A few weeks ago, we gave a brief introduction to the Austin beat scene and the two incredible events, Applied Pressure and Exploded Drawing, it centers around, promising a more comprehensive feature in the future. In the weeks since, the scene took South By Southwest by storm, bringing in Jonti (Stones Throw), Jonwayne (Stones Throw), Jeremiah Jae (Brainfeeder), Robert Koch (Mooncircle) and more. A group of University of Texas students also finally attained funding via Kickstarter for their film (Beat)En Senseless: Austin Beat Culture, a comprehensive look into Applied Pressure, Exploded Drawing and the artists involved. The cherry on top was last week’s announcement that Applied Pressure will host Com Truise in April. The scene is on the up and up and this guide should serve as a nice overview of the people involved. I spoke with Applied Pressure founder and resident DJ/Producer Hobo D for some background (you can find the full interview after the jump) and got some excellent first hand insights into the scene.

Download: Exploded Drawing SXSW Compilation

Hobo D

Before delving in further, I’ll give an overview of Applied Pressure and Exploded Drawing. Applied Pressure is a monthly event held at Barcelona in the heart of Austin’s live music district. Hobo D (DJ/Producer), 4th Wall (Visuals/Producer), Kid Slyce (DJ) and BoomBaptist (Producer) are the residents, although the club night regularly brings in guests from across the world, ranging from Samiyam to Dam Funk to Lazer Sword. Beyond the monthly event, Applied Pressure is a collective/crew/family aiming to further the cause of electronic/experimental music in Austin. Applied Pressure was started a little over a year ago as an obscure collective, but has grown into a venerable purveyor of all things beat, not just in Austin, but across the entire state of Texas (and soon the United States). Kid Slyce is the resident mixing maestro, possessing transcendent skills behind the decks. Hobo D is the crate digger, searching out anything and everything from global psych music to old school IDM. BoomBaptist is the studio genius, and in my opinion, most likely to break out. 4th Wall handles all of the visuals and is one of the most talented VJ’s (?) in the game. It’s hard not to draw out the comparisons to Low End Theory, and while the Los Angeles (and now San Francisco and Japan scene has gained worldwide notoriety, it also began as a distinctly regional phenomenon.

Stream/Download: Hobo D Chinsplitters Vol. 1

Exploded Drawing is similar in style to Applied Pressure, but takes on a significantly different form. Semi-monthly, six” electronic composers, sound collectors and beat makers” take to the stage for 20 minutes apiece to perform all original works. Unlike Applied Pressure, no DJ sets are allowed and originality is paramount to the event’s success. Explode Drawing is hosted by Butcher Bear (who also runs (iN)Sect Records, more on that later) and soundfounder with visuals provided by Nait Ntropy. The name Exploded Drawing is derived from the similar, and now extinct, Sketchbook night in LA hosted by Kutmah. While both Applied Pressure and Exploded Drawing are unique live experiences in the “live music capital of the world,” Hobo D feels that the scene operates pretty exclusively from the rest of the city, instead focusing on 100% originality.

I mention (iN)Sect Records above and for good reason. The record label, started by Butcher Bear, is home to all three Exploded Drawing residents (as well as their respective side projects), BoomBaptist and numerous other Austin stalwarts. The label has also hosted releases from national icons Guilty Simpson, Dudley Perkins and Georgia Anne Muldrow. The label partakes in self-described “Earth Shattering Soul” and releases music both digitally and via limited vinyl runs. Lo Phi, Ntropy and Kinder are just a few of the immense talents who make their home at (iN)Sect.

It’s hard to get a good grasp on such a green scene, but Hobo D should help out a little bit in that arena. Here is a brief list of artists/tracks/mixes/EP’s/albums that should serve as a brief overview of the scene and its diverse range of talents:

Corduroi – Future Adventures (Mush Records)

Lo Phi – Slamma Jamma (Insect Records)

Outlaw Producer – Ninjas EP (Elevator Action)

Soundfounder – Complete Dream Home (Insect Records)

Guilty Simpson – Close Curtains Boom Baptist Remix (Insect Records)

Ntropy – Dither (Insect Records)

Anna Love

This is not meant to be a comprehensive list defining the mix. Instead, it should function as a brief and accessible look into some of the most talented artists coming out of Austin and mere jumpstart into your appreciation of the scene. In the coming weeks, we should have an exclusive mix from Hobo D that will shine some more light into the roots of the Austin scene. Hit the jump to read the entire interview as he can tell the story far better than I can. Also, be on the lookout for the release of (Beat)En Senseless, what is sure to be one of the better music documentaries of the year.

