A film about Northwest hip-hop from

Vizard

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A film about Northwest hip-hop from

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Influence

Influence, released this summer, is a stellar side project from former Nu Era member Blaine Davis and guitarist Joseph Comin. They’ve sampled recognizable riffs from Seattle’s rock and grunge greatest hits, and then magically transformed well-loved songs into hip-hop bangers—each one sounds completely new and fresh. The opening track “Cobain” lifts the haunting strains of Nirvana’s “Heart-Shaped Box” into a loop before veering in unexpected directions. It’s a revelation, as is “Hendrix” and “Miller.” Blaine’s verses throughout are powerful and deep, questions of gentrification and the changing city. Let me simply say this: Go get this record on Bandcamp. The many references to local legends should land this album on every Seattle publication’s record-of-the-year shortlist.

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A film about Northwest hip-hop from

Remember Face

During winter in Seattle, days are short and dark, and it’s always raining. Joy Division and The XX. Names not usually associated with hip-hop, however, Remember Face’s self-titled debut brings to mind their bleak, goth moodiness, and that’s definitely how I’m feeling lately. “My Tigers Name Is Lion,” with its massive industrial synths could be mistaken for something new from Depeche Mode. That is until Chimaroke Abuachi starts spitting on top, sometimes singing, directing the mood bleaker still. Andrew Savoie of Home Slice fame is responsible for the production and the keys. The mood builds in intensity, over these 10 short, intense tracks, broken just before the end with “Take Shelter” and its humorous pirate ending. Also, breathtaking cover.

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