Monday, July 29, 2013

Zo! ft. Gwen Bunn & Phonte' - Count To Five [Official Music Video]

Zo! of The Foreign Exchange has continued to warm our hearts well after previously releasing the critically acclaimed Sunstorm LP in 2010. ManMade, the sophomore release is out now and is another album you can listen to from start to finish. Of course, any +FE release wouldn't be complete without residents Phonte' and Sy Smith lending their unique stylings. Also on board for this project are Eric Roberson, Choklate, 1-O.A.K., Jeanne Jolly, Carlitta Durand, Anthony David, Carmen Rodgers, and lastly, Gwen Bunn who is featured on "Count To Five", the official music video that's being highlighted in this post. I love the way they pay homage to the Sesame Street franchise.

Zo! will be appearing live in Houston again on August 18th. You can purchase the new CD and get a free mp3 download of the album via +FE Music.

Chantae Cann ft. Snarky Puppy: Da Da'n Da

Some of you may have heard of this young lady before from being featured on "Find My Way To Love" [from Polkadotted Stripe (2009)] by The Jaspects and "All Is Well With Love" by Zo! [from Sunstorm (2010)]. Chantae Cann is the type of artist who opens her mouth and it sounds like a symphony. Several days ago she released her first single "Da Da'n Da" via Bandcamp, that features Snarky Puppy, an amazing fusion band from Denton, Texas. Cann is in preparation to release her debut album Journey to Golden for Fall 2013.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Friday Flashback: 808 State

After more than 20 years of searching for the artist and title of this song, I finally found out by getting an old school compilation titled Pump Up The Volume. I first heard "Pacific State" in Chicago in the early 1990's, but didn't catch the title at the time. A friend of mine had it on cassette, but didn't know the artist and title either. I liked the song so much that I borrowed his cassette to dub the song and ended up making a non-stop mix of that single song for the whole 90 minute cassette tape I made for myself to relax to before going to bed. The cassette was lost somewhere along the way and I asked many other DJ's and House heads about this tune, trying to describe it and often times humming the melody. To no avail, none of them knew what I was talking about.

808 State (Graham Massey, Martin Price and Gerald Simpson) would help to usher in the "chill-out" genre of electronica by releasing their Quadrastate 12 inch single in 1988, where this song made its first appearance. Remixes of "Pacific State" go by variant titles such as "Pacific - 707", "Pacific - 202" and simply as "Pacific". Being classified as an "anthem", along with its unique style, "Pacific State" peaked at #10 on the UK Single Chart in 1989.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Technology Bytes: Serato Remote

Serato has released their first app for iPad called Serato Remote. This handy little app serves as an effects interface that loads on to your iPad and you can either connect through plugging in directly to your pc or wireless link through an internet connection. The display has huge colorful trigger pads that easily access you cue points, loops, various effects and sample banks you can pre-load into Serato Scratch Live.

The following video is a live demonstration from DJ Rui of the Serato Support Team going through the different effects and uses of Serato Remote. The cost of the app is $20 (U.S.) from the iTunes App Store.

Learn more at

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Quadron: Avalanche

Danish duo Quadron, consisting of singer Coco O and musician/producer Robin Hannibal, have released their breathtaking sophomore album titled Avalanche. Mistakenly, I thought the album was due in August, but now seeing that it dropped stateside on June 4th. As a DJ, I constantly go against the grain and don't always go for the single releases on an album. Instead, I went with the track that stood out to me the most. "Sea Salt" is like a cool glass of lemonade on a hot sunny day. Within the first eight bars of the song, I imagined myself back on the beach taking a stroll on the seawall. What perfect timing for a song like this as the sun sets and we head into the night. Enjoy!

Machinedrum: Eyesdontlie

When my ears first caught this track by Machinedrum, I was at a loss for words. Sometimes you don't have to say anything, but take a little action and get your head-nod on. Ninja Tune is locked and loaded with special red and black splatter vinyl of "Eyesdontlie" b/w "Body Touch", accompanied by digital formats i'm sure will go pretty fast. Pre-order the vinyl via the Ninja Shop. DJ Shadow has also added his personal touch by remixing this dope jam.

