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Synth or Soul

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The acclaimed Detroit-based indie hip-hop producer Black Milk is often likened to the late J Dilla. But his fifth studio LP, Synth or Soul, is void of any emcees. Originally recorded and released in a limited quantity to commemorate Record Store Day in 2013, Synth or Soul is the first instrumental installment for a visual art and sound series that Black Milk has titled Fuzz, Fregs & Colors; it's a collaborative project with artist and graphic guru Upendo Taylor. “Computer Ugly Ugly” sets a playful tone, with kitschy samples and squeaky, squiggly synth notes rubbing up against big boomy beats. The following “When the Sky Falls” better illustrates Black Milk’s talents as a beatmaker. With vintage keyboard tones mixed in the background, you can really home in on his chopped samples and the swirled blend of drum-machine collages and live instrumentation. “Piano Moog” makes good on its title as weird analog chirps, gurgles, and distorted drones play against more traditional keyboard arrangements. “80's TV Show” similarly glows with bygone synthesizer effects reminiscent of primetime theme songs from the era of tube TVs.

Customer Reviews

J Dilla is smiling right now!!

Dillas DNA is all over this project. Hip-Hop needs this music!!

Synthy Soulful Funk

bought the vinyl on Record Store day, really diggin' this. Love the concept & execution, Milk crafted a bomb EP, didn't even know this was dropping so I was boosted to see it when I went 2 the store. To me, the battle over releasing synthesized drenched beats or Soul & R&B sampled beats is a hot topic in Hip-Hop & Milk takes the battle to wax. Not only showing listeners/fans how different the styles can be, but also how similar they can be. Regardless of which style you prefer to me, Milk shows that he can bring the funk out of either style easily. Keep it coming Milk!
Whizardry Out


This is all we get... a 20 min beat mixtape for $10.00? YOU CANT GIVE US TRONIC AND HAVE US THINK THIS IS YOUR BEST WORK.


Born: August 14, 1983 in Detroit, MI

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Born and raised in Detroit on the sounds of A Tribe Called Quest and De La Soul, Curtis Cross found out at an early age that he had a talent for hip-hop, especially for beats. He spent hours in his basement -- at first with just a cheap drum machine and a home karaoke system, eventually moving up to more sophisticated MPCs and samplers -- making tapes. One of these tapes got into the hands of fellow Detroiters Slum Village, who were impressed by what they heard and invited Cross to produce a track...
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Synth or Soul, Black Milk
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