Cakedog (aka Ahnnu) – ‘Menace In The Phantom’ Cassette [Leaving Records]

One of two releases here that we’ve picked up from Leaving Records this week that we’ve got to shout about. Matthew David’s label continues to kill it, single-handedly racking up our tape collection at a hefty rate with nothing but heat.

Cakedog is a new release alias of Ahnnu; the LA based beatmaker responsible for World Music on Leaving and Battered Sphynx on NNA Tapes, two standout releases from 2013, both on cassette only. Ahnnu showed on us these that he’s got a unique ear for sound, enhancing the hell out of only what’s needed on his tracks, lacing his work with lo-fi minimal synths and slow moving organic drums. Giving you just enough in his tracks, and never overplaying them or leaving you wanting more out of it is full-credit to his musical talent.

As Cakedog, he goes completely the other way. Menace In The Phantom sits alongside Da Mind Of Traxman and DJ Diamond’s Flight Muzik as a crossover masterpiece from the scenes and sounds of juke and footwork. Layer upon layer of uptempo frantic kicks and snares stand-out from the pack due to the extra-elements he’s added in, most predominantly the use of vocals as an instrument instead of a pull-up point, casting it in hip-hop influences to give the genre something fresh.

While short-samples lifted from golden-era and g-rap one liners have long been the staple diet of footwork, Menace… offers a new form of swagger in it’s structuring. The intense repetition keeps it firmly in the genre, but the way it changes direction and forms complete songs with every track being it’s own personality is something a lot of cats struggle with. This is what The Outsider would’ve sounded like if DJ Shadow had based it on the Chicago scene instead of The Bay Area.

Currently available physically as a cassette only, it’s fourteen tracks across forty minutes, and we’re definitely hoping this gets a wax release. Menace… is one of those releases that you would happily build a whole set around.

Light press release below, just underneath ‘Slam Dunkin’, one of my favourite joints from the album. Limited to 300 cassettes, you can pick it up from the Stones Throw store here:

via  Leaving Records
Cakedog is Leland Jackson aka Ahnnu. Leaving Records writes, “Inspired by the Battle Groundz in Chicago, Menace in the Phantom is an authentic footwork tape of 14 cypher trax. RIP DJ RASHAD.”