Relic (aka The Rel McCoy) is one of the unsung heros of Canadian hip-hop. Just under the radar, he fits articulate phrases into the structure of beats like a true champ, whether the beats be snappy and sharp or low-key and downtempo.
One of Relic’s notable themes is calling out the presumptuous tendency of other rappers to claim the undeserved title of being the next best thing, but thankfully he has the skill to back up his sincerity.
His latest EP hit shelves in October, get it below.
Here’s a fellow named Oliver Clements, from Toronto. His band plays a mournful, hip-hop and indie rock inspired jazz, with a bit of big-band swing here and there. It’s hard to pin down, rather outside the norms of typical jazz culture (which you could also say about Dixie’s Death Pool, Badbadnotgood, Matana Roberts, Falcon Punch, Colin Stetson, etc). At times there is great internal conflict, where the individual band players waver back and forth between improvising in unison and arguing about which direction to stray towards. They do it seamlessly, with each member contributing to a larger narrative with their individual parts- the true mark of a well made jazz band.
I’ve been saying it for about 3 years now, indie jazz culture (jazz that releases on vinyl and cassettes, plays scene venues opening for garage acts, and tours in 15 passenger vans) really needs to become a thing.