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.
This year, FACT Magazine offered me the opportunity to compile a “25 Best Club Tracks Of 2015” list and after weeks of agonizing over the selections, it went live last week to many readers’ consternation. Unfortunately, a good deal of tracks that I would have liked to include didn’t fit in to the feature’s scope, which was more of less limited to club-focused material and original works (a self-imposed limitation). The following 25 tracks either aren’t aimed at the dancefloor, fit the club-theme or just didn’t quite fit the rubric for the column. Like the FACT list, we’ve kept this one in alphabetic order and considering that these songs come from across a ridiculously wide spectrum we felt there was no need to order them otherwise. Hit the links below to listen to each respective track and enjoy. Big thanks to anyone and everyone who has stuck with us, enjoyed our releases and/or followed the FACT column.
A key member of the Philadelphia-centered PUMPDABEAT crew, DJ Delish has established himself as one of the most exciting ballroom producers and DJs around, garnering attention from a wide spread of artists, DJs and curators from inside and outside of the ballroom community. Most recently, Delish has been trading tracks with Rabit, whose forthcoming Communion LP is as standout as debuts come, and will be appearing on the Houston-based artist’s Halcyon Veil label. To celebrate, we’ve got the call-and-response ready “Back To The Bump”, from the HeatbeatZmixtape, for you today, as well as a little Q&A/introduction to Delish’s background and the wildly talented PUMPDABEAT crew. If you’re familiar with Delish’s work with Kevin Jz Prodigy and tracks like “Piano Rage”, you know he’s got next and his introduction into the rapidly progressing Halcyon Veil team is more than welcome. Check out “Back To The Bump” below and hit the jump for our Q&A session with Delish.
Co-founder of the trans-Atlantic NON Records, South African artist Angel-Ho‘s music and anti-imperial rhetoric has been making waves as of late, both for its shocking immediacy and the depth of its critique. Released on Rabit’s new Halcyon Veil label, the Cape Town-residing producer’s Ascension EP comes in the collage style favored by TCF, Elysia Crampton, Total Freedom, Why Be and the Janus collective, a shattering blend of urban noise, technological squelches and vocal remnants. It’s noisy, barb-heavy and comes across less as a club deconstruction and more as a high grade shell exploding in the middle of the dance floor. Mastered by scene heavyweight Arca, Ascension, despite the rawness of its makeup, builds a high resolution landscape across its short 19 minute run time, a landscape in material and spiritual flux built out of the failed construct of contemporary democracy. It’s a world where robotic commands boom out of the rainforest and ballroom tropes infiltrate the virtual boardroom, all tied together by Angel-Ho’s conjoining of the corporeal with the technological. This isn’t an EP full of randomly placed breaking glass and club tropes, it’s a revelatory takedown of all that we take for granted about our cities and the capitalist superstructure that guides them. Ascension can be streamed below and downloaded here.
If you dig through Myth‘s Facebook page, you’ll come across a seemingly endless treasure trove of the British producer’s music, nestled inside recently, or not so recently, deceased Soundcloud and Youtube links. Nestled among the dead links and paeans to weed, you might be lucky enough to find a song that hasn’t been wiped from the annals of the internet, maybe his recent Glimpses EP, or digging far deeper, an excellent Ruff Sqwad remix (although that, unsurprisingly, comes paired with a dead Rapidhsare link). Some Youtube clips have been switched to private while others have disappeared entirely, meanwhile an entire EP of slamming grime instrumentals live on via Grime Forum. Myth’s prolific creating then posting then removing process is more reminiscent of beat scene maestros like Knxwledge or even Flying Lotus and his quick witted approach to production separates him from potential contemporaries in the UK.
Which is why Myth’s partnership, besides any stylistic similarities, with Houston producer Rabit seems to make so much sense. Right off the bat, the two producers obviously adore R&B and while the majority of their productions together are wound around grime motifs, it’s undeniable that their work, both as individuals and as a duo, cannot be bound by the constraints of the genre. And as far as Myth’s work goes, it’s difficult to imagine an MC on most of his sub two minute productions. Instead, they exist in a bizarre mid ground between modern remix culture, Boxed-esque instrumentals and thrilling reformations of pop tropes. His entry into our mix series follows that amorphous spirit, less a mix than it is a collection of beats, remixes and tracks, haphazardly blended together. Considering that many of these tracks don’t exist in any other format, this mix functions as something of a (decidedly incomplete) register of the producer’s work over the past several years. You can find Myth on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and can hit him up directly if interested in any individual tracks.
