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mumdance-rabit-union

We’ve been lucky enough to catch Mumdance and Rabit on separate occasions here in Los Angeles over the last year-plus, but on March 18th the good people at Union and Still III have booked both modern day legends and brought on Letta & Patrick Brian for a b2b session as well as CybersonicLA resident and co-founder Sha Sha Kimbo. We’ve been blessed with a slate of unreal parties so far this year, but booking these two is a real coup and loading up the bill with a collection of local favorites only makes the event even more can’t miss. If you were lucky enough to make it, you’ll remember that Letta and Patrick Brian went b2b for the first time at our Clubfriends party last year and the duo have been tearing it down with dub-heavy sets ever since.

It’s probably fair to say that we don’t need to explicitly espouse the virtues of Mumdance or Rabit, but each have absolutely brought it the last two times out, the former with a blistering set a warehouse rave and the former at Union (then known as Jewel’s Catch One). Few artists tangibly expand and distort the boundaries of the genres and cultures they exist in, but these two absolutely have and continue to manufacture sounds that are uniquely and entirely there own. Enter your favorite Mumdance and/or Rabit tune below to enter for a chance to win a pair of tickets to next Friday’s (March 18) show. We’ve got two pairs this time around and I’d love to see some folks out so put your name in and we’ll see you on the floor.

Outlook-Festival-2015-Dan-Medhurst-8253

Photo by Dan Medhurst

A few years back, while on time off from a study abroad period in Morocco, I was able to attend MS Dockville, a smallish festival in Hamburg featuring the likes of Oneohtrix Point Never, Holy Other and Michachu and the Shapes. Having only attended American festivals to that point, my opinion of music festivals was bleak to say the least, literal fights for space and air in what could easily be described as gigantic cesspools of humanity. MS Dockville was a welcome reprieve from the glut and general decrepitude of the American festival, both in terms of programming and general respect on the part of attendees. There was no more space at the festival grounds in Hamburg than a midsize US soiree, but the way attendees interacted with the music and each other gave the whole event a neat, cozy overtone.

Since that weekend, I’ve been aching to return to a European festival and when a friend proffered the idea of making the trip to Pula, Croatia for Outlook Festival, the soundsystem culture-focused event happening across five days in an Austro-Hungarian fort on the Adriatic Sea, the opportunity was almost too good to pass up. The legend of Outlook and Fort Punta Christo runs deep and feasting on the lineup, especially names like Boy Better Know and Kromestar that us Americans can only dream of seeing on normal terms, became a regular activity in the months and weeks before the festival, the anticipation becoming almost overwhelming as we began our 30 hour jaunt across ocean and land to reach the small coastal city.

Looking back now, a week after Outlook’s world class soundsystems finally shut down, it’s hard to imagine we were on a beach watching Hatcha and DJ EZ play out classic-laden sets or at the festival’s unmatched Moat stage brucking out as Acre and Mumdance shook down the entire Fort at the Tectonic 10 party. And more than any individual set, the opportunity to attend a festival with near-total support for its modus operandi. In short, most of the people at this year’s festival were there because of their dedication to soundsystem culture and/or its various modern forms. With a few exceptions at the top of the bill, Outlook’s lineup was composed of labels, parties and artists outside of the general public eye, meaning the likes of Amy Becker, Parris and DJ Milktray having the opportunity to lay down high energy sets in front of huge, adoring crowds.

Hit the jump for a full run down of The Astral Plane team’s experience at Outlook Festival in Pula, Croatia…

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Outlook - boat by sunset - credit Marc Sethi

With Outlook Festival 2015 under two months away, anticipation is nearing a fever pitch and planning has begun in earnest, much of it focused over the past few weeks on the festival’s infamous boat party circuit. And while several of the daytime parties have sold out, there are still tickets available for a number of absolutely out-of-control soirees. If you already have tickets to the Butterz, Bandulu, Deep Medi or Swamp81 (the list goes on) parties, then the rest of us can only look on in jealousy, but we still do have an opportunity to catch DJs like Kode9, Mumdance, Paleman and many many more. The following three parties are our personal selections (you’ll find us there) and hopefully offer up a good cross-section of what the day time programming has to offer. This is all purely hypothetical as 2015 is our first jaunt over to Pula so bare with us.

1. Resident Advisor Sunset Boat Party w/ Kode9 & Mumdance – Friday
The Hyperdub boss and grime provocateur take over this sunset boat party from start to finish and are sure to bring out a huge range of sounds. Considering that each has covered a remarkable amount of ground in their own productions, it’s almost inconceivable where this party will go. We do know that it will be a carefully curated experience covering the finest in on-the-cusp grime, dubstep and maybe a little mahraganat and footwork if we’re lucky. We’ve been lucky enough to catch Kode9 come through the United States a few times, but had the chance to see Mumdance so this will be an exciting occasion for our traveling team.

