Put this one under strip club music along with most of Pluto3D and Blue Dream And Lean. For the uninitiated, Nadus is a key member of the notorious Brick Bandits crew, which is a loose collective of club-oriented producers stretching from Jersey to Chicago. DJ Sliink and DJ Kiff are also members and the crew is pretty much the go-to place to find up-to-date Jersey/Philly club shit. Taking a step back from his usual 130 BPM exhibitions of twerk-inducing madness, Nadus speeds up Star Slinger’s sexy-as-fuq Teki Latex assisted “Ladies In The Back” only slightly, sprucing up the percussion with some lighthearted snares. The calls to “shake that” are the real highlight here as Nadus makes sure you know exactly what his goal is. Why beat around the bush when serious business is involved? The remix is part of the “Ladies In The Back” single, out now on Slinger’s Jet Jam imprint.
Of the many faces Star Slinger puts on in his various productions, the hip hop remix face might just be my favorite. Despite having a bevy of low-key hip hop originals to his name, the Mancunian usually takes a more amped up approach when remixing the likes of Danny Brown, ASAP Rocky or Drake, adding a tinge of funk here, or maybe some Jersey club there. His latest bootleg target just happens to be a song that will be associated with 2012 hip hop years down the road, Kendrick Lamar’s “Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe”. You’ve all heard it (I hope), and honestly, there really aren’t many improvements to be made in this case. Slinger does his thing though, transforming it into a smooth bit of piano-driven club music that retains the original’s structural integrity. Stream and download below.
It has been a long while since the last edition of Sounds From The Astral Plane, but with tunes piling up in the inbox, it feels like the right time to bring it back. Although we only started this whole blog deal in January, I feel it’s safe to say that 2012 has been one of the most exciting music years in recent memory. We attempt to cover all of the music we love, but sometimes things slip through the cracks. We’re human after all. Every week (or so), you’ll find the originals, remixes and DJ mixes that we missed. This will also be a space to see how y’all respond to new artists so don’t hesitate to send over your/your friend’s latest and greatest. At this point, the scope of Sounds From The Astral Plane is wide open so you’ll find anything and everything in this space. This week, we have everything from Formes’ incandescent take on psych rock to Dubbel Dutch’s dancehall stylings. As always, any and all feedback would be much appreciated! Hit the jump for the full list…
Memphis (along with Houston and the Bay Area) are often mythologized as “street” hip hop meccas. Everyone knows about New York, Atlanta and LA, but if you’re down with Gangsta Boo and Playa Fly then you can run conversations among your hip hop head friends. The Memphis song is distinctly Southern, but far removed from Atlanta strip club culture and far more indebted to the city’s long history of racial tension and violence. It’s dark, often featuring John Carpenter horror score samples, and heavily based on a localized street realism. Gavin Mays aka Cities Aviv is a Memphis native, but is a square peg in the round hole of the Memphis prototype. For one, he’s just a lot more positive. That sounds cliche, but Memphis hip hop is fucking depressing. He shares a some sonic qualities with 90’s Memphis hip hop, but also samples the likes of Depeche Mode Steely Dan. That’s why it’s no surprise that his latest track features production from our favorite Mancunian Star Slinger. The production is a bit of sunny, cut-and-paste fare, belying Mays’ past as a member of a hardcore band. Mays sounds like he’s rapping from the next room over, yelling almost, with some slight reverb. Fast and chaste women is the topic of choice of course and the track sounds distinctly un-Memphis until the last 20 seconds or so when it devolves into trunk rattling choppiness. Stream below.
I’ve always been a fan of the “slow and sexy wins the race” epithet with regards to club music. Ratcheting up the tempo is always fun of course, but outside of the R&B realm, good slow jams are few and far between. I’d like to think that Star Slinger shares the same epithet. With Teki Latex (of Sound Pellegrino Thermal Team) in tow, Slinger lays down some rump shaking action that would make Papa Juvenile proud. While most producers attempt to make that ass drop, Teki and Slinger just ask the women in the club to “make that cootie grind right in front of my face”. Is that too much to ask? Stream “Ladies In The Back” below and look out for the vinyl in the near future.
At the end of September, Star Slinger is hitting the West Coast for a pair of shows that just happen to take place in our two homes. The first show is Star Slinger’s own Jet Jam Showcase at Seattle’s Decibel Festival on the 27th at Neumos. Slinger will perform alongside Shlohmo and Baths. Having seen all three, you would be remiss to miss this one. He will also be performing at the Decibel and Dimensions Boat Party alongside Jimmy Edgar and Appleblim. On the 28th, Slinger heads South to LA for a show at The Echoplex alongside Jim-E Stack and Silky Johnson. Again, not one to miss. To celebrate the two shows the Mancunian brings us “Take This Up”, a sunny track reminiscent of Volume 1. Stream and download “Take This Up” below and hit up one of the West Coast dates if you’re in Seattle or LA.
