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Welcome to Underground Fossils, brought to you by Dimxsk and Trylemma. The purpose of this blog is to assist in the sharing of out of print and/or rare examples of the hip hop genre. We believe that every release we post is an integral part of history and deserves to be heard by older fans as well as new seekers. We do not post or encourage the posting of anything that can be bought easily from the artist, those can be found elsewhere. Furthermore, if any artist who is featured here wishes not to share their material we will remove it immediately. Most of the rips found here were made by other people, but some of them were made by us. We are not sound engineers, so while the quality will usually be 320 kbps, they will be recorded from the source material as is. Please message us if you are an engineer and want wav files to master. Enjoy!

PS: We also want to thank all of the women and men before us who shared music in this way. Your work made our collections what they are today, and we are grateful.

Friday, June 28, 2019

JD Walker - Bleed the Reservoir (2000)



Hey, so I'm covering for Trylemma today, he's got a lot on his plate right now. Anyway for today we have JD Walker's debut EP Bleed the Reservoir. I know next to nothing about this album, but on one of my trips to Facebook someone was asking about this guy in a group I get notifications from. It reminded me about this humble offering.

JD Walker hails from Maine; he was one of the founding members of one of Sole's earliest groups Live Poets along with Moodswing9. His music often has a folk flavor, but is essentially good old fashioned abstract hip hop. He's put out a few vinyl singles, an EP and two albums, one under the alias Loganprojects. All of these are worth a listen for fans of Anticon and Fake Four; they're weird in places and clearly independently produced and recorded but they've got a ton of personality.

Get the album below, and excuse the brevity of this post, it's been a long week!




I did want to take a moment and recognize that next week marks the 6 month anniversary of Underground Fossils. Plus we recently reached 9,000 views and as someone who's never done much social media I'm pretty damn happy about it. So I was thinking that next week could be all about sharing some rare music, but maybe there's other ways we could celebrate. Who knows, but I promise this: next week will be epic.

If anyone has any ideas, or requests free to comment below or reach out via the contact box, and *Thank You* for your support!

Oh and please no more comments with hyperlinks, or stories about your successful insemination (although I'm very happy for you).

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

New Music: Trylemma's 'The Good and The Bad of June 2019'




THE GOOD:

1. Blakwizard - Blakwizard: Amazing Seattle beats by Specs with great rhymes from both Silas Blak and Specs (who have solid chemistry together.) LISTEN.

2. Bambu - Brother Hoods: Another quality story-telling entry in Bambu's "Exrcising A Demon" series. The mixture of storytelling raps with spoken word stories is amazing. LISTEN.

3. Dibiase - Bonus Levels: Dibiase is back and he's brought with him some very fun video game instrumentals. He stays true to the theme without letting the gimmick go overboard. LISTEN

4. Cleen & Kid B - Fresh Air: A slightly darker than normal Cleen album. The general sense of humor is still in full force, however, and Cleen's straight-forward lyricism is about as strong as ever. LISTEN

5. Mestizo & Meaty Ogre - Barbeque Pt. 1: Meaty's melodic yet muddy beats fit Mestizo's style of rapping perfectly. A nice intermission to the recent more experimental Mestizo sounds (which are great on their own.) LISTEN


THE BAD:

1. Hines Buchanan & Riddlore - Beat The Shit Out Of You Vol. 3: The third installment in this series lacks the overall quality of the first two. The beats sound a bit too much like unfinished drafts. LISTEN.

2. Skizza - FallSEVENriseEight: Skizza has the bars and ideas to create good albums, but he lacks the conviction and creativity on a lot of these songs. The production is pretty snooze-worthy too. LISTEN

3. Open Mike Eagle - The New Negroes: There is a lot to like here for sure, but the bad slightly outweighs the good due mainly to OME and his guests rarely being able to get on the same page conceptually. LISTEN.

4. Myka 9 - Prophetic Vision: We are getting so much Myka 9 this year, and there's apparently lots more in store, so it's hard to complain. This EP, however, isn't too memorable. The beats are hollow and the guest list is unimpressive. LISTEN.

5. Scarub - Girls Girls Girls: The poppy beats are pretty cool here as is Scarub's flows and cadences. The content, however, is pretty corny and brings down a lot of the tracks. The hooks are also pretty bad. LISTEN.