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One of the great byproducts of SXSW every year is the post-festival output of Nardwuar interviews. Last year, we got Curren$y, Odd Future, Das Racist, Lil’ B and more. So far this year, we’ve got A$AP Mob and Action Bronson. Today, the BC native uploaded his little talkabout with Detroit madman Danny Brown. If you’ve gotten used to Brown’s voice on the mic, just wait until you listen to him talking to Nardwuar for 12 minutes. Like always, Nardwuar brings up the most unexpected topics, in this case Bay Area rap, Detroit ghetto-tech, some break dancing figurines and even Faygo (shouts out to Ezelle’s). There aren’t many artists that match the eccentricity of Nardwuar, but Brown certainly goes toe to toe with the interviewer.

At this point just about all of us know about A$AP Rocky. He’s from Harlem, he’s that pretty mothafucka, he’s worked extensively with Clams Casino and he makes swaggerific hip hop tunes. What most people don’t know is that A$AP has an entire crew behind teeming with talent and what better person to introduce them to masses than Canada’s own Nardwuar. Rocky, Nast, Ty, Ferg, Twelvyy and Yams got together at SXSW to speak with Nardwuar to give their fans a little insight into the Mob behind A$AP. While it’s difficult to take Nardwuar serious at times, that, combined with his unmatched ability to delve into an artists past, is what makes him such an incredible interviewer. There isn’t anything I can say that Nardwaur can’t say better, so I’ll let him take it away. Also, check out a preview of the upcoming Araabmuzik/A$AP Mob track over at Yams’ Tumblr.

Earlier in the week, I wrote that there has never been a dearth of producers coming out of London. While this is undoubtedly true, what I should have said is that there has never been a dearth of producers coming out of the United Kingdom. Whether it’s London, Glasgow, Brighton, or Manchester, the grime, dubstep, house and bass music worlds are centered in the UK. In this case, we’re going to focus on on artist coming out of Leeds, Yorkshire. Skips aka Martyn Woolley makes a wide variety of sounds that most would classify as house music. Most of it hovers around 128 BPM’s, but Martyn refuses to confine his tunes, instead referring to Mala’s excellent take on genre limitations at the Red Bull Music Academy in 2008. Skips started making music in 2006 after attaining a copy of Logic and has not looked back since. He originally began making music after encountering the Leeds dubstep scene and became enamored with DMZ records soon after.

Stream: Skips – “Curse”

While Woolley refuses to be classified, most would consider his music a form of deep or minimal house. That’s too simple though. Woolley incorporates elements of disco, funky and acid basslines into his tracks with ease. Skips’ music is airy and effortless, yet driving at the same time. Every kick, snare, or organ feels perfectly placed and meticulously arranged. While Skips isn’t associated with any label at the moment, he has been working with friend James Welsh for some time and has built a steady following. Expect to hear more from this North England producer soon. We’ve certainly got our heads cocked for the next release. Find the full Skips interview transcript after the jump and more tunes at his Soundcloud.

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There has never been a dearth of producers coming out of London, but picking through them isn’t always the easiest task. For every James Blake or Burial, there are dozens of have-nots. Last week, we spoke with an artist who seems destined to fall into the former category. Theo Darton-Moore aka Stavrogin is a 20 year old producer originally from a small town outside of Brighton, but now based in London.

Stream: Stavrogin – “Chicago ’46”

It would be easy to shove Stavrogin in with the masses of producers under the future garage/post-dubstep umbrella, but his music is far richer and more elaborate than most. Darton-Moore is currently attaining a degree in Music Production for Film and it shows in his music. He often uses foley sounds (use of everyday sounds) at the start of his production process.

