Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Jack White: A Master Troll at Work

So, in case you haven't heard by now, Jack White is either gone insane or is a evil mastermind, as he unveils his most recent project:

Wait for it....

It's a collaboration with none other than the hatchet wielding, Faygo drinking, magnet confused, Dark Carnival Christian allegorical clowns I.C.P., the Insane Clown Posse, who have decided to cover a Mozart song together with instrumentations from JEFF the Brotherhood.

Re-read that a couple of times and let it sink in. Don't bother with the pinches, you ain't dreaming.

So, simply we have:

-Jack White:

- and....Mozart, seen here in non-grave-rolling action:

What sort of monstrosity did they create together (against Mozart's will, I can only assume)? Well, here it is, but don't say I didn't warn you just how awful it is (it's really, really awful):

Insane Clown Posse - Leck Mich Im Arsch by Third Man Records

With almost 100,000 plays in less than 24 hours, all I can say is:

Well done, Jack White, I salute you.
Seriously though, this has got to be illegal or something.

Artist Radar - Free the Robots

Tonight in Lincoln Heights, we have Santa Ana's own Free the Robots, who is no stranger to Low End Theory, being a local and all.

Free the Robots is one of those guys that's hard to pin down, even with the tag "electronic", because his most popular tune sounds as organic as walking into the swankiest nightclub in down and ordering gin and tonic on the rocks.

And then the next thing you know it's like you've been caught with the owner's wife/husband, and you've just been hastily thrown into the side alley way and are dealing with a group of less than friendly security:

That's quite a transition, if I do say so myself, but diversity is always something that I admire in a producer. No one wants the same style over and over... unless you're a fan of the genre dungeon (ooo burn!).

Before long, you're on a motorcycle in Morocco, drunk on absinthe, running from what appear to be crocodiles with wheels:

In case you haven't noticed, music tends to excite my over active imagination... but yeah, dig through his tracks long enough and you're sure to find one that you like, and come check him out live tonight:

Low End Theory @ The Airliner
2419 N Broadway
18+ / $10

Record release party for Free the Robot's latest EP "The Minds Eye", which you can preview/purchase below:

Also at the event will be Salva, Natasha Kmeto, Boom Baptist, and ALL the residents!
Read full review of The Mind's Eye EP - Free The Robots on ©

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Artist Radar - Kimbra

It's kiwi time! And I'm not talking about the fruit. Today's artist feature is the lovely Kimbra, a smoky, soulful singer from Hamilton, New Zealand. Known for a variety of things aside from singing, such as having amazing lips and erratic dancing, and generally being amazing.

There's something special about performers like her, who lay it all out there and just bring their soul to the table, even if it means a couple strange movements during the act. It's endearing, in a way, but I'm usually too wrapped up in her voice to actually form a complete sentence, let alone critique her mannerisms.

Noting her rise to popularity wouldn't be complete without mentioning her appearance in the Gotye song "Somebody That I Used To Know", where she makes being naked remain classy (sorta NSFW, but I doubt you're reading this at work anyway... but if you are... awesome!).

After you're done listening to that song for the 50th time, let's continue...

It's odd that I chose today to feature her, because it just so happens that her debut album, Vows, came out yesterday, August 29th. You can buy it here now if you're super excited and want the hard copy with the special DVD in your hands as soon as possible, or you can preorder it on iTunes and snag it three days from now digitally.

Click the pic if you're interested in having her entire face cover your screen.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Artist Radar - Dead Skeletons

Dead Skeletons are nothing new, they've been making music since 2003, but if you haven't been paying much attention to the genre of Icelandic Neo-Goth Dark-Psychedelia, they may have passed you by until now.

They are truly an inspiring band, even if you can't wrap your head around their music. In the 90's, one of the band members was diagnosed HIV positive. This led the group to not fear the unknown (death), but to embrace it. Embracing death and darkness sounds like a morbidly bad place to be psychologically, but in this embracing, it led them to their mantra:


"He who fears death cannot enjoy life.", repeated for eight and a half minutes in what almost feels like a trance like state. Even when the rhythm is playing without the lyrics, I can still hear it in my head.

To me, there's something so powerful about this song and this band, something inspirational that a lot of bands lack. Sure, Taylor Swift can chat about being fifteen and in "love", but a band that constantly reminds to you appreciate your life and not fear death... in every language they can muster? That goes a little bit deeper than anything Miley Cyrus can muster. Or even Bon Iver.

This is getting Elliott Smith levels of deepness...

Bottom line: "He who fears death cannot enjoy life." Think on that for awhile. I hope it inspires you as much as it inspired me the first time I heard the song back in the day.

I'll leave you now with a quote from the late great Socrates:

"To fear death, my friends, is only to think ourselves wise, without being wise: for it is to think that we know what we do not know. For anything that men can tell, death may be the greatest good that can happen to them: but they fear it as if they knew quite well that it was the greatest of evils. And what is this but that shameful ignorance of thinking that we know what we do not know?”

Now go out there and live your life.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Wanderlust Radar - São Tomé and Príncipe

Not too many people I know of are familiar with the Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe, or have even really heard of it, but it is in fact a sovereign nation, complete with a flag and a national anthem.

