VA - Harsh Riddims Vol. 4

  • A delightful compilation of lo-fi house, boogie, hip-hop, electro and plenty more.
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  • Harsh Riddims operator Ryan Parks runs a label that feels like an extension of a singular perspective on art and music. The wild creative experimentation of Atlanta rap seems to color the edges of the Harsh Riddims sound, along with everything else Parks is into. The label's blocky, construction-paper art nods to Ralph Lawrence and Kerry James Marshall, while the full name of the label references Ed Templeton's skateboard company Toy Machine. This amalgam of influences and Parks' great ear means that every Harsh Riddims release is worth picking up, but the full breadth of the label's sonic remit comes across on its compilations, the best of which was recently released. A host of Harsh Riddims regulars are back for another round, like Divine Interface, who appears here with a woozy R&B come-on "Request Line;" Louke Man, who samples Lana Del Rey on a breakbeat house track; and Clone Suspect (featuring Harsh Riddim alumnus Charolastra), whose Coco-voiced lo-fi boogie tune is reminiscent of early Nite Jewel. A few of the most intriguing artists on the compilation have hardly any online presence at all, like Stemlines, whose "Hide From Me (Ruff Demo)" could be a bizarre reading of Miami bass and Outkast's ecstatic breakbeat tunes. There are plenty of cuts that could be of interest to DJs on Harsh Riddims Vol. 4, like East Memphis Software Solutions' dreamy electro closing track, "Land Cruiser." But the well-sequenced compilation is probably best listened to whole. From Whereisissa's Curren$y-style rap cut "Sunlight" to Trafic Des Airs' oddball beat track "Menzel," much of Harsh Riddims Vol. 4 feels like DIY cruising music.
  • Tracklist
      01. Bandido Del Futuro - Her Touch 02. Trafic Des Airs - Menzel 03. Stemlines - Hide From Me (Ruff Demo) 04. Clone Suspect feat. Coco - Lebaron (Side 2 Side) 05. Cube - BlindCC 06. System Olympia - 9191 Olympia 07. O$AGIE - OVERLOAD LEFTFIELD 08. Sarah Swillum - Nikey Shoe 09. Divine Interface - Request Line 10. Louke Man - Differently_ 11. Whereisissa - Sunlight 12. Black Forces - WATCH OUT 13. Black Noi$e - Ballad 14. East Memphis Software Solutions - Land Cruiser