[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TGm9o37BNjM[/youtube]

Right now a lot of people are throwing the word ‘trap’ around to describe the hiphop coming out of Atlanta and the south. The dark bass heavy music pioneered by producers like Lex Luger, Southside and Sunny Digital has been dominant in the hiphop world for a while but has been catching on among the people who are fleeing Dubstep’s sinking ship of un-coolness. In the midst of this it’s worth thinking about where the term came from: drug dealing. I just watched “Snow On The Bluff” last night on Netflix streaming and it does for drug dealing and robbing dealers what Blair Witch did for hunting for witches in the woods. Gritty, low fi handheld camera work follows around anti-hero Curtis Snow as he robs dealers, goes in and out of jail and tries to take care of his toddler son. It’s a crazy look at daily life in the streets of Atlanta and at times is really hard to watch. There are a lot of moments where you are left thinking that what you are watching is real or thinly veiled reality. These people are not actors and the star is a self proclaimed stick up kid and drug dealer. That’s his real son in the movie.  Unlike some of these gangster movies where they spend 80 minutes glamorizing that life and then 10 minutes moralizing at the end when the hero gets killed this is pretty much raw from start to finish.  There’s not a lot of happy shit in this movie and for that it seems like a more realistic portrayal of this life than we usually see.  If you’re interested in a look at the dark side of the trap mythology that everyone is selling you should check this out.

snow on the bluff poster

The first show in Mudd Up Radio’s new Wednesday night time slot is now streaming! SOAP BLEACH SOFTENERS. Gentle beginnings. New music from Cauto, Vladislav Delay, Ghanain gospel, Erothug, and, yes, Lana del Rey:

WFMU’s Winter 2012 schedule shuffle means that, starting this week, Lamin Fofana will host a show right before me on Wednesdays! We’ll do our best to give you good apocalypse in 2012. Our ice cream comes in 5 flavors: regular black, mudd, noir noir, soft bop, and dust bowl.

December 7, 2011, Mudd Up! w/ DJ Rupture on WFMU – tracklist:

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drake smoking in front of planes, looking sad


 Marvin’s Room (Shlohmo’s thru tha floor remix) – Drake by shlohmoA question I hear frequently asked about Toronto based Hiphop/RnB rapper/singer/child actor Drake in the press is why his new music is so depressing sounding and what does he have to be unhappy about? He’s young, rich and famous! He’s got a seemingly endless supply of adoring fans, pretty women, drugs, alcohol, money and a venue for his artistic expression to talk about his feelings. Hot97 is his psychotherapy couch.

When he sings:
‘Cups of the XO
Bitches in my old phone
I should call one and go home
I’ve been in this club too long
The woman that I would try
Is happy with a good guy

But I’ve been drinking so much
That I’ma call her anyway and say
“F-ck that nigga that you love so bad
I know you still think about the times we had”
I say “f-ck that nigga that you think you found
And since you picked up I know he’s not around”

(Are you drunk right now?)

I’m just sayin’, you could do better
Tell me have you heard that lately?
I’m just sayin’ you could do better
And I’ll start hatin’, only if you make me’

Drake strikes me as being honest here. Even though he has all of the above material and ego-enhancing things that many of us want, he is still not happy.  When artists are honest and speak about what’s really happening with them instead of repeating tropes that seem like the ‘industry standard’ (I’m balling! I’m awesome! I’m getting money!) it adds a richness of meaning, the texture of personal reality.  The current vogue for sipping XO (aka sizzurp, purple drank, or cough syrup made with promethazine and codeine) popularized by many rap/rnb artists including recently Drake and The Weeknd seems to support this pretty well. Codeine is an opiate, the same active ingredient found in heroin. It’s a central nervous system depressant that makes you sleepy and dulls pain when used when you’re sick. If consumed when you’re healthy it pushes pleasure buttons in your brain and feels great.   Taking codeine also kills you.  If you slow your central nervous system down enough you’ll just stop breathing. RIP DJ Screw and Pimp C. My question is: how much must you be suffering to make this glamourous lifestyle choice? Scientific research has pointed to links between the way we experience physical and psychic pain, like the pain of depression, including the fact that depression sufferers seem to have more acute physical pain.  As far as I can tell people who are happy and fulfilled don’t need to constantly take large amounts of central nervous system depressants like codeine and alcohol.

