Remember Simple Success' Smash and Dash EP?
Houston's history is dotted with albums that, fairly or not, have been swept aside. We'll examine them here. Have an album that you think nobody knows about but should? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Simple Success opens up for Mac Miller tonight at Warehouse Live. They play from 9 to 9:20 p.m. Purchase a ticket, stand there while they perform, then apologize to the people standing near you for getting brain fragments all over them after your head inevitably explodes. Hyperbole, son.
Photos by Sarah Levit
Smash and Dash EP (Self-released, 2011)
Simple Success is a DJ/drummer remix and production duo. In short, they rock tits. In long, they mash together bits and pieces of music from various genres until it forms a very distinct, very appealing version of what's been termed "conceptual hip-hop."
Smash and Dash is their first proper project; they're calling it an EP, but at 12 songs long it's a lot closer to being a full on album. Minus a mechanical first three or so minutes, it is nearly flawless in its grab-bag randonmess and a shoo-in to end up among the Best Houston Rap Releases of 2011. It's smart and creative and daring and, at times, rubs up against being exquisite.
Best Song on the Album: Ostensibly, any song that employs the title "Cuz I'm Dope" is destined for mediocrity; it's like getting a Chinese symbol tattoo or asking Plies to guest feature on a track. But the brooding, ancestral production here grab hands with rapper Lux's innate crispness and skips out ahead of everything else on the EP.
Most Unexpected Sample on the Album: It's nearly imperceptible, but if you squint, squint, squint, you can catch the leftovers of a Feist sample (it's been chopped and distorted) at the beginning of album closer "Lows." You're welcome to try and intellectualize the meaning behind its inclusion on the track and how it relates to Mic Skills, the rapper who guest features on it.
Your thesis statement might be something about artistry and integrity and maybe even reference Poland and Broken Social Scene, but you'd be wrong. Says Kyle Vento: "I had it chopped already and saved in a sample bank and stumbled across it later when I was composing 'Lows' and it worked out really nicely with the song." Sometimes life just isn't very dramatic, we suppose.