London duo Wallwork & RZR have burst onto the scene over the past year, garnering attention from the likes of Scratcha DVA and drawing fans to their rough-and-tumble, breaks-heavy style. Releases on Infinite Machine and Nervous Horizons set the pace and a bevy of remix work has seen the duo pop all over the place, most recently on fellow Londoner Otik‘s upcoming Emphasis EP for Infinite Machine sister label Tessier Ashpool. Built on two originals and five smashing remixes, Emphasis features a range of styles, but is built on Otik’s passion for hectic jungle, each of the two originals a heavily referential mass of breaks and miasma. On their remix of “Witness”, Wallwork & RZR slow down the proceedings to a lope, retaining the percussive, spastic thrust of the original while inflecting the whole affair with their own unique production aesthetic. Cloaka, Liar, Majora and Mutual Friend also remix tracks from Emphasis, which is out Monday, May 25. Pre-order Emphasis here.
As one of the most prolific deejays in the game and that rare breed of tastemaker/historian, Riz La Teef has been making waves over the past year in the London club world and across a number of internet-based hubs. Known for cutting personal dubs of his favorite tracks, Riz has become the consummate DJ’s DJ recently and has begun to pop up on, what seems like, nearly every bill. And with an ever-growing collection, a selfless willingness to pour nearly all of his earnings back into the pressing plant and a seemingly insatiable desire to spin, there’s no reason to leave him out of your very own favorite DJ list. And it’s not just his unmistakable skills behind the decks or fervor for dub culture, Riz seems to act as a sort of glue for many of London’s scenes, bringing together dubstep, grime and funky from all over the city into his mixes. His Astral Plane mix acts in exactly that manner, tying together the bass weight-focused techno of Hodge, Beneath and Kowton with nu school grime provocateurs Logos and Loom. Plus, there are a few coming-of-age classics from Lil Silva, Deadboy and Digital Mystikz to tie off the whole affair. It would be a Sisyphean task to try and work through every Riz La Teef mix on the web, but I can’t imagine a DJ I’d rather spend a few weeks with.
The Astral Plane DJ Team was back on Radar Radio last night for the second time, bringing an hour of 100 BPM-ish dancehall, rap and dembow to the London station. The track list is still in the fog at the moment, but be on the lookout for selections from Sudanim, Sami Baha, Drippin, Santa Muerte and Sinjin Hawke. For the second hour of our slot, we brought in our good friend and neighbor Arkitect and the Private Selection co-head brought an hour of blistering, all-vinyl techno. As we continue to feature more and more of our Los Angeles friends, cohorts and assistants, we hope to showcase as much of the talent, in several arenas, this city has to offer. We’ll have represenatives from the Far Away and N0 Rules cliques in the next few weeks to accompany our own selections are working on locking down a studio space to record interviews! Stay locked.
The latest themed project from the Classical Trax stable comes with a distinct Detroit bent with artists like Lars Warn, Draft Dodger, Fisky, Imaabs and Tomas Urquieta putting their respective spins on labels like Transmat and Metroplex. Out tomorrow (May 20), the Future ’95’ EP isn’t a true-to-form tribute to the aforementioned Detroit institutions, but as one of the more techno-leaning releases from the CT camp, it does bring a refreshing hybrid approach, lacing breakbeats into previously empty space and spooky melodies around dusty drums. For our money, Lars Warn, as his new side-project OR-7, contributes the highlight track, the almost-strictly percussive peak time banger “001”. Don’t let the very techno track title fool you though, Lars has an acumen for for percussive heat and him taking on the more linear form feels comfortable. Grab Future ’95’ via Classical Trax tomorrow. Art work for the tape is by Ryan Huff aka DJ SagePay.
