Happy new year. And there ain’t a finer listen to welcome 2015.
Since last year I’ve been bumping 8 Miles to Moenart, the 2013 album of Detroit composer Tall Black Guy, whom, by his name, you can quite tell that he’s a… tall black guy.
…A tall black guy who is dope at making music.
TBG has been on the scene for a minute, gaining critical praise and respect for his impressive instrumentals and remixes. I remember coming across some of his EPs and singles shared on Tumblr many moons ago, when the Wildebeest was still emaciated, but I foolishly slept on just how good a producer he is until I stumbled onto this particular record.
8 Miles to Moenart is Tall Black Guy’s heartfelt ode to the city of his birth, Detroit, with soulful and smooth compositions dedicated to the Motor City. Several of the listens are bookended by sampled quotes from researchers and historians which delve into the history and mythos of Detroit, as an automobile mecca and a musical and cultural powerhouse…though at times it feels more like a eulogy of times long past than a celebration. The record is collected, mysterious, and very laid back, and this listen made it an instant darling for me.
“The Motor is Running” feels like a new beginning. Something coming from nearly nothing but rising to greatness. From the beatboxing and claps to the beginning, the track grows larger, more powerful and swift, completely enveloping you in how determined it is. It’s a rallying cry to a once-great city, a call to hip-hop creators, and for me a very fitting listen for a new year, one which I’m ready to explore and I’ve got some goals to reach for.
Let’s get going…the motor is running.