Friday Five: Kool Ade Kam, Mirror Monster, Jevon Alexander, G.B. Marian, Kawsaki
Friday Five highlights music by Washtenaw County-associated artists and labels.
This week features old-school hip-hop from Kool Ade Kam, beautifully balladry by Mirror Monster, a new rap video by Jevon Alexander, esoteric ambient via G.B. Marian, and a mega-mix by Kawsaki.
Kool Ade Kam, Strictly for My Homies
Ypsi-Arbor artist Kamron Reynolds, who did the art and comic book for Nickie P's recent EP, is also the hip-hop artist Kool Ade Kam and his Strictly for My Homies is a funny and joy-filled mini album. As an MC, Kam recalls the chunky rhyming style of early hip-hoppers, preferring to deliver his geek-life lyrics in a sing-song manner over minimalist beats. This record is a lot of fun.
Mirror Monster, "Pretty Things Made With All Our Love"
The title track for Mirror Monster's forthcoming seven-song mini-album (out August 12) is a gorgeous Big Star-like ballad. While the Ann Arbor duo's past work shaded more toward synth-pop—there are keyboards here, too—this song is built up from a guitar riff and vocal interplay that recalls Alex Chilton and Chris Bell at their finest.
Jevon Alexander, "One in a Million"
The latest video from Ypsi hip-hop artist Jevon Alexander's December 2020 album Balance was filmed on the very cool basketball courts in Hillside Park in Durham, North Carolina.
G.B. Marian, "Jaws of Sobek"
The first single from Ypsi sound artist G.B. Marian's forthcoming album, I Believe (out August 15), continues his exploration of Egyptian and polytheist esoterica through dark ambient electronica.
Kawsaki, "The Clio Faces Luxury Concerto Suite"
The Ann Arbor-raised, Detroit-residing Kawsaki makes terrific retrowave synth-pop, and in April we talked to him about his Designing the Future album, which he's trying to get pressed on vinyl. But he's also a clever remixer, and "The Clio Faces Luxury Concerto Suite" is his epic 15-minute take on the 1985 hit "Faces" by Clio.
Christopher Porter is a library technician and the editor of Pulp.