Music Musings

Listen. Play. Write. Muse.

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Loaded this adorablely green, sofa-bed into the car (it took four people!) and the guy who agreed to buy reneged! Available for sale immediately for any offer. 😊Message or text 8083491011.

Loaded this adorablely green, sofa-bed into the car (it took four people!) and the guy who agreed to buy reneged! Available for sale immediately for any offer. 😊Message or text 8083491011.

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Fuel to clean out the apartment. Guess the amp or the drink and you get a hug from Mano Kane next time we see you!!!@manokane @jimjames808 #manokanecuisine

Fuel to clean out the apartment. Guess the amp or the drink and you get a hug from Mano Kane next time we see you!!!@manokane @jimjames808 #manokanecuisine

Filed under manokanecuisine

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The Akira Project by Akira

Released on Friday the 13th, 2013, , 2013, this 13-track collaborative album is the result of a diverse group of musicians putting in long, late hours and an immense amount of hard work over the course of six months.

“It’s a bit of a relief to finally be done,” says rapper Illis It. Understandably so, since his voice is featured on every track backed by numerous artists, including Navid Najafi of The Illnomadics, Delayed Resistance, Mano Kane, Any Given Chance, Sing the Body, and The Kailua Bay Buddies.

The result is a kaleidoscope of unique and haunting songs that span a wide range of styles. Though the album might be classified as hip-hop, it includes the sounds of rap, reggae, punk, rock, funk and even folk music. “I think it shows how accepting Hawaii can be to all genres. I hate genres. It’s all music,” says producer Brandon Apeles. Don’t let the versatility of sound lead you to believe this album is a hot mess of random songs though! The overall vibe of the album remains rooted in hip-hop, maintained by the urgency and power of Illis It’s voice. In his opinion, the sound is, “honest and raw”.

The concept of the project emerged gradually. Apeles and Illis It have been collaborating at live gigs ever since they first met at a Navid Najafi and The Illnomadics show. Illis It credits this show as his first experience performing with a live band. “It’s the energy that a full band brings when they play that makes it enjoyable. And each individual in that band has their own energy I can vibe on.”

From that came the defining texture of the album: live instrumentation. Only the fourth track entitled “Crystal Goddess” utilizes electronic drums, but nevertheless remains consistent in theory, exhibiting a very real sound brought out by the accompanying cello and Illis It’s unflinching howl.

The album title, however, was derived from a slightly less organic process. I was surprised to learn that due to a red-tape label agreement issue, using Illis It’s name was out of the question. Knowing that he was a huge Eminem fan, Brandon Apeles suggested taking a note from the Marshall Mathers LP by naming the album after Illis It’s given name. They settled on “Akira”, which is his middle name given to him by his grandmother. The “Akira Project” suits the collaborative well. It is familial, and yet unsettling (could it be a reference to the film Akira and its post-apocalyptic strain?)

Digital copies of the Akira Project are available for preview and purchase on iTunes (click here: http://itun.es/us/4luLU). The official CD release party won’t be for another few months; be sure not to miss it! Between now and then, you can hear Illis It performing with Super Groupers at Crossroads at Hawaiian Brian’s on Friday, December 20th at 8:00 p.m., and then again on Friday, December 27th, at The Dragon Upstairs in Chinatown at 10:30 p.m.