I’m sure if you remember this album at all it’s more for Jim Carrey’s brutally hilarious takedown “Imposter” than the original #1 one hit wonder which was “Informer.” But for an 11-year-old gangly white kid in small-town Indiana, there was nothing cooler to blast from a boombox than 12 Inches of Snow, unless you count the UB40 album Promises and Lies which equally burned up the pop charts at the moment. I didn’t care at the time whether Snow’s sound was at all authentic. I just loved the beats, damn it, and having yet to immerse myself in the world of hip-hop, this dub-meets-Toronto hybrid had the right mix of percussive simplicity and lyrical complexity to keep me pressing repeat constantly. Listening to the album with a decade and a half of space between me and my early-90s self, I have to admit the album sounds as dated as expected, yet “Runaway” and “Informer” still hold up well as pop singles, instantly flashing me back to those days when I’d obliviously walk up and down a mile-long stretch outside our rural home annoying farmers with my flawless imitations of the epic, indecipherable chorus.
- – - – -
A hat-tip to Starstorm over at Mixed Tape Masterpiece, whose constant stream of retro reminders will keep you flashing back to the glory days of alt-pop radio cheese thanks to his shoeboxes full of mix-tapes he’s rescued from his childhood. So far as I know, he has yet to find “Informer” on one of his tapes, but it can’t be more than a matter of time …
This is some wild ragga-elecro-pop you’ll soon be unable to get out of your head, and it’s all thanks to the vocals of Aby Wolf. From the self-titled debut A. Wolf and Her Claws, “Zero To 60″ blasts into the dub stratosphere with a boost by synthesist / programmer Jesse Whitney’s twisted arrangement, but Wolf’s voice is what wins you over in the end. What is immediately clear is that the band wants to push the envelope of what inspires modern electronic pop, and their energy is immediately contagious. Not that it should be a surprise, with Wolf hailing from Doomtree, the groundbreaking hip-hop crew responsible for some of the most innovative albums not to come from Rhymesayers. A. Wolf and Her Claws is available now as a free stream via AOL’s Spinner, so there’s no excuse — groove to the video below, then check out the full album. It is definitely worth the listen.