Archive

2012

 

It’s been awhile since I have posted on any new jazz albums or groups…until now! I would like to introduce you to Indigo Jam Unit. Formed in Osaka, Japan, in 2005, these guys have been dropping great releases for awhile.  The unit consists of Yoshichika Tarue (piano), Katsuhiko Sasai (double bass), Isao Wasano (percussion & drums), and Takehiro Shimizu (drums). The unit initially started out as a trio and then added Shimizu to the drum line up before their first album, DEMONSTRATION (February 2006). Since this first album, the quartet has released five LP’s, an album remixing some of Common’s songs with his original verses over their jams, and a cover album, Rose. 

This track is from the album, Re:Common , and reworks his song ‘Come Close’. Indigo Jam Units unique sound comes from the combination of all four members. Tarue’s melodic piano and Sasai’s driven bassline are integral to each track with the two artists pairing their instruments perfectly. What sets Indigo Jam Unit’s apart, is the use of two drummers. With Shimizu and Wasano working together to create an explosive rhythm that is prominent throughout each track.

The unit’s most recent release was the album, Independent, and should be checked out by anyone who enjoys complex drumlines and if you want to check out a band that can meld their unique sounds flawlessly. Even more impressive, is the bands devotion to uphold their ideal of being ‘live musicians’. The unit performs only single takes for every song that they put onto a record. I strongly urge you to explore their music and with some easy google searching you can find album downloads. Lastly, check out their awesome cover of ‘Funkier Than a Mosquito’s Tweeter’ by Nina Simone

 

Since the inception of this blog, our foremost goal has been to display the music we love (and hope you love) in a tasteful, uninhibited fashion. To that point, I believe we’ve been fairly successful. Our secondary goal has been to bring you original content in the form of interviews, album reviews and most recently, our Mixes From The Astral Plane series. Today, we bring you a new form of original content: Guest Mixes. Whereas Mixes From The Astral Plane is meant to be a sort of overview of what we’re loving on at the moment, Guest Mixes will highlight the work of our favorite artists, one at a time.

For our first ever Guest Mix, we’ve enlisted the man we called the “Dutch trap luminary” last month, Boeboe. As the wheat separates from the chaff in the trap game, Boeboe has emerged with an impressive grasp of hip hop, as well as the strand of bass heavy British house music championed by the likes of Julio Bashmore, XXXY and Eats Everything. Last month’s Act Stupid EP on Sabacan Records exhibited Boeboe’s mastery of the low end and it doesn’t look like he’ll stop anytime soon. Without further ado, we present to you Boeboe’s Guest Mix.

Tracklist

1. Subp Yao – Law of The Jungle
2. A Chal – Paid in Full
3. Boeboe – Breakdown
4. SirOJ – Untitled (Exclusive) (forthcoming on 22Tracks)
5. LOL Boys – Flaunt It (Remix)
6. LZRKMMNDR – Big Ass Titties (Subp Yao Remix)
7. UZ x CRNKN – Booty 2 The Ground
8. Boeboe – Low Key
9. Boeboe – Green Component
10. +Verb – RTS
11. Boeboe – King (WIP)
12. Myrryrs – Fantom Doze
13. Baauer – My Nose

All too often, and for far too long, musicians’ work has been associated with and affected by the artists’ personal lives; it has become a fact of the industry that fans not only absorb an artist’s music, but that they become acquainted with the artist as a human being as well, for better or for worse. Frank Ocean has been the subject a lot of Internet buzz over the past few weeks, and sadly, until Tuesday, very little of it had anything to do with the music he makes. Sexual orientation has no effect whatsoever on musical ability or songwriting talent; that being said, countless reviews of Frank Ocean’s superb new album, Channel Orange, seem focused solely upon attempting to tie various lyrics to alleged homosexual feelings or actions. That type of review is both useless and ridiculous, in light of the quality and effort so clearly apparent within this project.

Channel Orange would have been the same album whether or not Ocean had chosen to discuss his sexual orientation publicly the week before its release. The experiences he describes in the album had already passed, the lyrics had all been written, the verses recorded. Although we at The Astral Plane were overjoyed to see a respected and revered artist like Ocean publicly come out despite the potential for backlash, the blogosphere’s reactions to this announcement (positive OR negative) play no role whatsoever in the musical entity that is Channel Orange. It is rather useless to spend time either congratulating or criticizing Ocean’s lifestyle, and frankly I’m sick of reading track-by-track reviews of this album that seem intent upon pointing out the number of times per song where Ocean says “he” instead of “she,” as if attempting to decide upon the “gayest” song of the album. It’s exhausting to see so many people attempting to analyze the personal life of an individual they have never met in what should be a review of the music.

