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.

Friday, January 22, 2021

AthenA - Total Destruction (2001)

 


So here's this. My cat needs to be fed so I'll do a quick intro. AthenA is the dopest emcee you've never heard. As far as I know she's only released one single, which you can get here on an otherwise totally electronic / IDM label (I think, too lazy to verify). If you've heard her it's probably because of her work with Noah23 on his phenomenal Rock Paper Scissors, or Wormhole on his song "Trainwreck" off of Tetrahedron, or her various features on Sankofa and his affiliated folks songs.

She was slated to drop this album, Total Destruction way way back, but it never did come out. What I've included is something someone put together (dunno who but it's probably The Chuckchee) that may or may not be the entire offering or just pieces. It does a good job of highlighting her skill on the mic, mostly as a double timing braggadocios battle rapper.

Enjoy, my cat is about to start nibbling my toes so he needs food now. Stay healthy friends!


DOWNLOAD

 

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

New Music: Dustin Hodges & Castor Pollux - Grand Disaster

 


Hello all you beautiful shining people. For my post this Tuesday I've chosen to speak a bit about Grand Disaster, the collaborative effort between SoCal emcee and Gutter Water Music members Castor Pollux and also Dustin Hodges, who I'd never heard about until now but will keep an ear out for in the future. I've been a fan of Pollux since purchasing his Guts & Garbage: A Collection of Shit (it's really not but who am I to argue?) on CDBaby and I've been accumulating his music ever since. A gritty vocal style mixed with a conscious and enlightened worldview over dope and oftentimes unusual production from folks like J.Dankworth and DJ Zero One make Pollux a rap fans dream. He keeps his style rooted in that golden era sound while delivering, always, a dose of his own unique and charismatic personality with every song.

I made the decision to look at this work on UGF because after purchasing it he hit me up and sent me a free copy of this album as a physical CD, no charge just as a thank you and a pleasant surprise for a plague era weekend. So dude is seriously on the level, and I figured he deserved some, while admittedly humble, still free and real promotion from Underground Fossils. In addition I asked for a bit about the album that I could publish straight from the rappers pen to your computer screen. What he delivered is absolutely perfect and I certainly couldn't do better, so without further ado here's Castor Pollux on Grand Disaster:

"Grand Disaster is a collaborative effort from Dustin Hodges and Castor Pollux. The 2 have been in collaboration and friendship for over 15 years which made this album more real-a-vent with the content. The oldest song “Grand Disaster” being about 4 years old while the newest song “Levee Breaks” was written and recorded in 2019. The 2 have built a trusted process of creation building in studios together for their first few projects. So when D transferred to Northern Cali from Long Beach, the 2 had no issues creating and still moving forward with music. Beats Rhymes and Life is not a Hip Hop cliche with these 2 as you can hear in this project.

 

With features from Declaime aka Dudley Perkins on “Let it Fly” & Ill Camille on “Breath” the album has a hopeful and yet honest vibe set in reality and passion. 

Mr. Crowley and Mark Cavett appear on “It is Just you” which seems colder but really is honest in care with motivation and wisdom as life requires you to act and create action. It is just you!

The album also ends with a classic Hip Hop remix of “Changing” from Hyphen Select who also book ends the album with a verse and the line “in this present moment which is presently ascending”. 

 

Grand Disaster is a piece dedicated to the moments in life that are maybe the most destructive but yet ending in the grandest vision of ourselves we couldn't have ever imagined without said Disaster. Losing a job to find an innate skill to create an income, going through a divorce to find true love. Whatever your Grand Disaster moment I’m sure you will find a lyric or sound scape which creates a mirror of self reflection. This album is collected experiences projected with creative visual word play and wide ranging emotional beats. A musical meditation journal of 2 Dharma Bums honoring their humanness while claiming their greatness. 


It's a Grand Disaster, learn from mistakes and come back just to smash it!" - Castor Pollux

 

Now my impressions of this album come both as a long time fan of Pollux and as an amateur rap critic. One thing I can say for sure is that as he gets older Pollux continues to view life as a journey of discovery and makes use of his experiences and struggles to write damn good poetry. "Free Range" is actually one of my favorites and is a sort of stream of consciousness meditation on art, spirituality and the experience of being a human being engaged in both. "Smiling Faces" touches on the fabricated happiness we see every day and warns about what might be behind those shiny veneers and urges caution. "Levee Breaks" is more in line with the Grand Disaster theme and discusses who we turn to when things fall apart, before we've seen the benefit of our own personal disaster.

