Last week me and Atropolis played at the launch party for the new Dub Stuy record label and their home built reggae sound system.  Playing on this system was really really fun.  Physical sound vibrations, great bass and a great vibe. Big shoutout to the Dub Stuy team for having the vision to put this together.  We need more people thinking big like this in our underground scene in Brooklyn.

Raz Mesinai is a longtime homie of the Dutty Artz crew and is one of those crazy, iconoclastic and stubbornly original musicians that defy easy classification.  He’s been making spacy, sometimes terrifying, blunted bass music since before your mom ever started listening to Dubstep.  He posted this piece on his Tumblr the other day and I got a real kick out of it and thought I’d share it here.

MY WORK by Raz Mesinai

My work cleans up after itself as well as after the messes I make.

My work doesn’t want to be ‘current’, because that would mean that eventually it wouldn’t be.

My work picks up chicks for me, and then forces me to break up with them.

My work is not casual, nor is it relaxed.

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Steve CHLLNGR showed me this way back when we were in Tejas for some music festival. He was excited about it. Even then the animated sci-fi music video in its embyonic stage looked like an incredible visual story. SKIP TO THE NOW >> Last week, the video was premiered in Wired, and right NOW it’s all up on Vimeo HD Channel. Oh, by the way… if you still like music, Steve’s debut album Haven is out as well.

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]

Proper visual for the first single off HAVEN, the forthcoming debut album from Copenhagen-based producer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and homie CHLLNGR. We’ve been looking forward to this for a while! Slow, unhurried rhythms, subs whirring beautifully, and smart, astral synth stabs slow danced in a magical forest hours outside the Danish kapital.

Filmed in a Danish forest two hours outside of Copenhagen, Ask for is the first single released for the debut album HAVEN due out in July on Green Owl. Bjorn Stig Hansen and Steven Jess Borth II had only one bright light and one camera to make this happen in a period of two summer nights.

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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.

Let’s talk about letting the weird back out. Let’s talk about the Eternals.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=APD9msE2AD4[/youtube]
[from their literally genre-defining album Rawar Style]

 

Their new album Approaching the Energy Field is very much an Album Experience of the sort which appeals to my ever-nostalgic cracker cerebellum (strangely, it is the same part of me that loves noise). Most reviews of their work highlight the genre-hyphening aspects of their sound, which is understandable; dub, arkestry, punk and various other styles resonate in harmony within their mix. What I hear, though, is a personality that is at once singular, communal and universal.  You can stream a lot of the tracks off the album at the link above, but I feel like the deep listening that is best enjoyed far away from your computer is really the way to enjoy this stuff.

Don’t get me wrong, though.  The music here isn’t really about nostalgia as much as it is about saudade, for after the sugar-rush when we’re each weirder for having met one another.

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!

[youtube width=”525″ height=”393″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7aWN6NYbOzg[/youtube]

Heavy one from Dutty compadre Timeblind!

your cel phone and portable electronics probably have minerals mined in the Congo and illegally trafficked. watch the other related videos if you are unaware of this.

please support legislation to keep mining transparent and stop thugs in the congo from profiting from the misery of their fellow countrymen. DRC should be known for its amazing musicians, not for more misery like this.

cross-posted to Mudd Up!

Check the latest issue of BOMB magazine for an in-depth interview with Kevin Martin AKA The Bug. BOMB has just upped an excerpt & audio clip. Here’s an excerpt of the excerpt:

Jace Clayton: You told me this anecdote: you were at a dub night in London; it was lit by one lightbulb. That’s how I remember you describing it—

The Bug: Oh, yeah. That was again a very pivotal moment for me. Just after I moved to London I went to see Iration Steppas and The Disciples do a “sound clash” together. I didn’t know what the hell to expect. It was at a warehouse in the East End. Literally, there was a sound system on either side of a quite small room with a lightbulb hanging above each, no stage, the audience trapped in the middle, and this head-shredding volume and over-the-top psychedelia. Every mix that each producer was playing would get more and more out-there. At first you would think, Oh, this is a nice reggae tune, and by the end you’d be thinking, Holy shit, this is electro-acoustic madness! People were looking stoned, shell-shocked, or both by what was hitting them. (laughter) It almost altered my internal DNA and how I appreciated music. Before I moved to London, I’d seen a very early Swans show and had realized just how much I loved physical impact in sound.


Photo by Niall O’Brien. Courtesy of Ninja Tune.

