Music

House Shoes: Let It Go

Adam Finley

One of the better hip-hop releases of this year: good, unfussy beats that don't have to blow your speakers to blow your mind.


House Shoes

Let It Go

Label: TRES
US Release Date: 2012-06-19
UK Release Date: 2012-07-02
Artist website
Amazon
iTunes

A resident DJ of Detroit's St. Andrews Hall for more than a decade, House Shoes has spent close to 20 years developing a fan base of established underground artists. From the guest list of Let It Go this is obvious. The track list reads like a who's who of underground veterans: Guilty Simpson, Roc Marciano, Chali 2na, Black Milk, and The Alchemist. When Danny Brown brings one of the weakest verses of 20+ rappers, you know the talent level is high.

But the rapping on Let It Go plays second fiddle to the guy who made it all happen. Representing the polar opposite of the blockbuster production that a newcomer like Lex Luger brings, House Shoes creates beautifully minimal and graceful beats, from instrumental jazz to starry-eyed synths to old-school breakbeats, whether for a guest rapper or for the beat to speak for itself, as on the hauntingly introspective instrumental "Empire/Get Down".

The result is a more cohesive album than most tight rap collectives. It's rare for an hour of hip-hop to fly by this fast, and even more rare to find an album that flows so well. The near-perfect pacing drags a toe just before crossing the finish line, with three of the longest compositions coming in the last four tracks, but House Shoes does what the best DJ/Producers do: he gives the artists a suitable canvas without overshadowing them. His sick beats and sensibility for collaboration embody the spirit of the Motown resurgence. J Dilla would be proud.

7

In the wake of Malcolm Young's passing, Jesse Fink, author of The Youngs: The Brothers Who Built AC/DC, offers up his top 10 AC/DC songs, each seasoned with a dash of backstory.

In the wake of Malcolm Young's passing, Jesse Fink, author of The Youngs: The Brothers Who Built AC/DC, offers up his top 10 AC/DC songs, each seasoned with a dash of backstory.

Keep reading... Show less

Pauline Black may be called the Queen of Ska by some, but she insists she's not the only one, as Two-Tone legends the Selecter celebrate another stellar album in a career full of them.

Being commonly hailed as the "Queen" of a genre of music is no mean feat, but for Pauline Black, singer/songwriter of Two-Tone legends the Selecter and universally recognised "Queen of Ska", it is something she seems to take in her stride. "People can call you whatever they like," she tells PopMatters, "so I suppose it's better that they call you something really good!"

Keep reading... Show less

Morrison's prose is so engaging and welcoming that it's easy to miss the irreconcilable ambiguities that are set forth in her prose as ineluctable convictions.

It's a common enough gambit in science fiction. Humans come across a race of aliens that appear to be entirely alike and yet one group of said aliens subordinates the other, visiting violence upon their persons, denigrating them openly and without social or legal consequence, humiliating them at every turn. The humans inquire why certain of the aliens are subjected to such degradation when there are no discernible differences among the entire race of aliens, at least from the human point of view. The aliens then explain that the subordinated group all share some minor trait (say the left nostril is oh-so-slightly larger than the right while the "superior" group all have slightly enlarged right nostrils)—something thatm from the human vantage pointm is utterly ridiculous. This minor difference not only explains but, for the alien understanding, justifies the inequitable treatment, even the enslavement of the subordinate group. And there you have the quandary of Otherness in a nutshell.

Keep reading... Show less
3

A 1996 classic, Shawn Colvin's album of mature pop is also one of best break-up albums, comparable lyrically and musically to Joni Mitchell's Hejira and Bob Dylan's Blood on the Tracks.

When pop-folksinger Shawn Colvin released A Few Small Repairs in 1996, the music world was ripe for an album of sharp, catchy songs by a female singer-songwriter. Lilith Fair, the tour for women in the music, would gross $16 million in 1997. Colvin would be a main stage artist in all three years of the tour, playing alongside Liz Phair, Suzanne Vega, Sheryl Crow, Sarah McLachlan, Meshell Ndegeocello, Joan Osborne, Lisa Loeb, Erykah Badu, and many others. Strong female artists were not only making great music (when were they not?) but also having bold success. Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill preceded Colvin's fourth recording by just 16 months.

Keep reading... Show less
9

Frank Miller locates our tragedy and warps it into his own brutal beauty.

In terms of continuity, the so-called promotion of this entry as Miller's “third" in the series is deceptively cryptic. Miller's mid-'80s limited series The Dark Knight Returns (or DKR) is a “Top 5 All-Time" graphic novel, if not easily “Top 3". His intertextual and metatextual themes resonated then as they do now, a reason this source material was “go to" for Christopher Nolan when he resurrected the franchise for Warner Bros. in the mid-00s. The sheer iconicity of DKR posits a seminal work in the artist's canon, which shares company with the likes of Sin City, 300, and an influential run on Daredevil, to name a few.

Keep reading... Show less
8
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2017 Popmatters.com. All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.

rating-image