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.
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
I apologize for not connecting with all of you more recently. My life has changed in the last couple weeks, including a move to San Francisco for a hot second before I make my exodus to New York City, and even a new job!
Straight from the man like Nate Mars (producer, PR, taste-maker) comes a project from Chico Mann aka Marcos Garcia, a Cuban-born musician based in New York who has toured with the likes of Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra, plays a multitude of instruments, and makes music that draws on everything from Hip-Hop and Electro to 30′s years of Afro-Cuban musical intersection.
Out on October 23rd is Chico’s first full-length Analog Drift for the esteemed Wax Poetics label and here are two cuts from the record. The first, “Go to the Place” takes (real) electro’s bounce and uses it as a jump off for Afrobeat guitar strokes that get extra funky when a bubbling synth creeps in after the chorus. The second track, “Ya Yo Sé” continues with Chico’s love of soul, funk and Afrobeat, building on the warmth of the first song with a song about love and longing.
I highly recommend that you check out Chico live. He has just returned from Australia and is out on the road in the U.S. beginning next week. Tour dates and free tunes are below!!
10.20 The New Parish Oakland
10.21 The Elbo Room San Francisco
10.22 330 Ritch San Francisco
10.23 The Mint Los Angeles
10.24 Little Temple Los Angeles
10.27 Santos Party House NYC
10.28 The Vagabond Miami
10.29 The Mink Backroom Houston
10.30 The Scoot Inn Austin
I’ll be checking in with you all soon, hopefully with more notes from the underground.
What do you think about when you think about Africa? What do you hear when you listen to Africa? And, what does one write about when they write about Africa? These questions are important questions. Single dimensions are rampant in many visions of Africa, particularly concerning the political and economic instability of many African nations. However, these common struggles don’t equate singular cultural expressions, an easy lens to pick up when few alternatives are offered.
African musics vary immensely, though what is often brought to the U.S. ear is a window of African music that shines with a Pop brightness most easily digestible by short attention spans and a low tolerance for abrasion. African music is Amadou & Mariam, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Fela Kuti, Ali Farka Toure, and all those groups Paul Simon and Peter Gabriel worked with, whatever their names are. These artists are legendary and important, however is that what Africa listens to? No. At least, not anymore. Since Hip-Hop’s rise to global prominence, most major urban centers in Africa: Nairobi, Abuja, Kampala, Abidjan, listen to Rap music. 2pac, Biggie, and Jay-Z.
Dutty Artz co-founder DJ Rupture (Matt Shadetek is the 2nd half) helms the mixing in this introduction to Abidjan, Cote d’Ivore’s Rap group CIAfrica, made up of producer Green Dog (Amadou Komara) and a host of rappers like Manusa, Barboza, and Prince Abraham. There could hardly be a better candidate to create a path through their music, as Rupture is best known for mixtapes like Gold Teeth Thief, where he fused the abrasivness of Breakcore and Noise with American Rap/R&B, Dancehall, and Middle Eastern Rai, offering a worldview that signified cultural/musical embrace while never claiming that it was as easy as it sounds.
CIAfrica are one of the few Hip-Hop projects to coalesce on the African continent that provide an evocative portrayal of political turmoil, cynicism, and outrage. Often filled with the chaos of compressed snares and drums, earth-shaking bass, and lyrical ferocity, CIAfrica is the raw underbelly of West African urbanity, where the marginalized musics of the colonized and the colonizer are channeled by political frustration and economic unrest.
Traditional West African music is no where to be seen here, and why does it have to be? The prideful, power-hungry energy of Rap, Jamaican Dancehall and UK Grime is as much a part of the globe’s musical narrative as they lead back to their respective places of origin. Manusa’s “J’Fuck” is available for download below, and will no doubt whet your appetite for the delightful grist and dirt that is CIAfrica. Also, check out CIAfrica’s video for “Dans Mons Pays” for visual representation of what is often consumed aurally.
What emerged at SXSW this year was surely a seminal convergence of forces, the reverberations of which will hopefully amass to something veteran next year. Tormenta Tropical’s Thursday and Friday night showcases had the sounds of Cumbia, Tribal Guarachero, Dancehall, UK Funky, and Dubstep all under one roof, with some of the most forward thinking producers/DJ’s of tropical bass in attendance. And while it was hard to imagine who could possibly be missing from my own dream-line-up of entertainment, there were no doubt many who were absent.
