March 10, 2009



The new CD, digital album and vinyl release, RE:GENERATIONS, honors Nat King Cole's continued cultural influence around the planet, 90 years after his birth. Over the latter part of 2008, Nat King Cole was virtually in the studio and on the mic with some of the most talented Hip Hop, Latin, Reggae and Rock artists and producers of our day. The album celebrates a universal love of music, the one language that brings us all together and honors his multifaceted legacy. This inspired congregation of audio and visual art acknowledges the timeless appeal of Cole's catalog. From its invention to its re-invention, from each generation to the next, Cole's music is always fresh and innovative.

In an altogether modern and collaborative approach, many of the world's most pioneering musicians, producers and DJs have joined together to bring each of their distinct styles to 13 of Cole's outstanding recordings for RE:GENERATIONS. In addition, several respected Los Angeles visual artists have drawn inspiration from Cole's music, style and cultural influence to create custom artwork for the release. Executive produced by Nat King Cole's daughter Carole Cole and Michaelangelo L'Acqua, the album contains the manifold talents of Cee-Lo, The Roots, with Natalie Cole, Cut Chemist, Just Blaze, Nas with Salaam Remi, Souldiggaz with Izza Kizza, Michaelangelo L'Acqua with Bebel Gilberto, Stephen and Damian Marley, Bitter:Sweet, Brazilian Girls, Amp Fiddler and TV On The Radio. RE:GENERATIONS is as much a colorful and culturally-diverse soundscape as it is a 21st Century journey in the lexicon of Nat King Cole's catalog.

March 09, 2009

Black Lips '200 Million Thousand'


This spring Black Lips will return with the follow up to the widely successful Good Bad Not Evil with 200 Million Thousand, out February 24th on Vice Music.

The 14 tracks that make up 200 Million Thousand show true early rock and roll at it's finest: simple, straightforward songwriting mesh perfectly with the Black Lips’ distinctive howl to create a time capsule rife with nods to simple pleasures and a world of worry. It's a modern, mature reflection on life and the world traveled. As has come to be expected, 200 Million Thousand will be followed by ample opportunity to see Black Lips do what they do best - whip a crowd into a pure ball of unpredictable energy.

March 04, 2009

Chris Joss 'Sticks'


Frenchman Chris Joss is a self-taught multi-instrumentalist and autonomous studio producer. Having lived in London for most of the 90's, Joss digested the vibrant music scenes of the city while working as a sound engineer and playing bass and guitar in various bands. In 1996 Joss recorded his first album The Man With a Suitcase, the soundtrack to an imaginary 60's TV series, released in 1999 on indie label Pulp Flavor with the Bombay By Bus EP. His 2nd LP, Dr Rhythm, released by Irma, encompassed electronica, breakbeat, funk and soundtrack music. Dr Rhythm upped the ante for Joss' musical catalog.

In 2004 Chris Joss’ third LP, You've Been Spiked, was released by ESL Music. With its thick funky bass lines, wah-wah guitars, Rhodes and Hammond riffs pulsating over live rootsy drums, the album was a vibrant tribute to 60's and 70's dance music. Remixes by Ursula 1000 & Fort Knox Five came out in 2005 on the Discotheque Dancing EP, and by Kraak & Smaak on the A Part In That Show EP in February of 2006.

Seriously injured in a domestic accident, almost costing him his right arm, Chris Joss recorded a version of John Williams' “Superman” theme song in between hospital stays in 2006. Originally intended for a movie trailer, ESL Music released it on an EP in August 2007 alongside remixes by Basement Freaks & Plastilina Mosh and a new track called "Superjam.”

Most recently, ESL Music released 13 new tracks from Chris Joss on Teraphonic Overdubs, a collection of grooves influenced by the diversity of Library music, crossing genres that were years apart while staying true to the funk… Flower power times 10! His I Want Freedom EP followed in August 2008 featuring remixes from Smokey Bandits from Greece, Atfunk from Ibiza and Myagi from Toronto.

Chris Joss’ 5th LP, entitled Sticks, is a smoky sonic journey through the Asian sub-continent. The trademark funky beats are still here, but the sitar that appeared on Teraphonic Overdubs is leading the march here giving a more contemplative side to Chris' beats. The almost all acoustic environment is put on show by the Chris’ furious and incredible production. Filled out by a lush tapestry of ethereal sitars, rubber-funk bass, cheeky organ riffs, snappy drum kicks and smoky atmospherics Sticks captures a deep and irresistible vintage groove that defies categorization!

DL: Chris Joss - Wrong Alley Street Pt. 2 (Fort Knox Five Mix)

February 24, 2009

N.A.S.A. 'Spirit of Apollo'


N.A.S.A is an ongoing creative collaboration between two lifelong music aficionados, Squeak E. Clean and DJ Zegon, and their friends, friends of friends and musical heroes. While N.A.S.A. stands for North America/South America and contains a number of super- star artists from both coasts of the US, it is about as far from a tension-building geographical showdown as a record can get. Rather, their Anti debut The Spirit of Apollo was born with the righteous goal of bringing people together through music and art, and that is exactly what masterminds Sam Spiegel (Squeak E. Clean) and Ze Gonzales (DJ Zegon) have done.

Brazilian funk provides the roots of the songs and binds them together into a cohesive whole, but from there, the imagination behind The Spirit of Apollo ranges far and wide. Unexpected collaborations abound on the eighteen track release. Tom Waits growls over Kool Keith, Karen O taunts while Ol’ Dirty Bastard gives shout-outs to Wu Tang and N.A.S.A from the grave. David Byrne, Chuck D and others expound on the evils of “Money.” In spite of the range of performers, the pairings seem organic, inspired and make perfect sense on the first listen, never coming off as ironic or impulsive.

DL: N.A.S.A. - Gifted (Ft. Kanye West, Santogold, Lykke Li)

February 11, 2009

Ursula 1000 'Mystics'


Ursula 1000 returns from journeys into outer space with an epic collection of psychedelic sonic sorcery in Mystics, his fourth studio album. Zig-Zagging further away from the cheeky vintage breakbeat-rhumba of previous albums, the Brooklyn beat-wizard ventures into tougher and more angular territory: beats banging harder and bass popping louder. Drawing from a variety of new influences and collaborations, Ursula 1000 delivers lethal doses of dirty booty-breaks with tracks like “Rump” featuring MC Tee Double, gothic sexcapades with “I.C.O.M.E.” featuring sex-kitten vocalist Rochelle Vincente Von K, electro-dancehall with “Step Back” featuring Jamaican toaster Sista Widey, and disco-funk filth with “Star Machine” featuring jazz-breaks producer Mocean Worker. At once playful and dangerous, Mystics is a cry to the stars!

The new album differs from the 50's and 60's retro leanings of Ursula 1000’s first two albums. With Here Comes Tomorrow, more elements of psychedelic and glam rock were creeping in alongside more electro and post punk influences. Mystics continues with that approach but with beats that are lot heavier, definitely influenced by electro house and baile funk/baltimore breaks/fidget house rhythms.

DL: Ursula 1000 - Samba 1000

February 05, 2009

Hollywood, Mon Amour 'Hollywood, Mon Amour'


Marc Collin, the Parisian composer who single-handedly changed the way we thought about Depeche Mode and Visage as Nouvelle Vague by daringly rearranging their songs with bossa nova beats and sultry chanteuses, is now chasing a very different ambition: to change the way we feel about 1980s soundtracks. From “Eye of the Tiger” to “Flashdance…What a Feeling,” Hollywood, Mon Amour strips away the dated bombast and overblown synthesizers, the shoulder pads and eyeliner, to reveal songs underneath that you could never even imagine existed.

Hollywood in the 1980s was the port of call for post-punk bands that had reached the mainstream. From Simple Minds to Blondie, the call up for a film soundtrack was the sign that you had hit the big leagues, and soon you too would be recording a slice of Giorgio Moroder pop hysteria, a scene where a stripper with a perm was dancing for her life or Rocky Balboa was pounding the streets of Philadelphia.
Like a musical archaeologist, Collin painstakingly dug through the layers of garish production to find the forgotten bones of the song beneath. It may be hard to believe, but Hollywood, Mon Amour will turn songs you had forgotten into songs you will fall in love with. Where there was once a garish palette of squealing guitar solos and high-five vocals, Collin manages to find fragile colors and tender melancholy. Some of the coolest young female singers around were queuing up to work with Collin, too, including Skye from Morcheeba, Brazilian hipster Cibelle, and appropriately, Hollywood's own rock chick, Juliette Lewis.

DL: Hollywood, Mon Amour - Flashdance.....What A Feeling (Feat. Yael Naim)

February 01, 2009

DJ Sun 'Para EP'


Para EP is the continuation of an extraordinary journey with the prolific and award-winning artist, DJ SUN. Born in Rotterdam and raised in Suriname, our guide on this trip is taking us back to the roots of his bloodlines in South America and the revolutionary spirit of the self-liberated Maroons. Para EP evokes the deity of the Opete and the lush tropical shores of Suriname with a blend of intelligent and effortless grooves by DJ SUN.

