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Friday, January 29, 2016

[Stream] K-DEF - "The Unpredictable Gemini" / "The Way It Was"

A few posts down I talked about hip-hop and the celebration of mediocricity and how it is bringing the culture down like never before. One of the artists that is the very definition of quality and original hip-hop music that's still heavily rooted in the musical traditions is New Jersey's finest producer, K-DEF, a producer I have championed probably more than any other since I started The Lost Tapes back in 2010. I've been a fan for years and as much as I love his classic sample based boom bap production of the '90s as part of the House Of Hits team with Marley Marl (the LP that truly put me on to his work was Tragedy Khadafi's underrated sophomore album "Saga Of A Hoodlum"), I must say that his huge output of both instrumental and vocal projects that his signing with Redef Records back in 2011 has showcased has really become the heart of his long career in my humble opinion. The way he manages to create some of the most musical and best orchestrated/arranged hip-hop productions entirely without the use of samples is nothing short of mindblowing and is the ultimate proof of the old question of man or machine when it comes to lacing banging shit.

Though I miss his production for other artists (which throught the years have included classics and overlooked gems for Ghostface Killah, Ol' Dirty Bastard, Lords Of The Underground, LL Cool J, World Renown and many, many more) his solo output with records such as "One Man Band", "Night Shift", "The Exhibit", the "Sneak Shot" and "For Def's Sake" EP that has really solidifed his place as one of the top 10 hip hop producers of all time. Following in the footsteps of all those aforementioned albums and EP:s, heavily arranged and well thought out original instrumental compositions that avoids the reliance of samples (and live instrumentation too for that matter!), 'Def and Redef has again teamed up for what sounds like a future classic of an album that dropped today. "Double Gemini" includes no less than 20 instrumental joints that flows together very well as a proper album, and includes an excellent bonus vocal cut featuring AG and Damu The Fudgemunk. Available on vinyl, CD and digital (including a free preview stream which you can check out below) as I'm listening now, and with the risk of sounding like a dick rider, I can't find enough good things to say about this... 

And as if that wasn't enough the label/producer is also releasing a second full-lenght project at the same time (both are available on separate vinyl/digital and as a double CD featuring both)! The second project is entitled "The Way It Was" and is an inspiring look to the past, featuring never before released instrumentals mostly conjured up in the '90s when K-Def was still working the MPC and sampling jazz, soul and funk. Aside from classics like De'1's "Uneke", World Renown "How Nice I Am", Mic Geronimo's "For The Family" and a never before heard instrumental that was considered by KRS-One for inclusion on "Return Of The Boom Bap" the compilation also comes strapped with three (to my knowledge) previously unreleased 2010 tracks with Blu. Head over to Redefinition Records to order the CD including both albums or the separate vinyl editions of each LP while you stream the projects through their Official Bandcamp.


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