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Candles on the Cake: Freestyle Fellowship, Dark Dark Dark, Hanni El Khatib and Mayda

14 Oct

CakeIn15 gets a lot mail promoting new music and we love it- we’re also inundated by and so we don’t always get through it all. But, in an attempt to highlight some of the favorite things we do get through, here’s a rundown of what came into the mail (and e-mail) and we’re liking this week, if you will, the candles on our cake.

Freestyle Fellowship, long stalwarts of the L.A. underground hip-hop scene comprised of Aceyalone, Myka 9, P.E.A.C.E., Self Jupiter and DJ Kiilu Grand are back with a new record, The Promise. The crew, which has been working together on and off for 20 years now aren’t resting on any laurels, and when P.E.A.C.E. announces with a growl on the introduction that “We promise never to fall the fuck off,” you’d better believe it. Packed with a heady, cosmopolitan mix of jazz, world music and boom bap in the beats, with smart, tongue-twisting lyrics on tunes like “Gimme” which goes for baroque on addiction and “Daddies” on the frustrations and needs of fatherhood, these are musicians knowing what they want to do and getting it done. The Promise doen’t drop until 10/18, but you can listen to it all on Soundcloud.


Although Dark Dark Dark have been on the road for the month of October after kicking off their tour in the First Avenue Mainroom at Caroline Smith & The Goodnight Sleeps‘ CD Release show for Little Wing, we’ve just gotten around to listening to their tour EP that they had at that gig. Comprised of remixes, live and radio takes from Wild Go, their last record, and B-sides from the Flood Tide film they scored, it’s a little gem of their live experience. Given that it’s not available online they are heading back into the studio to record their followup LP when they get back, you may have to wait awhile to get your hands on it, though. That said, that they are going to record the sparse, tender new material with Nona Marie front and center, backed by the supple orchestration that they showed off in the Mainroom, that’s a reason to celebrate.


Another record that we’ve had for a little while but are just getting into (from listening to it by driving around, no less, regardless of the crashed cars on the cover) is Hanni El Khatib‘s debut record Will The Guns Come Out. The promo language around the record was hyperbolic, talking about “knife-fighting music” and that “these songs were written for anyone who’s ever been shot or hit by a train,” but that kind of amped-up greaser and blues just about sums up the fuzzed out feeling of the record. El Khatib is lifting sounds right and left, some Jack White guitar riffs here, some Howlin’ Wolf style lyircs there and an occasional dose of sweetness too, but the overall effect is greater than the sum of its’ parts, which is something that happens when you’re stealing from giants.

Finally, one last little treat that came to us this week was a single from Mayda, “Sylvia“, from her newly released Tusks In Furs. To know that little firecracker is to love her, so get on that and get dancing.

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