Now living in Houston, a beloved DJ and radio show host since 1995 (Soular Grooves, KPFT 90.1), DJ SUN releases his second EP Para. With his first, Monday Drive, listeners quickly learned they could trust him to take them on an international and fantastical exploration of old-school soul, jazz, reggae and even disco. Now, consistent as a heartbeat and as warm as DJ SUN’s memories of home, Para EP propels listeners to go even further with him as he integrates the roots and traditions of his background with contemporary and at times futuristic methodology.

An all-star ensemble of trailblazing and inspirational collaborators help provide the diversity and intensity we have come to expect and love from DJ SUN as a producer. DJ Sabo (Sol Selectas) has gained international recognition with six EP releases; the New York veteran ‘with music in his blood’ lends his funky musical talents to creating a rhythmically pulsating remix of “Para” (DJ Sabo Remix). J Boogie (Om Records), San Francisco’s world-renowned DJ/Producer, also takes on “Para” (J Boogie Remix) delivering his own mix-up of culture, soul, and hypnotic beats. On “Dubai”, DJ SUN delivers the bass lines and warm lounge feel that keep heads bouncing. The Genre Jazz (Presto and Mhax Montes) remix of “Dubai” mellows out the sultry and intoxicating track. As veterans of downtempo and hip hop production, they incorporate heavy drum programs and bass lines with a contrast of obscure and melodic samples. On “Free,” DJ SUN, much like the Opete that inspires him, circles, hops and takes off on deceptive and surprising flights, harmoniously exploring both new and ancestral terrain.

DL: DJ Sun - Dubai

January 27, 2009

The BPA 'I Think We're Gonna Need A Bigger Boat'


The Brighton Port Authority was an outfit who built a huge word-of-mouth reputation on England’s south coast from the early 1970s before petering out in the mid-‘90s. From what can be pieced together, they were a loose-limbed jamming unit. At its core were musicians Norman Cook (Fatboy Slim) and Simon Thornton, who gathered various singers and session men around them, built the rather ramshackle BPA studio, and would occasionally hold multi-day warehouse parties from which their semi-legendary reputation stems.

The BPA’s modus operandi appears to have been to convene for sessions at times pre-agreed according to astrological principles laid out by their guru Baba Ganoush, sadly now deceased. These sessions are classic, notably a song called ‘Local Town’ sung by Jamie T some time in the late ‘70s. Lots of other artists crossed paths with the BPA, although many deny ever having had met them. The vocal on a catchy number called ‘Toe Jam’ is patently David Byrne, despite his reticence on the subject, and at some point during The BPA’s ‘mauve spell’, when Cook and Thornton insisted they could only record on equipment painted mauve, Martha Wainwright stopped by and laid down the vocals for a dubbed out track called ‘Spade’. X-Press 2’s Ashley Beedle is one of the few who acknowledges his presence at BPA sessions, the results being the rock-steady ‘Should I Stay Or Should I Blow.’
“It would have been a tragedy if this material had been lost,” says Seal, “It’s been called Norman Cook’s ‘Smile’ and it’s certainly been hidden from public eye about as long as Brian Wilson’s masterpiece. The BPA are a very different kettle of fish, though, and I can’t wait to hear these songs played at a modern disco. I want to see what the young people think.”

He will very shortly have his chance and, given the stone cold grooves of songs such as ‘Dirty Sheets’ and ‘Jumps The Fence’ it seems likely that people, both young and old, will finally be able to wrap their ears around a long lost treasure.

Download: The BPA - Toe Jam feat. Dizzee Rascal & David Byrne - Stanton Warriors Remix

January 02, 2009

Alice Russell 'Pot of Gold'


One listen to Alice Russell's voice will send shivers down your spine and leave goose bumps on your neck. Alice's lavishly soulful voice is both timeless and modern. Live or on record, she always performs with her trademark self assurance and sass. Listening to Alice, you'd naturally think she grew up on the streets of Detroit, just around the corner from Motown's legendary recording studios, but surprisingly enough the blue-eyed, blonde-haired lass hails from Brighton, U.K.

Although her style is predominantly bluesy and soul lament, it also encompasses everything from funk to gospel to jazz and beyond. 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.

Alice has built quite an impressive discography since bursting onto the scene. Alice's first album, Under the Munka Moon was an amalgamation of various projects (singles, remixes, collaborations) and a great introduction to new listeners. Then came My Favourite Letters, her debut studio album created by Alice with co-writer, producer, guitarist and musical soul mate Alex Cowan (a.k.a. TM Juke). The album received prestigious press accolades and proved she was an unstoppable voice to be reckoned with. Her third release, Under the Munka Moon II compiled her most recent collaborations, remixes, and cover versions including her popular interpretation of White Stripes' "Seven Nation Army," for another satisfying listen.

The dynamic duo of Alice and TM Juke have been touring together for the past two years with their hand-picked band, wowing audiences in the U.K., Europe, Australia, the U.S. and in other countries. Last year, when not busy turning heads with their dynamic stage performances, Alice and "her boys"—as she affectionately refers to her group—were busy in the studio, recording her brand new album, Pot of Gold.

In addition to her prolific musical output, her live performances continue to flourish with the ability to captivate an audience and to hold their attention throughout, expertly tugging at the heartstrings. Pot of Gold was shaped on the road and now comes full circle as Alice and her band tour worldwide to support her new album.

DL: Alice Russell - Got the Hunger?

December 17, 2008

Radio Soulwax 'Part of the Weekend Never Dies'


Part Of The Weekend Never Dies is a documentary showcasing the talents of four Belgians (Soulwax) who programmed and promoted, DJ’d, and played live alongside an array of their friends and some of the most exciting acts in modern music, traveling relentlessly across the globe under the banner of “Radio Soulwax.”
Recording over 120 shows with one camera in Europe, Japan, US, Latin America, and Australia with acclaimed director Saam Farahmand, their efforts resulted in two films and an album.

The film includes 2manydj's and Soulwax’s Nite Versions live footage, and also features James Murphy, Nancy Whang, Erol Alkan, Tiga, Justice, Busy P, So-Me, Peaches, Kitsuné & Klaxons in behind-the-scenes footage and interviews. The second is a live film that captures perfectly the blissful and beautiful sonic malevolence of Soulwax’s Nite Versions blitzkrieg. The live album captures the energy and excitement of this whirlwind tour.
While dance and rock bands may have been unlikely bedfellows, there is something wonderful about Soulwax, a schizophrenic ball of ideas and sound, constantly evolving into new shapes, complications and identities.

Part Of The Weekend Never Dies is purely and simply a documentation of four guys making people forget everything. It captures the uniqueness of what Radio Soulwax is and was to people all around the world—not just the euphoria and revelation, but the adoration of music, the party and the crescendo, and most importantly sharing and friendship and as far removed from the notion of the superstar DJ as you could get.

DL: MGMT - Kids (Soulwax Remix)

December 09, 2008

Soulphonic Soundsystem 'Volume One - More Remixes'


Following on the heels of their full-length debut, Portland beat-slinging duo Soulphonic Soundsystem has unleashed their latest digital-only single featuring remixes from some of their favorite producers. NYC's Turntables On The Hudson-founder Nickodemus (ESL, Wonderwheel) jump starts the sitar driven "Eastern Market" with a fierce four-on-the-floor tabla driven beat, while Germany's Deela (Switchstance Records) lays the perfect backbeat for Valida's vocals on "The One" to move the track from the headphones to the floor. For the finishing touch, Brighton's Will Sumsuch (Latenight Lounging) takes a trip into abstract terrain with his interpretation of the previously unreleased "Miso." Bringing you all three remixes from the single, this digital DJ promo is sure to keep dancefloors worldwide in motion to the vibes of Soulphonic Soundsystem.

DL; Soulphonic Soundsystem - Montanica

December 04, 2008

Various Artists 'Verve//Remixed: Christmas'


No matter what holidays you celebrate, the thing we all call Christmas Spirit is a warm & fuzzy feeling, packed with hugs and candy and presents and snow. And what’s better than those things? Nothing, that’s what.

We love the holiday season and we’re pretty sure you do too. And with a tracklisting like this one -- Nina Simone, Billie & Ella, Mel Torme on the cuts, The Heavy, Oh NO, Wax Tailor, Fink, and Brazilian Girls on the remixes – we know this is just the thing to get you in the holiday spirit. Conceived and compiled by co-producers Dahlia Ambach-Caplin and Todd Roberts, Verve Remixed Christmas will ensure that you’ll have the coolest holiday season.

DL: Dinah Washington - Silent Night (Brazilian Girls Remix)

December 02, 2008

Death Cab for Cutie 'Something About Airplanes' (Deluxe Edition)


Death Cab for Cutie’s classic 1998 debut album, Something About Airplanes, limited deluxe 10-year anniversary CD edition includes a bonus disc featuring a recently-unearthed recording of the band’s first-ever Seattle show, a February 1998 set at the legendary venue The Crocodile Café. It also includes beautifully redesigned artwork, including extensive liner notes by noted musician and writer Sean Nelson (whose band Harvey Danger was the headliner of the bonus disc show, and who sings lead vocals on the DCFC set’s never-before-heard cover of The Smiths’ “Sweet and Tender Hooligan”).

