August 21, 2009
December 19, 2008
playlist [16 December 2008] + return of the 12" Sub
Playlist for the Vinyl Frontier, 16 December 2008 to follow later when I have computer access. Sorry about the delay; the holidays are driving me crazy. Tune in on Tuesday for a special guest edition featuring DJ Theory holding it down for me. Old school cats will remember Theory as one of the two co-hosts of the 12" Sub before I took over and the show became the Vinyl Frontier.
November 4, 2008
Z-Trip - Party For Change
Another DJ mix for Obama. Check the nice artwork either by or in the style of Shepard Fairey as well.
October 30, 2008
BandCamp - professionalism
Matthew asked me to give a talk at BandCamp on the 19th at Caroline Collective. I kept my remarks as short as possible in the interest of time, but I'd like to use this space to recap my talk, mention a few more things, and further expound on some of the points that I already made.
My talk was about "professionalism" in the music industry. And by that I don't mean wearing a suit, but rather how to build and maintain relationships and protect your rep. Simply put, don't be a dick. The music industry is called that for a reason - it's a business. And businesses are built on relationships between people. While a lot of people get into music to express themselves, have fun, party, and so on and so forth, if you want to be successful, you have to develop positive relationships with other figures in the industry.
October 2, 2008
King Most: The Obamix
I've never heard of this DJ (King Most), but if you need a little hope, an uplifting message in these trying times, definitely grab the mix. And if you haven't already, register to vote! Tomorrow (Friday, 3 October 2008) is probably the last day to register (you might be able to register on Monday, but don't count on it) as you need to be registered 30 days before the election (Tuesday, 4 November 2008). If you live in Harris County, go to HarrisVotes.com for more information, or to check up on your previous registration.
O-Dub trainspotted the track list.
August 19, 2008
an old man's soul in a young man's body
I just saw these guys the other day, and I have to say, it was the best $5 show I've seen in a long time. I only wish the sound man at the Continental Club was better. The lead (in the center) has a voice that evokes Wilson Pickett and Otis Redding among others. The band is tight - maybe not as tight as the Dap-Kings, but tight nonetheless - and they're playing a style that so few people are doing anymore - the classic blues/soul sound, but with new original cuts. I think these guys are based out of Austin, so if any Texans reading this have a chance to see them, you definitely need to check out Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears.
July 13, 2006
a question for the music fanatics
One of the radio promotion companies that I deal with on a regular basis recently ran a contest. I was just informed that I won a T-shirt. This is how the contest went; I pose the question to my readers.
SPECTRE and Ghostly International recently sent you DABRYE's sophomore disc TWO/THREE.
Taking the next logical step in his evolutionary hip-hop album cycle, Dabrye has rounded up a formidable crew of MCs including MF DOOM, J DILLA, WILDCHILD and BEANS to intensify his moody, propulsive take on the genre. The Blade Runner-esque beats help cage rhymes ranging from world events to the street, with little chance to catch your breath. The producer-MC pairings often result in a dizzying narcotic rush stronger than a back alley glue hit.
So we would like to ask YOU who your dream musical collaboration would consist of. When you're totally dorking out and listening to your music at the maximum level, which musicians do you put in the studio together? Who, in your opinion, would make the most boner-rific song of all time?!?!?!
My answer is below. For a short time, you can go to this page to see the other winning answers.
Dude! I would totally put Run-DMC and Aerosmith together... no wait, that's been done... DJ Shadow and some random guy from A&R... no wait, that's been done too...
Seriously, though, I think My Bloody Valentine + Brian Eno would be awesome. Wrist-slittingly, eat a bottle of pills and collapse type awesome. The dense wall of sound would probably induce a short burst of euphoria caused by the sheer brilliance of it all, but leave you in a long bout of clinical depression.
March 1, 2006
remixing is dead, long live remixing
While I was setting up for my show yesterday, I found an album in the studio that really has no business even existing.
I'll be honest, I haven't even listened to the remix album yet. But honestly, was this necessary? I mean, I like the original album - I even own it on vinyl - and who doesn't like to look at pretty young things covered in whipped cream? But this is taking the whole remix thing to a level of absurdity.
