Buk and DaWreck Credit: courtesy the artist

Over the past year or so I’ve noticed a handful of Chicago hip-hop veterans gravitating back to releasing music on physical media after long stints of focusing largely on digital platforms (whether free-download mixtape sites, or on major players such as Spotify and Apple). Perhaps they’re following the example of DJ and Black Pegasus label head Mark Davis. Since starting his company in 2010, he’s completely avoided digital releases, and he’d become known for reissuing obscure local rap recordings on vinyl well before this spring’s launch of a new 7-inch series Seven Sense; he kicked things off with a couple of previously unissued early Common recordings. For the most part, this new surge of physical releases has focused on archival material or reissues—such as the vinyl repressing of the long-out-of-print debut from Chicago rap group Tha Chamba, Makin Illa Noize, from Belgian label Taha. However, Scattered Bodies, aka west-side rap heroes Buk (of Psychodrama) and DaWreck (of Triple Darkness), dropped their recent self-titled debut in two formats they’ve described as “collectible editions.” They’re selling their run of 300 CDs and 30 cassettes for $35 a pop online; both versions come with trading cards and a poster (Reader contributor Steve Krakow did the artwork). I imagine that the limited supply has encouraged Chicago hip-hop evangelists to pony up (I sure did), but I do wish Scattered Bodies were available to more listeners. Limited releases can ensure that work receives attention from those who are most likely to appreciate it, rather than risk getting lost in the algorithmic abyss of Spotify (two singles are available through the streaming platform, but that’s just a taste of the album). But I imagine that somewhere out there are young rap fanatics with no sense of the history of Chicago’s west-side scene who’d nonetheless go bonkers over the interplay between Buk’s sturdy flow and DaWreck’s off-the-chain rapping on “Trumpets.” This show is a release party for Scattered Bodies’ debut, so you can hear these songs live for less than half of what the album costs—but I can’t promise you won’t want to turn right around and buy it.   v