The globally minded music publication Resident Advisor released this convenient piece of history for those of you who need more schooling on the finer points of UK electronic music. From the rise of House's influence on the 90s to the emcee led ambush of UK Garage, this quick case study gives you just enough crib notes to get the gist of what you might have missed across the pond. Study up kiddos.
The residues of the war for most Southeast Asians communities in America continue to ripple across their lives from one generation to the next. For the Cambodian population residing in Long Beach, California finding a place to call "home" may be just as hard as finding a path to call their own. This special episode of America By The Numbers aired a few years ago, but the issues that it addresses still resonates strongly within the Khmer people scattered across the West Coast and beyond. Seeing my homie Seng So speak passionately about his work and his family during his segment helped to renew my internal fire, my personal pledge to my community and the work I still need to do that's ahead of me. Know history, know self.
When you get two giants like DJ Shadow and Nas together on a track you got the formula for something timeless for the speakers. "Systematic" is flavored with tons of old-school boom-bap, with a futuristic twist, that will have any urban purist in constant head noddin'. You can peep the official video below, and cop it soon off the Silicon Valley soundtrack on Mass Appeal Records.
Jazz is one of those unique spaces that continue to give to the masses, long after the deaths of the original progenitors, whether if they were immortalized or forgotten through the passages of time. Jazz has always been a important proponent in the advancement and progression of other music genres, most notably within the sounds of Hip Hop and Rock & Roll. Consider this rumination by Greg Tate into the deepening connection with Jazz's history and future in popular music.
Peep the piece here.
Illustration by Pablo Delcan.
I love seeing my friends spread their creativity on the global trail. My brother Go Yama is currently on a string of shows in Europe with his label mates on Singapore's Darker Than Wax. He was recently featured on Radar Radio in London, flexing a back-to-back set with DTW founder Funk Bastrd. I want folks to realize that my man Go Yama might be nice on the beats, but homie SHREDS on the guitar. Peep the podcast and vibe out one time.
These cats can do no wrong. Only if they do it on purpose, you know? Since dropping the Link Up & Suede EP and their follow up full-length Yes Lawd! things have catapulted well above the stratosphere for these connoisseurs of fly. This music video plays like several small vignettes strung together to tell an abridged version of the NxWorries narrative. The main track just gets you going on some street level hustler sh*t. Scared money don't make money. You damn right. Pick up their drops on Stones Throw Records.
Discovering music as a teenager has to be one of the greatest joys in the world. During this phase of youthful discovery you somehow get the idea that, swear-to-God, YOU found all this music by yourself, and you're the only one who knows about it. Nice one ego.
The difference between yesteryear and today is this one significant fact: most of the music, from the uber commercial to most obscure independent releases, is readily available to preview, snatch, and access from most of our digital devices. Talk about taking the adventure out of discovering gems (or buying up a lot of duds in my case). Much of my music knowledge came from my buds who were all self-proclaimed aficionados of sound. Or rather, they were DJs with a lot of time and money on their hands to buy up tons of vinyl.
But when I didn't have their expertise on hand, or someone to bounce off recommendations with (some of the employees at my old record store haunts scared me) I based my purchases on the best possible variable, off the cover design. I had an early love for great packaging and design from the old NES cartridges I played as a youth (boxes by Hudson Soft, Capcom, and Konami always pulled me in), naturally this crossed-over to my obsession with music. As my sound palette grew from Atmosphere to Aphex Twin, my appreciation for experiencing a complete package grew ever more steadily.
Most of the releases from Warp Records always won favor with me, from their futuristic designs to their artist roster, which often sounded like a science fair checklist that talent pool. Yet it was always the artwork and branding of Richard D. James that caught my eye. The unique "A" encapsulated in a circle, and the bizarre imagery that graced his albums (and music videos) always had a way of stopping me in my tracks, and pulling my gaze from whatever I was trying to focus on. Hypnotic. Haunting. So f*cking cool.
Vancouver's own Live Evil is a joint effort by Kutcorners & DJ Marvel, two DJs who have gained respect and notoriety through their many collective and individual honors as club DJs, turntablists, and producers. DJ City recently premiered this video of the duo showcasing a live performance of an original track they produced called "Bang That" (not the Disclosure track). As the art of DJing becomes more and more accessible to the masses, lets be reminded by this flick that skills and musicality will set you EONS above the rest.
Oddisee is one of the most versatile Hip Hop artists around. I always give it up to emcees who can produce and arrange their own music, and boy, his music slaps! The Berlin cultural outfit COLORS linked up with wordsmith and his band and let him have a go with his track "Like Really" in their pastel arena. The tightness of their routine, and the wordplay spoken on the mic commands us all to stop and listen. And he definitely gots some choice words to say to a select few. Talking about you, Cheeto. Support the dude and cop some of his albums, go to a show, or repost this video!
