Analog Players Society’s Latest LP Will Find Wide Appeal Among Jazz, Hip-Hop Fans

Courtesy: Ropeadope

Independent jazz/hip-hop group Analog Players Society’s latest album Soundtrack for a Nonexistent Film is a unique fusion of genres and sounds.  Released Nov. 13 through Ropeadope, the 11-song instrumental record takes listeners on a wonderful musical journey that stands on its own merits, one of which is its musical arrangements.  They will be discussed shortly.  The sequencing of said arrangements builds on the foundation formed by the arrangements and will be discussed a little later.  The record’s production is important to note in its own right and will also be examined later.  When it is considered along with the album’s featured arrangements and their sequencing, all three elements join to make this album a presentation that will find wide appeal among jazz and hip-hop fans with ease.

Soundtrack for a Nonexistent Film is a record that is well worth hearing among jazz and hip-hop fans alike.  That is proven in part through the musical arrangements that make up the body of the 25-minute record.  As already noted, the arrangements pair the best elements of jazz and hip-hop to make a presentation that will appeal to fans of acts, such as Robert Glasper, Jaga Jazzist, and others of that ilk.  To another extent, Gorillaz and others have utilized the style of arrangement featured here just as much as the other noted acts.  The use of the hip-hop beats against the jazz approach at the album’s base makes for such an interesting presentation.  One of the album’s most notable works is the pairing of its opener/lead single ‘Chase’ and its “companion” composition, ‘Safe Place.’  The opener is a chaotic yet controlled work that presents a certain modern free jazz style approach.  ‘Safe Place’ meanwhile is more controlled, but still boasts some of its own freeform styling.  Ironically, through it all, there is a certain control to the chaos, making for even more interest.  On a completely different note, a song, such as ‘Space and Time’ takes listeners back to the 1950s and 60s with its subtle piano line and drumming.  While the drumming is subtle in its own right, its energy and full on improvisational style makes for such a wonderful listen.  That is even with the song barely topping a run time of ninety second (1:38 to be exact).  It is one of those exhibitions that proves less can be and often is so much more.  It also shows in its own way, the far-reaching diversity in the album’s featured arrangements.  ‘Celestial Message’ comes later in the album’s run, but shows in its own way even more of that diversity.  The use of the standup bass alongside the hip-hop style beats, the piano line and fully improved saxophone line makes this arrangement unique, too.  In this case, it is the hip-hop side that takes precedence over the jazz elements.  The whole makes the arrangement such that any rap/hip-hop artist could use it as a music bed for their work.  It’s just one more way in which the musical arrangements featured in this album prove so important to the record’s presentation.  They in themselves make for plenty of appeal for audiences, and are just a part of what makes the album interesting.  The sequencing of the featured arrangements builds on the appeal created through the arrangements to make for even more engagement and entertainment.

The sequencing for Soundtrack for a Nonexistent Film is important to note because of the balance in the energy that it exhibits.  The record starts out at a frenetic pace, as already noted.  From there, the album’s energy gradually becomes more relaxed, but no less engaging along the way.  This is evidenced in the transition between ‘The Water is Rising’ and ‘Act Cool.’  The latter is solid, but still so relaxed in its own way, which is the noted continuation of the noted gradual change in pacing.  That element – the pacing – plays into the bigger picture of the album’s sequencing and will be noted shortly.  ‘Bump in the Road,’ which comes immediately after ‘Act Cool,’ changes things again and sends the album in a “harder” direction what with its heavier emphasis on bass, drums and electronics.  It is a distinct change of style and pace, too, which in turn keeps the album engaging and entertaining, too.  From there, the album relaxes again, but only to a point, in ‘Space and Time.’  The gradual easing of the album’s energy continues on again its follow-up, ‘Starry Night’ before things go full-on hip-hop again in ‘Celestial Message.’  The song’s groove is solid, but just not as laid back as the record’s other works, ensuring once more, listeners’ maintained engagement and entertainment.  The record’s stylistic and energy changes continue on from there to its finale, doing just as much to keep listeners engaged and entertained.  In the bigger picture of the sequencing, the perfectly placed ups and downs, and the stylistic changes do their own share to make this record so appealing.  At the same time, that maintained balance throughout helps to keep the record’s pacing solid.  The result is that by the time the 25-minute record ends, audiences will not even have realized it has passed so quickly and fully.  It will leave listeners wanting more in the best way possible.  It is one more way in which the album stands out and still is not the last of its positives.  The record’s production rounds out its most important elements. 