The practice of cutting dubs is often viewed as a rather arcane, outdated practice to many people in my age bracket (early 20s), enmeshed in a culture of exclusivity and privilege. More often than not, owning a selection of dubs is presented less as a means of playing out on-the-cusp tracks than a fundamental status symbol, awarding the owner a step up over the plebes without Loefah b-sides. Of course, digital dub culture isn’t any less insidious and the more the forums, groups and download sites infringe on the cool kids table, the more unfortunate conflict arises among young kids and scene veterans, DJs and producers, the United States and the UK. South London’s Riz La Teef seems to be one of the few good natured proponents of dub culture and he has filtered that responsibility into a few dozen, exclusive-laden, mixes over the past 24 months. Rinsing everything from roots reggae to jump up bassline, Riz’s adherence to vinyl and access to dubs from the likes of JT The Goon, Rabit and Novelist make him one of the most in demand and well respected deejays in both his native London and among the hordes of dispersed garage fans across the internet. We asked Riz about his favorite dubs from the past year and he was kind of enough to list them out and take some lovely photos of his hand-marked classics to be. Not all of these tracks will be revealed in the next months, but they will certainly live on in infamy, thanks to Riz’s spacious repertoire, innate deck skills and engaging demeanor. Peep his choices and a slideshow of each and every dub listed.
Gundam – Pulse Wedding VIP (RIZLA SPESH)
Def one of my favourite dubs I’ve cut this year. Played it a day after I cut it in a dance and it got reloaded 4/5 times.
Brackles & Fox – Skank + Famous Eno Remix
Not really a dubplate, but both tunes have a top vibe.
E.M.M.A – Pyramids, Peridot & Light Years
Pyramids is the coldest beat made this year imo and not alot of Emma’s stuff hasn’t been pressed to wax so I had to cut the other two beats!
Fallow – Strings Hoe Refix (RIZLA SPECIAL)
Fallow is a guy to watch out for next year for sure both his refixes and original tunes are quality. Big up to him for doing me special of strings ho refix.
Grandmixxer – Windrush VIP
Melody is so good, has been in my head for weeks.
Boycott – Kowloon Bae (RIZ VIP)
The original is such a sick tune and the guys blessed me with a VIP. Proper colourful vibes.
Iglew – Sleep Lighter VIP
Again Iglew is another guy to watch out for in 2015. Everything he’s done this year has been pretty special – Urban Myth, Cascade etc
JT The Goon – Twin Warriors VIP & Polar
JT is one of the best snm. Polar is a rude beat.
Apple – De-Siegalizer (Logos Refix)
Great cheeky refix and the mastering by Jason on the dub is so good.
Loom & Tarquin – Pompelmo Riddim
Fruity, eski dancehall from another two guys who I expect to do big things next year.
Mssingno – XE2 VIP BIELDUB REMIX PART 1
Actually cut this last year, but battered that dub so much had to cut it again!
Rabit – Black Dragons
Again not a dubplate anymore but was so gassed when Glacial sent me this month or so before its release. GULLY
Shriekin’ – Red Beach VIP
Maybe my favourite tune of the year??
Silk Road Assassins – Deadcell
The waviest beat made this year.
Wen – Backdraft/Walton – Bulldoze
Novelist – Yakuta
So excited to be able to cut this, Novelist is huge rn and gonna be even bigger next year. Excels in both MCin’ & production.
Murlo – Into Mist/Roman Baths
Was lucky enough to cut these before they came out. Into Mist has been in my bag as soon as I got it.
Houston grime provocateur Rabit has a special way of tearing apart an original and rearranging and reorienting it in his own, oft vicious, more often beatific style. The man has seemingly had his hand in every new mutation that grime has endured in recent months and the latest recipient of the Rabit treatment is Coyote Records representative Chemist. Rabit’s gurning square waves take center stage while uncomfortably harsh snares play the propulsion role and bare 808 blips prove a necessary respite from the blaring sub bass. Grime can often function on a level of extreme poles with oft-sickly sweet melodic content on one end juxtaposed with unremitting inside-the-box masculinity and aggression on the other, but Rabit consistently manages to draw the two apart and smash them back together as one. Chemist’s Defiance EP is out via Coyote in digital form on July 29 and physical August 11.
The track appeared on Club God 2 last November and with help from DJ Chose making an appearance as Club Devil and quick remix featuring BeatKing’s stable of cohorts (Kstylis, Lil Ronny, Fat Pimp, Chalie Boy, and T-Wayne) it became the next in the Club God’s continually growing list of Houston strip club bangers.
Yesterday, Houston’s grime ambassador Rabit dropped all sense of delightful debauchery that the original flaunted, and reinvented BeatKing’s bendova’ orders into threats. Over the growling subline Dj Chose becomes second-in-command to the don and what was an underlying chant is left to be recognized as the tortured cry of those who looked the wrong way at the Club God. While it doesn’t take much for me to love any sort of combination of heavyweights Rabit and BeatKing this track is wild.
