July 23, 2010

Gatekeeper - Optimus Maximus

Every once in a while, I get in a mood where anything 80s, synthy, lo-fi, mid-fi, sci-fi, whatever-fi just sounds really, REALLY cool. Gatekeeper sounds like JUSTICE mixed with a good dose of KAVINSKY and some MR. FANTASTIC. Subtle moments of MR. OIZO also shine through. But while I was listening to this epic "Optimus Maximus," I was thinking, this also sounds a lot like something SALEM would do, provided they were more into that other-worldly stadium-rockesque sound... In any case, just listen, it's really something else.

July 22, 2010


Are you familiar with future RnB? Jai Paul, Hudson Mohawke, those artists? Well, forget about them. Yes, they're doing amazing stuff with music right now but let's have a looksies at Quadron for a moment. Quadrom sounds like that good ol' doo wop stuff your parents might have listened to when you were younger or if not, your older sister. In any case, this is some more "future" stuff! It's hard to explain but not hard to listen.

Peep this track, Slippin' and show them some love!

July 21, 2010

Evenings - North Dorm EP

North Dorm Ep Cover Art

So I discovered Evenings through some music blog a couple of weeks ago. I actually watched the very same video situated below this post, which happens to be the video for "Baths" (my favorite track) and I was blown away by how simple, yet grandiose it was!

To describe Evenings is hard. When I first heard NORTH DORM EP, I immediately thought: this is what Nosaj Thing would sound like if he ever collaborated with the xx. I mean, it's already enough that he's done a remix for one of their tracks but Evenings sounds just like that! And this is not a bad thing, it is an absolute compliment.

Listen and watch to understand!

Download the free EP: http://evenings.bandcamp.com/

July 20, 2010

Nosaj Thing - Drift

Officially twelve tracks long with the inclusion of the aptly titled `Harrison Ford,' Nosaj Thing is on his way to becoming a legend! You've probably already listened to some of his stuff, and without even knowing it: off of Kid Cudi's mixtape, the track `Man on the Moon;' the phenomenal track 'Camel' from Flying Lotus, there's a remix from Nosaj Thing out there; and the Daedelus `Madness' remix. He's all over the place yet (at the time this review was written,) he still has no Wikipedia page. His real name is Jason Chung and there really are no words to describe his unique sound. He's the epitome of what it means to be a musical nomad. While many have drawn comparisons to Flying Lotus, others have said he sounds a little like Aphex. There may be some validity to all these claims but let's not be so limiting. Nosaj Thing's album length debut Drift most closely resembles the soundtrack to a dream.

It opens with `Quest,' an avant-garde track teeming with dreamy landscapes and resonant claps backed by the sound of multiple toy pianos. Add to that some elements of glitch and an eerie choir midway through the song and you've got the overall feel of this phenomenal opener. A starter that stays in the back of your mind throughout the entire album and works perfectly with the rest of the tracks because of its odd attractiveness and ability to form images just with sounds. This is part of Chung's genius: he can lure you into his world of soundscapes just with the opening track and yet, you never feel imprisoned. As `Quest' drifts off to the back of your mind, `Fog' comes off as the first "real" track wrought with a steady beat that picks up midway through the intro and then transforms into an infectious beat. Arguably one of his best tracks, Chung manages to combine pensive synths with the chopped up sample of someone breathing out. `Coat of Arms' is the closest thing to a FlyLo track, imagine a beat that opens with the sound of something that can only be described as a massively reverbed "ah," teamed with the subtle groan of a blue whale. Layered claps, a thumping kick, and a croaky lead synth? Check, it's all there. He even throws in a choir overflowing with echo. The thing that makes this track sound like a FlyLo production is the way the beat manages to cut out every single time the kick drum reverberates, giving this track a sort of hypnotic feel.

