt Brauer Frick, whose 2010 debut album You Make Me Real is one of the most forward-thinking electronic records of recent times. Phil Howells, !K7’s Head Of A&R, sums up where the label is at as a whole: “We have rebuilt the roster over the last two years with artists who are progressive and thoroughly modern but also compliment the label’s history. We are thrilled that DJ-Kicks continues to top critics charts and sell very healthily, but the greatest compliment is the standard of artist that wants to contribute to the series.”
And let’s put !K7 in its wider context as a champion of quality independent sounds of all sorts. The label heads up the !K7 label group, which includes Rapster (Jazzy Jeff, Pete Rock, Roy Ayers, Madlib), Gold Dust (El-P, MF Doom, People Under The Stairs) and, of course, Strut, the UK label founded in 1999 to release lost gems from dance music’s past, from Nigerian afrobeat to obscure disco and rare groove. Far more than just a reissue label, Strut is a history lesson, putting music into context and telling the stories of the people, clubs and movements behind it. Strut’s releases have included new studio albums from legendary figures including Mulatu Astatke, Kid Creole, Grandmaster Flash, Dennis Coffey and more.
Adding to !K7’s international network of quality independent music makers are the labels which the company distributes (including Ghostly International, BBE,  Moshi Moshi, Crosstown Rebels and more), as well as the publishing and management arms, working with artists like Hercules And Love Affair and Brandt Brauer Frick, with whom the company help transform the artist’s concept of a 10-piece classical ensemble playing live techno from a dream into reality.

These days Weidenmueller continues to dedicate himself to giving independent musicians a voice via his political involvement. He’s a member of several independent label associations and is passionate about giving smaller concerns the tools to co-operate and survive. He helped found Merlin, an organization that represents the rights of independent record labels, and is an active member of Impala, a not-for-profit trade body that represents the independent music sector in Europe.
It is safe to say that the recording industry has changed significantly in nearly three decades: electronic music’s ever-rising profile, the vitality of independent artists and labels, even the fundamental means of music distribution and discovery. With the ability to claim an influence in all of these areas, and accepting the new and significant challenges ahead for independent artists, Weidenmueller says that he’s happy with where !K7, as a whole, not just the label, are currently at. It’s something to celebrate.

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MP3: @FullREBELJacket - "Higher" Ft. Nikkiya

MP3: Full |REBEL| Jacket - "Higher" Ft. Nikkiya

Courtesy Audible Treats.

On September 3rd, Full |REBEL| Jacket will release their new free EP, the REBEL EP. The self-produced effort will be the first official release since rappers G and Q, who call Phoenix home but hail from Dallas and Anchorage Alaska, respectively, joined forces, and already, the pair has released a string of well received singles, including "Stray Bullet" and "Purple Lights." The former features Dungeon Family legend Big Rube, while the latter features recent Motown Records signee B.J The Chicago Kid, and today, Full |REBEL| Jacket keep the impressive list of guests rolling with new single "Higher," which features southern singer – and longtime Yelawolf affiliate – Nikkiya.

Download "Higher" here: .

@ApathyDGZ f/ @BishopLamont & Blue Raspberry "Be a Better Man"

Audio: Apathy f/ Bishop Lamont & Blue Raspberry "Be a Better Man"

Courtesy Matt B.

On 9-11-2012, Apathy will be releasing two projects; one of them is a double-disc opus of collaborations, freestyles and unreleased material entitled "Fire Walk With Me". The other release, "The Alien Tongue," is a collection of his unreleased early 90's demo recordings, predating his debut appearances on Jedi Mind Tricks' "Psycho-Social" LP. Both releases can be pre-ordered together along with an exclusive T-shirt bundle over at where you can also find the full track listings. Check out the latest leak, "Be a Better Man," from "Fire Walk With Me" which features Bishop Lamont and vocals from Wu-Tang's Blue Raspberry.

DL Link to Apathy f/ Bishop Lamont & Blue Raspberry "Be a Better Man" (produced by Apathy): .

Download: @MontageOne, "Chain Sinatra" f. Durag Dynasty

Download: Montage One, "Chain Sinatra" f. Durag Dynasty

Courtesy Dunn Deal PR.

On new single "Chain Sinatra", Cali underground spitter Montage One puts a hip-hop spin on the Rat Pack icon’s timeless swagger, hooking up with guest feature duo Durag Dynasty to deliver suave lyrical fire over brassy, sampled boardwork by Dirtydiggs. Fans will be able to find this dope, retro-informed banger, the Ras Kass/Guilty Simpson-assisted "Beat2Def" and much more on Montage’s 10.6.3 OGX album, scheduled for release September 11.

listen/download "Beat2Def" at .

Video: @RATheRuggedMan Previews New Track (@NatureSounds)

Video: R.A. The Rugged Man Previews New Track

Courtesy Nature Sounds.

