Expanding the Backpack, 3/19/11
Oh helllllll yes. New free album from Existereo? Count me IN! Those unfamiliar with this LA style fiend's work now have a chance to be properly introduced while long time fans like me will rejoice over the new material. Existereo is one of the core members of the legendary Shape Shifters crew, a highly renowned LA collective that's been raising brows since some of the first seeds of Project Blowed were planted. In my opinion, Exist (or Stereo 13 as he seems to be going by here) is one of the most talented and underrated members of the group, with a penchant for stealing the show on massive LA posse cuts and the strongest live stage presence of any of the Shifters. His discography is also a very solid body of work, too often overlooked by underground hip hop heads, with no less than three excellent full length albums under his belt. "Retrospect" seems to be a collection of unreleased tracks or tracks that Existereo has guested on on other people's albums ("Daydream" is from Deeskee's "Audiobiograffiti," "Money in the Bank" is from Factor's "13 Stories," "Valiant" is from 2Mex's Look Daggers project with Ikey Owens of the Mars Volta, etc.), but the way they stream into each other and form a complete body of work really make this album stand out as another strong entry in the Stereo 13 catalog. Most of these songs I've never heard, and they impress big time... Some stand-outs include the Barfly collaborations "You're Fucked" and "Ride Till the Wheels Fall Off," which I assume are from their unreleased Candy's .22 full length, and "Gimmicky" where Exist closes his verse with some ridiculous styling. There's ridiculous styling all over this thing though, plus crazy quality. The only misstep is "Tandem Cannons," where the rough mix of the recording mars an otherwise great reinterpretation of a Mike Gao beat from Robust's "El Foto Grande" album. Still, this thing is great great great, better than a bunch of things you have to pay for. It's offered to you by Existereo, free of charge:
Download Stereo 13 "Retrospect" Here
PS: if anyone has the production credits for this album, I would love if you could share them. Thanks!
[Edit 8/13/11 - art and download link re-upped. Check this one out for sure!]