AUDIO: The Regiment & Random’s “A Gamer’s Anthem” (EP)
The Regiment has put together a project with MegaRan, a/k/a Random for a bit of video game trickery, musical style. It’s an EP called A Gamer’s Anthem (HiPNOTT) so put down your controls for a bit and put these songs on for awhile, have some fun. Grab a doughnut or two, put together a bowl of pork hash, and dig up.

VIDEO: Mega Ran’s “Turn Me Down”

Whether you know him as Random of Mega Ran, the man has a new EP out called Trap, and “Turn Me Down” is one of the songs on it, which comes now in the form of a promotional film clip (a/k/a “music video) directed by Cedric Owens and featuring model Keylor Leigh.

Mega Ran will be joining Homeboy Sandman and Open Mike Eagle on tour beginning this Thursday at an all ages show in Los Angeles. You may go through the rest of the tour dates by clicking here.

As for the EP, Trap is available for free but also has a “Name Your Price” option so if you like the music, show some support.

BANDCAMP SUGGESTIONS: Reef The Lost Cauze x Haj of Dumhi’s “Sirens On Snyder” (EP)

 photo ReefDumhi_cover2_zps659c12bd.jpg As I write this, this EP is not even 30 minutes old but it may be one of the hot hip-hop albums to have this spring. It’s a new collaborative project between Reef The Lost Cauze and Haj of Dumhi, and Sirens On Snyder is what has come to fruition after their initial collaboration five years ago. This EP also features guest spots from Ether Cee, Side Effect, Random, and Burke the Jurke, a bit of Philadelphia representation and then some. You may now stream and listen and if you’re into it, consider making a purchase.

FREE MP3 DOWNLOAD: Dumhi’s “The Scene (You Don’t Know)”

The Dumhi movement continues with a brand new single featuring two tracks for your listening pleasures. “The Scene (You Don’t Know” has Haj scooping up Random (a/k/a Megaran), Open Mike Eagle, Burke The Jurke, and Doodlebug (a/k/a Cee Knowledge) of Digable Planets.

It could easily end there but no, you also have “Sacred Papercuts” where Rich Quick, Nico The Beast, and Scanz each add something to the stew. Grab a spoon and have a taste. Can’t? No excuses, it’s free for the time being.

VIDEO: Random’s “Buggin’ (The Metamorphosis)”

You may have heard him before as Mega Ran, but some of you may know him or also know of him as Random. His new album, Language Arts, will be released in the form of three separate EP releases, with volume 2 to be unleashed on August 21st. Each album can be heard on its own terms, but get all three and you’ll be able to grasp what he’s trying to say and achieve with all three.

FREE DOWNLOAD: Savant x Random x Phill Harmonix’s “Just Wanna Know (Hexsagon Remix)”

Brand new collaborative track by Savant, Random, and Phill Harmonix comes in the form of “Just Wanna Know”, and this one comes in the form of a remix by Hexsagon. For Hexsagon, this comes after putting up the latest installment of his Beat Flip Tuesdays series (which you can also download for free via Bandcamp by clicking here). If you like any of them, or have been interesting in finding out what each of them are about, try this song. Again, it’s a free download, no excuses.

REVIEW: Dumhi’s “The Jungle”

Photobucket Dumhi remains one of my favorite hip-hop groups out there, but then it became known that the group was not only a functioning collective, but a project from the mind of Rajan Jugran. In other words, Dumhi can be a two-headed beast at any given time, and one of those heads may branch out to reveal three, four, or twelve more heads atr any given time. It’s my of saying that when it remains to be a group vibe, Dumhi is a unit of people. When it wants to be a means of musical exploration from one man, Dumhi is one man.

First off, I want to apologize to Dumhi as a whole for the delay in this review. The album arrived at a time when a number of other albums were coming in, to the point where I felt I was being bombarded with new music. Yes, I realize you guys are saying “Book, we’re fucking Dumhi, you’re our boy, put us on the top of your listening pile and make us a priority.” I know, and again I apologize. But now that I’m listening to the music, looking at brick buildings and barbed water, and hearing how they are a perfect fit, and I now regret delaying my Dumhi intake.

The Jungle (self-released) looks like a serious album, you don’t place a photo like that on the cover to make people think “oh, this is a happy album”. The tone is somber and dark, perhaps just like the times we live in. While not a concept album, there is a running theme, that of how life and the surroundings we live in feel more like a jungle, and the jungle seems to be getting bigger and more wide spread. Has that jungle always existed? Were the schoolyard jungle gyms a microcosm of what we were going to grow into, or just a middle finger from our parents as a message which reads “ha ha, you on your own now, son”?

