Thursday, October 27, 2011

Police Brutality Isn't a Dream

This normally not a political blog, and I apologize if this conflicts with any of views our new contributor Mike might have, but I have to get this out there.

Video analysis by blogger Matt Kresling: "Footage from the Occupy Oakland protest, October 25th, 2011. After protesters ran to the aid of a badly-injured person, Oakland Police deliberately lobbed a flash grenade into the crowd. Whatever you think of the Occupy movement, police behavior of this kind is criminal and should be prosecuted."
This is fucked up for sure. IMO it's only going to get worse. And if that happens, people need to get their shit together and send a bit more of unified message. Otherwise this movement isn't going to amount to anything, just general discontent with corporations, tax inequalities, campaign finance and student debt. Violence and bloodshed like this isn't worth a message of general discontent, because then nothing, will change. It's too vague. There's a lot that's fucked up, but let's try get at least one thing accomplished. My top 3 issues in order of importance are: 1. Repeal Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy. 2. Prosecute Wall St. financial criminals. 3. Close Corporate tax loopholes. What are issues do you have? Remember my friends, United We Stand. Now is the time to focus. Be safe out there.

BTW here's an update for those of you concerned with the victim:

Veteran For Peace member Scott Olsen, a Marine Corps veteran twice deployed to Iraq, is in hospital now in stable but serious condition with a fractured skull, struck by a police projectile fired into a crowd in downtown Oakland, California in the early morning hours of today.

*UPDATE* Apparently there is a planned general strike and day of action for Nov. 2 in Oakland. Good luck you brave souls, let's hope someone can get their shit together enough to get a solid point across. More info can be found here: *UPDATE2* Cleaned up some of my fucking typos.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Azealia Banks and Lunice - Runnin'

Azealia Banks and Lunice - Runnin' by Azealia Banks

'You're only as good as a your next one' applies just as much to music as it ever did to the world of film so I thought it'd be interesting to see what Ms Azealia Banks, her of the relentless swag and naughty lyrics, did after 212 blew up music blogs and mainstream media. Just the other day, the Harlem native assured Mary Anne Hobbs that she had a mixtape and album on the way; 'Runnin'' looks like it'll feature on at least 1 of these.

The classically-trained Ms Banks kicks into an impressive double-time flow before warming to her lyrical theme - the condemnation of men-folk who lack in swag. Relentless bars roll by with Azealia not letting things like rhyme variation hold her back; 'If not, he better come with the right dick; If not, then bitch you probably know that he like dick'.

Lunice's production is awesome, reflecting all the diversity of a young Canadian who cites Ed Banger, Dilla and Bangladesh as his creative influences. Frantic, juking, high-hat toplines could have been built by Machinedrum while breakdowns and basslines would grace Jeezy's finest flows. Lunice Fermin Pierre III has, effectively, birthed a musical chimera.

There's so much more to Azealia Banks than we see on this track - I genuinely missed the honey-soaked hooks which made such effective counterpoints to her ranting, distorted verses on 212. When Ms Banks uses all her massive vocal talents, she's a refreshingly-creative, hard-edged MC. When she doesn't, she resembles a female Waka Flocka whose weak bars are carried by outstanding production.

DJ Class // Smash Gordon // Mark Instinct - Tear The Club Up 2099


This is commercial dubstep, I mean really, really, commercial. To be honest, I normally wouldn't post up about this kind of stuff, but I have a weakness for Baltimore Club and this is a remake of the "Tear The Club Up". I've heard the original a bunch of times on a Tittsworth mix or somewhere like that. It's booty-shaking roller-skating birthday party anthem. A total club bangin' dance floor killer.

The dubstep refix, is actually not horrible. I hear some Flux Pavillion/ Doctor P type influences, and a basic rave-up approach that's very broadly commercial. There's nothing too heavy or filthy about it and it certainly isn't deep. It's top-end is a bit too crisp for my tastes and a bit much on the chirpy whistle noises. I mean if Funkmaster Flex were to do dubstep, he'd probably do it like this. It kind of reminds me of when Adam F returned back to drum n bass with Breakbeat Kaos after spending years producing hip-hop and all of sudden had this really cleaned up sound. It's certainly better than the G-step shit from Snoop-Dog and Battle Cat. So yeah, I hate to admit it but this tune kinda works. I'll be interested to see what else comes out of Smash Gordon and crew.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

So Undead! Trailer

SO UNDEAD! trailer from so undead on Vimeo.

