SOME STUFFS: KatO1O raising funds for her forthcoming album

KatO1O photo KatO1O_old_zpssdg5bzfq.jpg
Kat Ouano will be putting on her KatO1O costume once again with a new album that is already completed, but she is raising funds to help get it out there to the people. The new release will be called On The Cusp and part of the proceeds earned will go towards VH-1’s Save The Music Foundation. In other words, while you are helping her get the music released, you’re also helping those in need, so consider it and realize you’d be doing double duty. Head to to find out the different price options and make a donation. Ouano was a member of Mission: and Crown City Rockers, who represented hip-hop nicely in the Bay Area. Now residing on the island of Kauai in Hawai’i, she wants to let people know that her love of music has never stopped. She has raised 60% of her goal, help her get a few more steps to making this happen.

Until then, she’s also releasing a single for the title track, which also features a remix by the one and only Headnodic. Anytime these two unite, there’s always good music so check it out. Pre-order the single below via Amazon.


FREE MP3 DL: Kat O1O’s “MeowMIx Retrospective Vol. 2”

As promised, Kat O1O has relased the second volume of her MeowMIx Retrospective, featuring various tracks she has taken part in in the last 15 years, including contributions from the Mission:/Crown City Rockers collective plus Eric Krasno, People Under The Stairs, DJ Day, and more. Miss Ouano promises more music in the near future, so let’s see what she’ll come up with next.

(If the download link is unavailable on the player above, click to the Soundcloud page for the MeowMix Retrospective. Vol. 1 can be downloaded by heading here.)

FREE MP3 DL: Kat O1O’s “MeowMix Retrospective Vol. 1”

Her music is very much a part of her resume, and Kat Ouano has done a lot of music in the last 15 years. With new ventures in front of her, she has decided to put together a compilation of some highlights of that input in what she is calling MeowMix Retrospective Vol. 1. The second volume will follow next week so if you only know of the Kat O1O vibe but haven’t heard it yet, it’s the perfect time to do so and get down.

REVIEW: Raashan Ahmad’s “Ceremony”

Raashan Ahmad photo RaashanAhmad_cover_zps52fb57ee.jpg Ceremony (Jakarta) is the new album by MC Raashan Ahmad, and in everything he has done in the last 15 years or so, this is an album that is a demonstration of not only his worldly travels, but the internal travels he has gone through recently and perhaps throughout life. Musically, the different cultural textures of the album makes it come off like a cross between Malcolm McLaren’s Duck Rock and Paul Simon’s Graceland, and yet one is able to grasp the fullness of Ahmad’s stories simply by placing it on their stereos or slipping on headphones and being able to sonically travel that way. The goal for Ahmad, I’d like to think, is to let people know that the first step in those travels is making that first step forward. As I’m listening to these songs, I was reminded of the photo of Osibisa that was in the gatefold cover of their debut album. It seem to speak of brotherhood, of family, or in Ahmad’s case, different aspects of himself divided in song form, and uniting as one for the sake of showing that oneness he hopes to pass to each listener.

At least that’s what I’m getting through Ceremony, an album that seems to celebrate different aspects of what he witnesses and experiences, be it music, children, family, or simply living. It sounds like someone who has been to the places he has talked about or if he hasn’t, it’s on his bucket list. It’s a positive album, the type of hip-hop (and hip-hop album) that should be celebrate by the masses but aren’t. I want the kind of music that takes me places, especially when I’m unable to at a specific moment, I want to hear the journey from the beginning to the end. While not a concept album, it does have a running theme where the ceremony in question may be at each place he goes to or raps from, or maybe it’s the eventual ceremony he hopes to have waiting for him once he makes it back home. What I also love about the album is that at times his voice seems worn out a bit, specifically as the album moves towards the end. I’m not sure if he recorded these songs in order of appearance, but it comes off as the weary traveler, affected by the weather and his surroundings. That’s another thing too: it’s hip-hop that sounds like it has spent time outdoors, like many of us did as kids. It’s a way to let the youth know “open the door” to whatever you want to see. Read a book, walk to the park with friends, head out of town if you can. It was A Tribe Called Quest who released an album called People’s Instinctive Travels & The Paths Of Rhythm and this is some of those rhythms that detail Ahmad’s path. I’ve loved what he had done during his time with Mission: and Crown City Rockers, and I’m certain that there are many more paths for Ahmad to take from here on out.

