XLR8R has been around a long time, and although we do hold a certain level of influence, we’re ultimately just a single voice amongst an ocean of opinions. As such, no matter how strongly we feel about a particular piece of music, our take on something can easily be overwhelmed, especially once online groupthink begins to set in. The following list includes 10 releases whose praises were generally sung far and wide, and although we certainly don’t hate everything here (in fairness, we definitely hate some of it), we simply felt that these releases didn’t merit all of the acclaim that was thrown their way in 2012.
Been really digging this BK by way of Boston MC, Skipp Whitman’s 5AM album since I started checking it out yesterday. Skipp handles all the completely original (no sample) production himself and it is impeccable. Vocally he reminds me of the homie, D-sisive at times and a little bit of friend of The Kitchen, T.Shirt as well but overall, this is kind of fresh to my ears. I digs! What about y’all??
Cool chillout-with-beats vibes that I would describe as falling somewhere in between electronic pop-soul and trip hop if you put a gun to my head and forced me to put labels on this. In a better world I would just call it good music. Worth your time….
Ya dig? Then see below for the video for track 6 on the EP, “Country”…
“I’m a ghost-writer, I’m the cat you don’t see / I write hits for rappers you like and charge ’em a fee” Mad Skillz ‘Ghostwriter’
When a songwriter pens a song for a recording artist, it’s generally publicly acknowledged. In most cases, their name will be included in the official recording credits. Of course, cynical record labels sometimes pay the songwriters to keep schtum and waive all rights in order to make their recording artist seem more talented. As Mad Skillz explains, many big-name rappers have their lyrics written for them by a ghostwriter. But these rappers actually perform the lyrics that have been penned in their name, (Dr Dre being one of the most famous examples), bringing them to life with their own talent.
Most of this is common knowledge. What isn’t common knowledge, though, is that some of the biggest names in house and techno – and further afield in electronic music – have tracks entirely ghostwritten for them by other producers, with absolutely no input of their own whatsoever. I’d heard tales of some of the biggest names in trance having production teams behind them for years, but I naively thought that the underground house and tech scene was far too authentic, genuine, credible and brimming with passion and integrity for it to be prevalent there. How wrong I was. The list I’ve heard of the guilty parties – cited by both ghostwriters and industry friends and colleagues of ghostwriters – is pretty shocking. From label bosses from some of the biggest imprints in Germany and the UK to upcoming producers on the London underground scene making a name for themselves on respected labels, to people duping acclaimed imprints with ghosted remixes, the practice is rife.