Death Cab for Cutie originally formed in Bellingham, WA, in 1997 with their cassette-only Elsinor Records release. Something About Airplanes was the first album recorded by the full band, following the addition of Nick Harmer (bass) and Nathan Good (drums).

DL: Death Cab for Cutie - Champagne From a Paper Cup

November 18, 2008

Medeski Martin and Wood 'Radiolarians 1'


Medeski Martin & Wood have embarked on an ingenious new experiment dubbed The Radiolarian Series.

In February, Medeski Martin & Wood began their Viva La Evolution Tour—a three run, three record project. In direct contrast to they way things are usually done MMW decided to spend 2008 composing the skeleton of new music, taking it on the road to flesh out the composition, and finally putting the by now well played notes down as tracks. Three times. Radiolarians 1 is the first in this 3 inventive new record series.

The Radiolarian Series is named after radiolarians – a type of single-celled organisms whose dazzlingly intricate mineral exoskeletons were documented in a stunning series of plates by German biologist Ernst Haeckel. By inverting the industry standard and developing their material in front of an audience before entering the studio, they are giving their fans a revealing look at the way their material evolves – in a sense, putting the skeleton on the outside. The studio recordings will be cut in bare-bones fashion, designed to capture the feeling of the band’s live sets. David Kent, who does live sound for Medeski Martin & Wood, will also engineer the studio sessions, insuring the continuity of the concept.

DL: Medeski Martin & Wood - Let's Go Everywhere

November 17, 2008

The Rapture 'Tapes'


Keen connoisseurs of house music, hip-hop and electronica, The Rapture have recorded with DFA Soundsystem, Dangermouse and Timbaland and toured with Daft Punk, The Cure and The Killers. At the dawn of the new millennium, this impeccably cool four-piece helped pioneer the dance-punk scenes and No Wave renaissance that soon conquered the global club scene.

Their new mix album “Tapes” is a treasure trove of rare grooves and cult classics spanning three decades, from the late 1970s to 2008. One key thread running through the mix is the evergreen sound of the New York underground, epitomised by classic tunes like Vaughan Mason & Crew’s 1980 disco-rap milestone “Bounce, Rock, Skate, Roll” and the irresistible beat-pop ditty “I’m An Indian Too,” recorded in 1979 by East Harlem’s Don Armando and his Second Avenue Rumba Band. NYC’s latest clubland stars also make their mark, from neo-disco supergroup Arcade Lover to hip-hop DJ Frog’s dazzling robo-funk alter ego, Dances With White Girls.

“Tapes” features household names and underground cult heroes. Southern soul legends The Bar-Kays, Otis Redding’s former backing band, are on here. So is the revered 1960s folk singer Richie Havens, performing an amazing funky-house version of the classic Odyssey hit “Back To My Roots”. But alongside tracks by A-list DJ Armand Van Helden and hip-hop superstar Ghostface Killah, “Tapes” contains cutting-edge electronica from the rising stars of today.

DL: The Rapture - No Sex for Ben

November 12, 2008

Tittsworht '12 Steps'


For anyone tuned into the sounds of today’s club culture, you’ll be aware that one of the most exciting and well championed of dance musical frequencies and beats is the ‘Baltimore’ or ‘B-more’ sound. Up until recently this sonic movement was mostly confined to the city which gives it its name, however things are already changing with the clever combination of hip-hop attitude and house music, the energy and enthusiasm is spreading like wildfire on an international scale.

It seems Baltimore provided the answer to the ‘what’s next?’ question that left many scratching their heads as hip-hop’s former appeal dulled out and the youth of today were left needing something to claim as their own once again. It’s also fair to say that B-more provided a much-needed dose of energy and fun to the dance floor, with its bass-heavy, cut up approach proven to achieve the ‘hands in the air’ seal of approval.

Smack dab in the middle of this wave is Washington D.C. bred DJ/producer Jesse Tittsworth, who for the past few years has been lighting up blogs and dance floors with re-edits and remixes galore which have taken this formerly obscure music man on a non-stop whirlwind of touring; notching up festivals and headlining clubs in just about every place on earth where club music means anything.

The first-of-its-kind album, 12 Steps, features original Tittsworth production through unique collaborations with various A-list vocalists such as blog buzzer Kid Sister and hyphy vets The Federation to chart toppers like Nina Sky and Pitbull. Even before its release, "12 Steps" received high praise from Billboard, URB, Fader, Kiss, Radio 1, Entertainment Times and many more.

DL: Ramones - Blitzkrieg Bop (Tittsworth Remix)

November 10, 2008

Bombay Dub Orchestra '3 Cities'


Step inside the sound of 3 Cities, Bombay Dub Orchestra's sophomore release, and experience the crossroads where Mumbai, Chennai, and London musically meet. Since the release of their self-titled debut, Bombay Dub Orchestra (consisting of composer/producers Garry Hughes and Andrew T. Mackay) has built quite a reputation. From main-stage performances at the UK's Big Chill Festival and Djing across the globe, scoring feature films to remixing such world-renowned artists as Bob Marley, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, and Bebel Gilberto, fans and critics have been eagerly awaiting their next move. For 3 Cities, Hughes and Mackay traveled to Mumbai and Chennai to record with the cities' premier musicians and vocalists before returning to London to mix the album. 3 Cities is where their cinematic soundscapes meet Indian Classical and electronica, featuring a huge cast of over 75 musicians!

The album is lush and relaxed, and at other times it takes the listener on a rollicking ride down the Ganges from the Himalayas to the Bay of Bengal with sounds both new and old. Mumbai (formerly Bombay) is where the majority of 3 Cities was created and is central to Bombay Dub Orchestra. Both Hughes and Mackay have been traveling to Mumbai since the early 90's and first worked together there in 1998. The people, the colors, the buildings, the smells, the food, and life in the heart of the city has been integral to their inspiration.

The second city represented on the album is Chennai (Madras). Although both Hughes and Mackay had visited Chennai before, this was their first time recording there. They immediately made a real connection with the musicians, recording at the studios of revered composer and musician A R Rahman, regarded as one of the greatest film composers. This is where they worked with a team of dedicated string players and soloists.
After extensive sessions in Mumbai and Chennai, Bombay Dub Orchestra returned back home, recording in various parts of the UK including London, where the vocals of singers Kartik and Meneka were recorded as well as some sitar and percussion. The biggest UK sessions were recorded at Rockfield Studios. A legendary music studio set up in the 1960s, the facility has the vibe left from five decades of recording with the likes of Queen, Black Sabbath, Echo and the Bunnymen, and Oasis. Here BDO recorded live drums, percussion, tablas, Rhodes and piano.

DL: Bombay Dub Orchestra - Compassion

October 01, 2008

Thievery Corporation ‘Radio Retaliation’


Thievery Corporation are back after the 'Cosmic Game' with their highly anticipated fifth independent studio album Radio Retaliation. Along with longtime microphone co-conspirators like Sleepy Wonder, Lou Lou, and Notch, the “outernational” DJ and production duo are joined this time by a new cast of musical collaborators including Nigeria’s afro-beat heir Femi Kuti, Brazilian star vocalist and guitarist Seu Jorge, Indian sitar virtuoso Anushka Shankar, Slovakian chanteuse and violinist Jana Andevska, and Washington DC’s own godfather of go-go Chuck Brown. The album has an uncompromising socio-political agenda and richly layered production touching upon the eclectic sounds of Jamaica, Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

"Radio Retaliation is definitely a more overt political statement," says Garza. "There's no excuse for not speaking out at this point, with the suspension of habeas corpus, outsourced torture, illegal wars of aggression, fuel, food, and economic crises. It's hard to close your eyes and sleep while the world is burning around you. If you are an artist, this is the most essential time to speak up." Naturally, the duo decided to raise their voice.
With Radio Retaliation, recorded entirely in their Washington DC-based studio, Thievery Corporation have managed to blossom in the heart of a city they often refer to as "Babylon;" a poignant reference to the traditional Rastafarian distaste and distrust of a corrupt and unjust modern system. Although the city is best known as the seat of an aggressive American Empire, paradoxically Washington DC has long been the home of a music subculture legendary for fierce independence, a staunch do-it-yourself work ethic, and conscientious social activism exemplified by genre-defining pioneers like godfather of go-go Chuck Brown and indie punk rockers Bad Brains, Minor Threat, and Fugazi.

DL: Thievery Corporation - Mandala

September 18, 2008

Bomb the Bass ‘Future Chaos’


With Future Chaos, Bomb the Bass', Tim Simenon, revamps his long-running project to produce a record that's fresher than anyone might have expected from an outfit that got its start in the '80s. Tickling tweeters and pushing the limits of low-end, the album hovers confidently on the cusp between futurism and vintage. Simenon calls it "electronic music with soul," but that barely begins to describe it. At once lush and chilly, intimate and alien, Future Chaos is a synth-rich album boasting guest vocals from Jon Spencer, Mark Lanegan, Fujiya & Miyagi's David Best, Toob and Paul Conboy.

