All right, listen up. In this new section we are going to be covering some of the latest underground hop-hop records and such. I know, we’re supposed to be the “electronic” section of Hybrid Magazine but who cares? We’ve been receiving loads of fine hip-hop and couldn’t fit them all into our reviews so we thought a little section might work best.

DJ Vadim and his crew the Russian Percussion band (featuring Mr. Thing, MC Demolition Man and Yarah Bravo are getting ready to tour the U.S. I’m not sure if this section will be live by the time tour is rolling but check out our tour dates section for full details. If you haven’t already checked it out, I’m sure it was worth the price. Vadim formed his Jazz Fudge label in 1995 and has been busy as hell as a hip-hop producer, DJ and such and been actively touring with a huge number of cohorts. He formed Russian Percussion so he could perform his hip-hop tracks live and has already done 100 shows in 14 countries. Also check out his new album, “USSR - The Art of Listening” on Ninja Tune featuring Sarah jones, Motion Man, Gift of Gab, Vakil, Babu, and many more. That Gift of Gab track reminds me... is someone sending us that new Blackalicious?

If you haven’t had a chance to check it out, Antipop Consortium’s “Arrhythmia” is out on Warp. This is the second release from the New York based group and their first full length for Warp since they picked them up last year. I can’t say it’s a drastic change from their debut Epilogue but their production from Earl Blaze has sharpened up a bit. Beans, High Priest, and M. Sayyid lay down their ever so abstract and challenging verse for a album unlike the flood of hip-hop records out there. You can see why Warp had an interest in the group with their love for bleeps, sound effects, and bubbly analog bass-lines. Their roots in NYC’s early 90’s spoken word scene are evident and the group clearly has no bounds when it come to the sounds and styles they throw into the mix. I think we’ll always be able to expect massive records from them for years to come.

On the opposite end of Antipop’s space-age hip-hop and opposite side of the country you can find a stellar new album from People Under The Stairs. Look for “OST” (Original Sound Track) on OM Records in June. Two years ago, the California based duo dropped “Questions in the Form of an Answer” and their latest in many ways could be considered a modern classic. Ok, the only problem with that “modern classic” title is that PUTS isn’t breaking any new ground and in fact, have stuck to the purest roots of hip-hop so while a new release, their sound is a mix of the finest moments of A Tribe Called Quest, Pete Rock & CL Smooth, Pharcyde, De La Soul. You get the picture. This is damn good hip-hop in it’s purest form. The production is tight and furthermore, the reason why it’s so good is because the player negativity attitude never peeks it’s ugly head into their music and is one of those perfect records for summertime relaxin’ in the park. Their approach seems to be a “why screw up a good thing” and their skill is obviously in old-school hip-hop. Unlike many of the discs we receive, this one will be in heavy rotation all season!

Well we know after Company Flow’s poorly promoted last album, the duo had a lot of issues going on and El-P and Mr. Len split ways and El-P went on to form the Def Jux label and has now released his first solo album, “Fantastic Damage.” Not to bash Mr. Len but it seems some heads were a little disappointed with that album but we must say that simply won’t be the case with El-P’s solo effort. It’s simply wicked. it brings all the rugged underground hip-hop that keeps the same clever wit and gritty production of Co-Flow but taken up a notch and the craft has been perfected even more. The production is top-notch, a hundred times sharper and El-P is relentless in his lyrical delivery. If you’ve been into the previous work and we don’t know why you wouldn’t be, this album will not disappoint. Look out this year as El-P co-produces the solo album of Zack de la Rocha (ex Rage Against the Machine) as well as co-production with Dan the Automator and a remix of a new Cornershop single.

If you can’t get your fill of the diverse Def Jux label, they’re also releasing the new “Emergency Rations” E.P. from Mr. Lif. Now, this must be a gimmick but the concept behind this collection of tracks is that the politically charged Mr. Lif was abducted by two unidentified agents during a show in Cambridge, Ma. on 2/17/02 and hasn’t been seen since. The EP is a collection of tracks that have since been uncovered. The main reasons behind his abduction are most likely his heavy socio-political content. Hell, he addresses his views on the “War On Terrorism” during a highly sensitive year. Regardless, if you dig politically conscience Public Enemy hip-hop that will set all your beliefs straight, this record is a dream come true. Rumor has it that their are additional tracks being constructed into an album called “I Phantom” which is due for a Fall release and will be packed with some serious and radically political messages.

Well that’s it for our new hip-hop section. This is by no means going to cover all of the records and news out there but just a few of the highlights that are brought to our attention. If you have some news for us, feel free to drop a line to




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