Friday 3 June 2016

dangers of urban shamanism

It's almost midnight on Friday,

June 3rd, 2016

when I finally get the chance to eat a butter tart, drink a cold pbr, and give the brand-new Ugggy mixtape,

Legends of the SmoKe

(available online at 

a good once-over.

Here's the first video, for the song Vines


This mixtape features original lyrical performances and productions by Toronto artists PCK, Timmy No heart, Cosmo Doris, PineappleGland, VELODRONES, Fuzzcoil, King Calm, Sly Why, L.B.F., Chris Love, Uncle P,
some kind of meme or bot called +x÷=

... and of course the titular Ugggy, who grows more geez with every release, although very quickly this music has won me over with its smooth, stylish flows and forward-looking eclectic synthesis.

The solo-artist mixtape format affords Ugggs and his studio crew the ability to go to the really far out and come back down again, maintaining an air of anticipation and almost complete abandon, all within the formal constraints of a hip pop song.

Balanced and various variations on the two-to- three verse jam leave one guessing, and allows listeners to suspend their sonic disbelief with regards to the freeform, full-spectrum canvases into which the valued customers, PCK and UGggY, tend to polish their productions.

I am happy to hear the old pig rapping, missed it on Byugecup. Although that word bitch has to come up...

What are the dangers of urban shamanism? What should you look for as warning signs in your friends and loved ones who may have a taste for hype anthems and esoteric cyphers?

In all honesty, many of these tracks on first listen come off a bit bro-y. Then again, the harmonies on Not too in my Feelings are as earnestly sweet as anything on VuCu's offering Kalpa... With the testosterone rush of '16 in the 6' vocal stylings come capable, shiny club-ready mixes and thoughtful, lurking dance music throughout. 

Every time though, that thuggish thrum is swiftly ornamented, counterbalanced, or superseded by noise-jazz riffery, sound collage, and UGggYs hypnotic, panting, breathless, effortless, endlessly wending wordplay, thought swaying in outward-expanding spirals.

But here's the troubling part, and a moment for speculation on what Hugecup is actually going to sound like.

Valued Customer's 2015 release byugecup achieved a proper jazz structure via late sixties Miles gracia the hornwork of Dave"the thunder of" Baldry, which meant song lengths were at least four minutes and at most nine.

This uggy essay in early nineties album forms brings song lengths down to two, three, max five minutes, with an interlude here and there...this trend could lead to something almost completely abstract like They Might Be Giants, thirty second snippets smashed together like Abbey Road. Who is this +x÷=, and who/what do they think they are?

What is the danger? Why do I hate on that word bitch? Though it often accompanies misogyny, my first objection is to the patriarchal hierarchy implied in the dom/sub duality, which implies that those not vying to get on top are weak, and I don't hear the term being flipped on those who currently profit from the subjugation of women, children, racialized peoples, and troublesome minorities the world over.

Stop dropping that language/ power stance and this music could take off into a truly transcendent postmodern genre.
Check Pat's riffs in the outro of this here banger, Purple Caps:

Sounds like/ for fans of:

Kool Keith
The dirty version of 36 chambers
Kendrick Lamar
Pierre Henry
Sun Ra
The weekend
Garlic flavour
Massive attack

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