I just spent ten days in Ohio under deep snow. Living in California, I had nearly forgotten about the power and majesty of deep snowfall. This mix is inspired by long walks across the frozen tundras of Ohio.
Professor Genius / Hassan – Hassan Two
Raime – Exist in the Repeat of Practice
Vangelis / Demis Roussos – Damask Rose
Cub – Cub
Torn Hawk – A Piece of the Storm
Pye Corner Audio – Palais Spectres
G-Man – Track 10
Nathan Fake – Sad Vember
Kahn – Late Night Blues ft Rider Shafique
Carter Tutti Void – V3
Roll The Dice – Bad Tempered
Dino Sabatini – Trance State
Lucy – Vladimir
Powell – Search
Silent Servant – Utopian Distaster (End)
Porter Ricks – Nautical Dub
Moritz Von Oswald Trio – Pattern 4
Seekersinternational – AllWaysDub
Kanding Ray – Wars
Gui Borrato – Mala’ Strana
My friends over at Drip Drop Los Angeles invited me out to play Experimental RnB at their night. I asked myself what Experimental RnB might sound like, and this mix was the result.
RnB is in a period of stagnation, but Rap has been extremely dynamic over the last 5-10 years. Rap has become world-weary and dark: sick of the success, over the fame, but unable to quit. With few exceptions though, RnB has yet to go fully post-apocalyptic. I hope that will change.
My vision of the next wave of RnB is dense, synthetic and adventurous. This mix is almost a tour of how it might sound, from spastic euphoric moments to bleak, icy soundscapes. Many of these tunes are instrumentals, but I would like to imagine them with vocals that have yet to be recorded. I want the next wave of RnB artists to be reared on a diet of Blade Runner, Vangelis, and UK Grime.
NO TRACK LIST – but featuring tunes from S-X, Gatekeeper, Anti-G, Om Unit, Dakimh aka Kuedo aka Jamie Vex’d, Skinnz, Krampfhaft, Fatima Al Qadiri, Jacques Greene, and Rustie. Get at me if you want to know what any of the tunes are.
Thanks to the Drip Drop crew!
Cover art by aaron shinn
Without any clear organization, a new sound has been bubbling up from locations as disparate as Los Angeles, London, Amsterdam and Glasgow. It’s not completely coherent, it’s not a genre, and it doesn’t have a geographic locus, but producers and fans are gelling into a kind of scene. Yes, I’m talking about the music described as ‘wonky’.
Dubstep has gotten me thinking about hardcore lately. Cluekid and LD are doing these retro-themed tracks, Tubby from Newham Generals did a 1994 jungle set for his Rinse show a few weeks ago, and even the BPMs are starting to converge. As Dubstep creeps into the mid-140s, suddenly 155 bpm hardcore records are looking compatible.
All of this has prompted me to go back to my UK hardcore roots. This is the music that got me started as a deejay. When my high school classmates were listening to Guns N Roses, House of Pain, U2, or Boyz II Men, I would play some Nebula II for them and give them a good scare. I borrowed $500 to buy decks at age 15 and was playing out as soon as I could. I followed as hardcore became jungle, and jungle became DnB, and DnB became dreck, but I digress.
Now I listen to Rinse FM all day long and covet dubs and fantasize about making beats. Dubstep has plunged me back into the same musical mindset I inhabited in high school. So I thought it was high time to touch the old vinyl again, and really get back to my hardcore roots.
Whether this sound is new or old to you, all crew get ready to rush!
Dubstep is insane right now. Many of the old talents who brought the sound to global prominence (Skream, Distance, DMZ, Loefah, Hatcha, and Kode 9) have been very quiet this year. Fortunately, the power vacuum has been good for dubstep.
Until very recently, it was looking like Dubstep might follow the same path as Drum N Bass. Since the late nineties, DnB has been an endless competition between producers to express the same formula in harder, heavier executions.
The present climate in Dubstep resembles the earlier days of Drum N Bass – I’m thinking 1994 here – when nobody really knew what the formula was. Newer producers are working to put their own signature on the sound, and new talent is emerging constantly.
This mix, titled Mavericks, captures some of the madness of the moment. Please enjoy it loud.
The UK Grime scene is like a mirror-world version of 90s NYC hiphop – every rap is a battle rap, every beat is bigger and harder than the next, and every kid dreams of being an MC. As familiar as this sounds, the sonics of Grime couldn’t be further from the hiphop we’ve known and loved.
While US hip hop has grown fat and lazy at the top of the pop charts, Grime has gotten hungrier since Dizzee won the Mercury Prize in 2003. The scene has virtually no major-label artists, and is instead a network of raves, myspace pages, CDRs, pirate radio and mixtapes.
It’s hard to follow grime outside of London, but buck up. This mix will whet your appetite.