Zion I further their musical evolution on Atomic Clock by bringing live musicians into the mix, and letting their reggae and dub influences rise to the top. The result is a personal and organic album, laden the group's characteristic knocking beats and an emphasis on positivity and self actualization. Listen to several tracks below, and look for the first single "Many Stylez" (featuring Rebelution) coming soon.
After delving into upbeat, electronic music on 2009's The Takeover, Oakland hip-hop stalwarts Zion I enter a new phase of their chameleonic career with Atomic Clock (November 9th, Gold Dust), a moody, emotional record inspired by the group's longtime admiration for reggae and dub.
While the group's roots are still firmly planted in hip-hop, Atomic Clock’s cavernous, atmospheric vibe recalls both the classic roots reggae of Max Romeo and The Congos and forward-thinking dub mixing of UK artists such as Adrian Sherwood. "The Takeover was a very external record and we wanted to focus on fun, party music," says emcee Zumbi AKA Zion. "This one is much more reflective and internal. We didn't want to just recreate what we did last album. Art is not about living in the past."
For Atomic Clock, the duo employed live musicians to flesh out producer Amp Live's original beats and thicken the overall sound. For many of Atomic Clock's tracks, Amp would create the skeleton of the beat himself for the initial direction before collaborating with the group's live musicians to complement the sound and, in certain cases, redo the track live. In stark contrast to The Takeover, which saw Amp and Zumbi e-mail verses and beats to each other to constantly tweak each song, the group and their collaborators engaged in days-long jam sessions, for the first time in their career, to best enunciate Amp's initial idea.
For Zumbi, the writing style on Atomic Clock was much more instinctive than on past albums, and the result is a litany of emotionally introspective, brutally honest songs that both relay the emcee's personal experience and delve into weighty topics including the transient nature of time.
This extends to the title. "The Atomic Clock is the most precise timing device on the planet and I thought that applied to the immaculate timing and rhythm it takes between musicians in one room to make good music," says Zumbi. "But also, I feel that time is speeding up on the planet and it seems like it's dilating and contracting really quickly. We're living in such an interesting time and I think time is on everyone's mind in one way or another. Everything is exponential now."
On Atomic Clock, the group employs their usual mix of sonic exploration and unbridled creativity. "4U," with its choir vocals, soulful keyboards, and rock guitars, could be a lost Sly and the Family Stone track, while the horn blasts and heavy, electric guitars of "Always" supplement Zumbi's optimistic hook of "Love conquers always/Gotta keep your head up." "Many Styles," featuring reggae band Rebelution (the album also features guest spots by emcees Locksmith and Macklemore and vocalists Courtney Holiday and Crystal Monee Hall), deftly defers to the genre's roots, and the atmospheric beat of "North Star" complements the central idea of being open to guidance in one's life.
On "History," the group's most insightful and candid track, Zumbi recalls the duo's autobiography from prior to the group's formation until now. "We've been doing music a long time and sometimes you forget how long you’ve been at and how many places you've been," admits the emcee. "I think it's good to look back for a second before keeping it moving." Keeping it moving is something Zumbi and Amp Live have never had problems doing and Atomic Clock stands as another engaging expression of the group's mind, heart and soul.
Zion I On Tour 9/24: Santa Barbara, CA – West Beach Festival 2010 9/25: Page, AZ – Powellapolooza 10/5: Flagstaff, AZ – Orpheum Theatere 10/6: Tucson, AZ – Rialto Theater 10/7: Santa Fe, NM – Santa Fe Brewing Company 10/8: Seaside, CA – CSU Monterey Bay 10/9: San Francisco, CA – Summersalt Music Festival 10/12: Baton Rouge, LA – Varsity Theatre 10/13: Oxford, MS – Proud Larry’s 10/14: Athens, GA – Last Call 10/15: Tallahassee, FL – Floyd’s Music Store 10/19: St. Louis, MO – Gargoyle 10/20: Columbia, MO – Blue Note 10/21: Carbondale, IL – Copper Dragon 10/22: Madison, WI – Majestic Theatre 10/23: Grand Rapids, MI – Orbit Room 10/24: Chicago, IL - Subterranean 10/25: Millvale, PA – Mr. Small’s Theater 10/27: State College, PA – State Theatre for the Arts 10/28: Syracuse, NY – Wescott Theatre 10/29: Providene, RI – Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel 10/30: Towson, MD – Recher Theater 10/31: Norfolk, VA – Norva 11/1: Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Bowl 11/2: New Haven, CT – Toad’s Place 11/4: Charlottesville, VA – Jefferson Theater 11/5: Richmond, VA – The National 11/6: Ashville, NC – The Orange Peel 11/7: Boone, NC – Legends 11/12: Santa Cruz, CA - Catalyst 11/16: Chico, CA - Chico State University's BMU Ballroom 11/18: Sacramento, CA - Sac State 11/19: Modesto, CA - Fat Cat 11/20: San Francisco, CA - Slims 11/21: San Francisco, CA - Slims 11/26: South Lake Tahoe, CA - MontBleu Showroom
Memphis, TN -- Southern rapper Lil Trouble, aka The Iron Chef, is on the fast track forward in Hip-Hop music. This Memphis, TN native is equipped with sharp lyrics, banging beats and exceptional production skills that have him commanding the stage and everyone's attention with every performance.
"Chef's Way" is available now on iTunes and all major digital music outlets. "Chef's Way", Lil Trouble's debut EP, is released on his own Memphis based indie label Guerilla Movement Entertainment. The project tracklist includes the hit radio single "Work" featuring Don Trip, "Out Da Gate", the hot club banger "Do Tha Damn Thang" and "Damn Girl".
Lil Trouble's has been touring this summer on The Dub Magazine Car Show Tour hitting the stage in major cities with a line up of T-Pain, Paul Wall, Yo Gotti, Cool and Dre, Chalie Boy and Ceazar and many more heavy hitters -- visit www.dubshowtour.com to get more information. Lil Trouble has also been nominated for two 2010 Knocdown SCM Awards in the Independent Category "Indie Mixtape Of The Year" and "Bout To Blow Artist Of The Year". The Knocdown Awards will be held in Memphis on November 13, 2010.
The hard hitting rapper released his mixtape "Da Appetizer", which is stirring up DJ's across the country. DJ's, clubs and radio stations are recognizing Lil Trouble as a force in Hip Hop music from his first mixtape endeavor. "Da Appetizer", hosted by DJ Lil Larry is available via limited time free download at the all new website www.gmovement.com .
For those who were unaware, my Grandma and I made 300 one of kind poetry books a few months ago. We named it “IM NOT ME”
Now we have another one called “AM I WONDERFUL.” Artwork by my grandma, and colored by my little cousin. This edition is limited to 100 copies only. Each book will be signed, autographed and numbered and have unique and one of a kind cover art. Hurry up and buy, these things go fast! Thank you.
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