As the beat resonates, flashing from one ear bud to the next like the monotone on a child’s piano, I realize, Shadow is serious, he’s got to rock. Enter the sampling, ah, his personal strength, Shadow has made a living digging in crates in black holes passing off as record store basements. I’m listening to this track:
It’s the first track off DJ Shadow‘s EP, which is nothing more than a preview of some tracks featured on an LP titled The Less You Know The Better set for a September 5th release. The EP features three singles off the LP, and some remixes of the three. My personal choice is the remix for “I’ve Been Trying”, aptly called:
The cornucopia of sounds varying from DNB to Low End Electro reminds the listener (me) that Shadow is literally a museum of sonic knowledge. I listen to his music and all I can think is Library of Congress, a bounty of sporadic, spicy and diverse sounds. He mentioned on his website that this will hopefully stave off demand until the LP drops on September 5th, but if anything this wets an appetite, I call these releases “spring rolls”, I’m ready for my chow mein.
Somewhere up in Seattle DJ Topcat is in a lab concocting ways to mash up classic shit and not have it sound like donkey ass. This mash up at a clean 106 BPM nails a proverbial head, I just wonder if these cats are proverbially rolling in their literal graves. Shout out to Dave @ Fist of Blog for the heads up.
The influx of Electro music in the main stream has influenced nearly every other genre. It is nearly impossible to turn on your radio or television without hearing it. Unfortunately a lot of it is pure garbage, put some bass, some synth and a fast tempo and call it music. Personally I am very particular about what type of electro I will let flow through my head phones. For those of you who have not yet hopped on the bandwagon, or for those who have been put off by the repetitive droning you hear in the clubs I have made a playlist of some hip hop friendly songs that I think are pretty damn good.
B-More Club music is a lot of things. I’m too coffee-less to peruse the adjectives right now but one adjective that certainly does not fit B-More, is pretentious. And for that very reason, I dig it. I’m not saying dense musings pertaining to the ills of the world aren’t necessary but with so many folks out of work or in jobs they despise, oil raping the ocean and the world crumbling as we speak, sometimes we need dudes like Blaqstarr to whip up non-clandestine songs about sex and drugs.
Over the past 24 hours I have been bombarded with good mixtapes, mixes and other amalgamated shit. I figured it only fair that I share some of these mixes with the Zebra fans; there’s a variety of mixtures for a variety of moods so pair wisely:
A-One is a San Francisco Rapper and hometown bias aside, I really think this guy has some ill heat. Scope his mixtape A-OneMan Army.
Meanwhile, Los Angeles MC Dom Kennedy just dropped From the Westside with Love, which is being called a “mixtape” but considering it’s original beats, it’s essentially an album and freeeeee!
Finally, DJ Original Bozak has created the soundtrack to a forthcoming digital novel(more on that later), dubbed P.U.R.E. Hitz Vol. 1. It’s a dope mix of sultry pop hits.
I know think I’m a fuckload little late on this one but when I came across this gem I had to post it. Little Dragon is one of Sweden’s illest bands right now (and the singer is smoking–she’d be the girl, of course) and Trackademicks is one of the Bay Area’s only most noteworthy producers, having produced tracks for Little Brother, Mistah FAB, J* Davey and Kid Sister; ?uestlove and the Fool’s Gold clique have both given the Alameda-native their nods of approval. Swing over to the very cool website RCRD LBL to download Trackademics’s remix of “After the Rain.”
Little Dragon-”After the Rain”(Trackademics Remix)
For those of you lucky enough to live in this Smog, Filth, Grime, city that we call Los Angeles, you should hit up The Airliner on Wednesday nights, They got a little night going down over there called Low End Theory, featuring some of the this nations best music talent, weekly. One such resident DJ is Daddy Kev, a quintessential jack of all trades DJ. Plunge yourself down the rabbit hole at Low End Theory and you’ll find yourself enamored with Electro, Dubstep, Hip Hop, Drum & Bass, and everything in between. Think of it like the music that would be played in Zion in the Matrix Trilogy, just on some future sonic Jetsons shit. It truly is a wormhole of contemporary music, a 21st century music heritage event, weekly.
