Well, lets do this then. Everyone’s favourite verbose rapper with the unmatched vocabulary has just put out his newest album, so lets get a listening club up and running for him. Should probably be starting next week bar any issues my end.
Gonna stick Music For Earthworms and Appleseed together in one week as MFE isn’t on streaming as far as i’m aware, but should be easy to find on YT for anyone interested enough. Will probably post a link if I find one on the day. Also undecided on where to put Daylight just yet. Thinking of pairing it with Labor Days as it shares a few tracks, but if anyone wants a separate week for it, i’m all for it. Fast Cars… will have it’s own week, though.
Right. The next few weeks will look something like this…
Week 1: Music For Earthworms/Appleseed EP
Week 2: Float
Week 3: Labor Days (and possibly the Daylight EP, which also may be week 4)
Week 4: Bazooka Tooth
Week 5: Fast Cars, Danger, Fire and Knives EP
Week 6: None Shall Pass
Week 7: Are You Gonna Eat That? (1st Hail Mary Mallon album with Rob Sonic)
Week 8: Skelethon
Week 9: Hokey Fright (The Uncluded album with Kimya Dawson)
Week 10: Bestiary (2nd Hail Mary Mallon album)
Week 11: The Impossible Kid
Week 12: Lice/Still Buggin’/Triple Fat Lice (Lice EPs with Homeboy Sandman all stuck together)
Week 13: Malibu Ken (Malibu Ken album with Tobacco)
Week 14: Spirit World Field Guide
Week 15: Garbology (with Blockhead)
Week 16: Integrated Tech Solutions
Week 17: Stand alone singles, features etc.
I’ve decided against doing his instrumental soundtrack work (Bushwick OST, Freedom Finger). If anyone objects and wants to include them, just shout and we can tag them onto the end. Or we could just include them with the singles week at the end.
Prepare your ears. Or something.
wonderful, just the excuse I need to dive into his far too long albums
got the Appleseed EP so will be fun to dust that off, might finally pull the trigger on Labor Days too so I can enjoy that experience fully
I’m a big fan but there are quite a few collab albums I haven’t listened to so looking forward to this.
Should be able to do this. I won’t be playing the albums 2-3 times per week like I have for other listening clubs, but one per week should be manageable. Will be nice revisiting the ones I know, the ones I didn’t listen to enough, and the ones I haven’t heard.
Fantastic. Glad to see all the collabs in there. Be prepared for men to be obnoxiously enthusiastic about the Mallon albums.
Favourite living one, yeah. In for this!
I was probably around 48-72hr away from doing this myself. Quite glad someone else has taken charge though. There are a fair number of LPs I will be new to, but that is no bad thing.
New one is fucking good, isn’t it? Like “career-best” level good. Maybe. Will see how the dust settles. Is in a two-way battle for AOTY though.
Hope everyone is ready to get started tomorrow!
Did a listen of Appleseed to get my head in the game already!
Right, lets do this. First up is Music For Earthworms (which, according to wikipedia, is a mixtape, so maybe why it’s not on streaming? ) and the Appleseed EP…
From wikipedia (because why not):
The EP was originally self-released on CD-R in 1999. Aesop Rock said: “The first Appleseed CD’s were CD-R’s I duped at home and sold from my backpack at an MF DOOM show at Brownies, which was right below my apartment at the time.” He added: “I continued to sell hand-to-hand in NY, while Blockhead started fielding some mail orders from a young internet. People would send us cash or a check, and he’d cut the covers out and mail them off.” In 2021, the official reissue version of the EP was released via Rhymesayers Entertainment.
Lets get listening!
Had to snag Music for Earthworms off my laptop last night in preparation for morning listening. Last.fm says I haven’t played it since 2010, and RYM says I gave it 3.5/5. Not bad!
I forgot this was a bit of a comp, split into 3 parts – recent tracks, The Controls Featuring Aesop Rock, and some older tracks. It started off really good, I found myself appreciating the chill beats and his vocals being maybe a little less nasal than he would become? I don’t know anything about Percee P but I really liked the 2nd track, Wake Up Call. First 4 tracks are pretty great, a really strong introduction to the world. The “89.9FM Nighttrain Promo” track is pretty good as well, but “Live on 89.9FM Nighttrain” could be cut short. Studio banter and live spitting can be cool and it’s a nice artifact but it brings the “album” down.