With the help of such MC’s as Elucid, Random, Reef The Lost Cauze, Burke The Jurke, Jermiside, and Che Grand among others, they tell a story that may sound different from afar, but they connect in the way they all talk about the struggle to live, breathe, and comprehend in the early 21st century. When Raj/Haj slips in an instrumental interlude, it feels like incidental music from a 70’s film, and maybe that’s the point: to show that some of the things being explored in movies we watched during our youth is now our reality, and the connection to those old stories remains. Maybe we can find solutions in those old stories by telling the current stories, and thus Dumhi continue to be storytellers for today and the generations to come. The Jungle is perhaps what we want it to be, what we deny, but it also allows us to figure out why the jungle exists, or does it exists? Just like racial slurs and living conditions, can people break out of the jungle in order to find something better, or is it always about a vicious game of survival in a concrete jungle? Or are the oppressors in it for the game to watch animals prey on each other? While The Jungle doesn’t get heavy in a political context, it does touch upon it socially, to put up a mirror for us to not only see what we don’t want to see, but hopefully to reflect back at those who don’t think those conditions exist. Perhaps it means reconditioning mentalities, or reconditioning those who do not feel those conditions can or should change.

Perhaps it is deep after all. To be continued…

SOME STUFFS: Dumhi’s “Indian Summer” EP

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Critics you can die slow/excuse me for the morbidness? Fair enough.

Legally, this 11-track recording clocking in at 28:50 is a “short album”, but in a modern context you could say it’s half an album, so let’s call it an EP.

Technicality aside, Indian Summer is the brand new EP from Dumhi, a group whose music I have been enjoying and admiring from afar, and have stated so in reviews throughout the years. I always went out of my way to state that these guys are a group of individuals who love to smoke and party, and occasionally share that in their music. They always championed themselves as devoted and dedicated writers and lyricists. With Indian Summer, Dumhi show an incredible amount of growth and maturity, and for anyone to show this in hip-hop at a time when the music is packed with fly-by-night “talents” is a rare occurance, but I want to celebrate this.

The production of Haj has developed into something that is enjoyable to listen to with or without vocal tracks, he’s the kind of producer you want to hear and analyze to find out what breaks he uses, where the string samples come from, and then to wrap it up in a package that makes this a perfect “resume tape” for any and all artists? It’s not just the same old beats, you may hear a drum break that is filtered on the thin side, with the bass boosted and then a farfisa enters and is then chopped in a unique way, everything is organized very well, the type of organization that production nerds will raise their hands up for to celebrate the goodness.

Then you have the MC’s. On this album we have Mash Comp, Shameless Plug, Vex, Flud, Che Grand, Jermiside, Donwill of Tanya Morgan, Al Mighty, John Bap, and Random, so you have the core of what Dumhi is all about plus friends and close associates that essentially make the group look like a hip-hop Fishbone or Graham Central Station. In the downtempo vibe of “Mathmatical Fractal Flow”, Vex seems to be on another mental not quite grasp, for you hear the song sounding very laid back and yet he’s rapping in a number of different textures every two lines. It’s not the same-song cha-lang-a-lang, it kind of sounds like some of Andre 3000‘s lyrical schemes without getting too heady or freaky. I’m sitting listening to this song and after every two lines my smile kept getting bigger, I was thinking that this is the kind of thing that makes listening to hip-hop so great.

What a concept, huh, *listening* to hip-hop?

Dumhi are a group that you should listen to, mixing up twisted tales without fear of slipping in an obscure reference too and cracking some inside jokes. As Shameless Plus tells listeners he’s about to take listeners back and give them a smackdown in “One Week In August” , Mash Comp goes for his when he uses superheroes as metaphors to big-up his Dumhi nation while condemning what he calls “chalkboard rappers”. There are so many great verses and 1- or 2-liners worth talking about, and yes I’m basically saying that if you love wordplay, Indian Summer is a lyrical feast. Fuck an 8 Mile, this is what will inspire you to become a rapper, maybe make you reevaluate your style (or lack of it).

Dumhi have grown into powerful artists, with a confidence that equals the collective talents involved. It’s a level of maturity I wish all artists would stay around long enough to discover for themselves, and I hope that by Dumhi reaching this level, it will mean a continued supply of audio nickel bags for these guys.