Archive

2012

devonwho has spent the majority of his life on the West Coast. He grew up in Oregon, has lived in LA on two separate occasions and now resides in San Francisco. I tried to get him to say which was his favorite, but he wouldn’t budge. Unlike many of his contemporaries, his music reflects each locale’s divergent sounds in one or another. Last month, we exchanged some emails with Devon and got the low down on his favorite food city, crowds in LA vs. SF, funk and the desire to work with MC’s. Get to know the beatsmith/taco enthusiast below and hit the jump for more.

You’re originally from Portland, but have also resided in Los Angeles and now San Francisco, right? Where are you right now?

That is all correct! I’m currently living in San Francisco. Have lived in Los Angeles twice and also, Philadelphia for a brief stint.  Was born in Oregon and raised in Portland.

Which is your favorite city on the West Coast?

Tough question! Don’t think I can really narrow it down. I’ve spent time in a bunch of the different cities on the west coast and I feel at home in all the places I’ve lived.  They all have their own unique charms.

Favorite food city?

I’m gonna have to say Los Angeles.. I fucking love taco trucks. All Mexican food for that matter.

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Seamonster make the sort of engaging, sunny pop music that usually isn’t all that difficult to get behind, but doesn’t have too long of a shelf-life. The brainchild of Adrian Todd Webb, the Virginia Beach band has a far more exploratory approach to the standard indie-pop fair. Their latest album is named after renowned found photography artist John Baldessari and Webb has stated that the album is directly influenced by his work. If you’re not familiar with Baldessari, his work involved the use of words and images he collected and pasted or painted onto canvass. To call the final project a collage would be shortchanging it. A collage usually carries the connotation of unoriginality, or at least misdirected appropriation. Baldessari is a collage only in the most general form of the word, “an artistic composition made of various materials.”

The album’s individual components are familiar, the melodies and instruments not being especially innovative. The levels of distortion used throughout the album aren’t especially common, but they aren’t especially new either. Where the album excels is at that intersection where experimental and pop music collide. Like Animal Collective, Deerhunter and others before them, Seamonster straddle the perilous divide to perfection. On “Normandy Landscape”, Webb’s arrangement nearly falls into cliched Fleet Foxes-esque territory, but avoids the pitfall with a subtle flute melody and perfectly arranged percussion. The songwriting is simple enough to be accessible, but doesn’t become trite after a few times over. Webb manages to compile found influences from across the experimental pop landscape and throw them onto his canvass with a seemingly careless precision. A solid remix package tops off the album, a little bit of found art in itself. This is rare album that is simultaneously a simple, enjoyable listen and a demanding sonic voyage.

Baldessari was released digitally back in August and is still available for download at name your price, but you can also pre-order the easter yellow 12″ now.

Special Vinyl Edition

Since our inception back in January, London phenom Stavrogin has been making major moves within the world of UK Bass and House music. Think Disclosure. Think Addison Groove. Think Julio Bashmore. That’s high company for a young man with only a few releases under his belt, but don’t be surprised if you hear the next buzz act being compared to Stavrogin in a few months. We were lucky enough to pull the Lewes native in for an exclusive mix that has not and will not leave the rotation for a long while.

Like so many niche forums on the internet, the debate about electronic music has taken a nasty and acerbic turn as of late. I’m curious, do y’all like getting into senseless, roundabout arguments about DJ’s and buttons and whatnot? I didn’t think so. As a result, the newest contribution to our Guest Mix series transcends the debate. That’s right, vinyl. Wax. You feel that well of happiness opening up in the deepest recessions of your body? That’s nostalgia right there. No one can argue with vinyl.

If you like piano crescendos, soaring falsettos or Calvin Harris, this mix probably isn’t for you. If you tend to go for stripped down bass music from the likes of Untold, Ben Klock and Stickman, jump on the party bus. It might get a little smoky. If anything, this mix should make some Stavrogin vinyl seem like a really, really good idea. Record labels, the ball is in your court. Like always, stream and download below and don’t be afraid to gives us some feedback.

