Blue Scholars, "Cornerstone"
The lead-in to the The Long March EP, this really tells you what to expect on this record. And, honestly, this is an extremely generous EP - 9 tracks, 35 minutes, that's plenty of material for a full LP.
Blackalicious, "On Fire Tonight"
Aw, hell yeah, hip hop day! This comes to us from Imani, Vol. 1, released in 2015 after a 10 year break between records. Alas, there is no Vol. 2 (yet?). There's actually some similarity in approach between Blackalicious and Blue Scholars, with both broadly approaching hip hop from a sort of modernized throwback stance, if that makes any sense. [reads what I wrote] It does not make sense.
Kid Koala, "The Observable Universe"
Well, it's from a turntable artist, that's close. This is from Music to Draw To: Satellite, a largely ambient work where Kid Koala rolled out all kinds of things like strings and a singer, making a huge departure from his earlier work. As with most ambient work, it's pleasant but not especially memorable.
Mono, "The Hand That Holds The Truth"
Ambient or post-rock? Sometimes, hard to tell, at least until the crescendo arrives. I guess there's a lot more guitar in post-rock. This made more sense in my head. And I re-wrote this, like, three times! I don't know what I'm doing here!
We started at bright hip-hop, we ended in the some of the filthiest scuzz rock ever laid down. It's the Five Songs gamut! This little ditty comes to us from the compilation Body to Body, Job to Job, which collects a bunch of unreleased tracks and some miscellaneous live tracks from their early period. It's not especially coherent, but if you want more of their brutal no-wave period and have worn out your copies of Cop and Filth, you can get more of what they were serving.