**Olan (All City) talks Stones Throw, Madlib and the joys of the LP.**
With our concentration spans having taken a battering over the past decade what with facebook/twitter/blah blah and the random plays of the iPod you would expect the traditional long player format to have bit the dust. If anything though, it seems in rude health in 2010 with artists on the fringes of beat/electronic music happy to make the traditional transition from 12 to LP.
Its always bizarre that you can't be taken seriously until you have an LP, moreso when you consider that the killer what-the-fuck -&-who-was-that 12 is so much rarer than the "not bad" LP but flicking through the [Beat Classic compilation](http://www.discogs.com/Various-Beat-Classic/release/124955) an eccentric mix of 80â€™s hip hop oddities and lost classics, [David Toop](http://www.davidtoop.com/) makes the point on the liner notes that the genre flourished for these few years solely on 12 inch, away from the glare of the major labels and as the music moves from the margins funded by mavericks, money launderers and entrepreneurs into the mainstream where economic necessity
entails its get marketed and hyped and the bloated the LP is born. The music becomes secondary to the rules and formats of the industry. According to this theory then, hip hop died sometime around 84 with the arrival of Run DMC as â€˜seriousâ€™ artists and I guess it gives every genre a life span of around 2/3 years.
While itâ€™s true that the vast majority of LPs could be compressed to EP length with no great loss thereâ€™s something soothing about loading up the VLC player - or any media player of your choice - with 16 tracks and letting it go. Listening to them on double LP means a whole another level of engagement as you're forced to leave your chair every 12-14 minutes so you cant really get into that background muzak state. Not to mention the compilation double LP heavyweight, which have now moved on to, some beautifully obscure areas.
It is not surprising that the dusty molemen of Stones Throw get the first shout here for their fascinating [curveball](http://www.stonesthrow.com/store/album/various/minimal-wave) the Minimal Waves Tape LP. No better time to revisit the DIY ish of the 70s/80s so shortly after McClaren exited the stage. Punk funk, proto techno, gothic - thereâ€™s no real unifying thread running through this record other than its DIY-ness which has tracks from Belgium to NY.
80s kids who remember Frankie goes to hollywood/human league pop weirdness need to check this track by [Oppenheimer Analysis](http://hypem.com/track/1029746/Oppenheimer+Analysis+-+Radiance) describing a post
nuclear holocaust world. Addictive is not the word! I've had this on repeat for about 2 months now!
Staying in Cali - and I really donâ€™t need to be doing any more fanboy ish for Stones Throw - but the Jazzman/Now Again California Funk comp is another incredible slice of American culture. Jazzman Gerald and Malcolm Catto have been working on this for time - they have the phone bills to prove it â€“ theyâ€™re probably a couple of years too late cos funk is a dirty word these days but donâ€™t sleep on this record. Check out [Apple & three Oranges](http://nowagainrecords.com/up/CurseUponTheWorld.mp3) - this caused earthquakes when it hit ebay a few years ago. If you canâ€™t see the power in this record - move on thereâ€™s nowt for you to see here but if it means something to you, cop this comp quick and enjoy the liner notes! Funk existed outside the LP mainstream and was certainly the better for it and these tracks are as odd and special as those early 80s hip hop bits.
Staying in California we wander upstate to Oxnard where unsung hero of the beats world [Oh No]( http://www.stonesthrow.com/store/album/ohno/dr-no-s-ethiopium) has just released his Ethiopian journey via the archives of Egon's extensive Afro collection. Oh No is a proper computer game junkie - collector of consoles, games & 8 hour a day cat and its usually impossible to talk about the whole Lotus / LA thing without a mention of blips and bleeps but thereâ€™s no doubt he takes that the disjointed, stuttery nature of the gaming experience (!) on board when releasing records. Kind of beattapeesque, it moseys all over the place with tones of ideas, samples and tunes (over 40) the record changes up every 90 seconds or so - bar the annoying promo-esque "Dr Noâ€ voiceover going through it - can you use these things now? Check Jadakiss Ah-ah's on Donuts - Dilla killed that shit!! Benji has been rinsing the best track of the LP â€“ Crazzzy- I couldnâ€™t find anything else online so check it out [here](http://all-cityrecords.com/templabel/ohno.mp3)
Older brother Madlib has also been having a stellar year - as far as I can tell he has released 6 LPs already this year with the Medicine show series - one a month -
plus rap stuff Strong Arm Steady but its the jazz shit that you need to check. Getting some love at the Guardian recently from ex ZTT/Art of Noise-r [Paul Morley](http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2010/mar/07/paul-morley-on-music-madlib) and he got the cover of [The Wire](http://www.stonesthrow.com/news/2009/07/madlib-interview-the-wire) last year â€“ terribly unrevealing and pointless interview from them as it happens â€“ it seems heâ€™s making inroads into the wider public musical conscious. He seems such a righteous individual, a complete No Sell Out character, that it would never occur to him to tweak his ish for wider acceptance.
