Jazz Related Electronica/Hip-Hop

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The Jazz Related DJs and Electronica genres at JMA are for artists who create jazz related music with turntables, samplers, sequencers and the occasional live musician.

JMA is only interested in fully developed sophisticated jazz influenced music. We do not list generic trip-hop, internet radio 'chill' tracks or other types of music built with obvious repeating looped samples.

It could be argued that improvised poetry to a syncopated beat is just another form of jazz. For this reason, JMA maintains a select cadre of rap artists chosen for their influence on the development of the genre, or for their close relationship to the greater world of jazz.

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4.59 | 4 ratings
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NUJABES Metaphorical Music Album Cover Metaphorical Music
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SQUAREPUSHER Feed Me Weird Things Album Cover Feed Me Weird Things
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FLYING LOTUS Cosmogramma Album Cover Cosmogramma
3.92 | 8 ratings
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ANIMATION Agemo Album Cover Agemo
3.98 | 4 ratings
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BUGGE WESSELTOFT Duo (with Henrik Schwarz) Album Cover Duo (with Henrik Schwarz)
3.80 | 6 ratings
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SPACETIME CONTINUUM Double Fine Zone Album Cover Double Fine Zone
3.68 | 3 ratings
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SQUAREPUSHER Hello Everything Album Cover Hello Everything
3.62 | 4 ratings
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SQUAREPUSHER Hard Normal Daddy Album Cover Hard Normal Daddy
3.60 | 5 ratings
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This list is in progress since the site is new. We invite all logged in members to use the "quick rating" widget (stars bellow album covers) or post full reviews to increase the weight of your rating in the global average value (see FAQ for more details). Enjoy JMA!

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jazz related electronica/hip-hop Music Reviews

ERIC B. & RAKIM Follow The Leader

Album · 1988 · Jazz Related Electronica/Hip-Hop
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Eric B. & Rakim have long been recognized as one of the top innovators in hip-hop, but they never seem to get recognition for one of their more notable achievements, bringing the musical worlds of jazz and hip-hop together in ways that made sense. Early rap tended to either be ‘electric boogaloo’ oriented, or centered around rock beats like “We Will Rock You”. While there was a trend developing, from bands such as Stetsasonic, to bring in superficial jazz elements such as a trumpet solo or acoustic bass sample, it wasn’t until Eric and Rakim started releasing albums that a true fusion of jazz and hip-hop happened. Eric’s samples and DJ slices favored classic funk and soul jazz, while Rakim’s rhymes on the mic had a syncopated swing and non-stop flow that had him sounding like the Charlie Parker of rap. Although the pair’s first album contained much potential, it wasn’t until the sophomore follow up, “Follow the Leader”, that Eric and Rakim brought the jazz and funk elements much more into the mix.

“Follow the Leader” is the perfect title for this album because it went on to be imitated and followed by others for decades. Eric may not have been the first person to sample and loop a James Brown beat, but on this album he is one of first DJs to create a monster groove around such a technique. Needless to say, sampling Brown became an epidemic after a while, but it still sounds great on here. Sampling was still in its infant stage at this time, but Eric and crew have no problem creating mixes with soul jazz saxophone riffs, Middle Eastern melodies and funky bass lines. Most of the tracks are good, with possibly the best being “Musical Massacre”, which features a driving double time Afro-Latin riff reminiscent of Mandrill or Osibissa. There are a couple lackluster cuts, mostly a few instrumentals which sound dated and repetitious

PUBLIC ENEMY It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back

Album · 1988 · Jazz Related Electronica/Hip-Hop
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Very few albums have hit with the nuclear thunderclap impact of Public Enemy’s “It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back”. Although their first album had hinted at greatness, nothing could have prepared the world of popular music for the intense power of “It Takes a Nation …”. What Coltrane did to jazz and Hendrix did to rock, Public Enemy did to rap and hip-hop. Not only was the rap game affected by this release, but also the worlds of electronica, RnB, heavy rock and industrial music too. Bands and artists from many genres began to realize how much they could bring to their music with some creative sampling and production. Possibly even more important though, lead rapper Chuck D brought consciousness of what it meant to be a black man in the US to many people who probably would not have picked up this knowledge any other way. It wasn’t only the city youth who knew every word of these songs by heart, but many suburban kids were digging this too. Both musically and lyrically, this was one of the most influential albums of its time in any genre.

There are many who will probably never forget the first time they heard “Bring the Noise” blasting out of a pair of speakers. This album is no longer the shock it once was because so many have imitated it, but when it first came out, nothing sounded like this. Along with Chuck’s booming voice, fellow rapper Flava Flav’s humorous asides, and Terminator X’s funky sampled beats and sax riffs, you got this barrage of pure chaotic noise that worked perfectly with the music. The crescendoing cauldron of sounds that threaten to drown out Chuck only made his voice and words more powerful and urgent.