It's been 21 years since Bomb the Bass' "Beat Dis" helped usher in the era of sampling, acid house and DJ culture. It's easy to forget how monumental the single was. Going straight to number two in the UK charts, the song's success quickly propelled Simenon from underground DJ to in-demand knobsman.

On Future Chaos, Simenon's guest vocalists are as inspired as ever. David Best, of Fujiya & Miyagi, spreads his trademark free-association whispers all over "Butter Fingers." Toob, the duo of Jakeone (Jake Williams) and Red Snapper's Richard Thair, lend a nervous, sultry touch to "Burn the Bunker." Jon Spencer—yes, he of Blues Explosion fame—infuses "Fuzzbox" with the distant purr of robot phone sex. But the most striking appearance here might be Mark Lanegan's. Formerly of the Screaming Trees, a onetime member of Queens of the Stone Age and collaborator with PJ Harvey, Lanegan has a voice like no other; on "Black River," his smokes-and-whiskey drawl proves the perfect complement to Bomb the Bass' rich sonics.

DL: Bomb the Bass - Butterfingers (Ft. Fujiya & Miyagi)

August 19, 2008

Natalie Walker 'With You'

Natalie Walker.jpg

Electronic songstress Natalie Walker returns with her sophomore album the titled 'With You.' It's a diverse and dynamic album rooted in classic pop and New Wave soundscapes. The release comes on the heels of last year's 'Urban Angel,' Walker's debut that has become an indie favorite among electronic fans. 'Urban Angel' garnered critical acclaim and saw heavy rotation at KCRW. Director Sofia Coppola also heard a Thievery Corporation remix of Walker's single "Quicksand," fell in love with it and included it in the trailer for her film Marie Antoinette.

Armed with a voice that softly swirls and induces chills just the same, the release finds Walker reuniting with the Brooklyn-based production duo Stuhr (Mya, Nicole Atkins) who oversaw production on her debut. As a result, 'With You' doesn't so much depart from her debut as build on its strengths. It also reflects Walker's increasingly varied influences from the upbeat to sublime and serious. From tracks like "Monarch," "By and By" and the first single, "Over and Under," 'With You' firmly establishes Natalie Walker as one of the electronic genre's brightest new stars.

DL: Natalie Walker - Over & Under

August 15, 2008

Brazilian Girls 'New York City'


Over the course of two previous studio albums and countless all-nighters at their East Village clubhouse, Nublu, Brazilian Girls has established a reputation as New York’s premier international party band. To attend a Brazilian Girls show is to experience something like time travel: No one else is quite as capable of making a few hours fly by like a few minutes.

For the Girls’ third full-length—the follow-up to 2006’s Talk to La Bomb, singer Sabina Sciubba says she, keyboardist Didi Gutman and drummer Aaron Johnston (bassist Jesse Murphy is on hiatus from the group) wanted to slow down their process. The result of nearly eight months’ worth of work on their own and with producer Hector Castillo, the boldly titled New York City is Brazilian Girls’ most sophisticated, dynamic effort yet. To be sure, the album contains its fair share of uptempo party-starters: “We just want to have a good time all the time,” Sciubba admits gleefully over an infectious hand-clap beat in the aptly named “Good Time,” while “Losing Myself” rides a go-go organ groove.

Yet New York City also reveals a deeper, more contemplative side of Brazilian Girls’ sound, one that Johnston says reflects the band’s desire to “actually sit down and write rather than just jam at the club.” They certainly succeed on that count. “Strangeboy” is a spooky avant-cabaret number in which Sciubba’s echo-chamber vocals float uneasily over forbidding haunted-house horns. “Ricardo” has a sly spy-movie throb. “I Want Out” features gorgeous choral vocals that call to mind Björk’s work on Vespertine. “Mano De Dios” could be the soundtrack to your next yoga session. For “Internacional,” a sleek future-lounge throwdown, Brazilian Girls were joined in the studio by Senegalese superstar Baba Maal, a happy byproduct of Sciubba and Gutman’s work on Maal’s own forthcoming album.

The members of the band are sure that the wide variety of fans who make up Brazilian Girls’ diverse audience will respond to their latest explorations. “Rather than something cool or hip, I think people are looking for something that touches them,” says Sciubba. “Everyone needs a little love right now.” And they’ll certainly find it—prepare to be shaken!

DL: Brazilian Girls - Good Time

August 05, 2008

Issa Bagayogo 'Mali Koura'


Issa Bagayogo is a regular star attraction on stages around the African continent, playing for huge and wildly enthusiastic audiences. On his latest release, Mali Koura, Issa adds jazz inflected horns to his organic blend of roots music and Western dance technology. Issa’s sound has ripened into a fully-realized Afro-European hybrid – no longer does it sound like a fusion of two separate cultures, but rather like the fully-evolved music of a brand new culture.

An incredible roster of guest musicians appear on Mali Koura, including flutist Ba Diallo (who plays regularly with the National Ensemble of Mali); the French guitarist Pascale Hubert (of Double Nelson); djembe player Adama Diarra (famed for his work with some of Mali’s greatest griots as well as jazz singer Dee Dee Bridgewater); and Issa’s longtime guitarist Mama Sissoko.

Take all of these elements together and the result is one of the warmest, most surprising and most exciting albums of African music you've heard in a while.

DL: Issa Bagayogo - Sebero

July 28, 2008

The Dandy Warhols '...Earth to The Dandy Warhols...'


The Dandy Warhols are back with their sixth LP, Earth To The Dandy Warhols. Earth To… marks the band’s debut as masters of their own destiny, powered now by their own label, Beat the World records. Pulling together the diverse sounds and influences that have always characterized their music, this is quintessential Dandy's, full of the same dry vigor that’s made them world famous. Earth To The Dandy Warhols is set for release on August 19, 2008.

From the Some Girls-era Rolling Stones-meets-Talking Heads “Welcome To The Third World,” to the campy “Mis Amigos,” to the psychedelic rock of “Beast of Saints,” Earth To The Dandy Warhols is pleasure of a ride that allows you to fully settle into it while still keeping you on your toes. The band reached out to their friends, too, inviting Dire Strait’s Mark Knopfler and the Heartbreakers’ guitarist Mike Campbell to join in on the rollicking “Love Song.” “The Legend Of The Last Of The Outlaw Truckers AKA The Ballad Of Sheriff Shorty,” is a 21st century take on outlaw country that has Courtney Taylor-Taylor growling melodically over dusty guitar riffs.

The Dandy Warhols kick off their 2008 tour in support of the album with European Festival dates this summer and a fall North American tour. Check them out in you town. Support band is Portland's The Upsidedown.

Sep 9 - First Avenue - Minneapolis, Minnesota
Sep 10 - Barrymore - Madison, Wisconsin
Sep 12 - Vic Theater - Chicago, Illinois
Sep 13 - Kool Haus - Toronto, Ontario
Sep 14 - Club Soda - Montréal, Quebec
Sep 16 - Wilbur Theatre - Boston, Massachusetts
Sep 17 - Terminal 5 - New York, New York
Sep 19 - Music Hall of Williamsburg - Brooklyn, New York
Sep 20 - TLA - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Sep 22 - 9:30 Club - Washington DC
Sep 23 - Center Stage - Atlanta, Georgia
Sep 26 - Liberty Hall - Lawrence, Kansas
Sep 27 - Gothic Theater - Denver, Colorado
Sep 28 - Belly Up - Aspen, Colorado
Oct 1 - Belly Up - San Diego, California
Oct 3 - The Wiltern - Los Angeles, California
Oct 4 - Warfield - San Francisco, California
Oct 5 - Roseland - Portland, Oregon

DL: The Dandy Warhols - The Legend of The Last of the Outlaw Truckers AKA the Ballad Of sheriff Shorty

July 22, 2008

Tricky 'Council Estate' Single


This EP is a precursor to the new album, "Knowle West Boy", out in September in the USA, and includes the "Council Estate" single and a diverse selection of remixes, such as the dancehall inspired South Rakkas Crew remix, the club ready Drums Of Death remix, and more. The 12-inch features the reggae funk of album track "Baligaga", while the CD version includes an exclusive "Council Estate" remix by Kotchy. The album is already out in Europe and available as an import here if you want to spend the extra cash instead of waiting a couple of weeks.

DL: Tricky - Council Estate

July 14, 2008

Various Artists 'Life Beyond Mars: Bowie Covered'


A lot has been done to commemorate the musical life of David Bowie, but among the near-countless covers, tributes, and remixes, no collection has brought together such an exciting group of artists, whose covers re imagine these classic tunes while staying fiercely loyal to Bowie’s greatness. After Rapster Records' great success with its 2006 release of the adventurous Radiohead covers album entitled “Exit Music,” the label set out to release a follow-up with artists that have been heavily influenced by the legacy of the Thin White Duke. After Bowie turned 60, it was understood that the time could never be more perfect to create Life Beyond Mars. The selected artist could choose any track from Bowie’s back catalog and create his own fresh interpretation, however faithful or different from the original. The result is a fascinating range of interpretations by some of the leading players in today’s electronic music scene - from Detroit’s Matthew Dear and Carl Craig to Joakim, Kelley Polar, Susumu Yokota and Au Revoir Simone, all tapping into the cryptic, expressionist core of Bowie’s originals.


