Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Countdown to fun (and a little Grime as well)

The most important week of my life (thus far) is almost upon us and, let me tell you, I'm so stressed out I've got cartoon birds flying over my fucking head. All the last minute shit is enough to make your brain pop... for those of you not following the story this far, my songwriting partner Sam and I are going to Miami for the Winter Music Conference is hopes of someone signing us (at least for a single, huh Ghostly International?)... our little outfit called State Crime will hopefully be your favourite non-genre defined electronic duo by this time next year! It's going to be a lot of fun but I'm also having so many panic attacks that my chest breaks out in hives and I feel like I'm dying and all the other fun things that come with being a total worry wort... hopefully in a couple weeks I'll have SOME good news for you folks!

I don't have a lot of time to do this post... so I'm just going to throw up some dope grime joints I found on Myspace. One of the coolest things about Myspace is getting these songs (most of which never end up getting an official release)... for example, Klaxons posted their demos on Myspace for a short time and those were the coolest recordings I had heard in a LONG time... way to connect to your fans! (BTW We will be doing that with our Myspace soon once we have all of our tracks sorted out)... tell me what you guys think of these...

Demon- "Eyes Wide Open"

Kano- "Fucking Wid Tha Team"

Skepta- "Ace And Invisable Present"

I like to post some cool footage when I do these grime/dubstep posts... so here's Kano vs Wiley (complete with Mortal Kombat screens)...

AND BY THE WAY, Speaking of fun stuff... FADER Magazine has a new digital issue and podcast out and I thought I'd throw that shit up here so you can get your "cool" on... I love the Fader (as you very well may know)... in fact I think they should sign me to their label (wink wink)...

Here's some info:


Annual Spring Style Issue Presents Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Gang Gang Dance And The Season's Fiercest Looks, Available on Newsstands and iTunes

New York, NY: The FADER magazine, the definitive voice of emerging music, releases its 44th issue, steamrolling into Spring 2007 with an exploration of the give and take between music and style through the most vibrant and relevant musicians, designers, scenes and looks currently bubbling. The 'Spring Style Fantastic' celebrates the reemergence of one of hip-hop's most innovative groups of all time, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, as well as the emergence of one of rock & roll's most forward thinking and fashion-forward outfits, Gang Gang Dance.

Also inside the book is a feature on China's effervescent underground rock scene, a look at the hip-hop coming out of Washington DC that seamlessly incorporates the capitol city's traditional sounds of go-go, a feature on Austin's emotional instrumental rockers Explosions In The Sky, and a Lite Brite meditation on some of music's most interesting collaborators like Pete Doherty & Mick Jones, Princess & Diamond, and Becky Stark & Devendra Banhart by visual artist Ian Wright. The jam-packed issue also includes an incredible fashion feature blowout shot on the streets of Dubai, India, by photographer Andrew Dosunmu. As always, F44 will also be available via iTunes in its entirety, with corresponding audio podcasts, as a free download at

Highlights Include:

Bone Thugs-N-Harmony

"We heard MC Ren flipping over the beat really hard one time and it just stuck with us...We started speeding up and before we knew it we was doing something new and we didn't even recognize it no more. We didn't even know it was that different because we was so secluded with each other."

In the '90s, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony were the originators of a totally new sound in hip-hop: they combined their fast-rap, sing-song flow with dark tales of ouija boards, the Other Side, murder and redemption--and sold millions upon millions of albums in the process, making them the darkest crossover stars on the charts. They've never gone away entirely, but now they've signed a major label deal in partnership with A-list super-producer Swizz Beatz, aligned themselves with all the right people including Akon, Mariah Carey, Three 6 Mafia and more, and have created a new batch of songs that pushes their innovative sound even farther forward. Bone Thugs never lost their cult fan base or their status as icons, but few people could have expected them to explode back into relevance on this grand of a scale.

Gang Gang Dance

"I started meeting thugged out house producers and thugged out gay dancers and everyone was just rocking out and I was the one playing drums and there were dancers hanging off poles and lesbian MCs who hated my guts because I was this white dude, but slowly I started to win them over and they were in my face freestyling like, 'Uh! Keep it tight!" -Gang Gang Dance's Tim DeWit

Gang Gang Dance is probably the most sonically forward-pushing band on earth, constantly evolving and pulling more and more sounds into their extremely weird universe while never straying far from a bottom heavy, danceable club beat. Yet while their music is incredibly diverse, what makes them so important is their stubborn insistence on chasing down all of their interests and impulses no matter what the cost. Starting with the band's de facto leader Brian Degraw who is also an extremely accomplished visual artist and DJ, every member of the band has innumerable side projects always at play, and while it might be holding the band back from the international success it craves, it also keeps them inextricably tied to downtown New York City in a way that is inspired, revitalizing and totally, unthinkably cool.

Also between the pages

The Chinese Beat: Millenial Beijing and the lost art of rock & roll

Explosions in the Sky: The carefully plotted emotional outbursts of instrumental rock's best band

Washington DC hip-hop: Raised on Reganomics, go-go and the neverending pursuit of freshness, Wale and Tabi Bonney rap for the capitol

It Takes Two: A tribute to collaborators by visual artist Ian Wright featuring: Becky Stark (of Lavender Diamond) & Davendra Banhart; Pete Doherty (of Babyshambles) & Mick Jones (The Clash); Princess and Diamond (of Crime Mob); Youssoun N'Dour & Cheikh Lo.

