Thursday, August 21, 2008 | Posted in ,

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Listen to track 1, "Unbelievable Grams Of Pure" (siiick instrumental)

Over the past few years, Midwestern hip hop has been making a mark on the mainstream with groups and artists like Common, Kanye West, and Atmosphere. Des Moines based Maxilla Blue, a collaboration between rapper Asphate Woodhavet, producer Aeon Grey, and DJ TouchNice have eagerly grabbed the baton to represent the Midwest.

Maxilla’s foundation is based on soulful and organic arrangements by Aeon Grey. The soul and funk influences are heard immediately, with the opening two tracks “The Unbelievable Grams of Pure”, and “EasyFlowGoodFlowBadFlowInTheWater.” The group focuses heavily on the groove of the track rather than overdone lyrical acrobatics. Aeon Grey conjures the Wu Tang Clan’s mastery of atmospheric and uneasy melodies, while Asphate’s tackles political issues in his own abstract way on “M.A.S.H.”

Aeon also integrates instrumental interludes like the funky breaks of “Slow Footwork.” Maxilla makes it clear throughout the album that no one takes center stage, as Aeon and Asphate create a balanced attack with TouchNice providing some choice cuts and scratches along the way.

You may not hear Maxilla Blue on Top 40 radio anytime soon, but they’ve created something that stays true to the Midwestern ethos, while acknowledging classic funk and soul music from decades ago. Give some props to a local group that’s working hard to put Des Moines on the map. While many may not think of Des Moines as a hip hop epicenter, do yourself a favor and let Maxilla Blue surprise you.

01. Unbelievable Grams Of Pure
02. EasyFlowGoodFlowBadFlowIntheWater
03. M.A.S.H.
04. Hope's Potency
05. Subluxation
06. Slow Footwork
07. Hoodies
08. Definition
09. Strain Game
10. Bamboo
11. Bomber Jacket
12. Howboys
13. The Art Of Selection
14. The Negatives
15. Who Cuz
16. No Added Preservatives