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RP BOO footwork pioneer

 

Wills Glassspiegel sent me this after I ran into him on the street and remarked how much I enjoyed the radio broadcast he worked on for Afropop about the black American roots of house and techno here.

I’ll let him speak:

“Thought you and Dutty Artz might be interested in this interview tape I recorded in Chicago with Traxman, RP Boo, DJ Earl and Boylan.  I think everyone has been trying to describe “footwork” and no one quite gets to it like these guys.  In publishing this tape (which i did with their permsision), I was reminded of Lomax’s old oral history interviews with blues musicians.  So important for musicians to tell their own stories.”

Yup, I agree. I always prefer to listen to music talk about their own work and scenes as opposed to various usually distant journalistic interpreters. Listen, learn and enjoy.

 
Footwork Selects by longlooks

I started teaching at Dubspot in August, thanks to Matt Shadetek. Before I began teaching I was a teacher assistant for DJ Kiva for about a month, and it was during this period that Kiva gave our class a sneak peek of his project 1000 Sunrises, which he finally put out last week.  It always awesome to hear a project during its earlier stages, and then hearing it completed.  Definitely worth checking out.

DJ Kiva will be dropping this freshness November 10th at Le Poisson Roug with Africa Hitech, and he will be rocking Webster Hall with Matt Shadetek November 12th.

The following material was pulled from the Dubspot blog, which Lamin wrote:

Brooklyn-based multi-instrumentalist producer and musician DJ KIVA returns with a superb new solo album 1000 Sunrises out October 18 on his  Adios Babylon imprint via Destroy All Concepts.

Navigating beauty and pain with deep, mesmeric, off-centered beats, soulful, dub-wise electronic impressions, twirling synthlines, and reinforced sub-bass, 1000 Sunrises is a perfectly balanced album. The six tracks presented here are meticulously and lovingly put together, and they move with an unhurried, reassuring pace. From the opening “Feel It,” with its extra-bouncy thump and unrelenting, catchy synthline to the meditative “Tayyib,” which maintains a solemn and contemplative mood with eerie voices but holds a propulsive groove, and the staggeringly beautiful, mind-expanding title track “1000 Sunrises,” DJ Kiva remains remarkably self-reliant and uncompromising in aesthetic throughout the entire album. Album closer “City Of The Dawn” is the uplifting, post-future, and soulful electronic music you can only get from an experienced and self-assured electronic music producer, whose style and range go far beyond arbitrary and trendy sub-genres. Electronics, melody, dub, and soul come together – same as it never was.

[youtube width=”525″ height=”355”]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uc4K_CdiG40[/youtube]

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Kendrick Lamar – Fuck Your Ethnicity

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Kendrick Lamar – Rigamortus

Both tracks from Kendrick’s new album Section.80 out now on Top Dawg Entertainment, and it has been in heavy rotation for the couple of weeks. If you’re into rappidy rapps and don’t know who Kendrick Lamar is, please get familiar! Can’t believe this is his third album. He’s performing somewhere in the five boroughs this weekend!

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Downliners Sekt – “All I Can Hear Now” from Meet the Decline [downliner-sekt, 2011]

˙∆˙∆˙∆˙∆˙∆˙∆˙

This group prefers to leave their identities and backgrounds abstract.
They have been described by reviewers as a group of unique “possibly Spanish” artists creating their own blend of electronic and rock music.
All their work is available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License for anyone to have and share freely http://downliners-sekt.com

If you ask nicely they will probably let you use their music in derivative works.

[originally posted at Mudd Up!]