The island nation is a small Portuguese speaking country to the west of Gabon, Africa. So what would make you want to book a flight halfway around the world to some island no one's ever heard of?

Well, this, for starters.
And a little of this...
It is here that I will live out all my Jurassic Park fantasies.

 Lending to its relative obscurity, you won't see many fanny-pack'd soccer moms here.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Peppy Pomeranian Pups

Time for some off-topic weekend fun! Yeah, that's a thing now, deal with it. I know the devoted readers amongst you will remember that I consider Husky puppies to be one of the greatest things of all time.

Well I guess I could say the same for Pomeranian puppies:

These pups are adorable ONLY because they are not yapping. Have you ever heard a Pomeranian yap? It's like a high pitched pulsing blender straight next to your eardrum.

Friday, August 26, 2011

FACT Mix 227: Shlohmo

So I'm sure most of you folks are following my buddy Future Frequencies over at his blog, where he updates alongside me the best music ever, no doubt about it.

If you're not following him yet, get on it! Your life will improve dramatically.

I'm assuming that you've seen his post today about the newest FACTmag mix, done by our one and only LA wunder-producer Shlohmo, who it's no secret that I'm a fan of.

So thanks Future Frequencies for the tip, you can listen to the mix here, on FACT's soundcloud.

Artist Radar - Eliot Lipp

Eliot Lipp was, at one point, a barista from Tacoma with a dream. Working at a coffeehouse and producing music on the side, Los Angeles was his home throughout the early 00's.

I can't believe I'm already referring to the last decade as the 00's.

Anyway, that all changed once Scott Herren (Warp Records) caught interest in his music and signed him to his Eastern Developments label in 2004.

A shortly after, Lipp ended his coffee exploits and relocated to Brooklyn, New York to spend all of his time and energy on making music, and our ears thank him for that.

Since then he's had multiple releases on Hefty Records, one on Mush Records, some self releases, and singles on various other labels.

His organic drums and use of the Korg ms-20 synthesizer make up the soul of his sound, and there are few that focus less on loops and more on orchestration of the entire piece, melodies flowing in and out of each other.

If you liked these tunes, check out the rest of his releases, they are rich with similarly spectacular grooves. If you're interested in getting to know the man behind the machines, and nerd out with his amazing array of analog gear, check out this excellent XLR8R interview with him and his tools:

Thanks for reading, you beautiful, beautiful people.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Collab Radar: James Blake + Bon Iver

Piano-bass wonderboy James Blake joins crooner Justin Vernon &co. in a murky, emotional tune that is...



As best said by the top rated youtube comment:

"My favourite lyric is "i may funinloneno nooow I payy phone do lone dee lone Zobi dombi dombi dome""

Don't get me wrong, it's a pretty awesome song, but between the bizarre autotuning and the sheer baffling use of the English (I think?) language, I'm kind of left wanting more.

First commenter to successfully decipher the lyrics wins a prize! Yes, that's right, a grand prize of wasting an afternoon to look cool on the internet.

This song will be up for purchase on iTunes early next week (29th).

A match made in garbled heaven.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Album Radar: Mochipet - Chicxulub

Fresh off of 1320 Records (Eliot Lipp, Alex B, Emancipator and other amazing artists that will eventually have a feature here) comes Mochipet's latest glitch-funk audio fest, groovy, messy and cheeky.

There you have it, the full album preview, as groovy and messy and cheeky as I promised.

Mochipet is one of the best-known Taiwanese producers out there, and has collabs to the moon and back with everyone from hip hop MC's to techno producers, but this album seems to be a return to his avant-garde electronic hip hop roots. Only 8 tracks, but definitely 8 tracks worthy of being on 1320 Records.

And besides, how could you possibly not give a guy who dresses up like a dinosaur a listen:

It's actually hard to find a picture of him not dressed like a dinosaur.

Have a listen, and follow the link in the player above to purchase the album in all its glory in mp3 or FLAC... but you'll do FLAC because you're a huge audio nerd like me, right?

Here's my pick from the album, gets really good (purple-ish, yum) at around 0:41

Have a great day all you beautiful people.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Artist Radar - Letherette

While this will probably get most of its hits from people looking for faux leather who can't spell, this is not in fact about leatherette, but Letherette.

While information on Letherette is scarce, it's safe to say that they're a duo of producers from the Wolverhampton (UK), who seem to have a particular skill when it comes to breathing new life into old samples.

For one reason or another, this style of music is very polarizing. To some, it's genius of selection and combination, and to others, it's mashed up mangled nonsense with staggering flow and annoying cuts.

I'm pretty sure you can guess what category I fall under, considering this is my blog and all.

They get particularly interesting when they're pulled in to do remixes for people, and maintain their classic sound even though they're using fresher samples:

It's like disco that doesn't make me want to claw my eyes out!

They also have prime selective eyes when it comes to making mixtapes, as displayed by their selection for BTS Radio that includes picks from Pete Rock to Bibio to an exclusive Hudson Mohawke track, which you can snag here (tracklist below).

