Category Archives: Reviews

Get to the Truth

Remeber that dude Zebbler who came to international attention for getting arrested during the Boston Mooninite “Bomb” scare? Curious what he’s been up to? He sent over this kind of amazing music video recently. The music is like epoch-jungle-trance and the video has naked people! It’s really well put together and pushes some boundries:

Zebbler Encanti Experience “Get to the Truth” Video:

Get To The Truth was created by Zebbler Encanti Experience, a Boston-based audio-visual immersive performance duo. We are generally known to use heavy a/v effects in our performances, which makes this piece remarkably restrained. Get To The Truth instead uses human body and nature as its central focus. The video itself reflects on the magnetic effects of human culture/flesh to our individual psyche and the perennial attempt to reach beyond the box we are confined to.

It was shot in various spots in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, with the final mountain shot taking place on the morning of the US presidential election (Nov 4th, 2008).

The Squire of Gothos

I’ve been lovin’ these guys’ bassline raver tracks. They just sent over the DJ mix below which is a great showcase of their sound.

A couple of their tracks are posted for free DL over at Palms Out Sounds and they’re definitely worth checkin’, but I highly recommend their digi-EP called “Rave Lord” which is available at Juno Download ->

DJ Mix MP3:
The Squire of Gothos “Forest Gateaux Mix” ->

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  1. Nas “life’s a bitch (Squire remix)”
  2. Squire Of Gothos “Sandpaper Riddim”
  3. Destiny’s Child “Independant woman (squire Remix)”
  4. Squire Of Gothos “Jonas’ Birthday”
  5. Squire Of Gothos “Graftin’ Every day”
  6. Squire Of gothos “?”
  7. Onyx “Slam HArder (squire rough remix)”
  8. Delacy “Hideaway (Squire of Gizzle remix)”
  9. Adina Howard “Freak Like Me (Squire’s Hired Goon remix)”

DJ Elected

DJ ElectedLast time I was touring around Europe DJ Elected invited me to play at one of his Harlem Jungle parties in Amsterdam. I can’t remember exactly how we made contact, but I hadn’t been aware of his music before that. Since that time I’ve become a big fan. He’s been producing and releasing some serious tunes on his Sirkus Recordings label, in addition to making some great bootleg/remix tracks and dope DJ mixes. Here are some examples:

MP3 Downloads:
DJ Elected “Elected @ Hype Beach” DJ Mix ->

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The Streets “Who Dares Wins (Elected Edit)” ->

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There’s more free music over at the Sirkus Recordings site, including this wicked Skream and Elephant Man mashup.

You can buy Sirkus Recordings tracks here ->

DJ Elected “Elected @ Hype Beach” Tracklist: Continue reading

Hurricane Cake

McCain and Bush eat Cake durring Katrina3 years and 3 days ago John McCain and George W. Bush ate cake to celebrate McCain’s 69th birthday. At that very moment hurricane Katrina was bringing devastation to the gulf coast.

Now it’s election season, and almost exactly 3 years later the Republican National Convention was due to McCain and Bush eat Cake durring Katrinabegin today, but another monster hurricane has disrupted the plan. I hope that Gustav is a more benevolent beast then Katrina was, but this new storm does bring a silver lining. It reminds us of Katrina and the way she was handled. Gustav shines a light once again on the Bush administration’s horrible bungling of the disaster. Not only before, during, and immediately after the event, but the continuing botches that have left FEMA-trailer-park McCain and Bush eat Cake durring Katrinarefugee camps spread across the region to this day. And now those camps themselves have been evacuated as Gustav begins to bear down on the coast.

Coincidently my friend, filmmaker Lucia Small, was here in Chicago this weekend for the debut theatrical run of her new documentary “The Axe in the Attic“, a film about Katrina.

Continue reading

Beat Research Lab

Beat Research Lab CD CoverI’ll be heading out for a little tour on the East Coast later this week which will eventually wind up at my old haunt, Beat Research at the Enormous Room in Cambridge, MA. Can’t wait to get back on the decks there with fellow riddim methodists DJ Flack and Wayne&Wax!

For the past few years DJ Flack has been teaching a companion course to the weekly party, also called Beat Research. This year he worked with his advanced Beat Research students to put together a compilation of some of their best work and the outcome is a free CD and download album entitled The Petri Disc Vol. 1.