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Shackleton – Deadman King Midas Sound Death Dub

I am listening to this song which Lamin shared, some friends remixing another. It is filled with dusk-tones, close and fading, sunset a challenge to both darkness and light and at the same time I learn that a poet I’d read and knew in passing, has passed away. A friend who knew Akilah better sent some of us an excerpt of her speaking about grief.

And once again, we’re left with beautiful words and tones that linger but can never stay. In a sense, this is why we share it.

akilah-oliver

Akilah Oliver:

Grief is a complicated emotion but also an inadequate word in many ways. Maybe it isn’t so much that the term fails to encompass a range of emotional states, but I think also death itself, as an event, as a limit, as a field of investigation, is too many things at once.It’s solid and it’s slippery. For me what I’m doing in A Toast is using language to walk through that field to find out about love, the collapsible body, what it means to be human, all of that. Also, I think that I am trying to transcribe rapture. I mean that in the ecstatic sense of the word. . . . I am in a state of seeking. Grief is a part of that seeking, but so is redemption and anger, the forgivable and the unforgivable, this ecstasy of being in a kind of light, the simple astonishment of the impermanence of absence. This book is dedicated to my brother who died when I was very young, and he was very young, 28 years younger than I am now, so in some ways he has passed into myth for me, which is another kind of symbolic being-ness. It’s also dedicated to my son who died when he was 20, so there is that grappling with the loss of the body who has come through my body, a kind of intimacy that is almost indescribable. And it is also dedicated to my mother, who is still alive and kicking at 74, and the recognition of myself as the beloved body too, who has passed through another beloved. So there is this elegiac intent here as well. I am trying to trace the mystery of the bodylife, a term I’m borrowing from Cherríe Moraga. So there’s hope in these poems of course.

shackleton

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Shackleton – Deadman King Midas Sound Death Dub

Kevin Martin / King Midas Sound twists one of Sam Shackleton’s extremely warm cuts, we first heard this on Fabric 55. Here, Kevin Martin removed Shackleton’s congas and made some very wise decisions, including adding KMS’s Kiki Hitomi’s gorgeous voice (which has a phantasmal presence here!), and also focusing/thickening Shackleton’s orange and brown tones. The result is remarkable.  I’ve listened to this one countless times, but today at dusk, walking home – I walked past an older woman who flashed me a gold-tooth smile, and this never sounded more beautiful!

Nettle is a band I started in Barcelona which knows nothing if not change. This spring we will release an album — a soundtrack to a remake of The Shining, set in Dubai — on a label I’ve admired for awhile. (details soon…)

This Thursday we’re playing a free show at Zebulon in Williamsburg. It’s an intimate space where you can come get close to our strange music. There will be a little bit of singing and 100% no guitars. We use old instruments made from trees (Lindsay’s violin, Brent’s cello, Bill’s bendir frames), and homebrew digital tools (Sufi plug-ins, #mudd) and if you like to listen then this is your night. Icing on the cake: Lamin Fofana will DJ throughout the evening.

And remember: after Tropical comes Arid.

So there’s another entry to add to the post-Screw canon: Expressway Yo-Yo Dietin. And, despite his wildly different sound (which sets him apart from the more accessible witch-house/drag scene and closer to the toxic sound of Houston’s small but sturdy noise scene), the methodology isn’t the wildest departure from DJ Screw’s lazy foray into the avant-garde. I may be wrong here but, advanced digital fuckery and ripped rap vocals aside, the thread that holds Expressway Yo-Yo Dietin’s Bubblethug together seems to be a simple delay. It actually sounds quite a bit like the default setting on Ableton’s Simple Delay effect, a nifty trick that gives rhythmic ‘umph’ to a lot of the weird excursions into various noise and drone territories that you’ll find on the album. So the results end up sounding like a Boredoms, Screw, Vibracathedral Orchestra and Sunroof! fan ingesting something nasty with 12 other people in an empty building of the warehouse district of your nearest industrial graveyard. The following track is my personal favorite, a dark dirge with nearly intelligible vocals that gains power from the track sequencing when listened to as part of the album’s messy whole.

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Expressway Yo Yo Dietin’ – Bubblethug 5