For the past year, the Watford-based Tobago Tracks label has matched UK producers with international artists in a six part EP series. So far, the label has focused on France, Turkey and the US and their latest volume, out May 26, brings China into the mix. Tobago Tracks artists Pitcheno and Organ Tapes feature, as well as Laura Inglass and Macchina as the tape touches on techno, grime and R&B in sprawling fashion. We were lucky enough to grab Pitcheno’s Organ Tapes-featuring “K1. 不明白”” for premiere, a brilliant pseudo-cover of Future and Kanye Wests “I Won”. At a loping dancehall-pace Pitcheno’s bracing production matches clattering, reverb-clad kicks with whooshes of noice as a fragile, beatific melodic quotient and children’s voices slowly build into a feverish atmosphere set around the percussive pillars. It’s a surprisingly prescient piece of contemporary pop, matching the feel good nature of Caribbean forms with an ambient sensibility and a brilliant piece of heavily processed vocal work. In a sense, it’s pop music and the quote-on-quote underground working hand in hand, but the track is removed from both contexts, both too overt in its form to work as a piece of collage/sound art and too sonically abrasive to function as a clear cut pop number. Instead, “K1. 不明白”” exists in a nether region between the two worlds, grasping at wispy elements from both and placing them inside its internal brilliant collider. Grab Tobago Tracks Vol. 4: China next Tuesday (May 26).
In the sphere of internet-based art forms, the act of being prolific connotes more than just producing a large quantity of work. Prolificacy is often a comment on technology, means of production, industry habits and norms and much more than can be fit in these narrow pages. Adam Harper did a great job of surveying “The New Digital DIY Labels”, the web-focused outlets like 1080p, AVNL, Hoko Sounds which are all prime examples of this, for The FADER here. In terms of releasing a ton of music in terms of volume, hundreds of names could be railed off, but when you bring breadth of style, genre and form, the list narrows considerably. Oregon’s Karmelloz is one of the key names on the latter list, an artists who’s released on the aforementioned 1080p and Hoko Sounds and let loose more than a handful of albums, sketches and more through his own Bandcamp.
Whether he’s working in the confines of Hippos In Tanks-inspired hypnagogic pop, taking cues from percussive club forms or piecing together abstract sonic collages, Karmelloz’s work has come off as inspired and irresistibly candid. Almost always layered under levels of gauze and smoke, releases like Source Localization (for 1080p), Cearà (for Apothecary Compositions with C Plus Plus) and Bud Air could easily have been released under a half dozen different pseudonyms, but ignoring the possibility of historical revision, Karmelloz lets each and every piece, dating back to 2011, sit out in the ether. This allows the listener to sort through it on their own terms, following chronological directives or ignoring them altogether.
He lists his genre on Soundcloud as “psychedelic” and the Karmelloz sound often comes off as a tape edited version of the pages of your favorite magazine. Your favorite rap songs cut up and laden in echo effects, the kick pattern and breaks from a Bmore classic entering the fray and leaving just as quickly. It’s not a lack of patience that defines Karmelloz’s music, but an insatiable desire to filter, comment on and divulge the way he himself partakes in technological music and music technology. His Astral Plane mix is “based on a set I did at S1 in Portland last Saturday. Mostly special edits made at 140bpm with synths dropped out, and including a lot of unreleased/forthcoming material.” It’s reminiscent of much of Karmelloz’s past work and many bits will be familiar to fans, but like every successive release it offers a refreshing drive, this time by means of a concise tempo. Don’t expect him to fall into a 140 four-on-the-floor groove for more than a release or two, but for now this hat is fitting on Karmelloz pretty damn well.
Compared to its neighbors to the south (Los Angeles, north (Portland and Seattle) and even near east (Oakland), San Francisco has a relative dearth of club music culture and nights. While a lot of that can probably be chalked up to the accelerated real estate market and a general whitening of the city, it’s still bizarre that San Francisco has virtually no regular nights that support ballroom, Jersey, Bmore, grime, UK funky and the other myriads forms we support in these pages. Fortunately, the BREAD crew has sought out to change all of that and on May 29, they are bringing out Rushmore, Dreams, Fraxinus and Kid Antoine to SoMa’s 1192 Folsom venue. Living in Los Angeles, it’s easy to get a little spoiled with night life selections, but I’ve seen more than a few Angelenos despair over the 380+ miles separating them from this show.
