Serengeti & Polyphonic

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Patato & Totico, Patato & Totico

This is about as funky and beautiful as you can get; the masters Patato on congas, Cachao on bass, Totico's vocals soaring above. Deep Afro-Cuban rumba done with great melodic sense. It's minimal and yet so complex – these rhythms give me spine tingles. —Polyphonic

Terry Riley, A Rainbow in Curved Air
Terry Riley is a bad ass guru. Released in 1967, this is a cornerstone of minimal composition and electronic music that to me is the sound of freedom and future. The synths move in rhythmic patterns and shifting timbres creating glorious arches of sound. —Polyphonic

Digable Planets, Blowout Comb

When I bought this record in 1994 I thought my stereo was broken. Distant echoey vocals, dubbed out production… I was hypnotized. This was the subtle, shadowy, abstract rap music I wanted to hear. Spaced-out ambitious hip-hop defiantly not watered down for the kids. —Polyphonic

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

I transfered schools in the middle of the third grade. This was extremely akward. Music class was one of the last of the day, the transfer was not working out well. Teacher puts this album on for the class to listen to, everyone was goofing around, I fell in love with this musical. —Serengeti

Nas, Illmatic
Got put on late by my man LT in highschool. This album became the bible of me and my buddys in college. It was like, “Do you like Illmatic? If so we could be good pals, if not, not really.” Blunts, breaking down every line, tape after tape, wanting to live in Queensbridge, everything Nike. —Serengeti

MF Doom, Operation Doomsday
I was extremely depressed. Illmatic had worn off. Rap was all about the club. Visiting my pal Crucial he plays “Dead Bent”. “What is this?” I say. “This is Zev Love X from KMD” he said. I almost fainted. KMD was my favorite in junior high, now Doom was back. It was like, “Do you like DOOM? If so we could be buddies, if not, not so much.” —Serengeti