Letherette - Eye To Eye (CDR)
Pete Rock - We Roll (Nature Sounds)
Letherette - Master Chin (CDR)
Letherette - In July (CDR)
Madlib - The Mystery (Dilla's Still Here) (Stones Throw)
Letherette - Check My Head (CDR)
Kashif - I Just Gotta Have You (Lover Turn Me On) (Arista)
Pheonix - If I Ever Feel Better (Source Records)
Cherelle w/ Alexander O'Neal - Saturday Love (Tabu)
Letherette - Langsette (CDR)
Letherette - In And Out (CDR)
Machinedrum - Late Night Operation (Letherette Remix) (Normrex)
Letherette - Good For Me (CDR)
Lone - Fire Fly Rainbow (Dealmaker)
Letherette - Feel Real (CDR)
Letherette - Shoe Be Doo (CDR)
Letherette - Blad (CDR)
Letherette - Yea Yeah Love (CDR)
Letherette - Giro Milo (CDR)
Hudson Mohawke - Track #003 (CDR)
Letherette - Donnie Ball Ball (CDR)
Letherette - Optimise In Prime (CDR)
Thomas Bangalter - Club Soda (Roule)
Letherette - This Time (CDR)
Bibio - Jealous Of Roses (Warp)
Bibio - Lovers' Carvings (Letherette Remix) (Warp)

Letherette - In And Out by Dipped in Dollars

Monday, August 22, 2011

Prog Rock Nyan Cat

Just when I thought I was getting sick of Nyan Cat and all the nyan-remixes out there, I stumbled across this:

Here's the original video/song, in case you're brand new to the internet or something:

Album Radar: Constrobuz - We Will Die

This LP from Raleigh producer Constrobuz is unique in many ways. For starters, it's mostly organic noises, rather than the chopped and reassembled samples that have made him famous. It's also a wide and varied assortment of beats and rhythms, fading in and out of downtempo, dubstep, 8-bit, and even hints of drag.

Preview this amazing assortment here:

Constrobuz - We Will Die LP (2011) album preview by constrobuz

Now, other than that and the video at the bottom, there's not much more I can say about this album. Why, you ask?

Well, what is the pinnacle for me of Constrobuz's beats is available via Cicada Shell in cassette form only. I'm still waiting for my copy, but you can be sure that when it arrives I'll be dusting off my ancient walkman and plugging in my noise-canceling headphones and zoning out.

It's only $7 shipped, and is in limited release, so you should jump on it if this is your kind of thing.

And believe me, it is.

While this may not be available to download, in the comments section of the preview, Constrobuz says that it's not available to download anywhere yet, which may have some of you holding out. At five months since release, you might just want to jump on the cassette.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Collab Radar: Sparklehorse & Fennesz - In the Fish Tank 15

The 15th installment of Konkurrent Records' brilliant "In the Fishtank" collab series, we have a colossal meeting of shoegaze and the harsh ambience. The result is something somber, dreamy, and almost aloof. It seems almost fitting, since this was one of Mark Linkous' final works before taking his own life in an alleyway in Knoxville.

The troubled life of Linkous paired with the white noise guitar-gaze of the Austrian Christian Fennesz go together hauntingly well. Almost too well, and with a track like "NC Bongo Buddy", you almost find yourself lost in the sea of noise, chasing glitches that float on top of a reverb ocean.

I know that most of you probably aren't hardcore ambient fans, but those that are can really appreciate what a good pair of headphones and 11 minutes of your time can produce.

More approachable and intensely somber, the track "If My Heart" seems to slide in and out of coherence, seemingly introspective and touching. It gains a strange amount of buzz from Linkous' titling, as he has had heart problems in his past (his heart stopped as a result of an overdose), and his choice of ending his life by destroying his heart. All things considered, it's strikingly intense for an ambient song.

The album as a whole is a masterpiece of shoegaze goodness, perfect for a nice quiet Sunday of introspection.

If you're interested in the whole album, you can purchase the CD from Boomkat here or the LP here.

I promise I'll post something more lively later on, since I don't want to leave the weekend crowd on such a depressing note, but there really is something special about this album.

Cheers, thanks for reading / listening.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Video: Teebs - Moments

Here's a great video for the track "Moments" off of LA producer Teeb's latest heartwrenching LP, Ardour (vinyl), directed by Paul Trillo.

Teebs "Moments" from Paul Trillo on Vimeo.

Friday, August 19, 2011

New Clams Jam

Straight from the official ClammyClams youtube, here we have another Clams Casino gem, ft. ASAP Rocky and Main Attrakions, "Take 1".

Really wish I could snag the instrumental of this one.

Artist Radar - Ana Tijoux (Breaking Bad)

Breaking Bad is widely known for being a badass TV show, and part of that claim is its soundtrack. Everything from Fever Ray to Nancy Sinatra to TV on the Radio have made an audio appearance. Okay, so they may have had some corny picks when it came to Jesse's cringe-worthy "setup" at his house, but we'll ignore that for now.

Ana Tijoux made an appearance last Sunday with her track "1977", during a superlab meth-cooking montage:

I could listen to her rap all day.

The song is actually refreshing, as based on my loose translation via Google, it seems to be autobiographical without (gasp) trying to sound super gangsta and talking about shooting people or dealing drugs. And to top it off, she never once says the word "swag", in English or Spanish, in any of her songs.