`IOIO,' a personal favorite of Chung's, features sputtery drums and a steady wave of resounding synths coupled with some spliced mono synths. `IOIO' plays out as a track that doesn't draw too much attention to itself though it's one of the more complex ones on the album, in addition to `1685/Bach,' another technically proficient track that seems to wander all over the place with its beat. Though many of the tracks are riddled with symptoms of ADD, this tracks feels like the most nomadic of the bunch. With each instrument never fully reaching its apex, this one makes you think you want to hear more without realizing that you are in fact hearing all that there is to hear... `Caves' naturally has that "sounds like it was recorded in an underground cave" feel and showcases waspy drones and the ever-present steady drum pattern layered with claps.

`Light#1 & #2' are two separate tracks I feel should be combined not only because of the names but because of their sound. The first one opens with a sampled bell that is brilliantly chopped up to accompany the entire song and then quickly dissipates into a boomy track fashioned with out-of-tune video game sounds. Awesome and incredibly hard to describe, this one is another album staple, but not without `Light#2.' The intro sounding like a clash between something from the late-seventies to mid-eighties, it gradually transforms into a real mindbender, the first track to spotlight a shaker! `2222,' is the dreamiest track of the entire record. Drones, ambient-whistling, and staggering sub-harmonic frequencies galore, no drumming to be found on this track.

`Us,' `Voices,' and `Lords,' are three tracks I think work together to create a sort of trilogy of sounds. Overly simplistic, `Us,' enthralls us with cricket-sounding drums and an interestingly repetitive sound which seems to find its continuation in `Voices' which interestingly enough begins with muffled drums and then persists with the addition of rear percussion but ends on the same note it started, quiet and muffled. The closing track, `Lords' reintroduces the concept of a sampled choir and this time actually takes center stage. Reminiscent of apocalyptic mantras and epic orchestral pieces, this one's larger-than-life; it's like you're waking up from a dream. This essentially, is the perfect closer to an amazing album. What with the creepy double-layering of extremely spliced samples played to emulate human voices; no human choir could ever sound like the one featured in `Lords.'

July 19, 2010

Shlohmo - Camping EP

CAMPING EP feels like an homage to both J Dilla and Jacques Villeglé.

Dilla because Shlohmo decides to revisit his Tomato Squeeze-esque track "Tomato Smash" with some even dirtier-sounding bass, electronic bleeps that would make Flying Lotus and Mr. Dibia$e blush, waspy hats and 90s-inspired r'n'b vocals. If you listen closely, as the track begins to pick up with some serious Low End Theory-worthy bassage, you can hear Dilla sirens sprinkled throughout the entire track. It's brilliant but it may also feel like a cheap gimmick for some of the listeners.

Regardless, Shlohmo manages to do something many electronic beat artists are only beginning to experiment with: live vocals. Rather than sampling, stabbing and splicing, Shlohmo joins the ranks of Flying Lotus and Hudson Mohawke by beautifully integrating the human voice. "Sippy Cup," one of the tracks to feature vocals, begins with some heavily-processed humming, followed by glitched-out toy piano sounds and tribal percussions. Very effective.

Someone else Shlohmo may have been emulating is Jacques Villeglé and not with his sound, but with his cover art. CAMPING EP's visual side offers what initially appears to be a sail boat floating in the middle of the water, littered with remnants of a palm tree repeated throughout the piece. This is what you might see at first glance but upon further inspection, you realize that it might actually be a deer standing by a pine tree in the middle of a clearing probably in some forest. It's the colors that throw you off. This is an effect Villeglé was known to use in many of his collage pieces. And the rip.

For what it's worth, cue up the ambient (feels-like-you're-in-a-cave) bass, 360-spinning reverb and lo-fi analog tape machine and you've got another well-formed Shlohmo release with equally impressive-sounding remix tracks. You're just better off listening to most of these tracks at home with some good headphones/speakers rather than at a party... where people are talking... and trying to dance.

July 15, 2010

CULP is for/from CANADA


Sometimes, there's an artist I find who definitely deserves at least two posts to justify the awesome that they bring. Other times, well, most of the time, an artist only deserves one post, which is still plenty! After much deliberation, I've decided that two posts is a little much so instead, CULP gets two separate sound byte preview track things! Listen to them both, CULP is awesome. He knows what he's doing. S'like a healthy mix between SAMIYAM, the actual Dilla, Shlohmo and some juj for good measure. I wouldn't be surprised if he hung out with some counterfeit copy-versions of those fools... all the way out there in canada.

