Tuesday, March 30, 2010
DJ Killa E - Track 6
Melodramatic dreamy footwork at its best, almost shoegaze romanticism. Reflections of high school daze and even a bit of a downer. Not so danceable, this is some loner shit.
As I mentioned on Twitter after a few beers, I have hundreds of footwork tracks that I've found throughout the last year or so rummaging through weird websites and ripping iMeem and Youtube videos, as well as some mixtapes. I'd like to share them, for that's the reason I started this blog in the first place. Communication and taking advantage of technology when used right creates good musical dialog. Living in the same city as these kids gives you the chance to see kids on the streets and at showcases busting moves, but age barriers and neighborhood squabbles can prevent contact. These kids are less interested in being part of some "study" and more interested at this point of their lives in being broadcast on local radio, making some money, and well, dancing. You can watch Walacam videos and see how obvious it is that they don't need blogs to promote themselves, they have the media in their own hands. Not to say I haven't been trying, and have been a bit more successful lately now that the kids are getting older and have moved on from Myspace to Facebook. An underground that still exists with the internet that still remains fully physical.
Monday, March 29, 2010
Magic System - Zouglou Dance (DJ Honaldo Extended Mix)
I don't have a huge understanding of Ivorian music yet, but if there's one thing I do know it's that in terms of popular music this track was important. Honaldo's version is ready to go off in the club, with no disrespect for the original. Really housey with Magic Systems intentions still intact.
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Friday, March 26, 2010
If your in Chicago and can make it, head down to East Pilsen tomorrow for food, art selling, music, and beer. The art fair and food goes from 1-7pm, music starts sometime after that. I'll be DJing in between the first and second bands probably around 9. I'll be playing It's After the End of the World stuff, so it will probably start slow with some Cumbia but might reach speeds up to 160 BPMs towards the end. We will see what I can get away with. I wanna play some Normal Nada but I dunno. Come get drunk with yer boy! Should be a lot of fun.
1816 S Racine.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
It's often hard to find something so lyrically driven as hip-hop interesting when you don't speak the language, but Immorales found solutions. Comprised of six rappers and producers part of the Dutch Antilles diaspora who's music could be accurately described as Nederreggaeton, they are by all means unashamed of where they come from and you could say they "put it on for their cities". Performances taking place during frequent trips to Curacao on family visits are spoken in Papiamento, while the Netherlands rap game is Dutch. Their love for reggaeton results in songs sung in Spanish as "Los Immorales" when the audience is right, in part due to member I $ Ki's maternal Venezuelan roots. Talk about reading the crowd, these guys will speak to you in your mother tongue and even change their name to make you feel comfortable. Similar to the K-Liber bubbling in a rub-a-dub style philosophy, these guys pull together all aspects of culture within their scattered diaspora to form a comprehensible international hip-hop group. "People here can not relate to this music because they have not grown up with it" says member Pimpi, but we know that this is nether fact or fiction around these parts.
Read an article about them here if you can speak Dutch or use Google Translator.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
You won't learn how to make demonic loop music pulled from shitty TV pop, but this video gives you the idea of basics, the fundamentals of footwork. Dude is apologetic about the dog barking the whole time too. So start working on your Mike & Ikes and Tom & Jerrys.
I still worry about Haiti everyday, and continue to dig through it's rich musical culture frequently. I've been reading Rara! Vodou, Power, and Performance in Haiti and Its Diaspora albeit kind of slowly and have been envisioning the existence of some kind of Vasken horn Juke hybrid along with NA from NGUZUNGUZU. I lack electronic music in my collection, but I usually like to start from the root anyways (you think I jumped on Kwaito and Kuduro without a healthy dose of Folkways, Ocora, and Fela Kuti? Hell no). One genre which I've been on the hunt for lately is Muzik Rasin, something that I've had a little trouble finding much of aside from the vast databases of Youtube videos. To put it in perspective, there are common elements sonically between Rara and Rasin, but Rara is a Lenten celebration that happens after Carnival, and continues until Easter Sunday or Monday. Rasin isn't so much traditional Vodou music, but rather a product of popular music from the states and the Caribbean meshing with political uprise. It's a bit more spacious, less chaotic on the horns tip, and shouldn't be confused with it's counterpart. Rasin stems from the 70s Duvalier dictatorship, with elements of protest and Bob Marleyesque black power "Hippiedom". Rasin means "root" in the local language, so you get the idea. It's a bit like Haiti's equivalent to Highlife, incorporating the likes of Disco, Funk, and Reggae with Vodou practice. Very popular during Carnival, and has enjoyed some commercial success thanks to bands like Boukman Eksperyans.