The most beautiful aspect of this project, and the thing so many bloggers seem to be missing as they scrutinize Frank Ocean’s sexuality in loose or imagined relation to the lyrics in Channel Orange, is the fact that Ocean has created a multifaceted and comprehensive portrait of love in this album. This is not love as viewed through the eyes of any one individual; instead, it is love as a concept, viewed critically and with trepidation and awe. This album is a 17-track rumination on the many flavors of fondness and affection. Read the track-by-track review after the jump.

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A beat cypher, what a novel idea. Could be interesting. Those were my first thoughts when a friend mentioned TeamSupreme to me. It sounded vaguely enticing, but an unrealistic novelty in reality. 12 producers using the same two samples and contributing one minute of beat action? No way that could work. If conducted by the wrong people, I figured it would be an utter disaster. Well what the fuck do I know? Directed by Dane (The Great Dane) and Preston (of Virtual Boy), TeamSupreme has been churning out their unique “cyphers” since April and have garnered respect from across the hip hop and electronic music spectrums. With a monthly spot at Los Angeles’ La Cita in place and a stable of producers ranging from (DJ) Nobody to Boreta of The Glitch Mob contributing to the weekly volumes. We wanted to find out more about the process behind TeamSupreme so we shot some emails back and forth with Dane and Preston. Here are the results. Can’t wait for Volume 3,000 to drop.

Give us a play by play of how TeamSupreme was consummated?

Dane: Me and Preston were hanging out and we decided to have a little unofficial project to make a beat in an hour at the same BPM with the same vocal sample, “My team supreme, stay clean” (a Biggie quote).  After we finished up we put them back to back and thought it would be cool to try it on a bigger scale with more producers. That first little project turned into TeamSupreme Vol. 1.

Who all is involved with TeamSupreme at this point? Is everyone located in LA?

Dane: We started with just our close producer friends mostly in LA or Orange County, but now we have people sending in beats from NY, Colorado, Portland and more.

Preston: Our usual suspects consists of Papi, King Henry, Great Dane, Preston James, Djemba Djemba, Fuzz, Kloud, DJ Nobody, Dot, ELOS, Kenny Segal, Nalepa, Snorlax and Colta. We’ve also had many guests including Boreta of The Glitch Mob and Kendo of Two Fresh.

Hit the jump for the full interview…

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Los Angeles has been the hub of club oriented electronic music on the West Coast for quite some time. That has resulted in dozens of artists labels dipping their toes into the melting pot of regional scenes that have emerged over the past several years. A number of labels have had success within the club realm, but only one, Body High, has mastered it with an impressive streak of fun-loving consistency. Sporting releases from DJ Sliink, Myrryrs and DJ Dodger Stadium, the young label run by Samo Soundboy (of DJ Dodger Stadium) and Jerome Potter (of LOL Boys) has taken the City of Angels by storm. Their newest release comes courtesy of San Francisco native Jim-E Stack in the form of the “Bubble Boy”. Stack has made quite a name for himself with his remix game, but his original work is a complex menagerie of club and hip hop influences. Whether drawing from New Orlans, Chicago or Baltimore, Stack has managed to infuse his own unique flair to original releases. Stream “Bubble Boy” below and head over to Boomkat to give some love in the form of paper money.

We weren’t around to tell you, but Freddie Gibbs and Madlib’s “Thuggin” was the best hip hop song of 2011. Bar none. No fucks about it. Gangsta Gibbs’ honest as fuck, true to the-streets braggadocio mixes with the Beat Kondukta’s dusty, sativa saturated beats was a match made in heaven. The ensuing EP was short, but the promise of a second  EP coming Summer 2012 made hip hop heads more than a little wet. Summer 2012 is upon us and lo and behold, the Shame EP has arrived on our doorsteps. More of a teaser than anything, Shame contains two new Gibbs/Madlib tracks along with their instrumentals/acapellas, plus two bonus beats. The two new tracks are more than enough to satiate our needs though. The title track takes Gibbs away from the streets and into the bedroom. Lib creates the perfect soul-sampling bed for Gibbs to wax poetic about his “bottom bitch” and BJ The Chicago Kid sounds smooth as hell on the hook. Best line: “Like I stepped on a banana peel then fell in that pussy/You all be spending your narcotics skrill to get in that pussy”. Gibbs got jokes. At only 1:11 long, “Terrorist” is even more of a teaser, but seeing Gibbs going stream of consciousness over another silky backdrop is still a treat. Head over to Stones throw to cop the vinyl or the MP3’s and stream “Shame” below. Most importantly, the EP release comes with news that the two are gearing up for an LP release “third quarter 2012”. That is very, very soon. Jammin!