[Props to Treidoiuno for hooking Dimxsk with a wantlist entry.] 

Friday, June 21, 2019

Random Art Projects (Id Obelus) - Ignore Ignorance (2009)



For this week we have Random Art Projects' album Ignore Ignorance. For the lovers of the weirder, less Hennessy, more LSD type rap, Ignore Ignorance features the signature nasal vocals and off color sense of humor that are the trademarks of Star City, Indiana's Id Obelus. While I (mostly) enjoy Id's music (the Frank Zappa of rap), my personal favorite thing about this album is the production, which hits decidedly harder than anything else in Id's catalogue. The four part team of beatmakers sport a refreshing imagination and manage to blend psychedelia with boom bap in unexpected and enjoyable ways.

According to Id Obelus's WordPress, Random Art Projects (or R.A.P.) was a collaboration between him and the members of the defunct noise rock band Tramaj Voyix. They spent most of 2008 playing shows around Indiana, and as far as I know put out only this one record as well as contributing a single track to Milled Pavement Records's Goose Bumps 3.0 compilation entitled "Cutcho Hare".

This album is now out of print, and as far as I know is fairly difficult to locate. Enjoy!


Wednesday, June 19, 2019

R.I.P. - Jerald “Darkside” Amaya / New Music: Bakus feat. Darkside - Darkside, Dare Iz A



While I had planned to use this post to both review an artist's release whom I admire and promote a good cause, unfortunately now it’s going to serve as a small tribute to Jerald Amaya, aka Darkside. Bakus put together the single Darkside, Dare Iz A (a couple tracks of older, unmastered work with the rapper) originally to help cover expenses during Darkside’s battle with cancer, but tragically Darkside passed away of a heart attack Father’s Day morning. He was 42 years old.

From my emails with Bakus, I understood Darkside as one of those genuinely good men, a father and musician who improved the lives of those around him. Browsing his Facebook I was extremely touched by the number of heartfelt messages both from within the hip hop community and beyond. This world doesn’t have enough people who's presence improves it, and sadly now it has one less. Bakus had this to say about Jerald "Darkside" Amaya:


"I first met Darkside in the early aughts at Urban Underground, a weekly hip hop show at the Airliner in Lincoln Heights, Los Angeles. Urban Underground was a hive of young, hungry and hustling, backpack rappers in the vein of The Living Legends, Def Jux and Rhymesayers, owing much to The Goodlife family tree and the Project Blowed community like Freestyle Fellowship. Darkside was always an aggressive but thoughtful emcee and I liked him immediately. Later I would see him walking with his kids down Figueroa Ave., down York Blvd., down Aldama St., down any sidewalk in Highland Park, a neighborhood in Northeast Los Angeles that was headquarters for many in the underground hip hop scene at the time.

I jokingly coined Darkside, "The King of Highland Park," and would honk and wave if I was in a hurry, or pull over and holler for a bit if I had the time. He always had time. I came to know Darkside, Jerald Amaya, as a towering example of what it meant to be a man, a father, and a person who would do anything to help his family and friends. As a fellow educator, Jerald cultivated young minds and helped many a young emcee get his first studio time. He is considered a mentor by many. As a father, there are no lengths that Jerald would not go to protect and provide for his kids. Hearing that Darkside was battling cancer shook me. Not only because we are the same age and came up in the same community, but also because this kind of thing shouldn't happen to good people, and Darkside is nothing but good people.

Hearing that he passed so suddenly, within days of sharing his diagnosis, and so young, is a fucking gut punch. I’m in tears. Hug your people today. The neighborhood loved you, Darkside. And we miss you already."


I had originally planned to offer a review of the album, but I think in the wake of Darkside’s passing I’m going to let Bakus’ words, as someone who knew him, be the main focus for this post. I will say that the two tracks are very moving in the context of his untimely death (especially "Life Moves Fast"). The rough mixing only gives the very strong impression that the two voices heard are real people, and friends, doing what they love and value simply because they love and value it. There’s really nothing more you could ask for in music.

Get the single here. All proceeds from the sale will go to help Darkside's family and friends with funeral expenses. Also, for those (like myself) who weren't familiar with the music of Darkside, check here for his Bandcamp. He worked with all sorts of artists from P.U.T.S to Murs and both produced and rapped with competence and heart...

