So my favorite kinds of mixtapes are the ones that incorporate lots of exclusive vinyl rarities, and the ones that purport to showcasing an obscure or regional sound. This Mastermind Megamix, a blend of Boston raggamuffin hip-hop from the 90s, is loaded with records that I can guarantee you won’t find elsewhere, and in that sense is also just a straight-up historical artifact that provides an eye into a little-known but extremely innovative local hip-hop scene.
“Pace,” the DJ and the man behind Library of Vinyl, the blog that launched this mix a few weeks ago, set out to “prove that the Bean was rocking the ragga sound as hard as anyplace in the mid 1990s.” Honestly, I love how this complicates the dominant narrative of dancehall music, place, and location- people are always talking about the Jamaica, New York, Panama axis, and so many sites of exchange get left off the map; was Boston just feeding off of all of this great energy coming out of New York, or did these seemingly isolated Easterners manage to enter the feedback loop and change the game up with their unique contributions? Some of this stuff is new to me; I wasn’t aware that underground hip-hop and ragga deejay styles had been so close at one point and it seems like this was a really exciting time for music.
This post has been in the theoretical works ever since I was slapped in the face by the news that record label owner Ill Cosby lived in my city. Cosby’s label Car Crash Set is still in its infancy though as a Seattle-based label specializing in the fresh Future Bass sounds of Garage, 2-step and UK Funky from the States and abroad, Car Crash Set is doing the unparalleled and perhaps unthinkable. Focusing on burgeoning, little-known producers, Crash Crash has put out releases from the now recognized South Wales crew C.R.S.T. and rising Atlanta producer Distal, as well as remix treatment from people like Emvee and Dubbel Dutch. I’m super psyched to have today’s Car Crash Set release as a perfect excuse for an intro to the label and its happenings. For the rest of the post, I will let label-head Ill Cosby do the talking.
“Today Car Crash Set will release Gremino‘s latest single ‘Shining’ / ‘Be and See’. These two tracks have been making their round for a year but have never seen proper release until now. Freshly mastered by Bob Macc, these tracks sound better than ever. Included in this pack are two giant remixes. UK phenom Jam City serves up a blinding remix of ‘Shining’ that is sure to set dancefloors and blog playlists ablaze. From Sheffield comes Grievous Angel with his smashing, club ready remix of ‘Be and See’ that has already seen DJ support from Mary Anne Hobbs (BBC) and Blackdown (Rinse.FM). This single is a must-have for garage fanatics.
More from these artists: Gremino has previously released his single ‘Screech’ / ‘Wobbler’ on C/C/S and has recently released his EP ‘It’s Working’ on Rag and Bone, Jam City’s white label debut on Night Slugs is forthcoming, and Grievous Angel’s recent remix of Dusk Blackdown’s ‘Margins Music’ LP is out now on Keysound.”
Kush Aurora really came out of nowhere. His Voodoo Sessions EP, which drops today, is loaded with dense layers of driving, tight percussion, low (I mean really low), rolling basslines, and gorgeous, colorful splashes of dubbed-out atmospheric samples that conjure visions of what might be this producer’s private elsewhere in some tropical parallel dimension.
Call it future dubstep, call it African grime, call it “soca-step,” this bay area stepper comes through with four solid tunes that will faire as well in the club as they will in the headphones of bedroom listeners.
The EP also features a collaboration with San Francisco Dubstep don Bakir- a remix of Maga Bo’s “Nakhil,” which was previously released on Dutty Artz, and features killer bars from Tunisian spitfire rapper K-Libre. I had the opportunity to play the Boston-area Links Soundclash last year with Bakir- local and nationally-known producers in a massive laptop battle playing only their original tunes- and the man absolutely murdered the dance. And we all know that Mago Bo is the fucking man. That, and the whole things is streamable for your listening pleasure at this link.
You can grab one of the tracks off of the Voodoo EP for free, the original mix of Humidifier, which also gets a bangin’ club remix that’s only available for purchase. The free download is here.
Kush Arora – Humidifier (Original Mix)
The whole EP is available for download here and it’s definitely worth buying.
Kush is also offering up a studio mix which looks like its jam-packed with exclusives and originals and seems to be on some techno rasta tip, which is cool. Check it out!
Leave it to the employed to be financially AND aesthetically motivated to get to the music the unemployed students don’t have time for. This certain employee, popularly known as Disco Shawn for his Tormenta Tropical and Icee Hot parties as well as his Bersa Discos label ventures, is also an editor at XLR8R magazine, current champion of underground sounds most likely to appear in a good club. What I like about XLR8R is their ability to stay within a manageable aesthetic spectrum, creating a coherent and unique consumer experience of sound and word with out becoming the diarrhea of certain aggregators (real internet word). In short, they’re seriously on point right now.
As Shawn mentioned last week, the homie Dubbel Dutch (you may know him from here and there) sent around some fresh sounds that a fellow Austin, TX resident has been cooking up in his bedroom. Going by the name Arms & Suites, this dude must have been around for SXSW this year, at least from his bedroom, as the result sounds like the existential experience of overhearing the shuffling skank of Cumbia and Guarachero rhythms amidst the dark warmth of UK Funky percussion and their occasional vocal edits. Among the 4 tracks on his Bandcamp page, Brainwash is certainly the most reflective of these intersections while others stay in sparer fuzzier spaces. All of them are worth your precious Monday’s time.
Head to the dude’s Bandcamp to give him some data and stats as a less-than comparable trade. And please try to enjoy your Monday.