To celebrate the inaugural BREAD night, we have a ticket giveaway and exclusive mix from our friend Rushmore, bossman at Trax Couture and headliner of the May 29 date. As most of you know from listening to the London-based producer/DJ/curator extraordinaire’s House of Trax NTS Show, this man’s mix sessions are not to be missed and this high energy selection runs through recent Trax Couture releases and the requisite load of exclusives. Art work for the mix done by the always on point Natalie Hands. Stream and download the mix below and hit the link if you’re in the Bay Area for a chance at the two tickets. With Trax Couture, Private Selection and Her Records in the house, this is not a party you’re going to want to miss. Get tickets for BREAD #01 here and be sure to check out the track list for Rushmore’s mix on the contest entry page as well!
Coming off the back of the release of his first album in four years, Los Angeles-based artist and Wedidit boss Henry Laufer aka Shlohmo took over The Fonda stage last week with a retooled live set featuring a hired gun drummer and friend/label mate D33J. It’s Laufer’s first foray into the band world as Shlohmo and, coming at the tail end of a national tour, felt like a veritable homecoming celebration. With a cooky array of imagery splayed behind the stage (chains, rain drops, a spliff), the band giddily took the stage after performances from TEAMSesh rapper BONES, Purple and Nick Melons. Like Dark Red, Laufer’s new album on True Panther Sounds, the performance was rife with clattering, precision-point drums and moody, dirge-like guitar work and true to form, the band worked through most of the new album.
And with a few exceptions, the new material sounded great, drawing from both a technical metal lineage and the Southern hip hop, R&B and jungle influences that have popped up on his past several releases. Also like the album, the middle portion of the show felt a bit sludgy, Dark Red tracks like “Apathy”, “Ditch” and “Remains” didn’t quite hold the attention of Vacation effort “Rained The Whole Time” and Laid Out highlight “Later”. Nonetheless, the crowd was firmly eating out of Laufer’s hands, a young squadron of Wedidit acolytes responding enthusiastically to nearly every track in the hour long set. At his best, Shlohmo sounds like a confluence of Tim Hecker and Goldie, DJ Screw and The Album Leaf and there were enough moments of brilliance throughout the night at The Fonda to ride away from the Sunset Boulevard venue with a huge smile plastered on.
Last Monday, our debut show on Radar Radio aired, the first of (hopefully) many two hour sessions for the London station! Every two weeks, the Astral Plane DJ Team will be taking over the first hour and bringing out some of favorite Los Angeles artists for the second hour. The show is pre-recorded, but be sure to send in dubs/tracks/releases/whatever and we’ll be sure to give them a listen and consider inclusion. Last week’s show featured Terrorhythm’s own Patrick Brian on the guest mix, tearing down everything with a selection of percussive grime, techno and everything in between. Next week, we’ll have Private Selection’s Arkitect on with an all vinyl selection of acid, techno and some exclusives from friends and label mates. As of now, our bimonthly slot will take place on the first and third Mondays of every week from 6 – 8 PM Pacific Time although that might change in the coming weeks/months. Tune in.
Like most of our favorite record labels, Rushmore‘s Trax Couture has developed organically over the past few years, bringing international artists into the fold via its globally-focused World Series while also retaining a keen focus on London. April brought GROVESTREET into the fold and World Series Vol. 8 puts the focus on Evil Streets, one of London’s foremost proponents of Bmore and Jersey club. If you were lucky enough to catch GROVESTREET and Evil Streets on Just Jam 136 or at one of several House of Trax events, you’d catch classic East Coast club records, ballroom motifs and a distinct UK funky flavor, all put through an eccentric, rave culture filter. Evil Streets’ Vol. 8 comes in at four tracks and consistently features the choppy, syncopated rhythms that mark funky, as well as a good heaping of break beats and horn work that recall Baltimore’s finest. It’s an exciting debut for a nascent artist who also graces Radar Radio monthly and “Times Up” is the best of the lot, a retro-flavored, peak time burner that should be all over sets in no time. Vol. 8 is out on Wednesday May 27 and if you’re in New York that same day be sure to catch Rushmore and Evil Streets at the Purple Tape Pedigree pop up shop!