I know, I'm still getting over the shock, myself.

Her real name is Anamaria Merino, and she's French-Chilean, which makes her unique to hip-hop in many regards. She's not new to the game at all, and has been active since the 1990's in the group Makiza.

I have no idea what they're saying, but I like it.

Spanish rap really hits a sweet spot for me, and it's not because I hear it all the time here in LA. Their flow based on natural Spanish dialect really is impressive, so when I hear a 30-something franco-hispanic lady who could put Twista to the test in terms of speed, you can color me impressed.

The flow plus the mature, political and thought-provoking themes (even loosely translated) really drive home an artist that's not new to any aspect of music, or life.

Here's a neat little interview (in English, thankfully for most of my readers) that details her background in music, talking about influences from Morocco to NWA:

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Album Radar: B-Ju - Minor Works

When you Google B-Ju, you'll find many things: Bob Jones University, British Journal of Urology, Christian educational materials (a la BJU)... but probably (and I may be biased here) the most interesting of them to us would be German producer and turntablist B-Ju.

This album caught my attention recently because I thought I had heard some of these tunes before... like, four years ago. Turns out I wasn't mistaken, and this album is actually a collection of tunes that he's been working on since 2006, all neatly packaged into one neat package with a weird Steve Martin face for album art..... and the best part is.... wait for it...

It's free! Well no, it's not free, but he's asking for a minimum of .40 cents Euro, so almost a dollar American.... and if you're not willing to pay a dollar for this beautiful album, you're a dick head, sorry.

Dreamy vibes and bass magic, you'll need your headphones for this one people. Warning: you may end up listening to this album on repeat throughout the day... don't say I didn't warn ya.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Artist Radar - Kuedo

Kuedo is the moniker of Jamie Vex'd, who is one half of the Jamie and Roly of the early dubstep pioneering group Vex'd. His real name is Jamie Teasdale, but with all those aliases, I'm not sure what to call him anymore.

Kuedo is his exploration into none other than my favorite genre that I chat about incessantly - purple and all the experimentation that comes with it.

That song right there, is like a drug to me. The staggering drums, the bright synths, and especially the tasty little tidbit that comes in @0:41/0:42. I could listen to that all day.

Some of you, maybe most of you would disagree. Shame on you.

It takes a certain kind of ear to make jumbled noises sound good. I could easily go into my studio and smash around on keyboards and make random noises, but without the proper orchestration, it would sound like absolute rubbish.

In case that's exactly what you were thinking when you listened to it (you at least made it to 0:41, right?), here's another tune to grate on your non-wonky sensibilities:

Thanks for reading/listening/commenting. Have a splendid night or day, wherever you may be right now.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Artist Radar - Hudson Mohawke

Hudson Mohawke, aka HudMo aka Hudson Mo aka DJ Itchy aka Ross Birchard, is a DJ/Producer from the rich electronic fields of Glasgow, Scotland.

Okay, so Scotland may not be your first guess for fertile experimentation in electronica, but it's surprises like that, that make life interesting. Between Hudson and his fellow Glasgow-ite Rustie, they dream up tracks that send the world into a frenzy.

Mr. Birchard never accepts boundaries or labels, and the resulting effect is usually a direction that you'd least expect, but instantly recognize.

Take the track on the right up there (Zoom), for example. It happened to be the first HudMo song I came across back in the day, and still continues to amaze me... it takes a certain kind of genius to find order amongst all that chaos, and HudMo is just the man for the job.

Not all of his music is quite as hard to digest:

However it still has that sense of rhythm and groove that is unmistakeable.

His latest release, Satin Panthers, is a glimmering, glistening adventure from track to track. The stomping trumpets of "Thunder Bay":

To the "lost puppy" step of "Cbat":

And the Clams Casino-esque reverb beauty concluder, "Thank You":

His resume continues to impress, and with this latest release on Warp, he's proven that he's here and he's not going anywhere anytime soon.

Sorry this post was a little video heavy, I got carried away, I'm kind of a fan.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Collab Radar: FLYamSAM

Adding to my previous discussion of Ann Arbor beatsmith Samiyam, it would be unfair to not incorporate one of the most-heralded collaboration in the LA electronic music scene, FLYamSAM.

In case you haven't figured it out yet, the duo consists of Sam Baker and none other than the kingpin of the kingpin of the scene, Flying Lotus.

The resulting sound is actually very true to both of their styles, with the wonky nature of the west coast sound staggering amongst glimmering soul a la FlyLo.

Sadly, the two of them have very limited releases, coming down to one EP and an assortment of tunes spread across various compilation albums, such as Adult Swim's Ghostly Swim:

Not much in terms of future releases, just rumors and bootlegs, but if and when the next murmur of their work comes to fruition, you'll be sure to hear it here first.

Supercut Special: Improvised Lines

Hey all, while I work on digging up some new music for you, I thought you'd be interested in this, since a lot of you are movie buffs:

The top 25 (according to this person) unscripted, improvised movie lines, arranged in order of cultural significance.