December 20, 2005
Beats of Basquiat
This was one hell of a party. Peanut Butter Wolf came through and dropped a two-hour DJ set at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston as part of the Beats of Basquiat series. My best guess is that probably about 1000 people showed up. For those of you who are familiar with the MFAH, they cleared the main lobby area of the Caroline Wiess Law building just past the admission booths and stairs for a dance area/bar area. The DJ booth overlooked the dance floor, sharing the second floor with the works of Basquiat. Patrick of Microcinema was also up in the booth, projecting visuals on the far wall.
PB Wolf killed it; he rocked a great set of funk, soul, and latin music for most of the evening, throwing in the odd early 80's rock and dance tracks, and he finished with a straight up hip-hop set for the last 30 minutes. Not too much in the way of flash, although he did throw in some juggles and scratches at the end. I didn't expect him to bust out the turntablism anyway - it's tough to rock a party vibe when you're juggling beats.
Also present in support were Cee Plus (I missed his set) and The Digging Deep Quartet (Prince Klassen and JJ Lopez; I'm not sure if there are actually two other people who weren't present). DDQ also rocked a very tight party set.
I believe there are two more parties left in this series; one in January (featuring Shepherd Fairey) and one in February (featuring Grandmaster Flash). I highly recommend going - it's a pretty good chance to take a look at some great artwork, and party down at the same time.
September 7, 2005
Kanye vs. Bush
August 25, 2005
Scion censors Bavu Blakes
August 18, 2005
The Foundation: tracks 14 & 15
August 13, 2005
The Foundation: tracks 12 & 13
August 11, 2005
The Foundation: tracks 10 & 11
August 10, 2005
The Foundation: tracks 8 & 9
August 8, 2005
The Foundation: tracks 5 & 7
August 5, 2005
The Foundation: tracks 3 & 4
August 4, 2005
Los Abandoned, "Van Nuys (Es Very Nice)"
While I'm waiting to hear back from Frank, I'll put up a link to the latest song to embed itself in my head irrevocably. That track is "
Van Nuys (Es Very Nice)" by Los Abandoned. Los Abandoned is an outfit from the L.A. area that is just bursting onto the scene. They've got a unique style, largely resulting from the blending of pop-punk and Latino influences. This particular track is tremendously bubblegummy, but they've got some darker and harder stuff as well, although everything is rounded off a little bit at the edges by the dulcet voice of Lady P. They have a few additional songs for download at their website, so be sure to check it out!
Just in case you're not paying attention, I'll be removing the link in a week or so. Standard policy for audio blogs.
The Foundation: [download] this album
April 23, 2005
A couple of weeks ago Amar put up a very interesting post about the intersection of video games with hip-hop culture and music over at a new group blog that he's starting up with some other folks. In response, I thought I'd point out a couple of other tracks that also use some video game samples. I'll be deleting the audio files in about a week, so download them while you can.
Saafir, "Smart Bomb," Qwest Records 1996
This track was first released on a promo 12" for the album "The Hit List" which didn't actually end up getting released until 1999. It uses a ridiculous number of video game samples - I've never been able to identify them all. This was probably the last track Saafir put out that I really loved.
Scram Jones, "64 Bit," Sure Shot Recordings 2005
Scram Jones is a new up-and-coming producer/DJ/MC and this new track off his EP "Loose Cannons" takes a portion of the theme to one of the Super Mario Bros. games (number 3, maybe?) and explodes it. He's been featured as a guest on a few tracks in the last year, but it looks like he's finally making his move to get his name out there.
I'm not entirely sure that this is really a major development in hip-hop; rather I think that the concept of hip-hop has always been that producers have sampled sounds from popular sources. First it was disco, funk, and jazz; then it was film, and then producers started reaching for more obscure sources, yet still recognizable to many people. Video games have now thoroughly permeated their way through pop culture - everybody can recognize Super Mario Brothers, or Zelda, or Metroid. They are a part of the zeitgeist; an indelible anchor in the minds of the youth. It is only natural that they would be incorporated into hip-hop.
March 18, 2005
using Excel to waste time
March 16, 2005
Oranges Band in Houston
March 1, 2005
it's so soulful man
January 23, 2004
December 11, 2003
music in review
The Onion just published their article about the least essential albums of 2003. I don't think that there can be much argument about their list. Next week I imagine that they will put out their top albums list, so definitely check back. They tend to have a definite slant towards indie rock in their lists, but it's not as bad as Pitchfork's slant.
