Friday night, The Weather, Awol One and guest DJ Andre Afram Asmar take over the Club Downunder as a part of the Mush Records College Tour.

"I can't stress how much I love avant hip hop label Mush Records," alternative weekly newspaper The Portland Mercury's Julianne Sheperd wrote. "Everything they release is totally interesting, if not groundbreaking, and their artists take hip hop into its future without ever letting it lose its roots, but never forcing it into a dumb box."

Mush Records is an independent record label; a part of a larger company called Dirty Loop Music. Dirty Loop Music began in 1997, according to its Web site, "as an outlet to release some music that we were making with our friends."

The small business has grown steadily, specializing in releasing albums, singles and compilations of underground hip hop, as well as Dj tools. Mush Records is home to over 20 artists, each one as innovative as the next. The label has put together its new tour lineup in order to 'push out the old conventional hip hop show and instead, replace it with a vibrant, lively, new conception of what the hip hop show could be."

Headlining the tour is The Weather, which is actually the combined forces of two solo Mush artists, Busdriver and Radioinactive. Both hailing from Los Angeles, Busdriver and Radioinactive first teamed up for the song "Somethingness" from the former's 2002 album, Temporary Forever. After performing several shows together, the two decided to continue collaborating, leading to the recording of The Weather's self-titled debut with producer Daedelus, which was released this year to enthusiastic reviews.

Also based out of Los Angeles is Awol One, who just released his fifth album (first for Mush Records), Slanguage, which he worked on with Daddy Kev, a frequent collaborator. The San Francisco Examiner called the album "a forward-thinking experimental symphony of looped beats and free jazz, the same nonconformist strain that inspired the '50s beat poets, coupled with a level of lyrical prowess that would have gotten serious snaps from Allen Ginsberg."

Over the years Awol One has also worked with the Shapeshifters, Fat Jack and Mike Nardone. He has established himself as one of the best, most unique emcees in the business: he was recently named to URB's list of "10 Rappers From Hip Hop's Bleeding Edge" (along with Busdriver and fellow Mush Records artists Aesop Rock and Doseone).

Andre Afram Asmar will be appearing as the tour DJ. According to the tour press release, Asmar "will be doing a short set of live mixing of his album, combining lap top, effects pedals, processors, live keyboard and percussion instruments, and more.' The album in question is last year's heavily praised Racetothebottom. Martin Woodside of San Francisco Weekly called it "truly world music-an ambitious mixture of hip hop, electronica and international rhythmsÉAsmar shows a fine touch for arrangement throughout, bringing together disparate sounds, djembe flute, keyboard, oud, etc. , while managing to keep the music restrained."


Mush Records