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Malista (MP070)

by Swordplay

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    Includes unlimited streaming of Malista (MP070) via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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Eucalyptus 02:17
Lemon 02:51
Jerome 03:21
Yow for Now 04:58
Mechanical 04:48
Erasure 03:20


Isaac Ramsey’s career in hip hop began in Richmond, VA, in 2005 with the release of the first Swordplay album, The Tilt EP. Nearly 15 years and a coast change later, he is re-emerging from the Bay Area with fresh offerings for 2019, including this re-issue of his acoustic folk-rap album, Malista.

Wedged between two better-known full-length albums, Malista remained a true tertium quid for the last decade, originally distributed in handmade CDR jackets for pocket money during Swordplay’s 2009 European tour with Riddlore?, Zoën, and MC Homeless. But this almost-forgotten album is the one that explains Swordplay’s evolution from left-of-center emcee to multi-instrumentalist. Constructed around a classical guitar, its tones oscillate between somnambulistic and concussive. If parts sound like they were written on a mountaintop but refined in a toolshed, they were. The lyrics tell personal stories of foreign travel, family farms, record label breakups, and suicided mentors. Erasure—the only new song on the album—stays congruous with the rest, capping off the album with a stripped-down and gut-wrenching guitar ballad that addresses the pains of addiction.

The re-issue features new artwork by French artist Bill van Cutten, as well as a new mix and a master by C$ Burns tailored just for cassette, keeping the tape warm and humming from beginning to end.


released April 26, 2019


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