01 Au Revoir Simone - Oh! You Pretty Things
02 Heartbreak - Loving The Alien
03 Kelley Polar - Magic Dance
04 Leo Minor - Ashes To Ashes
05 Carl Craig Presents Zoos of Berlin - Looking For Water
06 Drew Brown - Sweet Thing
07 Matthew Dear - Sound & Vision
08 Susumu Yokota - Golden Years
09 The Emperor Machine - Repetition
10 Joakim & The Disco - A New Career In Town
11 Richard Walters & Faultline - Be My Wife
12 The Thing - Life On Mars

DL: Matthew Dear - Sound And Vision

July 07, 2008

Niyaz ‘Nine Heavens’


Niyaz's 2005 debut featured a convincing blend of Sufi mysticism and trance electronica, and quickly established them as a standout ensemble in a very crowded world music field. Vocalist Azam Ali co-founded the best-selling world music duo Vas in 1996; her unmistakable voice has graced numerous recordings and major film scores. Loga Ramin Torkian is a multi-instrumentalist whose group Axiom of Choice brought the ancient sounds of Persian classical music to Western listeners in the 1990s. And producer Carmen Rizzo, a multiple Grammy nominee, has worked with Coldplay, Seal, Ryuichi Sakamoto, and many others.

Nine Heavens begins with the irresistible "Beni Beni," which marries an 18th century Turkish Sufi poem to a traditional Turkish folk song and some beautifully integrated electronics and programming. The steady, trance rhythms support layers of Turkish and Persian lutes, all topped by a new instrument known as the kamman, a larger, lower-pitched version of the traditional Persian fiddle. Other highlights include "Iman," a lullaby written by Loga and Azam for their infant son. And "Feraghi – Song of Exile" is close to the hearts of the two Persian émigrés, now living in California. Nine Heavens doesn't just cross cultural and stylistic boundaries, but the centuries as well. Drawing on medieval Persian poetry and 300-year old Persian folk songs, Niyaz has created a 21st century global trance tradition. Dance or trance – Niyaz’s Nine Heavens serves either purpose and will take listeners on a musical journey!

DL: Niyaz - Dilruba

July 01, 2008

Incognito ‘Tales From The Beach’


Since the late 1970s, the UK unit known as Incognito has taken elements of American R&B, soul, funk, disco and other high-energy sounds and merged them with the multicultural sensibilities of founder and frontman Jean-Paul Maunick, the Mauritius-born guitarist/producer of the band. More than just a UK band copping U.S. grooves, though, Incognito has built a rock-solid reputation for diversity by borrowing music and musicians from a host of exotic cultural centers: South Africa, India, Brazil, Cuba, Jamaica, Israel, France, Germany, Russia and so many more. An ongoing work in progress more than a band in the traditional sense, Incognito is a creative melting pot that captures the most infectious, dance-oriented beats from around the globe and distills them into an upbeat, high-octane blend.

With three decades worth of innovative recordings and live performances under their collective belts, Incognito present Tales From The Beach, a 15-track set of refreshing and uplifting songs that capture the best elements of the band’s classic sound: driving rhythms, high-impact horns and stirring lyrics delivered by an array of expressive vocalists.

June 30, 2008

Bajofondo ‘Mar Dulce’


Bajofondo has been a pioneer in what has been known as “electronica tango,” and the band quickly caused a stir in Argentina and all over the world due to its unique genre. Their self-titled debut won the prestigious Premio Gardel as the Best Electronica Music Album in Argentina and won a Latin Grammy award as the Best Instrumental Pop Album.

Mar Dulce represents a new qualitative jump in Bajofondo’s evolution. The album was recorded in Buenos Aires, Montevideo, Los Angeles, New York, Tokyo and Madrid, and the multiplicity of locations reflects the cosmopolitan attraction of Bajofondo, as well as the eclectic list of guest artists: Elvis Costello, Mala Rodríguez, Nelly Furtado, virtuoso Japanese bandoneon player Ryota Komatsu, and several Rio de la Plata artists.

New tracks include "Pa’ Bailar" (where the tango and rock beats intersect in an irresistible danceable communion), "Fairly Right" (a happy meeting of the melancholy found in tango and the Beatles’ musicality, with Elvis Costello holding vocal duty) and "Zitarossa" (in which Bajofondo gets into the Uruguayan milonga, paying tribute to Zitarrosa with the participation of Toto Méndez, who was his guitarist), among other songs bound to become new classics in their repertoire. The entire album was recorded in real time and reflects the explosive live dynamic of the group.

June 23, 2008

Kudu 'Back for More: A Remix Collection'


Called one of New York’s most caustic, daringly inventive and underrated dark electronic dance-pop outfits, KUDU return with their new remix album 'Back for More: A Remix Collection'. The album features over 70 minutes of energized selections including new and previously released tracks, rarities and masterful reconstructions by Armand van Helden, Sinden, Tommie Sunshine, Drop the Lime, King Britt, Lingling, Hess is More and many more.

Carefully compiled by KUDU, 'Back for More' is a well-crafted hybrid of adventurous reworks of stand-out selections from the trio’s acclaimed 2006 release, 'Death of the Party', alongside the previously released “Cannibal (Bite Me Mix)” (lifted from the group’s eponymous self-released 2005 EP), the highly sought-after (and long out-of-print) Boom Boom!! (Black Blonde Mix)” and the new track “Your Words”.

June 21, 2008

The Orb 'The Dream'


The Orb triumphantly return with 'The Dream, a brand new album that sees a return to the original spirit that spawned The Orb's first two classic albums, The Orb's Adventures In the Ultraworld and U.F. Orb. Working with former Dreadzone studio-wiz Tim Bran and guest artists, The Orb's Alex Patterson and Youth have created a work of stunning beauty and immediacy while never losing sight of their original quest to homage personal musical obsessions while exploring sonic territories few dare to tread. The Dream is one of those rare albums that weave its own unique magic after repeated listens.

The Dream was created without pressure from record companies or the studio. As with previous albums, the basic Orb nucleus is joined by guest singers and players, including System 7's Steve Hillage, who goes back to the earliest recordings, Battersea toaster-singer Eric Walker aka "The Corporal" and vocalists Aki Omori [the Japanese singer who appeared on 2001's Cydonia], singer Andy Caine from the W.A.U.! days, and renowned soulstress Juliet Roberts. With 'The Dream' The Orb is definitely back to form.

June 19, 2008

Sonantes ‘Sonantes’


As Brazil celebrates its 50th anniversary of bossa nova music in 2008, there continues to be a streaming output of new talent and innovation from this rich musical country. A perfect example is Sonantes, a São Paolo based musical collective featuring the vocal talents of CéU in collaboration with Pupillo and Dengue, members of the Brazilian group Nação Zumbi, as well as Rica Amabis from Instituto and Gui Amabis.

Their unique debut release is a collection of atmospheric songs written for imaginary films and features guest stars including Siba, Lúcio Maia, Beto Villares, Apollo 9, and others. This special "labor of love" project brought together some of the most exciting artists from Sao Paulo's vital music scene in a creative atmosphere. The result is a collection of atmospheric songs that combine Brazilian, African, Cuban and electronic influences and sound like they were written for a series of lush imaginary films.

June 16, 2008

Carmen Rizzo 'The Ornament of an Imposter'


Whether you know it or not, chances are you already know Carmen Rizzo. As a musician, producer, remixer, and writer, Carmen Rizzo is a fixture on album credits and his eclectic career has seen him working with an incredible range of artists, including Paul Oakenfold, BT, Esthero, Alanis Morissette, KD Lang to Seal, Coldplay, Pete Townsend, Ryuichi Sakamoto, and Cirque du Soleil.

Now, with the release of his sophomore album Ornament Of An Imposter on his own Electrofone Music label, Carmen continues to surprise audiences around the world with his own distinctive sound, and with collaborations featuring such artists as Jem and Kate Havnevik, who give their beautiful vocal contributions to tracks such as “Ecouter” and “Sirens.” Already spinning heavily at tastemaker Area54, and with the support of iTunes, featuring the album on its home page. Ornament Of An Imposter showcases Carmen’s ability to blend beautiful organic sounds with ones that are proudly synthetic in a versatile down-tempo setting

June 10, 2008

Natalia Clavier 'Nectar'


Natalia Clavier's new album, Nectar, marks the first ever release by a solo female artist in ESL's history, (Thievery Corporation's record label) and was recorded at D.C's Consulate studios last year between her hectic touring schedule; singing live with Thievery Corporation and Federico Aubele. Nectar is built on sensual rhythms and Latin flourishes; featuring the steady thump of "El Arbol," the soaring majesty of "Azul," the sly tango of "Ay De Mi," and the languid beauty of title track "Nectar."

