- VH1 Soul is dead, long live Centric posted on March 29, 2010
- The ten most popular indie-rap artists… posted on January 11, 2011
- Digable Planets fracture, cancel tour posted on March 22, 2009
- Superlists!: Top Ten Femcees posted on March 24, 2009
- The Plug One Q&A: Flying Lotus posted on June 10, 2008
- Review: Atmosphere, “To All My Friends, Blood Makes The Blade Holy” posted on September 9, 2010
- R.I.P. Paper Thin Walls posted on August 29, 2008
- Zion-I tour dates posted on February 25, 2009
- Vibe’s demise posted on July 1, 2009
- Why Plug One survives posted on March 17, 2010
Tag Archives: Definitive Jux
Last night, El-P announced that Definitive Jux will soon go on hiatus, and that he plans to step down as its artistic director. Acknowledging industry rumors portending his label’s imminent demise, the co-owner, rapper, producer and symbol of one of … Continue reading
When I wrote about Tero “Camu Tao” Smith’s tragic death from lung cancer last year, I noted that he had been working on his solo debut. At the time of his passing, it was titled Death, Where Have You Been … Continue reading
Next Tuesday, September 1, Definitive Jux will release its fourth label showcase and first since 2004. Definitive Jux 4 previews several upcoming projects, including the long-anticipated Weathermen album (minus Vast Aire, of course); Camu Tao’s posthumous solo debut; Despot’s long-delayed … Continue reading
Influential indie rapper Cage has finally finished his long-fomenting album Depart From Me. Mr. Palko has drawn a lot of press for his budding friendship with actor Shia LaBouef (the A Guide To Recognizing Your Saints thespian, not the douche-y … Continue reading
The Mighty Underdogs, a supergroup featuring Lateef the Truthspeaker, Gift of Gab and Headnodic from Crown City Rockers has finished its debut album. Droppin’ Science Fiction is set for an October 14 release on Definitive Jux. Droppin’ Science Fiction doesn’t … Continue reading
Camu Tao, the Columbus, OH producer and MC known for his work with Cage and various artists on the Definitive Jux label, passed away on May 25 after a long battle with lung cancer. He was 30 years old. Before … Continue reading
Last year, Dizzee Rascal’s label XL Recordings shocked a lot of people when it announced that his new album, Maths + English, would not be available on a physical format in the U.S. Instead, the label made it available as … Continue reading
Sometimes, when you’re a poet who dabbles in hip-hop, people tend to label you as a hip-hopper and nothing else. Just ask Saul Williams…or Mike Ladd. A poet who earned a master’s degree from Boston University, he has directed films and contributed to academic journals and anthologies. Recently, he assembled a sound installation with jazz pianist Vijay Iyer, Still Life with Commentator, for the Brooklyn Academy of Music. (The two released a similarly-titled album on Savoy Jazz earlier this spring.) Still, all us rap heads want to know is, when is he doing another album?
But Ladd’s been doing music, fool, just not the rap stuff we’re used to from his Infesticons project (including the 2003 chapter Beauty Party). In fact, he has released nearly an album a year for almost a decade. One of his works, Nostalgialator, was released in Europe on !K7 in 2004. The eclectic project, assembled with NYC avant-gardian Scotty Hard, is a typically eccentric affair, ranging from electro-funk to spazzed-out dance-punk.
"A Nostalgialator is the ultimate post-futurist leisure tool," Ladd cryptically told the BBC back in 2004. "With one press of a button you can be back in a perfect past with all your favourite clothes and music. But I wouldn’t recommend getting one because you might actually end up in the reality of that past."
Definitive Jux plans to reissue Nostalgialator for U.S. consumption on January 15. It should satisfy Ladd’s fans — at least those who haven’t already bought it at import prices — until he finishes the third chapter in his Infesticons morality tale, Domesticons, sometime next year.
The track listing for Nostalgialator is below.
The disc is a long time coming for the Oakland rapper and one of the original members (along with KMD and others) of what would eventually become the alternative/underground scene in the 90s. Though he’s occasionally appeared on projects this decade — his Hieroglyphics’ crew’s 2003 album Full Circle being a prominent example — he hasn’t truly been heard from since the memorable Deltron 3030 project with Dan the Automator and Kid Koala.