Stream: Stavrogin – “Frqncy // With Desimal”

We spoke with Darton-Moore about his influences outside of the electronic music world, what it’s like to live in London and who he’s listening to. Check out the entire interview after the jump and be sure to be on the lookout for Stavrogin in the future. Dude is making waves. Also, be sure to check out Darton-Moore’s Tumblr (, an excellent place to learn about new artists that might otherwise not make it stateside.

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Six weeks ago, the Sasquatch Music Festival lineup was released to much fanfare. Like all festivals, some hated the lineup while others loved it. For the more levelheaded, it appears to be a very balanced lineup with a deep undercard. From here on out we will be underscoring the lesser-known Sasquatch artists by highlighting a different artist each week. Beyond delving into each artist’s bio, sound, etc., we will attempt to give some insight into what will make their performance at Sasquatch so amazing.

The past several weeks we’ve covered Sasquatch artists who by and large only perform their own material. This week, we’re taking things in a drastically different direction. In 2005, Brian Shimkovitz, a recent graduate of Indiana University and an ethnomusicology major, spent a year in Ghana on a Fulbright Scholarship. While in Ghana, Shimkovitz acquired a number of cassette tapes of local artists.  On his return to his home in Brooklyn, Shimvokitz launched a blog to share the tapes with his friends. That blog, Awesome Tapes From Africa, is now one of the premier sources for “world” music on the web. Along with the blog, Shimkovitz now takes his show on the road, Djing with cassette tapes, as well as running an Awesome Tapes From Africa label. Last week, we spoke with Brian about his live sets, the label, where to look for awesome cassettes in Los Angeles (Little Ethiopia), and most importantly, if he’s excited to play at Sasquatch. Brian was incredibly helpful in making this interview happen and provided us with articulate, well-thought out answers. Brian also recently moved to Berlin so let’s show him a little love stateside. Read the entire interview after the jump and be sure to bookmark Awesome Tapes From Africa.

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We don’t usually feature content from other blogs/magazines/etc., but this is too good to pass up on. The latest issue of The Fader magazine features Danny Brown and Kendrick Lamar, as well as two of the better articles/interviews with the aforementioned artists I’ve managed to dig up. While Lamar graces the cover, the article is really about Black Hippy as a whole, juxtaposing its members drastically different personalities, quirks, and skill-sets. The Brown article is a deep contrast to the Black Hippy one, showcasing a manic, grotesque figure, who at one point states “People think my life is just non-stop orgies with crackheads… and it kind of is.” Brown and the Black Hippy cohort are two of the most respected artists/crews in the modern rap game, and these articles showcase how, despite their hugely different attitudes and lifestyles, they both came up from the bottom and share a common hip hop ethos.

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Yesterday, we honored the late, great J Dilla by posting an interview he did on the Gilles Peterson Worldwide Show on BBC Radio One. At the same time as we were posting that legendary interview, one of our favorite contemporary hip hop duos was speaking with Mr. Peterson. Stas and Cat of THEESatisfaction dished with Peterson on their musical backgrounds, the “fusion” of sounds in the  Seattle music scene and their favorite female poets. Both Stas and Cat are quite eloquent and the interview is a great listen. The jazz heavy show also features the new James Blake D’angelo remix and of course a Dilla track. You can find the tracklist for show here and stream/download it below.

Six years ago, James Yancey was born in Detroit, Michigan. On February 10, 2006, James Yancey died in Los Angeles, California. In the years in between, the man known as J Dilla became one of the most acclaimed producers in hip hop history. It’s difficult to say much about Dilla that hasn’t been said. His life has been analyzed from every imaginable angle. The dispute over his estate has been discussed to nauseating end. His beat tapes are as popular in smoky freestyle sessions as they were in 2005. Luckily for us, the folks over at 92BPM have given us a part of Dilla that could have easily been lost to history. Earlier today, they uploaded an interview Dilla gave on Gilles Peterson’s World Wide BBC show in 2001. Dilla dishes on Welcome 2 Detroit and several other topics. Beyond the subject matter, it’s incredible just to here Yancey’s voice. Rest In Power.