One of my favorite tracks on the comp is DJ Fraze One’s “Dub” remix of Rick Ross’ Everyday I’m Hustlin’:

MP3 Download:
DJ Fraze One; Hustlin (Dub Mix) ->

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Many more where that came from: The Petri Disc Vol. 1 site ->

Zizek Summer Tour: Digital-Cumbia Decends on North America

MP3 Download:
Villa Diamante; Chancha Via Circuitovs Lil Mama ->

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Zizek Summer Tour Gif Animation

A few months ago I wandered over to Sonotheque to check out Zizek’s first-ever Chicago performance. The rag-tag crew of Argentina-based sonic alchemists threw down beats the likes of which that sound-system had never before been asked to reproduce. The swaggering shuffle of Zizek go accoustic at Sonothequeelectronic cumbia with huge bass forced all of the few people in the place to sway and eventually dance their faces off. By the end of the show, members of the crew had formed an impromptu acoustic cumbia jam with traditional drums, percussion, melodica, and vocals. It was a crying shame that there weren’t more people in the house to experience and partake in one of the best dance parties of the year.

All hope is not lost. Zizek returns to North Amercia this week on a 16 stop summer tour, including another Sonotheque party, and you’re You strongly advised to catch them.

Villa Diamante will be on the tour. Give a listen to this mix he did for the XLR8R Podcast:

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Tracklist and download ->

In their own words:

Zizek is dedicated to the creation of endless tropical nights of dancing utilizing the emerging sounds of Cumbia, Hip Hop, Dancehall, Reggaetón, Bastard Pop, Mashups and more. The goal however is to give these styles, ideas and rhythms an Argentine touch, with the aim of putting Buenos Aires on the map of the global music scene.

The star of Zizek has been Cumbia, a Latin American sound born from the fusion of old and new worlds in Colombia. Zizek is adapting cumbia’s distinctive rhythm to make it relevant to a new generation of Latin Americans and it´s artists have created a few genres of their own, like cumbia beat, cumbiastep, and cumbia hop. Zizek’s producers are bringing out contrasting takes on a genre that already has a massive following and it is exploding faster than it ever would have up until now.

Following up their much hyped SXSW appearance, the revolving Zizek crew will be in the USA, Canada and Mexico again this July for a coast to coast summer blowout tour. DJ Villa Diamante and Bersa Discos Oro11 together with ZZK Records newest artists Fauna and Chancha Vía Circuíto will be bringing the new sound of Argentina to North America this time around.

The tour will feature DJ Sets and Performances by:

Villa Diamante
B.A.’s “it DJ” and Zizek Resident, specializes in mashing up Argentine & Latin American flavor with Northern Hemisphere Hip Hop, Grime, Electro, & Pop.

Fauna’s “Tropitronica” sound blends Latin elements with electronic beats and the duo includes live hip-hop/ragga vocals to round out their upbeat, sonically innovative productions.

Chancha Vía Circuíto
Chancha is one of the hottest names in the new cumbia scene. His productions have caught the eye of international beat hunters and his tracks have been featured heavily on mixtapes by Diplo, Maga Bo and more.

Co -owner of S.F.’s Bersa Discos, Oro11 lived in Buenos Aires for 3 years where he developed a taste for intensifying and modernizing cumbia villera through harder dancehall and Baltimore club beats.

Tour Dates:

  • 07.10.08 (LAMC) @ SOBs – New York City, New York w/ Toy Selectah
  • 07.11.08 @ Club Lambi – Montreal, Canada
  • 07.12.08 (Ritmo y Color Festival) @ Brigantine Room – Toronto, Ontario
  • 07.14.08 @ TBA
  • 07.15.08 @ TBA – Detroit, Michigan
  • 07.16.08 @ Sonotheque – Chicago, IL
  • 07.17.08 @ TBA – Cleveland, Ohio
  • 07.18.08 @ TBA
  • 07.19.08 @ SOBs – New York City, New York
  • 07.22.08 @ Nectar – Seattle, Washington
  • 07.23.08 @ Berbati’s Pan – Portland, Oregon
  • 07.24.08 @ Mezzanine -San Francisco, CA w/ Bersa Discos & Drop the Lime
  • 07.25.08 @ TBA – Los Angeles, CA
  • 07.26.08 @ Getty Museum – Los Angeles, California
  • 07.31.08 @ Pasaguero – Mexico City, Mexico w/ Las Kumbia Queers
  • 08.02.08 @ Syntheticrocks – Mexico City, Mexico

History of the Future

Thnk ahead just 50 years, perhaps, to the day when everyone will appreciate the nuances of electronic music”

What the Future Sounded Like… dreaming of a future sound-scape of London”

-What The Future Sounded Like

Electronic music pioneers in the mid 20th century invented the tools that are now so ubiquitous that they have a profound effect on the sound pop music today. This short documentary on London’s EMS (Electronic Music Studios) presents an informative overview of developments durring the post-WWII era and beyond.

