Hear The Track HereLike most internet veterans, I've seen my share of comings and goings. You all know the scenario; an artist you've known and followed for some time takes it upon themselves to either voluntarily or otherwise give up what they are doing musically. A great many of them find their way back into it somehow, but also a lot of them don't and are never seen again. For me, one of the saddest events of late has been the announcement that the UK's Stain(ed) Art is giving up on what he does. Now this is a real shame because, for my money, Stain was a bright hope for the state of UK hiphop and rap and to lose an artist this good is a tragedy. Secretly I'm hoping that Stain is going to be one of those who goes away for a while, recharges and comes back stronger but just in case, Era will certainly show us what we will be missing.
This is pretty much a Greatest Hits collection from Dancing With Death (October 2005) through to No Mans Land (Rude Corps Remix) (September 2009), Era is a fine example of why this musician has seen such attention. Tell ya what, I'll make it real easy for you. Take a listen to Wide Awake At Sundown and Little Miss Star (tracks one and two) and if that doesn't raise your tail then you should probably give it up right there. If however, as is usually the case with Stain, it merely whets your appetite for this extremely literate beat poet then you have yet another 16 tracks to indulge yourself. Yep, a FREE album of 18 tracks and over an hours playing time, what more could you ask for?
Having convinced you (well, you are still reading aren't you?), you can marvel at the real standout tracks of this album. Tracks that made Stain's rep in the first place; the awesome Cradle To The Grave, Walls Divide Us, Broken Glass, For Your Own Safety and - of course - Carmen Finestra. Lots of Must Haves and Highly Recommended all mixed together on this surprisingly well paced selection of the past five years of Stain(ed) Art and his various collaborations. The Forcefield Kids get a look in here, as well as Grid Movement and Through Crosshair Eyes and for someone knowledgeable about this artist this is obviously a must have collection and - like me - you will have lots of it already. Welp, take a listen to each of these tracks first because I'm not all that sure what has been retouched.
MUST HAVE UK hiphop and a slice of Soundclick history.