Hypothetically, when worlds tend to collide they promptly shift the paradigms of our cognitive understanding of what's possible, way out there, in the entirely of the universe. Technology has always been a bridge towards the advancements in social communication, industrial globalization, and in many thankful cases, human creativity. In this video we have some of the most respected producers and DJs in the game, Stro Elliot, Manwell, and 14kt, combine their talents and ingenuity to create this magnificent composition utilizing the latest performance tools by two giants of the industry, Serato and Ableton. Challenged to utilize only their own original music in this exercise, these three professionals create an auditory voyage that demostrates their prowess on the turntables and pads.
Anthony Valadez is a renaissance man to the core. Cultural documentarian and one hell of a DJ, Valadez has been holding down KCRW for a minute now and he's always keeping it interestingly eclectic with his sets. Looped is his latest pet-project for the station, filming his favorite artists and asking them a series of deep (and just plain fun) questions. Peep the latest episode with Stones Throw recording artist Gabriel Garzón-Montano.
This video got me all up in those feels. At 67 years young, dancer B-Boy Amano is proving to us that age might still be a set of numbers, but the love you have for expressing yourself never goes out of fashion. I wonder what called him out to his first cypher? I love the insightful nuggets of wisdom throughout this flick. Every word intentional and everything he speaks upon, honest and humble. Just try to tell me this doesn't move you into motion! Ganbatte Amano-san!
Nigerian author Chimamanda Adichie breaks down the importance of accessibility and the diversification of literature in modern societal hubs. When there is not enough quality content being pushed towards willing eager minds, what we get instead are ill-informed and miseducated individuals creating their own assumptions and prejudices. I believe in supporting quality literature and content and implementing creative solutions for pushing out the material to the creatively curious. We become a better community when we are constantly learning about one another.
I don't know what else I could say about this man and this set. COT DAMN. The Playlist Retreat captain is on a whole other level when it comes to this DJing game. A veteran of the industry, he's the complete package as far as skills and deep selection.
The globally renown Boiler Room just produced their first Philadelphia event, and it wouldn't have been much of a kick-off if they didn't invite one the city's favorite sons to come rock with them. And for the unknowing who still consider Mr. Townes just the sidekick of one Will Smith, just watch and learn.
I've enjoyed Great Big Story's mission to highlight cultural staples and movements from all around the world. Their content is well produced and has the right amount of information and length to keep you engaged and entertained until the final scene. This bitesize focus on the Chicago Footwork scene is perfect for those who have been long time enthusiasts, or to the unknowing.
Ever since I was hipped to the dance back in the early 2000s I had to dig into the rich back-history of this indigenous subculture and it's colorful assortment of people, moves, and sounds. Peep the video and dig even further into this Chicago street opus.
I miss the homeland so much. So seeing this video by Rory Allen gave me some comfort and inspiration that I might return someday soon. Also, it's pretty bad ass.
Every year these two gents release one of my favorite mixtapes to drop in our earholes (for free). Undeniably skillful and proper with the cuts, The Rub's Cosmo Baker and Canada's Skratch Bastid make their Songs We Listened To A Lot series a loving tribute to the tunes that have influenced them on and off the set.
What I enjoy most about these mixes is that they don't follow a format that's predictable. They throw in everything under the sun and the outcome is an aural treat to the senses. The richness of the tracks will have you nodding in excitement and keep you glued to their global keenness. Okay, enough words. Just peep game my people. And if you get a chance to see them live, do it!
We just lost another great musician to the passages of time. The often herald and celebrated producer/composer David Axelrod left this world to join the universal wellspring of talent housed above. From film scores to Hip-Hop, his influence has been paramount for the revitalization of certain genres and artists.
I was hipped in college by the likes of Dr. Dre and DJ Shadow on his importance to their careers and his music has never left me to this day. Check the tribute articles below and the album that started out my fascination with the maestro.
Read here: The Guardian, The Los Angeles Times, Rolling Stone
Full Crate just dropped this saucy mixtape for you lovebirds this Valentine's. From producing for singer/partner Mar and laying down the foundations for his highly successful party Rock The Boat, Full Crate plays up his ability to select and mix in different moods on the fly. From the sultry and nostalgic, to the stirring and spirited this mixtape will set the tone for the morning, noon, and night. Let this be some ammo for your evening.
Last week I got to witness Run The Jewels absolutely destroy San Jose and its denizens during their world tour. My God, I felt like I was at a church revival, that's if your typical revival is with several thousand hip-hop enthusiasts of all-ages. It's been a long while since a group like RTJ came around to flip my head on so many levels.
So catching this latest edition of Tiny Desk Concert on NRP with Killer Mike, El-P, and DJ Trackstar threw me off. I mean, trying to express all the energy and bass felt at the concert on that itty, bitty room... I was skeptical with the delivery. But, this is RUN THE JEWELS! Entertaining as f*ck. Enjoy 12 minutes of rawness.