If you are in San Francisco this weekend, drop by Fort Mason for one of the most unique trunk shows around. Held in cities like New York, Chicago, San Francisco, and San Diego, these events promote an indie minded mentality. Just in time for the holidays, there will be over 150 top independent artist, designers, and more held in a 50,000 square foot festival pavillion.
Doors open at 11am – 6pm each day. Visit threadshow.com for more information.
Twelve years into a career as purveyors of top drawer dance and downtempo music, Andy Cato and Tom Findlay, better known as Groove Armada have been nominated for multiple Grammys, sold over 3 million albums worldwide, and played to 5 million + fans through the years. With massive hits like “Easy”, “Superstylin’”, “I See You Baby”, the downtempo Gorillaz-esque inspired (before Gorillaz even existed) gem, “My Friend” and the massive ragga / Jimi Hendrix inspired “Purple Haze”, you really can not have dance / electronic music today without these electronic legends / veterans.
On the new sixth artist album, Groove Armada continues to push the boundaries artistically. Not many band’s sixth albums can be described as bold, brave, fresh, adventurous or representing a new creative peak, but Groove Armada’s brilliant “Black Light” is all of those things and more.
“We could’ve knocked out an album of ragga-influenced house bangers and a couple of chill out tunes, and that would’ve been a much easier life,” explains Andy. “But we needed a new challenge. Neither of us was interested in just repeating ourselves.” Instead, the music-obsessed duo took inspiration from the new breed of acts they were booking for their award-winning London festival, Lovebox. “Bands like the Friendly Fires, Klaxons, Passion Pit, LCD Soundsystem, Ladyhawke and MGMT,” says Tom. “They’re the ones really leading the charge, making genuinely exciting, dance-informed music. And that sound really pushed us back towards people like Bowie, Gary Numan, New Order, Fleetwood Mac and Roxy Music.”
“Black Light” ranks among their best work to date and sees the masters of reinvention move in some thrilling new directions. Featuring Bryan Ferry of Roxy Music, Nick Littlemore of Empire of the Sun / PNAU, and introducing newcomer SaintSaviour, GA fans and those eager for new music will be blown away when the album drops in Feb 2010.
The first single from the album is the euphoric new single “I Won’t Kneel”, which hits digital retailers this Tuesday November 17, 2009. It’s a blistering sneak preview from their eagerly anticipated new studio album. The track features a scintillating vocal from female singer SaintSaviour, who has been described as a cross between Kate Bush and Anthony & The Johnson’s.
“We’ve worked with a lot of legends,” says Andy Cato talking about their newfound vocalist SaintSaviour. “Now we’ve found one. We’ve done just a couple of ‘Black Light Live’ warm-up gigs with her so far, but already I’m only ever asked one question. Who IS that girl?”
It’s been a month full of surprises (Read “GA Join Om”)! Ready for another one? We have a new single from Radio Slave!!!!!
No matter what sounds you profess to be your dance music of choice, chances are that at some point over the last five years, you will have gotten your rocks off to Matt EdwardsAKARadio Slave. In that time Matt has remixed countless tunes for an incredibly-wide selection of notable labels. To boot, his touring schedule must be almost painful. So it was with great pleasure that Om was able to enlist his talents to compose a tune especially for our 15 Year Anniversary compilation.
To cut straight to the chase, “Orchestrating Maneuvers In The Dark” is a rhythmic deep tribal techno groove – obscure, dissident and crunchy – with a breakdown that dissolves into thin air – only to strangely and magnificently re-materialize into his funk-induced groove.
The single comes compete with an amazing reinterpretation from Mike Monday (Om, Great Stuff, Simple), a super-deep mix from Seth Troxler (Ghostly International) + Ryan Crosson (Wolf + Lamb, Spectral, Crosstown Rebels, Trapez) and a clubbed up version from Om’s own Al Velilla. The digital package includes a mix from Frankfurt up-and-comer M.in, who teamed up with the legendary Patrick Lindsey to create a bumpin funky tech rework.