And yeah, he made me post after more than four months of absence. That must mean something! Right?!

Download some of his awesomeness here: http://www.mediafire.com/?qjjtjqazz4g

March 27, 2010

Rusko - California Dreamin'

Who the hell is Rusko? Well, it's the name of a place in Finland and also the alias of Christopher Mercer, dubstep artist from the UK. With tons of singles to boot and only one official album, he's got one coming out May 13 and another in 2013. If you aren't already familiar with dubstep, I forgive you, not everyone can appreciate a genre that can make you dance for 24 straight hours (true story, and no drugs either!!!)

You can't listen to this track and not tell me it's not good. If you like him, look him up, he's really good.

March 26, 2010

Goldfrapp - Lovely Head

This is Goldfrapp. Many of you may already know her, others not. She was recently featured in SPIN magazine in a fantastic "meet-your-idol" sort of article except amongst musicians. She met Debby Harry of Blondie fame and they instantly hit it off.

I want to share this track with you because it's so intense. Reminds me of those James Bond epics but also sounds deviously hypnotic. This isn't some undiscovered artist either, just some good fucking music!

March 25, 2010

Blank Spaces -/-

So my good buddy Asian Dan posted about Blank Spaces on his blog a couple of weeks ago but it's so good I gotta do it here too. His description is also too perfect to pass up:

"-/- or Blank Spaces could be music that someone found on a lost cassette from the 80s. Everything about the vibe and aesthetic just feels like it is a demo tape of some lost 80s UK band. “The Great Shark Hunt” totally reminds me of Human League and Yazoo meets New Order, with its sequenced synth line and the chorus FX on the bass that comes in during the chorus and the little solo at the end."

Ya dig?

March 24, 2010

Mux Mool - Skulltaste

Lots of gems in this release. SKULLTASTE is Mux Mool's debut release and it clocks in at a stunning 80 minutes!!! That's an entire Disney movie. I hardly ever say this but this is one of those few releases where your money will go a looooooong way! Sorta like other artists (Mono/Poly, Flying Lotus, 00Genesis) Mux Mool is always attempting to reinvent the wheel through his music. What I mean is that each song is different. You know how a SamiYam song is a SamiYam song (well after what he's released so far at least)? A Mux Mool track is always different.

The sample track is entitled "Encadelus" and it's a disco burner yet it still totally sounds like Mux Mool. Listen to understand.

Streetlight Manifesto - Linoleum

Alright, some of the greatest punk/ska/pop (whatever you want to call them) bands were at their peak in the '90s. Actually lemme rephrase that, MOST if not ALL of them were as infective as crack cocaine. Nowadays, with the return of trip-hop, the rise of dubstep and the culminating end of ska music, bands like NOFX, Green Day, Blink 182, Black Flag and Fugazi are either out of commission or going soft (erm, Green Day, cough). In any case, once a song was goo,d it'll always be good and NOFX is a testament to that philosophy.

Enter, Streetlight Manifesto. I had heard of them but never actually listened to them. I love ska, always have, always will. I may not be in the mood for ska for a couple years but I will always appreciate it. Streetlight Manifesto, led by the great Tomas Kalnoky has the voice every Punk/Ska band should have. Check them out LIVE on Youtube to see what I mean.

Anyway, the cover they do of NOFX's Linoleum is beyond amazing. Listen to it, if you like it, buy their newest album: 99 Songs of Revolution: Volume 1.

March 23, 2010

Chiddy Bang - Swelly Express

Chiddy Bang. Rumor is they began as a full band but then split up and now it's just the white dude who produces and the black guy who raps... Works for me, shit!

Of course, they're unsigned and effing young too!!! I hear they're 19 so at this rate, they'll either be killing it by 25 or sitting somewhere in the back booths of some dark bistro, scuffing at the Cool Kids. Speaking of them, these are the Cool Kids of 2010! 2008, 2009? Those were for the Cool Kids, now we gotta make room for Chiddy Bang. Kanye Likes 'em, Pithfork loves 'em
and SXSW booked 'em. Go listen, now!