Don't bother clicking the link above for video, I just felt I had to pause this insane video. Watch it here. And as a bonus, here is a nice Rasin tune from Haitian pop star Carole Demesmin.
Carole Demesmin - Musik Rasin (I don't know if this is actually the right title...it probably isn't, sorry!)
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
"Fantasy cotton candy synths on a downhill slope leading right into the mouth of a beast traveling at one-hundred and sixty BPMs" would be my description if I was stoned with Byron Coley right now. Since I'm not, and this caters towards the club and not the acid casualties crowd I'll settle by advising you to use the track list as a road map from London to Chicago. This mix makes me happy because it proves that the US and Europe should be working together more closely to create transatlantic genres than it has lately. And I'm not talking about anybody aping anybodies style, I'm talking about making music that has no central location but existing in a space that stretches thousands of miles and isn't just the internet.
Via Palms Out
Oh man, I wish this was the Ce'cile version instead, but there is something about hearing gun shots over this that's sort of amazing. Miley claims to have never even heard a Jay-Z song before, I wonder what she'd think about this. She'd probably kill herself.
Monday, March 22, 2010
Traxxman - Is He Live Or Dead (Black Sabbath Footwork remix)
This one is to be used for fun ONLY. I would have preferred Sweet Leaf, especially if there was a lot emphasis on the coughing from the beginning.
Gyptian - Hold Yuh 2010
All my favorite Dancehall tracks in the past year seem to have two things in common, one being that they all have YUH in the title, the other being that they are all totally wussy. In the best way though. Hell a lot of my favorite Reggae songs from the past are too, falsettos or not. We can't be Gaza thugs all day, and the bedroom is supposed to be as important as the club. Or the Couch, or inna the road, or under di garage, or under di tree...
Via The Heatwave, with whom I share the opinion that both Busy Jafrican Riddim tracks are the best Jamaican exports in the world right now.
Tha Pope - Everybody Bob (from The King of Bob)
Everybody in the city knows this guy. He's the self-proclaimed "Youngest Celebrity" in Chicago and even has a shoe deal with K Swiss. Probably more famous locally than DJ Nate, but less so on the internet stalker tip. Still, outsiders might have seen his Lion King or Sam Cooke footwork tracks via Youtube, and hopefully you caught the Bob That Back Down brazenly Merengue remix I posted last year. I don't own a pair of roller skates, but he is a big deal at the rink down on 82nd street too and makes girls scream like the fantastic four in a roomful of preteens. Dude's a player that happens to make Footwork tracks, usually sounding a bit less angry at the world but dope nonetheless. Unfortunately this track is a real short snippet from a mix tape from a few years ago, but with a bit of editing it could work well as a transitional track into a maelstrom of tom toms. Don't yell at me if that gets you in trouble though, as dance patrons tend to have weak ankles.
Oh yeah, he's probably the only musician on this site that hails from the north side (he's from Rodgers Park aka "The North Pole" aka 60626 aka too far for me to spend much time in) rather than the south or west sides, which I find kind of funny. I could be wrong though, as there's a chance I shared some Curtis Mayfield once.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
I'm not really championing this new Juve track as being something great, but there are some nice benefits to the video. Namely the Mardi Gras Indians/Jazz Funeral band, his absurdly shiny fake diamond t-shirt, and the fact that he's holding what looks like a King Cobra 40oz in one shot. My broke-ass poison of choice. Dude is on some serious grown man shit in a few shots too, looking like Common or something. This one provided a little relief after watching the new Devandra Banhart video in which he has a newly aquired Zappa stache. Two of my least favorite people combined.
Normal Nada - Batida Afro (from Kuduro Kolekta 2009)
This one is just ridiculous, even for Normal standards. You might be familiar with his homegrown Kizomba rendered too awkward to fuck to, but this one takes Bubbling back to Africa with a few stops in Chicago and Portugal. He went TOO FAR. Very little evidence of Kuduro, don't be fooled. I have nothing else to say, words don't do it justice.
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Go to the Portage Theatre on the northside this Sunday for the footworkers and DJs awards. A great chance to check out some dancing, meet some of the local DJs, and hang out with a bunch of high school kids. It should be a lot of fun, doors open at 3pm, 12$ advance, 15$ at the door.
Monday, March 15, 2010
DJ Deeon - Much Respect (from Funk City 12" 1994)
Deeon made a straight up Reggaeton beat on this really early 12" and I'm curious if the title is actually a nod to the Puerto Ricans on the north side of town. I don't imagine he got many requests for anything Dem Bow related back in the day, so I'm even more puzzled why this exists. It wouldn't captivate House fans and it wouldn't make it on Latin radio ether, so why the hell did he make it? I don't think we will ever find out, but it's nice to know that there is a precursor to the Violator Juke Squad presence at the Humboldt Park festival. Now I only wish that there was a more prevalent meeting between the two genres that resulted in something interesting, because I've sorta played this song out.
Nazarene Congregational Church Choir Of Brooklyn - Who'll Join This Union (from VA - How Can I Keep From Singing? vol 1 rec late 20s, released 1996)
Beautiful ghost howls from the grave and to the pulpit. A real scratchy one from the late 20s from a great compilation on Yazoo records. So much of my gospel collection is rather obvious and available but this one seems to have gone out of print, maybe a while ago. I guess I tend to enjoy the more possessed end of Jesus music where I question my own heathen self, but great things can happen when the human voice is the only weapon of prayer.
Hard to believe this thing is 25 years old now. I think I remember having trouble breathing when I first heard it. Made me less afraid to dive into Dancehall at the time when I swore by The Heart of the Congos. I still do swear by that record (it's basically my favorite of all time, or something) but I also swear by Smith and Jammy trying to remake an Eddie Cochran song on a Casio. They failed pretty miserably at that, but I'm grateful for them paving the way for digital riddims a quarter of a century later. Happy birthday Sleng Teng Riddim.
(FYI the exact date that this tune was first dropped was February 23rd 1985 by Jammy at a soundclash on Waltham Park Road in Kingston. I just felt like giving it some love no matter how late I might be.)
Friday, March 12, 2010
Dave Nada Moombahton Edits
I'm into these. While the description of them doesn't seem to mention the word Bubbling, they definitely are about 70% "Dutch House" anyways. I'm psyched that somebody is having fun with pitch control like this 20 years later. Especially since it happened as a risk taken in the moment at a party almost the same way reggae accidentally got sped up. Sort of like the inside-out version of the Curacao variety. And I love this story:
I probably shouldn’t tell this story, but here goes. Lo ciento Tia Sona! My little cousin Jean-Pierre is a huge Nadastrom fan and he’s about to graduate from high school. Him and his boy Mike are notorious for throwing these wild skipping parties. For those that don’t know, “skipping parties” are when you throw a house party mid school day and you tell all your friends that morning, and everyone who knows about the party skips school to go wild out. Word of mouth only too, no internet/paper trail. Anyhow, around their homecoming last fall they asked if I could DJ one of their skipping parties, and I, being the supportive/bad seed cousin that I am, agreed. They had a beat up system, but like 329439 speakers all over Mike’s basement so it sounded huge. They told me it would last about an hour because cops usually bust it up. The house/neighborhood was right by the woods so it was convenient to bounce and hide if need be. Anyhow, so here we are at Mike’s empty house around 11:30AM and everything is set up. Kids start pouring in around noon and the music starts. Mike and JP are dropping bachata and moving into reggaeton. This shit was getting crazy. Twenty minutes in and the place is PACKED, all Latin kids and everyone is fuuuucked up. Haha! I was gettin mad nervous (oldest dude there) and JP was like, “Yo you gotta go on soon primo!” and I’m thinking, fuck I cant play house/techno shit, I’ll get jumped. So I had the idea of slowing down some of the tropical/Dutch house stuff I had on CDs. Afrojack’s “Moombah Remix” being the biggest tune, I said fuck it and turned that shit down to 108 bpm. JP told all his people about me so bamas started cheering when I went on. And that’s when shit popped the fuck off. The minute that T-t-t-t-turn up the bass! part came in and dropped the place went insane! I played it all the way til the end and then did the same to Sidney Samson’s “Riverside” and EVERYONE is yelling the “Riverside motherfucker!” part and shit was just too much. I was losin’ it and told myself, I need to make some edits of this shit! And thus, Moombahton was born. Long story short, neighbors complained a good 15 minutes into my set and threatened to call the cops. Half the party started to bounce and then a few minutes later Mike yells, “Cops on the way!” and like clockwork this party was done. All in about an hour. I parked down the street and drove both my cousin JP and Mike back to school so they could catch the end of their classes as if nothing ever happened.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
So I had been making a list back in November to culminate my favorites of 2009, and after it was already February of the next year I kind of gave up. I regularly post stuff I like that is congruent to the year it comes out, so what's the point? When a magazine decides to start paying me I'll start making lists, but it's been years since I've made any nerdy "favorite albums ever" lists, and to be honest I find them totally fucking pointless. I flaunt my taste enough on this here website. That said, maybe I'll post some entries from that list, starting with this one.
Alan Lomax in Haiti 1935-1936 Box Set (Harte Recordings)
Alan Lomax spent a year in Haiti documenting the sounds of the island while him and his wife were on their honeymoon in the 1930s. Now, I don't know if it's standard practice to make field recordings while on a romantic getaway, but the time not spent between the sheets was put to good use, providing us with a pretty amazing collection of music from the western half of Hispaniola. These were made after the U.S. occupancy of almost twenty years, but before the Duvalier family took over which maybe provided a bit of a comfort zone to break out the microphones and the Bolex. A nice overview of Haiti in the moment that might be difficult to hear given the countries current situation. Very early Merengue when it was spelled Meringue, great recordings of Carnival, children's music and a lot more than I'm still making my way through. The packaging (yes, packaging!) is absolutely gorgeous, up there with the Albert Ayler box in terms of liner notes and all the fun extras. Maps, Lomax's field notebook, and film footage accompany over 10 hours of music. If you only hear one disc, I'd recommend Rara: Vodou in Motion which might be the one that rings truest today.
Lorna - Papito Ven A Mi ( DJ Da Dream Bubbling Rmx )
My choice of picture might not be so empowering to women, but I'd rather leave that discussion up to other people better at talking about such. I just think this track bangs, which is more my area. Those ravey Bubbling House synths work just as well with Dem Bow as they do Bam Bam it seems. Reggaeton remixes are anything but rare but this one is very successful.
Monday, March 08, 2010
DJ Clent, DJ Slugo, and a few other OG juke legends were kind enough to scan a few hundred old Chicago flyers, CD covers and colored cassettes for those of us who are geeky enough to want to look through them. I don't know how many people that is, but I'm one of them. This is a seriously important bit of Chicago history. My favorites are DJ Milton's mix CD that says "unauthorized duplication will get your ass beat", the Playground Productionz food drive, and the above. See them all here.
Normal Nada - Bumbulunhs Vs Kizomba Vs Funana (from Batidas Produzidas pelo Normal Nada 2 2008)
Normal Nada - Excel Funa (Funana de Boca) (from Funanas Produzidas pelo Normal Nada 2008)
Normal Nada - Funana XXX (from Funanas Produzidas pelo Normal Nada 2008)
The "normal" part of this wunderproducers name is a bit misleading when you compare his work side by side with most modern African dance music. I mean the guy can get away with making Funana without Accordions, uses pitch control not-unlike that of Chicago footworkers, and I think makes up his own genres. Normal Nada was brought to my attention by his collaborations with Duda, and it was a real treat to find out that not only is he a successful pop producer, but also sort of a total weirdo. The best combination, like a really far out DJ Nays. And what's even better is that he has TONS of free tracks and mixtapes of his own on his site, where he seems to bootleg porn as well. A true renaissance man by all means.
