Alibi V.16 No.35 • Aug 30-Sept 5, 2007 

Sonic Reducer

Atmosphere Sad Clown Bad Summer Accompanied by Piano (Rhymesayers)

Some call it a mixtape—a bundle of recordings compiled onto one album in an expedient bootleg fashion. In Atmosphere’s case, we'll label Sad Clown Bad Summer Accompanied by Piano a B-sides and rarities EP. The modern hip-hop legend has released five exclusive tracks that didn’t quite make the cut for the forthcoming album When Life Gives You Lemons, which is scheduled to drop in early ’08. With detailed narration by Slug and ANT’s full-of-soul funk production, this album leaves us with a taste of a bittersweet summer but an even better new year. [JAH]

Lily Maase and theSuiteUnraveling unbind. (Addtract)

Guitarist/composer Lily Maase abandons the linear in this abstract/concrete musical painting that explores the wormholes of memory. With her jazz/rock/electronica chamber group, theSuiteUnraveling, Maase created unbind. from live performances (with real-time processing) recorded over a digital reconstruction of previous material and overdubbed with voice and other sounds. (A Bach composition provided the basis for some of the material.) Her shifting compositional architecture reflects our tendency to warp, recompose and manipulate memory, yet she manages to reveal its inviolable emotional cargo. Though she sometimes says too much—forgivable in so talented a young composer—unbind. illuminates and celebrates the human heart. Lily Maase appears in a free concert at UNM’s Keller Hall on Sept. 4 at 7:30 p.m. [MM]

Aesop Rock None Shall Pass (Def Jux)

I've never been one for Ian Bavitz' disinterested baritone delivery, but it's been a while since I heard an emcee so on-point. Aesop's a poet's rapper, spitting dense metaphor as effortlessly as the rest of us mortals hawk loogies. The caliber of truth Aesop achieves every other line, other lyricists hit maybe twice an album. The production isn't bad either, incorporating more live instruments than his previous sample-based catalog. Some of the opening tracks are kind of lame, especially the intro, but the album finds its pulse about three tracks in, and the rest is gold. [MD]

[JAH] Justin Alan Hood, [MM] Mel Minter, [MD] Marisa Demarco