So I’m taking this music class at U.C. Berkeley entitled AfroFuturism. We study the reoccurring themes of space, technology, and the future in African American music. We’ve looked at several artists who incorporate such ideas, everyone from Sun Ra to Earth Wind and Fire to Kanye West.
AmpLive (DJ half of Zion I) has so many of the themes we’ve talked about in class. Robots, space ships, and technology are all present in this tune Gary is a Robot. This is not the first time Amplive has brought space up; Zion I’s debut E.P. was called Starship!
One last note on philosophical content. The track starts off with a british voice saying “auto-tune activated”, which I think is great. Many people caste auto-tune off as an excuse for poor vocal qualities. I think there is much more forethought that goes into using auto-tune (not all the time); there’s a deep history with using vocal changing technologies in African American music like the talk box and vocoder( I know kraftwerk are white Germans), and I think Amplive is saying something when he decided to use such technologies. What he’s getting at I’ll leave to you.
Okay, besides the philosophical content (which I think everyone should delve into), Gary is a Robot is ridiculously catchy and well produced. All the synths and drums chosen are perfect, and despite some of the darkness in the vocals, i’’s a real upper track. I will definitely be running to this and/or forcing it into whatever car happens to be taking me across the bride tonight.
There are also some awesome remixes that you can pick up at turntablelab.com. Trust me, this is a fine addition to your collection, and perfect to drop at your halloween party.
The remix single features remix work from James Curd, Grand Theft Auto, Al Velilla, and one of my favorites is the Blu Jemz.
Purchase Amp Live Feat. Trackademicks “Gary Is A Robot (The Remixes)” At Turntablelab.com
Listen To Amp Live Feat. Trackademicks “Gary is A Robot (Al Velilla Remix)”
Posted by: Intern #1 on October 26, 2009 @ 1:39 PM
Posted in: Music
Just in case you havn’t heard, there’s nothing like it. Nothing! In my opinion VonStroke’s new album “Bird Brain” further cements his position as a one of a kind in a genre filled copiously with similar acts. His ingenuity for composition really shines in tracks Vocal Chords and Jasper’s Baby Robot; his awesome weirdness emanates fully in Beat that Bird and Monster House—going on my Halloween mix.
If you’re pressed for time visit DirtyBird Records and sample Vocal Chords and Beat that Bird. I think these two tracks are really interesting. Vocal Chords is an earthy, ambient track with unique synth-voice sounds that work perfectly for a drive through Big Sur, an at home yoga sesh, or a late night contemplation on whether you’re a cyborg. Beat that Bird shows VonStroke’s uncanny, unique ability to drop FAT four-on-the-floor bass kicks with sparse textures you’ve never heard before; I can only imagine how this tune would ring at Mighty.
All in all, it’s a work that really shows Claude VonStroke’s ever-evolving character. Again, you can hear pretty long snippets of Bird Brain here and make your own call, but I’m pretty sure you’ll be pleased!
This is not the first time we’ve written about Will Saul. He and Mike Monday teamed up for one of the best remixes of Juan Maclean’s “Happy House”. “Balance” is the perfect name for Will Saul’s new mix CD. This ambitious work jumps all over the spectrum of electronic-related music. It dips into the disco-house, swings by indie-synthpop awesomeness, and falls into the depths of dub-house. Some of the big artists remixed in the three CD collection include Hercules and Love Affair, Bats for Lashes, Modeselektor Feat. Thom Yorke of Radiohead, Sly & Robbie, Sally Shapiro, Liquid People, Daniel Wang, Wolf + Lamb, Carl Craig, DJ T, Dixon, Burial, and Morgan Geist (of Metro Area) (Click Here For Full Tracklisting). This thing is a dense mix of texture and style, but it maintains a sort of balance that is Will Saul’s execution and futuristic-house style.
Forgive my corny metaphor, but I really feel like Saul is flying me through this mysterious cluster of electronic weather patterns. As I listen to it via headphones, I cannot help feeling like I’m on a plane about to go Buenos Aires; I’m just going to start over. You know? This feeling only augments as I hear actual planes taking off in the last track. It’s a Liquid People’s “Sons of Dragons remix”. Now that I think about it, this is a great CD for a three-hour flight. It balances perfectly dance-ability, ambiance, emotion, and tension/resolution. The only downside about the airplane setting would be the inability of moving around, but you know, dancing in your mind can be equally rewarding.
Despite what I got out of it, I think anyone could appreciate one or more elements in this album. There is so much to choose from: awesome polyrhythms, big bass swells, elusive staccato-tones, pad textures that whiz by you and crash into syncopated chords. The adhesive that binds all these tracks together is Saul’s futuristic-house, almost vinyl-vintage sound, which makes it very pleasant. There is nothing directly abrasive; however, tension does build (subtly) and darkness does descend, but this is always resolved with an interesting swing out.
Some adjectives/tags/ideas: utopia, futuristic house, eclecticism, indie, synth-pop, dub, house, techno, yoga, the future, travel, running, planes, your dream city.
I highly recommend you pick up Saul’s October release Balance 015.
Click Here To Purchase Balance 015 Mixed By Will Saul From Amazon.com
Click Here To Check Out The Full Tracklisting & Listen To The Mix
What up internet, the name’s intern #1 and I’m here to bring you recaps of the Bay Area’s finest events. Last night I had the pleasure of seeing RJD2 spin some of his favorite tracks at Vessel’s hipster frenzied Infatuation.
The eclectic set, which ranged from atmospheric hip hop to funky, 80’s pop brought an equally eclectic audience, and everyone from the diehards in front to the curious onlookers in the back seemed to be having a good old time.
Not to mention Infatuation’s 2 for 1, well-poured drinks. A lot of fine drinking glasses lost their life last night due to the slippery conditions on the dance floor. The place was packed and the floor was glassy.
Vessel’s DJ booth didn’t have enough room for RJD2’s gear, and thus we got a more mashed up, Serato-scratch live set. I think that RJD2 is best served on 3 or 4 turntables, but I still had a really good time last night, and I’m glad I witnessed the man throw down his favorite tunes.
Also, a shout out to DJ Centipede who really rocked it. He pumped the audience up with a subtle remix of RJD2’s “The Horror”, the first track off the 2002 critically acclaimed album Deadringer. Look out for this guy.
In full recap, I think the night gets a 2.5 out of 4. Had RJD2 brought his own decks, the number would be higher.
I’m intern #1 and I’ll be reviewing indie/electro/dance shows in the up and coming months. Next time I hope to bring you pictures. If you have any photos of this show or those in the future, send them to email@example.com, and I’ll put them up. You Heard It First: Here’s an insider’s note, RJD2 will be dropping a remix of Bassnectar on Om’s Childs Play imprint. Joining him on remix duties for Bassnectar will be DJ Vadim, Nosaj Thing, Robot Koch, Amp Live, and Mexicans With Guns. Should be dropping very very soon.
Posted by: Intern #1 on October 15, 2009 @ 11:18 AM
Posted in: Events