The two tracks with (or by, technically) The Controls are really solid too. Turns out one member of The Controls, Dub-L, produced a majority of the album. I liked the chipmunk soul sample on Shere Kahn. Speaking of samples, I believe that’s why this album isn’t on Spotify. Not that one specifically, to my knowledge, but likely a few throughout the album.
The final 4 tracks on the album are really solid as well, to my ears not sounding too different from the first 4, quality-wise. Perhaps because they put to tape or mixed or mastered at the same time for this release. Antisocial may be my least favorite of these 4, with Coordinates being my favorite.
It may not pack a huge punch, but he still came out swinging and it’s a really good first release. I appreciate the airiness of it, especially knowing how dense some of his releases can be.
I gave Music For Earthworms a listen yesterday too and had a realisation why I don’t listen to it that much. It’s not that it’s bad, but it’s full of idea’s that are much more fleshed out on Float. Both in terms of rhymes and the beats. It’s also a bit disjointed in a way none of his other albums are. Sure, this is because it’s technically a mixtape. But it lacks cohesion.
Probably a 6 out of 10 for me.
always enjoy the creepy Warriors-esque opening
Appleseed - first listen. It’s interesting going back to the old stuff after listening to a lot of his more recent work. He has definitely cut the wpm in favour of clarity and storytelling and the end result is definitely stronger for it, although the eye popping linguistic gymnastics are still a lot of fun. His flow here actually puts me in mind of a lot of the anticon stuff, with its shifting polyrhythms, so seemed apposite that Dose one shows up at the end.
The beats though - I can’t say why, but the jazzy brassy loops really detracted from it. Just seems such a poor fit for his style. They might fit with something more stoned and laconic but they seemed to jar with the word blizzard poetry approach.
Still, the talent and skill was obvious from day 1.
Just finished listening to Appleseed, driving to work on a holiday week with light traffic. Wasn’t sure if I’d heard it before, it not being on my laptop and not scrobbled to last.fm until today. Possible I heard it before joining last.fm in 2006, can’t be sure. Putting it on a 2nd time now that I’m at my desk and can pay closer attention.
This is fully baked Aesop. While I didn’t think the production & beats were lacking on Music for Earthworms (aside from it being disjointed), this is an obvious step up in quality. Love the jazziness of Dryspell, puts me back to that 00-02 timeframe that I started discovering instrumental & abstract hip-hop, dudes like DJ Spooky, DJ Vadim, and Prefuse 73. I think it was Spooky’s Modern Mantra that introduced me to Aesop with Skip Town, still one of my favorite Aesop tracks. Same Space has a nice lazy beat as well, jazzy, smokey, stoned. Again this is pure of its time and I love it. 1,000 Deaths is good and fun (Blockhead production), could be the best track. Love the 20s jazz sound. Rest of the tracks are really solid, just nothing specific to call out. Just Doseone on the final track Odessa. I can handle him in small doses (heh) so this is fine, but generally was never much a fan of his voice.
Looking at production credits for this and MfE, I fully expected to see Blockhead on more than one track each release. The two of them go hand in hand, but if I had to guess I would have said Blockhead influenced Aesop’s production, but it looks like that might be the other way around with Aesop producing 6 of these 8 tracks (but only one on MfE).
Why is the club empty? Did someone pull the fire alarm?
I’m gonna have a listen tomorrow - I’ll try and have some wild, controversial opinions to liven things up.
Listened to Appleseed a few times, first time I’ve properly listened to it all the way though. I only got into Aes when NSP came out, mainly via the video below) , and I’d always thought I didn’t much like his earlier stuff due to his rapping style and vocals in those days and because (whisper it) I don’t really like much jazz-based hip-hop.
This hasn’t done much to change my mind on either of those but I enjoyed it a lot more than I expected. The tracks are a bit too long and spend that time not doing much, musically most of them haven’t done anything by the end that they hadn’t already done in the 1st minute and the lyrics are dense and clever but don’t really say anything, it’s a wall of words but there’s no stories like in his later stuff.
Still, I really liked Hold The Cup especially, reminds me of Difficult which is my favourite track from Garbology (yeah I know it’s very jazzy…), and Same Space, 1000 Deaths and Blue In The Face were great too. Not too into the Doseone guest spot, I used to love his vocals but I’ve not heard him for a while and it grates a bit on this and the album with Buck65 that’s just come out.
Tldr, Didn’t expect to enjoy it as much as I did but I’m unlikely to go back to it much after this week. Great listening club idea btw!