All posts by DJ C

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”

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

New DJ C Album – Umami – Out Now

Listen on SoundCloud:

Available from these and other fine music download outlets: iTunes | Juno Download | Amazon MP3 | eMusic | DJ Download | Satellite Records | 7Digital | Napster | Rhapsody

Please join us for a free Umami album release party at Smart Bar in Chicago, June 9.

They call it Boston Bounce but we call it banging. A bouillabaisse of b-more, dubstep & uk bass, a gleeful disregard for genre and rules. Uniquely American & awesome

The sense of fun and humor that pervades the tracks is a welcome break from all the moody and dark sounds more typical in the bass scene”

Satellite Records

DJ C has to be one of the best but most under-exposed artists out there. From Boston and now Chicago he is one of those rare artists whose every production is top notch, can’t find a bad track under his name. I have been dropping heavy tracks off his Sonic Weapons album in my sets for years, these things are party monsters that still manage to be smart and intricate. His remix of Gregory Isaacs “Gone a Jail” on the Shockout label and his “Let it Billie” 7″ are two of the favorite records I own. The man himself has a new album out called Umami, check it, dig it, buy it and support great music!”

The Double Bounce blog

A real journeyman of house, garage, funky and beyond, DJ C shows how he’s able to conquer a variety of sounds on this new full-length album… With future-funky rhythms underscoring big tunes like “Nu Strut”, “Blaze” and the lethally minimal brilliance of “Whistler”, there’s also slower beats to enjoy, such as “Dear John Bounce” which flits between jump-up jungle and slow, punchy dancehall. With London don The Heatwave joining C on “Change” and Sub Swara hooked up on “Belgrade”, this is a belting album, replete with some of the baddest beats out there at the moment.

Juno Records

Party scientist & beat producer, DJ C is known far & wide for his Boston-bounce sound, but he’s now called Chicago his home for the past 4 years and the influence of that historical home of house music, those fertile fields of footwork & juke, that booming base of booming bass, has seeped stealthily into his subconscious. Add this new layer to DJ C’s eclectic signature sound and this album equals an irresistibly fresh sonic flavor. From dubstep & club bangers to ravey dancehall anthems; from balkan to bhangara to baile, DJ C mashes it all into the deliciously varied and delectably danceable Umami.

Face Melt ft. Aubern & DJ C: Fri. 5/27, Darkroom, Chicago

HIP-HOP / DUBSTEP / GLITCH / ELECTRONIC / BASS!

FACE MELT, Friday, May 27 at Darkoom Featuring:

& residents Intel, Phaded, & Maker. Hosted by: ADaD. Live Visuals by Killchnll.

FACE MELT is a new monthly event series which showcases envelope-pushing artists on a local, national, and international level. The 2011 programming schedule includes Live Bands, Live PA sets, DJs/Turntablists, & Touring Acts spanning genres like Dubstep, Glitch, Electronic, and Hip-Hop. The resident roster boasts some of Chicago’s finest talents — Maker (Stonesthrow, Now-Again), Phaded (Dubfix), & DJ Intel (The Comeups, Platter Pirates). Hosted by ADaD (All Natural, Eulorhythmics).

RSVP on Facebook ->

Streaming Music Takeover: What About DJs?

If you follow the signs about the future of music distribution they all seem to be pointing toward streaming and away from downloading actual files. In general this makes a lot of sense. Having an entire music library accessible from anywhere, on any device, at any time is a great idea, especially once social features and sharing become more ubiquitous. It’s why services like Spotify and GrooveShark — and Netflix on the video side — are so popular, and it’s why mega-companies like Apple, Google and Amazon (for movies so far) are working on similar services.

This leaves me wondering about how DJs will adapt. In recent years, DJs media of choice have moved from vinyl and CD to laptop, using tools like Serato Scratch Live and Traktor Scratch which still give the feel of vinyl or CD but allow DJs to carry much more music with them in a compact form. I assume the next generation of DJs, who didn’t grow up using vinyl and CDs, will use a new wave of tools which will be even more portable; iPad apps for example. I’m also pretty sure there’ll be a retro resurgence of DJs who use actual vinyl again at some point, but I digress.

What I’m curious about here is what digital DJs will do when streaming takes over. Will DJs have to use specialized portals that allow actual file downloads? I imagine sites like Juno Download, Beatport, Bleep, Boomkat and TurntableLab won’t stop doing where they’re doing, but they carry very DJ specific music. You can’t go onto those sites and get, say, top 40 tunes for example. Will iTunes and Amazon MP3 continue selling downloads as an option once streaming takes over?

Tools for DJs to use audio streams will inevitably emerge, but as we know, internet connections are fickle which could lead to a very frustrated DJ and audience. That said, I’ve already been to a number of house parties where folks wind up playing YouTube videos or tracks from GrooveShark and it seems to work out OK. The only thing missing is the ability to beat-match, equalize, and mix those streaming tracks into a seamlessly engaging set.

Another very real possibility is that machines will eventually make DJs obsolete. What if IBM’s Watson was stuffed with every conceivable music recording and used The Echo Nest‘s spectral waveform analysis to determine similar tracks? Combine that with Pandora’s music genome info, Amazon and Netflix recommendation algorithms, sensors that could read and predict audience reaction, the ability to seamlessly mix tracks, and you just might have a recipe for a workable DJ replacement.

Mostly though, I’m just curious about what new tools DJs will use in the meantime.