As reported earlier, Del chose Definitive Jux over his Hiero Imperium label for The 11th Hour in order to give the album maximum exposure. He produced most of the beats himself, and only included a handful of contributors, including J-Zone, KU, Opio, Casual and Ladybug Mecca. The track listing for The 11th Hour is below.
I’ve always liked Rob Sonic. He’s usually overshadowed by others — first by Mike Ladd when the two recorded for Ozone Entertainment (remember Sonic Sum?), and now as a part of the mighty Definitive Jux family. His music is quirky, organic and a big bohemian culture jam, sort of like El-P but without the malevolence. Sometimes difficult to get with at first, his music rewards repeated listenings.
Rob Sonic’s second album, Sabotage Gigante, drops September 25 on Definitive Jux. As usual, when he heads out on tour this fall he’ll play second banana to someone else, namely the equally accomplished Aesop Rock. Smart fans will get to the venue early.
The track listing for Sabotage Gigante and the tour dates are below.
It’s been four long years since Aesop Rock issued his last album, 2003’s Bazooka Tooth. In the interim, he’s kept busy with an EP (2005’s Fast Cars, Danger, Fire and Knives), an installment for Nike’s +Original Run series (the recently released All Day Nike Original Run), an audio/visual project with artist Jeremy Fish (last year’s The Next Best Thing) and guest spots on several Definitive Jux and underground hip-hop joints. According to his press bio, he even completed soundtracks for two short films (though I’m having trouble finding out about that stuff).
So dude has been busy. Still, everyone’s been waiting for the album statement, particularly since Bazooka Tooth drew mixed reviews from fans and critics. So how will his sixth effort fare? All will be revealed on August 28 when None Shall Pass hits stores via Definitive Jux. The title track was recently leaked to the Internet, and hey! It’s pretty dope. That bodes well for the new album. Track listing is below.
Last Tuesday, Definitive Jux became the latest indie rap label to collaborate with frat-boy icon Adult Swim. With Definitive Swim, it follows successful online releases from Danger Doom (Occult Hymn), Chocolate Industries (Chocolate Swim) and Stones Throw (Chrome Children 2). As with those efforts, Definitive Swim is a free download.
The microsite for Definitive Swim also features streaming audio of all ten tracks and an animated video for "Flyentology," the new single from El-P’s upcoming I’ll Sleep When You’re Dead. The song, which isn’t included in the download, features vocals from Trent Reznor; the clip is directed by Mundo Fase’s Daniel Garcia and Nathan Love. You can visit the microsite here.
While you mull over that sloppy-ass Super Bowl game, consider another event of magnitude — a new El-P album! After a five-year hiatus that saw him carefully navigating Definitive Jux through backlash criticism (S.A. Smash, anyone?) and a tentative comeback (thanks to Cage and the Perceptionists), Jamie Meline is ready to step back into the spotlight. His new album, I’ll Sleep When You’re Dead, is set for release on March 20, and it features a doozy of guests, from Trent Reznor and Cat Power to Def Jukkies Aesop Rock and Camu Tao. A teaser single, "Everything Must Go," has been spinning across college radio stations for weeks. And though it sounds like vintage El-P — his production style is as familiar as the RZA’s at this point — it doesn’t sound as weird as you might expect.
El-P will perform a handful of tastemaker shows when the album hits stores, including an appearance at Coachella. There’s no SXSW dates yet, but I’m sure it’s in the offing. In the meantime, check out the dates below.
Over five years after issuing its first record, a classic double-A side 12-inch by Company Flow and Cannibal Ox, Definitive Jux is poised to mount a major comeback in 2007. One of the most critically-acclaimed underground rap imprints of the new century, Definitive Jux has been relatively quiet during the last two years. In 2006 it only released one album, Mr. Lif’s Mo’ Mega, and a slew of Internet-only tracks via its online store The Pharmacy. If the label follows through on its plans, which it announced via a press release earlier this month, that will soon change.