Tag Archives: Obey City


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 SantanaLil 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…

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All it took was a simple email. Earlier this morning, a representative from LuckyMe shot on email to The Astral Plane team asking us to take down an “embarrassing” press photo of Obey City that we had posted last March. In the quest to find the image in our media archives, I got sidetracked and, to make a long story short, became remarkably nostalgic. See, I’ve been working a full time job and, unfortunately, the blog has fallen by the wayside. It was just one of those occasions where priorities had to be shifted and The Astral Plane fell into disrepair. Don’t think that our lovely readers (the few that are left at least) and the artists we cover have been forgotten though. It’s with pleasure that our team is looking to relaunch and get back on the proverbial (blogging) horse. It made all too much sense that LuckyMe/Obey City gave us this initial propulsion as the Glasgow label and Brooklyn producer have been a constant on these pages since our inception last January. Obey City will release his LuckyMe debut, the Champagne Sounds EP, on August 6 with another beverage influenced EP (Merlot Sounds) coming soon after. You might recognize “Fallin” from Rustie’s (still) seminal Essential Mix from last year.  Expect to see a lot more of this and that on The Astral Plane in the coming days, weeks and months. As always, we love you!

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atlantics vol 3

While inconsistent at times, New York-based party collective/label Astro Nautico’s annual 4/20 Atlantics compilation is easily one of our most anticipated releases every year and always includes a few up-and-comers that are sure to make big moves in the coming eight months. Last years’s volume included tracks from current heavy hitters like Morri$ (Night Slugs), Baauer (LuckyMe) and Djemba Djemba (Mad Decent) as well as a bevy of under appreciated producers along the lines of Pixelord, Time Wharp and Abel. Volume 3 features some Astral Plane favorites including Big Voyage, Druid Cloak and up-and-coming live act Archie Pelago. At 32 tracks, there are some duds of course, but the majority of the tape is truly quality and features some real gems (Seafloor’s “Your Symphony”). Furthermore, it’s free. That’s right, 32 free tracks from your favorite producers. For free. Enjoy.

obey city

In two weeks (April 22), Rhode Island-based producer The Range will release his second EP, Seneca, on Donkey Pitch, a tape that’s been on our calendars since it was announced. While we love The Range’s glittery take on footwork, the remix package is what really caught our eye. Howse and Supreme Cuts have reworked Seneca cuts and yesterday, we were lucky enough to get Astro Nautico don and recent LuckyMe signee Obey City’s take on The Range’s “PS 3”. The original is fine and all, but it’s a little too benign for my taste and it just needed that extra oomph to take it to the next level. The percussion is just that much more visceral on the Brooklyn-resident’s take, allowing The Range’s original strings and vocal cuts to occupy the open space in between drum hits. Stream below and head to XLR8R for a free download.

Back in 2008, a video popped up on youtube featuring a then unknown Lunice popping, locking and dropping (it) to a then relatively unknown Lazer Sword‘s “Gucci Sweatshirt”. The video became moderately popular at the time, making its way around various social circles and then fading into black like every other video from 2008 (except for this one). The song offered a sort of glitchy pre-amble to Lazer Sword’s later work, but is almost indistinguishable from Memory, the duo’s latest album. “Gucci Sweatshirt” was officially released in October of 2009 as the first release on Stones Throw employee Nate Nelson’s new imprint Innovative Leisure. Influenced by his time at Stones Throw and hardcore labels like SST and Dischord, Nelson set off to institute Innovative Leisure as a driving force in North American electronic music.

“Gucci Sweatshirt”‘s idiosyncratic mash of hip hop and off-kilter electro was a fitting start, launching Lazer Sword as a force to reckoned with. By the end of 2010, Innovative Leisure was firmly entrenched and had hosted releases from Mexicans With Guns, Hanni El Khatib, Nguzunguzu, Machinedrum and, strangely enough, Freddie Gibbs. In November of the same year, Lazer Sword released their debut self-titled LP through Innovative Leisure, pushing Low Limit and  Lando Kal into international stardom. The release also solidified Innovative Leisure as a bastion of the most dynamic forms of North American electronic music.

