10 Years - 10 Records with The Community
Celebrate 10 years of Community Records with their 10 fave releases.
From a two person street art project to a collective of 30-plus, The Community is celebrating 10 years of awesome music, art and parties this weekend - Saturday 21 June, with one seriously epic show over two rooms at The Bakery. Featuring Naik, Mathas, Diger Rokwell, YLEM, Vishnu, Lowaski, Ouroboinc Plague, Maxy Bills, The Boost Hero Man, Archi, DJ Silence, Wisdom 2th, Empty, FG, Yarhkob, Setvice (Band), Arms in Motion, Sibalance, Tripl M.U.M and DVS, you can find out more details on the event HERE.
We asked two of the Community's main men - and celebrated artists in their own right - hip hop head Mathas and worldly beatsmith Diger Rokwell, to reflect on the past decade of unearthing serious underground talent on the west coast with 10 of their favourite releases from The Communtiy stable. Enjoy them below, and keep up to speed with The Community's goings-on via their FACEBOOK and/or WEBSITE.
1. Diger Rokwell – The Earthhead (2009)
The release of this album was a real turning point for The Community in my opinion. While Diger’s previous release Digstrumentals had been a loose collection of sample projects that didn’t quite adhere to each other, this release managed to resonate through everyone in our group. It was a bar raiser. It managed to encapsulate what The Community is in a soundscape. The track Shadows Lonely is still one of my favourite instrumental tracks ever. Whenever Diger occasionally pulls it out in a set, you’ll see a few of us on the dancefloor losing our shit.
2. Empty – E M P T Y B A R S Vol.2 (2013)
A nice little free-release collection of instrumentals from the most virtuosic person I know. To me, it’s a window into a complex mind gradually learning the beauty in simplicity that hip hop requires, while at the same time having an understanding of composition that lies closer to the classical realm. It’s a small, understated release specifically made for rappers to rap on. In fact, I love the last tune so much I stole it.
3. Able – Brains, Pizza, Booze (2008)
Another huge turning point for us. When I met Able he was 16, already a good rapper, then a few years later he beat all of us oldies into putting out his debut album. The production was amazing, the artwork was by a then-not-famous Kid Zoom, the raps were extremely forward thinking, original, on a national scale and he had even hooked up his own distribution for it! This album was a serious kick in the arse, no question. Get it HERE.
4. Naik – In the Shadow of Thunder Mountain (2009)
Funny thing about this album is that by the time it was released I was a little sick of most of the songs. I’d been hearing Naik work on them for about four or so years, but I’m sure it was the same for him when my debut released. Listening back on it, its sheer uniqueness will stand the test of time for many years to come. I think he should press it to vinyl for that reason. This guy’s music is so unique, it doesn’t sound like anything else in the country, and still to this day the tune Masakela (or “Severance” as the original project file was called) is one of my favourite songs to hear live.
5. YLEM – Urban Grey (2010)
What a surprise it was when YLEM threw this one in the mix. The guy that had always been known for Tipper-esque hip hop and heavy warbling dubstep (and might I add, pumped it out at every drinking session with zero shame!) all of a sudden releases this warm, subtle and melancholy trip hop homage. It’s texturally beautiful, washing effortlessly between little moments of happiness and some seriously dark territory. Highlights are Down, Once Were Bison and Don’t Test.
1. Maxy Bills - Dust Moats (2011)
A really fantastic EP of real forward thinking music (or in his own words, "future cosmic funky glooping intergalactic resonance") from Max White. Max was away in Asia when this was released and missed all the love it got, but it’s never too late…
2. Mathas - Ten Pound Hairless Sasquatch (2009)
Mathas makes his own beats, does his own artwork, records all his own stuff. A really personal album coming from Tom Mathieson. He has inspired many in The Community group with his professionalism and delivery, and I for one can’t wait for his long-awaited follow up due soon (hurry up, Tom).
3. YLEM - Urban Grey (2010)
An album infused with so many musical influences, worldly sounds and textures, this was anything but grey from Ryan Burge aka YLEM. His wife, Jenn Garland, designed the cover. YLEM is a super talented producer who constantly pushes himself to do more.
4. NAIK - In The Shadow of Thunder Mountain (2009)
Although it ranked in numerous Best Of album lists for that year, this is still such an underrated album, one that heralded Naik's style of organic electronica and his passion for cinematic inspired sounds. The artwork was made by the super talented illustrator Pete Long. Naik is a creative beast, and you’ll be blown away by his new live visual setup:
5. Various - The Community Beats (2012)
This was the first time really that most of our beat makers were featured on a compilation together. This displayed the scope and breadth of our collective. My favorite beat is by Lenny Rudeberg aka Wisdom 2th, a majorly talented creative and all round dude.
You can find more of releases from The Community Records crew at their BANDCAMP.