Archive for February, 2011
star slinger is a beatmaker/producer from manchester, UK. i caught wind of him through a remix of the deerhunter track “helicopter,” which was, truth be told, a bit overshadowed for me by the still sick diplo/lunice mix. but still, i’d see some of his stuff linked to throughout the blogosphere, and yeah, it was pretty good. the above track, “mornin” really hooked me though, and encouraged me to dig a little deeper. his influences – dilla, dj shadow – are there to be seen, but he keys the tracks up a little more, beats are sped up, anticipation is built, and the payoff is usually great. you can grab “mornin” here, and below you’ll find another big jam, “baby mama” and two mixtapes star slinger put together, one for handsome clothing and another for the FADER. go check star slinger’s soundcloud for a whole lot more.
star slinger – dollars to pounds FADER mix (download)
HVW8 for the win!
The BBC4 recently debuted this documentary about reggae and Jamaican culture’s influence on British popular culture in the 70s and 80s. It’s called Reggae Britannia and, thanks to the internet gods, its now on YouTube.
I saw this video go up on Large Up on Monday, and I thought that the link would be dead by the time I finished watching. But it’s still up. So, while you still can, take a 90 minute break from whatever you’re doing and watch this. It’ll be good for you like a Guinness.
My only qualm with this doc is that it left me wanting more. I wanted it to get into more contemporary British reggae/dancehall/bashment. UB40 was not the end of British reggae, man. And a little discussion of reggae’s influence on grime and dubstep woulda been be nice too. Oh, and where the hell is Rodigan?! I guess that’ll have to wait for part two… I hope.
i wanted to shine a light on this stellar mixtape i found over at the always-great beat electric. it’s put together by deejay om and breakself, two noted crate diggers, and consists entirely of rare, vinyl, mostly northern-soul records. the sad part of this endeavour is that breakself has brain cancer and is going through the (hella expensive) medical procedures to deal with that. you can cop the mix for free over on BE, but when you head over there to do so, consider donating $10 to the cause for a high quality version and another mix deejay om is putting together.
the buddy system – download
I’m going to get gendered here for a hot minute, so bear with me: when it comes to musical maturity, there is a distinct something that separates the men from the boys. Let me explain: many musical releases are almost parodies of themselves. They are so indebted to previous and/or parallel contemporaries that they end up being almost entirely self-referential.
That is, when a musician makes a song that is trying so hard to be something, you can feel it. The songs feel jammed, they feel stuffed, and while they may be enjoyable, they don’t even attempt to stand on their own to endure the test of time. And in this hyperspeed blog-fueled musical ecosystem, it’s only exacerbated. Too much music works too hard to get their piece of the flash in the pan. It’s like candy – it tastes grand, but it doesn’t satisfy.
Which is why the new project from producer 10.4 Rog and emcee The Good Sin is so satisfying. The Seattle-based duo just released their debut collaboration, entitled Late, and despite being new to the scene, after one listen you can feel that these two have done something new and high quality.
Late knows exactly how it wants to sound – as a complete piece of work, it finds its loping pace, and never once breaks its stride. The sound is a spare take on 360 degree music, replete with perfectly balanced samples, musical flourishes, and the undeniably powerful instrument that is The Good Sin’s voice.
Too few musicians have enough sense of self to allow their music to breathe, and that’s exactly what Late does. Listening to the 9-song free release is like drinking a cool glass of water on a hot day – you don’t know how much you wanted it until you have it.
Download this album, it’s good for you.
Unless you’re one of the LxNxM California brethren, you’re pretty much over the winter blahness right now. And so it is in your honor that I present La Licuadora Tropical a recentish mix by Argentinian DJ El Barba to drive away the non-tropical blues.
Coming straight out of the interior Province of Tucuman, the mix was originally dropped to promote a South American tour, and integrates some pretty nicely tripped out/effected sound effects, good old fashioned cumbia (funny how fast that happens, eh?), and – as he says – a dose of dub and psychedelia.
The world of music that encompasses (but is not limited to) future bass, broken beat, and any number of Dilla-inflected neck-breaking soul hop, is a crowded, crowded, crowded field. And even so, there are musicians and producers staking out their own niche, building a fiefdom around a type of sound that hasn’t yet been claimed. Almost a musical homesteader, if you will, although ideally with less imperialistic underpinnings.
Toronto/Guelph, Ontario producer Elaquent is one of those guys. Also known as eQ, dude has been around for a hot minute, dropping a series of instrumental beat tapes that update the now-patented Dilla sound with a healthy infusion of 8-bit gadgetry and the pop-cultural sensibility of a true 80′s baby. Whether it’s Dibiase-esque slop or crystalline synth plinks, each song comes hard.
What sets Elaquent apart from similar producers is his ability to create sounds that have both the deep thump that moves your neck, and a light carriage that pulls the song up from the ground. The result is a refined take on a highly-evolved genre that dwells happily in your headphones, your car stereo, or as background music for that fancy dinner party you’re throwing on Friday. It’s the good.
Stream/download right here, and get a bunch more below the jump.
Here’s a nifty video done by the good folks over at Pomp & Clout that deserves some blog love. They went all kaleidoscope crazy for the The Suzan’s recent video of their song “Home” and if it doesn’t make you dizzy, you’ll appreciate the visuals. I’m really just becoming hip to who the Suzan’s, an all girl J-pop band from Japan that specialize in surf guitar, fuzz rock, revved up J-Pop, with a sprinkling of cuteness on the side, actually are. They’re from Japan and are currently signed to Fools Gold Records and are on tour right now opening for Chromeo. Peep their site for more info on them and check out the video above. And if you’ve got an iPhone or iPad, you might dig this new app that just came out which allows you to play with the speed and direction of the kaleidoscope among other things.