Ascended Drifts

Ascended Drifts: A curated collection of rare underground hip hop tracks from specific American cities and states during the second Golden Era (approximately 1992-1998). Each box set features several compilations of thematically linked songs, refined from an initial listen of up to 1,000 others. The final product is a focused assemblage, illuminating a community that is at once bound geographically yet evident of complexities equal to and larger than the music produced therein.

I publish one set per year. If you crave more, I occasionally use this blog to post one-off tracks I find or outtakes from my collection.

PHILADELPHIA Ascended Drifts Philadelphia

Spooky tracks from Philadelphia hip hop artists, 1991-2008. This first installation deals with a feeling of dark magic. Not necessarily artists rapping about witches (though there is a track about Friday the 13th). Most of these beats are off, jangly, haunted. Ambiguous sirens or ghost wails? Charles Manson bells. Dark, echoing lyrics. Volume 1 is more aggressive; volume 2 is lighter.

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NEW JERSEY Ascended Drifts Philadelphia

Jazzy tracks from New Jersey, 1991-1999. Most artists hail from Newark, Trenton, and Jersey City, which were also jazz epicenters at various points throughout the 20th century. Horns and pianos dominate the beats with a pleasant smoothness that intersects with ideas of mortality and ego, giving each track some real murky muscle. It's big, and it's grey, and it's weird, and it's New Jersey.

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BALTIMORE Ascended Drifts Philadelphia

Love tracks from Baltimore, 1989-2001. Most know the city’s hip hop scene for the fast, frenzied Bmore Club, but these tracks are overwhelmingly emotive and slow. Classicism weaves through this set, swirling around in beats dappled with pianos and ennui. All of these joints have a future in a War and Peace soundtrack. In Volume 1 we are in love, in Volume 2 we are in battle, in Volume 3 we use both to make art.

Download 3 Volumes