So Undead! is an exhibit about making connections between seemingly unrelated genres: Extreme Guitar Music ie. Punk, Metal and HC and the endless shades of Electronica. The art that will be shown at the event is wholly based on interviews conducted with artists, who in the past have dabbled in guitar distortion and are currently masters of the art of the synthetic. The interviewees include: Mary Anne Hobbs, Robot Koch (Jahcoozi)..., Cristian Vogel (Super Collider), T.Raumschmiere, Lars Kirchbach (Tolcha), Vladislav Delay (Luomo), The Foreign Beggars, CREEP, Sneaky (Fingathing), The Bug etc.

This looks pretty cool. I myself have a a strong background with punk, hardcore, grindcore, death metal and black metal. In high school I did a death metal fanzine called "Lockport Underground", and contributed to several others. Put out several tape compilations and one professionally released cassette EP by a band from the Netherlands. Years later, in college I did a punk/hardcore/extreme music fanzine called "I Hate you!" which was later changed to "I hate you! (And I hope you fucking die)" so I wasn't confused with a another 'zine that took my exact name (even though I had it first). Also a more lifestyle/story garage punk 'zine called "Fucked For Life". This was like '96-'98. I got into drum n bass in '98 and started a record label called Assassin Records around 2000. Put out two DnB 12"s before calling it quits after our European Distro closed owing us hundreds of dollars. Not to steal the thunder, and make this about me, but I'm interested in checking out this movie/ doc, as it seems to closely parallel my experience in underground music and many of my friends. I don't often get a chance to reflect on that part of my past, and this is the first I've actually blogged about it.

There's is something interesting in people on that journey searching for uniquely voiced aggressive music and taking similar paths to get there. Musicians get there one way, journalists and label owners another, and fans probably take the longest most winding trek of them all. It will be cool to examine this subject in a longer form and make the connections. I remember being floored when I first found out drum and bass producer Klute was also the drummer for U.K. skate punk band The Stupids, a band I used to listen to all the time. Mitch Harris from Napalm Death, Terrorizer, and Scorn fame; also went on to producer drum n bass and various dubstep projects. And Borgore, of course, was in the death metal band Shabira, and influenced by the band Death from their LP "Scream Bloody Gore" in taking his Dubstep moniker. "It comes from Borger, which is my family name and then Gore comes from Death's album, ‘Scream Bloody Gore’." For a music nerd like myself it will be exciting to examine those kinds of personalities, and just hear people talk about hardcore, punk, and metal; that are into bass culture as well. If you are down, support this movie, spread the trailer.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Skream & Benga - BBC 1xtra 23/09/11

It seems like it's been ages since I've posted a full mix, so thought I'd go back to the roots of this blog and post up and one by Skream & Benga who are playing at the Congress in Chicago Oct. 19th. Go check it out if you can, they always put on a killer show.

1. Buraka Som Sistema — Hangover (Caspa Remix)
2. Joker — Back In The Days
3. Stenchman — My Favourite Tree
4. Icicle & Distance — Exhale
5. Actrazor — Infadel
6. Echo Park — Fibre Optic (12th Planet & Finch Remix)
7. Kode9 — Samurai 9
8. ConQuest — Hard Food
10. Showjacker - Rob da Banks guide to barely believable genres of music
12. Chase & Status — Hitz (Dillon Francis Remix)
13. Sam Frank — Simple Life
14. Rusko — Taking It Back
16. Sgt Pokes MC Session with Skream - Various Tracks
18. Welcome To My Hood - Trolley Snatcha
19. Emalkay ft. rod azlan — Flesh and Bone
20. Amon — Tobin (16 bit remix)
21. Trolley Snatcha — Flying Missiles
22. Buraka — ba ba ba (caspa remix)
23. The Others — First Flight
24. Trolley Snatcha — Nasty sh**
25. Emalkay — Fabrication
26. Trolley Snatcha — Giving Up
27. Trolley Snatcha — The Jungle
28. Yogi ft. ayah mahar — Follow You (Trolley snatcha remix)
29. Foreign Beggars ft. noisia — Contact (Trolley snatcha remix)
30. Spor — Pacifica (chasing shadows remix)
31. Trolley Snatcha — Make my whole world
32. Goth-Trad — Babylon Fall
33. Goldie — The Core
34. Buraka Som Sistema — Hangover (Ba Ba Ba) (Caspa Remix)
35. Stenchman — My Favourite Tree
36. Actrazor — Infadel
37. Echo Park — Fibre Optic
38. Kode9 Kode9 — Samurai 9
39. ConQuest — Hard Food
40. Chase & Status — Hitz (Dillon Francis Remix)
41. Sam Frank — Simple Life
42. Rusko — Taking it Back
43. Flux Pavilion and SKism — Jump Back (feat. Foreign Beggars)
44. Goth-Trad — Babylon Fall