For those of you that were lucky enough to have caught the Low End Theory tour in Japan at the end of last year, there’s likely plenty of envy and empathy you have for us Angelinos. For those of you who have never heard of the likes of Nosaj Thing, Gaslamp Killer, and Daddy Kev, check out the Philip Arnold Paul Japan Tour cd*.
Outkast aside, De La Soul is probably my favorite hip-hop group of all time. Call it a chicken-and-egg complex, but even now, when I listen to 3 Feet High and Rising I still remember pretty much everything about the day I bought that album: girl problems, algebra tests, etc. The esoteric quirks on each subsequent De La album are exactly the same in terms of stimulating elephant-like memories.
Mick Boogie and Co. have just dropped Le Da Soul: 20 Years of De La Soul with remakes of some of the classics De La has dropped for the past 20 years. Click the De La Soul sneaker below to download the mixtape:
Both of these guys come from cities whose football teams are named after birds……..dang, I guess I know nothing else about Seattle or Philadelphia; so much for my comparison as a lead-in. Nonetheless, Jake One and Freeway have joined talons (you like that?) for a mixtape dubbed The Beat Made Me Do It!.
Mixtapes don’t get their due. At this point, we take the charming little clusterfucks for granted. But, in truth, they’re tenacious little beasts. Mixtapes have served as vital cat-posts for many genres of music–mainly rap– where fledgling artists can sharpen their claws; some of the best material to be yielded by the likes of Lil Wayne, Joe Budden and Wale* have emerged on mixtapes. Albums are a formality these days but mixtapes are what keep a rapper’s enigma nourished.
Mixtapes have also created a new compartment in the rap economy for visual artists. Some of the best rap cover-art has adorned the fronts of mixtapes; the solar system is the limit when it comes to ridiculous covers, from Wayne laughing at T.I. beyond hauled off in a police cruiser to Gucci Mane cackling in a movie theater.
Now, with the holidays nearby and everyone swimming in their couches to pay the water bill, mixtapes can be cheap, yet simultaneously (and perhaps erroneously) heartfelt gifts. And, if you want to not only be stingy with your money but also with your time, you can make one tape and send it to multiple people. Wired Magazine just listed some spots you can upload your tape for the masses.
*Though, for over two years mixtapes have essentially been the only carrots to come out of Wale’s garden
San Francisco’s Pride weekend is remarkably similar to Cinco de Mayo. The main reason for my theory is that I’d say 95% of people who celebrate it are not gay or Mexican. Rather, the masses who do get down, see late June as an advantageous time to debauch themselves into oblivion. If you’re in the fog city area tonight, scope the party above, where the URB Magazine fam and Los Angeles mainstays Mid City West are going to score your drunking.
Is it just me or is the leaking of songs from a mixtape a bit odd, considering that the ragtag ethic of a mixtape suggests that the project is one giant leak? Anyway, Wale has done just that by dropping “Family Affair” off of his Back To The Feature mixtape, that shall be produced by 9th Wonder. Snag it here.
Whether or not Obama lives up Slick Willy’s Gullness remains to be solidified. However, we do know that Bam Bam, when asked if he inhaled reefer, stated that “yes, that is the point.” Los Angeles-based producers Fe-Sides (iron-sides) recently whipped up a fresh B-More Club rendition of another logically-savvy quote from the commander in chief. Download Fe-Sides X Obama-”Yes We Can:Fries.”Also Scope Fe-Sides’ other remix kills.
Let’s talk compensation. If you ever take a stroll down Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills you see plenty of it. Little shrimpy guy drives an exotic Italian car that has a polysyllabic name he can’t even pronounce–compensation. He parks and out of the front seat pops his uber-aesthetically pleasing girlfriend, big boobs, derriere, lips, hips, all of it. But when she opens her mouth to speak, you’d think a brain-dead tree-sloth was talking–compensation.
As G-Unit’s weakest lyrical link, it’s essential that Tony be able to yield classsssssssic mixtape covers like the one above…..oh yeah. If you’re interested in hearing what G-Unit’s “stupid girlfriend” has to say download his mixtape here.