Underground Fossils is run by Dimxsk and Trylemma. Posts are now Tuesdays (miscellaneous posts, often new music reviews or lists although time being what it is sometimes we have to just upload something cool) and Fridays (always music upload posts). We do all we can to make sure we don't post stuff that (1) You can still reasonably buy from the artist directly, (2) You can reasonably buy secondhand for cheap, (3) You can download easily elsewhere, (4) The artist(s) asks us not to for any reason. Rips will include our own personal rips, old scene rips, and random web rips.

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

New Music: Tommy & Richie (Controller 7 & Buck 65) - Billy

So Controller 7 quietly released this surprise album a month ago, without making much effort to let folks know who Tommy or Richie were. In a way I liked that, because when curiosity got the best of me and I streamed a bit, hearing that unforgettable voice for the first time in years rapping new material was a very pleasant shock indeed. C7 asked at the time for reviews, but as I was running short on time and had a few posts already lined up I haven't gotten the chance yet to do so. I do want to help publicize it's release however, as I'm sure there are some of you who loved Buck as much as I did and had no idea this album even existed.

Anyone who ended up hearing the phenomenal collaboration between Mestizo and Controller 7 earlier this year should have a good idea what to expect from this album as well. Warm, smooth and heavy sample based production with jazz and blues influences really gave Mestizo a chance to return to his roots, before his penchant to sing took over a lot of his releases. I've always been a big fan of his work and while his singing is not my favorite thing about him, I support his music for releases like Couch, which are always dope and listenable. Billy, the album Tommy and Richie (as in Terfry, aka Stinkin' Rich) made together about a guy named Billy bears some sonic similarity to Couch and that's a very good thing.

For those of you who've been following Buck for as long as I have (early 2000's so not forever, but a long time anyway) you know he's got almost as many sounds as there are Bucks (65). From his battle rhyme beginnings as Halifax trailblazer Haslam, to his hardcore persona Stinkin' Rich, to his weirdo Anticon affiliated Language Arts years, to his "I don't like rap" This Right Here Is period, to his polished and (in my opinion) slightly overproduced 20 Odd Years anniversary albums, to his full blown pop finale Neverlove, it's no surprise that Billy is markedly different from his last official release. Buck changes with the times, and isn't afraid to go his own way. For those familiar with his previous work, expect a Dirt Bike Project style of songwriting with a dash of that fun loving irreverence and vocal sound found on his Language Arts projects and the more recent Laundromat Boogie with Hali legend Jorun Bombay.

For those not familiar with Buck 65, what we have here is full blown storytelling rap with a sense of humor, not unimpressive lyrical skill and a laid back old timey quality reminiscent of Serengeti or Open Mike. The production is flawless which isn't surprising from the multi-decade veteran producer Controller 7, consisting of diverse sampling of guitars, strings, keys and swing drums. Old school in it's way, but accessible in the now for it's simple genius and beauty.

So I'll leave it at that. If you don't already love Buck 65 I can't say what you'll think of this record, but as I would say for all of his releases, go into it prepared to laugh and enjoy it for what it is. He makes no attempt to be hard because that's simply not him, and that honesty is refreshing when you don't have enough of it in your playlist to begin with. I do love Buck 65 and always will, so I wanted to do all I could to let everyone know he may be coming back. In my opinion Neverlove was not the album he should have gone out on (and yes I know he's continued to release tracks here and there and a new Dirt Bike mixtape which was awesome, but as for official releases I consider it his last offering) and if he continues to display the love for music and storytelling we see here, maybe there'll be another 20 years of good old fashioned Canadian rap to enjoy from Richie (hopefully with plenty of contributions from Tommy).

Get Tommy & Richie's first full length collaboration here at Controller 7's Bandcamp, and consider picking up the instrumentals as well, they're perfect.

Friday, May 29, 2020

Hungry Mob - It Is What Is Is (1996)

Today's upload is from Portland's (Oregon that is) Hungry Mob, 1996's "It Is What Is Is."

Hungry Mob was a pretty big local Hip Hop live band that was fronted by the great Mic Crenshaw. The crew probably first gained significant attention after being included on the "Western Conference All-Starz" compilation in 1997 alongside NW indie giants like Cool Nutz and Lifesavas. While Crenshaw has been a constant factor, the group has seen various lineups, including the addition of Oldominion/Sirens Echo member Toni Hill (though this release pre-dates her I believe.)

"It Is What Is Is" was a cassette only release, featuring 10 short tracks. The album definitely sounds of its time - very airy and jazzy with large G-Funk and reggae tinges. Those who like that sound should dig this for sure. And even back then, Crenshaw had great presence on the mic. 

Peep the project below (and if anyone has leads on a physical copy of this, let me know!)

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

New Music: Curbside Pickup (Noah23) - I

There was a time a while ago when Noah23 was flooding our indie rap webs, though, more recently, the man has been pretty quiet. That changed this past week, however, with a new beat tape entitled "I," released under the name Curbside Pickup. 

As far as I know, Noah23 hasn't dropped too many beats publicly over his vast career. As such, I was expecting a sort of rough type project with this one when he announced it. I was pleasantly surprised however with what I got, which is a short 7 track project (with no song going over, or anywhere near, the 3 minute mark) consisting of some very clean and infectious instrumentals. The beats are very "vibey" and worthy of head nods. Noah mixes in vocal samples and sound effects very nicely throughout as well. 

