Listen to the Odd Couple's new beat tape while you read about Yeezus | Bleader

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Listen to the Odd Couple's new beat tape while you read about Yeezus

Posted By on 06.12.13 at 10:19 AM

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The eyes of the rap world are squarely fixed on Kanye West as he prepares to release Yeezus on Tuesday, and there's been a glut of chatter around the album even though Ye has generally done a great job of releasing any of his new work on his own terms. (Those awkward outdoor video screenings, anyone?) There's a lot of pages to sift through given that there's very little information about Yeezus out there—that is, except for Jon Caramanica's fascinating interview with West for the New York Times, which is remarkable because it exists; not only does Caramanica manage to get a lot out of a dude who has noticeably distanced himself from the press circuit, but the fact that the paper of record has published such a lengthy interview with a figure of West's magnitude is a media event in and of itself. The New York Times interview will likely shape the way people approach, discuss, and listen to Yeezus, which is great considering there's a lot of fascinating details about West's mind-set in the piece—if you haven't read it yet, get to it.

Considering all the hullabaloo around Yeezus, you could be forgiven for letting anything else with a beat pass by unnoticed. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't pay attention, and indeed there's something worthy of your attention—Beat Tape Volume 1, a new mixtape of instrumentals by local producers Tony Roche and Zach Henderson, aka the Odd Couple. These guys caught my ear last summer when they dropped an EP called Separated at Birth, which is stacked with contributions from Chance the Rapper, Skyzoo, Mikkey Halsted, and Smoke DZA. They've since been producing for local MCs such as Sasha Go Hard and Alex Wiley, and a couple months ago they dropped a massive and melancholic track with King Louie, M.I.C's Mikey Dollaz, and space-pop group Bigcolour called "Pink Champale," which is easily one of my favorite local rap songs of the year. (Tom Krell, aka How to Dress Well, had been listed as a potential "Pink Champale" collaborator last summer; even though he didn't end up on the final version, it's still great.)

The Odd Couple have a great handle on making sleek, pop-friendly rap tracks, and the songs on Beat Tape Volume 1 build on that aesthetic. These guys also get a little strange, especially on "Syrup on the Strip," which tosses rattling dubstep bass, squealing synths, and hollow-sounding drum patterns atop a down-pitched vocal sample played at a slothlike pace. Take a listen to the full mixtape below (as well as "Pink Champale") as you read through the latest posts about Yeezus.

Leor Galil writes about hip-hop every Wednesday.

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