SOME STUFFS: Headnodic releases new video to coincide with new album

This is the day that Headnodic releases a new album called The Iguana, my review of which can be read by clicking here. My words offer praise for an incredible recording, and I say this without being related to the main. My worse are not false, it’s that good and if you’d like to get a hint of that goodness, there’s a video ready for the song “Mandelorian”, featuring Kat Ouano, Tom Ayers, and Max MacVeety in assistance. The video also has a hi-res option so check that out too.

VIDEO: “Live From Headnodic’s” (episode 2)

Musician/producer Headnodic has created an online video series that he loves so much, he decided to name it after himself. It’s called Live From Headnodic’s, where he brings in various musicians, rappers, and singers to have a jam session of sorts to see and hear what happens. If you haven’t heard about this year, fear not, this is only episode two and for this show he brings in Lateef The Truth Speaker, The Seshen, Raashan Ahmad, Max MacVeety, Trio Zincalo and others.

Headnodic will be releasing a new album on October 23rd called The Iguana (Ropeadope), and a review on this very site is forthcoming.

VIDEO/FREE MP3 DOWNLOAD: Crown City Rockers’ “Vibrations (Live In Studio)”

Crown City Rockers remain one of my favorite bands of the last 15 years, and they decided to rock this one out at Headnodic’s place for a bit of celebratory “Vibrations”. One of my favorite parts of the song is when it reaches the 2:10: pure funk/soul/jazz/hip-hop heaven. Respect to CCR, who did this track in one take. If you like it, you can download the audio right here.

FREE MP3 DOWNLOAD: Raashan Ahmad’s “Lighters”

Being a fan of Raashan Ahmad for over 10 years, I always like what he does because I am generally certain his music will give me what my ears and mind want to hear. I also like something that gets slightly unconventional, at least in a general hip-hop sense. For one, he rhymes over a sped up track that has been celebrated in downtempo circles for years, taking a well known Portishead song and bringing it into his neighorhood. Also, you don’t hear Ahmad until almost a minute into the song. No annoying DJ’s yelling their name, their crew, or the menu items at the restaurant before the main person comes in, so as you listen, let the music creep on you. As the saying goes, let it marinate. Then it will begin.

VIDEO: Headnodic featuring Raashan Ahmad’s “Cough Drop”

A new video from Headnodic, and this one features Raashan Ahmad for the very cool and funky “Cough Drop”. The track is from Headnodic’s Red Line Radio album (you can read my review here).

SOME STUFFS: Gift Of Gab has presents in the form of his “Next Logical Progression”

Gift Of Gab has been unusually quiet as of late, which is odd because let’s face it: when you have a gift, and that gift is to gab… well, you know what I’m talking about. He’s wiping off the dust collected and is about to drop a new album called Next Logical Progression, so anyone who wanted to know what would come next from him, this is it. The new album will be released on March 27th, and this is the official track listing, with some quality guests joining him:

1. NLP
2. Introlude
3. Rise (featuring Raashan Ahmad and Zumbi)
4. Protocol (featuring Samantha Kravitz)
5. Everything Is Fine (featuring George Clinton and Latryx)
6. Toxic (featuring Martin Luther)
7. Wack But Good People
8. Effed Up
9. Market & 8th
10. Dream Warrior (featuring Ms K)
11. So So Much
12. Beyond Logic

One interesting factor about this album is that it caters less to his select use of samples, and more to trying out more instrumentation. You can hear (and download) the results by checking out “Protocol”.
Gift of Gab: Protocol ft. Samantha Kravitz by quannumprojects

On top of that, fans will be able to hear some of these new songs and a few classics or two when he goes on a brief tour this month:
January 20… Crystal Bay, NV (Crown Room)
January 21… Chico, CA (El Ray Theater)
January 22… Sacramento, CA (Harlowes)
January 25… Eugene, OR (Cozmic)
January 26… Portland, OR (Mt. Tabor)
January 27… Victoria, BC (Sugar)
January 28… Seattle, WA (Nectar Lounge)
January 29… Bellingham, WA (Wild Buffalo)