music

Resident Advisor - How Did UK Garage Become Dubstep?

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. 

RADAR RADIO - GO YAMA & FUNK BASTRD

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. 

NXWORRIES - SCARED MONEY

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

RESIDENT ADVISOR - APHEX TWIN LOGO

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. 

Check out this video and the sketches of Paul Nicholson, the designer who created the infamous mark for Mr. James. Great work as always Resident Advisor

 

DJ CITY - LIVE EVIL AT THE SERATO L.A. STUDIOS

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. 

SERATO DJ & ABLETON LINKED - STRO, MANWELL, 14KT

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. 

LOOPED EPISODE 3 - GABRIEL GARZON-MONTANO

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

BOILER ROOM PHILLY - DJ JAZZY JEFF

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. 

FULL CRATE - ROCK THE BOAT VALENTINES MIX 2017

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. 

TINY DESK CONCERT - RUN THE JEWELS

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. 

EAST SIDE STORY - A SYMBOL OF L.A. CHICANO CULTURE

Before the internet and streaming music services, you could find me glued to the radio everyday doing my best to pick up on the latest tunes circulating the airwaves. On the weekends, when I wasn't listening to The Wake Up Show on Saturday nights, I was tuning into VJs like Xavier the X-Man and Victor Zaragosa, latching on to their personal curations with the "Sunday Night Oldies". I was so enamored by these classics playing from my FM dial that I did not realize that these songs were decades old, or that the groups singing them were not Latino at all (well, most of them anyways). Call it what you would, but being oblivious and juvenile at time had its charm. I just loved the music, and that made it timeless. 

I was happy to know that there are people out there in the world taking it upon themselves to showcase and highlight the hidden, or "forgotten" gems in our recorded audio history. One such person, Melissa Duenas of The East Side Story Project, has been a driving force in spotlighting the sounds emitting from the lowrider culture that sprang from 1970s Los Angeles. Her journey has lead to the notable figures and stories that has made the East Side Story compilations one of the most beloved compilations ever released.

Read more about her journey below in the links. 

L.A. Weekly 
The East Side Story Project
Instagram
 

The Undefeated - How N.E. Avoided "Heart Break"

In light of the chaos that is our current presidential regime (the Cheddar in Chief), the timing of this in-depth article about New Edition and their docu-film mini-series on BET, couldn't have come at a better time to relieve the tension. 

The Undefeated took on the exhausting task of interviewing all the team players (and Bobby Brown) who made Heart Break the highly praised comeback album that it was. With Brown going solo, Jheryl Busby saw the genius of pairing up Flyte Tyme with the talented band. Peep the interviews below and soak in the RnB knowledge. 90's forever. 

Read here: The Undefeated 
 

RBMA - Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis

Flyte Tyme. These two legendary producers have helped to shape the careers of some of pop musics most notable artists. From playing with Prince, with (infamous) bandmate Morris Day, the "Minneapolis Sound" they helped to pioneer resonates within their earlier work with the S.O.S. Band and most famously, Janet Jackson. This is a dope lecture that Jefferson Mao (Chairman Mao) conducted for the Red Bull Music Academy condenses the best from this duo within several hours. If you got some time in your day to listen and learn, play the clip and enjoy.