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“Ethiopium” = Oh No’s African Hip-Hop (MP3)

Hip-hop producer Oh No, brother of Madlib and constructor of some tracks off the recent Mos Def album (The Ecstatic), has his own new full-length out. Like his older sibling, Oh No (born Michael Jackson to Madlib’s Otis Jr.) has a taste for non-western sound sources, deep grooves, and old-school hip-hop. The result this time around is the 18-track Dr. No’s Ethiopium, whose title hints at its sense of globe-spinning disorientation. As a sample, releasing label Stones Throw (which also just posted Madlib’s latest, Fall Suite, credited to the Last Electro-Acoustic Space Jazz & Percussion Ensemble) has made available an MP3 combining two tracks off Ethiopium. There’s the jazz-tinged “Concentrate,” all whispery vocals, tightly looped ensemble play, and a rain storm’s worth of vinyl surface noise. And, the topper, the heavy funk of “The Funk,” with a hard beat and a vamping lead line that won’t stop (MP3). At a time when every other hip-hop producer seems to have discovered Nina Simone, Oh No’s back-to-Africa effort is a refresher course in crate digging on a global scale.

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More details at The highly recommended full release is currently available for $9.99 as a digital download, with CD and LP info yet to be announced.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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