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 » 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.
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 » 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!
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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
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
Various Artists
Chocolate Swim
Chocolate Industries/Adult Swim

Rating: 7.5/10 ?

July 7, 2006
Cartoon Network cult favorite programming block Adult Swim has further cemented its rapport with independent rap culture through Chocolate Swim, a mix assembled with the help of Chicago label Chocolate Industries.

The free EP features six songs with original cuts from Kovas and Ghislain Poirier and remixes of Lady Sovereign from Spank Rock, Mos Def & Diverse from Kut Masta Kurt, Diverse from DJ Mitsu, and Vast Aire with MF Doom from Edan. Although this is a promotional giveaway available on adultswim.com, it is still an exclusive that signals an encouraging connection between hip-hop's underground and indie-favored cartoons such as Family Guy, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Space Ghost Coast to Coast and others.

Unlike last year's Danger Doom/Adult Swim collaboration, Chocolate Swim does not play host to any hilarious cartoon voices; instead it is only distributed and advertised by the program. The main draw in this case is the hot pairings. Even though most of the vocal tracks were long since recorded and are only mixed in this case, the mixers themselves are exceptional-Spank Rock, Kut Masta Kurt, DJ Mitsu, and Edan.

The disc's first cut is trashcan "ghetto beat" hip-hop from Kovas. The proper noun referencing rapper brings the world this hottie: "Sippin' Pellegrino like it's Belvedere." Stay hydrated like a rich muthafuck, kids! The beat is dirty, the guitar hook is kind of bland, and the rhyming is witty/funny and Ludacris-like.

Spank Rock puts together a disco house bumper to pair with Lady Sovereign's springy teen grime-rap appeal. "Hoodie" sounds so natural this way, I think this should have been the original cut.

DJ Collage and Ghislain Poirier offer some variation with a reggaeton/world/electronic hip-hop groove. Thought it is a nice change of pace from the rest of the electronic, sampled and straight ahead hip-hop tuneage here, the track doesn't have the same style or energy as any of the rest.

Diverse appears on two tracks, one being the Mos Def famed "Wylin' Out" thrown over a tabla and sitar in an Eastern Indian blend and the other featuring the well-known vocal hook "Ain't Right" (I think J Dilla used it most recently). Solid remixes in both cases.

The most-anticipated track is also the closer, a Vast Aire/MF Doom/Edan match that relaxes more than it kills. The potential of these three makes you think Brooklyn would simply implode upon even the mere thought of it. But really, Edan pulls out some more dusty soul-jazz records, Vast pals it up, and Doom keeps his references smart and weird as ever.

You can also download Chocolate Swim as a one-track mix, which includes all the above tracks just in different order and with extra overdub commentary and mix time.

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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