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Hello and Goodbye, Sagar Bumsweat: Philly basement show rapper closes up shop with Greater Fool Radio

Sagar Bumsweat | photo courtesy of the artist
Sagar Bumsweat | photo courtesy of the artist

Sagar Vasishtha’s weird and wonderful digital rap tapes first landed on our radar just over a year ago, in a late-2017 edition of the dormant Items Tagged Philadelphia project. Following up on the earlier release PROPERMEDITATION, Vasishtha’s home-recorded hip-hop project Bumsweat released an instrumental EP called BOOGSLOOPS1000, purporting that it was inspired by a legendary series of underground beat tapes that inspired him as a budding producer. Taking in by the mystique and taking him at his word for such, I praised the project’s “totally transportive Theviery Corporation / Faithless / Massive Attack vibrations” while acknowledging the obscure origins of its influence. Turns out the Boog’s Loops tapes were more obscure than I realized: as I learned in this interview, they were Vasishtha’s own projects, released as a teenager learning to navigate the world of DIY production. He’s been at this game for longer than we realized.

So what exactly brings us to this interview? For one thing, Sagar Bumsweat (as the project has gone for its last couple releases) has a new collection of music out today called Greater Fool Radio. It’s another set of dream-like synthesizer tapestries, fierce beats, and matter-of-fact flow that wouldn’t sound out of place alongside Anticon-era Why? or Stones Throw Records luminary Peanut Butter Wolf. But enough with the reference points; the other reason we’re talking to Vasishtha is because after two years and change, he’s closing the book on Sagar Bumsweat as he prepares to leave Philadelphia. Continue reading →

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Sagar Bumsweat writes meditative raps on PROPERMEDITATION II

Sagar Bumsweat | via bumsweat.bandcamp.com

PROPERMEDITATION II is the second instillation is rapper/producer Sagar Bumsweat‘s PROPERMEDITATION series, the follow up to October 2017’s initial project. This project continues in the alternative rap realm Sagar casts throughout his previous work, building on preexisting themes both sonically and lyrically.

The multidisciplinary artist raps, produces, and mixes everything on PROPERMEDITATION II — impressive, considering that project mastermind Sagar Vasishtha also plays keys in Soft Idiot. Bandmate Mike Whalen of Soft Idiot contributes live guitar and bass parts throughout this tape. Other contributions to the album come in the form of features from rappers Black Costanza (from Shippensburg, PA) and Pink Navel (from Maine).

Lyrically, the tape includes reflections on youth, the transition to adulthood, and religious themes. Themes of youth come in all shapes and sizes on this project, from shredding on ripsticks on the second track to tape closer “6FACES, Ode to Cube,” a love letter to Nintendo’s GameCube. Continue reading →