By the way, Ninja Tune has a new app called Ninja Jamm made especially for remixing. You can pick it up for FREE via iTunes.

Anu~Sun ft. Augi & Robert Glasper - Off The Wall

For those about to take your lunch break, central time of course, here's a mid-day melody for you from New York City based songwriter and drummer Anu~Sun, who is the godson of Jazz legend Lionel Hampton. Anu recreates Michael Jackson's classic "Off The Wall" by altering the timing and the adding of Rhodes type chords to give it more of an abstract jazzy feel. Accentuating the track are the vocals of Augi and Robert Glasper tapping the black and whites.

For fans of Robert Glasper, Grammy Award winning collective The Robert Glasper Experiment will be doing a free show at Houston's Miller Outdoor Theatre on August 16th.

Madlib x Freddie Gibbs ft. Karriem Riggins - City

Collaborating for their current project under the moniker of MadGibb, Madlib and Freddie Gibbs are rapping it up and set to release their Piñata album due for October of this year. Already long awaited by fans, a preview of what's to come is with a track called "City" that features Karriem Riggins trading off a verse with Gibbs. "City" was released two days ago as a free download, part of the Adult Swim summer singles program. While you're patiently awaiting the arrival of Piñata, check the [AS] website each week for more free releases.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Art On Wax: Put Your Weight On It Episode 2

DJ Keva, the curator for Art On Wax has an excellent ear for funky delights. On this episode of her Put Your Weight On It blaxploitation mix series, she features the sounds of Willie Hutch, Isaac Hayes, Aretha Franklin, Curtis Mayfield and other legendary artists who composed original scores for some of our childhood cult classics. To catch previous episodes, click here. Give her a follow on Twitter and check her website from time to time to keep updated.


Put Your Weight On It Episode 2, Vol. 2 by Art On Wax on Mixcloud

Buscrates 16-Bit Ensemble: Cut Out The Lights

It seems that Tall Black Guy has got something started and other producers are taking the cue to put their own twists on flipping James Brown tunes. In this case we visit the sounds of Buscrates 16-Bit Ensemble once again as he takes on "The Funky Drummer" to give his take to create "Cut Out The Lights (Funkee Drummer)". He says this is his first time ever sampling the tune. Sounds pretty amazing to me for a first shot. Enjoy!

RE:MIX LIVE: Motown Edition

On March 21, 2013, Re:Mix Live kicked off their premiere showcase of some of the hottest producers and DJs from the DMV area who paid homage to the artists from the Motown catalog, as well as the Michael Jackson/Jackson 5 Edition follow-up on July 14th. For those that couldn't be there, Re:Mix Live uploaded a promo CD as a gift that features the sounds of Maverick, Nick tha 1da, Grussle and Praise. Judging from the recap video, looks to have been a great show. For more information and for future dates of this recurring show, give them a "LIKE" on Facebook.

RE:MIX LIVE: Motown Edition Download

Hanami: Fruition

U.K. based producer Hanami [Japanese: "flower watching"], known by his friends as Ryan Newton, is debuting his eclectic sounds on Finest Ego 12 inch Series Vol.5 of the upcoming Faces compilation that will drop on July 26th on Project Mooncircle. A few hours ago the official video for his "Fruition" tune, which will be featured on the double LP, was uploaded to Youtube. Not only is this a wonderful tune, I also like the way he fuses ethnic percussion and house style synths in his music to help further stretch the limits of electronica. DJs and vinyl enthusiasts can pre-order the limited vinyl from Rush Hour, or you can get digital downloads of the album from their Bandcamp page or other fine download sites.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Khaderbai: Guetsli no​.​01

Khaderbai is another fantastic producer from Zurich, Switzerland that I have to give a massive amount of respect to. He's been sending me his music to preview for quite some time and i'm just now getting around to feature him. His latest hand crafted work titled Guetsli No.01 ("guetsli" is Swiss/German for "cookie") blends soul, jazz and funk, with heavy Hip-Hop beats, making this six tracks of pure perfection. Or as he puts it; "...all in the nostalgic spirit of boom bap music." Get this gem at "name your price" and enjoy!