2012 has been a good year for Brainfeeder. Flying Lotus’s label and purveyor of everything good and holy have only released two traditional full lengths, Ryat’s and Lapalux’s (both excellent by the way), but their longest strides have come in the hip hop arena. Now if you follow us, you’re probably familiar with the label’s stable of MC’s, namely the Maryland-bred Azizi Gibson and Chicago’s Jeremiah Jae. The two have been making some of the most unfiltered, dynamic hip hop this year, which is quite a statement considering Black Hippy and Danny Brown’s output alone. Luckily for us, the two have joined together for a concept tape of sorts. Ignorant Prayers is an ode to all those who pray for the important things in life i.e. a lot of fellatio. Money too. If you’re looking for grimy, unadulterated rhymes over the wonky beats we’ve come to love from Jae and the Brainfeeder clique in general, do not sleep on this tape. It’s shocking without striving for shock value and has some of the gulliest production this side of FlyLo himself. Grab the full tape below and grab the instrumentals right here.

Download: Azizi Gibson x Jeremiah Jae – Ignorant Prayers

Oh yes. Today, we are lucky enough to premier the brand new Viette banger, “DÅMELO” and initiate some ratchet techno frenzy. Taking a generous sample from Ri Ri’s ode to Jamaican badmen, Viette gets real grimy with the water droplets and whatever those sucking noises are. This is the shit Bangladesh would churn out if he got locked in a Berlin dungeon and was forced to make techno. 2 Ratchet. Stream and download “DÅMELO” below.

FYF Fest 2011 (Photo by Gabe Meier)

One of LA’s most underrated indie festivals, FYF Fest (formerly Fuck Yeah Fest), will be back in full swing this September. According to the festival’s website, the event will expand this year from one day to two, taking place on September 1st and 2nd at the State Historic Park in Downtown LA. FYF is known for putting together deliciously eclectic lineups, with an appealing mix of well-known artists and newcomers from a wide array of genres, sure to please a variety of musical and cultural tastes. This year, the festival’s headliners consist M83, Beirut and Refused; other notable acts include James Blake (!!!!), Sleigh Bells, Desaparecidos, Simian Mobile Disco, Tycho, Purity Ring, Gold Panda, Chairlift, Aesop Rock, AA Bondy, Dam Funk, and many others. The festival possesses a laid-back, sun-drenched vibe, and its accessibility in Downtown LA makes it a unique setting for some really fantastic performances to take place. This is not one to miss.

Weekend passes start at $77 and go on sale this Friday, the 22nd. Check out the full lineup after the jump.

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After a slight delay, one of our most anticipated releases of the year has hit the web. Haleek Maul let loose his debut Oxyconteen EP through Merok Records earlier and oh what a debut it is. Macabre in subject matter, production and aesthetic, Oxyconteen is a beautifully disturbing introspective into the mind of the 15 year old MC. Some might be quick to label it horrocore or another similarly disparaging label, but a quote from our interview with Haleek illustrates the EP far more aptly:

Whether or not I should be the good guy or the bad guy, the addict or the straightedge, etc. goes on forever. I kind of realized it was stupid to subscribe to a title. You usually let yourself down anyway by setting those types of goals that restrict your personality. All of that is in me and it makes me the unique person I am.

Haleek projects his insecurities into his music and therefore into your mind. Like he says on “Gully”, “I am not a person, I’m just voices stuck inside your head.” You won’t find a more self-aware release than Oxyconteen this year. Combine that with production from Supreme Cuts, King Britt, EPLP, The-Drum and Strat Carter and this debut will stay in the deck for many months to come. Just give this shit a listen. It’s free. You really don’t have an excuse. Stream below and grab the whole EP right here.