“Sounds great def something I would play!” – Pete Tong
“Super” – Tiefschwarz
“Great track! would love to play this out!” – Laurent Garnier
“Great remix!” – Luke Solomon
“Wow! what a suprise from om records and it’s good too! will support.” – Stacey Pullen
“Right up my alley, obscure, dissident and crunchy..nice one!” – Osunlade
“Love It” – The Scrumfrog
Wit his own brand of “ghettotech,” Robot Koch fuses hip-hop influences with heavy techno synths and effects to effectively harness his influences: John Coltrane and Slayer, along with everything in between. One listen to his single “Away From,” off the new album Death Star Droid, and the meaning of ghettotech and triphop becomes crystal clear. The vocals on the track are hauntingly beautiful, as they mix perfectly with the heavy percussion lines. Straight outta Germany, Robot Koch brings the European techno style with him, but somewhere along the way transforms it with a heavy West Coast glitchhop vibe. The likes of Flying Lotus, Glitch Mob, ediT & Bassnectar come to mind when listening to the computerized effects placed over the track.
Also brought to you by Robot Koch is the video for the song “Hard to Find.” This video is absolutely insane, in the best way possible. Somehow, someway, it incorporates the evolution of motion completely in conjunction with the inspiring beat. I don’t even understand from where this footage came, but it works perfectly. Definitely check out the video, as it’s also a track from the new album.
I just had the experience to travel to New York to see Bassnectar perform at the Fillmore East last friday, wow! I walked up to the venue around 9pm and kids we’re already lined up down the street, scalpers were on every corner, kids offering to pay $150 a ticket to get inside. The floor was packed at 10pm and kids were pushing their way to front of the room to get as close to the stage as possible. Nosaj Thing opened the night with an amazing atmospheric beat heavy set. Bassnectar started at around 12am, the whole room exploded. The sound system picked a couple decibels as Lorin got deep into his set. The vibe and energy in the room was unexplainable. From young kids to head bangers, everyone was in a frenzy. Just to get an idea, check out the live stage cam from the DC show below.
Posted by: Jonthecorner on November 18, 2009 @ 10:43 AM
Posted in: Events
Interview with S-1:
El Capitan (EC)
Symbolyc One (S1)
(EC): As the first member of the group, where’d the inspiration for the name come from? (S1): Myth came up with the idea for the group name. It comes from the Billie Holiday song and symbolizes the struggle and pain we go through from a human/artist point of view.
(EC): How does the name Strange Fruit Project relate to the mission of the group, through lyrics, beats, overall community influence? (S1): The name relates to the group’s mission (through those influences) by motivating and inspiring our culture to overcome these strongholds that we ALL go through from day to day.
(EC): What artists have influenced you most? Seems to be a big Midwest impact on your music with guys like Dilla, Pete Rock, and Cl Smooth. (S1): My influences range from old school groups like Earth, Wind, and Fire, Marvin Gaye, Andrae Crouch to present artist like Dilla, The Game, Blink 182. So I guess it comes from everywhere and in between.
(EC): What is it like working with the mercurial Erykah Badu and The Cannabinoids? (S1): Working with Erykah and the Cannabinoids has been inspirational. 9 other artist/producers/deejays coming together to make music is unheard of. It’s a new experience.
(EC): Do you see music progressing in this direction, where synthesizing beats and instruments take the place of catchy rhymes and repetitive basslines? (S1): As for the progression/direction, I wouldn’t say replacing those elements, just adding on to it.
(EC): How do you feel that The Cannabinoids have recreated the state of being induced by cannabis? (S1): Feels great that we was able to flip the concept of cannabis and apply it to the affect that music has on people.
(EC): In what direction do you see Strage Fruit Project headed? What about The Cannabinoids? (S1): Strange Fruit Project has been evolving like any other group/artist does. We’re continually growing and maturing as adults and as artist so the natural thing would be to progress artistically as well.
(EC): Is music, especially hip-hop and trip-hop, becoming more experiential? Meaning, does newer music create a more fully involved experience than the more simple, classic model of straight lyrics and beats? (S1): Our model of music has always been feeling-based. So whatever creative space that were in for that particular moment is whats goin to go onto tape and come out the speakers. Its artist evolution at its finest.
(EC): What’s next for S-1? Any other side projects, solo album, etc? (S1): Just staying busy with music, cinematography, and photography. New joints and projects with Rhymefest, Little Brother, Lupe, and a slew of others so definitely look out for all kinds of new music and film projects that I’m currently working on.
The video for the new Strange Fruit Project single “Crash” featuring Thesis highlights the groups ability to send a strong message through creative art, like their EP suggests they do: Making Art Sound KOOL. The video tackles issues of the streets, depicting an armed robbery that ends with gunshots, that ultimately leads to the crash of the perpetrator. Directed, Produced and Edited by esteemed group member Symbolyc One, Crash reminds of the great Black Star videos of the 90s with its realistic camera angles and focused content. In fact, the parallels to conscious hip-hop from the classic era don’t end with the video. The vocals are all about warning against making poor decisions in desperate times; think before you crash, and instead live life with a purpose.
With Crash, SFP stays true to form with potent, spot-on quality lyrics and head-bumpin’ beats that make the track ooze with flow and charisma. Picnic Tyme produces a great track, one full of appropriate builds that mirror the intensity of the vocals, and retreats when the timing is right. I’m loving the heavy cymbal usage when the track transitions from one emcee to another.
As if the interview and new video weren’t enough, check out the FREE new EP from Strange Fruit Project, M.A.S.K. the EP . With production from S1, Caleb and Ninth Wonder, this EP has thoughtful beats matching equally provoking lyrical quality. For a super smooth joint, definitely check out Sepia Tone, produced by S1. This track sounds like hip-hop soul meets rainforest ambiance — a concoction so surreal I couldn’t even make it up. All in all, this EP is definitely one to grab quick.
Humanitarian organization NextAid presents its second annual World AIDS Day 2009 Events (WAD2009), a multi-date fundraising campaign in cities across the U.S. starting on November 25, 2009 in San Francisco and continuing throughout the entire month of December. Tied into World AIDS Day (WAD), a globally recognized day, which takes place every year on December 1st, NextAid activates the international dance music community to raise funds and awareness for AIDS orphans and other vulnerable children in Africa.
The first WAD, established in 1988 by the World Health Organization, was about raising money, increasing awareness, fighting prejudice and improving education, goals that are as relevant as ever in 2009. A portion of the proceeds from each of NextAid’s WAD2009 events will go towards two of its current projects on the ground: the Kawangware Street Children & Youth Project (KSCYP) in Nairobi, Kenya, and the loveLife GoGogetters program in South Africa. For more information on NextAid and all the WAD2009 events please visit www.nextaid.org/wad2009.
On December 1st, in their hometown of Los Angeles, Nextaid will be uniting the dance community in a massive fundraising event. Featuring legendary artist across all sub-genres of dance, attendees will be treated to a unique lineup that includes Louie Vega, DJ Rap, Om’s Marques Wyatt, Turntables on the Hudson, and KCRW’s Raul Campos. Held at the Marakesh House in Culver City, the event is not to be missed. Help make a difference and have fun while doing so. All proceeds from the event go to Nextaid.
Watch Nextaid’s new PSA featuring Om’s very ownSamantha James and J Boogie, along side Z-Trip, Larry Tee, D:Fuse, Ultra Nate, Turntables on the Hudson, King Britt, Danny Krivitz, Christopher Lawrence, Scrumfrog, Glitch Mob, DJ Dan, Donald Glaude, and many more.
Posted by: g.win on November 16, 2009 @ 6:26 PM
Posted in: Take Action
The fall of the Berlin Wall marked its 20-year anniversary about a week ago. A year after the fall, Andre Lodemann, born in a small city in the GDR, picked up his first set of turntables.
Over the past nineteen years Lodemann has made a big name for himself in the Berlin music scene. This Om Podcast features some of his excellence, and given the context of Lodemann’s history, it’s really damn unique. If you’re pressed for time, listen to the first eight minutes of this minimally dark, sonically emotional awesomeness!
If you’re into those adjectives, then you’ll probably want to listen to the whole thing.
Bonobo’s “Days To Come” had to be one of the most played records ever. From hotel lobbies to my very own living room, there was no escaping that album. Not a bad thing!
After a string of sold out live shows and DJ gigs all around the world, Ninja Tune’s rising star is about to drop a new album in 2010. The first single is officially out now and features vocalist Andreya Triana. She’s worked with everyone from Mr. Scruff to Flying Lotus. Just like the fog to SF’s Sunset district, “The Keeper” is beautiful, haunting, and resonates. What else would you expect from Bonobo?