Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Dopplegangaz

I just caught on to The Dopplegangaz, thanks to a well-placed Youtube link... though in retrospect, I realized Robbie included them on his Unkut mixtape; so I should've started following them last year.  Oh well; better late than never.  Coming out of New York, it's a two man team of Matter ov Fact (MC) and EP (MC and producer), and I timed my discovery pretty well, because I was able to pre-order their latest album, Lone Sharks just a few days before it dropped, and here they are already in today's mail.

The Dopplegangaz remind me of The Beatnuts, in the best possible sense.  At first, they might seem a bit silly and gimmicky - they wear hooded robes and the titles to some of their songs sound like straight-up horrorcore tracks.  But just like The Beatnuts, no matter how tempted you might be to just write them off, you can't because, while they're not the best lyricists in the game, their rhymes are pretty smart and their beats are beyond reproach.  The juvenile subject matter and robust sounds of "Like What Like Me," for example, is a seriously bugged combination.  They might not crack the mainstream market, but heads who appreciate the real talent will have to give it up.

Heck, let me just throw up that Youtube vid real quick.  They actually have a bunch of good videos, so go ahead and dig around their channel after this; but this is the one that led me to them earlier in the week:

And while I was scoring Lone Sharks, I also picked up their first album*, Beats for Brothels vol. 1.  Like its title suggests, it's essentially an instrumental album, with the only words being a handful of well-chosen vocal samples over the beats.  It actually takes me back to my old days listening to Dynamix II tapes (Holy cow! Was this my first Dynamix II reference on this blog?  Yee-ha!  And it only took me four years!  hehe).  Some of the tracks are pretty dope, and others are great!  "Chants" is a killer, at times reminding me of Mr. Green's "Children Sing" but without getting too similar that it feels derivative.

And it's not strictly an instrumental endeavor, which is great if you're like me and are quickly bored with hip-hop instrumental releases.  The album rounds out with two fully-fleshed out songs with vocals and all, "Digging" and "Dopplegang Affiliation."  This album's a great collection of instrumental production that aficionados with an ear for hot beats and samples will definitely want to check for.  But honestly, I pretty much just bought it for these two songs... and I was not disappointed.  By the way, the instrumental versions of both of these songs are included here, too.

My only complaint is probably one most of their fans will share, considering who their target audience must surely consist largely of diggers and purists - no vinyl.  Both their albums are CD only, though you have to expect that from up and coming artists who're just breaking and putting out their music themselves.  But, maybe if they're reading this, I could tempt them on the idea of a limited run EP of their best six or so tracks?  Because, as you've probably noticed, I love all kinds of hip-hop... but this is really the kind of gritty, sample-driven stuff you want to have on vinyl.  I love my Madball & Uzi albums; but honestly, the CDs are enough for me.  But this stuff would sound heavy on wax.

In the meantime, though, I urge you all to check them out online and support their new CD release.

*I say "first," but they do have a pair of previous, mp3-only releases that you can download for free from their website, (that's where you can order their albums from, too), and another mp3-only instrumental compilation called Rhyme Over Beats, which you can still download if you google around a bit.


  1. I got into these dudes recently too (through unkut), and I have to say I'm loving what I've heard. Interestingly enough, i contacted them when i purchased the Beats For Brothels CD to find out if i could get hold of a physical cd copy of the 2012: The New Beginning album, and they said they may well be pressing up some more copies in the near future. I know it's not vinyl, but it's better than an mp3!

  2. I copped the CD for "2012 : The New Beginning" back in 2010, directly from the group. They even signed it for me. Didn't know they would re-release it, it's worth buying no doubt.

  3. I think the vinyl for Lone Sharks is coming.... Shits mad expensive to have made nowadays, like, there isn't even profit in it type-expensive. Any indie artist like this who actually has vinyl pressed up is usually doing it strictly out of love.