The production of Soundtrack for a Nonexistent Film is important to note because of how much attention to detail clearly had to take place to make everything happen and sound so impressive.  As noted, there are a lot of subtleties featured in each of the album’s works.  From the use of the piano and the electronics, to the balance of the drums to those noted elements, a lot of attention had to be paid to each element.  Those painstaking efforts paid off from one song to the next.  At no point does one instrument outperform the other.  Each instrument gives just the right amount of accent to its counterparts, whether in the album’s frenetic opener or the more cool sound of ‘Space and Time’ or even in the solid, chill ‘Rock the Block.’  Each work gives listeners such enjoyment because each instrument and aspect gets just enough attention.  The result of all the work put into the production is a work that is just as appealing for its production as for its primary content.  Keeping all of that in mind, the album gives listeners plenty to appreciate and proves itself a widely appealing work among jaz and hip-hop fans alike.

Analog Players Society’s new album Soundtrack for a Nonexistent Film is a unique, intriguing presentation from the veteran collective.  That is evidenced in part through the record’s arrangements, which combine the best of the jazz and hip-hop realm for a presentation that in itself gives listeners a lot to like.  The sequencing of the record’s featured arrangements builds on the appeal ensured by the arrangements themselves.  The record’s production puts the finishing touch to its presentation.  It takes into account every tiny nuance of each arrangement from each instrument and element, and in the process, ensures every little element is balanced with one another.  The result is, again, a record that is just as worth hearing for its production as for its primary content.  The record is available now.  More information on the album is available along with all of Analog Players Society’s latest news at:




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Common’s Latest LP Gets Lots Of “Love” In Phil’s Picks 2019 Top 10 New Rap & Hip-Hop Albums List

Courtesy: Loma Vista

This year was a banner year for the worlds of rap and hip-hop.  New albums from the likes of Common, Denzel Curry and Atmosphere helped make this year stand out along with new releases from the likes of DJ Shadow, Malibu Ken and Robert Glasper added even more punch to this year’s field of new rap and hip-hop albums, giving audiences plenty from which to choose.

Considering all the new albums with those noted genres, there was so much to do and hardly enough time to cove them all.  That aside, even this realm was not ignored by Phil’s Picks.  Here for your consideration is Phil’s Picks 2019 Top 10 New Rap & Hip-Hop albums.  As with every other list produced this year, it features the Top 10 albums and five honorable mentions for a total of 15 titles. Without further ado, here is Phil’s Picks 2019 Top 10 New Rap & Hip-Hop albums.



  1. Common — Let Love
  2. DJ Shadow — Our Pathetic Age
  3. Atmosphere — Whenever
  4. Robert Glasper — F*** Your Feelings
  5. Haviah Mighty — 13th Floor
  6. Denzel Curry — ZUU
  7. Flying Lotus — Flamagra
  8. Gabriel Teodros — A Southend Healing Ritual
  9. Malibu Ken — Malibu Ken
  10. Brother Ali — Secrets & Escapes
  11. Boca 45 — Forty Five
  12. Bobby Feno — A Late February
  13. Louis Futon — Way Back When
  14. Danny Brown — uknowhatimsaying?
  15. Mally — The Journey to a Smile


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‘RGE: Live’ Gives Audiences An Eclectic, One-Of-A-Kind Experience

Courtesy: Eagle Vision/Eagle Rock Entertainment

Robert Glasper Experiment is, without doubt, one of the most key acts in the music industry today. His work on both sides of the glass has made him a household name in countless circles within the music industry. Late last month, Glasper showed even more why he has become such a respected figure throughout the industry with the release of his latest live recording, Robert Glasper Experiment: Live. This 11-song, 81-minute performance compilation takes audiences around the world, showing the literal reach of his (and his band’s) influence while also giving audiences a relatively healthy cross-section of the group’s body of work. Those two elements alone do plenty to make this recording worth seeing. The editing puts the finishing touch to the whole of the recording. It will also be discussed later. All things considered, Robert Glasper Experiment : Live proves in the end to be a live recording that will appeal to fans of Glasper’s jazz side as much as it will to modern jazz fans.