A native Argentinean, Clavier has lived a lifetime of music. Born and raised in Buenos Aires, she was exposed by her mother at an early age to a constant stream of music ranging from classical, Argentinean folk, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, singer-songwriters from Spain, to soul music from North America. She began singing in school choirs at the age of three, and at eleven was performing as a soloist for a state sponsored kids music and theater show to packed houses at Teatro de Las Provincias Argentinas , one of the largest concert halls in the city. After a short time acting with local troupes and companies, Natalia met a variety of musicians and joined an ethnic/electronic/acoustic outfit called Cosmic Ja-Ja. After some time performing live in Argentina she moved to Barcelona. In Barcelona, Natalia immediately hit the jazz circuit and launched herself into the electronic music scene by contributing vocals to house and techno singles and even singing live at raves in front of thousands. Quickly establishing herself in the local scene, she was introduced to a young guitarist and ex-pat from Argentina named Federico Aubele. The two became fast friends and Federico asked her to tour with him and eventually, to sing on his new album Panamericana. Having always sung in languages other than Spanish, Natalia felt a new and irresistible calling to express herself in her native tongue. With Federico's help and support, Natalia composed and recorded an impressive 10-track demo, which came into the hands of Eric Hilton of Thievery Corporation. He was immediately taken by her singing talent and within the month Natalia Clavier became ESL Music's newest solo artist, and first female artist.

June 08, 2008

The Herbaliser 'Same As It Never Was'


One listen to Herbaliser’s new album, Same As It Never Was reveals that the title is more than a clever turn of phrase. The album sees the group expanding from its core production duo to a line-up of five permanent members. With the addition of frequent touring players Ralph Lamb and Andy Ross, a scratchy, live band funk sound replaces the deep digging loops and samples of previous albums. A heavy soul influence pervades, augmented by the addition of a fiery young vocalist, Jessica Darling.

Although Same As It Never Was may be their most song-driven album to date, Herbaliser has not overlooked their tradition of showcasing talented rappers from both sides of the Atlantic. In addition to Yungun’s meditation on technological advances on “Just Don’t Stop,” Toronto-based More Or Les and long time Herbz collaborator Jean Grae contribute rich, story-laden rhymes. They’ve also embraced their instrumental leanings, with fierce results. Drawing on the likes of John Barry, David Axelrod, and Quincy Jones, Herbaliser take those undertones and run them through their own unique grinder. Same As It Never Was reaches an epic climax with the gorgeously sensual final track, “Stranded On Earth.” The natural successor to long-time Herbaliser favourite “Moon Sequence,” this jazz-soul symphony features a stunning vocal performance by Jessica that nods to vintage 1970s Pink Floyd.

June 05, 2008

Various Artists 'Verve//Remixed 4'


Since 2002, the Verve Remixed series has proven that the lines between jazz and electronic music are meant to be bent, explored, mutated, dissolved. On Verve Remixed 4, music’s respected remix series once again breaks new ground. More soulful in both repertoire and musical direction, the new album enlists a cutting-edge arsenal of production contributors to re-imagine a luminous array of R&B, soul, latin and jazz standards and rare gems. This compelling rollout features funk, Afrobeat and transcultural taste makers as well – the beat world’s most influential accompanists pairing off with some of the most memorable and against-the-grain vocal performances ever. The most cohesive offering of the Verve Remix canon, Remixed 4 illuminates the depth and durability of the Verve legacy for generations to come.

June 03, 2008

Bitter:Sweet 'Drama'


Bitter:Sweet’s trademark sound is an intoxicating blend of Shana Halligan’s melodically sweet-and-sexy vocals paired with the duo's sassy genre-bending production work. In 2000, Kiran emerged on the scene as a founding member of The Supreme Beings of Leisure. Music, of course, has been at the forefront of Shana’s life since she was a child; her father, after all, is Dick Halligan of Blood, Sweat & Tears. Kiran and Shana are back with Drama, one of the most seductive interpretations of retro swank released this year. Since coming on the scene in 2006 with their debut album, Bitter:Sweet has received a plethora of buzz, including The Los Angeles Times, who claimed The Mating Game as “perhaps the best album of its kind since Portishead’s ‘Dummy’ was released more than a decade ago” and URB magazine who called the album “delicious.”

The band has received countless accolades, including being named the Best Rock/Pop Album of 2006 at the Independent Music Awards. They are consistently ranked on top 20 of iTunes Electronic albums chart and in Billboard’s Top 50 Electronic albums chart. Both People and Playboy Magazine urged millions of their readers to download hot tracks off of their album. And, in their hometown, The Los Angeles Times pegged Bitter:Sweet as one of the top 10 Buzz Bands of 2006.
Many of the hottest television shows and movies have used Bitter:Sweet’s music, including Samantha Who, Grey’s Anatomy, Nip/Tuck, Entourage, Desperate Housewives, The Devil Wears Prada, Men In Trees, Brothers & Sisters, and many, many more. Victoria’s Secret, Korbel Champagne and Bebe also tapped into Bitter:Sweet’s head-turning beats for their national advertising campaigns. It’s no mystery as to why their music is so sought after – one listen and you’re hooked!

May 09, 2008

Portishead 'Third'


Portishead's Third has been a long time coming, the result of a lengthy sabbatical following 1997's dark and underrated album, Portishead. While the core trio of Beth Gibbons, Geoff Barrow, and Adrian Utley remains, this is quite a different band to Portishead's 90s incarnation: gone is the slo-mo turntable scratching and smoky jazz feel, replaced by heavy, brooding rhythms, vintage-sounding electronics, and spindly guitar. Still present is that sense of emotional fracture and deep gloom. "Silence" opens with a dense drum loop which suddenly falls away to reveal Gibbons' voice: "Wounded and afraid, inside my head/Falling through changes". "Nylon Smile", meanwhile, is a fine example of Third's occasional folksy edge, an acoustic song reminiscent of Leonard Cohen that, around its midpoint, lifts off on a propulsive electronic rhythm, Gibbons holding one clear, hard note as synthesisers bubble beneath. At times, it's a harsh and foreboding listen: the electronic drums of "Machine Gun" might put off the listener hoping for smooth dinner party fare that they found on 1994's "Dummy". But Third is a brave and forward-thinking return.

May 02, 2008

Static Revenger presents 'Love Song Surprise'


Producer/DJ/multi-instrumentalist Dennis White (AKA Static Revenger) unveils his latest project Love Song Surprise. Co-produced by Supreme Beings of Leisure’s Ramin Sakurai and co-written by 2007 BBC world music award nominee Duke Mushroom (Bole 2 Harlem), Love Song Surprise is an electronic based record filled with skillful song writing and production.

Static Revenger has been one of the most prolific names in dance music for the better part of 10 years. With artist credits on over 1.5 million records sold worldwide, this multi-instrumentalist trapped in a DJ's body is responsible for chart-topping masterpieces for everyone from Madonna to the Weekend Players, and has shared the decks with Fatboy Slim, The Basement Jaxx, Chemical Bros, Oakenfold, Erick Morillo, and the Crystal Method. From an early start in dance music as the music director for Inner City's (good life/ big fun) first world tour, to recent Film and TV credits, Static Revenger's productions have been prolific the last decade.

April 12, 2008

A cool way to show you what I'm listening to right now!

April 07, 2008

Moby 'Last Night'


After the meditative electronica of 2002’s 18 and the singer-songwriter moves of 2005’s Hotel, Moby returns to the dance floor with a vengeance on his new album Last Night, released on April 1, 2008. Spanning hands-in-the-air, Smiley-faced rave anthems, cosmic Giorgio Moroder-styled Euro-disco, hip-hop both old school and underground, and downtempo, end-of-the-night ambience, Last Night is a dance music tour de force that looks back at Moby’s deep roots in the club scene at the same time as it embraces the future.

Last Night is conceptually structured like an epic night out, moving from the building excitement of the early evening to peak-time euphoria to 2 am confusion and the blissful peace of the early morning New York city sunrise. The album was recorded in moby's home studio in New York and features a number of guest vocalists and includes the original 70's MC Grandmaster Caz one of the writers of "Rappers Delight," Sylvia from Kudu, the UK's Aynzli Jones plus Smokey and So Simple from the Nigerian 419 Squad. The album’s final track, the title track, features Sylvia Gordon from the underrated New York band Kudu.

Last Night was released in the US on April 1, and is available at fine music shops.

March 06, 2008

Carl Craig 'Sessions'


Carl Craig, one of techno music's most celebrated originators is finally getting the mainstream recognition he deserves. He’s gotten BBC spins from the likes of Radiohead, seen his classic “Throw” become and encore cover-version staple at the hands of LCD Soundsystem, and had his compositions performed at Carnegie Halll. Most recently he has received a Grammy nomination for his remix of the Junior Boys’ “Like a Child,” a distinction which has eluded many of the even the most stalwart electronic musicians. With Sessions, a retrospective of some of his finest work hitting the streets, it appears that 2008 will be Carl Craig’s year.

Carl Craig Sessions works as the perfect entry point into the world of one of the most exciting musicians of our time. The mix showcases his classic productions under his own name and many pseudonyms alongside a selection of his highly in-demand, never predictable remixes. Also included are a number of new edits, unreleased remixes, previously unheard versions and one brand new track. This is the perfect glimpse back at classic moments and up to date highlights in the career of one of America’s greatest: the perfect one-stop shop to understand this complex and engaging character.

