Hive Five: Our Daily Listicle of Musical Musings
Los Angeles-based producer Knxwledge has dabbled in working with rappers over the years (most notably fellow weeded jazz lover Blu) but it’s his overwhelming (and consistent) solo discography that has garnered the most attention. From mid-2011 through the end of 2012, you could find a new EP, album, or compilation on his goldmine of a Bandcamp page nearly every other week. You could argue that he was prolific to the point you couldn’t keep up with his output, but think of it like this: While most of us are busy with our “day jobs,” Knx is flipping through vinyl, chopping up samples, and looping them across beds of crackling drums and thick bass. He’s since slowed down a touch, though his massive collection of material remains — while he’s catching a breather, we strongly suggest getting on these five releases.
This EP showcases Knx’s ability to remix essentially any music and in this case four joints from Danny Brown’s XXX. First listens might be jarring as you’re no doubt accustomed to, say, the earth-shaking production of “Blunt After Blunt.” But once everything clicks, you won’t be able to hear Danny’s visceral rhymes in another setting. At least, not for the next week.
Klouds is Knx’s debut and took that whole “post-Dilla” notion of weeded instrumental loops and turned it upside down. Knx didn’t just chop up samples on here; he filleted them with some complementary synth chords to boot.
Ever imagined what it would be like to hot-box your car underwater while playing the mixtape of rap/R&B songs you made in high school? If so, you’re a step ahead of the game in imagining what Knx’s Hexual.Sealings series sounds like. These are his more romantically tinged remixes, which includes warped, burbling takes on Erykah Badu’s “On & On” and Drake’s “Trust Issues.”
For the first entry in his ongoing Wrap.Taypes series, Knx fully embraced “so dirty/straight cassette shit” sound proclaimed by J Dilla on the Ruff Draft “Intro (Alt).” Hell, to dub (no pun) these remix projects “dirty” almost feels cheap, as they’re some of the grimiest, crunchiest work Knx has done. That remains true whether he’s overhauling Notorious B.I.G.’s “Dangerous MC’s” with gritty church organs or screwing AZ’s “Problems” into a noisy oblivion.
Following Klouds, Knx mostly stuck to EPs, the aforementioned remix projects, and small collections of “karma.loops” projects. But on two separate occasions, he embraced the concept of a full-length album again, most notably on koapastetik.LP. Within the 13 tracks, loops build upon loops fueled by rich grooves, nearly unrecognizable samples, and choice rapper ad libs used for emphasis. The way it moves, it’s almost as if you’re watching Knx create the tracks on the spot on some free jazz-type-shit.