Oh and their latest release: SWILLY EXPRESS is out now, you can find it for free somewhere. Not here though.


FLYamSAM - Green Tea Power

Shit's been on stowaway for over a minute now... Flying Lotus and Samiyam. Thing is, both these cats have a style that's really hard to get into. This one's for the beat heads, the true appreciators of instrumental/electronic hip hop... Well, that is a way of putting it but I think these artists strive to work outside of the box so reducing them to simple categories is doing them an injustice.

Let's try this: FLYamSAM is roller-blade-wheel music... What the fuck does that even mean? Exactly.

Keep your ears to the ground for a release, sometime this year; maybe the next... Who knows?

Son Lux - Weapons EP

Holy shit! Son Lux sounds like that Rob Dougan character whose gone into hibernation ever since the Matrix trilogy's been considered a piece of shit (though I still do love the first one... and also, the rest of them, why not? Ha.) In any case, let me reiterate. If you haven't heard of Son Lux, that's alright because I hadn't either, until earlier this week and that's what this blog is for, right? To discover new stuff.

Imagine Trent Reznor, Muse and Rob Dougan all meet at some undisclosed location in England to make a baby. Rob's all for it, Trent's having second-thoughts and the entire lineup of Muse is hopped up on energy drinks and pills (that means they wanna fuck, bad.) In any case, they do it and they have a child. The child grows up in a matter of two years and produces the fantastic WEAPONS EP.

Son Lux, produces, sings and does a ton of other shit too!!!

Listen NOW.

January 26, 2010

The album is out now!!! Fantastic stuff.

"LA's Nocando brings some slo-mo heat with the first single from Jimmy the Lock, his latest record and first for Alpha Pup. Produced by Nobody, "Hurry Up and Wait" features a prominent vocal loop, beats as chunky and wet as cat food, and Nocando's lazy rhymes that somehow recall a more blunted Aesop Rock. With other album tracks produced by Nosaj Thing, Daedelus, and Th' Corn Gangg, one of the latest LA beat phenomenons is still running hard."

January 23, 2010


Nocando is a fresh one. Part of the Low End Theory crew except he's not a producer, no, this one's one of them rappers. What makes this fantastic is that his album, JIMMY THE LOCK will feature production from the likes of: Free The Robots, Daedelus, Maestroe, Thavius Beck, and Nosaj Thing! It's going to be really interesting, hearing how a rapper fares with the crazy beats these cats are known to produce.

Debut album comes out this Tuesday (01/26) so don't sleep. If you like what you hear, do something about it.

Download mixtape.

Lorn - Supermassive Black Hole Remix

Everybody is going to know who Lorn is by the end of this year, I promise. For starters, he's on the Brainfeeder label and he's working on a split 7" with Nosaj Thing. Need I say more? Already, he's made quite a stir on the intranets with his Biggie remixes and if you know where to look, you can find over 35+ of his unmastered, raw tracks, or as others like the call them: scraps. Well for scraps, they sound pretty legit so I won't bore you with ALL the details. Just that he recently did a Muse remix and it's tight. Check it.

I've been a fan for a long time now. I even knew him back when he still had a Twitter. Aw snap!

January 21, 2010


magnificentmistakes.jpg image by djestouff

If you can dig that spacey-futuristic sound coming from the distant midi-mecca that is California, then you need to download eLan's free EP. He's part of the We Did It Collective. You might have heard of it, if not, that's also fine. The immediate collection of artists includes, but is not limited to: eLan, Ground Is Lava, Joseph, Juj, Melonious Drunk, NonEpic, and Shlohmo.

it isn't exactly a record label, more of an unofficial "gathering point" for all these like-minded artists. In other words, it works very much like Flying Lotus' Brainfeeder except the notoriety of that name has exponentially risen and now it is its own indie record label. But what makes eLan prodigious is the fact that he's part of the same crew that hailed Shohmo. Let's just say that Shlohmo just re-released his first EP with remixes from Low Limit, devonwho, tokimonsta, and Fulgeance. In any case, listen to the preview track "Royal Blue" and then download the entire album, it's worth it, I promise you, it's definitely bbbbutter!!!

