DJ Mix: “Back & Forth”

As another year draws to a close I recently had the privilege of DJing the OpenGovChicago holiday party with my brother in decks, John Tolva. In preparation for the gig I recorded this set of classic-futurist-dancehall-pop. Farewell 2013 and all the best in 2014:

–>> Download <<–

–>> Download <<–

DJ Mix: “Prana Pushers”

On October 25th, 2013 DJ C partnered with yoga instructor Sara Strother on a sonic experiment in yoga practice called Prana Pushers. This 105 minute DJ set was recorded live at the event:

Download: DJ C Prana Pushers Mix

Prana Pushers by Dj C on Mixcloud

DJ Mix: The Blends

Here’s a blend of genres containing already blended genres. From electronic dub, to a series of tracks that wobble back and forth between hip-hop, dancehall and jungle, to pop-undergroud mashups, this mix, featuring tracks by Wildlife, Disrupt, Goulet, Krinjah, Vinyl Blight and more, is all over the map. Just how I like it!

Download: DJ C “The Blends” ->
Or listen on Mixcloud:

The Blends by Dj C on Mixcloud

Bad Girls Scale it Back – M.I.A. Meets Little Dragon

Bad Girls Scale it Back - M.I.A. Meets Little DragonWhen I heard M.I.A. was performing at the Superbowl halftime show it was almost compelling enough to get me to tune in for that oh-so-overblown of American past-times. I didn’t, partly because I knew if there was anything interesting to see it’d be all over YouTube before you can say YouTube.

Sure enough, the most talked about aspect of the Super Bowl this year — besides Clint Eastwood’s ode to American sticktoitiveness — was M.I.A.’s middle finger. It doesn’t sound very interesting on the surface but if there’s one thing M.I.A.’s really good at, it’s being controversial, and with one tiny little gesture she was able to whirl media spin rooms into a frenzy.

Meanwhile, M.I.A.s new video for her track Bad Girls had already been generating some controversy of its own. Whether it’s for vapid lyrics, or stereotypical Arab imagery, not everyone gives the track or the video a +1. But I tend to agree with this assessment in Albawaba  In Defence of MIA’s ‘Bad Girl’ Arab-Bashing. Here’s an excerpt:

Bad Girls is surely not something new in the pop-world with Madonna and many before singing vacuous lyrics on ‘material’ feisty or just ‘naughty’ girl types. If ‘bad girls’ on this occasion signifies gun-touting or even, in being strewn over, and in, cars, criminal, girls in a country that prohibits them from driving (while filmed in Morocco it is distinctly meant to represent Saudi Arabia), then the video presents a distinct challenge to the stereotype of Arab subjugated women.”

Anyway, I find it to be a compelling piece of pop with an underlying sense of rebellion that invokes the kind of discussion which brings me back to the heyday of Public Enemy. It’s beautifully crafted in a way that truly paints M.I.A. as a bad girl in the eyes of both the east and the west. What’s your take?

The drawback for me was that I couldn’t easily find an instrumental version of the bangin’ beat by Timbaland protege Danja, so I decided to make one through the magic of editing.

M.I.A. Bad Girls (Instrumental) MP3

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

And while I was at it I whipped up a little mashup featuring another of my favorite female vocalists, Yukimi Nagano from Little Dragon.

DJ C Bad Girls Scale it Back (ft. M.I.A. & Little Dragon) MP3

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Beat Research Chicago

That’s right, folks. Experimental party music is coming to Chicago. Nearly 8 years after DJ Flack and I began Boston’s Beat Research, the franchise is sprouting a brand new limb.

On the first and third Wednesdays of the month I’ll be be throwing down genre-blends with Jesse Kriss, John Tolva and various special guests at Villain’s in Chicago’s South Loop.

The Boston branch has hosted some of the best and brightest DJs and producers of underground bass music in the world, given a number of young luminaries their first gigs, and presented an utterly motley collection of tech-addled live performances. The long list of guests includes DJ Rupture, Kingdom, Eclectic Method, Ghislain Poirier, Vex’d, edIT, and Scuba.

Beat Research has been hard to match for Bostonians seeking out innovative sounds. Now Chicagoans can look forward to their own bi-weekly session for discerning dancers and enthusiastic head-nodders.

For more information, and to sign up for the Beat Research Chicago mailing list, mosey on over to BeatResearchChicago.com and follow our tweetings @beatresearch.