Sunday, March 07, 2010
Esclav - Go Ghetta 2010
While musically it's a totally different world than Go Go, the way bouyon bands emulate hip-hop isn't far off. The live synths and drum machines speaking the language of a cooped up producer dragged from his solidarity and into Carnival. This almost isn't even a cover, but often is the case that the hook is the only thing borrowed leaving the empty space open for discussion more closely related to the Caribbean. It's like Soca for the more outdoorsy types.
Saturday, March 06, 2010
The videos this guy from Botswana has uploaded on Youtube (over 100 of them) must be seen. A huge collection of great homemade videos for lack of a better work a vlog of daily life in Botswana told through music. Mind-blowing guitar music, children marimba bands, hauntingly beautiful mbira solo performances. Dig deep, I've already sunk hours of time into watching them on repeat. I promise the mbira will become as frequent on this website as accordions.
Grisha's Brazilian Mix #5 (sendspace)
Well it's been more than a year since #4. About time, I say. It's not that birthday is a theme of this one, but my good friend Doron over in Chicago has a birthday today. I'm in Tel Aviv and mine is tomorrow. this is from two days ago, and it's specially for the occasion, and it's probably my favorite of the series so far, too. Enjoy.
Friday, March 05, 2010
Ai Sa Si - Ik wil Een Poesje Zien
I wonder if Luke and co. were expecting this when they were busy exercising their right to misogyny. That an Afro-Surinamese group might chant their needs in Dutch too. I found it sort of funny that this had such a similar melody to 2 Live Crew, curious and confused and able to use Google translator the results told me it was indeed the same lyrics too. But no 808s in sight, this is done by the same kawina group that did the original version of Faluma. Of all the weird covers and songs lost in translation I've collected (and there are a lot of them), this one might take the cake.
Thursday, March 04, 2010
Follow this thread through the Dutch version of Myspace and you will find not one, but about 40 old bubbling mixtapes. It's important you hear these shitty cassette and vinyl rips to understand the genre, and it's fortunate that these still exist. Many Bubbling tapes were confiscated and destroyed by the government in Curacao due to political protests (see MC Pester), and even in The Netherlands bubbling was banned from clubs and bars. Most of the Megaupload links still work, the others usually don't. Enjoy the sped up dancehall brought to you by DJ Moortje, DJ Memmie, DJ Reflex, DJ Pac...
Tuesday, March 02, 2010
Boima's WFMU post about the detective work involved in retracing the steps of a mystery tune we were both recently hunting down went up today, detailing the journey of a Cameroonian military song lost in translation throughout the world. I was introduced to it through a Bubbling remix of a Dominican Merengue pop hit, him a Darkar rap song. We found traces of what we were referring to as "Waka Waka" in The Netherlands, Suriname, D.R., Rwanda, Liberia, France, Senegal, taking many forms but always retaining the same sweet melody. Youtube videos were piling up, but the origin was unknown to us until Boima solved the case which ended up stemming from a rather humorous 1980s military band in Cameroon. Wasn't my guess as to it's roots but hey, it's globetrotting abilities were alarming so really are we surprised?
Unknown Suriname Aléké Band - ? #1
Unknown Suriname Aléké Band - ? #2
Aléké is a musical meeting between the Creoles of the Dutch Antilles and the runaways of the West Indies. During the gold rush of the 19th century, people from neighboring islands and coastal Suriname and French Giana traveled south to find work, areas occupied by those descended from fugitive slaves (Maroons to some, not so P.C. to others) where gold was found. Thus the existing Creole forms of song and dance such as Winti and Kawina (coastal-Surinamese music with links to Dutch military marching bands) blended with the music of the inland settlements which was known to be very well preserved from it's African roots. The new form of music became very popular among the Creole and Ndyuka people, eventually spreading throughout the country and into neighboring French Giana in the 1960s. These two tracks actually have nothing to do with the record cover above (which is the first commercially released Aléké recording from 1980), but are fantastic recordings that should give you a good idea of what Aléké is. I apologize for the lack of information concerning the musicians being nameless, not my intentions. For further reading and where I've pulled my sources from, read Kenneth Billby's Aleke: New Music and New Identites in the Guianas, available as a PDF.