21 March 2009

Cool new finds!

Here's a couple of hat tips to some cool finds of this past week. 

I've been checking out the Chillout Scene on blip.fm and have to say I enjoy their song selection. There are songs ranging from the "typical": "Destiny" by Zero 7, anything by Boards of Canada and Nightmares on Wax; to the "paradigm shift": "Provider" by N.E.R.D, Jason Mraz's "I'm Yours," etc. 

Chillout is chillout... period! (Was that tautological? I guess if A=A...)

The C.S. digs through all sorts of genres to bring you tunes to help your day run smoothly. 

Their blogspot is pretty informative giving you samples of work they find interesting. (That wasn't well worded, was it? Not even well thought out...)

Now, heading over to the other find of the week: dubstep.fm.

As I have repeated a few times before, I am starting to dig dubstep music. For those of you not familiar with it... slow down some jungle, magnify the dub, use some Mr. Oizo keyboards (but change the RGB filter to dark) and keep the bass thumpin'. 

(Remember, that's how I'd describe this sub-genre.)

Or, take the laser cannon sounds from the video games of the Atari 2600, run them through some crazy filters, put some throbbing beats in there... with a touch of... umm... uhh - I've run out of things to add here. 

Also, a splash of samples! I remembered NOW!

Samples...yeah... samples... along the lines of what you could say a toned down Atari Teenage Riot song (if there is such a thing).

And hopefully... you get the picture.

They've got DJ's on the scene 24 hours a day dropping mixes that will blow your mind! Once they get going, the bass train can't be stopped.

We're not talking a locomotive with a few cars! 

We're talking about four GE EVO series locos pulling 150 cars of bombastic freight! That's about two miles of earbangin' tunes. Don't even try to figure out how much destruction that'll do to you! (All in the good metaphorical way, too!)

Thanks dubstep.fm for the beginnings of my dubstep education!

Keep on chillin' and stompin'!

Just a passing observation - 21 March 2009

I will readily admit that I'm a passing connoisseur of dubstep music. I find it great to listen to and I like the dark soundscapes the DJs spin out. My musical vocabulary isn't broad on the subject, but I'm willing to learn.

Why do I bring this up?

Simple, the new single "Boom Boom Pow" from the Black-eyed Peas.

In their song they use the line "future beats." When this lyric dropped, my mind immediately started to search through the cobwebs of my mind to find any association I could readily regurgitate.

Then it hit me: Monk Fly uses this term!

In Sydney, NSW*, Australia, Monk Fly helps run HEADROOM - the only club you can find "wonky/future beats". 

The more I listened to the Peas' new song, I started to notice it has a sped up dubstep feel to it. (I could also say there is a Booty Bass/Miami Bass tinge to it as well). 

As I am writing this, I'm checking out the KidLogic and Shambles show on dubstep.fm. My theory is being pieced together as we speak.

I wonder what the Black-eyed Peas used as inspiration for the song. Are they taking something from the fringes and trying to bring it toward the center in a more palpable manner like music producers tried with the "Electronica" movement of the mid to late 90s? (If you want a sociological link to people who live on the edges being brought into the center (people who have similar tastes but my not have all the same with in a group), check out the Homophily theory)

Or I could be completely off and I'm grabbing the most immediate label I have to associate with this song! 

If any of you have a better clue than I do... be sure to drop me a line!


* Just adding the Australian state here. It's a matter of housekeeping, but it is also a matter of respect. How many times do we want to see our state listed no matter who in the world is reporting on someplace in the U.S. My apologies to our friends Down Under! 

11 March 2009

Artist of the Week - 8 March 2009

I'm sitting here with my movie sized box of Nerds trying to figure out what artist I should bestow my magnanimous (see first entry, second and third definitions) title "Artist of the Week."

The decision is in, and here she is: Niko.

You may have heard her team up with acts such as Aim, Mr. Scruff, Rae & Christian; and lo and behold - she has her own album out, as well! 

Her voice mixes wonderfully through different musicscapes ranging from laid back electo-clash, nu-jazz, and downtempo. One great review (and I don't want to parrot it too much) comes from a customer at Amazon.com who gave it a three and a half out of 5 stars.

The funky vibes and her soulful forthrightness make her debut album a nice afternoon chiller. 

With most of the artists I mention here on my blog, there's always ONE song that latches me into their fanbase. For Niko, it would have to be "Siren." The jazzy/trippy theme and the tune's terrific imagery captured my attention. Breaks and production value add to the experience with my appetite not quite abated as the song ends. It's a pleasant let down, but a let down nonetheless. It's a great hook to get you to come back for more of her music!

As I've ventured through her album, other songs that grabbed my attention are the laid back "Roam," the jazz-fusion fun of "An Echo of Quiet and Green" (check out the great baritone sax loop), throw in some horns-blazin', 70s-infused-funk-ladies-empowerment music with "Let Me Go" and you have one happenin' album. (The synthesized tuba bassline on "The Hourly Second" is pretty catchy, too)

Niko has a myspace page up with a couple of songs not found on the album. Also, you can stream her album from Rhapsody.com

03 March 2009

Artist of the Week - 1 March 2009

So, I've been sluffing off lately and all I have to show for it is a podcast and something about dead animals. 

I think those are great excuses!

Ah well, you can't win them all!

Here's to my artist of the week: Rabbit's Rum!

If you go to their myspce page, or to their website you may notice something: only two songs. 

My reply: So WHAT! They're both pretty cool. Rum-Pot's stylistic vocals match the ethereal dimension of the group's background story while compelling you to follow Jack Rabbit's formulaic harmonies and orchestrations laced with throbbing baselines. Dreamy and inventive! 

At first, I was tentative about placing them on my initial podcast, but a few turns of the sample loop from IODA Promonet had me placing them at the beginning of... ummm... history. yeah, we'll go with that. (How many terms for first can I have in one sentence? I mean, redundance is one thing, but THIS! I better avoid my ninth grade English teacher at all costs.) 

Hopefully, this is just a taste of what is yet to come. I want to hear the rest of the tale they have to tell!

Download their award-nominated single Invitation below to start your Rabbit's Rum experience. 

Update: I made some grammatical and spelling corrections. Just thought I'd let you know.