Craig, now in his second decade of making music, is known as one of the defining voices in electronic music, though his work encompasses disco, breakbeat, ambient, experimental, jazz, garage, and more. He has worked with jazz legends Herbie Hancock and the Detroit based Tribe collective, been credited (through his composition “Bug in the Bassbin”) for kick starting Drum n Bass. This two-disc set is nothing less than an essential document.

February 12, 2008

Various Artists 'Droppin' Science'


Blue Note Records' release, Droppin’ Science, is a unique collection of the legendary label’s classic late 60s through mid-70s jazz-funk tracks, all of which have featured prominently as samples in some of the greatest hip hop cuts of the late 80s, 90s and beyond. Hip hop artists ranging from Dr. Dre to the Beastie Boys and A Tribe Called Quest have sampled Blue Note grooves by such jazz greats as Lou Donaldson, Grant Green, Donald Byrd, and Lonnie Smith. All of these original Blue Note tracks have been compiled for the first time on Droppin’ Science, which Blue Note made available as a 10-track CD, a 13-track digital album and vinyl LP.

February 06, 2008

Yoav 'Charmed and Strange'


Charmed And Strange, the debut album from the London-based singer-songwriter Yoav, incorporates infinite sounds: woozy vapor trails; clipped, modern club beats; Middle Eastern flourishes; flashes of quiet introspection reminiscent of Nick Drake; eerie outcries similar to Jeff Buckley. All crafted by Yoav, using only his voice, an acoustic guitar, simple effects and treatments… and a lot of imagination. Charmed And Strange reflects the depth of Yoav's technical innovation, working in tandem with his distinctive voice as a singer and songwriter.

"Club Thing," inspired by nocturnal journeys through the underbelly of New York nightlife, anchors its dark lyrics to deceptively catchy, hands-in-the-air hooks. On "Beautiful Lie," his hands tease unexpected sounds from the neck and body of the guitar, even as he sings of a longtime relationship turned sour. His rendition of "Where Is My Mind," created in part by singing into the pickup on his guitar, then fashioning his voice into a spectral loop, turns the Pixies classic ever-so-gently on its head.

January 29, 2008

Ursula 1000 'Undressed... Remixed'

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On February 19th, Ursula 1000 is set to release his latest effort from ESL Music; a seductively cheeky remix album collecting exclusive reinterpretations of tracks from his last studio album 'Here Comes Tomorrow' and recent 12" vinyl singles. Included will be both the DJ Deekline and JStar remixes of underground dancehall fire-starter 'Step Back', a funked up version of 'Electrik Boogie' by Fort Knox Five, a percussive jazz redo of 'Boop' by Skeewiff, and a pounding semi-industrial rework of 'Urgent/Anxious' by the critically celebrated robo-rockers Ladytron. All tracks were previously available on vinyl only and now all will be released on one CD.

January 24, 2008

Chris Joss 'Telephonic Overdubs'


French producer/instrumentalist Chris Joss returns amidst a whirlwind of vintage funk and psychedelic retro-futurisms with his second US release, Teraphonic Overdubs. This time Joss adds some new surprises to his trademark blaxploitation soundscapes, painting the musical canvas with broad strokes of lush, multi-layered instrumentation. String arrangements, woodblock and cowbell rhythms, near eastern flutes and sitars, and even a marimba and harpsichord play alongside classic wah-wah guitars, elastic bass-lines, and dusty organ riffs give Teraphonic a very different sound than his previous release, You've been Spiked. This is the second Chris Joss release on Thievery Corporation's ESL label.

January 18, 2008

Morcheeba 'Dive Deep'

Morcheeba_Dive Deep.jpg

Dive Deep is the sixth and latest album from Morcheeba, who over the last decade have become the darlings of downtempo with their soul and country-inflected, psychedelic sampled mood music. Having sold 6 million albums, toured the world over and produced some instantly recognizable tunes over the last 10 years, Morcheeba are set to make a return with their new album Dive Deep, considered by the founding members, and brothers, Paul & Ross Godfrey, as an "emotional blueprint" which has restored their faith in music. Morcheeba’s refusal to be categorized musically extends to the band’s set-up, and in 2008, these pioneers of song-based dance music have become an eclectic and open-minded collective. This time the band have delved into a new territory and have produced songs with various guest vocal collaborators, most of whom were sought out via MySpace and the internet. Guests on the album range from established names such as acclaimed singer-songwriter Judie Tzuke, to relative newcomers such as Thomas Dybdahl, a star in his homeland of Norway. Also featured are rapper Cool Calm Pete, Bradley Burgess, and French singer Manda. The album is due for release stateside on February 19th.

January 14, 2008

Moby's New Album and Video For ''Alice''

Moby's first single from his forthcoming record, 'Last Night' is "Alice" feat. Aynzil and the 419 Crew. Check out the video at the bottom of this post.

The music itself is recognizably Moby, but certainly a departure from his last full-length, 18. Moby says that 'Last Night' is a love letter to dance music in New York City. What he love's about the New York approach to dance music is the eclecticism and the open mindedness on the part of the musicians, the dj's, and the people in the bars and clubs. With 'Last Night' he essentially took an 8 hour night out in New York City and condensed it into a 65 minute long album." 'Last Night" will be released on Mute Records on March 10th in the US.

Moby's website has a sampler of the album you can download.

Download Last Night Sampler

January 11, 2008

Various 'Disco Not Disco: Post Punk, Electro & Leftfield Disco Classics 1974-1986'

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The Strut label returns, celebrating it's relaunch in January 2008 with a brand new edition of one of the imprint's most in-demand series, "Disco Not Disco,' exploring original anthems and rarities from the world of reactionary 1970s post-punk and leftfield disco. With the original two compilations released at the turn of the decade as a new wave of bands like The Rapture and LCD Soundsystem drew on the music's influence, 'Disco Not Disco' has since been adopted in its own right as a term to describe a whole genre. The compilation is more timely than ever in 2008 as a reference for a burgeoning mainstream scene. The new edition moves from New York classics by Konk and Bill Laswell's Material to early Detroit machine music, Belgian New Beat and a healthy dose of UK originals from Shriekback, Quando Quango and more on seminal labels like Y and Factory. Watch out too for rare gems from unexpected sources including Gina X and '70s progressive collective Isotope.

January 09, 2008

Kate Nash 'Made of Bricks'

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After releasing her first singles "Caroline's A Victim" and "Foundations," signing with Fiction/Geffen Records, and entering at #1 on the U.K. charts with her debut album Made of Bricks, Kate Nash is now setting her sights on America. British singer-songwriter Kate Nash is only 20 years old but already started writing songs during her teenage years at London's School for Performing Arts & Technology (alma mater of Amy Winehouse and members of the Kooks). Produced by Paul Epworth (Bloc Party, Babyshambles), Made of Bricks captures the life of a 20 year old who's full of mixed emotions about life, bad boyfriends and friendships. On the infectious single "Foundations," Nash describes the crumbling of a relationship in perfect detail. She's self-aware enough to turn the mirror on herself on "Mouthwash," a lilting look at a girl with "a thousand opinions and not the time to explain." After her early success in the UK, Nash is definitely ready for American ears. The next Lily Allen? Time will tell.

December 21, 2007

Wyclef 'Carnival Vol.II - Memoirs of an Immigrant'


Lead Fugees rapper and sometime guitarist Wyclef Jean was the first member of his group to embark on a solo career, and he proved even more ambitious and eclectic on his own. As the Fugees hung in limbo, Wyclef also became hip-hop's unofficial multicultural conscience; a seemingly omnipresent activist, he assembled or participated in numerous high-profile charity benefit shows for a variety of causes, including aid for his native Haiti. The utopian one-world sensibility that fueled Wyclef's political consciousness also informed his recordings, which fused hip-hop with as many different styles of music as he could get his hands on (though, given his Caribbean roots, reggae was a particular favorite). In addition to his niche as hip-hop's foremost global citizen, Clef was also a noted producer and remixer who worked with an impressive array of pop, R&B, and hip-hop talent, including Whitney Houston, Santana, and Destiny's Child, among many others. With ‘The Carnival II: Memoirs of an Immigrant,’ his sixth full-length studio album, Wyclef Jean continues the autobiographical musical odyssey he began a decade ago with his 1997 triple-platinum debut solo album, ‘Wyclef Jean Presents The Carnival Featuring Refugee All-Stars’ (aka ‘The Carnival’). This brand-new album includes collaborations with Paul Simon, Sizzla, Akon and more.

December 06, 2007

Ayo 'Joyful'


Ayo, (her name means "joy" in Yoruba), was born in Germany and is the daughter of a Nigerian father and a Romanian Roma (gypsy) mother. Ayo's rich cultural background inspired her to listen to her father's diverse collection of Donnie Hathaway, Jimmy Cliff, Fela Kuti and Pink Floyd. After teaching herself to play guitar, her career took off when she secured a spot to open for Omar and improvised alongside Cody Chesnutt at the stage of the Elysée-Montmartre. The result of her travels between Paris and New York is her debut album Joyful, a collection of bittersweet songs filled with all her various experiences and the people she's encountered along the way. Joyful was recorded in NYC in 5 days in live takes. The album has already sold over 500,000 copies in Europe and is now finally available in the US.

