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LITERATURE

 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
Haiku
Blew
Bonafyde Records

Rating: 8.5/10 ?


July 5, 2006
The forthcoming and as-of-yet unreleased album Dawn Of Mystique, from Bonafyde Records artist Haiku, was supposed to be his opus, a compact series of song chapters constructing a formation that seems more akin to a volume of books than to a hip-hop album from an under-recognized, underground Chicago rapper. Instead though, the beginning of summer 2006 was marked the release of Blew, an album of solo exposure from Haiku - aka Tony Trimm (real name Tony Kim) - that is intended to showcase the artist's lyrical and song-writing competence in a more direct spotlight.

The production of Blew is cool soul-based hip-hop that leans on sped-up hooks and vocals and relaxed but tight-cut, clean, popping drum machine samples. Production credit is given to Midas Wells and overall he has things together, minus a mild reliance on the tempo-warped, Kayne-branded soul vocals and basslines. Strangely enough there are synthetic cymbal crashes that initially sound a little too flakey, but after a couple of listens, that aspect of Haiku's sound becomes more characteristic, and then even desirable.

Unconventional in his approach, Haiku is a stealthy, clever rapper from the Chicago suburbs influenced by artists like Aesop Rock as well as indie rockers and anything that strikes him as a good idea. On the interior of the Blew cover art are words from American author William Gass:

"The blue we bathe in is the blue we breathe. The blue we breathe, I fear, is what we want from life and only find in fiction. For the voyeur, fiction is what's called going all the way."

Pretty deep for a rap album. "Going all the way" for Haiku seems to mean creating an album that is enjoyable mostly because of the seamless blend of skills and creativity. Unlike many (especially rap) albums across the music industry that have a false message, you can feel this rapper's desires are what he is living. Where the efforts-meets-reality aspect is most prevalent is in tracks "Widow's Peak," "For That," and "Dunce Cap Blues" in which Kim opens his mouth, lets his emotion and wit pour right out, and the whole thing coalesces into a real musical flow.

Potential says that Haiku has bigger things in store. For indie rockers, hip-hoppers, and beat-centric people alike, Blew is a sign for exciting developments from the Chicago underground.

Reviewed by Josh Zanger
Joshua Ian Zanger, a native of rural Chicago, rocks many a world with his writing, style, and generally sweet aroma.

See other reviews by Josh Zanger

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