In a recent music video by producer and rapper LE1F (watch below) the camera pans from a larger-than-life ice cream sundae to what could be the crooning lovers of LE1F and his beau (they’re actually best friends), behind them a kaleidoscope of candy-colored Gotham City lights. Singing from a high-rise apartment in Manhattan, the two could be at a birthday party at Def Jam studios or perhaps just broke in to celebrate by themselves, leaving mixtapes as evidence.
Listening to the Future, or 2011, will sound a lot like LE1F. A senior at Weslyan University, LE1F makes rap music that is as educated in hip-hop aesthetics as it is a complete departure from them. Situated partly in the gothic, brooding work of Three 6 Mafia’s DJ Paul or rapping with the morose weight of Z-Ro, LE1F draws on the gravity of crunk’s best while infusing it with his own brand of banjee queerness that blends, melts, and makes multi-flavored ice cream sundaes of 21st-century club music.
Amongst work for Das Racist and Spank Rock, LE1F is preparing his first official mixtape for release at the beginning of the year entitled Dark York. Limited to 100 physical copies, Dark York will be packaged in fully recycled material, and feature a combination of LE1F’s own productions, raps, and collaborations. To help fund this project LE1F is doing what future, next-level artists like himself should be doing—raising money from fans and supporters to subsidize projects. Check out a video he produced in honor of the fundraising, and then head over to Kickstarter where you can donate as little as a $1 to the fund. You’ll no doubt be tempted to contribute more though, as donations of $100 or more get the privilege of naming a track and a handmade wood pendant.
Also, download a LE1F collaboration from the Dark York mixtape with L.A. duo NGUZUNGUZU called “hate2wait,” which begins as a love song dedicated to internet-rap phenom and BASED GOD Lil’ B.
Since being in San Francisco I’ve watched my native Pacific Northwest begin to flourish as place for forward-thinking dance music. Just recently Nguzunguzu duo graced stages in both Seattle and Portland, and New Years will see a visit from uk producer and co-owner of the Hessle Audio label Ramadanman. These two artists are among 2010′s best new producers, each with their own take on what it means to be related to genres like house, uk garage, or r&b.
As much as these artists deserve our brightest accolades, so too do the promoters and DJs who play host to them. Often these individuals will make little to no money, play to empty crowds, or be driven from their venues due to any number of unfortunate circumstances. One such outfit of bass ambassadors is the Bubblin’ crew located in Portland, Oregon. Made up of DJs Ben Tactic (of the Tactic production duo with co-producer Brent Tactic) and Lincolnup, Bubblin’ has single-handedly injected faith into the hearts of Portland clubgoers.
This mix, from Lincolnup, is one that reminds the west coast (and the world) that U.S. cities are representing for a new world order of international, inter-webbed, and intergalactic sounds that undoubtedly point to the future. Mixed live, Lincolnup blends everything from Tribal Guarachero hero Erick Rincon to equally teenage Northwest-native Cedaa‘s Juke inspired rhythms.
Check Lincolnup’s tracklist and download the mix from the Bubblin’ Soundcloud below. And keep an eye on Bubblin’ and the Northwest-family in 2011 as their ripples will surely continue to be felt.
01. Emmerson and Nehuen “Cocoa Rain”
02. KingThing “Rio She Said”
03. Kashii “Nether Where ft. Simon Lord (Mensah remix)”
04. Velour : Kick It Til It Breaks
05. Helixir : Ride The Wind
06. Warrior One : Lord Of Bashy (Doc Daneeka 2 Step Militia remix)
07. Altered Natives : Bullet Blade Knuckle Slap
08. Gallons : The Crying Man
09. Erick Rincon : Satisfaction
10. Alan Javier : Calambria 2010
11. Erick Rincon : Muevelo y Goza
12. Maxwell : Bad Habits (Dave Nada Club Mix)
13. Supra 1 : Ghoster
14. Shortstuff & Mickey Pearce : Tripped Up (Ramadanman Re-Edit)
15. Terror Danjah : I’m Feelin U
16. Distal & HxdB : Typewriter Tune
17. Cedaa : Hypnotiq
18. Glass Actor : Komodo
19. Pony Pony Run Run : Walking On A Line (French Fries remix)
20. Makongo : Angolan Kung Fu (Dubbel Dutch remix)
21. The XX : Crystalised (Dark Sky remix)
22. Clubroot : Dulcet (Bryan Zentz remix)
23. Kromestar : Love
After 3 years of performing together in clubs from from Beijing to Miami, Streetwise and Richie Balboa finally decided to put together a DJ mix for public consumption. This 55 minute mashup covers styles from Hip Hop and Ghetto Funk to Breakbeat, Dubstep, Electro and Drum n Bass.
For those not familiar with these two UK based artists here’s a little heads up.
Streetwise’s background has taken him on a tour of almost every dynamic in the music and he now finds himself at the forefront of the Ghetto Funk scene through his website www.ghettofunk.co.uk. His productions under the Dancefloor Outlaw brand were released on Shanghai Disco, a sister label of the infamous Hot Cakes owned by DJ Deekline. Support from the likes of Krafty Kuts, DJ Yoda, Cuban Brothers and A.Skillz has shown The Outlaws to be firmly at the forefront of the Ghetto Funk sound. This year has also seen Streetwise take on a whole host of remix work for the likes of Tinie Tempah, Dubpistols, Fresh, The Guilty Hands and Dogtown Clash. With more releases and an imment tour of Australia, 2010 has been a busy year.
Richie Balboa has spent the last five years DJ’ing everywhere from Tel Aviv to Timbuktu. In 2010 he won the best breakthrough DJ award at the international breakbeat awards and soon after was recruited by Juno to personally craft their breakbeat podcast series. As well as DJing he manages NSB Radio – www.nsbradio.co.uk – an online radio station broadcasting the entire spectrum of broken beat music live 24/7, managing a roster of DJs based in every corner of the globe. The future see’s his production debut expected in early 2011 whilst continuing a busy live schedule, check www.richiebalboa.com for more details.
Richie Balboa and Will Streetwise Promo Mix Tracklisting
Two summers ago we debuted Bartosz Kruczynski a.k.a. The Phantom‘s swirling, xylophone-tinged “Cambodia,” a track that eventually saw release on a Top Billin’ compilation of UK Funky that attempted to capitalize on the nascent genre. The compilation was OK, but Kruczynski’s participation was the highlight, and now after over a year of negotiating a proper debut EP, Senseless Records will finally do his music justice.
My favorite aspect to The Phantom’s productions is that he gives melody the utmost of attention. From “Cambodia” to his EP’s two tracks “Girl” and “Night Game,” whooshing piano and synth melodies carry his tracks into the heat of the night while he lets his percussion remain fresh but understated.
Titled simply, The Phantom EP, the record is out December 6 and features remixes from Trash-favorite and U.S. bass hopeful Brenmar, U.K. producer Hackman, and fellow Pole Zeppy Zep. Zep’s bombastic, epicly layered remix of “Night Game” is available for download below!
Fog’s back with a wickedly fresh remix of Renegade’s Threshold. This one’s a fair bit quicker than Renegade’s original, but sticks close to it’s original vibe – adding a cheeky vocal sample from one of Barack Obama’s speeches.
You might have heard of this guy before. Volta Cab is a Russian house / new disco producer. He describes his musical influences to be mostly based on the 70s and 80s disco scene, on chicago house and on jazz music.
His music has been in the blogosphere for a couple of months and now Volta Cab has a couple of 12″ releases coming up. One to be released on Chez Damier’s Finale Sessions France, another one on Maelstrom’s Solar Disco and some on others labels. Quite a busy man.
Once you listen to the tracks below, you’ll know why these great labels are quite lucky to have this new producer on their roster.