Ropeladder 12 offers a coherent flow-through of songs with each presenting a distinctive sound and angle - from Jel's simple yet effective intro with some playground chanting, cuts and a very nice rolling beat, to Fat Jon and the Five Deez' rain-lashed Rain Dance, through to Apani and Nickodemus' The Spirit Within which features Apani's prolific lyrical dexterity amidst what sounds like tin drums and tribal vocal samples. Labtekwon's effort is also a provocative cut. There are breakdowns, lounge music drop-ins, visually provocative lyrics, soundscaped instrumentals, self-help vocal samples and more. Ropeladder 12 may be the release to extend your musical diet.
Aesop Rock's Float is one of those releases where you don't know whether to follow the lyrics or the beats, or do just what the title suggests and float in between. With Aesop handling the production duties for half of the album and Blockhead in charge of the other half, the way they have constructed the beats and even recorded the vocals, puts forth this texture that, if you really let yourself sink into it, entombs you. Commencement at the Obedience Academy, Big Bang, Skip Town (which boasts some reggae-inspired samples) and Attention Span featuring Vast Air from Cannibal Ox are the standouts. The momentum behind this MC has been growing for a while now and, if I had spare cash, you would have heard about it sooner.