Created by 20Syl, member of C2C and founder of the Hocus Pocus hip hop group. I especially love this because the Akai MPC 2000XL (a vintage drum machine that I’ve had since 2008) is featured so prominently.
Fez is an independent game released in 2012 that I never got around to playing. Now that I have, I am blown away by the soundtrack, which was entirely produced by a guy from Oakland working under the moniker “Disasterpeace”. Video game soundtracks are almost always entirely forgettable, but there are some notable exceptions like Fez and Hotline Miami.
With the game Fez featuring a colorful pixel-based art style, you would expect the soundtrack to conform to a retro game aesthetic. But it comes closer to sounding like a video game interpretation of the Blade Runner soundtrack by Vangelis, with bright synths and heavy reverb which gives the overall sound a dream-like quality. It also sounds like Boards of Canada.
Two other songs which I really enjoyed on this soundtrack are Flow and Beacon, also on Youtube along with the full album. This is a game I have really enjoyed so I expect that I will write a review of it when I’ve completed the game.
The new band of my good friend and frequently collaborator, Kafe Hu.
Three years after I started listening to Action Bronson and he remains as much a figurehead of wacky creativity in hip hop as he was then. This song is the first single from his upcoming album, titled Mr. Wonderful. The lyrical presentation of this song is in his established style, which is to say, it’s completely off the wall.
As usual, this video is just fun, and discards many of the tired conventions of rap. The music production, as in all of his music, is unconventional, funk and rock-influened, and oozes character.
An obese blue-eyed, red-bearded Albanian trekking cross country on a chopper, hallucinating on LSD while rapping. Amazing, and roughly in-line with everything else that this guy does.
I feel like I’ve slowly grown into Donald Glover’s rap persona, Childish Gambino. A good friend who’s knowledgeable on hip hop recently said to me that he likens him to a Drake who can’t sing or rap as well, but I see it a little differently: he’s clearly not singularly focused on rap or the rap lifestyle, but he has oddball charm to spare.
On his most recent album, Because the Internet, which Sweatpants appears on, he was songwriter, producer, and performer. Outside of being a singer, rapper, and record producer, he also has acting, standup comedy, and television writing careers.
Last night a UK reggae MC named Tippa Irie performed in Chengdu at a local performance venue called Here We Go. Although I listen to a lot of reggae, I had never heard of Tippa Irie before – judging from the people I’ve spoken to and Wikipedia, it seems that he was most well-known during the 1980’s and 1990’s in England. His performance was very good though, and it’s been a few years since I performed as an opener when the legendary Jamaican record producer Clive Chin came to Chengdu on tour of China. Before that one of my most memorable reggae performances I’ve seen was Jah Faith & Family Tree at Dub Club in Echo Park, Los Angeles.
Of all the songs that Tippa Irie performed last night, this one (“Rebels on the Roots Corner”) was easily my favorite. Brilliant production by Mad Professor on this track.
Read about Tippa Irie on Wikipedia
These days I’m always looking for modern hip hop produced in an esoteric, nostalgic, distinctly East Coast style. Underachievers fit that criteria perfectly.
If you didn’t know, The Underachievers are a Brooklyn-based rap duo founded in 2011 who embrace the 1990’s sonic palette of NYC hip hop. They’ve only released a pair of mixtapes but both are laced with this style of sample-heavy, boom bap, jazz-oriented music. First studio album coming in May 2014, which I’m looking forward to. Almost as much as Action Bronson in 2014.
Read about The Underachievers on Wikipedia.
I arrived in Holland yesterday morning after a 17 hour flight from China. I drank coffee all day to stay awake during the day but decided that I couldn’t miss the opportunity to go to a legendary Amsterdam club since it was Saturday night.
That club is called Trouw, built out of an old Dutch newspaper factory in East Amsterdam. Last night Minilogue, Swedish techno duo, were performing there before next playing in Tokyo.
After visiting Trouw and seeing Minilogue I emailed Nemo and he sent me the Youtube links below which introduce them both. They’re below, too. All of this was new to me until yesterday.
Whenever I visit a new international super club I always measure it against the super club that I first developed my DJ senses in: Nation in Washington DC, which hosted Buzz . In contrast to Nation, Trouw is singularly focused on techno music. From when patrons begin to come in the club at 10pm until the crowd thins at 5am, techno music pounds through each of the two massive industrial areas of music.
Trouw featured on Slices, including a lot of beautiful footage of the space:
Before yesterday I had never heard of Swedish techno producers Minilogue. They made enough of an impression to be unforgettable though, on stage surrounded by an amazing amount of live production equipment with wires running everywhere. They begun playing at 2:30am in the industrial basement room of Trouw.
Their stage setup didn’t look too far away from the image below, taken in their Swedish studio.
Their music is described by them as “hypnotic” and it is certainly that. Being a techno novice, their entire set sounds like a single 2-hour long song to me with subtle twists and turns in long, smooth movements.
Here’s a recent Youtube clip produced by Ableton about Minilogue’s setup: