Imperial releases “Layers” LP –

Layers is the long overdue instrumental album from Imperial. It’s a good one… read on + stream.

It has been a very colorful few years for Imperial on both a personal and professional level. His family has grown with the birth of his daughter and he has studiously enhanced his production repertoire tenfold. Like many of the legendary producers that have come before him, Imperial does his best work with his hands. No words are needed — the combination of sound and rhythm are his chosen mode of address.

The aptly titled Layers serves as both Imperial’s solo debut and an instrumental album in one. From the very beginning, the listener is gently ushered into a euphonious realm filled with a multitude of exuberant melodies, reflective sentiment and soothing vibrations. Throughout the album’s thirteen songs, Imperial’s knack for making that good ol’ boom-bap sound classic and current is on full display. Tracks like Raise It Up and Transit will surely make heads nod and put some extra pep in many a step. On the other hand, Imperial inquisitively discovers some fresh grooves and daringly goes in new directions. Even when things go left, it still feels so right. The lead single, Hot Sauce bobs and weaves with a rousing aplomb. There is way more juice in the squeeze and the rhythm suddenly changes a few times just to make sure you are paying attention. Yellow Yachts is a surprising but welcome mesh of Euro Pop and Afro-Bashment that nobody on this side of the river was expecting. The vibrant theme is a sonic boom of optimism, fervor and elation.

It is often said that there are ‘levels to this’, but Imperial’s new output proves that there are ‘layers to this’ as well. Prepare to embed yourself in a meticulous patchwork of woven emotions showcasing the beautiful nuances of the human experience.

Layers is out now via Illect Recordings.

Audio: Layers

Originally from Imperial releases “Layers” LP –

Imperial & K.I.N.E.T.I.K. “Crate Diggers” album stream

Crate Diggers is a new release from our favorite UK hip-hop duo. Stream the full LP below and let us know what you think.

Following the success of their critically acclaimed debut album, Hip Hop’s most unlikely tag team, Imperial and K.I.N.E.T.I.K., are back with a brand new album, vibe and label.

Since forming in 2013, the Cambridge/London-based duo have racked up three projects, multiple singles and won over crowds from London to Secret Garden Party.

As the first-ever release on EMI’s new The Real Fifth imprint, Crate Diggers finds the duo freaking the funk in a whole new way. After being assured that they’d face no legal action, the boys were given full access to the KPM music library with permission to sample anything they want. Some of your favorite artists have paid top money to use these same sounds – Jay-Z, Drake and Gorillaz – are just a few that spring to mind. Lawyers can sit this one out though because all samples are cleared! Biz Markie got sued so they could get paid.

The formula has definitely been updated this time around. Whilst staying fully in tune with their old school roots, they keep it real in the feel but bang up to date. They’ve added more boundless bridges, hilarious hooks, booming breakdowns, petrifying peaks, voluminous valleys, happy highs, lofty lows and all the extra sauce that comes in between. Think of a roller coaster coming through your speaker. But their mamas ain’t raised no fools and they still manage to drop a life lesson or two among all of the frenetic fluff.

Guest appearances include frequent collaborators Nate Rich and James Gardin as well as new co-conspirators namely Mr. J. Medeiros of AllttA, UK Hip Hop legend Seanie T and New York’s favorite foreign import emcee, Jamieson.

Crate Diggers was released on The Real Fifth / EMI.

Audio: Crate Diggers

Originally from Imperial & K.I.N.E.T.I.K. “Crate Diggers” album stream

The Allergies & Andy Cooper drop Fade Away

The Allergies & Andy Cooper make funky music. Fade Away is another exceptional collaboration released on UK based Jalapeno Records.

Have a listen and read on for more on this 7″ vinyl single release (it’s on digital outlets too).

Audio: Fade Away

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The only kind of “Allergies” people actually want are back with another corking new single – Dance Now! Yes the Bristol-based producer/DJ team have excelled themselves once again, with two brand spanking new tracks taken from their equally funktastic forthcoming third LP, Steal The Show.

The prolific duo has established themselves at the top table of funk, soul and hip-hop, with their spicy fusion of breaks. Taking classic sounds and reshaping them for the modern dance-floor is what they do, and nobody does it better…

Testament to this claim is the fact that to date these chaps have not one, but two BBC 6Music Album of the Day awards, support from the likes of Mixmag, The Observer, IDJ, We Plug Good Music, and a barrage of radio champions behind them, as well as multiple appearances across the BBC on 6Music and Radio 2 and 4. 

Back to the single – On one side is a super-sweet slice of sista funk that packs the sass to shake your a–. Honey Larochelle just wants to dance now and that’s what she’s gonna do with The Allergies providing the jams! Throw in some killer sax licks from brass man extraordinaire, Mr Woodnote, and it’s almost impossible not to get down to this stylish selection of delectable grooves.

These guys are becoming well known for their sought-after double-header 45 records which have a knack of quickly becoming collector’s items, and it’s easy to see why when they pack out their single releases with quality cuts like Fade Away (feat. Andy Cooper).

It’s another classic fast rap attack from the Long Beach-based MC of Ugly Duckling fame, as he spits rhymes over the 60’s inspired samples and fat beats. So, something here for both the dancers and the hip hop heads in one neat little package – And if you like the sound of that, then hold on to your hats, because there’s a whole album of new Allergies tracks coming to a store near you soon…

Stay tuned via

Originally from The Allergies & Andy Cooper drop Fade Away

Imperial drops a chillhop gem, Transit

Imperial is on a roll… Transit is yet another perfect song for your summer playlist. It’s easy to click repeat and get lost in this track. Have a listen and let us know what you think of it.

He shares, “This is the final single from my debut instrumental album, Layers. It’s a chilled hip-hop head nodder perfect for an evening under the stars letting your mind take you on a journey to far off lands.

Transit is out now and available to stream & download. Layers is set for an August 3rd release via Illect Recordings.

Download: iTunes // Amazon // Bandcamp // Google Play
Stream: Apple Music // Soundcloud // Spotify

Audio: Transit

Originally from Imperial drops a chillhop gem, Transit

PREMIERE: Imperial “Yellow Yachts” –

Ahead of the midnight release of Yellow Yachts by Imperial, we’re premiering the track for you. It’s the second single from the Layers album dropping on Illect Recordings.

Imperial shares “Yellow Yachts is a bit of a turn left for me. The sun was shining, I was feeling good and this is what happened. I’ve always had a bit of a guilty pleasure for more uptempo almost pop driven beats and it all just came out. There is more boom bap on the way, but this is just a little pause to let people into my influences.

Audio: Yellow Yachts

Stream the first single Hot Sauce.

Let us know what you think of the new singles from Imperial.

Originally from PREMIERE: Imperial “Yellow Yachts” –

Imperial’s Hot Sauce is a Jazzy Hip-Hop gem

Hot Sauce is the lead single from Imperial’s forthcoming Layers LP releasing on Illect Recordings. This one is going into heavy rotation on several of our playlists.

Imperial shares, “I’ve always loved the sound of live hip hop, whether it’s artists who perform with a live band for their show or record studio albums with a band. Hot Sauce takes inspiration from that live hip hop sound and couples it with jazz infused rhythms. The sun is shining, the beat is chilled, grab a cold beverage and enjoy.

Download: iTunes // Amazon // Bandcamp // Google Play
Stream: Apple Music // Soundcloud // Spotify

Audio: Hot Sauce

Originally from Imperial’s Hot Sauce is a Jazzy Hip-Hop gem

Video: Mr Ekow “Heart of the Matter”

Heart of the Matter is a new single and visual from UK rapper Mr Ekow. If you’re into Hawk House, Shad, Oddisee, Ozay Moore, Sivion, Sareem Poems… you’ll dig this one.

South London rapper Mr Ekow delivers a new soulful cut, pondering love in the 21st century: Heart of the Matter. If 500 days of summer was a hip hop song, this is what it would sound like. With a video shot on the rooftops of his hometown Croydon, Ekow shares an alternative valentines day message, in which arrows from “flying babes” aren’t to be relied on. Instead he gets real about his own struggle to find love, while attempting to redefine it.

Coming off the back of his 2017 release, the Between Haircuts EP, Mr Ekow continues to fly the flag for down-to-earth Hip Hop that explores life for all it is; the highs, the lows and everything in-between. The Croydon rapper shares some of his thoughts on making the song:

“It’s funny, it turned out to be way more personal than I originally intended. It’s crazy reaching your mid-twenties and seeing people around you start to settle down and get married etc. There’s something really powerful about two people saying, “I want to do this life with you”… and when you haven’t experienced that yourself it can leave you scratching your head. Add to that, the barrage of love stories we’re fed through the media and it feels like something isn’t quite adding up. This song was a chance for me to explore what’s gone wrong along the equation and figure out whether our current definition of love has a part to play.”

Heart of the Matter showcases production from friend and regular Ekow collaborator, Nathan Prospect. The producer, who has been making growing noise in the London beat scene as a member of the LAB Collective, provides a smooth and jazzy foundation that incites the perfect head nod. Featured on the track is Mr Ekow’s brother, Myles the Rhetorical, who lays down some soulful melodies to sing along to.

Video: Heart of the Matter

Originally from Video: Mr Ekow “Heart of the Matter”

Imperial “Know the Call (ft. Sareem Poems & Sojourn)”

Illect Recordings starts off their 2018 release schedule with an absolute banger, Know the Call. We’re excited to offer this single as a premiere!

Know the Call is produced by Imperial and features bars from Sareem Poems and Sojourn.

Crusty drums and classic raps, what more do you need? Sareem Poems and Sojourn took this beat right back to Sedgwick Avenue and knocked it out the park. It was amazing to work with the 2 veteran emcees as they brought the real rawness and added the sauce over the beat.

This single drops Friday January 12th via Illect Recordings.

Audio: Know the Call

Connect with Imperial: Facebook // Spotify // Twitter
Connect with Sareem Poems: Instagram // Spotify // Twitter
Connect with Sojourn: Instagram // Spotify // Twitter
Connect with Illect Recordings: Facebook // Instagram // Soundcloud // Spotify // Twitter //

Download: iTunes // Amazon // Bandcamp // Google Play
Stream: Apple Music // Soundcloud // Spotify

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Founded Sphere of Hip-Hop in 1997.

Originally from Imperial “Know the Call (ft. Sareem Poems & Sojourn)”