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.
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?
Nicolay, the prolific Dutch producer behind hip-hop collaborations with Little Brother’s Phonte and Om’s own Black Spade, explores his electronic side on his newest release City Lights Vol 2: Shibuya. This predominantly instrumental affair flirts with downtempo, broken beat, trip-hop and nu-jazz all while reflecting the beauty of Tokyo’s Shibuya District.
Om has an exclusive download of one of the album’s vocal tracks. Check out the sexy house rhythms of “Saturday Night” (radio edit) featuring the mesmerizing vocals of Carlitta Durand. For the full 7-minute dance floor blow-out, grab the full release.
Click Here to Buy Nicolay “City Lights Vol. 2”
We’re bringing it back! In celebration of Halloween and Michael Jackson.
Check it out! Our homeys from up in Portland return for the second time this week w/ another dope FREE remix. This time, they’re bringing ‘Thriller’ out of the crypt and onto the dance floor with a funky house remix. It’s subtle, they focused on the bass line (the funky one you know and love). Touch the banner above to download the FREE spooktacular remix and get down w/ the groovy goolies Om style.
2009 has been quite a year for Alice Russell. Local and fellow SF label, Six Degrees Records released “Pot of Gold” – produced by TM Juke now followed by this two volume album of 32 remixed tracks.
Like previous remix projects, Alice’s funky, soulful original album has been given the world class remix treatment from an all-star cast of producers including Mr. Scruff, DJ Vadim, Om’s very own J-Boogie, Shawn Lee, Ohmega Watts, DJ Day, and many more!
Alice has developed a burgeoning career as one of the hottest UK soul singers with growing audiences around the world. While comparisons have been made to other popular British vocalists like Joss Stone, Amy Winehouse, Duffy and Adele, one listen and look at Alice and you can immediately tell she’s in a class all by herself. She has performed alongside well respected company that includes Roy Ayres, The Roots, Lonnie Liston Smith, De La Soul, Quantic, and The Quantic Soul Orchestra to name a few. In addition to this prolific musical output, Alice’s live performances continue to flourish with her ability to captivate an audience and to hold their attention throughout, expertly tugging at the heartstrings.
I’ve been following Alice Russell for years and fondly remember her first trip to the states as a Tru Thoughts artist playing at a tiny venue here in SF. She has since moved on to a new label and larger venues.
If you aren’t a fan already, get ready to purchase the entire Alice Russell catalog.
Listen/Buy Pot of Gold Remixes from iTunes Here
Listen/Buy Pot of Gold Remixes from Amazon.com Here
Listen / Buy Pot of Gold Remixes From Six Degrees Records Here
The clip provides a bit of everything: ranging from Blu & Exile talking about their new album to some hot sets from J Rocc and DJ Spinna. Large Professor throws down particular hard around the 14 minute mark of the podcast. He gives his shoutout to hosts Blu & Exile, and then lays down some ill tracks, mixing and scratching at a high level like always. Personal favorite track: mixin of ODB’s ‘Shimmy Shimmy Ya’ with a hot r&b sample around the 23-24 minute mark.
All in all, this podcast gives some sick mixes and tracks from some of the best out there. Just because you can’t live in the Big Apple doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the fun.
Staying true to form, ’Ernest Gonzales’ new EP, Self Awakening, plays with experimental synth lines to invoke an introspective melody. Leading the way towards self-enlightenment is the first track, ‘Self Awakening.’ Like the title suggests, the buildup and retreat of the percussion help to invoke a wide array of emotions. Gonzales takes an unassuming, yet provocative track, throws in the occasional power synth chord and gives it some added authority to create a truly self-awakening track. He is on to something in this EP, as he has effectively created a musical version of an individual’s journey to becoming self-aware. Across the board on the EP, minimal synth lines, combined with effective drum beats make for consistently solid tracks full of heavy emotions. Throw in some awe-inspiring remixes featuring Faunts, Take, and Yppah, Mexicans with Guns, and CYNE, and you’ve got yourself a must-have EP.
If atmospheric worldly downtempo beats are your thing, check out the new album from Sven Van Hees. We’ve enlisted Sven in the past on remix duty for our very own Chuck Love. The Belgium producer just dropped a new album entitled, “Maverick”. The album is full of tropical worldly electronica lounge music that any fan of Naked Music, Bitter:Sweet, Ananda Project, Bajka, Tosca, Samantha James, and Hotel Costes would appreciate. (Check out “You Got A Hold Of Me”.)
The album is out now on Sven’s own Your Lips label.
Buy The Physical CD Here
Visit iTunes and Beatport To Listen And Purchase “Maverick”
Mixing funky-ass beats, intelligent hard hitting rhymes, and glossy guest vocals from the likes of Destani Wolf, Silya, and Aima, the new Crown City Rockers album ‘The Day After Forever’ brings the heat on every track. Just because we can, OM is giving out a free track from the album, called “Astroshocks.” It’s a dope track that highlights CCR’s old-school influences, with MC Raashan Ahmad spitting hot rhymes over percussion-heavy rhythms. Like the rest of the album, the beats on this track are just the right amount of saucy, meaning you can bump this all night and keep a party going. On the contrary, you can kick back, relax and unwind with some of the softer joints on the album like “That’s Life” ft. Jason Jasper. My personal favorite track is “Go Away.” It combines silky smooth background vocals, an R&B-style beat, and socially conscious lyrics. Ahmad throws down super hard across the track, but especially so when he exclaims, “what happen? Everybody yappin’/ Got in my head even took away my passion/ All about the rappin, now about the business/ They don’t go away, now I’m back on my fitness.”
All in all, The Day After Forever is a more-than-solid album that needs to be COPPEDRIGHTAWAY.
Andy Caldwell is back with a new artist album titled, “Obsession”. On the new album, Caldwell drifts away from the soulful sounds that he’s known for and instead draws inspiration from a much more European inspired sound. The deep electro house sound is all over the album. These 10 tracks showcase Caldwell’s pop songwriting skills and features collaborations from Mr. V., Femke, and long time fellow Soulstice member, Gina Rene. “My sound has been changing over the last few years,” Caldwell says. I got more into the electronic sound with the European house scene and wanted to express that in an album. I was really feeling stagnant creatively and broke out of the soulful house shackles about a year ago.”
“Obsession” is now out on iTunes as an exclusive pre-release and hits all over on 10/20. Click here to purchase.
Click Here To Watch The Music Video For Andy Caldwell “It’s Guud”.
Click Here To Download Andy Caldwell Feat. Mr. V “It’s Guud” For Free (Via andycaldwell.com)
Check out Andy Caldwell on Tour.
10/15 – Papeete, Tahiti @ Morrison’s Cafe
10/16 – Papeete, Tahiti @ Morrison’s Cafe
10/17 – Papeete, Tahiti @ Morrison’s Cafe
10/31 – Miami, FL @ The Wall W Hotel
11/3 – Newport, CA @ Focus
11/11 – Los Angeles, CA @ Ecco
11/12 – Sacramento, CA @ The Park
11/14 – San Francisco, CA @ Vessel
12/31 – San Francisco, CA @ City Hall
1/9 – St. Louis, MS @ Sol Lounge