On The Corner: Street style and Dubai, India, photographed by Andrew Dosunmu, styling by Mobolaji Dawodu

And of course, The FADER's own Gen F section where the most essential artists bubbling up from the underground make their debut appearance. This month's artists include Amy Winhouse, Fam-Lay, Voxtrot, No Age, Mr Vegas, The View, and Chrisette Michele."

They've got The View, so there's your vaguely British connection... also got some info on my man Fam-Lay (who's back I more or less had to jump on top of when going with Pharrell and the Star Trak gang up to VIP @ Dragon Room in Chicago) who's new joint is going to bring the beeper back...


So yeah... that's that... feel free to leave comments as they are always appreciated! I was trying to get a contest up here to win a free 7" but I never heard anything.. if I do I will post it up so make sure to check back!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Completely Epic... Man... (a post about Phones/Epworth)

Grrrr... you know I wanna be her more... you know I do. But this is so fucking tough! I'm seriously going to put it in my Palm to do a post every three days when I get back from Miami. Ok? So you wish me luck (and get my signed with your voodoo) and I will post a lot more...

Seriously though I am sorry...

ANYWAY... I said I was going to do a Phones piece. There is a great article about him in XLR8R this month, with a lot of it focusing on his Epic Man records. I haven't really herd much of that but you can grab those records over at Kitsune.

Here is the lowdown on Phones/Epworth from Wikipedia:

"Paul Epworth is a British indie music producer. He's worked with and/or remixed many successful British indie bands, including Bloc Party, The Futureheads, Babyshambles, Goldfrapp and The Streets. He is also a well known remixer, working under the name Phones. His debut single under the Phones moniker, "Sharpen The Knives" is due out on French label Kitsuné in November 2006. He was also in the band Lomax.

In 2006 Paul Epworth began started making music under the name Epic Man. His debut single, More is Enough, features Plan B.

From his official site: 'I always wanted to make exciting music. The stuff that made the hairs on your neck stand on end. that magic factor that could be about a song, a sound, a voice, a rhythm, or just I've written songs since I was 13, played with a cassette deck and sampling keyboard from the age of 11, and began recording with a band at 17. I realised that the studio was the pinnacle of musical creativity, the place where the imagined becomes material. I set about learning the laws, understanding the principles, and disregarding most of them in favour of instinct. In my journey into sound, I have dub mixed on a 4-track, recorded orchestras for (sir) george martin, been pelted with full cans of beer for my love of low frequencies, worked without sleep for three days flat, met some heroes (and villains) and performed with some truly exceptional musicians. I hope the music I am lucky enough to be involved in making, conveys to the listener some of the magic experienced in creating it.'

And here are his fantastic remixes...

Muse- "Supermassive Black Hole (Phones Remix)"

Editors- "All Sparks (Phones Remix)"

I posted this in the past but it's a good one...

The Rakes- "Retreat (Phones Remix)"

Bloc Party- "The Prayer (Full Metal Jackin Remix)"

Hope you guys love this... I think Phones writes some of the greatest shit out there... So PLEASE make sure you go check out his other work and the bands that he has worked with! I'd write more but I gotta get to work so the new boss doesn't fire me!

Friday, March 02, 2007

Glowsticks (check), flouro (check), whistle (check)

So I still haven't been around as much as I would like to be... I'm working on it. Doing and album (or rather demos) you end up having way more shit to take care of than you can even remember to do. I'm trying to hit all the bases and make it happen this time... so if any of you have a good hookup in the electronic music world and want to help your favourite blogger it would be appreciated!

ANYWAY... I have a renewed faith in "new rave" (if there is such a thing... which of course there isn't... just a large coincidence that people started noticing dancy bands again) right now. I like my British rock and I like my dance music (as you very well know from the multiple "new rave" posts... I want to shoot myself for using that word) so it fucking rocks my world like nothing else. I can't tell you anything you don't already know about the scene at the moment but I can offer up some sweet tunes.

Hadouken are like the most absurd fucking band I have ever heard. They come off like a dare... but they are also completely enchanting in some way. Like a white Spank Rock kind of... kind of. Except not. There really isn't a parallel. I just suggest you check them out. Why not start out with their indie kid bashing single "That Boy That Girl" and their wicked Bloc Party remix of "The Prayer"...

Hadouken- "That Boy That Girl"

Bloc Party- "The Prayer (Hadouken Remix)"

Another band who's songs I've had stuck in my head recently is These New Puritans. Their demo for "Elvisss" is fucking awesome (we played it on 'Albion' Friday night)... I first heard it on NME's Dancefloor Distortion that Simian Mobile Disco did and have been in love with it ever since... after you download the song, peep their website that has LOADS of demos (and bits and bobs) that you can download! These guys are the greatest band you may not have heard about if you live here in the U.S... expect to hear more of them on our show!

These New Puritans- "Elvisss (Demo)"

Speaking of Simian Mobile Disco... if you weren't aware James Ford from SMD did the production of Klaxons "Myths Of The Near Future"... but it doesn't just stop there! He has also done productions for others and remixes for the likes of Shitdisco! Below is his banging remix of "I Know Kung Fu" (btw I totally suggest you pop over to eMusic and pick up both of their E.P.s because they are totally worth it... and of course if you sign up for eMusic from this site you make me a little money lol)...

Shitdisco- "I Know Kung Fu (James Ford Edit)"

Tomorrow I'm going to try to post again... I want to do a post on Paul Epworth (aka Phones) because he's been a super big part of the scene... hopefully you guys will dig it... in the meantime, thanks for stopping by and feel free to leave some comments... you guys are the best!