Monday, October 04, 2004

The Busy Signals

Howard Hamilton III is The Busy Signals. Back in 2000 he released his debut album Baby's First Beats on Chicago's Sugar Free Records. I heard it on the listening station at my fave record store, and just with a quick skip through I knew I was going to like it. Over all manner of crusty hip hop loops he threw a mish mash of easy listening samples, his almost-spoken vocals, and lot's of lo-fi instrumentation - the album was "recorded and mixed at home". The end result is some very fun, lush pop music, with a big debt to '60s pop, and a little bit of a nod towards Beck and Sukpatch. He went on to release another LP - 2001's Pretend Hits, which features several collaborations with Robert Schneider from The Apples In Stereo as well as guest vocals by fellow Minnesotan Har Mar Superstar, and an EP of remixes and b-sides called Pure Energy. The production values got a bit slicker on the later records, and they never quite hit the spot for me the way the debut did. He hasn't put anything out in the last few years, so I don't know if he's still recording. Anyway, enjoy a few tracks from Baby's First Beats...

Headphone World
88's And 73's
Constantly Awesome


Crystal_E said...

"You look so cute with the cans on!"

Thanks for posting this - it's a fun song, and it's fun to remember it.

Michael said...

I always loved that line too! :-)

ilikekola said...

Does anyone know where I can get a hold of this album?