Watch What The Future Sounded Like

“Jumpfast” Van Halen, Supremes Mashup

Apple Juce Kid LogoChapel Hill, NC-based Apple Juce Kid sent me his remix of Van Halen’s 1984 classic Jump a while back. He said I should feel free to re-remix it if I felt so inclined so I did. Well, actually I didn’t do much to it but lay the Supremes You Keep Me Hangin’ On acapella on top. Here’s what it sounds like:

Mashit Exclusive MP3 Download

Apple Juce Kid ft. Van Halen & The Supremes; Jumpfast (DJ C Refix)

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And if you have a hankering for the instrumental, here:

Apple Juce Kid; Jumpfast (Instrumental)

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The Apple Juce Kid isn’t your run-of-the-mill, Myspace-havin’, bedroom mashup DJ. He’s an accomplished drummer and producer who’s been winning beat battles from coast to coast:

Apple Juce Kid at a beat battle in NYC

He and Suede from Camp Lo also have a group called Freebass 808 who’ve been pumpin’ some heat too:

Freebass 808 live

I highly recommend his version of Clocks by Coldplay which completely kicks ass on the original. It’s available as a free download at HisSpace ->

You can buy some of his tunes at PMP ->

This Week in Grindin’: Dizzee Rascal, Bun B, and IL plate #115 0430

First up, for all who haven’t seen this: Google Maps Drug Deal! Right here in beautiful Chicago, Illinois. There’s a license plate number and everything. Here’s a screen shot, for when Google eventually gets this removed.

There are all sorts of webbernets nerds buzzing about this pic and how it relates to our PRIVACY and PERSONAL FREEDOM and OMGZ GOOGLE IS TAKING OVER OUR LIVES and BIG BROTHER and all that, but really I think all that can be avoided by operating on a simple principle that has served me well throughout the years: “don’t sell drugs in the street when a car covered in cameras rolls by”.

In related news, Dizzee Rascal has a new video, with Bun B from UGK. It’s called “Where Da G’s”, and it’s filmed in Houston, and it’s all about what an accomplished crack dealer Dizzee Rascal & Bun B are, and how you (and all those other “fake” rappers) claim to be accomplished crack dealers when you really aren’t. It’s full of shots of a specifically American vision of ghetto life: windowless bungalows with spacious, grassless lawns; giant American hoopties; craps games; etc. Take a look:

I find this pretty revolting for a few reasons:

1) Could Dizzee possibly be trying any harder to blow up in America? This really looks painfully reminds me of when The Prodigy came out with Firestarter.

2) Maybe this makes me a bigot (or maybe I’m just rooting for the home team), but I just absolutely refuse to believe that any Englishman is as hard as your worst (or even average) American thug. I’m not saying that the British are weaklings or anything, and I certainly don’t think American gangsters are the toughest on earth, but the very fact that Dizzee talks about KNIFING somebody in his track is telling–KNIFING somebody? really? Stabbing is a crime for hoboes, prison inmates, and Europeans–here in the western hemisphere we SHOOT people, thank you kindly.

3) COKE RAPS ARE SO PLAYED OUT. Can we pleeeease PLEEEEEEEEASE move on to an era where hip hop is either a) dead or b) interesting again or at the very least c) not ethically reprehensible? Don’t get me wrong, I have always been one of those bleeding heart free speech ultra-liberals who thinks crack should be legal and people should be able to say just about anything in any format they want (including on radio, FCC guys) and I’ve always laughed at the crusty right-wing culture terrorists who think that rap and video games are the downfall of society, but at a certain point I have to admit that songs like this fall into the same category as torture in films and television–certainly these artforms are reflections of endemic problems with our society, but at the same time they are helping to glorify and lionize a lot of harmful, dangerous, and unethical behaviors, and I can’t help but believe that an absence of such treatments of this subject matter in hip hop would be a positive thing.

Ok, enough of me and my soapbox.

This Is My Jam

Echo Nest LogoMy friends over at The Echo Nest have done it again. This time they’ve got a wacky new web 2.0 music app called “This Is My Jam.” It’s still in beta, actually I think it may still be in alpha but they’ve given me the go ahead to share it with y’all.

Here’s how it works: Use the search box to find music you like and then drag favorite tracks into your “jam.” Once you’ve got a bunch of tunes lined up, hit the button and the app makes a beat-matched mix of the tunes you selected. That’s right, the internets can now beat-match! Bye bye DJs? Well, maybe not yet. The mixing is far from perfect, but check it out, there are actually some interesting blends. Here’s one of my “jams”:

If that amazing mix has got you just begging for more you can check out my other jams too. And while you’re there why not sign up to make your own jams and socialize by befriending other folks who’s jams you like. You can even subscribe to RSS feeds of people’s jams.There are obviously some kinks to work out of the system still but I’m excited to see where this thing goes. If you do go try it out I’m sure the Echo Nester’s would appreciate your feedback.