Keep the annotations on for the full experience:

Really interesting to see just how good some actors are, going off script and creating iconic moments in movie history. Enjoy and check back later for more goodies.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Wanderlust Radar - Hidden Cities of Yemen

Hello, everyone! Today we will be starting a special part of the Radar series, this time documenting places around the globe that you will want to drop everything, yes even that sandwich you're holding, and hop on a plane and explore.

Today we're starting it off with a country that most people have heard of, but few know anything about aside from civil unrest, Yemen.

Now, Yemen hasn't exactly been known for its Vegas-style tourist attractions, but that's the whole point of this series. It's places that aren't on every fanny pack'd soccer mom's list of places to drag their children. Now, what's so exciting about these cities, exactly? Oh, nothing... unless you can appreciate architectural marvels:

These were built hundreds of years ago, and lay perilously close to the edge of steep cliff faces, which makes them about 30% more awesome than normal buildings.

Anyone who's cool or interesting has wondered what it would be like to live in times gone by: ancient Egypt, Babylon at its peak, the prime of the Aztec / Olmec empires... I could go on and on. Well, you can catch a break here my time travelling friend, as many parts of these cities look exactly like they did when they were built, and are yearning for exploration:

Now, the cities like Aw Taliwa and Sana'a are breathtaking in their own merit, but you have to remember that some of these cliffs and dusty cities border the Gulf of Aden on the Indian Ocean, which bring some scenery that may make you feel like you're carousing around the Caribbean:

And bridges over the cliffs that make you want to put on a suit of armor and play an oud, nay or kanun:

All in all, these places are not your average tourist trap, and the unrest there recently has detracted from what this misunderstood land really has to offer. Make sure you read up a little on Arabic culture (pdf) before you venture here, so you don't appear ignorant or worse, rude. A great and inviting culture awaits you, and will give you perspective on what this big planet really is about.


Saturday, August 13, 2011

Artist Radar - Haruki Tamesue

I come across music in many different ways, one of them being the magical site known as reddit, more specifically the section r/listentothis, among others. Usually it's indie rock or other things that don't really tickle my fancy. However, yesterday I saw a bit of self promotion from a fellow known as Haruki Tamesue, who's soundcloud page says he's based in the US, but I'm guessing from his name he has some sort of connection with Japan.

After introducing himself, he declared "I make weird music". So naturally I was all over him like a manatee on clam chowder. What I found was a medley of industrial, glitchy, 808 infused awesomeness. Among all the psychedelic kaleidoscope of the album art, you can't help but notice that he gives all of his music away in any format you want on his bandcamp page. You heard me correctly cowboy, it's all free, you can't hate that.

Good luck putting him in a box, as well, as soon as you think you've got him figured out, he starts beat boxing over psychedelia:

Dark, dreamy, broken, beautiful, staggering, immolating ambience:

And tunes that sound like a Reznor late night practice session:

His bandcamp is a treasure trove of mashed up wonderment, and there's plenty more to be discovered. He never appears to take himself too seriously, and seems to record whatever he's feeling at any given moment. A shining talent among cookie-cutting dubstep producers and bedroom DJs, if you're tired of hearing ordinary music, you'll love Haruki and all he has to offer.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Tiny Chainsaw

Be careful with your fun-sized cutting tools, folks.

Listen To 7+ Minutes of Trent Reznor's Girl W/ the Dragon Tattoo OST

(If you just want to listen to the music, scroll to the bottom of the article to avoid my musings.)

Whether or not you listen to Nine Inch Nails or any of his other side projects, you have to admit that Trent Reznor is a badass. From his devil-may-care wild child antics when he was first coming up in the scene, to his subsequent dismissal of the mainstream labels and independency, and then all of a sudden turning into Sylvester Stalone level of buffness.

Beefy even when he looks like he just got hit in the gonads.

Antics aside, the man is a musical and lyrical master, I don't care if you like his music or not, it's undeniable that he created his own unique sound, all the while making the majority of ladies (industrial scene or not) swoon.

Recently in his career, he's been commissioned a few movie scores, from Natural Born Killers to Lost Highway. Then his bizarre inclusion in The Social Network (which worked out decently, in my opinion), and most recently, and the reason you probably clicked on this: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.

If you haven't read the book, it's quite good, and will make you very excited for the movie, which has been done before, but never Hollywood-ified and acted by Daniel Craig. 

Anyway, the score sounds like, well, a movie score... but Reznor's taste and skill are all but apparent. Enjoy:

Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross – The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Radar Remembers: Nujabes

Jun Seba, known in the production world as the reverse of that: Nuj Abes, or Nunjabes (NOON-jah-bes), was a Japanese DJ and producer of hip hop that bordered on jazz and trip hop.

Nujabes was taken from us last year, in an automobile accident at age 36. What he left us with was a legacy of some of the best instrumentals in the hip hop and jazz world.

His ability to combine natural, real-life instruments into his beats was uncanny, blending big band instruments seamlessly into a hip hop groove that has led to thousands of blends with a capellas.

Flutes, pianos, violins, trumpets... nothing was off limits to him, as long as it was a natural sound. Even his synthesized sounds sound natural, and give his sounds a beauty that doesn't often lend itself to hip hop. This usually results in fresher lyrics and not repetition of the word swag and constantly talking about drugs like *cough* some other people I've reviewed.