Trackiist

WNCL – Coming on Strong [WNCL Recordings]
Gerry Read – Legs [Fourth Wave]
Throwing Snow – Shadower [Sneaker Social Slub]
Tommy Four Seven – Ratu [CLR (2)]
Untold – Little Things Like That [Clone Basement Series]
Stickman – If You Stay [Mindset Records]
Martyn feat. Spaceape – Is This Insanity? (Ben Klock Remix) [3024]
Untold – Bones (Rockwell Remix) [SSSSS]
Wax – No. 30303 (Shed ø San Remix) [Wax (4)]
The Chain – Suffer For Your Art [R&S Records]

A few weeks ago, I saw British phenoms Disclosure (or at least one half of the duo) bring down the house at a festival in Germany. Besides being delighted by the performance, I couldn’t help thinking about another up-and-coming British youngster, Stavrogin. The green tea organic percussion, slow-burning synths and effortless vocal manipulation is readily apparent in both act’s brief discographies. “i love…that you know” could easily be a Stavrogin track and vice versa, “Chicago ’46” could easily be a Disclosure creation. Granted, the Lawrence brothers have a little bit more pop accessibility in their repertoire, but the two sound eerily similar at times. Stavrogin’s newest attempt, “Expiration”, is yet another brilliant adventure in patience. The track doesn’t quite build as much as it slinks along underneath the radar in the most engrossing way possible. It’s smooth as hell, but doesn’t give an inch in the bass category. It is bass music after all. Stream “Expiration” below and look out for the exclusive Stavrogin mix in the coming weeks.

Been a little slow to get this one up here, but that happens when you work out in the woods for the summer. Peaking Lights dropped what is, in my opinion, one of the best albums of 2012 so far.  Peaking Lights have been emerging onto the scene since the release of their debut album, 936, in 2011. Composed of Aaron Coyes, and Indra Dunis, the duo have already established a a huge following with two lp’s under their belts and a 936 Remixed project. The remixed project features artists Dam Funk, Damu, and Main Attrakionz reworking some of the classic tracks.

The duo capitalizes on hidden guitar riffs and synths interspersed with vocals from Indra. “Lo-Hi” is a perfect example of the smooth production that has been integral to Peaking Lights’ success. Even with the vast conglomeration of sounds on the track, “Dream Beat”, the duo blends these assorted sounds flawlessly.

I highly recommend giving this album a spin and it can be found on the Weird World Record Co’s soundcloud page here along with the 936 album and the remix project. The 936 remixed album also has some gems on it, like this remix from Main Attrakionz. Check out that entire project here.

 

 

Since we interviewed Haleek Maul back in May, the young Barbadian has been on an absolute tear. In June, Maul’s debut Oxyconteen EP put his tattered mental state on blast, giving fans new and old one of the rawest listening experiences they’ll have in a long minute. What we’ve really been waiting for though has finally emerged today. Back in May, Maul spoke on an upcoming mixtape with Chicago production duo Supreme Cuts who are leading the back when it comes to viscous hip hop bangers. Chrome Lips finally emerged today, featuring 17 originals from one of the most uncouth minds in contemporary music. Maul’s eclectic, dexterous flow allows Supreme Cuts to dip and dive from the airiest peaks to the dankest dungeons of their production dichotomy. Verses from Deniro Farrar, MondreMan and Squadda B offer short respites from Maul’s often severe flow, vastly improving the overall flow of tape. Mishka is giving away the tape for free as they’re known to do and you would be making a mistake not to snatch this one up right now. Another high profile mixtape dropped today, but Chrome Lips is the one that people are going to remember (no shots). Stream and download Chrome Lips below.

 

For the better part of a decade, the UK has been the home for all things bass music. From Croydon record shops to the fabled Warehouse Project of Manchester, the Brits can never seem to get enough low end frequencies. Over a similar period of time, a number of previously insular and heavily localized brands of club music have broken out of their shells and entered the mainstream consciousness. Blunted hip hop, go-go and club can now be found in locales far removed from the streets of L.A., D.C. and Baltimore. On Volume 3 of Mixes From The Astral Plane, Vancouver resident Kong conflates takes club and bass and makes them one. Kong makes you forget all the sub-genres I just ignominiously named and allows you delve deep into sounds of the future. Download Volume 3 below and catch the tracklist after the jump.

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As you should know by now, we raved quite a lot about the new Hudson Mohawke and Lunice collaboration TNGHT. Their EP is absolutely massive and we couldn’t be more excited to see that BadBadNotGood covered the duos breakneck banger, ‘BuggN’. BBNG performed this cover live at the Mad Decent Block Party. It’s the perfect track for the group to perform and the track is huge.

