Monday, August 3, 2009

Tor & Sufjan Stevens Illinoize (S-R)

Searching for some connections between indie and hip-hop music, it is possible to go back in time even further than it would have supposed to be. At first I could remember that My Bloody Valentine`s frontman Kevin Shields suggested once in one interview that before recording legendary Loveless (1991) he was listening to Cypress Hill a lot. Also, I was able to keep in mind Yppah`s album Your Are Beautiful At All Times (2006). It was actually a pure shoegaze album just made by the musician having himself hip-hop background. Nowadays it is very popular make available such tapes where hip-hop people are bending indie styles off in strange ways, making up crossovers of them. For example Amplive`s “Rainydayz Remixes” (2008) and Wildabeast`s Wildahead – Portibeast (2008), operating the music of Radiohead and Portishead correspondingly. Max Tannone aka Minty Fresh Beats wrote down Jaydiohead (2008) by mashing up Jay-Z and Radiohead into the new one. Avant-rocker Kevin McCraney faced CAN and Rakim each other in one track on the album Uncleared Samples (2008).

It is time reserved for folk-indie star Sufjan Stevens now. Illinoize is a free remix tape put together by Montreal-based producer Tor. Tracks are sampled from Steven`s Illinoise LP (2005), and 3 of his other albums as well, A Sun Came (2000), “Seven Swans (2004) and Songs for Christmas (2006). Sufjan Steven's acoustic guitar, piano and horns and mildly orchestrated sounds have been blended into with vainglorious featurings of Aesop Rock, Big Daddy Kane, Gift of Gab (Blackalicious), C.L. Smooth, Outkast, Brother Ali, and Grand Puba. I tell you, it is a quite peculiar experience for me listening to medieval flute tunes sounding partially psychedelic and mixed with Outkast`s hip-hop rhymes and a minimal stomping piano rhythm (Dumb I Sound / ATLiens (f. Outkast). My personal favourite track is The Tallest Man/I Like It (feat. Grand Puba). Violins and an orchestrated voice have created the subtle textured background. The only gripe I felt I had had in 26 minutes, was about absence of further interesting hip-hop sound effects. This set of songs brings forth a kind of perception as if it consist of a unvaried stream being a little bit anemic in that way. Indeed, I was expecting for more harsh-edged sonic manifestations because of that potential-filled format looseness to be enough for experimentation herein.

Download it from here