Underground rap legend R.A. The Rugged Man is currently wrapping up work on his highly anticpated new album Legends Never Die. During a recent studio session, R.A. and Danish singer Amalie Bruun took a break from recording to preview some exclusive new music from the album. R.A. also gets Amalie to sing her part from Vinnie Paz's recent single "Nosebleed," and attempts to get her to recreate R.A.'s infamous collaboration with The Notorious B.I.G.  Shockingly, Amalie's a little uncomfortable singing about ripping cunts out with spoons. Legends Never Die coming soon on Nature Sounds.

@MegaRan Back To School Special! LAV2

Mega Ran Back To School Special! LAV2

Courtesy Random.

Sorry for 2 emails in 2 days but this will be quick.

Language Arts, Volume 2 is here! Continue the journey of the TeacherRapperHero.

Get LAV2 at this link:

Let's get this back on top of the bandcamp charts!

Also make sure you checked out the "Buggin' Video! A LOT of time and effort went into this video so thank you for checking it out.

Share with those you love. Let em know that smart rap is the new thing, haha.

Thank you! Have a great day.


Video: Miami Beat Wave f/ @Omniscient305 & More - "Succeed"

Video: Miami Beat Wave feat. ArtOfficial, Locos Por Juana, Omniscient & Davincci - "Succeed"

Courtesy CrazyHood.

Miami Beat Wave enlists Crazy Hood Film Academy to produce the visuals for their latest creation.

@Dub_MD Presents @ThaioneDavis - "Seventeen"

DubMD84 Presents Thaione Davis - "Seventeen"

Courtesy DubMD.

After taking a break from film, Thaione Davis returns with a brash offering of poignant lyricism over temperamental beats. Officially noted as his 8th studio album, 'Seventeen' takes shape over a non-sample based canvas and is largely self-produced by one of Chicago’s most elusive contributors to the culture. 'Seventeen' is a care-free journey of youth with no fear or inhibitions from establishment. It is the attitude of pure disregard towards failure and the premise of abandonment. Pure grit. The overtone is calm yet the delivery is as paramount as ever. Since his original debut on vinyl, and twelve years later of rhyming, producing, and djing worldwide, it comes as no surprise the depth of control displayed and the passion that interweaves along this 13 track opus.

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Although there are no guest appearances on the microphone, there are a few slaps produced by his musical partner in crime, the GEAUX. With every track being played live, the array of sounds ranging from sparse upright bass, circuit bending Moog, electro-Theremin, and drippy drums combine to create collages of no nonsense hip hop. The album will be available via iTunes on August 28th, for more information check the website: .
01.) Push *
02.) Stolen Moments *
03.) The Listen *
04.) From Where The Devil Smiles *
05.) Enhancements **
06.) Falling Down *
07.) Likkashot **
08.) Posterboise *
09.) Notes In The Chamber **
10.) Magnetic *
11.) Including Myself *
12.) Topshottas *
13.) Bridges Of Yesterday *
* Produced By Thaione Davis
** Produced By The GEAUX

Strong Arm Steady x @StatikSelekt - "Classic" (@SASgang)

Video: Strong Arm Steady x Statik Selektah - "Classic"

Courtesy Nora Ritchie.

Following their 2010 collaboration with Madlib on In Search of Stoney Jackson, Strong Arm Steady have teamed up with Statik Selektah for their 2nd Stones Throw release, Stereotype. The album is produced exclusively by Statik Selektah and is out now.

Free Download: TOPE - "NewKicks" (@itsTOPE)

Free Download: TOPE - "NewKicks" (Beat Tape)

Courtesy TP.

TOPE is back with a new beat tape and follow-up project to last year's FREELEMONADE, entitled NEWKICKS. Available as a free download through FRESHselects, NEWKICKS is 19 tracks long including samples from R.Kelly, Bell Biv Devoe, Cody ChesnuTT, PRTLND's own Reva Devito and more!

"For our 11th installment, returning champ, TOPE (of both TxE and Living Proof) follows up on last year’s highlight, FREELEMONADE with a fresh batch of NEWKICKS. Just as he did on FREELEM, the PRTLND producer again offers up another solid collection of for-sale instrumentals made out of mostly old soul records (& this time around – some contemporaries as well). Except, here on NEWKICKS, TOPE re-emerges a noticeably more seasoned producer, apparently learning a lot in just the year since, w/ sharpened chops & new techniques heard without - making for an even more enjoyable listen than the previous crowd favorite." - Kenny Fresh of FRESHselects

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Welcome to for the week of February 9th, 2016!! Please shop Amazon through RapReviews and like us on Facebook so we can bring you new material every week. This week we're back with TEN NEW ITEMS for your perusal: Beat Bruisers x Ruste Juxx x Pawz One's "Def By Stereo," Da Mafia 6ix's "Watch What U Wish...," an editorial on Cam Newton, Future's "EVOL" (our featured review), Steve 'Flash' Juon's The Hip-Hop Shop #362, Kelela's "Hallucinogen," Mic Taylor's "Mansa Mic," news on DMX being hospitalized, Rihanna's "Anti" and Emanuel Wallace's The (W)rap Up for February 2, 2016!

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