Hodges production is absolutely on point, and the two couldn't go better together. Smooth and jazzy with hard hitting drums and a dreamlike quality that creates a timeless sonic experience. Absolutely perfect for the frankly adult musings of Pollux, and dope enough to offer some enjoyment for even the least dedicated and most casual listener. I will most certainly stay up on Dustin Hodges and suggest you do the same. Beautiful work here.

Grand Disaster is one of the most mature rap albums I've heard lately. It presents as a deeply cynical yet in some strange way playful picture of life as we know it, with a beauty and "heart" (get it?) that's refreshing and rewarding to listen to. I think almost anyone should be able to appreciate something about this album, and while there certainly isn't any one single or sound that would be at home in the club or at a party, this album is chock full of late night meditation and emotional journey soundtracks for the thinking rap consumer.

 

I wanted to do a review this week since I haven't done one recently. Castor Pollux and Dustin Hodges are cool folks and you should support them. See y'all Friday! 


Get Grand Disaster here, support humans and awesome artists!

 

(note: copy pasting his quote did some serious f*ckery to my format and I can't be sure this will post the way I wanted, so I hope it works... if not then I'm sorry and I'm already on fixing it.)

Friday, January 15, 2021

JFK (of Grayskul/Oldominion) - Anchor Head Chronicles (2000)

 


We have a treat for you today - JFK's "Anchor Head Chronicles" from 2000! 

I had heard "legends" of the elusive "Anchor Head Chronicles" from my buddy, and OD encyclopedia, Donluc for years now. But I always assumed that if he couldn't have gotten his hands it, I had no chance. I eventually forgot about it until a couple months ago two separate people I've bought stuff from in the past brought up that they had a copy that they'd sell! 

I was of course pleasantly surprised, to say the least, that after all this time, not one but two people had a grail. Then some roadblocks came into the picture. The first guy's daughter cleaned out his car (where the cdr was) and accidentally left the jewel case in the rain, causing the inserts to be thrown away. He thought he still had the cdr, but didn't know where it was. Luckily, the second guy had a sealed copy(!) that we successfully bought. Unfortunately, upon trying to rip it...the data was not recognized (by laptop, cd player, car player, anything.) This was likely the result of the poor quality cdr and/or the fact that a strong adhesive disc sticker was used at the disc art. I told the guy who I bought it from who then tried playing his personal copy - which had the same problem. From there, after a couple weeks of waiting, I finally heard back from the first guy who had found the cdr and who said he was pretty sure his copy played fairly well (despite lots of marks.) So, somehow, I managed to find a copy with mint inserts + a disc that didn't work and a copy with no inserts + a disc that did work! 

When I got the second disc, however, I could only rip part of the cdr. The first two tracks didn't work for me. That's when I sent it off to ripping expert Dimxsk who successfully got the first two tracks to work!! So we have a full rip for you today.

So what exactly is this thing? Well, it's not really a full album. There's only 9 tracks. And it's not really even a solo project. JFK is on each track, but it comes across more as a promo release for Oldominion as a crew. The release date is 2000 and the insert promotes Oldominion's "One" (which also dropped in 2000,) so I'm guessing that this was some sort of very limited run, likely tour-only, promo release that JFK put together. The "label" is Veastvick, which is the name that Onry used for his debut "Knightingale" release. Unlike the official version of "Knightingale," however, this is not a professionally pressed CD. It's a cdr of lesser quality than the old MP3.com cdrs that Oldominion members used to sell. But it did come shrinkwrapped lol! 

Anyhow, seven of the nine tracks are actually available elsewhere: "Hendrix" and "No Pain" are available on Oldominion's "Vol. 1," "Nnetwerk" and "Just Ain't Got It" are available on Oldominion's "Vol. 2," "Train of Thought" is available on Oldominion's "Vol. 3," and "Screaming In The Wind" is available on Oldominion's "One." "Replacement Killers" is available on Oldominion's "Book of Fury" (and the crew's "Zero" release,) but this version has a slightly extended instrumental. 

Luckily, two of the tracks are, to my informed knowledge, exclusive to this release. And as fate would have it, they're not only the two best tracks on this thing, but also two of the best tracks I've heard from JFK. The first is "The Kite," a solo track produced by Zebulon Dak. The second is called "Paracite Eve," produced by Onry Ozzborn and featuring Onry and Snafu alongside JFK. Both tracks are melancholic introspective tracks and really display the skill of these guys even at the early stage. It's a shame the tracks never got a proper release.

So without further yada, here is the rip. It is rough at times due to the cdr quality (plus scratches,) but it's more than listenable. Enjoy!


DOWNLOAD

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Pen Thief Records

 


Pen Thief Records officially went "live" this New Year's, and they're a label a lot of you may want to pay attention to. The label is ran out of Germany and is headed by super-producer Noblonski. The label acts as a European sister-label to the Canadian Saskatoon Folk Rap Records (ran by Epic and Chaps) and the American Audio Recon (ran by Id Obelus.) 

