Celestaphone: Paper Cut From the Obit (Stream)

New music from an artist I was unfamiliar with, but one that I’m happy to have been introduced to. Celestaphone is the name and his new album, Paper Cut From the Obit, was released last month. With rap music as its core, the album draws on other genres for its full allure and includes a guest list that taps into the top tier of artistry that populates the current soundscape. With features from Armand Hammer, Moor Mother, Defcee, R.A.P. Ferreira and Paul Barman, Paper Cut From the Obit is a welcome addition to the slew of new releases that have emerged this year. You can hear snippets below, with full downloads available on Bandcamp.

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Steel Tipped Dove: all the weight feathers don’t have (Stream)

A somewhat surprise new album from Steel Tipped Dove, which finds him lining up another superb list of guest features, to carry on the tradition that began with his 2021 LP, Call Me When You’re Outside. This time round, Dove is working with the likes of MC Paul Barman, R.A.P. Ferreira, Zilla Rocca, ShrapKnel, Darko The Super and AJ Suede, while also managing to slip some instrumental interludes into the proceedings, resulting in an early favourite from 2023. And I’m pretty sure this isn’t all that Dove has up his sleeve for this year, so keep those ears to the ground. You can listen to all the weight feathers don’t have below, with downloads and cassettes available via Bandcamp.

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Slim’s Pickings 2022 Pt. 1

For those of you unaware, I recently published a list of my top 10 favourite hip hop and RnB albums in The Wire Magazine, as part of their end of year review issue. It was a tough list to compile because 2022 contained a multitude of stellar releases, many of which deserved further praise.
Guilt quickly set in after I’d submitted the list to my editor, not because I felt like I’d made a mistake with any of my choices, but because I wish I had been given the time and space to write about the bevy of other favourites that had been in rotation over the last 12 months. So now I’m going to attempt to summarise those remaining projects and give them the shine they deserve. But first my original list and the accompanying blurb, for those of you who missed it the first time round. I should also mention that I fucked up with the Little Simz pick. I had it in my head that SIMBI came out in early 2022, but in fact it was late 2021. I blame my own sketchy-at-best memory and the fact that her MOBO win came so late in the year. Anyway…

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R.A.P. Ferreira: ours

Another album to look forward to is the latest from R.A.P. Ferreira, who looks set to continue his ongoing run of audible delights with the release of 5 to the Eye with Stars. ours is the second single and features some enticing production from Rose Noir. You can listen to the track below, then head over to Bandcamp to secure your pre-order before the album’s arrival on 4 November.

Crow Billiken: If I don’t have red I use blue (Stream)

Speaking of R.A.P. Ferreira, he was behind another new release his week, under the guise of his bluesman alter ego, Crow Billiken. It’s been a while since Ferreira first announced his desire to enter into the world of blues and after seeing a few snippets of his progress on Twitter, the arrival of If I don’t have red I use blue was a joy to my ears. I’m no expert on the blues, but I know what I like when it comes to that sound and this EP is definitely in that category. And if your debut only leaves the listener wanting more, then you are definitely doing something right. The EP is available to peruse below, with downloads available over on Bandcamp.

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R.A.P. Ferreira ft. Hemlock Ernst: mythsysizer instinct

November will beckon in the latest album from R.A.P. Ferreira, as he continues to merge the forces of hip hop and poetry into his own distinct sound. mythsysizer instinct is the first peek we have at the new album, with the song featuring vocal assistance from Hemlock Ernst, as well as production from the ever reliable, Kenny Segal. The album, 5 to the Eye with Stars, is up for pre-order now via Bandcamp.

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R.A.P. Ferreira: Cycles

R.A.P. Ferreira returns with the next video from his recent album, Purple Moonlight Pages, which remains in the upper echelons of the year’s best albums. Cycles is another win for The Jefferson Park Boys, who did all the beats on the album, thanks to their slightly woozy and very mellow production, which provides Ferreira with ample space for his musings. The video, made by Yafet Salah, sees our protagonist wandering round the city, occasionally rapping to camera and occasionally having bottles smashed over his head by apparent strangers. Purple Moonlight Pages is out now and watch out for my full review coming in next month’s issue of The Wire.

R.A.P. Ferreira: Purple Moonlight Pages (Stream)

It’s another sublime offering from R.A.P. Ferreira, as he releases his new album into the world. The artist formerly known as Milo has long been lauded as an MC who embraces the more poetic side of rap and on this latest album, we hear that stylistic blend taken to beautiful new heights. Production throughout is handled by The Jefferson Park Boys – aka Kenny Segal, Mike Parvizi, and Mr Carmack – who conjure up an equally absorbing selection of beats to match Ferreira’s vocals, from the jazz-funk strains of No Starving Artists and Laundry, to the more down-tempo joys of earlier single, Doldrums, and the Mike Ladd assisted, An Idea is a Work of Art. Ladd is one of only two features on the album, with Open Mike Eagle making a nice appearance on Pinball. The full glory of the album is available for you to explore below and downloads are available via Bandcamp. Continue reading “R.A.P. Ferreira: Purple Moonlight Pages (Stream)”

R.A.P. Ferreira: Leaving Hell

Another tantalising drop from R.A.P. Ferreira, as he delivers the next single from his forthcoming album. Leaving Hell is the next piece of the puzzle that is Purple Moonlight Pages, which is entirely produced by The Jefferson Park Boys aka Kenny Segal, Mike Parvizi and Mr Carmack. The video, including the excellent animation, was created by Ben Clarkson. Stay tuned for the full album when it’s released on 6 March on Ruby Yacht.