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…
It’s been almost two weeks since we first pulled up to the cow pastures of George, WA and well, our daily lives just don’t quite contain the same excitement we experienced during those four transcendent days at the Gorge Amphitheater. Nonetheless, we take great pleasure in rehashing our adventures via set recaps and photos. Sasquatch has come and gone, but memories of dusty walks to and from the campsite, an innumerable amount of mind-blowing sets and many, many pretty lights are oh so fresh in our minds. It’s a bittersweet moment as we conclude our coverage of the very best weekend of the year, but it also means that Sasquatch is only 350-something days away. Enjoy.
There weren’t many artists more suited to play Sasquatch than Star Slinger due to his grizzly appearance. The Mancunian producer/DJ eschewed his trusty MPD32, instead opting for two Technics and put on a whirlwind display of turntable mastery. Star Slinger has cemented himself as one of, if not the, best hip hop producers in the UK, but he’s still relatively unknown on this side of the Atlantic. Once he took the stage in the Banana Shack though, there was no doubt he was going to make his presence known. Starting off slow with a few selections from Volume 1, Slinger quickly turn’t it up playing “Chain Dumbin” featuring Juicy J and Project Pat and the crowd followed in a starkly un-family friend fashion. Before long thousands of white people were doing the Larry David to Sound Pellegrino Thermal Team’s “Pretty Pretty Good” and chanting “Kobe Bryant from the Lakers, now that’s paper” to Juicy J’s cult hit “Who Da Neighbors”. There aren’t many DJ’s out there that can effortlessly, and I mean that, transition between off-kilter club cuts (“Pretty Pretty Good”) to blissed-out summer jams (“Mornin”) then back to trappy hip hop tracks (“Bad Bitches”). Although the crowd was on the smaller side, they were easily one of the more in tune with the music crowds, chanting every word with aplomb.
Nine weeks ago, the Sasquatch Music Festival lineup was released to much fanfare. Like all festivals, some hated the lineup while others loved it. For the more levelheaded, it appears to be a very balanced lineup with a deep undercard. From here on out we will be underscoring the lesser-known Sasquatch artists by highlighting a different artist each week. Beyond delving into each artist’s bio, sound, etc., we will attempt to give some insight into what will make their performance at Sasquatch so amazing.
Manchester is England’s 6th largest city, but is referred to by many as its 2nd city culture-wise. The home of Factory Records, the Madchester period, and more recently, the fabled Ware House Project series. One thing the city is not known for is hip hop, or grime for that matter. Whereas grime, and to a certain extent American hip hop, has dominated urban airwaves in London and Bristol for a decade plus, it has not gained much of a foothold in the North of England. It comes as a surprise then that one of the hottest hip hop producers, not just in the UK, but on the face of this earth is Mancunian (by way of Nottingham).
If you read this blog, you’re probably fairly familiar with Darren Williams aka Star Slinger. After releasing the impeccable Volume 1 beat tape in the Summer of 2010, Williams went from complete unknown to The Guardian’s “best new act of the year by miles.” It’s not easy to place Slinger’s sound (he calls it Booty LSD) as it falls somewhere at the intersection between hip hop and UK bass, taking cues from Chicago footwork and UK garage. It would be easy to clump him in with the maximalists of LuckyMe, but Slinger is influenced more by sample mavens The Avalanches and DJ Shadow. Volume One is a journey through chipmunk soul although Williams slightly deviates from the 70’s R&B line that Kanye West and Just Blaze owned over the first half of this past decade. On “Extra Time,” Slinger samples 80’s English alt-rock band Prefab Sprout’s “Wild Horses.” On album standout “Gimme,” he takes a more traditional route, sampling The Staple Singers’ “Let’s Do It Again” to incredible effect.
Stream/Download: Star Slinger – Volume One
While there are hundreds of producers out there producing “Dilla and Premier influenced” tracks (as my inbox informs me), Williams has differentiated himself through an impressive ability to create complex drum patterns. Taking influence from both British and American electronic music, Williams puts the emphasis on the drum machine in the studio. This is most apparent on the spat of remixes he has uploaded to his Soundcloud over the past several years, most successfully on his remixes of Gold Panda’s “Marriage” and Mount Kimbie’s “Before I Move Off.” Slinger’s samples are the most obvious part of his music, but there is an underlying beauty in his attention to detail.
Stream/Download: Mount Kimbie “Before I Move Off (Star Slinger Refix)”
More recently, Slinger has entered the world of American hip hop, enlisting Juicy J and Project Pat and R&B singer Reggie B for “Chain Dumbin,” a banging party cut that wouldn’t be out of place on Hot97 or any other pop radio station. Last week, Slinger dropped “Bad Bitches” featuring everyone’s favorite based martian and fellow The Pack member Stunnaman, a chilled down track perfect for the impending heat of Summer. We can only hope for more MC accompanied tracks as his remixes for Drake and A$AP Rocky are impeccable as well.
Like most of the acts I have covered so far in this series, Star Slinger will be performing in the Banana Shack (dance tent), along with his either an MPD32, SP-404 or a set of decks. Be prepared for a healthy serving of contemporary Southern hip hop, maximalist bass music, as well as older hip hop cuts from the the Wu, Slum Village and more. Williams has a penchant for wild live shows and recently started up his own club night called Jet Jam, which featured British teens Bondax at the first event. Williams bares a slight resemblance to a Sasquatch so I wouldn’t be missing this one Memorial Day weekend.