Pen Thief focuses on limited edition physical products and they just dropped a special edition of Rob Crook's "Introducing the Ghost." They also dropped the "Winter Collection 2021" compilation, which features previously released and previously unreleased tracks from people like Epic, Ceschi, Chuckchee, Chadio and others. 

You can peep Pen Thief's Bandcamp HERE. They plan on dropping a special edition of Nolto and Dren's "Sit Down Comedy" next! 

Friday, January 8, 2021

Emotionz - Rent Money (2006)

 


 

Well here's a quick Friday fossil for you guys. Straight outta Vancouver, Canadian rapper Emotionz is a founding member of Fourth World Occupants, and raps with a stony West Coast chop hop ease that should appeal to just about any fan of rap. This album is one of his earliest, and while he's yet to find that songwriting skill he displays prominently on albums like Scovilles, this album is still laid back, catchy and dope.

I've noticed that the scene rip of this is missing tracks, so I made this one from my personal copy. 320 kbps and contains every song.

Enjoy, sorry for the brevity but it's Thursday night and I'm scrambling. Have a good weekend!

 

DOWNLOAD

 

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Neila - Searching for Prajna (The 96-2000 Years) (2001)

 


Hello friends, and a happy 2021 to you all. I'm writing this on Monday night, and I usually get this stuff done ahead of time... So I figured I'd just throw up this gem by Neila, who I've already written on and named one of my top emcees of the decade, so just click the tag for more. Thanks go out to an OG blogger who pretty much introduced me to indie rap, so props! I'm sure if you see this you know who you are. Anyway, this is a collection of Neila's older material that sounds great and showcases all of her ingenious rhymes and one of a kind personality on the mic. Basically just download this, don't even think about it just do it.

I'm in a weird place tonight and I wanted to write on it a bit. A coworker of mine who I work closely with (not necessarily friends but I did like him) just lost his wife to Covid. Friday she was fine, Saturday she woke up with a fever, Sunday she was in the ICU and Monday we get the news that she passed. Covid is not a joke if you're still one of those living in denial. This shook me the fuck up and I hope it does you as well. We do strictly music here but Trylemma and I also don't live in a vacuum, so I'm perfectly okay sharing this with all of you. Appreciate your loved ones, keep them safe and keep yourselves safe as well. And enjoy music because I think we can all agree it's one very big reason to stay above ground.

 

DOWNLOAD

 

Friday, January 1, 2021

Happy New Year! Top 10 Projects of 2020!

 

FYI: RIP MF Doom. I'm working on some kind of tribute post, but it's hard to do one that can encapsulate all that man did for indie rap and rap in general. 


Happy New Years from UGF! Here's to hoping for a serious upgrade in 2021. Figured now's a good time to take a look back on 2020 in Hip Hop with my Top 10 Projects of the year. 


10. Lil Lotus - All My Little Scars, Vol. 1: One of the better emo trap projects that I've heard. Lotus' songs could use some more structure, but I'm excited to see where he goes from here. LISTEN

9. Factor - First Storm: The GOAT producer hit us with another jewel this year with an appropriate covid-esque album (even though the majority of it was recorded pre-pandemic.) LISTEN

8. Illmac - SMMR: The best release I've heard from Illmaculate yet. The technical skill is finally being paired with top notch song-writing. LISTEN

7. RAP Ferreira - Purple Moonlight Pages: A really lush and melodic project from Rory, full of lyrics for days. Jazz rap haven. LISTEN

6. VA - RYD Radio Vol. 4: The best battle rap compilation out to date imo. These guys' skill sets aren't limited to talking about how they'll murder you. LISTEN

5. Aesop Rock - Freedom Finger: I'm still digesting his latest album, but Aesop's video game soundtrack has no misses. LISTEN 

4. Lil Wayne - Funeral: There's some stinkers on here, but plenty of hits as well. Even though his limelight has passed, Wayne still knows how to put on a rap clinic. LISTEN

3. Open Mike Eagle - Anime, Trauma, and Divorce: The feels are real throughout Mike's most personal album yet. The highs and lows on this project go places. LISTEN

2. Juice WRLD - Legends Never Die: It took me a while to warm up to this one as you can tell a lot of the songs are posthumous edits of Juice WRLD rough drafts, but it's ultimately a really good send off. LISTEN 

1. Uggish - And Now to Learn to Fish: The year's most beautiful, and best, album. Uggish's reflective and melancholy rhymes sum up 2020 perfectly. LISTEN