The Reputation listserve asked for a top 10 albums of 2003 (released in 2003, no re-issues or re-releases). Here was my 10, in arbitrary order:
- Madlib - Shades of Blue: Madlib Invades Blue Note - Blue Note Records
- Akrobatik - Balance - Coup d'Etat
- Lyrics Born - Later That Day... - Quannum Projects
- Hydroponic Sound System - grids/loops/intersections - Alternate Take Records
- Micatone - Is You Is - Sonar Kollektiv
- Various artists - Mic Planet Sessions - Insomniac
- Sleep Walker - Sleep Walker - Especial
- the Minimal Effort - As Sequenced By Humans - Bank of India
- Trüby Trio - Elevator Music - Compost
- Cat Power - You Are Free - Matador
To be honest, this is a pretty arbitrary top 10. Most of the best stuff I got this year was either released as a 12" single or was a re-issue of old material. Full albums were something I didn't really buy a whole lot of this year. Other notable albums that probably deserve to be on this list just as much include:
- Atmosphere - Seven's Travels - Rhymesayers
- Ugly Duckling - Taste the Secret - Emperor Norton
- McKay - McKay - Go Beat
- Push Button Objects - Ghetto Blaster - Chocolate Industries
- Jaylib - Champion Sound - Stones Throw
I really paid pretty much no attention to indie rock this year. So many ridiculous electroclash bands, so many bands that just seemed bland, so much crap. The only indie rock I really listened to this year was local stuff at shows - The Jonx especially. Speaking of ridiculous electroclash bands, I saw Single Frame the other night at Rudyard's. Pitchfork has given them a review of 8.5, and of 7.4. Figures. They were good, but they sounded (and looked!) like they were airdropped right out of Manchester, 1983. Give them a couple more years, and they'll have the Flock of Seagulls hairdo perfected. They have a lot of energy, though, and the live set is fun to listen to. I guess I just feel like the whole retro-new wave thing is boring now. Fuck, if I really wanted to listen to New Order or A Certain Ratio or Information Society, I'd just fucking stay home and put on a record.
Nikki Texas (or NTX and Electric Set), on the other hand, were really pretty interesting. If for nothing else, because everyone in the band is really hot. But they're actually working the whole focused noise aspect of electronics-based bands into something at least marginally novel. Their sound has a lot of texture. Not much else, including structure, but hell, when you're going experimental, go all out.
Frox Noxon opened, and well, they were just sort of bland. My friend Danny has been sitting in as their drummer for a while (his term is ending this week; he has a much better band in The Jonx) and though I could see him pounding on the drums, I could rarely actually hear him. The guitarist was just way too loud. Anyway, they have a couple of decent songs, but they weren't terribly spectacular.
My conclusion of the night was that I need to go to shows more often. Rudyard's is a great venue for seeing small shows. Plus they have reasonable prices on beer. Always a plus.
October 23, 2003
Now that Apple has released iTunes for Windows, it seems that a lot of people are picking up on the fact that Apple designs some good shit. However, there's been some bitching that you can't resell your tracks. That's a bunch of bullshit, as this guy has shown that you actually can, although it might not be practical. It suggests that you'd probably need to sell a batch of them at a time, to make it monetarily worthwhile.
Whatever. I use iTunes because the goddamn thing is really well designed. I haven't even used the store yet. The smart playlists are where it's at. Current smart playlists of mine include:
- DJ sets - time is greater than 35 minutes (I rip my mix cds as one continuous track to eliminate the gap problem)
- tag-editing - Artist, Song Title, Album Title, Comments (I put the label info here), or Year is empty
- never played - Play Count is zero (currently trying to whittle away at 12 days worth of music never played as an mp3)
- recently played - Last Played within two weeks
- most played - Play Count is greater than n, where n is an arbitrarily chosen integer that keeps the number of songs on this list less than or equal to 250; sorted by descending order of Play Count
- highest rated - I don't often rate songs, so this one may go the way of the dodo
- recently added - mp3 added within the last four weeks
I have a few others, but you get the idea. And all of these update in real-time. Beautiful.
September 11, 2003
I'm probably going to initiate radio silence until I get my thesis done. (Not that I've been terribly communicative with people lately.) I think I may even clear out my bedroom, pad the walls, and just drop a power tap in and lock myself into a completely austere environment for 10 hours a day to get this done. I'll probably continue to post my playlists, but email and phone are going to go dead for a while.
But before I go, there are some random things I'd like to tell you about. My old flatmate and some other friends who are now in the Bay Area made a CD this summer - As Sequenced By Humans by the Minimal Effort. It's pretty fucking good. I'm not sure if it's available for distribution, but it damn well ought to be, so I'm going to find out for you. The breakout single is clearly "Carpool Lane," but all seven songs are solid. Laura has a disarmingly sweet voice which fits the music perfectly, although clearly she's not a pro. Post-production is pretty good; there are some nice effects thrown in on the instrumentals, along with some slight crispy distortion on the vocals on a couple of songs.
Cory Doctorow has a new book out; it's a collection of some of his short stories, including 0wnz0red which initially appeared at Salon.com and was my first introduction to Doctorow's brand of sci-fi. He's also very cutting edge; you can download a lot of his stories for free; he's experimenting to see how the Internet might actually help his sales. His entire first novel is available for free, and it's pretty good. I'm planning on going out and buying his books and then possibly donating them to the library.
I'd comment on politics and other news events, but that would probably just make me angry. Let me leave you with this: take a look at the first definition of fascism to appear. Except for the dictator part, it sounds like the U.S.A. under Dubya right now, doesn't it? Replace terror with intimidation, and racism with racial profiling and it's exactly where we are...
August 25, 2003
weekend in review
The problem with cutting yourself off from the world is that you miss out on some good shit. Apparently, King Britt was in town on Saturday night, and I missed the show. King Britt! Josh Wink was in town, too, but I don't really care. King Britt! I found out about it at around 1 am on Sunday morning, as I was flipping through the Houston Press with my Guinness in hand. Damn.
Mondro's party Friday night was... interesting. Mostly because he lives in an interesting neighborhood, and all sorts of weird people just kept showing up. The party hit its second wind at around 2:30 in the morning, and was still going pretty strong by the time I left at 4 am. My set was pretty mediocre. Hit the groove with the house music, but my experimental stuff leading up to it was a bust. Scratching over beats was fun, but there was little room to move and it was set up in the reverse of what I prefer so I had to cross-arm it; then while I was scratching my fader hand kept hitting the hamster switch on the mixer (very inconveniently designed, that). Oh well. Can't win 'em all.
Oh yeah, Saturday was Geschwinday. The site is down right now, but my sister is going to ask around to see if the original files still exist, and then maybe I'll be hosting the official information for Geschwinday. Also, if anyone feels like playing host to me on my US tour after I graduate, please let me know.
July 18, 2003
give it up for the rock
Right now I'm listening to Wish and Wait by Del Cielo. Ellen recommended it to me. They're a trio out of the D.C. area, and they're pretty good. Solid songwriting; I wish I had seen them when they toured through Houston. Oh well.
If you're interested in local rock, you should check out The Jonx. It's my friend Danny's band. I finally got a chance to see them play a couple of weeks ago and they rocked it, even with a few mistakes. The songs are great, and the band plays with some intensity. They'll be playing at a large upcoming festival next Saturday.
July 6, 2003
weekend insomniac edition
Shit, I shouldn't have had that Coca-Cola.
Anyway, lots of stuff to report on in the last week or so. Many thanks to those people who came out and supported the crew last Friday at Firestation #3. Not as many people showed up as we would have liked, but it seemed like everyone was having a good time. One guy who just moved to Houston from New York asked me why there weren't more people at the event, as something like this in NY would be jammed with people. I just looked at him and told him this was Houston...
Still trying to rehab my ankle. No game this weekend, so it'll get almost a full week of rest. Hopefully that will help.
In other news, the Supreme Court ended its most recent session with some amazing rulings. I'm glad to see them rule on affirmative action with a majority opinion that recognizes that the strength of the union depends on having a diverse leadership, and that we don't currently have that now. They also ruled in Lawrence vs. Texas that the state has no right to legislate rules governing private adult consensual activity. I'm glad they did this, and I'm rather surprised to see that there are people out there who still believe that gays shouldn't have the same level of rights. Senator Frist (R-Tennessee, current Senate majority leader) has come out saying that he would back an amendment barring gay marriage. That's ridiculous. The religious right should remember that the U.S. is supposed to stand for equal rights for all, and that marriage is no longer solely a religious pact between a man and a woman. Hell, you can get married down at the courthouse by a JP, so it clearly doesn't have to be based in religion. Marriage is no more than a social contract between two people - there is no logical reason that I can find that suggests that the two people have to be of the same gender. In fact, I would argue that allowing gay marriage is to the advantage of corporations. Right now, corporations are pressured to extend benefits to partners in same-sex relationships. One of the arguments against extending benefits has been that is prone to abuse by fraud. Who's to say that those two people are really dependent on each other? If same-sex marriages were legalized, there would be no reason to extend benefits to domestic partners. It would be, to put it bluntly, a situation where the corporation could say 'put up or shut up.' It would force gay partners to get married in order to get those benefits. A possible side effect of this would be the subtle social engineering of the gay relationship. Another complaint by the religious right has been the promiscuous behaviour exhibited by many gay people. If you force gay people to get married to get benefits, well, that also opens them up to divorce and the whole load of other crap that comes along with marriage. It may actually encourage monogamy in the gay community, which then might lead to a decrease in diseases spread by sexual contact. Win-win for everyone!
OK, enough about politics and sociology. Last night I went to see a local Houston vibraphonist (Roman Skakun) with Jason Marsalis on drums. I spent a lot more money that I expected to (the show was moved from Cezanne's to Sierra Grill, causing an estimated 30% increase in my bar tab) but it was worth it. The quartet started off a little rough, but progressively got tighter. Jason Marsalis is an amazing musician - he even brought along a pair of finger cymbals that he busted out near the end of the night. Roman Skakun had some nice four-mallet work, although I felt he wasn't playing loud enough. The guitarist was talented, as was the bassist, but I felt neither of them really stood out. I am, however, slightly biased as a fellow percussionist, having played both vibraphone and drums in my earlier years...
May 23, 2003
archived sets, 29 april 2003 - 20 may 2003
I've finally got the last few weeks worth of shows encoded, so here they are.
- the Vinyl Frontier, 29 April 2003
- the Vinyl Frontier, 6 May 2003
- the Vinyl Frontier, 13 May 2003
- electronic music show w/ Ahypnos, 16 May 2003; mostly techno and house. Not so good mixing on my part; I hadn't actually listened to any of those records before.
- the Vinyl Frontier, 20 May 2003 - this show kicked ass. I had some good moments, and the mixes felt right.
Still working on reformatting the stupid punchout photo blocks. I don't have easy access to IE/Win, though. All of the Mac browsers I've tested so far work correctly. Stupid Windows.
April 28, 2003
three weeks of archived audio
It was fun opening for the Triple Threat DJs (Apollo, Shortkut, and Vin Roc) on Saturday. We had some technical difficulties early on, so we didn't really get a whole lot of time to spin, but I got some nice pics. Here you can see the ridiculous quantity of gear on stage - three Technics 1200s, two Pioneer CD decks, one Akai sampler, a laptop, two Rane mixers, and two Vestax mixers. I'll post some more pictures later, but I thought you'd all like to see this one...
Apollo was working the Final Scratch, and apparently he's been designated the official spokesman of the trio because he did most of the talking. I was surprised to see the CD decks, but they made the absolute most out of the decks by compiling all of their scratch samples and drum breaks in order on the CDs, which allowed them to be unbelievably tight in the transitions. After about 45 minutes of fun, they each stepped up and did solo routines. Apollo first, then Shortkut, and then Vin Roc. Vin Roc absolutely killed it during his solo routine. I guess he's a back to back champion for a reason. You could see that he was having fun; and he pulled off some tight body tricks. I'm absolutely going to have to work on my juggling now...
April 5, 2003
move the record back and forth
Last night, the Phonographerz (that's Baby Cee, Cozmos, Dave 1, and myself) played at Helios. Big ups to Cee Plus and Samplistik for having us out there. It was fun; we tag teamed on four turntables and two mixers. My cutting is getting better, plus it helps that the music was so bloody loud that no one could really tell what the hell I was doing. And of course, inevitably half the crowd found their way behind the decks and we had a hell of a lot of guest DJs cutting for a couple of minutes each. My only complaint is that Samplistik is too tall - his setup was the one we ended up cutting on, and it was really uncomfortable to be doing crabs with my wrist higher than my navel. I'm excited, though, because everyone seemed to have a really good time, and we're learning each other's idiosyncrasies. I'm also excited to be opening for the Triple Threat DJs on the 26th at Fat Cat's.
I was somewhat surprised that a good chunk of my friends managed to make it out to the show - we didn't start until midnight. It was a good turnout, though, and amazingly enough, Debbi managed to convince some of her trendy B-school friends to come out to Helios. Mondro was good enough to come out and support. We're really going to have to start dj-ing together... six turntables. That'll be hella crazy.
For those of you who might actually have been waiting, here's the mp3 of the last show. I didn't manage to get last night's performance recorded. Next time.
March 7, 2003
mp3 and other stuff
Here is the mp3 of the last show. Looks like I solved the CoreAudio problem. Now it's just regular problems with distortion. Plus grounding problems. It's time to replace the RCA cables on those Technics...
In other news, the US is going to shit. Check this article, this editorial, and this article. We appear to be destroying the very liberties that are the reason we are fighting the "war on terrorism." (How one uses guns to fight a concept still escapes me. What is the victory state of that war, anyway?) While you're at it check out Saul Williams' new track, "Not In My Name." The DJ Goo remix is the really hot one.
Also, I've just now realized that half of my pages are completely broken. My CSS mojo is very low right now. Most of the pages render fine in Chimera (my primary browser) but there are issues in IE and other browsers. Expect a major overhaul of the site soon.
March 3, 2003
I've encoded the set from last Friday's show. You can download it. However, both it and the set from the week before have distortion and pops. It's too bad, because they were decent sets. I believe the problem is with CoreAudio. I just upgraded my software (hah!) and of course, it fucked things up. Hopefully I've solved the problem. We'll find out when I try to record tomorrow night's show...
February 22, 2003
electronica [21 Feb 2003]
So the mp3 didn't turn out so well. I'm going to see if that's a problem with the source, or with the encoding. You can get the current version of the set here while I try to fix the problem. The set went reasonably well, considering I haven't actually listened to most of those songs in a while, and some were brand new to me. I guess I need to start practicing again...
February 21, 2003
vinyl frontier [18 Feb 2003]
Well, I'll try to post a playlist, but I'm going to have to trainspot the whole show. This week I had the Phonographerz turntablist crew (of which I am sort of a member) up on the show. Three turntables, tag team style. You can download the three hour set. Baby Cee, Cozmos, and Dave killed it. I tried to help.
Tonight, I'll be hosting the electronic music show on KTRU from 9pm to 11pm. I'll probably be spinning some house, some broken beat, some nu-jazz. Next Friday I'll be hosting as well, and Leigh will be the guest dj, so expect some dope jungle breakbeats...
February 14, 2003
like crack cocaine
"Maybe Avril Lavigne is like the gateway drug of female rockers... which would make the Reputation crack cocaine..."
Here is my response. Let's just say I had an inspired moment.
Music dealer: Pssst! Hey kid, come here!
Teenage kid: Yeah, what?
MD: I hear you're into that Avril Lavigne shit.
TK: Yeah, so?
MD: Well, I got some stuff here that'll totally take you to a new world. It's the hard stuff, man, the real deal, it's the Reputation.
TK: I hear you can't fileshare that stuff, though - I'm not sure I'm into that...
MD: Naw, kid, you can try the first three tracks free. You can walk away after that if you don't like it.
TK: Well, I guess it can't hurt.
(45 minutes, 16 seconds later - including some 163 seconds of silence)
TK: Fuck, I need that. Here's my $10 bucks. You got any more?
MD: Naw kid, that's it for the Reputation, but I got some Sarge - it's a lot like that but a little more raw; and I've got some other stuff I bet you'll like, too...
cd reviews [14 February 2003]
Two quick reviews of hip-hop cds that I did for KTRU:
E Da Boss, Catchin' A Buzz, Slept On Records
This is a nice little EP of breakbeats; it's a good showcase of where sample-based music in hip-hop is heading, while still keeping some old school flavor. All tracks are clean, all tracks are good.
