State of the Artist - "Altered State"

Hey all, like I mentioned in my last email update (email to be included in this list) from now on, in addition to news and downloads from yours truly, I will also be reviewing new releases from artists that I think everybody should bump as much as I do. Here is the first installment:

State of the Artist has been on my radar since November 2009 with their Hank Moody EP, and I've been paying close attention to what this NW trio has been doing musically for about a year. Consisting of Parker, HY & Thaddeus, the SOTA crew is coming stronger and stronger. Some of my fans may remember last April I remixed the single off of their "SeaCal" album and thanks to all of you I won the fan judged remix contest (btw the $100 prize went toward mixing costs for Liquid). The original version of Extrahelladope had a bouncy, sunshiny feel that was nice, but I felt like flipping it on a grimy, synthed-out slap groove; the krunk night to their bright day, if you will. A nice compliment and contrast, if you ask me. Check the remix on free DL here if you haven't done so already, I'll wait...

Listening to their new EP, Altered State, available for free download on the groups bandcamp page, I hear a lot more of the synth-heavy night-time vibe I envisioned backing their strong vocals and flowing cadences last year. In the group's own words, Altered State "shows a marked progression in the musical styles and tastes" of the SOTA boys, and "It blends heavy electronic production with original composition and edgy lyrics." Indeed.

The 7 track collection opens with "Alive f. Shaprece." A good intro, it stays truest to the current status quo of good hip hop production,
high piano chords on the 8, strong funk drums, sizzling synth bass line and a triumphant string sample reminiscent of 90s era RZA cuts. Moving on to "I Think I Love You," I'm reminded of Far East Movement, except with, you know, good rapping on it. A hot track for sure, and it was a good choice for their first single. Bump it:
At this point the project takes a turn for the different. I can't decide if it feels more like a new move for hip hop or an homage to early 90s electronic dance music. Either way, I like it. The singing on the choruses has a bit of Depeche Mode or Information Society vibe to it, a couple old school dance groups I've been bumping a lot lately. My favorite track from the latter part of the album, is... I can't choose. Check out "Stolen Power", then go download the EP here:

State of the Artist is on the move, touring with Mad Rad thru Washington and Montana at the moment, and renturn to Seattle for a Japan Relief show at Neumo's on the 26th, so check their tour dates if you're in the area. Keep an eye out for them and their Member's Only collective, they are doing good things in Seattle and now in Portland with the opening of Jet Set at Beauty Bar last night. More good things are to come...