Tuesday, April 17
Sole, aka Tim Holland, put out his first vinyl at age 16.Since then he has been at the forefront of independent rap. In ’98 he launched the label anticon and helped spearhead a genre of alternative hip-hop. Sole’s first two official albums Bottle of Humans and Selling Live Water solidified his status as indie rap trendsetter and achieved critical success in magazines like Playboy, Spin, Rolling Stone, etc. In 2003 sole moved to Barcelona and spent two years touring his motherland and recorded his 2005 album Live From Rome.
Sole is one of the most prolific artists amongst his peers. Aside form his official studio albums, sole has released a slew of self-produced albums on his own imprint, Black Canyon. The mansbestfriend series is sole’s take on experimental electronic music. To date, sole has released 5 mansbestfriend records and the project has achieved cult status. As of late, sole has received a lot of attention for his Nuclear Winterseries, where he applies the Situationist method of detournement to make political statements out of mainstream rap songs.
Kristoff Krane’s distinctive blend of message-driven lyrics, delivered over organic composition and carefully sampled beats, demands attention. A natural born teacher and poet, Krane’s lyrics connect our similarities rather than pointing out our differences, “… an artist finding resolve through expression”. Whether rapping over a beat, singing over a piano, or creating a song, live, through a loop-pedal with his audience, Krane has branded his performance as an experience bound to resonate with something deeper than our ego desires. The fusion of these elements gives Krane’s music an edge and musical appeal that continues to expand his fan base at a staggering rate. This is conscious hip hop at its finest.
Ceschi (pronounced chess-key) Ramos makes his own version of progressive hip hop spliced with elements of folk & indie rock. Although he has almost “mathy” technical rap abilities he’s first and foremost a singer-songwriter at heart. Although one Ceschi song may consist of punk influenced machine gun fast raps, the next may be a quiet folk ballad played on acoustic guitar.
After releasing a cd/lp and touring Europe and Japan as part of international rap conglomerate Gunporn, Bleubird was spotted sitting in with Leo Tardin (winner of the first Montreux Jazz Festival International Piano Solo Competition) at Montreux 2008, and for three shows in Mumbai. The same restlessness that had him touring through France with electro industrial rap superstars X-Makeena brought him to Amman, Jordan last year with Ramallah Underground (On july 4th no less!).
In case you haven’t caught on, collaboration is a big part of Bleubird’s motivation. He makes demented party music with Astronautalis as Boyfriends Incorporated, and teams up with Jayrope to deliver us well-focused chaos as Prinzenallee. For the comic and creepy Les Swashbuckling Napoleans, he hooks up with Thesis Sahib and Edison. In 2007, he and Scott Da Ros (Endemik Music label magnate and fellow artist) curated Mega Possee Cut, featuring 26 rappers from all over the world.