Herbanism & The New Mashit Release Schedule

15 years ago my first CD was released under the name Electro Organic Sound System. The album, called Herbanism, was 6 extended tracks of ambient-dub and breakbeat experiments. It went out of print pretty quickly and has not been in circulation since, but from time to time folks still mention to me how much they like the record. I figure the 15th anniversary is as good a time as any to re-release Herbanism. So starting today it’s available once again from Amazon MP3, iTunes, eMusic, Last.FM, Rhapsody, Napster and other fine online outlets.

This is the first in a series of back-catalog re-leases which hadn’t seen their way into digital distribution before. Next up will be the Electro Organic Sound System album, Roots Wreck Remix, and then the DJ C album, Sonic Weapons. The series will culminate in a brand new DJ C album called Umami.

Stay tuned for all the upcoming releases. In the meantime, enjoy Herbanism.


More on Herbanism

Recorded in 1994 – 1995 & released in 1996, Herbanism has been remastered and re-released for it’s 15th anniversary. Here’s what folks had to say about it when if first surfaced:

It’s great to hear excellent domestic electronic music that covers a lot of ground without sounding forced. Paying respect to electronic-music masters past and present, DJ C (a.k.a. Jake Trussell) Layers his melodic excursions into drum and bass, dub and trance over moody, grayish electronic atmospheres, which imbue his creation with a distinctive voice. This CD falls more on the chillout side of the electronic fence, which may disappoint those looking for more standard dancefloor fare. But with so much attention being given to European and British electronica, DJ C reminds us not to forget those Americans currently mastering the art of noise.”

– Alternative Press magazine

Employing tenets from the spectrum of dance music, herbanism is a cool thing. Exploring ambient, drum and bass, funky breakbeat, electronic, and dub, DJ C, a.k.a., Jake Trussell gives props to the Orb, King Tubby, & Boogie Down all in one breath. It’s nice to see so many influences at work with in a collection that evolves into some pretty funky stuff. Respect.”

– URB magazine

If you like a range of chill-out music from the Orb to Bill Laswell to Aphex Twin you’ll like this a lot.”

– Drop magazine

Download Herbanism

DJ C; “Resonant Frequency Modulation” Mix

This past summer I recorded a DJ mix for London’s Resonance FM radio station to celebrate the release of my Jump Up & Bounce / Mad Again record. The mix aired  on the Exotic Pylon show the week of the release. The show is available over at their site but I thought I’d release the mix here in it’s raw form:

Download
DJ C; Resonant Frequency Modulation

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Tracklist

  1. DJ C; Hardcore Tonight Riddim
  2. MaddJazz; Selekta Riddim (Ultravid ‘Yah’ Remix)
  3. Baobinga ft MC Spyda; Criss Like HD (Poirier RMX)
  4. South Rakkas Crew; Mad Again (Boy 8-Bit Remix)
  5. Marcus Price & Carli; Mat, Bira, Kvinnor, Weed (Kingdom Remix)
  6. Willy Joy & Rob Threezy; Sundown
  7. South Rakkas Crew & Deerhoof; Choo Choo Beep (+81)
  8. DJ Flack; Enemy Beats
  9. Poirier (feat. Face-T); Enemies (DJ Flack Mix)
  10. Ghislain Poirier (feat. Face-T); Blazin’ (DJ C Mix) 
  11. Sully; Broadway G 
  12. Si Begg; High Volume (Si Begg VIP remix)
  13. DJ C; Jump up and Bounce (Remix Instrumental)
  14. DJ C; Jump up and Bounce (Remix ft. Ms. Thing)
  15. South Rakkas Crew feat MC Gi & Mr Dockery; Hands Up (South Rakkas self-remix)
  16. Supra 1; Ghoster
  17. Jamtech Foundation; Park The 9 (ft. Voltage)
  18. Sully; Cadillac
  19. Sub Swara; Belgrade Riddim (DJ C Remix)
  20. DJ C; Clown Dub
  21. DJ C; Du Ting
  22. DJ C; Mad Again (Du Ting Mix)
  23. Mochipet & The Hustle Heads; Get Your Whistle Wet (DJ C Remix)
  24. DJ C; Whistle Dub
  25. Felix The Housecat; Kick Drum (Jeekoos Remix)
  26. RSD; Kingfisher
  27. DJ C & Zulu; Exhibition Virtues (Elected Remix Instrumental)
  28. DJ C & Zulu; Exhibition Virtues (elected remix)

Quantum Shifts

Sharon and Jake Present 33 Golden HitsIf you’re wondering why blog posts here at Mashit have been less-than-frequent recently, here’s a little background:

Over the last couple years my life has undergone some quantum shifts. For example, I’ve transitioned from full-time DJ, music-blogger/producer, to full-time Creative Director at an economic development organization. I also became a husband and a home-owner. These new roles are super-exciting, fun, and challenging, but alas, they’ve left me with less time to focus on all-things-music.

That said, I’d like to share 2 DJ mixes I’ve made in light of these events.

The more recent of the two I presented to my wife, Sharon at the first anniversary of our wedding. It’s a compilation of songs featuring female vocalists.

The mix was inspired by the Little Dragon song “Feather.” Their singer, Yukimi Nagano’s voice is so amazing that it inspired in my mind a chain reaction of other songs with incredible female singers:

MP3 Download
DJ C; Sirens for my Muse ->

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The other mix, which I made exactly a year earlier, is a compilation containing some of Sharon’s and my favorite tunes. It was given out on CD as a gift to guests at our wedding:

MP3 Download
DJ C; Sharon & Jake Present 33 Golden Hits ->

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Neither of these mixes focus on the usual Mashit fare of bass-heavy, electronic-dance-music. But stay tuned to this podcast. I’ve got one of those classic Mashit mixes already done and will post it here soon.

Track-lists after the break: Continue reading