There's not much more to say, the music speaks for itself. If you like what I've posted so far, there's plenty more out there, just give Nujabes a quick search on youtube and you'll find a cornucopia of genius orchestration, as well as thousands of devoted fans.

RIP Nujabes.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Artist Radar - BrightBlack Morning Light

Alright, so I should be writing this four years ago, but if I did then I wouldn't have all you beautiful people to share with, now would I?

Today's artist is mellow, to say the least. So if you're wanting some hyped up dance tunes, why don't you sit down in that recliner over there and put on your fuzzy slippers, maybe pour some scotch or find some sort of herbal relaxation. Or maybe a handful of pills, I don't know, just chill out.

Are you comfortable? Good. Let's begin:

There, now aren't you glad you were all relaxed when you played that? BrightBlack's hypnotic, narcotic melodies are enough to calm the most angriest of beasts.

The band is a two good friends who hail from Alabama and subsequently called both 'bama and California their home(s). Shouldn't really be a surprise then that they combined slide guitars and good vibes, then, but maybe that's the stereotypes talking. Or maybe the handful of pills.

It's easy to label them and throw them in a neat little box of psychedelia. But really, the genre they're placed in, according to wikipedia... is "freak folk". Umm.... okay. Well no comment, but seriously who comes up with these names...

In case you're wondering, these two are the real deal. They have apparently lived in cars, tents, chicken coops, and solar paneled huts in New Mexico. So I suppose their hippie cred is through the roof. It's a shame that they shy away from society and fame, because, well, they're amazing.

And I'm sure that they'd be amazing to share natural/educational/delirious experiences with, as this quote suggests:

"What if all we need is already here, living around us, free? Why don't the animals talk to us? [Do] they think we aren't trustworthy?" -Shineywater


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Album Radar: Shlohmo - Bad Vibes LP

21 year-old Henry Laufer, known mostly by his producer name Shlohmo, has just released his highly anticipated full length album under the record label Friends of Friends. To say the he delivered would be a bit of an understatement.

The tracks are deep, sprawling, and never rely on one genre alone. If hip hop and shoegaze had a lovechild within the confines of the LA sound, this album would come flying out of the womb like a musical phoenix. The amount of influences represented from these tracks is staggering, and it's an adventure in itself to try and pin down where the inspiration begins and ends.

Downtempo, melancholic vibes flow from track to track, taking you on a journey that really makes this feel like an album, a completed project.

I'm not going to blab on and on about it, as you can preview it / buy it and find out for yourself whether or not it makes your day or ends up in your recycling bin. Needless to say that in my neck of the woods, this is going to be on repeat for the rest of the day.

Preview / Purchase Digitally Here
Purchase Vinyl (w/ exclusive vinyl-only track) Here

Monday, August 8, 2011

London Riots

On a serious note... London is now bracing for the third night of riots, which have grown out of what was once a peaceful protest against police brutality.

The protesters turned to arson and looting, and a few blocks of Tottenham have been all but wrecked.

My heart goes out to anyone in London who may be reading this and is affected by the riots in any way, hopefully the army will be called in and the gangs causing all the mayhem get locked down. This is absolute madness.

Listen to this woman, who was brave enough to take a stand against her neighbors and call them out for being pointless criminals:

EDIT: twitvid being slow, replaced original vid with youtube link. Credit: Matthew Moore

Hope you all stay safe, and for everyone else, spread some awareness, we can't let things like this become the norm. I'm all for standing up against brutality and unfairness, but when it turns into looting of jewelry stores and ruining people's shops, it has to stop.

Artist Radar - Dark Sky

Dark Sky, the trio out of London, England (not the hard rock band from Italy or the other 20 metal myspace pages for the name "Dark Sky") specializes in what the UK and I personally swoon over - bass. Dance tracks that pull you in and out of the club every time the subwoofer takes a breath and being sonically assaulted by sub bass are the epitome of a night out for me...

but I'm a weirdo like that.

Speeding Blue - (50WEAPONS014) by Dark Sky

Anyway, their most recent effort is a short EP named Radius, out on Black Acre and Modeselektor's ever-exciting label 50 Weapons. Starting off on side 1 with the above track, the album takes on a UK Funky type role early on, only to sink into the dark and haunting dredges of "Be Myself" on the flip, making sure to shake you to the core with the low hertz regardless of the message they want to convey.

Be Myself (50WEAPONS014) by Dark Sky
Notice the ample use of 808 cowbell... I was bound to find this track, eventually. Yum.

Although the majority of their tunes lean towards a bass-heavy UK Funky style, they obviously have their eye on hip hop, as in a recent interview 66% of the trio mention their dream collabs to be with The Neptunes and Busta Rhymes, which I personally would love to see.

Previous efforts have been slightly stronger in my opinion, such as this beast of a tune that they released on the legendary label Ninja Tune, called "Leave"...