2. Wavey Garms w/ Artful Dodger, Hatcha (old skool garage set), Spooky – Saturday

It’s not often that we in the US get an opportunity to catch garage legends and when they do come, they’re often shoehorned into overproduced house clubs or tacked onto the end or beginning of populist dubstep parties. It’s unfortunate, but there isn’t much of an American garage massive and even though the occasional DJ EZ jaunt across the country brings out droves, the groundswell of support needed to sustain a culture is rarely found. Which makes the Wavey Garms (“the kind of Facebook garment groups”) party that much more exciting for us, that once in a lifetime chance to catch legends like Artful Dodger and Hatcha bringing their livest records to a boat in the Aegean Sea. Spooky rounds out the lineup to complete the circle, offering different eras and perspectives on the classic 2 step sound and while others parties might offer more in terms of contemporary talent, Wavey Garms might just be the highlight of the whole trip for us.

3. Just Jam w/ Paleman, Big Narstie, Barely Legal, DJ Milktray b2b Tim & Barry – Sunday
While not the most stacked bill compared to some of the label parties bringing out their entire rosters, the Just Jam boat affair is sure to bring out a good collection of heads for buzzing Swamp81 repper Paleman, commentator/MC Big Narstie, Just Jam regular Barely Legal, and Glasgow’s DJ Milktray going back to back with Tim & Barry, the duo behind the whole operation. Not only will the boat party have a spectrum crossing array of sonics, the Just Jam folks know how to throw a good party as they’ve been doing in London for the last 15 years. One for the heads.

Check out the full Outlook Boat Party schedule after the jump…

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coyote-records

Continuing our year end coverage, we asked Tomas Fraser, head of breathtaking grime outlet Coyote Records, which 2014 songs he wished he could have signed. It’s a bit of a silly hypothetical, but while signing a “Take Time” is almost always a heartbeat decision, the amount of factors that go into a label signing are often overwhelming. Tomas does an excellent job with Coyote and while he couldn’t snag the following, Mumdance x Novelist, Murlo, CYPHR, Visionist or Gantz x El Mahdy Jr. tracks this year, his label has turned out quality releases from Chemist and Spare, as well as their annual compilation, Coyote Kings 2. Check out Tomas’ selection below and hit the jump to stream Rejig’s contribution to the aforementioned compilation. Also, be sure to peep Riley Lake’s Fave Discontinued Hardware from yesterday!


Mumdance ft. Novelist – ‘Take Time’ (Rinse)

Would loved to have released a record on this based primarily on the fact that it single-handedly gave power back to the MCs – it proved that MCs could do the intricate, new world of contemporary instrumental grime production justice and vice versa. Don’t think we’ll fully appreciate it for a few years yet either.

Murlo – Cold Stroke (Oil Gang)

Spent the last 10 months or so fast-forwarding mixes just to reload ‘Cold Stroke’ – it’s just one of those tracks that I’ll always love. Was chuffed to see it get a proper release because I still think it stands as one of his best pieces of production to date.

CYPHR – Sun (Her Records)

Went under the radar a bit this one but it blew me away listening to it for the first time. The way the track builds and all the components intertwine is genuinely beautiful – even my boss bought the EP after I played it in the office. Says it all really.

Visionist – More Pain (Lit City Trax)

Visionist has my favourite production aesthetic in the game and ‘More Pain’ is probably the best example of how he goes about his work. It reminds me of a prayer of sorts in the sense that it’s gothic and moody and haunting and almost spiritual, all at the same time – it’s this sense of emotional urgency that makes him stand out from the rest for me.

Gantz ft. El Mahdy Jr – Rising (Deep Medi)

Not my usual bag but I know Gantz is a great producer and alongside El Mahdy Jr, something clicked for me. There’s a real tangible sense of spirituality about ‘Rising’ – perpetuated by Mahdy Jr’s enchanting vocal – and the way Gantz joins the dots between the classic Medi template & the sounds of his own heritage and culture is first class.

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mid-week-mix-round-up

Inspirational mixes from the past week that deserve to reverberate beyond our “office”.

Whenever DJ Slimzee or Slackk take to the NTS airwaves, the listener is sure to receive a number of cracking exclusives, dubs and deep cuts from the annals of grime past and present. Last week, the two joined forces for a special, guest heavy four hour special featuring Logos, Murlo, Trends, Oil Gang, Spooky and a brief appearance from man of the moment Mumdance who shows up just to play a Riko Dan-assisted version of “Take Time”. Astonishingly, 17 new JT The Goon tracks are rinsed and a bevy of other new ones from Dark0, Inkke and Shriekin that have left us scuttling around attempting to construct a track list.

With the release of Moleskin‘s eponymous EP on the very near horizon, the London-based Goon Club Allstars label has been on many a tongue. With Mssingno’s debut EP still making the rounds and Moleskin’s heavily anticipated tape being played out by the likes of Evian Christ and Bok Bok, the Goon Club team has done an excellent job of showing two very different sides of the grime-club spectrum. Even as they’ve inundated listeners with unique UK-centric productions though, the label has looked further south, focusing their attention on kuduro, dancehall and the multifaceted sounds of Lisbon. Back in May, the label gave away DJ Name’s “Name 4 U”, a palpitating blend of funky and interstitial continental madness, and the Goon Club DJs recently took to Sinden’s Kiss FM to show off a selection of heavily syncopated, densely rhythmic tracks from DJ Nigga Fox, President T and DJ Lag.