Wu Tang x The Beatles

Just a quick post. This one actually comes from O'Lush, fantastic blog about art and sometimes, music.

Countless renegade producers have used the Beatles as a reference point for mash-ups an remixes, think Dangermouse x Jay-z, except this time the palette has significantly increased. Cetner stage: Tom Caruana.

9 rappers-1 plus 4 performers = Wu Tang x The Beatles. What Tom Caruana does here is actually use anything done by any of Wu Tang's members meaning he has over 3,000+ songs to work with since Ghostface has released 50+ albums in the past 20 years and every Wu-Tang member has at least 100+ songs individually. I've only ever listened to a handful of Beatles songs and I know, that probably makes me the only one in the world but, so what? The Grey Album (Jay-z x Beatles) was fantastic and that got a couple spins on my tune machine but now, Wu Tang and the Beatles? Personally, I think it's fantastic! A few stand out tracks: "Got Your Money," "Forget Me Not" and "Save Me Dear" just because Tom does fantastic work flipping those Beatles samples, giving us something that is absolutely fresh.

Download the entire album free.

Kit Knows - First Space Kit on the Moon

This is Kit Knows; apparently
he knows something that we don't because I have never heard of him, up until now. This is less of a proper release and more of a mixtape since every single track is produced by the up and coming Flako, but I think he already knows that. Just by looking at the cover, the effaced "s" in front of "hit" proves that this is one of those polished guerilla releases. Yeah, he spent some time on it but still, he doesn't own any exclusive rights to the beats and that means that all the tracks can be downloaded for free without having to worry about the RIAA coming for your money but then again, that all ended in 2001, no one cares about them anymore anyway.

Back to the album, er... mixtape... Kit's delivery is certainly poignant, he does have something to say but truth is, after track 08, it just goes on for too long. It's cool that he chooses to rap over all the beats featured on the aforementioned producer's original release: First Space Shit on the Moon, but for this Canadian rapper, sometimes less can be best.

A few stand-out tracks are "Welcome," Footprints" and "Failure" but that's more because I enjoy the beats more than anything else... If we ran things based on a scoring system, this release would get a 7/10 which is still good, just not "that good. Then again, I just show you what you might like. All you have to do is listen and then decide, and then keep it to yourself.

Download the entire album for free.

Gorillaz - Stylo

I'll be honest here. The track definitely starts off fresh and will get your head noddin' but only because it's got a great groove. After about a solid minute of listening to the same mash, you then realize that that's all that there is to the song... Props for not forgetting about the 80s Albarn but since this is the only new thing we've heard from the Gorillaz in a while (aside from those rough demos a few months back), this is a bit lackluster.

Then again, this is me being overly critical. I love the Gorillaz and believe that Damon Albarn is a great musician and songwriter so this track does deserve a few listens. As a matter of fact, I'm already on my fourth play-thru and already, I'm liking the track a bit more. It's not a fast-paced club-banger or an ecstasy-riddled party-starter like some tracks out there; no, it's more like "that track you slowly use to groove and grind after 2 solid hours of jump-style dancing." Take it or leave it, though it may be worth checking out.

Adidas x Star Wars

Soon enough, you'll be able to fashionably stunt with some Lucas-inspired sneaks.

"Sneaker collectors have long been compared to other super-geeky and obsessive types like, like Trekkies, or comic book nerds. However, nothing compares to the enthusiasm and dedication of the Star Wars faithful.

This preview of the upcoming Adidas
Originals x Star Wars Collection, will surely have sneaker heads, and "Star Wars" addicts anticipating the release. Here, we get a sneak peek at the first offerings in the collection which includes Darth Vader, Skywalker, Stormtrooper, Princess Leia, and Yoda sneakers, as well as a Star Wars tee and Stormtrooper hoodie. Each sneaker uses elements from the popular "Star Wars" characters'. Look for the collection to drop at adidas retailers in January 2010. Click below to see more images of the collection.