Also, Bakus has informed me that the family is conducting a GoFundMe campaign as well, which can be found here. Featured on that page is a music video as well, another way for people to get to know Darkside.


To the friends and family of Jerald “Darkside” Amaya: you have UGF's respectful condolences.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Backburner - Big Talk (2001)





Backburner is one of the largest, most prolific, and most talented crews in indie rap, no question. These days when you hear the name, you probably think punchline heavy, often light-hearted, new age boom bappers from the likes of Ghettosocks, Chokeules, More or Les, or Wordburglar. For today's post, however, we're taking things back to the beginning with 2001's "Big Talk."

"Big Talk" sounds much more experimental than Backburner's more modern releases like "Heatwave" and "Eclipse." This is likely due partly to the time period and partly to the fact that Thesis Sahib, MF Deluxe, and Dexter Doolittle play large roles in the album. Instead of the heavy multis and punches that fall right into pocket, we get more abstract rhymes and melodic deliveries. There's still some boom bap thrown in the mix tho!

Download below (the rip is an old FTD one) and enjoy this oldie! 


Wednesday, June 12, 2019

New Music: Cleen & Kid B - Fresh Air





In an era where "lyrical" is quite mainstream, through rappers like Kendrick Lamar and Chance the Rapper, it seems like underground/indie acts are working overtime to amaze you with their double-time flows, six-syllable rhyme schemes, deep metaphors, and intricate concept albums. That's all cool, but thank god for artists like Cleen who offer the indie spirit without having to necessarily rely on all the other stuff. 

Cleen is a rapper from Lancaster, CA who has been making rap music since the late 90's, both as a solo artist and as part of various collectives such as Unseen Tekneeks and Broken Complex. The man has a very prolific career, though he has been relatively quiet for the past couple years (which is a lifetime in indie time.) Luckily, he's returned in 2019 with his brand new album, produced by Kid B, "Fresh Air." 

Cleen has a very direct writing and rapping style, one which often combines social critique with humor. "Fresh Air" generally follows suit, though, especially when compared to previous Cleen records, the social critique does seem to outweigh the humor here. The title track has Cleen noting, over a jazzy Kid B beat, that he's getting older and perhaps more jaded. "Sand Trap" finds Cleen discussing the decay, and recent rise of racism, in his town of Lancaster. "Die" has him wishing death upon some unnamed rappers. "They Live" has Cleen waiting for the end of society. While the negativity is high at times, unlike other rappers, Cleen never really goes melodramatic. You get the feeling that all of the negative sentiments that he's rapping about are genuine. 

Not all is gloomy, however. "Peeks and Valleys" has Cleen promising to push through the difficult times. "We Will" shows a lot of optimism for where Hip Hop is headed ("If it's dope, it's dope, regardless of the era/Just cause mine was golden doesn't mean it was better.") The wonderful closer, "Dusk Driver," is nice breezy ode to late night fun. And we of course get lots of random braggadocio lines reminding us that even if the world has gone to shit, Cleen certainly hasn't!

As far as the rapping goes, Cleen is on point throughout nearly the entire album. On several tracks (see "American Gods" and "Chip Party,") he even speeds up his flow which is fun. The only real mis-step is "Curve Ball," a weird track about Cleen hooking up with a gay girl...all told over a pretty bad reggae beat. 

And speaking of beats, while Cleen is pretty much top notch on the album, the Kid B production is a bit shaky. I'm not really familiar with Kid B, but from the little I've heard, I'm guessing he's used to making turntable-focused DJ beats sans rappers. For a lot of the album, the beats sound like they were made to exist on their own, without raps over them. When you add in Cleen, who has a pretty slow and steady flow, things sound a bit off. Additionally, some of the blatant samples (which include everything from Queen to 50 Cent) don't really work. Luckily, once you hit about the last third of the album, the instrumentals start getting a lot more progressive, fuller, and fitting for Cleen. 

Aside from being a great rapper, Cleen is also a very cool person. I've never paid for a Cleen album - he's always sent me hard copies for free (that's not to say that I haven't tried paying many times - he unfortunately doesn't have a PayPal or other way to accept funds online.) For this release, he's sending out free download cards to people. You can hit him up on Twitter or Instagram for one. It's worth it. Enjoy! 