The project is currently free to download on Noah's Bandcamp page. I'm not sure if there are currently plans to continue with the Curbside Pickup moniker moving forward, but I wouldn't mind it! Peep the project HERE

Friday, May 22, 2020

Phlegm: Meta4etry - The Tear I Spit Back Up (1999)

For today... I had no idea what to upload. Posters block I guess... Work is distracting, the apocalypse is fizzling out and honestly it's got me feeling weird. So what could possibly better fit the mood than an old offering from the singular Brad Hamers, with Slomoshun as Phlegm. A duo who recorded an album in 2002 called One Night Stands with Out of Tune Instruments in a Room with Blue Wallpaper, an album that actually features out of tune instruments. Probably recorded it in a blue room as well.

Anyway I like these guys and their affiliates. Nobs, Losaka, Eibol, Neanderthal Youth, Dezmatic. The Albany, NY based 3 Sides of a Circle has a very nice take on experimental rap, with more than a touch of old fashioned East Coast style swagger. Introspective, well produced and often catchy, they quietly released a slew of dope albums in the early aughts and for the most part have quieted down. Not so for Brad Hamers who just put out an album as Through Flames that I have yet to listen to, but the lead singles were interesting. Barely rap, more spoken word theatrical noise.

Anyway, Met4etry is one of his earliest releases, and is rough, DIY and definitely not his best work. He hadn't developed his own personality that really makes everything he's done lately so unique, back before the turn of the century. But it's a great thing to hear if you like the rarities enough to dig up UGF, and what the hell gotta have something to irritate the driver next to you when you emerge from your quarantine cocoon.

Enjoy, and I promise you'll have my full attention again when I return in two weeks.


Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Pedestrian - Songs of the Light Workers Local #168 (2005)

Whattup everyone! So Trylemma and I decided that, to split the week up a bit more evenly we're gonna do posts on Tuesdays and Fridays instead of Wednesdays and Fridays. You may have noticed the change in our header if you make a habit of scanning it every time you check in (lol). So this week at least I'm going to give myself a bit of a break and offer a download instead of a full blown article, I can't think of anything that works plus we got a request from a longtime visitor and I wanna hook him up as quickly as possible since he's come through for me in the past. So with that, we've got this album which came from another visitor, can't remember their name but BIG thanks if you're reading this!

Songs of the Light Workers Local #168 is a tour only CDr compilation by Anticon's own Pedestrian. A California native, Pedestrian eventually moved out to Maine, met Sole, Alias, all the rest, migrated back to the Golden State and the label was born. I grew up listening to Anticon, I know some people have... opinions about them but I liked a lot of their work (except for the stuff that gave me headaches and made me angry) and I know that Pedestrians apparent lack of solo material hides a fairly extensive involvement with that whole collective. This one is actually the longest album he ever did (at least that I know of), and consists of a ton of material, most of it unreleased. It features a few fellow Anticon members, some of the accapella and noise weirdness the label is well known for, but also a few real, actual and fairly dope songs.

So with that enjoy Songs of the Light Workers Local #168, and I'll be back in two weeks with another wordy review for ya'll. Thanks for your continued support, as always!


Friday, May 15, 2020

Poetic Pilgrims - Weighty Mic Sessions (2003)

Springing off of the Prairie Rap post last Wednesday, today's upload is 2003's Poetic Pilgrims' "Weighty Mic Sessions." 

Poetic Pilgrims was a Saskatoon trio, consisting of Parab Poet, Inside Out, and Kwest. The guys gave their unique Christian rap take on the Prairie rap sound. While the guys were close to others in the scene, they kept nearly the entire project to "faith based" artists out of fear of what their church would think otherwise. Apparently Factor had offered them a beat for this project but they turned it down for this reason (Muneshine does a beat on here, but got the pass for his work with Lightheaded.) 

"Weighty Mic Sessions" is the trio's only official album and it fits in nicely with the Prairie Rap sound of the time. Things do get preachy at times, but still generally fine for those (like myself) who don't identify with Christianity. Braille and Sev Statik make appearances, connecting the U.S. Christian indie scene to the Canadian one. 

Peep the album HERE

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Prairie Rap Ultimate Box Set (+ Help Out Factor!)

Today I'd like to share a list/playlist made by an RYM buddy of mine, BrothermanTrill. The list tracks the history and current state of so-called Canadian "Prairie Rap," a movement best known for giving us the likes of Side Road Records, Peanuts and Corn Records, and Clothes Horse Records. BrothermanTrill identifies key releases, provides historical context via interviews and reviews, and provides a Youtube playlist consisting of songs from the projects he covers (the playlist includes some rare tracks!) If you're at all interested in the sub-genre, be sure to give it a peep HERE.

In related Prairie Rap news, the great Factor Chandelier recently had his basement flood, causing him to lose a portion of his equipment. Consider helping him out by copping some of his music on the Fake Four or Factor Chandelier Bandcamp pages. Fake Four put together a great package bundle consisting of, at least, 12 Factor-produced CDs for only 50 bucks. Check it HERE

Come back Friday for a Prairie Rap upload too!