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Atmosphere – Seven’s Travels

Atmosphere - Seven's Travels

After what I guess to be many conference calls, lunches, dinners, appearances at shows, flowing Krystal and Scotch, the trio in Atmosphere – Slug (songwriter/MC), Ant (producer), and DJ Mr. Dibbs – and Rhymesayers Entertainment passed on the major label offers and instead stayed true to their D.I.Y. spirit, signing with independent punk label Epitaph. This comes as no surprise. Instead of relying on big budget MTV videos, they’ve built a massive fan base, enough to fill the Fillmore, through tenacious touring schedules and a steady release of music over the years that just keeps getting better and better.

Atmosphere’s Seven’s Travels takes their sound and career onto the next continent, with clear evidence that they’ve become worldly in just the last few years. This Epitaph debut shines with a more sophisticated degree of musical depth and lyrical creativity of other musical peers such as DJ Shadow or Peanut Butter Wolf, but with an edge and a bite.

When I talked to Sean last year as the group made their way through the dusty highways of the Midwest during their tour, he was humble and almost self deprecating. But as his musical hero Slug when he’s the songwriter, MC on the stage and in the studio, he’s such the ladies man. At the same time, he still has the satirical slight of tongue, that combination of quick wit and introspective honesty.

“National Disgrace” starts with a sarcastic dedication, “Peace to Rick James, Anna Nicole Smith, Bill Clinton, Motley Crue and anyone else who has ever utilized their 15 minutes of fame to realize their true dreams of being an absolute jerk-off just to keep the masses entertained”. It’s the story of the road and living large in the midst of pre and post show escapades, throwing on the rock and roll suit of liquor and women, mentioning a backstage Ogden bathroom affair with three lovely Denver ladies…along with the proverbial hurling and brown/black outs. That had to have happened at his show last year…

Tributes to our mountain city continues on “Denvemolorado”, which is about an airport liaison Slug had while with a lady (using that term loosely) and enduring a layover in Denver, taking time to reflect in the dead air of waiting for his flight time to arrive. After hearing of how Michael Stipe was constantly being hit on in the smoking section of the Denver airport during every layover he had going from Atlanta to Vancouver, I’m wondering if that’s replaced the book stores and grocery stores as the hip place to hook up.

Ant, the maker of the rhythms, beats and breaks, has delivered a picnic full of juicy funk, the kind that would do good for a slow booty grind all the way to a full-bore shakin’ groove thing party. Baby, this is a dance album. There is old school bass licks complete with a scratchy 45s hiss, and new school silly dancing fool with a lampshade and bottle of JD.

Seven’s Travels is good times while singing and talking ‘bout bad times, bad luck, love gone bad; 15 minutes of fame and a life of heartache; love for one’s hometown and disgust with one self and the posers and numbnuts around us. It’s smart, it’s silly; it’s about looking at life through Jaeger colored glasses and in the stark reality of sobriety. It’s about love and life…and all it’s travels. It’s about listening to the album over and over, and hearing in a new story each time.

If you want to hear before you buy, go to , where you can listen to the entire streamed album and download two MP3s, “Trying To Find A Balance” and “Cats Van Bags”.


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