So the TNGHT (Hudson Mohawke + Lunice for those living under a rock) EP saw its American release today. Instead of an album review (words don’t do it justice), we’ve decided to compile a little retrospective on British producers lending their talents to American hip hop. In an interview with FACT last month, Lunice had this to say:

We’ve been doing this shit for years, and it’s not like we’re new or anything, it’s not like we’re new money shit, it’s not like we came out of the blue and we blew up like crazy. We’ve built a whole foundation of our work. So it’s about that time. I feel like that sort of movement is backed with all of our homies together, like: “This is us! You can’t do this shit! You can’t just take our ideas and come up with it all after all these years. We’re coming for you!

Clearly, Lunice believes that American hip hop producers have been misappropriating hip hop-indebted UK bass for a minute now and are taking a stand. While I don’t think Toomp and Hit-Boy are listening to too much Mount Kimbie, I get it: Lunice has a persecution complex… just kidding. With the EP set to take the States by storm and the duo’s remix of Flocka’s “Rooster In My Rari” igniting the interwebz, it’s easy to see where Lunice’s frustration is coming from. As the UK sound constantly progresses into exciting new territories via labels like LuckyMe and Night Slugs, American producers are often too content to find a sound and stick with it. As a result, some of the best interpretations of American, especially Southern, hip hop have come from British producers. TNGHT might be the apex of the trend (yes we know Lunice is Candian), but many other (mostly) pasty perpetrators have attempted to freshen up Stateside hip hop tropes, both new and old. This is not meant to a comprehensive review, because that would be impossible. It’s just a list of a lot of really fucking good producers remixing a lot of really ignorant hip hop music.

Dubbed by some as the “British Diplo”, it made all too much sense for Sinden to host volume two of Mad Decent’s Free Gucci series. The Burrrtish Edition features 16 remixes of Mr. Radric Davis’s trap anthems, courtesy of a  coterie of revered Brits: HudMo, Rustie, Melé, Mosca and Toddla T just to name a few. Predictably weirder than the Diplo hosted Volume One (with the exception of the Flying Lotus contribution), the tape is an exhibition in low end sounds with varying levels of success. HudMo’s take on “Party Animal” essentially spawned TNGHT, is utterly playable to this day and should probably soundtrack your next night of drunken shenanigans. Melé also wins big with his wonky reinterpretation of “Missing” from The Appeal: Georgia’s Most Wanted (a largely overlooked Gucci project). Stripped down and menacing, “Missing” is a precursor to some of Melé’s more recent Soundcloud uploadsBurrrtish isn’t much of a cohesive project drawing from every realm of bass music, but who cares when HudMo, Melé, Rustie and Sinden bring the collective heat?

Download: Sinden Presents Free Gucci 2:The Burrrtish Edition

Hit the jump for the rest of the retrospective…

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Back in April, a menagerie of characters joined Flying Lotus on stage for the finale of his Weekend One Coachella set, punctuated by a live rendition of “Hard In Paint”. The on-stage crowd was made up largely of the Brainfeeder cohort, but one prepubescent face stuck out. None other than Earl Sweatshirt was standing front and center flapping his stick like arms and wylin’ like… well like he was on stage for a Thundercat assisted rendition of “Hard In The Paint”. Up until that point, a collaboration between the two Angelenos seemed like nothing more than a pipe dream and their public relationship boiled down to Twitter banter. From there though… whew anything was possible. “Between Friends” is that possibility. Part of Adult Swim’s Singles Series (faultless as of late), the collaboration is another example of the Odd Future stalwart taking his talents in a new direction. Last week, he was featured on The Alchemist’s dusty “Elimination Chamber” and “Between Friends” sees him attempting another distinctly non-Odd Future sound. Both fans and haters of the collective will be hard-pressed not to sink their teeth into “Between Friends”, also featuring the mysteriously named Captain Murphy that sounds a little like Tyler. The fractured beginning of the track is congruent with the off-kilter sound FlyLo has carefully cultivated, a sound as akin to Dilla as it is to Aphex Twin, that is to say somewhere in the realm between sample hip hop and jungle. Earl’s sometime frustrating monotone effortlessly slips into the grooves of the beat and that’s about all you need to know. Lucky for all of us, the good folks at Adult Swim are giving away “Between Friends” for free (get it below). The track will not appear on FlyLo’s upcoming Until The Quiet Comes, hitting us on October 1st.

Download: Flying Lotus – “Between Friends” Feat. Earl Sweatshirt and Captain Murphy)

Update: Flying Lotus was kind enough to upload the instrumental to his Soundcloud. Much love Mr. Ellison. Much love.