DJ Mix: The Funk So Rubber

When I first heard the TB303 “acid” bass line sound I was blown away by its alien feel. The wobbly portamento tones sliding into each other struck me as an audible illustration of the mailable, bouncy nature of rubber.

I also remember when I first heard Fatboy Slim’s Rockafeller Skank I thought the vocalist was saying “Right about now the funk’s so rubber” and while that was a great way to describe the bouncy guitars in the track, it was an even better way to describe the elastic acid-breaks tracks I had been getting into at the time. So I was disappointed when I figured out the vocalist was not sharing my enthusiasm for rubbery sounds but instead was conjuring “the funk soul brother.”

Those acid sounds which developed in the ’80s Chicago house movement, and continued to evolve throughout the ’90s worldwide, are still a major influence on bouncy tunes today. I’m always a sucker for a good tweaked out acid line and this mix encapsulates some of my favorite rubbery tracks throughout the ages:

MP3 Download
DJ C – The Funk So Rubber ->

Tracklist

  1. The Big Heist ft. TOK & Beenie Man – “Bring It On”
  2. Hardfloor – “Knuckle Skills – Home Run”
  3. Mr. Scruff – “Sea Mammal”
  4. Luke Vibert – “Lover’s Acid”
  5. Mr. Scruff – “Ug”
  6. Luke Vibert – “Funky Acit Stuff”
  7. Hardfloor – “Dubdope”
  8. Hardfloor – “Drive Thruw”
  9. South Rakkas Crew – “Hotter Than Them (Extended Mix ft. Kid Foreigner & Bigga Boss)
  10. Like Vibert – “Acid2000″
  11. LyricL – “Loose Broken”
  12. Fast Eddie – “Ain’t it Funky”
  13. Josh Wink – “Higher State of Counciousness (Tweekin Acid Funk Mix)”
  14. Blawan – “Kaz”
  15. Fatboy Slim – “Everybody Needs a 303″
  16. Crookers – “Embrace The Martian (ft. Kid Cudi – Seiji Acid Remix)”
  17. Ultramarine – “Butch”
  18. DJ C – “Nanocheck”
  19. DJ Scotch Egg – “Aaron Spectre’s Scotch Acid Remix”

What’s Up With Dubstep?

A couple of newsy bits flew by the radar today including:

Don’t Believe The Hate: Skrillex Is Already The Next Big Thing…

&

James Blake is Not Feeling the U.S. Dubstep ‘Frat Boy Market‘”

It’s quite obvious that “Dubstep,” weather it’s the indie-rock version or the metal version, has seeped it’s way into the pop world.

So I was excited to find in my inbox on the very same day, some music that to me represents something closer to a direct descendant of the roots of dubstep:

Max Ulis’ soundtack to Illustrator, Tyler Fewell’s Seven:

Disclaimer: Listen to this on a system with large bass capacity.

Suffocation Keep

A few years ago I was asked to do this remix of Suffocation Keep by The Slip. It was a fun challenge to make an electronic interpretation of their sweeping, melancholic, indie-rock tack, and I really liked the outcome, but alas, it was never released.

I added it on as the last track on my Umami album, but instead of selling it along with the rest of the album I decided to give it away as a free bonus track.

Listen and download

Push Monthly

***** Ableton User Group 8pm-10pm *****
***** Push Monthly from 10pm-2am *****

Thursday, June 16
Beauty Bar
1444 W. Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL

Sets by:

DJ C [Mashit]
Lokua [Moment Sound]
Vapor Eyes [Boom Juice]
Shazam Bangles [Cutz on Cuts]

Preceded by:

The Chicago Ableton Live user group is starting up again for 2011 with a Free Ableton Workshop and The June Chicago Usergroup Meeting Thursday, June 16th from 8:00PM-10:00PM. Certified Ableton Instructors Thomas Faulds and Orville Kline will host and give presentations on cutting edge studio production and live performance techniques with Live, Max for Live, and Ipad Live control.

Umami Album Release Party, Thursday

Abstract Science, Mashit.com & Subfix present an album release party for “Umami” by DJ C

Thursday, June 9
with

DJ C
MEGA MIKE
BOOGYMON
SAM GRAY

Tickets: FREE!

21 & Over
Doors: 10pm / Show: 10pm

Smart Bar
3730 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL

Listen to “Umami” on SoundCloud: