Monday, January 31, 2011

Dieselboy - UNLEASHED!

Well, Dieselboy has dropped another mix CD, one that he's chest thumping to be his "best one yet". I have to admit part of me really getting into drum n bass in the late 90's was thanks to his mixes. From Directors Cut to the 611 mix series, Soldiers Story, System Upgrade and the epic 6ixth Session... he ruled the mix CDs of the late 90's and early '00. At some point though he'd kind of fallen off, or rather I just wasn't into the uber nerded-out tech driven sound as much. I didn't care for projectHuman, Dungeon Masters Guide, or Substance D. It was all a bit too much chin-stroking fanboys trolling forums that were hyping up his selection, and much of the excitement and buzz that I got from those early mixes just wasn't there any more. Eventually that became the case with drum n bass as well. DNB became too stagnant and inbred for it's own good and Dubstep kind of snuck up from behind to steal the thunder.

But enough of my waffling. Is the mix any good? Well, the first half good not great, and the second half should have been cut alltogether. It'll never be able to top 6ixth Session because in my auditory memory I still hold that one in such high regard. But this does rate higher than his more recent mixes. It's not locked into any one sound, time period or even genre... as his Soundcloud blurb states:
"a wide variety of current and classic tracks and edits, wrapping up the mix with 25 minutes of finely diced dubstep that showcases his current taste in the genre and forthcoming tracks from his dubstep label, Subhuman."
The plenty of tunes John B and such would drop that run the more trancey-vibes, there's some neurofunk tech-bangers, a couple of hard industrial dubsteps tunes, some metal-core pots-n-pans aggro rave shit, and a little bit of liquid. But let's call it like it is, Unleased is mostly a tear-out rave mix with a few moments of fresh air. It does pretty much what you'd expect from a Dieselboy mix and I'm sure it pleased the majority of his fans. As for me, well I'm really feeling the grindhouse/ exploitation angle with graphics and the intro voice over, that's totally my steez. Honestly though, I'll probably listen to a handful of times, then file it away, as the last half of this mix gets especially painful. Dieselboy has some questionable taste regarding dubstep, let me tell you, it's mostly noisey squitty-bubbler reject tunes. Just spastic fucking noise. One or two of the dubstep tunes weren't complete garbage disposal robot wars, but not enough had any kind of decent rhythm or anything of interest besides noisey LFO action. For me it was happy sign-of-the-times that this mix is a free download, as I'd be pissed if I paid for it. Here's the details:

Dieselboy - Unleashed!
Break feat Calyx + Teebee - Don't Look Down
Icicle feat SPMC - Dreadnaught
Phace + Misanthrop - Desert Orgy
Optiv feat Rymetyme - Run It Red (Neonlight Remix)
Pixel Fist - Horrible (Audio Remix)
Terravita - And The Beat Goes On
The Upbeats + Trei - Wear & Tear
The Prototypes - Work It
Noisia - Friendly Intentions
Dose - Squander
Audio - Prototype
Breakage - Fighting Fire feat Jess Mills (Loadstar Remix)
Delta Heavy - Space Time
Xtrah - Amazon
Blokhe4d - The Way Life Used To Be
Dub Foundation - Time to Burn
Eric Prydz - Niton (Metrik Remix)
Dieselboy + Blokhe4d - Get Back
Soul Intent - Be Strong
Culture Shock - The Bypass
Generic + The Fix - Suicide
Sigma - Stronger
Dose - Martyrdom
Gridlok + Prolix feat Fats - Tru Born Playa
Demo - OD (Counterstrike + Gein Remix)
C4C - Stranglehold [clip]
The Upbeats - Big Skeleton (MOJX VIP)
Break - Destiny Comes Ringing
The Upbeats - Untitled
Uman + BTK - Generator
Zardonic + Numbernin6 feat Messinian - End Of Days (Dieselboy VIP)
Zardonic - Nexus Polaris
Jubei + S.P.Y. - Project One
Gein + Counterstrike - Pentagram VIP
Muffler - Heavy (Search + Destroy VIP)
Zardonic + Mumblz - Systems Activated (Pixel Fist Remix)
Liquid Stranger - Robot Rox [clip]
Current Value - Indivisible Force (Cybakotic Remix)
Emalkay - Powertool
Bare - Synthetic
Mark Instinct - 15 Karat (Bare's 16K VIP) [clip]
Bare - Droid
MOB - Lifted
Bare - Bring It Back [clip]
Liquid Stranger + Sluggo - Human Implant
Liquid Stranger + Sluggo - Stalkers VIP
Bare + Muffler - Bloodsport
Truth - The Emperor
Flecta - Guts Ya
Numbernin6 - Menace
Dieselboy - NVD (Numbernin6 Remix) [clip]
Asking Alexandria - A Single Moment Of Sincerity (Bare Remix)
Pixel Fist - Fire
Excision + Downlink - Reploid [clip]
Downlink - Factory [clip]
Skrillex + Bare Noize - Scatta (Dieselboy VIP feat Armanni + Messinian)

Monday, January 24, 2011

Juakali - Interview

Juakali, longtime Dubwar MC & host, has appeared on commercial recordings with Alpha & Omega, Raz Mesani, Pinch, Matty G, Kush Arora and others, impressing both industry and audiences with his ability to innovate across dub, reggae, dubstep, dancehall, bhangra, electronic, and experimental genres. This lead to him being featured as one of the top 5 US Ragga MCs who are, "launching careers as artists and producers...pushing dancehall beyond its boundaries..." ('Chat Bout' XLR8R Magazine - Issue118). 

I know you lived in Brooklyn for a minute and were involved with Dub War NYC, give us a bit of back story and history of your Dub War days. Is that when you were first exposed to dubstep?

Well, I went to College in Brooklyn, New York after immigrating from Trinidad & Tobago. While in College I got into spoken word and hip hop, was rippin and runnin all over New York City with a group known as Second2Last.  After I left college, the group more or less fizzled.  Life happened!  It was no longer about being the hot shit on the block or looking for cred.  It became increasingly clear that a huge sacrifice would have to be made by each person to realize our collective vision.  Sacrifice undertakes a different meaning for every individual.  In short, it became too much.  Meanwhile, I always knew I wanted to get into singing and performing utilizing my talents.  At the time - around 2004 - I was looking into any genre of music that sampled from reggae/ ragga/ Caribbean music/vocals.  A few things in my life at the time ushered me into the life style of an artist and I took the time to honor those moments and make the best of my knowledge of the music industry and performance circuit.  I researched for 2 months, sent emails to over 500 people and got about 25 serious replies.  One of those people was from a guy going by dqxt who invited me to the first Dub War night at Sputnik in Brooklyn. There I met Dave (aka Dave Q, dqxt) and Joe (Joe Nice).  I became a resident after that 1st night on the mic.

I know you did that "Reasons" tune with 12th Planet for the SMOG Scion CD Sampler. I know a "reasoning" is a simple event where the Rastas gather, smoke weed, and discuss, is that tune about that? BTW My brother is DJ Evol and he's been running with those guys for awhile and has been kind enough to introduce me to everyone when I visited with him in LA. How long have you been doing stuff with SMOG? Is that your main crew now? What's the current landscape of the scene in LA?

"Reasons" is about the collective high you achieve when all hearts are grooving to music.  I wrote that tune around 2007 with a scratch track I got from D1.  it was heavily syncopated.  all I was thinking about was back in the day in Trinidad when we would go to concerts, blockos/parties on the street, and just remembering the vibe of a few hundred souls moving to a riddim.  no fuss... no fight. 12th Planet asked me for a vocal around the time I moved to LA in 2008, and I gave him "Reasons" a Capella with no plans or instructions. The following year he was rinsing it around the US.  Joe Nice asked for the original, and cut a dubplate of it.  In 2010 the Doctor P remix hit.  Scion was already in talks with SMOG about a collaboration project and "Reasons" was the vehicle that provided the opportunity.  The tune is signed to SMOG’s label and that is about how far my official affiliation goes. For the most part, folks in Los Angeles know I'm based in their city. There is definitely city pride and all that, like any other major city with a music scene happening.  The recent Red Bull Culture Clash is a testament to that.  There is however, a full spectrum music culture here claiming the depths of the underground to the top of the pops and everything in-between. As far as electronic music goes in LA, there are a lot of artists and crews pushing for their time in the spotlight and it's near impossible to determine who will explode or implode within this construct. 
I like that you don't just have a typical dancehall flow, and you branch out with some pop culture references in your lyrics talking about Coors beers, Gamera, Hendrix and Yoda in "Freak You Back" and so on. Is this a conscious mashing of styles, or something that's just evolved over time? What are some favorite themes to rhyme about? Is there an overall message you are trying to get across?

My style and voice has definitely evolved over time.  I have been a host and feature performer since 2005.  I have learned how to get a crowed moving, jumping, to be still and to listen without loosing sight or pace with the event, promoter, DJ or myself.  My greatest lessons came from performing for an audience whose first language is not English.  If you can rock a crowd that does not understand what you're saying, you can wow any native speaker who has never heard of you!  I've learned to hone my strengths and laugh at my weaknesses on the stage.  As far as lyrics go, I tend to bury a message in the song write.  I started typing out my lyrics to the tunes I've done and didn't really start paying attention to it until reading it back on the computer.  I can write a party song with a message, I can write a dark song with a message... it comes natural to me.  I enjoy telling a story or writing about a particular experience. When I began hosting, I made it a point to not utter any cliché catch phrases to hype the crowd, a bunch of my own phrases have naturally developed from my creative process and I have made choruses from them. At Dub War we have long since called "dark" dubstep "sexy".  
Here are the lyrics to "Freak You Back".

This one here smoothie groovy

Pour the loosey goosey tonic

Grab this young gyal me choose she

Caribbean Sea flex

From Trinidad to Haiti
Cuba to Bahamas like them cruise be

Wanna sip something fruity

Rum Punch and Margarita the Samba

Barista come pour a Daiquiri

Fit n Sharp this yout' be

When me walk about

Sweeter juice akin to black berry

We gonna Freak You Back
Hands-on in the club
All wall occupied in the club
We gonna Freak You Back
Come dance in da club
Right cha now lights off in da club (x2)

Move 'bout as a loner

Show up paparazzi smile

Flashy without camera

Sound check, green room, toast it up

Take stage, rock 'bout like Hendrix ask Nona

“Voulez vous…” Juakali see you

Hypnotize by the sound 

Speak backward like Yoda

Shock out to the rhythm you must

Ok, UK in the vibe we trust

I guess that brings us to most important question really, which is what is Juakali all about? Is just about pushing different sounds, about Rastafarism, something more personal, or a little bit of everything? If there's one thing you wanted people to know about Juakali what would it be?

Juakali is about a voice.  It is personal.  

There's seems to be a trend of a lot of sounds melting together all at around the same BPM 135-145 or so. Production-wise for yourself what would like to see happen in the future, more cross-pollination of the sounds of dancehall, grime, dubstep, dub, glitch-hop, and jungle... or a final distillation into one or two really strong styles? Do like the direction where dubstep is headed currently? Has it lost sight of it's "dub" influences?

This world is fast moving toward a global community.  The style will become, 'who is not connected' ... 'who's off the radar'.  The cross-pollination of styles, as you call it, is inevitable. However, there will be room for the root music or style of any genre, look at Classical, Jazz, Rhythm and Blues, Rock & Roll, Country, Hip Hop for instance.  As we move forward, time will call the genre into being and it will be taught and cherished. Currently, dancehall, grime, dubstep, dub, glitch-hop, and jungle...  fit within the electronic realm, however, participants of our time have given them a name - it's a human thang. Dubstep has moved from 20 - 50 people in a 150sq.ft. dark room with decent sound to festivals.  It didn't get there from a lack of understanding how music and sound influences people.

Who's hot right now and who are some of the up and coming MC's and producers to look out for?

I'm afraid I can't talk about who's hot right now cause I mostly listen to what isn't "hot" or what's the verge, but let me run down what I've been listening to of late and who I've been checking out.  
Producers = Cardopusher, Pacheko, Knight Riderz, Kush Arora, Nate Mars, Sub Swara, Plastician, Distance, Tunnidge, Silkie, Cyrus, Ramadanman, Kuedo, Flaty DL, DJG, Matty G, Modeseletor, Porier, Marcus Visionary, Yellowtail, Subatomic Soundsystem, Ikonika, Breed, XI, DLX, Tes La Rok, Moldy, BunZer0, Spektrums, Wrexile, Uproot Andy, Magnetic Man, King Cannibal, Memory 9, Addison Groove, Pinch, Ras G, D1, Terror Danjah

MC's/Vocals/Bands = Jah Dan, Nneka, Little Dragon, Zuzuka Ponderosa, MC Zulu, Spoek Mathambo, Ms Dynamite, Collie Buds, Sade, Gorillaz, Distant Relatives...

Would care to share any story road stories with us? What's been the sickest parties? What's the craziest things you seen and experience through your journeys as an MC and host?

Oi, I guess folks could check my blog on myspace or my notes on facebook... lots of stuff has happened... will happen.  Best party from last year was opening for Chemical Brothers with Freq Nasty at the Fox Theater in Oakland. I lost my voice from excitement at the top of the set for about 30 seconds.  Craziest experience was getting a 'presidential' on stage behind one for the side curtains, wont say which show that was...

Anything else to add or any shouts?