There is no dead air on here, every cut is dynamite. Some highlights include, "Night of the Living Baseheads", which has Chuck raging against crack addiction, “Cold Lampin with Flavor”, on which Flav spouts free wheelin nonsense over a funky beat, and the heavy rock drive of “She Watch Channel Zero”, which inspired both Slayer and Anthrax to perform this track with Chuck. After being in the forefront during the late 60s, politically driven African-American consciousness had taken a back seat during the me first materialistic 80s. With this album, Chuck D and his crew changed all that and brought their message of no sell out to cars, homes, parties and clubs all around the world.


Album · 2017 · Jazz Related Electronica/Hip-Hop
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New Orleans trumpeter Christian Scott made his name during the last few years on the wave of jazz crossovers oriented to young rock, RnB or techno fans, during an explosive growth of popularity (Kamasi Washington with his triple CD is another great example).

I happened to see Scott playing live two years ago during his European tour - he demonstrated his showman and leadership abilities leading his young musician's band, and being much more than a virtuoso trumpeter. He spoke a lot (really more than he played trumpet), mostly about racial problems in his hometown of New Orleans.

Two years later, in 2017, Christian Scott announced releasing a trilogy dedicated to "re-evaluation of the social political realities of the world through sound... slavery in America via the prison industrial complex, food insecurity, xenophobia, immigration, climate change, gender inequality, fascism and the return of the demagogue". Not surprisingly, the trilogy's first album "Ruler Rebel" goes deeper into electronics/hip-hop culture and demonstrates sounds that are more usual for London clubs than for New Orleans streets.

Christian Scott leads basically almost the same band as on his previous album, with flutist Elena Pinderhughes on board. The music on here is a quite beautiful mix of African rhythms, heavily adapted to modern urban culture's ears with wide use of samplers and rhythm machines. There are lot of Scott's trumpet soloing on this album, mostly all straight-ahead clear tones flying over electronic rhythms/samples somewhat similar to smooth jazz trumpeter Chris Botti's manner. Probably the main attraction in this album's music is a quite successful mix of New Orleans positive energy and modern urban electronic sound. Not strange is that Scott is even more popular in London clubs than in native America - what may sound as exotic in New Orleans is very close to most modern London youth club's sound standards, with conspicuous difference since similar British bands are usually rooted in Caribbean rhythms.

Not so much a jazz record, this new album's great mission is first of all to introduce young communities, often associated with different musical traditions, to jazz culture and its modern possibilities.

BUCKETHEAD Monsters And Robots

Album · 1999 · Jazz Related Electronica/Hip-Hop
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siLLy puPPy
My very first experience with BUCKETHEAD was 1999’s MONSTERS AND ROBOTS which to this day still remains his best selling album. This is for good reason. For all his eclecticness and productivity, the sounds he creates on this 5th album are by far some of the most accessible and most dynamic in balancing all the elements he has become known for. All the funk, metal, jazz, DJ turntables and electronica come together in perfect harmony on this one. This is BUCKETHEAD’s defining moment and the fact that all these sounds work so well together is because of his avant-garde style being smoothed out with the efforts of Les Claypool from Primus who helps out constructing many of the tracks, plays bass and even contributes vocals on “The Ballad Of BUCKETHEAD.”

Also on board here is Bootsy Collins (Parliament, George Clinton, James Brown, Praxis etc) lending some vocals on four tracks, Bryan Kei Mantia (Godflesh, Praxis, Primus etc) on drums, SF Bay Area DJ Disk on turntables as well as rap vocals by Ovi-Wey, Max Robertson and The Chicken Scratch Choir. The results of this menagerie of talents is what makes this amongst the most golden of finds in the Easter egg hunt in vastness of BUCKETHEAD’s discography.

The album begins with the energetic electronica meets heavy metal “Jump Man” (3:38) with Bootsy Collins declaring he can’t ever stop workin’ hard. This is beautiful aggressive metal riffage that has an electronica drum backing and some seriously flavorful guitar solos. In the middle it changes into a serious funky bass line with electronic embellishments and then back to the main metal riffage. This is an awesome track where every element is perfectly balanced and a deliciously discerning glimpse into the album’s brilliance in general.

Track two “Stick Pit” (4:28) starts with a jittery guitar solo and a steady pummeling bass line designed to simultaneously soothe the soul and unravel the nerves. It changes into a hard metal riffage with cool electronic effects that dance with the jittery guitar solo. This one is all instrumental and conjures up the image of cruising the streets of a town filled with chickens like its their day before meeting their maker at the slaughterhouse.

Track three “The Ballad Of Buckethead” (3:38) is a Les Claypool showcase with a funkier than slunk bass line that actually clucks like a chicken and is the only track where Les lends his vocal duties explaining the origin of the chicken lover. This has an accompanying video and is a very surreal and needless to say bizarre experience all the while keeping one in that feel good funk mode that classic 70s funk bands like Parliament and Funkadelic were so adept at evoking.