Someone who I hope will be there next year is L.A.’s Samo Sound Boy, whose club-centric weaving of House, Baltimore Club, Juke and Cumbia are demanding attention within the milieu of Tropical Bass interpreters. Recently featured alongside a host of other nascent producers in Sinden’s Fact Magazine mix, we are delighted to be able to introduce Trash readers to Samo via an exclusive mix and one of his own tunes as the succulent cherry. Samo’s mix is an absolutely essential snapshot at his L.A. influences (NGUZUNGUZU not least of which) as well as what makes him such a stand-out sound boi.
2. WACKA FLOCKA – SAMO SOUND BOY
3. DEEP DOWN (THE UNDERGROUND) – MIKE DUNN PRES. THE MD X-SPRESS
4. THE BANDIT – SAMO SOUND BOY
5. TRIBAL 2010 – DJ LALO
6. RATTLESNAKE RIDDIM – SAM SOUND BOY
7. EL BEBE AMBIENTE – NGUZUNGUZU
8. SONIDO DEL ARPA – DJ MOUSE
9. HIGH DEFINITION (T WILLIAMS DEEP TEKNOLOGI MIX) – DJ MA1
10. MUMBOI – MAD KIDS
11. FEELS SO GOOD – ALINA SANTIAGO
12. LAY ME DOWN (DJ SEGA REMIX) – SISSY NOBBY
13. POPPIN’ SUPER TURNT UP (SAMO SOUND BOY CLUB REMIX) – LADY G
14. TAKING IT ALL – SAMO SOUND BOY
15. I GET LIFTED (DUB VERS) – BARBRA TUCKER
16. SHOOK – SAMO SOUND BOY
17. ME HOLD YOU – LADY SAW
Hello new friends, Max Pearl (aka, DJ Kat Fyte) here checking in as the newest contributor to Trash Menagerie. For my first post, I’d like to take all of my new readers on a guided journey of those winding corridors and dark hiding-places that I like to troll as I make my way through the blogosphere. That means recommendations, people!
I’d like to keep it multi-media, as much as possible, so here are a few treasures that deserve some exposure, from audio-visual art music to critical commentary on the state of the contemporary moment.
First up, here’s an astoundingly well-edited promo video for the current reigning champion of the drum machine, AraabMUZIK. I’m pretty sure that everything you’re hearing in this masterpiece is generated by this dude triggering samples off of the MPC console he’s working with, even the gnarly chug-a-chugs!
In this day and age where DJs are exchanging their turntables for laptops and MIDI controllers, yet trying to find ways to keep digital DJing as impressive for the eyes as it is for the ears, an MPC prodigy is pretty much exactly what we’ve been looking for to satiate our tiny attention spans. SOMEBODY BOOK THIS DUDE AND I WILL GLADLY ATTEND YOUR PARTY AND BUY EVERYONE BEER. By the way, ‘dude does much of the production for the one-and-only Cam’ron and the Dipset crew. Makes sense.
In the simplest terms, he addresses the use of sound as a structuring technology- a sonic architecture, if you will- from night-time sound bombs used to create an environment of paranoia and fear among the colonized, to high-pitched frequencies used in malls to prevent teens from gathering, all the way through to the careful crafting of good or bad vibes by soundsystems operators in the context of the global dancehall session. Kode9, by the way, is the curator behind the virtually infallible Hyperdub record label, a leftfield electronica institution that’s centered around wonky hip-hop and dubstep, with releases from acts like Ikonika, Burial, Zomby, and Joker. Act like you know.
Lastly, let me round out yet one more border to which my artistic and cultural interests extend, and make the jump from super METAL gangster beats and Sonic Warfare over to the contemporary state of Latin American and Caribbean party music! I don’t mean to blow up anybody’s spot if you’ve been hoarding music from this bizarre little outlet in the global digital, but these guys deserve some props! Check out the wonderful, regularly-updated music blog, Flow Cartagena, “EL BLOG OFICIAL DEL DANCEHALL Y REGGAETON,” for seriously cutting edge reggae/hip-hop everything. Much of the music available at this site is from amateur producers and remixers, and a lot of it is unreleased, bootlegged, or really poorly mixed and mastered. Still, you can find some gems if you’re willing to hit up google translator and spend an hour navigating the sketchy mess that is this website’s interface.
One of my favorites is this track here, an upbeat, layed-back hip-hop joint from Jiggy D and Mosta Man. Just so you trust me that this site is in fact quite bangin’.