2011 was a relatively quiet year for Nelson’s label, but saw it expanding into new territories and laying out an impressively variegated roster. That was the year Innovative Leisure trotted out bluesy as fuck whiteboy Nick Waterhouse‘s “I Can Only Give You Everything”, arguably the label’s biggest release to date. The Huntington Beach-native brought a brand new dimension to Innovative Leisure, one grounded in Motown and Van Morrison, far from the club-oriented music the label had peddled to that point. Not that club-oriented music is bad of course, but Waterhouse’s signing distanced Innovative Leisure from the hundreds of internet labels out there and gave it a distinct home in Southern California.

Without getting it too much, the first 11 months of 2012 have been absolutely massive for Innovative Leisure, seeing the label break the ultra-hyped Rhye and release Nosaj Thing’s first originals since 2009’s Drift. In just three years, Nelson’s label has gone from relatively unknown club outlet to one of the West Coast’s most divergent, groundbreaking labels. As a sort of celebration (culmination?), the label enlisted Low Limit to compile tracks from Innovative Leisure artists and associates. The result is Ouroboros, a 10-track opus that is as good of an indicator of North American electronic music as any release you’ll hear all year.

If names like Clicks & Whistles, Braille, Anenon and Obey City get you wet (not to mention the aforementioned Low Limit and Machinedrum) then this compilation is for you. If you have no idea who any of the involved artists are or what they sound like, but want delve deeper into North American electronic music, this compilation is for you. If you’re at a party and don’t know what to play, but want people to think that you’re hip to the newest trends (because, you know, that’s all that matters), this compilation is for you. So yeah, give it a spin below and grab that hard wax from the Innovative Leisure website.

Last night, a short, pale man wandered into a radio station in London and proceeded to lay down one of the best mixes of the year. His name happens to be Rustie and the radio station happens to be BBC Radio One. The radio show, Pete Tong’s Essential Mix, happens to be one of the most influential mix series’ in the world. The track selection? Nothing too special. A little unreleased Obey City. A little unreleased Jackson and his Computer Band. A little unreleased Hudson Mohawke. A lot of unreleased Rustie, including a VIP of “City Star” and the demo version of “All Nite.” Maybe that TNGHT joint that Rustie previewed at the Boiler Room a couple months back. Like I said, nothing too special. Download the mix here and keep holding your breath until that TNGHT shit drops. Full track list after the jump.

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Last week we featured Obey City’s juke-inspired remix of Schoolboy Q’s “Blessed.” This week, the Brooklyn resident is back with a remix of Astro Nautico label-mate Paul Jones’s cut “Bad Haircut.” Obey City flattens out the original without losing its funky flavor. The well-placed synth pads and a repetitive rhythm dominate the track, but it’s the breakdowns are what really draw you in. Download the remix below.

Download: Paul Jones – “Bad Haircut (Obey City Remix)

obey city

Photo by Lorenna Gomez-Sanchez

Since the release of Schoolboy Q’s Habits and Contradictions , the album has been in steady rotation in my tapedeck, turntable, ipod, computer and more. I cannot say enough about the album. You can read what I managed to spit out in my review of the album. Anyways, with the albums multitude of trip-hop samples and just overall exceptional beats, remixes were bound to start coming out of the woodwork. I’ve heard several so far, but none comparing to Brooklyn-ite Obey Citys version of “Blessed.” In the case of this remix, less is definitely more. By tweaking the pitch a little here and there, adding a little extra kick in the drums and mixing in a little juke, Obey City manages to not only improve the original, but also to (hopefully) bring it to a whole new audience. This track could easily have a similar impact that Jim-E Stack’s remix of “Purple Swag” did last year. Stack’s remix may have been my favorite track of 2011 and was easily my most played. It’s becoming increasingly fashionable to take the newest independent hip hop jawns and give em a little UK feel and I love it. Like everything else, these remixes are hit and miss, but when they hit, they’re unbeatable. Stream and download the track below.

Download: Schoolboy Q feat. Kendrick Lamar – “Blessed” (Obey City Edit)