Emma’s Picks

Albums you can’t find on iTunes: Rap/Hip Hop

52528-largeOne of the greatest aspects of the Murfie marketplace is that it contains hidden gems that you really can’t find elsewhere, for less money. One of my favorite finds is the Rhymesayers 2005 Label Sampler. For those of us who follow midwest hip hop, it’s a delightful mixtape of some of the best: Brother Ali, P.O.S., Eyedea & Abilities, Blueprint and MF Doom to name a few. Capturing the cooperative’s sound and style at that point in time, this collection is an excellent album that flows seamlessly from artist to artist, giving you a sample of mid-2000’s midwest flavor. It’s difficult to find a cooperative record label mix like this elsewhere, so it’s a real treasure to have on Murfie.

ef1c9a24-d351-11e1-ab5a-22000a8c42aeAnother great album I stumbled across is this Uprok Records Sampler. I accepted it during a trade with another member and didn’t really know what to expect. The first listen was a pleasant surprise, and I have enjoyed going back to it time and time again. This record label has since fallen by the wayside as many of its artists joined other cooperatives or bigger labels, so this is a very unique capture of hip hop artists who eventually went in many different artistic directions. Since I traded this disc for one of my older discs at no cost, I got to experience some new sounds and explore more of who is out there and what they’re rapping about virtually free. Trading is great for exploration. Plus, many discs on Murfie are underground or local groups. I highly recommend poking around and seeing what you can find!

Staff Picks: Emma’s Picks

Let’s start with my favorite album, the bread and butter of my daily listening experience:

ImageClassics by Ratatat

Looking for some smooth jams to chill out to? How about mildly energetic beats to motivate you through a long work session? What if you don’t want to deal with lyrics? This album is the answer. I listen through it at least twice a week over the past two years. Never gets old.

The track “Wildcat” has an awesome cat rawr that’s used musically throughout the song. Another favorite track is “Lex”, it has a great build, add more layers, more building, then an epic climax. This album is perfect for a variety of moods and situations, as well as a great introduction to a less heard style of electronic music.

Now a more recent addition to my collection:

Good Morning to the Night by Elton John vs. Pnau Image

I first stumbled on this album through a friend who mixes and creates his own electro songs. Watching someone who knows what they’re doing in the music mixer program is like watching a surgeon. Precision is everything. The time cuts, layers, sounds levels, texture, everything is delicately labored over. Knowing that, I was able to appreciate even more the magic Pnau used to create this album. Elton John choose Pnau to hack apart, mix up, jumble and rumble his less famous tracks from 1970-1976.

Boy oh boy did they do a magnificent job. Listening through it sounds completely Elton-esque, but with a definite influence from Pnau. The title track is definitely the most catchy and is created from 8 different Elton John songs. This is the future of music collaboration!