Shouts to 25 serious replies I got back in 2005 when introducing myself as a recording artist. Lic-a-shot for the Dub War fam, syncro in Czech Republic, Kush Arora, Sasha Dees in Amsterdam, Sub Swara, DMZ crew, Pinch and Maryanne Hobbs who got me and what I was doing from jump! Out to all area crew who know, are brave and noble. STAMINA CREW!!! I SEE YOU

Juakali - Freak You Back Ep

FREAK YOU BACK - OUT Feb 4, 2011 by juakali

Juakali - Freak You Back Ep

Hahah, oh wow...When you got Joe Nice writing your one-sheet for you, you know you got a hit record on your hands. "Freak You Back" has Plastician on the buttons, doing his thing with menacing buzz synths and a pumping sub-line. Eerie FX and a powered-down stuttering whistle round out the back-end for a polished finnish. Juakali's flow over the top has calm but commanding presence, spitting about Margaritas, Paparazzi, Hendrix and Yoda , basically blowing your mind in the dance club. It's weird though, I wouldn't really call this a party tune, it's more epic sounding than that and should probably be on a soundtrack somewhere. Plastician has beening caning the hell out of this one, so you all have probably heard it on Rinse FM and all that. TeslaRock channels The Others for a bit of a rootical 2006-styled remix of "Freak You Back", with congo natty riddims, flutes and a more minimal deconstructed bass. The verses clash a bit with this riddim, but the chorus fits nicely. It's for all you "emptyness is form" medi-nerds for sure. DLX's take on it is experimental and almost drum-step. The dark synths remain intact from the original incarnation, and the a chopped, stuttering amen break, drives it along with some occasional thumps from the bass. It's not my favorite approach to be honest, but it does capture that foreboding mood that's prevalent in the Plastician version.

The other original on here is "Tha Chillski" produced by Stagga and Monky, which is sort of a glitch-hop kind of tune in the vein of Bassnectar, but with more of a dancehall flavor. It's got a definite Adult-Swim quality about it, maybe something you'd hear at the end credits of Aqua-teens, or on their commercial bumps. To be honest I prefer tunes like this than 90% of the commercial hip-hop that's out there. I dig the blasted harmonic-whine of the bass, the simple crack-slap beats, and classic hits and stabs. It's got a nice demented video game feel to it. Juakali drops some sick measured verses with Dr. Octagon-eque inflections, but delivers a kind of silly chorus. It's a fun tune though, so I can overlook saying 'tha chillski' even though it reminds of the coolness of the "check you later" guy in Dazed and Confused. This is good a EP and well worth picking up for the originals. Stay tuned for a brief Q&A with Juakali.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Skream and Benga terrorize Radio 1

Skream and Benga are up to there old tricks on Radio 1. The keep it light and breezy on the banter just like when they did shows on Rinse FM, but drop plenty of dubs and exclusives for ya. That TC tune is a killer, and Benny's bangers later on in the show are not to be missed. Not feeling the trancey new Rusko tune. It's got only two more days on BBC site then it will get passed around to all the usual suspects.

In New Djs We Trust: Skream & Benga (via BBC iPlayer)

Distance — Fallin’ feat Alys Blaze [Island]
Skream & Example — Shot Yourself In The Foot Again
Youngman — Slaughter [Digital Soundboy]
Dread MC & TC — Concrete [Dub]
Slaughter Mob — Dubphonic [Dub]
Cyrus — Dubplate [Deep Medi]
Distance — Knowing
Dub [Untitled]
Orphan 101- Disembled (Apple Pips)
Instra:mental — Voyeur [Disfigured Dubz]
Kutz — Shapeshifter [Dub]
Magnetic Man vs Redlight — What U Banging On About
Eddie K — Banger For Me [Dub/Hench]
Silkie — Get Me Taxi [Deep Medi]
Benga — Uk [Dub]
Benga — Electro West [Benga Beats]
Skream! — Xmas Day Banga [Dub]
Jakes — Clamp [Hench]
Rusko — Everyday [Mad Decent]
Joker — The Vision [Kapsize]

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Dubstep Warz - Mary Anne Hobbes

Well it's the 5th anniversary of the legendary Dubstep Warz by Mary Anne Hobbes on BBC Radio 1 Breezeblock Show, and she decided to put it up on Mixcloud for all to enjoy. I know well enough people that got their first interest in dubstep from this show, including the guys from Smog. Dubstep has come along way for better or worse, so it's time to go back to the height of the old school and meditate on bass weight. So many classics on here.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Maxsta sends for Chimpmunk - absolute grime fury

Damn, this shit is live. I don't know much about these guys at all, and only a smattering about the grime scene in general, so who knows what the fuck this is all about really. Check Hyperfrank for the inside scoop. But I'm loving the one-take spitting venom fury of this video. You see some of the stumbles and quick thinking recoveries, like it's all about to fall apart, then it comes back to refocus on another onslaught. I have no idea what they said but I like the energy.