Each sneaker uses elements from the popular Star Wars characters' outfits. Look for the collection to drop at Adidas retailers in January 2010."


Watch out!
Click for more pictures.

Mr. Dibiase - May the Force

When listening to a track, I sometimes get this feeling like I've heard something like it before, just never done in "that" particular way. Well, Mr. Dibiase, $$$$$$ aka Diobolical offers this fantastic re-working of the classic Star Wars' The Imperial March. Yep, the drums are off-kilter and Dilla's signature WWII bomb-shelter siren can be heard near the beginning which might pit Dibiase as another Dilla clone but that's as far as the similarities go. This track is like a 3-in-1 instrumental because, well, it just really works that way, listen to the PREVIEW if you don't believe me.

8-bit fantastic with rhythmic-ADD. It's as if Dibiase gets bored with the track after a mere 30 seconds so he's constantly shifting focus and before you know it, it's all over. Yeah.

January 19, 2010

Nosaj Thing - Remixes

Nosaj Thing - Remixes

01) (03:17) Heaven Can Wait feat. Charlotte Gainsbourg & Beck
02) (02:34) Islands feat. The xx
03) (06:11) Forever feat. Drake, Kanye West, Lil. Wayne and Eminem
04) (03:00) Nice Tights feat. Jogger
05) (02:56) Camel feat. Flying Lotus
06) (02:51) It's Madness feat. Daedelus
07) (02:48) Buzz In feat. Boris
08) (02:47) Tabloid Sores feat. HEALTH
09) (01:31) Wandering Star feat. Portishead
10) (03:22) Reckoner feat. Radiohead
11) (03:13) Eyes Closed feat. Blank Blue
12) (02:43) Rock On feat. Adam Freeland (Megamix Edit)
13) (03:45) I Get Money feat. 50 Cent (Lazer Sword Neon Hot Pockets Remix)
14) (03:45) More Tongue Less Teeth feat. Plastic Little and DOOM
15) (04:17) Flatlands feat. Nalepa

Nosaj Thing Spotlight

You've probably already heard of Nosaj Thing, or at least listened to a couple of his tracks without even realizing it and at this point, it's probably because he spent most of his time in 2009 making a name for himself. What with an exclusive spot as producer on the Kid Cudi mixtape, a debut album release, a world tour, dozens of remixes for several artists and the inception of a unique visual accompaniment to enhance his sets; he's been busy.

And he still is.

"With footprints firmly rooted in hip-hop, 24-year-old Jason Chung stealthily zig-zags through murky, adventurous electronics, London dubstep, alternative-universe pop, Danny Elfman-quirkiness and classical music."

Nosaj Thing is
Jason Chung (and Nosaj is Jason spelled backwards if you didn't realize.) Influences include: Dre, Dilla (of course), Boards of Canada and Radiohead. Quite a vast array of influences for just one artist, don't you think? In any case, I bet you're wondering, how one person can convincingly evoke elements of Dilla's spattered MPC-styled drumming all in one track with the equally ephemeral glow of the pads present in almost all Boards of Canada songs ?Well, there is no straight answer but Jason manages to deliver and rather consistently too!

Nosaj Thing makes hip hop heads love electronic music and just the same, all those electronica buffs are now discovering new music they would otherwise have never listened to back in 1999. This one's a BBBButter-y special, all Nosaj Thing's remixes compiled into ONE pack only at BBBButter.

Dan Black feat. Kid Cudi - Symphonies Remix

United States x United Kingdom.

This is one of those tracks that sounds all-too familiar... but in a good way. Orchestral choir, film-score-worthy strings and then, Rihanna drums? The drums we're talking about here come from the hit song, Umbrella, which coincidentally, also sound like a certain drum loop found in GarageBand... Hmm. In any case, this track is so good it doesn't really matter.

For 3:43, we're sent into this slow-dancey jam hosted by Kid Cudi and Dan Black, fantastic! Cudi's undeniable aural charm is present throughout the entire track and Dan Black's panache for melodic synchronization is off the hook! On the plus side, there is an equal trade-off of vocal duties between Black and Cudi.

Check out the preview and then download.
Alternate Mirror: download.