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Throw Ya Dubs Up: Dubstep LA Volume 2 - Snoop/MistaJam/DJ Battlecat

"Our pasta this evening...
is squid ravioli in a lemon grass broth...
with goat cheese profiteroles, and I also have an arugula Caesar salad.
For entrees this evening, I have swordfish meatloaf with onion marmalade,
rare roasted partridge breast in raspberry coulis with a sorrel timbale."
MaƮtre D' of Pastels to Patrick Bateman and Friends

American Psycho (B.Easton Ellis)

Easton Ellis guts yuppie culture every time Patrick Bateman forces himself into a ‘hot’ bistro and forces down filthy fusion cuisine purely for the sake of fashion. Mindless, ill-considered and superficial trend chasing doesn’t make him admirable; it makes him ridiculous.

‘Throw Ya Dubs Up: Dubstep LA Vol.2’ is swordfish meatloaf, it is goat cheese profiteroles; it is pork loin with lime jello. No-one can question the credentials or skills of the chefs cooking up the beats‘n’bars on this tape - whether they’ve made anything worth listening to is another issue entirely.

The success of ‘Dubstep LA: Embrace the Renaissance’ lay in artists like Chae Hawks and U-N-I tailoring their flows to the dubstep production while Plastician’s inclusion of instrumental interludes provided a solid counterpoint to some of the tape’s weaker collaborations. Sadly, the normally-excellent hosts of Vol:2, MistaJam (UK) and DJ Battlecat (USA), offer up a consistently ill-matched collection of big-name beats and big name artists. I’ll only deal with my standouts and lowpoints tonight but cop the mixtape here and check it yourselves; I’d love to hear your take on it.


Speaker Pop – Soopafly ft.16-Bit

Anything featuring 16-Bit’s monstrous Boston Cream is guaranteed at least a 6/10 purely on strength of production. The relentless, staccato, high-pitched flows of long-time Snoop collaborator Soopafly fit 16 Bit’s rolling, low-fi beat perfectly.

Platinum – Snoop ft. R.Kelly and Busta Rhymes x Lex Luger

This track is strictly a fraud since Lex Luger, who produced the monstrous ‘Hard In The Paint’ for Waka Flocka and ‘How We Do It’ for Slim Thug, creates a beat which owes more to hyphy than to dubstep – it reminds me of ‘Vans’ by The Pack. Regardless of the beat’s genes, it’s nails and Snoop does it justice. Having 44 year-old R.Kelly crooning like it’s 1999 is just the icing on the cake.


Off That – Mykestro ft.Redlight

I cannot believe that Mykestro’s bars were ever, ever written to fit this beat; the mismatch is total and embarrassing. If you fancy hearing Redlight’s psychedelic, woozy production done justice, check ‘What You Talkin’ About?’ by Ms Dynamite; it’ll restore your faith in music.


This feels like a massive step back from the generally-solid Volume 1; I simply don't see the point of selecting elite production like High Rankin's 'Digital Sex' only to ruin it with lazy lyrics delivered by rappers who don't understand or care about the art of dubstep/grime MCing.

The saddest thing about this mess is that Snoop Dogg is now a franchise every bit as lucrative as Pirates of the Caribbean or Transformers - there will definitely be a sequel because unquestioning fans and dick-riding reviewers will embrace anything bearing Snoop’s name. I await Volume 3 with curiosity and no little fear.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Zero 7 - Everything Up (Zizou) (Joker&Ginz remix)

Hot on the heels of the homie J-Crash unveiling Kraddy's grinding, filthy beats comes a slightly nostalgic disinterment of this 2009 masterpiece from the fevered minds of Bristol's own Joker and his American accomplice, Ginz.

The original 'Everything Up' is a pleasant, if slightly forgettable, piece of ambient pop with breathy lyrics being complemented by well-balanced layers of snare and synth. It's the sort of relaxing, jingling tune that mothers would enjoy while commuting or wholesome young folk might listen to during a picnic.

Joker&Ginz slow down, distort and darken everything remotely up-tempo and sunny about this track. The sweet girl-scout next door suddenly grew-up, changed her name from Emily to Coco and swapped Glee Club for Spearmint Rhino. The original drums, arpeggiated synth and some vocals remain while the track's personality is driven into the gutter by a grinding bass riff and twisted, tortured vocal sample. These two layers are enough to make even the most innocent of pre-school instruments, the tambourine, sound smutty.

What Joker&Ginz have created here is a work of remix genius; the whole track feels changed while still staying faithful to the original. Kick back and wallow in this dirty, seedy banger - you'll see what I mean.

KRADDY - Operation Prometheus and Free Album update

KRADDY - Operation Prometheus Well my Kraddy heads, here's another new freebie for you all to devour. Bit-crunching Van-Halen styled guitar soloing rise up and explode to trance-y hollowed-out rave organ riffs over a hip-hop anthem beats. It's a mish-mash of unlikely elements forced into a unsettling shotgun marriage, and it kind of makes me uncomfortable. Like in a overly-art directed kind of way. By that I mean it sounds like there were too many cooks in the kitchen. The styles clashed on me a bit, in a high school kind of way. This feels like it should be a in a video game trailer for some dystopian futuristic first-person shooter, or maybe a Zack Snyder movie like Sucker Punch.

I got privvy to a couple of other choons on his upcoming free album. "Holy Avenger" is a mid-tempo steady-as-she-goes talk-boxer with some freak-out classic rock stylings at the end. Like if Peter Frampton and Chemical Brother's had a baby. As ridiculous as that sounds I mean it in a good way. I really dig the dramatic cinematic break-downs, and warbly vocoded keyboard rolls. My only crit was it seemed really reliant on the looped rhythm and could have benefitted from better phrase and riff variations. It would make the overall tune more dynamic and interesting instead of just being surprised by the dope ending.

See my other post for the Black Box review. To paraphrase I basically thought it was a dope strip club grinder. Unfortunately the other tune on this called "NYC" I wasn't much feeling much either. Guitar and beats with a electro synth can be done a million different and exciting ways, but this isn't one of them. It sounds like a freeplay tune used to open a lame CSI ripp-off show. It's slow, it meanders, it tries to be a little funky and wail, but ultimately it goes no where. There's just no payoff and as a result there's very little point to this tune. It could be the foundation of a cool glitch-hop type tune. But could've, should've, would've it's not. This is a case where less is less. There's just not enough going on to keep my interest.To sum up, 2 for 4 is the count and so far Kraddy's new album is batting .500. I guess that's pretty good for baseball, but we'll have to see how the rest of the tracks work for a proper real world album evaluation. Hopefully it's not just pandering to the post-production world in order to get a movie/TV score deal.

*UPDATE*: Here's the full free album. Looks like at least one tune got renamed, NYC changed to Bare Bones. After giving it a full listen, the batting average get's far far worse, like Ryan Dunn bad. Just wasn't feeling most of this one, and the post-prodcution demo reel diss is not far off really. Oh well, it's free at least. ANTHEMS OF THE HERO by KRADDY

SKREAM - Demented Free download



Man, can't believe I slept on this freebie for nearly two weeks. For shame, for shame. Skream is about as close to a flawless producer as you can get. He just about knocks everything out of the park, and the tunes that he doesn't, he makes up for it by making slamming tracks like this and giving them out for free. What can I can I say, it's a must download. This one is a lazer-fueled battle with dementia, forever rising and building a wobbly staircase to nowhere. It's Maximum Overdrive but instead of machines revolting, it's 1980's computers. A white-noise digital rinse-out with a tearing repeater bass, printer's freaking out, and modem's screaming they're going to kill you. A complete archaic robotic meltdown. When Skream flexes like this it reminds me that not everything robotic and digital has to sound like some stupid Transformer out-take reel. Hats off to you Skream, and thanks for the freebie.