Fellow Madlib watchers will know the progression he has made with his jazz quintet Yesterdays New Quintet since [Rocket Love](http://www2.mrtzcmp3.net/Yesterday__s_New_Quintet_Rocket_Love_1s.html) - ouch, was that really a decade ago!? - and I think the new [YNQ offshoot release,](http://www.stonesthrow.com/store/album/the-last-electro-acoustic-space-jazz-percussion-ensemble/miles-away) The Last Electro-Acoustic Space Jazz & Percussion Ensemble is the best record he has made - under any alias.
Each piece is dedicated and in the spirit of one of Madlibs jazz influences - from Roy Ayers to Derf Reklaw - the Coltrane & Pharoah Sanders joint is my favourite record but really the whole record is next level vibes, flutes, bass, drums and ting!
While we all end up older, crabbier and despairing of modern [music](http://www.stonesthrow.com/news/2010/04/for-those-about-to-rock-we-condemn-you) - thereâ€™s nothing better than the current sound of British yewt! The Brits tend to move and morph that bit faster than Americans and the Hyperdub peeps throw their hat at flipping the LP game like they've flipped everything else. With dubstep (used as a catchall term) now a fully formed music genre, which has long moved from the margins, it makes sense for Hyperdub to move into the Long player field and given they have previous with Burial there is no better way to announce another faceless talent than via a new CD. Ikonika has made her name via a couple of 12s and now goes straight into LP Contact, Love, Want, Have.
I donâ€™t know what genre this is supposed to be filed under (yes, yes, I know it doesnâ€™t matter but it keeps me awake nonetheless) but it nestles nicely at the edge where the lines get blurred between beats/wonky/hip hop/house. Heavy on melodies and breakdowns itâ€™s a gorgeous slab of 8 bit atmospheric synths - instantly hummable but equally rewarding on repeat listen. As squelchy and wonky as you can get.
Staying in the UK one man who is certain to gravitate - and easily - to the LP format is the young James Blake. Similar to young Scot, Hudson Mohawke, he is redefining tempos & rhythms within his genre - how easily does JB sit in the club/dubstep scene with tunes like Air?
Itâ€™s obvious heâ€™s more than happy to exist on the fringes, I cant imagine he gives a shite about staying in the confines of any one genre or what anyone thinks/says of him. Definitely in his own world and more concerned with actual tunes than beats he hangs his tunes on great vocal hooks and as Hudson he also does the fun re-edit thing â€“ in a world of disgusting, vomit inducing mash ups thereâ€™s not many doing it like this
Echoing Hud Mo again he joins the dots from US to UK music- check out a small snippet of his Madlib edit [here](http://all-cityrecords.com/templabel/jblake.mp3) (Madlib nuts can confirm but this is the only Madlib accapella available on record- right??).
Over at Warp theyâ€™ve given us the beautiful [Gonjasufi LP]( http://warp.net/records/gonjasufi) already this year and are ushering in the summer with the ubiquitous Flying Lotus who releases his sophomore LP Cosmogramma next week
Iâ€™m pretty sure itâ€™s leaked all over the net but I only got a copy this week. Thankfully this eschews UK influence almost completely - Thom Yorke aside - its an LP born and bred in LA. The Flying Lotus sound may not seem to have obviously changed much in the last couple of years â€“ especially when set next to the UKâ€™s continually evolving scenes â€“ but the pace of life is that bit more relaxed under the sun and thereâ€™s a more mature sound on this record than its predecessor. Its more LP sounding, very structured sound - for all intents its Los Angeles part II, its as hot, clammy, busy, sloppy as ever of course and as heâ€™s an American artist he has no problem doffing his cap to real musicians. The influence of the Coltranes is always going to hang heavy over his work. The title track is the bangin-est and its a seamless 40 minutes mix featuring vocalists and assorted musicians -- Thundercat, Miguel Atwood etc. Like Madlib he grapples with the jazz thing, the great American art form of the last century and the title Cosmogramma apparently relates to the studies which map out the universe and the relations between heaven and hell - you need a long player to deal with that!
As a post script â€“ RIP Guru of Gangstarr. Ignoring the controversy around it â€“ check out [Fat Laces tribute](http://fatlacemagazine.com/2010/04/mostly-tha-voice-the-fat-lace-dedication-to-guru/) - if weâ€™re talking LPs you have three killers to pick from 91â€™s Step in the Arena, 92â€™s Daily Operation or 94â€™s Hard to Earn.