JC Funny, every time we’ve played together I’ve always tried to leave the building when you were sound checking. It’s massive volume and you take it so seriously; oftentimes if the sound guy is not up to speed, you’ll let him have it. Can you talk about the importance of getting the sound you want in a live situation?

TB Boy, I guess I’ve got a bad reputation for being a bit finicky and demanding. Once you’ve had the experience of what music can be like, if you are a perfectionist and obsessive (like I realize I’ve become), you don’t want to compromise. I don’t follow the idea of making any type of compromise in my life, and definitely not in my music: music is my life. If you’re happy to shut up and let someone water down what you want, then you really shouldn’t be making music. It’s not important enough to you, you know? I believe in a hard-core mentality. Any art should be a pure reflection of the intention of the person making it, and any degree of compromise along the way is just going to lessen the impact of what that person is trying to do. As far as I’m concerned, the physicality of sound is crucial; it takes you beyond intellectual discourse, to very primal, psychological confrontations. I like what it can do to you: it can be seductive, it can be sexy, it can be aggressive, it can fuck you up, it can flatten you, it can wake you up. Intense musical experiences have changed how I live my life, full stop. To some people this may sound a bit over-the-top. My passion is music, and that is reflected in how I approach the live arena. Now, increasingly, when record sales are shrinking, it’s important to leave a statement, to walk away having done something memorable. Volume in itself isn’t memorable; anyone can turn the volume up to 12 and crush someone with it. That’s not impressive. It’s the constructions within the music that are important.

[youtube width=”525″ height=”393″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Js-PAD2ECDQ[/youtube]

My regular 9 to 5 – Dubspot put together an interesting mini-doc featuring dub pioneer Scientist, who recently dropped an album on Pinch’s Tectonic imprint, talking about the origin and meaning of Jamaican dub and the role dub engineer in sound system culture and 1970s/80s Jamaican recording industry. The video also featured our very own DJ /rupture, composer/electronic musician Badawi, Deadly Dragon Sound System’s Ticklah, and music supervisor Barry Cole. If you’re  interested in the topic, and why it’s way much more than an “happy accident” I highly recommend Michael Veal’s Dub: Soundscapes & Shattered Songs in Jamaican Reggae. Check out wayne&wax’s analysis and review of the book + pertinent excerpt below, a little more context –

All the talk of circuits, knobs, and switches can distract one from the fundamental reality that what these musicians were doing was synthesizing a new popular art form, creating a space where people could come together joyously despite the harshness that surrounded them. They created a music as roughly textured as the physical reality of the place, but with the power to transport their listeners to dancefloor nirvana as well as far reaches of the cultural and political imagination: Africa, outer space, inner space, nature, and political/economic liberation. Nevertheless, this book will focus on those knobs and the people who operated them, in order to develop an understanding of the role of sound technology, sound technicians, and sound aesthetics within the larger cultural and political realities of Jamaica in the 1970s. (13-14)

Dutty Artz will release Lamin Fofana‘s debut EP What Elijah Said on September 21. Lamin has been steadily working on beats for the past few years, and he’s about to make a public birth.

When we asked him to describe the music, Lamin sent us this sentence: “Yet, he would refer to the Mother Plane, a mysterious space ship with superior beings, giant black gods or something like that, that patrolled the universe, keeping an eye on the devil and ready to rescue Black Muslims from Armageddon.” Sounds like sci-fi, but turns out it’s from the New York Times 1975 obituary (!) for Nation of Islam founder Elijah Muhammad.

Everything is not what it seems, and this music’s mark of greatness is the way it so effortlessly calls for repeat listens.

What Elijah Said EP:

01 Happy 2010 // Dark Days Are Coming
02 “I will admonish you and give you absolution”
03 What Elijah Said // Eye on the Devil
04 Dance In Yr Blood

Artwork: Boy holding fluorescent bulb,  photo by Brendan Bannon, Dandora Dumpsite, Nairobi. 8/29/2006.   Hundreds of trash pickers scavenge the dump for food, plastic, glass, and metal. Areas of the dump smolder from a slow burn of plastics and detritus just under the surface. Local activist have attempted to close the site due to pollution concerns.

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Lamin Fofana  was born in the West African country of Guinea. When the political situation got bumpy, he moved to Freetown, Sierra Leone, where his routine involved listening to Goodie Mob and Organized Konfusion as well as attending Quranic schools/mosques. In 1997 Lamin’s family had to flee worsening conditions in Sierra Leone – losing friends, belongings, documents, a home. They spent several days crossing roads and bridges destroyed by rebels to prevent people from escaping. At the end of the year, Fofana found a new home in Harlem, New York, where he lives today.