Sunday, March 11, 2012

makestapes/birdlikebats split 7"

no label [2012]

My girl grabbed this one for me in response to a note on the sleeve which read: "Self-released Bed-Stuy hip hop". Naturally, she chose the record based on that attractive information and considering that we live on the far cusp of Bed-Stuy/Clinton Hill Brooklyn… somewhere right between the ODB mural and the shop fronts where Biggie did his infamous street battling. Since there is minimal information on this single (besides the group and song names), I did a little research and found out that this split record contained two tracks, one each from a Texas group and Brooklyn, NY group, "makestapes" and"birdlikebats" respectively. Both sides play well. "Blindfold" by makestapes starts with repetitive guitar strum reminiscent of a mid-80's track by Echo and the Bunnymen or The Church. The song continues to breaks into a classic hip hop beat and is eventually nicely decorated with a melodic and distorted guitar solo which gracefully finds its way into and out of the song's groove. The end product is something that reminds me of an instrumental version of "Long Hot Summer" by The Style Council, or even that Washed Out song used in the intro of the show, Portlandia. I don't know if that's something anyone wants to be compared to right now, but I mean it as a compliment. "My Corner Office Combust" by birdlikebats can be found right around the corner on side B. This song is another instrumental track with ambient moments and interesting samples that have a soft industrial sound (if that's even possible). The tempo of "My Corner Office Combust" reels back and forth and leaves me reminded of a track I swear I heard at the end of one of my favorite late 90's indie records (also a compliment). The record may not have turned out to be a rhyme-laced journal of Brooklyn street life like I first expected based on the enclosed note, but I am pleasantly surprised by this indie hip hop meets chillwave split and isn't discovery what it's all about?

-Jeff Ogiba

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