“Rabit, thank you for blessing us with this beat, praise his name.”
Inspirational mixes from the past week that deserve to reverberate beyond our “office”.
In the latest edition of Slackk’s formative monthly mix series, the Sulk Records head has dug deep into his bag of tricks to pull out the best in nail gun snares, forthcoming Inkke, JT The Goon and Murlo, and the widest array of squarewaves you’ll find this side of his very own Boxed club night. Commencing on a melodic note with tracks from Boofy, Shadow Face and Lolingo, Slackk expertly crafts a narrative that trends from melancholic to triumphant over mix’s run time. Peaking with a Blackjack-esque selection of 8 bar bootlegs from Tarquin and Milktray, Slackk manages (once again) to encapsulate what makes contemporary instrumental grime such a fascinating subject.
For the inaugural edition of Boiler Room‘s SKYY Stream in Los Angeles, visiting club provocateur Rabit took to the picturesque stage to deliver an hour of emotional grime, Jersey and Diana Ross. After laying down an exclusive-laden FACT mix several weeks ago, Rabit takes a slightly more playful approach for BR, touching on the R&B sensibility that occasionally shows up in his otherworldly grime productions. We hear the aforementioned Ross and Rihanna mixed in with Mumdance and MA Nguzu and a bevy of Southern rap and Jersey club that keeps the mood light. With a debut album forthcoming on Tri Angle as well as new material on the way through Glacial Sound and Mumdance and Logos’ Different Circles entity, it’s a pleasure to watch the Houston native have some fun keeping light as his star grows.
Over the years, this blog has trended slightly away from the realm of house and techno, preferring the sounds of footwork, ballroom, grime, jungle and Jersey club to the more linear forms that have dominated dance music for the better part of three decades. There are a number producers who still wow with their four-on-the-floor fare though and Dro Carey‘s Tuff Sherm alias continues to impress. Always murky, the Tuff Sherm sound sees brilliant melodies drawn out of percussive, dusty nether regions, balancing beatific synth work with a stranglehold over 909 and 808 drum programming. The Australian producer recently hit up Nina Las Vegas’ populist Triple J show to lay down dub after dub, an exciting sign of what’s to come from this ever-blossoming producer.
Writer/DJ/graphic designer/fashionista Meaghan Garvey aka Moneyworth has proven to be one of the foremost purveyors (and critics) of Chicago music over the past few years, espousing the merits of drill, footwork, and most recently, opening up the Pitchfork crowd to the spastic sounds of bop. “the glo” is her most recent mix, the first in eight months, and focuses on the fluid intersection between rap, R&B and grime, populated by Visionist, Young Thug, Kingdom and Casino. The latter third sees a tempo shift and a distinctly Chicago reboot, pumping up DJ Slugo, DJ Rashad and ZMoney before entering a rousing rendition of cutting room floor Yeezus track “Bound 1”. The transatlantic freeway is thriving these days and Garvey shows just how effortless the transition from grime to R&B to ghetto house really is. The glo is very real.
Resident of Berlin club night Janus (alongside Lotic and Kablam, M.E.S.H. has worked tirelessly to deconstruct the way club music is produced, consumed and portrayed. In both his DJ work, which is consistently exceptional, and his productions for PAN, M.E.S.H. has created an immediate aesthetic that is at once a melange of his influences, Jersey, ballroom, grime and R&B, and a streamlined, ululating farce of those same influences. M.E.S.H.’s FACT mix is angry and denuded, but not bereft of fun, which can be found in Spooky’s “Number One Spot” bootleg and the wooden kuduro of DJ Nigga Fox and DJ Firmeza. The Janus fellows are reassembling contemporary club music and this mix is another step in their ascendancy.
It was only two months ago when London’s Boxed club night, led by Slackk, Mr. Mitch, Oil Gang and Logos, released their eponymous, scene defining Vol. 1, but it appears that grime’s premier shapeshifters weren’t totally satisfied with their first offering. Boxed Vol. 2 picks up where the first edition left off, drawing from London’s rich musical fabric and subsequently tearing it apart, reconfiguring it and presenting it in a perfectly coherent melange of dancefloor and non-dancefloor oriented songs. The Boxed usuals all appear as do Dark0, Strict Face, Rabit, Chemist and Murlo, and the track list actually mirrors many of our most recent Astral Plane mixes. We’ve never had the pleasure of attending a Boxed night, but if Vol. 2 is anywhere near an approximation of Dalston’s finest instrumental grime happening then all of the hype is spot on.