Friday, March 28, 2008

UNCLOSED MIND: REPLIFE drops solo album

I remember when I first got on myspace a couple of years ago, a good friend of mine welcomed me to the world of "digital crack". I wasn't sure what he meant, but it didn't take long to understand what I got myself into. My bottomless appetite for new musical trends and innovative underground artists has just gotten a completely new place to feast on! I remember taking clandestine trips to Budapest's various music venues in my teens (my mom completely unaware of what I was up to), staying up till the club closed at 4am and then taking the three-hour train back to my home city to catch my first class at my high school. Back then, in post-communist Hungary just opening its mind to the promise of "freedom", only the police was carding kids on the plenty of those experiences, but managed to pass myself as an adult without any proof to the bouncers. My addiction to music hasn't gotten any less intense, and I'm proud to call myself a "sucka for beats".

So back to myspace. I've been following a lot of artists who are shaping the nu-jazz, broken beat and future soul scene, and I find myspace to be the most effective way of getting to know not just a particular artist, but a whole community of musicians in the same genre. Like many other new musical directions that sprung off of hip-hop, I believe that J-Dilla's beatmaking genius have been a huge influence on the genre which also has deep roots in soulful house, latin jazz, and soul.

One of my favorite MCs, a heavy-hitter in the international broken beat/hip-hop scene, is REPLIFE, a.k.a Daniel Gray-Kontar, who is not only "one of the freshest MC's out there" (you can believe it if BBC Radio host, Gilles Peterson says it:), but also a renaissance man with a strong grassroots background. The Cleveland-born MC, poet, publisher, award-winning journalist, youth mentor, and advocate for public education is one of the most honest and inspiring artists I have encountered in a while. For Replife, "keeping it real" is not just an overused line, but a way of translating rhymes into action. Read my interview with him on WRONGLIPS, my new blog with my favorite Brooklyn ma, songstress Sarah White.

His new album, The Undisclosed Mind dropping this month is the bomb! It is released on Futuristica Music on March 24th, and you can purchase it on iTunes,, Best Buy, and at independent record stores the world over. Also, keep your eyes peeled for the follow-up album to “The Unclosed Mind” recorded between 2004 and 2006 called “The Book of Job” coming out on Futuristica Music by the end of 2008. I highly recommend it.

Replife is on record release tour in England. If you are in London, you can catch him on March, 27 2008 at FUTURISTICA MUSIC monthly event at BARRIO NORTH. For more concert dates, check his myspace page.

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