Freddie Gibbs & Madlib, "Massage Seats"
We've had a lot of Madlib around here, in a bunch of different projects. In 2014, he got together with Freddie Gibbs, the upcoming gangsta rapper who also was comfortable as an underground MC. That collaboration, Piñata, was one of my favorite Madlib records ever (which is really saying something). The pairing felt natural, with Madlib's gritty, fractured beats complementing Gibbs's flows perfectly. This track is from the followup, Bandana, which is just as good, although because it was the second it doesn't have the factor of surprise working for it. Both albums are very highly recommended.
Fire-Toolz, "The Graying Of The Crocs [CODENAME_PASSBOOK]"
Fire-Toolz are an experimental electronic act, with a sound evoking old 80s pop, industrial dance, some noise, bits of vaporwave - it's quite a melange, and it can feel kind of chaotic. But there's a kind of nostalgia at the core which renders it appealing to me. It's hard not to think of this as kind of a novelty, but hey, a little novelty is OK.
Jimmy Hughes, "Chains of Love"
A great example of mid-period Stax, particularly the songs influenced by Isaac Hayes. While this wasn't written by Hayes, it kind of sounds like it could have been.
The part where the guitar intro gives way to the whole band and Guy's anguished vocals, that's a great moment on a record filled with great moments. Fugazi was comfortable using dynamics like this without it seeming cheesy or overblown.
The Jimi Hendrix Experience, "Purple Haze"
Lost in Hendrix becoming shorthand for the entire 60s experience is that this stuff just legitimately smokes.