Kriswontwo x MonoNeon: WEON

Here's WEON, the latest avant-garde instrumental project that stems from a collaborative effort from Scandinavian producer Kriswontwo and bassist MonoNeon (born Dywane Thomas, Jr.) a Memphis, Tennessee native, that dropped just last month.

Kriswontwo made his debut in 2010 with his Directions By Forest Won album that featured the vocals of Dudley Perkins and Georgia Anne Muldrow. MonoNeon played bass on the album. Since then, Kris has released a number of EP's and singles that featured the likes of Alex Rita and MC Johnny Prince. He's currently set to release another full length album and an EP in the near future.

MonoNeon's work includes playing bass for The Bar-Kays, Denise Williams, The Sylistics and Ne-Yo, just to name a few. He's well known for his upside down slap and pop style. Meaning, he's left handed, but uses a right handed bass that he plays upside down. MonoNeon gained the attention of Marcus Miller with his unique playing style. In a Bass Player magazine interview, Miller mentioned MonoNeon as one of several "young bad cats" he has met on the scene.

For now, we're gonna keep it short and sweet with "Ananse". They are offering the full project as a "name your price" deal. Don't forget to show love.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Bill Summers: Brazilian Skies

Since the weekend is over and many are winding down to prepare for their work week, I thought I would help aid in the relaxation by posting something from the legendary and well celebrated percussionist Bill Summers. Feel The Heat (1976) is Summers' first album that contained a very lovely samba based jazz groove by the name of "Brazilian Skies". I personally feel this is a dynamic performance by both Summers and drummer Alphonse Mouzon. Summers has extensive credit as a musician, playing as a sideman and session musician. Some of his most notable works are with Los Hombres Calientes, The Headhunters with Herbie Hancock, and to have helped Quincy Jones on the film scores for both The Color Purple and Roots, the television mini-series.

Producers DJ Spinna and Ahmed Sirour remixed this tune for BBE Records in October 2010 for the Strange Games & Funky Things Vol. 5 compilation.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Friday Flashback: Raw Silk

Hailing from New York City, Raw Silk, consisting on vocalists Jessica Cleaves, Sybil Thomas and Tenita Jordan, released their dance hit "Do It To The Music" on West End Records in 1982. Having charted at #5 on the Billboard dance charts here in the U.S., the tune was more successful in the U.K. "Do It To The Music" has also been sampled in several Hip-Hop records, taking mainly from the adlibs from the chorus. Lead singer Jessica Cleaves has also recorded and performed with Earth, Wind & Fire and Parliament-Funkadelic.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Wave Racer: Rock U Tonite

Recently, I started following Wave Racer, a gifted electronica producer from Sydney, Australia. Although there's not a lot of information online about this cat, we hope to learn more about him and his influences. Currently, he has two tracks he's offering in exchange for a "LIKE" on his Facebook page. After hitting play, i'm sure you will want these tracks.

Facebook: Wave Racer

Yasiin Bey [Mos Def]: REstatic

This apparently is the age of super dope remixes. Yasiin Bey/Mos Def has gone back in the lab with producer DJ Preservation to remix The Estatic album from 2009, by calling it The REstatic. Preservation originally produced "Quiet Dog Bite Hard", "Wahid" & "No Hay Nada Mas", so you should already know that this one is a sure-shot banger. Outside of this being a great remake of a classic project, they are giving it away with the exchange of your email address. That's an easy "payment" for a piece of someone's heart and soul. Enjoy!

DOWNLOAD: The REstatic [via Mon Dieu Music]