The Astral Black crew has always shown a predilection for early-aughts hip hop and R&B, specifically the chipmunk soul stylings of Kanye West and Just Blaze, and that influence has percolated to the surface of JonPhonics, Inkke and especially DJ Milktray‘s productions. To celebrate an upcoming European tour, Phonics and Milktray have joined together as Milkmakerz to bring you the sleaziest from Tweet, R. Kelly and Ginuwine as well as a heavy heaping of heat from Young Thug, Rich Homie Quan and Cam’Ron. It’s not so much an influence mix as it’s a mix of influences and if Phonics and Milktray’s joint output sounds anything like it, then we’re in for a treat.

Not that it’s anything new, but Bok Bok licked the most recent Night Slugs Rinse show with a dashing two hours of analogue techno, Neana and Neana-inspired drum tracks, and hyper-real synth machinations. If you haven’t rinsed BB’s Your Charizmatic Self EP to death, you’re missing out. The NS Rinse slot is about as essential as it gets.

As a House of Trax resident, Rushmore has worked tirelessly to bring ghetto house, ballroom and Bmore legends to East London and has expanded the HoT name into the label world under the Trax Couture nom de guerre. Alongside fellow HoT resident Fools, Rushmore has become one of the most recognizable names in the transitive world of percussive techno/house/ballroom and much of his best work comes out in his mixes. His Astral Plane volume is still a personal favorite and he recently contributed a volume for Mute, a Brighton club night that just happens to be putting on a massive July 4th happening featuring Kahn & Neek, Flava D, Last Japan, Dark0 and Sudanim. Rushmore’s mix is of a slightly different flavor, a full throttle mash of compatriots Akito, Grovestreet, Dreams alongside folk heroes DJ Clent and Slugo.

mumdance

South London MC Novelist has been making some major waves this year, gracing a number of radio shows with his instantly recognizable snarl and razor sharp bars. Mumdance has certainly taken notice and recently recruited the 17-year-old to lace a track off of his upcoming Rinse EP. “Take Time” features Mumdance at his finest, all razor sharp snares, modulated spin backs and frantic hats. While Novelist espouses the value of taking time and relaxing, there’s barely enough space to take a breath on “Take Time” amid the spastic percussion and brick-in-your-face bass stabs. The yet-to-be-named EP will be hitting the streets on June 16 courtesy of Rinse.

boxed-volume-one

For the last 12 months, Slackk, Mr. Mitch and Oil Gang’s Boxed club night has set the bar for what a grime night should look like, drawing in just about every instrumental grime producer of note. To celebrate their one year anniversary, which is occurring this Friday at Birthdays in Dalston, the crew has put together a wildly colorful 18 track compilation featuring some of the most exciting producers in the game. Astral Plane mix contributors Strict Face and Logos appear, as do a host of other transcendent talents including Rabit, Mumdance, DJ Milktray and Inkke. In another year, we might be looking back at Boxed Vol. 1 in a similar fashion as we do Grime 2.0 these days. There’s really no excuse not to grab this masterstroke immediately.

mumdance - springtime

The pairing of Mumdance with Unknown to the Unknown is as exciting a premise as we’ve heard in quite some time. With releases on Keysound, Tectonic and several American labels under his belt, plus a few wildly successful collaborations with Logos, Mumdance has solidified his rave credentials and is ready for the big-time. The Springtime EP does not have a release date yet, but we’ve been gifted a taste of it in the form of “It’s Peak (Club Mix)”, a knife-like techno jam that has our legs moving in some type of way. “It’s Peak (Club Mix)” is spiky and inundated by a dripping water sample, but also retains its rave credentials and maintains a slinky quality. It’s everything at once, a quality that has rocketed Mumdance into the general consciousness over the past several years.

mumdance

If you haven’t noticed, break beats are becoming quite a trend these days. 2013 is quite a far toss from the jungle heyday of approximately ’94-6, but if producers like Tessela, Om Unit, Special Request (Paul Woolford) and the legions of Bmore/Jersey/Philly clubbers have anything to say about it, the sound is about to see a creative resurgence. And after listening to Mumdance and Logos‘ “Wut It Do”, it’s not that difficult to imagine massive crowds going mental (once again) to this sort of junglist hybrid tune. The sound is angry, snarling and immediate, but as Tessela showed us with “Hackney Parrot”, can also be utilized to mobilize populist dancefloors. “Wut It Do” is off of Mumdance & Logos’ upcoming Genesis EP, which will be released in early November on Dusk & Blackdown’s Keysound Recordings. Expect more junglist madness, but also a good deal of the spacey, eski-derived grime that we heard on the Kowloon EP.