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.
Our infatuation with Divoli S’vere is well documented and it goes without saying that MikeQ‘s touch is golden and while their respective solo work is also special, their collaborations always seem to take it a little higher. Their latest comes via a remix of Ezekiel‘s “Gurrr Swag” on Parisian imprint Moveltraxx‘s Street Bangers Factory #01, out now digitally and next week on vinyl. Alongside contributions from footwork up-and-comers EQ Why and DJ Earl, MikeQ and Divoli’s contribution is the best of the bunch, a rabid ballroom tune that, like the duo’s best work, is both a hugely functional runway hit and an elastic dance floor bomb, suitable for any number of ramp-up-the-energy situations. As the only ballroom track on Street Bangers Factory, this remix of “Gurrr Swag” sounds even more monolithic and energizing, placing alongside “She Wants” as one of the duo’s most effective joints. Buy Street Bangers Factory #01 in digital form here and stream the whole tape courtesy of FACT Mag here.
It’s always a pleasure to post the best press shot in music, in no small part because the song it accompanies is always a smasher. Sinjin Hawke evolved into an unstoppable beast in 2013 through a series of remixes and collaborations and 2014 will likely end up being one of those “leap” years for the producer that everyone talks about. Whether he’s revamping ghetto house or doing Just Blaze better than Just Blaze (or with Just Blaze for that matter), the Barcelona-based producer has elicited an innumerable amount of excited yelps from this listener. If I had to pick a highlight from Sinjin’s 2013 , it would have to be the establishment of the visual-focused Fractal Fantasy series, a collaborative effort with significant other Zora Jones that has featured L-Vis 1990, Morri$ and Ms. Jones herself. The latest Fractal Fantasy effort, titled “ThunderScan”, comes from Sinjin and Fade To Mind/Qween Beat talisman MikeQ. If you’ve followed Sinjin’s progression over the past several years, the vocal twists and irregular pacing will not come as a surprise, but with MikeQ’s ballroom “ha”s and crashes thrown into the mix, “ThunderScan” appears to exist in a wild, unpredictable state. Watch the video and it will all make sense.
The holidays are the one time of year when I appreciate the fact that my Facebook and Twitter feeds are flooded with promotional posts. That’s because the holidays are the time for giving, specifically the time when producers dump all of their bootlegs/edits/unfinished tracks on the unsuspecting masses. The quality is generally a mixed bag, but we’ve received a deluge of heat in the past few days that deserves its fair due. On the raps front, Lil B, King Louie, Fredo Santana, Lil Silk and Fabolous have let loose new tapes over the past week or so. All deserve your attention, although save Lil B’s 05 Fuck Em and maybe spend a little more time with Silk and Louie.
The good folks at Mixpak were also kind enough to hand out a bundle of free tracks from their roster and beyond. The Holiday Bundle evokes the grime, dancehall and soca-based riddim culture that Dre Skull has so carefully curated over the past few years. Sudanim, Murlo and Koyote all bring their best to the table.
You’ve likely seen these already as well, but big hitters Flying Lotus, Zed Bias, Ryan Hemsworth Clams Casino all gave bundles of tracks away in the past few days. Casino’s third Instrumental Mixtape is probably the most cohesive attempt of the bunch, but FlyLo’s assorted beats, remixes and bootlegs offer some intriguing insight into the producer and his cohort’s recording processes. The Hemsworth collection is largely edits he’s designed for live play and the “Post-Rock Tears” version of Future’s “Honest” is a real beauty. Two step legend Zed Bias handed over 200 MB of live recording, remixes and production work under both his ZB sobriquet and his Maddslinky nom de plume.
Hit the jump for a jambalaya of free tracks…
The latest supergroup to emerge from the American dance avant-garde, Future Brown sees Daniel and Asma of Nguzunguzu, Fatima Al Qadiri and J-Cush focusing their vast collective skill sets on one extraordinary project. The first track to emerge from the crew, “Wanna Party”, features Chicago MC Tink at peak performance, as well as additional production work from MikeQ. Despite the large number of people involved with “Wanna Party”, Al Qadiri’s sonic aesthetic appears at the forefront, all foreboding keys and sparse, grime indebted percussion. It’s an exciting premise to imagine exactly how Nguzunguzu’s hip hop/club sensibilities and J-Cush’s footwork past will play into forthcoming Future Brown releases.
Jersey Ciub and Ballroom are often referenced in the same sentence. Whether that’s due to their geographic proximity, organic development, or relative insularity, I don’t know, but it’s undeniable that both sub-genres have taken off in recent years and are very much in the public eye today. MikeQ is one of the most prominent Ballroom artists having founded Qween Beat Productions and released an EP on Kingdom’s Fade To Mind imprint. J Heat is an up-and-coming Club artist out of Sea Side Heights who’s already getting love from esteemed Pelican Fly boss DJ Slow. Recently, the two got together to meld their respective styles and take on Rocko’s “U.O.E.N.O”, an early candidate for track of the year despite the “controversy” surrounding Mr. Rozay’s verse. To say that the sleepy original is infused with a blast of energy is an understatement as J Heat’s signature Jersey vocal chops are combined with the off-kilter house stylings of MikeQ. It’s brilliant, it’s free and it’s sure to get any and every dancefloor moving.