(it also comes with a pretty amazing video, so you might want to tab out and watch it)

And this wonky little banger out on Blunted Robots:

So if you're a dance-conscious late night jammer, these should be right up your alley, and bring a taste of the UK club scene right to your eardrums. If you're a DJ, dropping the second drop of "High Rise" should be enough to get even the most stubborn wall flies at least tapping their jeans in sync.

Enjoy! As always thanks for all the support, I love you guys.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Album Radar - Sunrise Blend

Ever wake up really hungover, wanting nothing more than to roll around in bed for a couple hours, drinking water and pretending that you didn't embarrass yourself the night before?

Don't lie. I was there. I saw you.

Ever want the perfect album to throw on to accompany you in your post-inebriation throes? Or maybe just a great album for a drive down to the beach, in case you're not a party animal?

Good ol' Juicy has provided us with a good, solid summertime album... just in the nick of time, seeing that summer is almost over.

And the best news: they've dished it out FOR FREE. That's right, all you have to do is click on that link right there and you'll be whisked away to a land of adventure and funky summertime grooves, or more specifically, mediafire... where you're then one click away from grabbing this lovely album.

You like music, don't you? Of course you do. So why not grab it on the off chance that you'll find a gem that sticks with you on a blurry summers evening.

Try listening to this with headphones on, for example:

Now tell me having dirty, sexy fun didn't pop into your head while listening to that. It should have. If not, you're probably not a pervert like me.

Anyway, I'll stop rambling. Here's the track list, and here's the download link again, in case you missed it up there.

  1. Evil Needle - Loungin’
  2. Prof.Logik - What Tha Funk
  3. Sweater Beats - Like That
  4. Vanilla - Sure
  5. Matt Miller - Too Much For Me
  6. Kanoba - Missed Call
  7. 18 Carat Affair - Passion
  8. OHYEAH - Oh My God It’s Boogie Music
  9. Knight One - Kiss
  10. Mr.Troy - Fever
  11. Somepling - BlueKasheef
  12. Kaze - Space For More
  13. Sir Froderick - She Ready
  14. Haz Solo - Great Gatsbee
  15. Ohbliv - San Souci
  16. Turquoise Summers - Never Can Get Enuff

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Artist Radar - DJ Mayonaise

Aside from having an amazing producer name, Portland's Chris Greer is an accomplished DJ, turntablist and song crafter.

I initially became hyped about mister Mayo when I stumbled across this genius collab with K-the-I, called Strateegery:

After doing a little digging, I stumbled across his soundcloud, which I had to double check to make sure it was actually him. Why? Well because I was expecting the usual array of hip-hop beats and maybe some more collaborations. What I found instead was a collection of well crafted and experimental post-rock jams that he uploaded about a year ago, such as this one:

06 Stock Sounds by Dj Mayonnaise

So he doesn't seem to be set in any rut, that's for sure. He seems to craft whatever he wants, and takes us along for the ride.

He also has the vast majority of the songs up on his soundcloud available to download for free, so his passion for creating and sharing sound is very obvious. My next pick for his tunes is a wonderfully hypnotic mash up of slurred and hurt drums paired with a beautiful and free-flowing woodwind melody line... May Days:

Now if that doesn't make you just want to chill out and think about life, then I'm not sure what will.

Artist Radar - Om Unit

Hope you all are enjoying your weekend. I like to relax a bit on the weekends, so I'll be doing some short (but frequent) updates on little tidbits that you may enjoy. As usual, be honest and expressive in your comments, I don't mind if you dislike something that I share with you.

Right now we'll be briefly touching on Om Unit, who hails from London, England. Dabbling in quite a few genres of music, there is always one connecting feature - bass.

Might want to put your headphones on for this one, unless you have a sub.

There is a solid groove among all of his productions, whether the beat is staggered or four on the floor. Judging by his official soundcloud, the genre he seems to identify himself with is "Electronic", which is broad enough to encompass all of his varying sounds.

One of his most popular tunes, a collab with the producer Lorn, would be right at home in some sort of futuristic racing game:
Om Unit x Lorn - Obsidian (Free Download) by omunit
(and is a free download, in case you didn't notice)

With releases on both Ghostly International and Ninja Tune, he has solidified his place in the underground music scene.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Label Radar: TRI ▼ ANGLE Records

Today we'll be going over one of the best rising underground labels of our time, Tri Angle Records. It's rare when I find a label that has 99% of releases that I can sink my teeth in to and truly enjoy.

They overlap a lot of what I have talked about, as they released Clams Casino's most recent Rainforest EP, and a release from oOoOO, who we went over when we discussed the genre witch house briefly. So naturally my supreme sense of all things audibly delicious kicked in and I rushed over to their website, which is very well laid out and set up a buffet of new and exciting artists for me to dance around in excitement over.

Put on a good pair of headphones and listen to the tune above (in 480p of course), and you'll realize why I get all gooey for one of Tri Angles frontrunners, oOoOO. His remix of Marina & the Diamonds "Obsessions" has been on constant rotation in my house for some time now.

The first artist that I was unfamiliar with that caught my eye was Holy Other, not just because of the cool name, but because they lured me in with secrecy. Most sites I've visited didn't even know if Holy Other is a guy or a girl, let alone where they may be at any given time. Pair that with the haunting/droning beats and you have a recipe that will have me clamoring to listen. Tiny Mix Tapes says that Holy Other's music "is not dead music, but as close as you can get without passing over", and I'd wager that as a fair description.