Friday, June 7, 2019

Mr. Gene Poole + Divine - Faslehopes2 (2002)



Happy Friday! Once again I want to give a huge thank you to our friend realybe, for not only sending us this rarity but also a few others that we will unearth for you as time goes on...

I remember seeing a post on Reddit as I looked for the missing pieces of my False Hopes collection claiming that this EP was lost to the sands of time. Luckily that's not the case, and I'm happy to be able to offer you Mr. Gene Poole and Divine's Falsehopes2.

Mr. Gene Poole is one of the founding members of Headshots (probably needless to say, but the origin of the hugely popular and equally as controversial Rhymesayers Entertainment), as well as the Dynospectrum. Along with his crew Phull Surkle he can be heard on every Headshots tape. This is his earliest release that I know of, and one of the earliest from the Doomtree label (the only one before being POS + Cecil Otter's Falsehopes (not Mega!!, the original)). As for Divine, all I can find out is that he also goes by the name Beautiful Bobby Gorgeous, which probably means he's either very beautiful or not very beautiful.

I haven't actually had a chance to listen to it yet, but I know for a fact this one's hard to find and I figured even if it was a bit mediocre at least a few of you would be happy to have it, if only for the sake of a complete Doomtree digital discography.

Enjoy the weekend!



Wednesday, June 5, 2019

New Music: Small Town Echoes - Tales Around the Calor Gas



June already... and we're headed into a Summer that promises to drop some serious heat, starting with the newest Onry offering in July. Can't wait for that! A quick note, if you visited last Friday hoping for the Dren EP and found that the link was missing, the problems been resolved. It's still up so feel free to download!

For now, I've chosen something a bit more obscure for my Wednesday review. Small Town Echoes is a live hip-hop / alt rock outfit from Bristol, UK that boasts an emcee as well as a gifted female vocalist. I stumbled onto them through an aimless Bandcamp browsing session when their first EP was new, and I have to say I enjoyed what I heard.

Small Town Echoes is sort of reminiscent of Heiruspecs in their sound, with an emphasis on more rhythmic guitar playing utilizing lots of reverb and palm muting. Their songwriting is melodic with the female singer carrying most of the choruses to good effect. The beats move steadily but have a melancholy tone, which goes well with lyrics that touch on the struggles inherent in a class based society and the frustrations that result. I feel like this would be more for the hip hop fans that also enjoy modern rock (with punk sensibilities), as there is a very heavy alternative rock influence present in these songs.

Since this a rap blog, I'll go ahead and say the emcee is not my favorite thing about this group. Stylistically he's not very unique; his voice does work with the music, and I enjoy some of his lyricism but often his delivery falls a bit flat and he fails to justify his presence on some songs. On the other hand I feel like the band as a whole does offer something with a fairly original sound, and he has the potential to mature as an artist and meld better with the group. I'd love to hear what they sound like after a few more years of working together, but that seems unlikely to happen (more on that below).

Here's a video for "Pot Luck", the b-side on the Break the Mould single offered on Bandcamp. It's a good taste of what Small Town Echoes is about:





Tales Around the Calor Gas is probably not the place to start for the curious. It's mostly live recordings and live sessions, although it does have a nice studio track as the closer ("Pack of Wolves"). Hearing these songs live makes discerning the lyrics a bit difficult, and the sound is obviously more raw. But you can tell the songs are well written and the band certainly doesn't lack in passion.

So Small Town Echoes has dropped 3 EPs at present on Bandcamp, and from a brief communication with the guitarist it seems that the band may be moving on, sans the emcee, as "Kin". The vocalist Kassia Gawronski has a great voice, so for those who like to branch out from rap music it could be something to keep an eye out for.

That's about all I have for today. I don't know much about the band in question. However, I do hope that all of you enjoy the chance to check out something a bit different, and definitely stay tuned this Friday for something seriously dope...

Get Tales Around the Calor Gas here for free download, and check out Small Town Echoes' other work as well, also offered for whatever you're willing (or not) to spare.


Also, once again an official thank you from UGF to Ludz for the NWO (Deepcave)! Not only has he been hooking me up with music for years via his former blog, he's also seriously contributed to the pruning of my Holy Grail list. Thanks dude, you kick ass!