This Valentines Day brings another stacked night of dance music in Los Angeles and while you might be torn on where your night will end up, Club IHC has done about as much as they possibly could to bring you and your buds our to The Lash Pop Up this Saturday (1/14). A rare appearance from London’s Girl Unit, fresh off a new release from his Hysterics side project, tops off the night, which is also augmented by fellow Night Slugs/Fade 2 Mind badmen MikeQ and Helix. LA’s own Patrick Brian, who we last caught on our very own Heterotopia Remixes tape, rounds out a fantastic bill that should bring out some of the finest in grime, ballroom and ghetto house. Once again, IHC has gifted our readers a pair of tickets, winnable in exchange for your favorite Qween Beat (or Qween Beat related) energizer. As the sonic side of ballroom has expanded with reckless abandon, we all need to recognize and show respect to both the innovators and the young guns currently flexing their muscle. MikeQ is a figurehead of sorts and we’re lucky to have him out. Enter below and we’ll see you at the dance.
After corralling the one and only Killa Cam for the remix of “Every Little Thing”, Paris’ own Para One grabbed Night Slugs don Girl Unit for the remix. Wait, what? Cam’Ron and Girl Unit? Have we entered an alternate dimension? If the “Every Little Thing” remix package is a barometer for the state of the internet, we might have to ready ourselves for a bevy of incredibly creative (and equally ill-advised) remixes from across the pop spectrum. Not to say that this Girl Unit remix is unpalatable by any means, it’s quite the opposite, but these virtual posse cuts have a lot of room to fail. In the meantime, enjoy the madness that is “Every Little Thing”.
Is there anything better than watching your favorite DJ’s perform in front of goofy green screen imagery? Well yeah, I guess there is, but Don’t Watch That TV’s Just Jam programming is up there on the entertainment scale. Recently, the Night Slugs cohort took to the online airwaves for several hours to play out space age club music like only they can. For our money, Girl Unit’s set came out on top, but when matched with Bok Bok, Lil Silva and Jam City everyone is a winner. After throwing indulging in some “Sexual Eruption”, Mr. Unit got right into the chunky percussive elements and blast off synth experimentation. The set isn’t as mind-bending as the joint hardware set he did with Bok Bok in London last month, but any chance to see Girl Unit spin is a treat. Especially in front of that green screen. Stream below and download here.
There has been a growing trend in electronic music where traditional “DJ” acts are starting to perform “Live” sets. Now, I’m not talking about a DJ playing only their own music off of CDJ’s. Not some progressive house bullshit. I’m talking about an artist who has spent much of their life DJing, moving into the live realm, complete with drum machines, synthesizers and other hardware. Like every other trend, the results have been hit and miss. Some artists just don’t really know how to utilize the hardware they use in the studio in a live setting. Others are just plain bad at it. Pariah and Blawan’s Karenn project is an example of an act doing it live (fuck it) and doing it well.
It has been a relatively quiet year in the Night Slugs camp, and with the exception of Girl Unit’s huge Club Rez EP, some might be lead to believe that the foremost purveyors in club music are sitting on their laurels. Those people are mistaken. Bok Bok and Girl Unit’s recent one off set at London nightclub Heaven showed the two established producers breaking into new ground, utilizing hardware to the fullest extent for a raw, new live experience. The duo brought a TR-909, Drumtraks, Polysix, Juno 106 and an MPC with them and the results are marvelous, highlighting the technical skill of both producers as well as the malleable nature of using hardware. Girl Unit’s “Ensemble” sounds far more powerful in this setting and the occasional blips in the show add a human texture that doesn’t really appear in your standard DJ set.
Even though many (most?) of the live sets being trotted out are unrefined, it’s a good sign that electronic musicians are diversifying their bonds and moving into new territory. I respect the art of DJing as much as anyone, but it can only go so far and the reproduction of a sound on stage actively refutes the “pushing buttons”/”laptop musician” mentality.
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 uploads. Burrrtish 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?
Hit the jump for the rest of the retrospective…