HIP HOP THAT ISN'T
There's a whole hiphop movement out there that's not based on who has the foulest lyrics, gaudiest jewelry, dopest rims or the most pairs of designer shoes. Hip hop on the MUSH TOUR, landing at Olympia's China Clipper Saturday, is for people who want to get down, dance and feel the energy splashing out of the speakers -- not flash gold teeth, show off their girls or front about who's the hardest. Mush is heavily infused with electronica, instrumental and serious avant-style sampling.The label is more Beastie Boys circa 1997 meets Europes Dimitri from Paris than Ice Cube, ODB or anything resembling East Coast/West Coast rivalry.
Mush Records (Los Angeles, Calif.) sprang from the artistic pool of ideas at Dirty Loop Studios where founders Robert Curcio and Cindy Roche carved out the details to morph into a way to release their own recordings to go on and become one of the top 20 indie labels in the United States, which now looks to be on the verge of going big. Releasing one record their first year and now almost 20 a year shouldn't imply that revenues or sales goals come before their desire to records deemed extrordinary or even marketably risky by the music "experts." This summer's tour is a testament to that fact. The Mush Tour 2004 sweeps western America with abstract hip hop, jazzy grooves, turntablist compositions, and even some music influenced by indie rock. Andre Afram Asmar is working with underground emcee Circus (Shapeshifters), whose influences run from world music to hip hop and dub. Asmar chooses live instrumentation, utilizing samples and effects as accents to the acoustics, ethnic percussion, and live vocals. Label Antimc and Radioinactive do a mind-meld number on jazz, experimental rock and hip hop without the repetition of usual loop-and-break producing. Curse ov Dialect from Melbourne, Australia, comes on heavy, combining political rhymes, a punk-rock esthetic with quick wit flows and avant-garde hip hop operatic mixed with impressive stage gear and costumes to create a hard-to-top livve experience that blows regular hip hop performances out of the water. Atlanta's Listener comes out for his own solo bid with deep-meaning lyrics and chest shaking drums backed by quality mixes and smooth transitions. If you're a fan of the Biznautics, this night's for you.