"Oh, Why" off of Balam Acab's forthcoming record "Wander / Wonder" has almost a chilling Disney sound to it, and expresses a beauty that fringes on ambience.

How to Dress Well may be a strange name for a producer, but the songs speak for themselves. Light and airy, with a staggering rhythm which delves into psychedelia at times. Rounding out the Tri Angle sound, you really never know what you're in store for, but one thing is for certain, their releases make you think.

Here we have Fatima Al Qadiri, known as Ayshay, with the forthcoming (26th Sept.) tune "Warn U". To say that it's haunting doesn't even do it justice. It's so ethereal and foreign sounding that some people have gone so far as to give it a genre tag... djinn wave. Google "djinn wave" as see just how obscure we're talking about.

Water Borders out of San Francisco, whose use of vocals adds itself to the haunting ranks of Tri Angle's catalog.

Sorry this post is so video-heavy, that's what you get when you review a label. This post took me forever  but you guys are worth it! Thanks for all the support. As always I love you if you're reading this far down. <3

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Genre Radar - Skweee

Hello all you fine people of blogland! Today we're going to be talking about and listening to a genre called Skweee.

Yes, I understand that half of you probably closed the browser tab as soon as you saw the word "skweee"... don't really blame you. You'll have to talk to Daniel Savio about that, he's the one that coined the term, saying that the genre exists to "squeeze out" every little drop of goodness out of your synthesizers, and boy did those scandinavian originators do just that.

This video had 36 views as of me posting it, and the one like on youtube comes from... me. How many hipster points do I get for that?

Naturally, this ends up being very hit or miss, as the aim is to produce "interesting" sounds, not necessarily good ones, and pair it with funky/R&B/Soul grooves. Some people detest the genre altogether, but those people probably didn't dig around the genre long enough to find someone who "skwee"zed their synth in a way that makes them feel all itchy on the inside.

This song is called "We Could Be Skweeeroes"... just want to make sure you're not missing out on any of the delicious pun possibilities.

Are you feeling the funk yet? The more astute readers will find similarities between skweee and "purple"... very observant! The artists involved usually delve into both areas, blurring the lines even further. The easiest way to pick them apart is that skweee tunes normally sound like you're partying in the 70's and have just drunk enough cough syrup to drown a cow.

Most of the original tunes are on vinyl, and are painfully hard to find online (believe me, I tried, I love you guys that much). But as far as original skweee goes, this was about as close as I could get:

If you've made it down this far, I'm impressed and I love you, thanks for reading / listening! <3

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Low End Theory Preview: Mux Mool, Open Mike Eagle, DirtRAID

First of all, happy wednesday to all you lovely people who put up with my lazy cat post yesterday. Will be sure to show all you commenters some love.

Anyway, since it's a happy wednesday I'm wishing you, that must mean that tonight is another Low End Theory smasher. The new security seems to have gone off without any hitches, so it's a world-class event once more!

First up is Mux Mool, making his debut. Mux (Brian Lindgren) was born in Minnesota and subsequently moved to Brooklyn, NY, where he made his name starting in '06 with releases under the label Moodgadget. Since then he has released his full-length on Ghostly International, and has had a song on Adult Swim's mixtape, "Ghostly Swim".

Needless to say, his tunes are right at home on the west coast.

Next up is Open Mike Eagle, who is on the bill as simply "Mike Eagle". Mister Eagle is a soulful rapper from right here in LA. His live shows usually encompass a device table, a la Dan Deacon.

Looking forward to seeing him live, he is clearly a performer that attracts your eyeballs and ear drums like a vacuum.

I, for one, hope he comes to the Airliner dressed in that suit.

Last up we have dirtRAID, from Rialto, California. He is a relatively underground producer, starting to come up in the NorCal scene since 2009. His wonky west coast style will mesh very well with the Airliner crowd.

Here's the deets, since I haven't mentioned them in awhile:

2419 N Broadway
Los Angeles, California
18+ / $10

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


...tricked into having awesome hair.

How did this get here omg i'm not good with computer.

Sorry for the pics only post, more relevant stuff coming later I promise, I just had to share.

Also, this kitten:

How do you like that? Cats and huskies in the same pointless blog... the internet is at peace. Speaking of which, my husky puppy post was insanely popular, you guys must love them as much as I do.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Youtube Free Jazz

So, you know how there are lots of hipster bands that just assemble random noises in an effort to be unique?

I know I can name at least five.

Anyway, now you don't need friends, equipment, or anything besides a computer with internet access to make your own little mashup of random noises!

Friends, I present to you... Youtube Free Jazz!

Just type in the first thing that comes to mind.... space, brunette, horses, attack... literally any word or combination of words that you want and hit the "listen" button.

Boom! Within moments you'll have your own little special jazz song made up of random youtube videos with your keyword(s).

Neat, huh? It's different every time so try something multiple times if the first one sounds horrible (it's hard to get one that's not horrible, but when it works it's really awesome.

Hope you're having a good Monday!