Thursday, April 29, 2010

EQ Magazine: April 2010

EQ magazine is the definitive source for audio and home recording studio equipment and software. Our information covers all of your music and digital needs.
What's In This April 2010 Issue:
Better Grooves With Ableton Live
Erykah Badu - Style Juggling Diva Overcomes "Demo Love"
Dillinger Escape Plan's Atypical Metal Methods
Pat Metheny"s Synchronized Robot Orchestra
Mastering Master Class

Get it here.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Mos Dub

I was surfing the net for more music (as usual) and came across this refreshing Reggae/Dub remix album produced by Max Tannone that features Brooklyn veteran MC Mos Def. If you know your Hip-Hop history, then you know that outside of sampling James Brown tunes and other Soul artists, Hip-Hop gained most of it's influence from Reggae and Dancehall out of Jamaica. What makes this extra sweet is, it's a FREE DOWNLOAD! Grab it here and ENJOY!

Ms. Vampire Booty

Monday, April 26, 2010

Leela James: My Soul

On May 25, 2010, Leela James drops her third studio album My Soul on Stax Records. Below is the official video of her first single "Tell Me You Love Me", a track that James co-wrote with Andrea Martin and Gordon Williams, and was produced by Gerrard Baker.

1. I Ain’t New To This
2. So Cold
3. The Fact Is
4. I Want It All
5. Party All Night
6. Mr. Incredible - Ms. Unforgetable
7. Tell Me You Love Me
8. Let It Roll
9. Supa Luva
10. If It’s Wrong
11. It’s Over

Pineapple Express

Houston based rapper Mookie Jones proves time and time again that he is one of the best new MCs in the genre of Hip-Hop by snagging 1st Place in the 2003 National Roc The Mic Competition sponsored by Roc-A-Fella Records at age 15, winning the Source Magazine MC Battle in Houston to be crowned Houston's freestyle champ, and then went on to take home the title of Scion's 'The Prospect', which included winning a $75,000 marketing deal and recording over a track produced by Hi-Tek ("Turn It Up") in 2007.

Mookie, born Oran Jones II, son of legendary Def Jam R&B singer Oran 'Juice' Jones, is set to release a new mixtape titled Tuskeegee. On 420 Day (April 20th) he dropped his first single "Zoota (Pineapple Express)", that will be featured on the mixtape. His current goal is to get 1,000+ downloads of the single. You can get it for FREE here. Enjoy!

Zoota (Pineapple Express)

Official Myspace: Mook Jones

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Happy Birthday Mumia Abu Jamal

Well wishes and good energy go out to Mumia Abu Jamal, who's currently being held as a political prisoner. Please keep our brother in your prayers so he can get out of this mess safely. For more info: FREE MUMIA!

Free Mumia Abu Jamal by I-Mara
For more info on this artist: I-Mara

Janelle Monae: TheArchandroid Suites II + III

The lovely and talented Janelle Monae will be releasing her new album on May 18th. I was blown away by listening to this single off the album, which has an old school Rock n Roll/Alternative feel. Looks like we have another to add to the ranks of young artists who are bringing us good music in these times of having the markets saturated with garbage. Enjoy!

Come Alive (The War of the Roses)

1. Suite II Overture
2. Dance Or Die f. Saul Williams
3. Faster
4. Locked Inside
5. Sir Greendown
6. Cold War
7. Tightrope f. Big Boi
8. Neon Gumbo
9. Oh, Maker
10. Come Alive (The War of The Roses)
11. Mushrooms & Roses
12. Suite III Overture
13. Neon Valley Street
14. Make The Bus f. Of Montreal
15. Wondaland
16. 57821 f. Deep Cotton
17. Say You’ll Go

Friday, April 23, 2010

Happy Birthday Roy Orbison

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee Roy Orbison was born on this day, April 23, 1936 in Vernon, Texas. Orbison is well known for his distinctive, powerful voice, complex compositions, and dark emotional ballads. His musical start was in a high school rockabilly/country western band until he got signed to Sun Records in Memphis. After signing to Sun Records and singing with the Teen Kings, the group only scored one hit ("Ooby Dooby") that reached #59 on the Billboard charts and sold 200,000 copies.

After the Teen Kings fell apart and Orbison having financial problems, he made a living writing for Acuff-Rose, a songwriting firm that concentrated more on country music. While at Acuff-Rose, Roy would record several demo tapes and send to RCA-Victor. Orbison would be refused by RCA-Victor because he sounded too soft and timid to producers. Roy Orbison eventually signed to Monument Records in Nashville and achieved his greatest success in the early to mid 1960's when 22 of his songs placed on the U.S. Billboard Top Forty, including "Only the Lonely", "Crying", "In Dreams", and "Oh, Pretty Woman".

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Happy Birthday Stephen Marley

A happy bornday (April 20th) salute is in order for Stephen Marley, son of Reggae legends Bob Marley and Rita Marley. Stephen has earned the title of legend in his own right getting his start with his siblings in the group Ziggy Marley & The Melody Makers, then later to produce much of his older brother Damian 'Jr. Gong' Marley's three solo albums, including the scoring of the massive worldwide hit and title track of Welcome To Jamrock in 2005. He also produced for brother Julian Marley, and executive produced and performed on the 1999 Bob Marley mash-up, Chant Down Babylon. He would later go on to produce and pen his own albums Mind Control, which sold nealy 10,000 copies in it's first week, and Mind Control: Acoustic, in which he won a Grammy for the latter. He has also collaborated with brother Ky-Mani Marley and other notable Dancehall and Reggae artists.

R.I.P. Guru of Gangstarr

Hip-Hop has lost another pioneer, legend and soldier in the genre. Guru passed away yesterday (April 19th) after battling cancer. He spent some time in a coma after suffering from a heart attack in late February. I'm glad to have met Guru on two occasions and to have sat down and talked to him for hours. He was very genuine, humble, and leveled with you. I had a copy of Hard To Earn and the 12'' of Mass Appeal autographed by him, but they both were stolen.

The following is an excerpt from DJ Premier's blog. Read the full passage here.

Guru, born Keith Elam, rose to fame in the 80’s as the founder of the legendary rap group GangStarr. The group released the classic single Words I Manifest followed by their critically acclaimed debut album No More Mr. Nice Guy (1989) and the classic album Step In The Arena (1991). Guru was the first artist to truly blend Hip-Hop with Live Jazz beginning in 1993, and seeing the vast influences his Jazzmatazz concept has had on the industry, it is clear that Guru’s musical contributions have been way ahead of their time. Guru has worked with such great artists as Herbie Hancock, Isaac Hayes, Donald Byrd, Ramsey Lewis, Roy Ayers, Chaka Kahn, Branford Marsalis, David Sanborn, Bob James, Erykah Badu, The Roots, Common, Angie Stone, Jamiroquai, Macy Gray and Damien Marley, to name a few. Despite the fact that Guru isn’t hailing from New York, he is noted as a pioneer of the New York sound and true lyrical Hip-Hop. Guru later on joined forces with hit producer Solar and formed his label 7 Grand Records with the goal to keep “real” Hip-Hop alive.


Happy 420

Here's a classic tune from Reggae legend Rita Marley that's fitting for the occasion.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Technology Kills....Sometimes

Nearly three decades ago, a neat little invention called the compact disc player was introduced to consumers as a new format of playing music to help the listener continue to enjoy without hearing worn out or abused records skip. When CD players became more available and affordable, the sale of records declined, therefore manufacturing of vinyl came close to a halt and the life of records was at death's door. Advocates of vinyl continued to fight for their beloved black discs and after seeing sales increase in vintage shops or stores who still carried vinyl, the recording industry decided to once again make vinyl records more available to DJs, collectors, and enthusiasts.

With the introduction of mp3 players, music formats were once again at war with each other to survive, with digital formats gaining ground. As the saying goes..."If you can't beat'em...join'em", CD players took a turn to attempt to run along side digital formats by making players that centered around the DJ, complete with pitch controls and many features that turntables have. With technology readily available for anyone to burn their own CDs, this took the pressure off of DJs having to carry loads of records to gigs when they could lighten the load by carrying CDs and CD players fit for DJs.

Turntablists continued to have their say-so in the matter and still chose to use vinyl. Many would criticize other DJs for being lazy because they chose to use CD format. I was one of those who pointed the finger as well because of my roots in being a Hip-Hop DJ. After my house was broken into and my record collection stolen, I had to use the very thing I criticized. Years later I found out about a revolutionary program and interface called Serato Scratch Live, which was introduced in 2004. This brought about the merging of mp3 files and turntables, as well as eliminating the need to carry all your precious vinyl to gigs. However, technology can still have it's drawbacks and record sales started to decline again, as well as many DJs started selling or got rid of their collections.

In 2008 a student named Scott Hobbs at Dundee University in the UK introduced the Attigo touchscreen "turntables". It uses the same touchscreen technology as a Nintendo DS. As far as creativity for inventing this, I give an "A" for effort. But this crafty invention is nothing compared to seeing a DJ in action manipulating vinyl. After watching the video demonstration, I was not impressed and felt it was along the lines of Virtual DJ and other "laptop alone" type programs. The only exception is, you use two of these touchscreens with a traditional DJ mixer.

Stanton also introduced a pad that's similar.

I've had several discussions and debates with other DJs on the art of being a DJ. Most of the veterans who spent years perfecting their craft have the same to say. It takes good selection, timing, creativity, style, and a perfect mix to rock the crowd. I close with a comment and question asked in the title of an article I came across that asks: Is Technology Destroying The Art of DJing?

Veteran DJ Ali vents ON THE AIR:

It seems that with the nightly dance parties in heavy supply, anyone, and I do mean anyone, with a laptop and i tunes is now a DJ. So where does that leave the DJs who have been doing it for years? What does it mean to be a DJ? Is it style? Are you a DJ if you can scratch? Is it substance? Does being a DJ constitute having a good selection and crate digging your heart out? Or can you get by if you get the crowd to dance by playing Thriller and Justice off your Nano? And is it any great feat to get a bunch of kids cracked out on Sparks to sway and slam to a beat? Ugh.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Just Like Music + Apple Juice Break

If you like bangin' beats and a fan of the series of compilations from the artists who work together at Red Bull Music Academy, then here's another FREE release for this month titled Oscillations Pt.2. It features some underground favorites doing Dubstep, Hip-Hop, NuSoul, and Electronica. To get your FREE copy, just go here.

Below is a clever track produced by KidKanevil and features the MC talents of Oddisee. Enjoy!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Andreya Triana

The UK again has the right to brag on one of their own who goes by the name of Andreya Triana. I first caught a glimpse of this sultry siren's vocal talents via the Red Bull Music Academy Various Assets compilation. I heard more of her on a few other compilations and singles, but one that really caught my ear was the remix of Flying Lotus' "Tea Leaf Dancers" released in 2007 on Brownswood Bubblers Two. Less than a year later I get my hands on the "Get Down" b/w "Hold On" 12" release by Mr. Scruff in 2008, where she continued to execute her talent to perfection on "Hold On". 2009 brought about more guest appearances on a series of 12" releases and more compilations.

Late 2009 and early 2010 has her collaborating with Bonobo on "The Keeper" and "Eyesdown". Currently she is on a U.S. tour with the Bonobo Band and has released her first single titled "Lost Where I Belong", available now on NinjaShop and iTunes. Flying Lotus teamed up with her again and supplied a dope remix for the single, which after hearing it, i'm sure you will have it on repeat. She will be dropping a full length CD in August of this year on Ninja Tunes. For more information on tour dates and news, log on to her Myspace page here.

Lost Where I Belong (Flying Lotus Remix)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Happy Birthday Capleton

For those hip to Reggae and Dancehall culture are familiar with the sounds of Capleton, also known as The Prophet, Fire Man,and King Shango. On his studio recordings, as well as his "fire-rama" shows, you will hear his signature call and response asking for MORE FIRE!

On this day Capleton (Clifton George Bailey III) was born in St. Mary, Jamaica on April 13, 1967. He got his nickname from relatives as a youth after the surname of a notable attorney of the time. In the 80's he got his break in the music business after a Toronto based sound system called African Star flew him to Canada to open for Ninjaman and Flourgon. The 90's brought success and his place as an established artist in Dancehall with his first big hit titled "Alms House", followed by "Music Is A Mission", and his biggest international hit "Tour", which took him to a much larger audience and also crossed over as a Hip-Hop hit with remixes of the tune.

For bio, tour dates, fan club, and other information, log on to his official website at

Monday, April 12, 2010

Happy Birthday Herbie Hancock

Herbie Hancock (born Herbert Jeffrey Hancock on April 12, 1940 in Chicago, Illinois) is by far my favorite pianist of all time. Herbie is a pioneering pianist and composer with a music career spanning over 4 decades. He has recorded more than 50 albums, won 12 Grammy Awards, 1 Academy Award for Round Midnight Original Soundtrack, along with other notable awards for his music.

Herbie Hancock is regarded as one of the greatest living Jazz musicians and hailed as one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century. He has also recorded with and played as a sideman for notables in Jazz such as Donald Byrd, Freddie Hubbard, Hank Mobley, Miles Davis, Lee Morgan, Grant Green, and other greats.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Havana Cultura Remixed

Gilles Peterson always keeps it tasteful with special blends of music from around the world. If you've tuned in to his radio show on BBC Radio One, then you know exactly what i'm talking about. He's back again with another CD release featuring Havana Cultura that contains remixes by some of the biggest names in dance music. Here's 4Hero's twist on J-Dilla's classic version of "Think Twice", originally done by Be-Bop/Jazz Funk trumpeter Donald Byrd. Get it here while you can.

Havana Cultura - Think Twice (4Hero Remix ft. Danay & Carina)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Thumpin' Thursdays @ Khon's Bar

There's a neat spot tucked away in Houston's Midtown area where you can get a taste of many worlds that includes art, wine, coffee, darts, games, DJs, live music, and most of all, good company. Khon, the owner has a very smooth and mellow attitude, and likes to make his patrons get a good laugh often while he pours his heart out grilling specialty items. And brother can he throw down with making some good food.

I'm happy to be hosting Thumpin' Thursdays (every 2nd & 4th Thursday) here because it's one of my favorite spots to hang out and get a pint of Abita Turbo Dog beer and just kick back, relax, and take in some good tunes...granted i'm not DJing. Grab your family, friends, and even the kids to come out and have a great time. I can guarantee you'll be back. Be sure to log on to his website for location, schedule of events and phone number at and join his group on Facebook at Khon's: wine | darts | coffee | art.

For now, enjoy a promo mix I put together to help get you in the mood for what's in store. All photos courtesy of Devonie Baker.

Thumpin' Thursdays Promo Mix