- (3:15) Intro + Nt#2 - short intro rap by Gift of Gab on the telephone, beautiful, ethereal, syncopated instrumental breakbeat
- (4:30) Bop T Bop (DJ Platurn remix) - chunky beat with a far eastern tinge, some spoken samples, lots of scratches.
- (3:57) Sucka DJs - female MC (Dimple D?) kicks it over an old school breakbeat with a lot of reverb
- (2:50) E's House Party - soulful, slow, sad instrumental. crispy hi-hat in the breakbeat. some female background vox.
- (3:05) 50¢ Breaks - conjures up the old school R&B jam. some scratches and juggling.
- (6:00) Sooth Your Soul (Montags Dust Remix) - shuffling triplet pattern on top of the 4/4, laid back groove driven by the walking bass line. some minor harmonies woven in...
Various artists, Plug Tunes vol. 1, Metatronix
I like the vibe here; it's pretty good progressive hip-hop. However, these are mostly instrumentals, and I know for a fact that some of these songs have vocal parts. As a result, a lot of these tunes drag on way too long. It's one thing to have a five minute song composed of 16-bar loops if people are rhyming over them, but to just have the loops can be a bit repetitive and dull. It's a nice look into a particularly underrepresented aesthetic in hip-hop, though.
- (4:46) Supersoul - Almighty Dub (feat. Juliet) - dubby breakbeat, lots of reverb. some chopped up/distorted female vox
- (5:30) Calamalka - Ten-9 Volts - synthesized flute-like intro. fuzzed out bass with crispy top end. this beat goes nowhere.
- (2:42) Eternal Golden Void - Witch Finder - slow spooky feel
- (5:40) Digital K - Coming Dub - nice breakbeat with a dubby feel - almost feels like it's going to break doubletime but it doesn't. short vocal samples embedded.
- (3:52) Brimstone127 - Espionage - tense beat with building samples leads into that dark unknown corner...
- (4:47) Mike Pre-Amp - Calaloo - heh. clever name for the artist. erratic, circus on downers sort of feel to this instrumental break.
- (3:48) Supersoul - Sound Clash [Fat Jon remix inst.] - this is a beautiful track. Nice piano line. Fat Jon is the man.
- (4:20) Jake Mandell - Die Kleine Hexe [Supersoul remix] - spaced out, soundtracky. sweeping synth resembles wind blowing
- (4:58) Supersoul - Klinga [Push Button Objects remix] - plodding pace, but has a very nice progression to the loops.
- (4:41) Stratagy - Splinters In The Mind's Eye - some scratching over an orchestral beat in some minor tonality
- (4:41) Supersoul - Feel The Cold [illicit version] - bleepy intro, picks up the pace with spaced out sounds throughout; some vocal samples.
- (5:59) Supersoul - Sleepwalker [DJ Vadim remix] - vocal intro. Vadim flips this one into a spectacular exploration of texture and mood. Breakbeat feels almost extraneous, though.
January 26, 2003
r.i.p. sound ex austin
I picked up a lot of random stuff, from blues to jazz to pop to hip-hop and back. But the one cd I picked up on a lark has turned out to be fantastic. It's the newest album by Jenny Toomey, formerly of Tsunami. Titled "Tempting," it's a fine melange of pop, lounge, and more with some amazing guest musicians on it. (Did someone say Calexico?) Anyway, pick it up if you find a copy. It's worth it, I promise.
January 22, 2003
link up, yo
An assemblage of links for your entertainment, education, and edification.
- A remix of Doujah Raze's "Irish Cream" from H-Peh from Germany.
- The Mountain Brothers have some new tracks out. At least one (Microphone Phenomenal) sounds super dope. I've been waiting a long time. 2003 is the year my yellow brothers will take over! Yao Ming, the Mountain Brothers, who's next?
- If you're a student, this store has the cheapest price I've found for the Adobe Design Collection (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Acrobat). Even this poor grad student managed to afford it.
- A low point of Asian-american subculture.
January 15, 2003
January 4, 2003
interview finally up
The mp3 recording of the interview I conducted back in November with Sleep and Onry Ozzborn from Oldominion, and Qwel from Typical Cats is finally online. You can access it here or from the audio archive page. It's a decent interview, and I got a nice little exclusive track from Onry, but I've encoded at a somewhat low bitrate to discourage piracy.
