Thanks to everyone who came out for the Mixtape Riot launch party last Tuesday. There was drinking, dancing, live performances, and drinking. Check the video for a very brief recap of the night. MTR is doin it big from now on, so don’t sleep on the next event. More info. on that coming soon…
Finally! With the sounds of ice cream trucks parading the streets, my first Mix Tape Riot entry coincides with the the most beautiful day of the year in Brooklyn, which inspired me to post some pre-summer jams I’ve been feeling.Â With the sunshine inevitably comes marination, so I got something a little older and a little newer from the Brooklyn production duo of K-Salaam & Beatnick to aid you in your quest for relaxation- These two have been putting out solid albums and mixtapes for quite some time, fusing equal parts boom bap and one drop elements to create their unified sound.Â The merging of hip hop and reggae can often seem forced, but they keep their beats minimal, yet retain enough of the respective ingredients to get the job done nicely.Â The synthesis is a little lighter here, but kind of reminds me of the old Boot Camp Click material meshing patois and classic reggae references with grimy kick drums and Barry White samples, or the hip hop/ jeep remixes on all the dancehall 12 inches from the nineties.Â Another thing that initially drew me to their projects, is the diversity of the artists that they get, ranging from a whole array of hip hop luminaries like Dead Prez, Talib Kweli, Pharoah Monch, and the legendary Bobbito Garcia to reggae sureshots like Buju Banton, Capleton, Luciano, and Busy Signal. (Check out their myspace page for some interesting interviews with the various artists they’ve worked with along the way).
First jam up is “Victory,” an oldie but goodie from the album “The World Is Ours.”Â This track brings together two heavyweights in Mos Def and Sizzla, trading verses on a banger that has seen plenty of airtime at previous summertime affairs, so it felt right to start here.Â Nothing too fancy on this chune, just two very versatile and capable artists doing what they do best on a smooth, lazy day production.
Surprisingly, the newer tune, only released for download,Â is a saucy little remix they did of the Jackson 5 anthemÂ “Never Can Say Goodbye.”Â While it’s often hazardous tampering with such classic material, they do it justice with a dirty guitar riff and subtle horn section to add just enough spice to the tune without diluting the original flavor.Â (After reading those last couple sentences it’s clear that I can’t fire up Phil the Grill soon enough… that’s our BBQ for those not in the know).Â Both of these cuts are equally effective in an opening set warming up the crowd or out on the patio warming up the coals, and are getting me really amplified for “Summertime in the NYC.” Continue reading…
Jeff Harms is a song writer I’ve seen a few times around Chicago.Â I guess the first time or two IÂ placed him in the “emotive songwriter/dime a dozen” category.Â But the last few times I’ve seen him, I’ve been riveted by his songs.Â I had a little trouble getting some of his songs available for download, and since I’m uploading his music here, IÂ willÂ gladly buy an album from him.Â I was able toÂ get two, andÂ especially “Dorsal Fin”Â Â demonstrates his ability to understate everything – lyrics, melody and instrumentation – while creating a layered song.Â As a person, Harms is also very understated.Â He doesn’t understand or acknowledge how much people revere his songs.Â Some the baddest musicians in Chicago, including Leroy Bach, formerly of Wilco, are all too happy to play with him in any situation.Â But he’ll take really small gigs that barely pay, and then thank who ever gave him gig the chance profusely.Â Â Just a very nice guy with no mind on recognition or a career in music.Â
Jeff Harms – “ Dorsal Fin
Jeff Harms – “ 40 Hours
” Continue reading…
Holy crack rocks! We ‘Tards are going to open for Public Enemy this Sunday @ B.B. King’s in Times Square! Â And to top it off, it’s going to be Flavor Flav’s 50th B-day party! Â How crazy is that? Â Flav is 50??? Â This is going to be a super special show, we are going to have some special performers with us… Â I can’t say much more right now… Â But yeah, it’s going to be special. Â Then after this show we hop on a plane headed to Austin for SXSW. Â It’s gonna be a crazy time there. Â If you are going to be there, holler at us for our schedule. Â We are doing a showcase Thursday at the Red Bull Moon Tower and it’s going to be off the hook! All our other shows there are free with free booze, what else do you need???
So in honor of Chuck D, Flavor Flav, Terminator X, The Bomb Squad, Professor Griff and the S1W’s… Â Here is our remix of Bring The Noise. Â (Previously released on our Endless Dummer Mixtape.)
Public Enemy vs The Beatards: Bring The Noize
from Endless Dummer on MTR! (2007)Â
Mixtape extended fam, Chen Lo, hit me up with this official remix of ABC’s, the single off K’Naan’s recently released Troubadour album. I’ll be honest. I didn’t even know who K’Naan was until I caught his set at All Points West last August. But the dude’s got one of those ill voices that reminds me of K-Os or any of the higher-frequency registering members of Jurassic 5. And as usual, Chen does his thing on this track, which is bult on a hype horn-laced beat that sounds like it could have been sampled from a Mulatu joint (who wants to check?). I’m lovin the kid-sung hook and Lo’s reference to Somali pirates. These two artists make a dope team and I hope to hear more collaborations in the future. Continue reading…
Chandeliers are a banging good time live, but I wasnâ€™t sure that three analog keyboards and a drummer would sound as dynamic on record. The four piece plays with a lot energy live, and they bring a steady, but quickly shifting stream of funky, electro pop. Itâ€™s great music for art school loft parties, and I say that with all sincerity. With The Trush, Chandeliers keep the energy up and maintain a live drum sound that gives the album an organic freshness. Comprised of members from Icy Demons and Mahjongg, Chandeliers are more of a dance outfit that keeps all the songs under five minutes and never strays too far from pop sensibilities. The melodies are often angular and stark; sometimes producing a playful tone, but at times they create dark and alien atmospheres. The songs are typically linear in structure, with multiple themes spinning into and out of the slowly evolving beat.
Thereâ€™s nothing in The Thrush that Squarepusher hasnâ€™t done before, and live bands making dance music have been a dime a dozenÂ over the last ten years. But Chandeliers standout to me, and Iâ€™m not quite sure why. I guessÂ I imagineÂ theyâ€™re all going to nail hot sculpture majors right after their set, and that makes me happy. Continue reading…
Chuck Wild • April 19, 2009
we love you DZ. where’s that REEEEEEEMIX?!?!?