“Sow Thistle” (4:28) is one of the strangest on the album. It has Bootsy Collins narrating the quandaries of living in the universe and the perplexing properties of time, life and humankind’s irrational fears that are leading to our demise. Musically this has a rather avant-garde DJ beat that is 4/4 in timing but has bizarre electronic embellishments, scorching avant-garde solos and a very strange breakdown at the end that creates a musical instability that leaves the listener scrambling for some order that has totally broken down.

“Revenge Of The Double Man” (3:34) starts with a nice grungy guitar riff, funky bass and drums and has a subdued vocal arrangement. Riffs alternate and change it up. Nice drumming and creative use of turntables and electronic effects. Melodic and powerful.

“Night Of The Slunk” (5:43) is a nice echo guitar riff that is melodic and has a nice electronic drum beat backing it up. It alternates with a heavy guitar riff chorus. It has a jangly guitar riff bridge. Extremely well done in every way. Also contains one of the best solos that pops in when least expected but is the crescendo of the subtleties.

“Who Me?” (2:08) is a short but sweet unaccompanied acoustic guitar track that has BH playing a melodic riff and then strikes a dissonant note with a vocal reactions. Repeats a few times with variations.

“Jowls” (4:25) is quite an oddball. It starts out with a crazed voice shouting “Save Me The Slunk” and then turns into a weird metal riffage that has squealing guitar solos, funky bass sections and avant-garde soloing that all melds together so well. The funky bass has an interesting slight dissonance with the guitars. Another gem that grew on me. At the end we get to hear which parts of a freshly slaughtered carcass are consumed!

“The Shape vs Buckethead” (5:40) is yet another oddball. Starts off with a lowered vocal saying “Did i hear you say is life worth living?” plus more dialogue then a scream and then just-inhaled-helium vocals by Bootsy Collins which continue the narration. A nice funky beat and avant-garde guitar squeals continue the horror story that alternates all the introductory vocal styles, dialogue and instrumental prowess. Very weird! Very cool! The mantra? “I’m not afraid to die, i just don’t wanna be there when it happens!” Cool guitar solos, production and electronic embellishments.

“Stun Operator” (4:13) begins with an impressive drum roll then a string of simple guitar chords. The funky bass kicks into high gear and then some background muffled voices and avant-garde guitar arpeggios. Weird! Spooky! Cool! Showcases Les Claypool’s magnificent bass skills.

“Scapula” (4:04) is an electro funky metal track that alternates between a steady psytrance beat that alternates with a metal riff and some supplemental mood inducing noises, guitar slides, vocalizations and even an unexpected solo that take you into the stratosphere.

“Nun Chuka Kata (4:28). The finale is an indo-raga meets metal feeling groovy track that starts off with a guitar riff that has the most pleasant distortion and a nice simply drum beat. As it progresses there is a jittery guitar riff and nice turntables, electronic effects. The track ratchets up the tension and concludes with a one of the most brilliant uses of lead guitar to end its majesty which at the very end finds it ending its reign with a pleasant trancy sounding drone.

MONSTERS AND ROBOTS is one of my absolute favorite BUCKETHEAD albums. Granted this took me a while to fully comprehend its magnificence but was easily accessible upon first listen. Perhaps it won’t be an instant hit for everyone but it has stayed with me for over ten years and i can pop this on anytime and still feel as excited about it as i did in the beginning. This is probably the most accessible of his higher energy creations and i would totally recommend this to any BUCKETHEAD newbies as the perfect jumping off point to explore the chicken lover’s musical universe for in my opinion it just doesn’t get any better than this one (at least from what i’ve heard so far!) The creativity is turned up to 11 and the production is absolutely flawless in how all the different sounds fit together. Brilliant! If you only check out 1 (one) album in BUCKETHEAD’s massive discography, make it this 1 (one) !

SANTANA Santana feat. Pitbull: Oye 2014

Single · 2014 · Jazz Related Electronica/Hip-Hop
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Latin house re-mixes of Santana’s classic “Oye Como Va” are hardly a new thing, but I guess Carlos got tired of hearing others do it and decided to cut his own version, “Oye 2014“. No doubt, mixing the well known opening organ montuno riff from the original “Oye” with a driving four on the floor house beat is an irresistible dance floor combination, after that, you don’t want to do too much that distracts from this simple, but very effective combination. Santana and his production crew do well on here, breaking the groove down into a stuttering 808 hip-hop beat for variation and bringing on Pitbull for some gratuitous rhyming. Pit’s rhymes are okay, mostly your standard braggadocio, but his delivery is sharp and right on time, it all adds up. Carlos also recorded some new guitar riffs and short solos, but in some ways, they may be hardly noticed. A lot of the original song’s old counter melodies are left off, some are missed, while others not so much.

I know people who feel very strongly about early Santana and roots Latin rock in general, and I would imagine to some, this sort of trendy modernization probably comes across as almost sacrilegious, but the bottom line is, whether in good taste or bad, this “Oye 2014” rocks like a mofo. These kind of gimmick songs can wear out quickly, so enjoy it while it lasts.

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