July 17, 2013

murk daddy flex: MDF

Independent Release

At face value, murk daddy flex is just another bedroom hip hop producer with a penchant for freewheeling beats and skimming vibes. Dig a little deeper, and you’ll find that Terence Chiyezhan is creating genuine old-school hip hop instrumentals with a modernist’s ear and a Southern accent. Although there have certainly been forward-thinking producers tapped by labels like Stones Throw and Warp harvested from below the Mason-Dixon (here’s looking at you, Scott Herren), MDF maintains Chiyezhan's crooked color and unique voice, which will likely never lose its backwater character.

Opening with a spaghetti western-sourced sample of slide whistle and cheap, dusty guitars, “Mangosteen” begins the set and sounds similar to Washington, D.C. producer Edan’s psychedelic beats. The woozy bounce of the stringed sample is reminiscent of Broadcast’s postmodern pastiche, with the dance-floor enthusiasm and swagger of the Avalanches’ edit-happy compositions.

“Coriander” and “Turmeric,” two early tracks that present the album’s pantry-herb-and-spice theme, feature a wobbled, glitchy take on Southern hip hop with a demented section of stringed accompaniment. Similar to Clams Casino’s 2011 breakout Instrumentals mixtape, MDF blends melancholic progression and nostalgic melodies with clean yet bombastic beats that seem custom-tailored for a backpack lyricist to sprawl all over. The album also throws in bizarre interludes and transitions to create a hazy, dreamlike mood throughout. The gauzy glue seals one of the best mixtapes to come out of Athens in recent memory. 4 out of 5.