02. SMALL BLACK’S MOON KILLER MIXTAPE
On 11/11/11, a day that occurs probably once in a billion years, Small Black released the much anticipated MOON KILLER MIXTAPE. On a night that actually featured a full moon in their native Brooklyn, NY, this foursome of chillwaving trailblazers released for free a veritable onslaught of exciting new experiments with sound for us rabid consumers of current hipster art. In the short span of probably three years or less, the vector of this generation’s alternative music his veered from lo-fi pop to surf rock to retro downtempo and now on to this hip form of funk-and-R&B revival. Happily marching at the frontline, Brooklyn’s Small Black does anything but disappoint with this brilliant new release.
MOON KILLER MIXTAPE is neither an LP nor an EP, and you couldn’t really get away with calling it a mini-album either, hence the label “mixtape”. The short, but sizable outing features Heems of Das Racist as a prominent guest vocalist in its two wicked primary tracks, the above featured “Two Rivers” (released early to much internet buzz) and “Sunday Son”. In addition to that collaboration, one particular track, “Love’s Not Enough”, is a climactic rework of Nicki Minaj’s “Your Love”. It’s hands down my personal favorite tune on the whole release, if you’re into that blurring-of-pop-and-underground subgenre (à la Korallreven’s remix of Britney Spears’ “Till the World Ends”). There are two remixes of older Small Black favorites by Phonetag and Star Slinger tacked onto the end of the mixtape, and the remainder of the album consists of a couple more original works and several dreamy segues composed primarily of funky synths, found sound, and fucked up samples, including one of a Carpenters classic. Born of the romanticized inner city childhood we saw on TV and wished we had for realsies, Small Black’s MOON KILLER MIXTAPE is short, sweet, and very emotional. The instrumentation is equal parts nostalgic and driving, evoking images of late night strolls down ideally well-lit alleys with the gang, the smells of Chinese food and taxi exhaust in the air, under a full moon, of course. It is a mixtape for the melting pot of urban youth, who desperately need to study for that math test tomorrow, but can’t seem to quit sneaking down the fire escape to their basketball courts, their ghettoblasters, and their illicit drugs. Do tha right thing, and visit this link for the runner up in our top ten countdown of the best albums we’ve heard in the past year: Small Black’s free MOON KILLER MIXTAPE, so you can howl and jam with the best of them tonight.
MP3 Download of “Two Rivers”, by Small Black
MP3 Download of “Love’s Not Enough”, by Small Black