January 3, 2003
revolutions per minute
I suppose I never mentioned it, but I'm officially part of the Phonographerz Crew now. Baby Cee and Cozmos asked me to join, along with DJ Dave. I'm still not entirely sure why I'm in the crew, because I don't cut or juggle nearly as well as they do. The only things I have going for me are my obscure records, impeccable taste, and blinding good looks, I guess. ;-)
In any case, we had our first performance as a crew last Sunday (the 29th of December) at the Proletariat (yeah, it's kind of a pretentious name for a bar, isn't it?) with absolutely no practice together. It went pretty well, although it was a little odd doing short little sets in between bands. We settled into the groove at the end when we got an hour for ourselves. The weirdest thing, though, was watching my worlds collide. Several of the staff members from the Gingerman and one employee of the Briar Shoppe showed up. It's strange seeing these people, whom I only know from very specific locations in my life, out in a social capacity. I don't mind it, it's just weird. On top of all that, my good friend A. is back in town for a while, and we've been doing way too much drinking.
Perhaps weirder, though, is that I seem to be getting more gigs as a dj now by not trying than I did before when I actively sought them out. Karma, perhaps? Some sort of weird Zen exercise? We'll see how long this lasts...
December 19, 2002
top 5 albums of 2002
In no particular order, here are the top 5 albums that I got that were published in 2002.
November 20, 2002
playlist [19 nov 2002]
Here is the playlist for the vinyl frontier, 19 nov 2002.
November 17, 2002
two more mp3s
I've uploaded two more mp3 files, both from past prologue sessions. The first is Baby Cee and Cozmos on 08 June 2002, and the second is myself and Chicken George on 26 July 2002. The first is a 192Kbps stereo mp3, the second is a 160Kbps mono mp3.
November 14, 2002
playlist [12 nov 2002]
Here is the playlist from the vinyl frontier, 12 November 2002.
more mp3 madness
I've just put up three more mp3 mixes; they're promotional mixes that I made in a half-hearted attempt to get gigs. I don't really have the stomach to go pound the pavement and pimp myself out to club owners, though. It's not like my style would really fly in Houston anyway. Chicago, New York, London, San Francisco, yes; Houston, no. Click on the link to the left to get to the main audio archive page.
November 11, 2002
I'm making mp3 files of the prologue archives available on the web. Please be kind to my server; I'm only hosting on my cable modem at home. So be patient - the files are encoded at 192Kbps stereo, so considering that I only get upload speeds of around 128Kbps, it should take longer to download the files than the actual length of the sets.
The first two available files are from the most recent session (the first of November). I've got about one hour of Leigh's chill jungle set, and about an hour and a half of Baby Cee and Cozmos' set.
November 8, 2002
beats and rawk
Woo! Technology (specifically a Mac OS 9 application called SoundApp) saves the day. I managed to recover the data from last Friday's prologue session. I'll mp3 it and put it up on the site at some point. It was a good party, for those who missed it - Leigh dropped a tight set; Baby Cee, Cozmos, and Fast 4ward wowed the crowd, and I trainwrecked badly my three turntable set. At one point we had four turntables and five mixers on the table, all of which were being used. Bad signal routing on our part. Hopefully next time we won't be following Microcinema - that way we can get everything set up ahead of time.
Wednesday night I rocked out to the sounds of Calexico at Mary Jane's. They were amazing. I kept acting like an idiot, dancing and shouting and drinking... It was the most fun I have had at a show in a long, long time. I missed K, but I heard she was good. Destroyer was all right, but something of a one-trick pony. I couldn't tell when one song ended and the next began because they were all in the same key, at the same tempo, with the same chords. Sheesh. They had a nice sonic texture, but I didn't really get into them.
October 28, 2002
Less than a week until the party. I've got to get my set together. Anyway, I've been dramatically influenced by a few different CDs, all of which have 80's tracks on them. Rjd2 has a short promo mix cd out, Spinbad of course, and Z-Trip and DJ P.
What I really need, though is a new mixer. It's tough to do multiple turntable sets with daisy-chained two channel battle mixers. I was totally floored by Rjd2's ability to do it during the Def Jux tour.
Good stuff to look for: anything on Strut, Jazzanova's "In Between," and the DJ Cam compiled "Honeymoon: The Key Love Songs of My Life" on Chronowax.