Robert Glasper Experiment’s latest live recording, simply titled Live, is an interesting new offering from the famed producer/musician and his fellow musicians. It is a work that is certain to appeal to fans of Glasper’s jazz work as much as modern jazz fans in general. That is due in part to the compositions that make up the body of the recording. The songs, by and large come from Glasper’s more jazz oriented albums, Black Radio and Black Radio 2. There is a throwback to his 2005 sophomore album Canvas in ‘Rise and Shine.’ There is also a nod to his 2009 album Double Booked right off the top in a performance of ‘All Matters’ and a cover of Radiohead’s ‘Packt Like Sardines In A Crushed Tin Box’ included in the sequence. This composition is such a stunning work in the way that it balances its R&B elements with equal parts modern jazz. It is a great start to the recording’s presentation, whose foundation is strengthened even more as the recording progresses. That is thanks both to the work of vocalist Bilal Oliver and the Metropole Orchestra. Wayne Brady’s freestyle rap (yes, the same Wayne Brady who currently hosts CBS’ hit game show Let’s Make A Deal, and yes, he raps) is one of the high points that really serves to build on that foundation. That’s because he shows he has real flow. Lalah (pronounced Layla) Hathaway’s performances add their own touch to the presentation, too. Between her performances, those of Glasper and his band mates, the performances, and the very directed nature of the song selections, the song selections chosen for this recording are themselves more than enough reason for audiences to watch this offering. It is only one part of what makes the recording an interesting viewing experience. The very range of the performance venues in itself is its own statement.

From start to finish, Eagle Rock Entertainment takes audiences around the world with Glasper and company for their performances, starting with a performance in The Netherlands. From there, audiences go along with the group to Shanghai, China before coming back to the U.S. and a performance at the Troubador in West Hollywood, California. From there, it’s off to Harlem, New York, back to the Troubador again before going back to the Netherlands yet again and then back once more to Harlem. Now, on the surface, this back and forth seems like something of a head scratcher. Those questions are valid. On a deeper level though, presenting performances from basically four major regions from such major nations shows the reach of the group’s stardom. It is, in itself, quite a statement here. It says without saying that Robert Glasper Experiment appeals to a much wider range of audience than one might think. It’s a telling statement, too. From the U.S. to Europe and even to the far East, it shows this Robert Glasper Experiment’s music truly is a universal language. Of course, it is just one more of the elements that makes this recording such an interesting watch. The recording’s editing puts the final touch to the presentation’s whole.

The editing incorporated into RGE: Live is critical because of its general effect impact. This includes the audio and video editing. The transitions from one performance to the next create a fluid progression throughout the course of the program’s nearly 90-minute run time. This fluid progression in itself insures viewers’ engagement. At the same time, the editing of the footage itself gives viewers the best seat in the house in each performance. That is due to the time and effort put into the video and sound editing. Some of the performances actually sound like one is right there, without losing the quality of the sound, and look like it, too. That’s important to note because in essence, what this does is actually make viewers feel like they are there, rather than presenting a spit-shined, finished product. It’s more raw, for lack of better wording, but in a good way. It shows that it is possible for a concert recording to be enjoyable without that perfect finish. At the same time, other performances included in the recording are much more streamlined, yet are just as enjoyable as the more raw clips. Again, that is thanks to the time and effort put into the video and sound editing. Their work makes the final product a positive visual and auditory experience just as much as the featured songs create their own interest along with the featured venues. All three elements together make RGE: Live a presentation that, again, will appeal just as much to fans of Glasper’s jazz work as modern jazz fans in general.

Robert Glasper Experiment: Live is an intriguing new live offering from Glasper and his fellow musicians. It is a work that because of its clearly directed and focused set list, will appeal to a very specific audience. That audience in question is those people who are more appealed to his jazz work than his R&B compositions. Keeping this in mind, it is certain to appeal to modern jazz fans, too. Those same fans are clearly not limited only to American audiences, as the chosen performance sites shows, another important part of the recording’s whole. The program’s editing puts the finishing touch to its presentation, giving home audiences the best seat in the house. Each element noted is important in its own right to the whole of this recording. All things considered, they make it a program that modern jazz fans and fans of Glasper’s jazz work will agree is worth at least one watch. It is available now in stores and online. More information on Robert Glasper Experiment: Live is available online now along with all of Robert Glasper’s latest news and more at:




More information on this and other titles from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online now at:




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Music Super Group August Greene Unveils Debut LP’s Lead Single, ‘Optimistic’

Courtesy: Amazon Music

Multi-faceted and talented performer Common has joined forces with equally famed pianist/producer Robert Glasper and drummer/producer Karriem Riggins to form a new music super group, and the group is already getting audiences excited about its forthcoming debut album.

The group, known as August Greene, will release its self-titled debut album via Amazon Music on March 9.  In anticipation of the album’s release, the band debuted this week the album’s lead single, ‘Optimistic (ft. Brandy)’ via NPR Music.  The song, streaming now via SoundCloud, mixes a gentle, flowing R&B arrangement that echoes hints of some of Brandy’s most beloved classic hits with an equally flowing, almost easy jazzy piano line and solid hip-hop rhythm for a song that is certain to reach so many listeners.

No online presence has yet been established for August Greene.  The group is set to make its live debut at New York City’s Highline Ballroom for Robert Glasper’s sixth annual Grammy(R) Joint.

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