December 03, 2007

'Waveform Transmissions: Volume One'


A fresh new series of Waveform various artist compilations from the label that pioneered the ambient dub genre with their legendary mid 90's releases: One, Two, Three and Four A.D. The latest release is a journey through psychedelic chill and psy-ambient with a touch of dub influences that promote spaced-out listening. Ten tracks of intelligent, organic chillout to get you through those winter dull drums.

November 29, 2007

Lisa Gerrard 'Best of Lisa Gerrard'

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Globally known for her award-winning major film scores, Lisa Gerrard is also highly respected for her solo work, collaborations with Irish composer Patrick Cassidy, and as a member of Dead Can Dance. The Best of Lisa Gerrard presents key moments from twenty-five years, including Dead Can Dance, scores from numerous award-winning motion pictures such as Gladiator, Whale Rider, and Ali, and a selection from her acclaimed solo and collaborative albums. Each song on this 13-track retrospective was selected and sequenced by Gerrard, resulting in a seamless album that offers insight into her musical output.

Gerrard’s musical journey began in the early 1980s when she and fellow Australian Brendan Perry formed Dead Can Dance. Together they released over nine albums between 1984 and 1995 creating a timeless mix of world music influences, medieval chants, folk ballads, baroque styling, Celtic flavors and electronics. The international recognition Gerrard received has allowed her to expand her artistic vision, collaborating with famed composers as well as releasing a number of solo albums, including this year's The Silver Tree.

November 15, 2007

Os Mutantes 'Live at the Barbican Theater, London 2006'

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Back in the 60's Brazil produced one of the wildest, most psychedelic rock’n’roll groups in Os Mutantes. With different line ups and break for almost 20 years the rest of the world has finally gone crazy over them. Os Mutantes have had a fanatical following among music lovers for years. Kurt Cobain, Beck, Super Furry Animals, Devendra Banhardt and David Byrne are just a few of the musicians that have flown the flag for Os Mutantes. In May 2006 the band reunited for the first time in over 30 years for a show at the Barbican’s Tropicalia Festival. The recording of this concert, with special guests Devendra Banhart and Noah Georgeson, is now out on CD and DVD in the US after the import was released this past summer. The band has since broken up again so enjoy it while you can since it might be another 20 years before they get back together again for another recording.

November 12, 2007

Malibu 'Robo-Sapians'


Over the past years you’ve heard Malibu’s remixes for Soulwax’s breakout single, “2 Many DJs,” Air’s “Kelly Watch The Stars,” Beck’s “Sexx Laws,” Felix Da Housecat’s “Silver Screen (Shower Scene)” and many others; Jamiroquai, The Doobie Brothers, Arling & Cameron, Fantastic Plastic Machine and even Melissa Etheridge. Malibu is Roger Joseph Manning Jr., long-time Beck and Air collaborator and co-founder of Jellyfish, The Moog Cookbook, Imperial Drag and TV Eyes.

Perhaps best known as Beck’s keyboard player, Manning has also toured and recorded with Air. You can see him in Mike Mills’ documentary about Air’s 2002 tour “Eating, Sleeping, Waiting, Playing.” After Jellyfish, The Moog Cookbook and recording the now-classic “Logan’s Sanctuary” with Brian Reitzell (music supervisor for all of Sofia Coppola’s films), he formed TV Eyes with Reitzell and Jason Falkner. In 2006, the trio released their self-titled debut album. Fans will be happy to note that Falkner and Reitzell also appear on the new Malibu album. In 2006, Manning released a collection of songs from his Jellyfish days, “Solid State Warrior.

And now comes Malibu’s “Robo-Sapiens,” a synth-filled journey through Roger’s many inspirations; from Giorgio Moroder to Kraftwerk, Herbie Hancock, Gary Numan and Thomas Dolby. As much a dancefloor rocker as a headphone trip, Robo-Sapiens shows off Manning's synthesizer collection in all its glory.

November 05, 2007

Tom Middleton 'Lifetracks'

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Lifetracks is the debut solo album from the endlessly inventive Tom Middleton. Almost a decade in the making, the album draws inspiration from Eno, Debussy and The Orb, but equally Tom's native Cornish landscape and the liberating experiences of travel. Emotional, melodic and inspirational, this is indeed a soundtrack for living. Over the last 15 years Tom Middleton has earned an enviable reputation as a producer, composer, DJ, compiler and one of the most original minds to emerge from the dance revolution of the early 90s. His work as one half of the groundbreaking electronica groups Global Communication & Jedi Knights, as well as his in demand DJ sets are the stuff of legend among fans of electronic music as well as his fellow artists.

November 01, 2007

CéU 'CéU Remixed EP'


CéU's self titled debut has become one of the break out releases of this year, captivating audiences around the world with it's mix of irresistible jazzy, funky, sexy, soulful Brazilian grooves. This new remix EP sees four favorite tracks from her debut, remixed by some of electronica's freshest and finest. The remixer roster includes the UK's Bombay Dub Orchestra (who turn "Roda" into an extended journey into dubbed out beats), two of Brazil's most exciting up and coming producers, Lucas Martins and Instituto and U.S. newcomers, Zaman 8 and Eidetaker who does a great remix of Lenda.

The EP is only available as a digital download from Six Degrees Records. Get it Here.

CéU is currently touring the west Coast:

Fri 11/2/07 Napa Valley Opera House Napa, CA
Sat 11/3/07 Palace of Fine ArtsSan Francisco, Ca
Wed 11/7/07 Aladdin Theatre Portland, OR
Fri 11/9/07 The Triple Door Seattle, WA
Sat 11/10/07 The Triple Door Seattle, WA

October 26, 2007

Dust Galaxy 'Dust Galaxy'


As one half of Thievery Corporation, Rob Garza has spent the past ten years creating, producing, and remixing some of the most trend setting chill electro this side of the pond. Through his Thievery involvement over the last decade Garza has worked with, and been influenced by an endless list of diverse artists. And it shows now that he's ready to release his first solo project, Dust Galaxy. In recording Dust Galaxy he enlisted producer Brendan Lynch (Primal Scream, Paul Weller) to push the UK take on older American sounds with more grit and psychedelia. Garza also had an array of supporting musicians. Shawn Lee, Martin Duffy & Darrin Mooney from Primal Scream, Adam Blake of Cornershop, Jim Townsend (the People's Revolutionary Choir), Didi Gutman (Brazilian Girls), James Canty (The Make-Up, Ted Leo/Pharmacists), Jerry Busher (French Toast, Fugazi) all lent their talents to the record. The result melds the sounds of psychedelic India, British paisley beats, post-punk, and roots rock into a riveting and unique combination.

October 21, 2007

Cafe Tacuba 'Sino'

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One of the most popular rock bands in Mexico returns with "Sino," its first studio record in four years." Cafe Tacuba has been Mexico's pre-eminent rock band for over a decade, and the group remains the marquee name in Spanish language rock. With Sino, Café Tacuba scaled back much of the eccentricity of their past several studio albums. The music of Sino is surprisingly straightforward -- comprised almost exclusively of vocals, guitars, bass, drums, and keyboards -- and in general, the songs are melodic, guitar-driven, anchored by strong choruses, and tend to be shorter than previous albums, except for "Volver A Comenzar" which was the first single released this past summer. The Entire album leaked onto the internet on October 6, 2007 and 3 days later it was finally fully released.

October 11, 2007

Shantel 'Disko Partizani'


Shantel spearheaded the Balkan Remix sound with his organic mix of South-European & Balkan music and club-friendly electronica. On Disko Partizani! Shantel has successfully shifted from the DJ decks to work with a real band, synthesizing his experiences as a producer, musician and DJ to create catchy, energetic and festive pop songs, full of hooks and surprises. Eastern European elements are adopted with real respect for their cultural roots, and then fused and transformed into a new form of urban music which works as an interface between east and west. What other record contains vocals in English, Romanian, Serbian and Rom (Gypsy)?

October 06, 2007

Felix Da Housecat 'Virgo Blaktro & The Movie Disco'


Six years after two time Grammy Award Nominee Felix Da Housecat glammed up dancefloors with Kittenz And Thee Glitz, one of modern pop's great outsiders embarks on the next phase of his remarkable 20-year career. Like his 2001 success with Miss Kittin, Virgo Blaktro & The Movie Disco is a pleasure-rush from start to finish. However, this time the highs are natural, and the tone is cooler and more reflective. Vowing to keep things simple, Felix limited his studio personnel to two: his Belgian producer BC and his new vocalist Zahna, an opera singer from Eastern Europe he met in Barcelona. The songs range from the sleazy "Like Something 4 Porno!" to the '80s throw-back "Sweetfrosti" and even the minimal, Kraftwerk-inspired "Future Calls the Dawn." The latest reincarnation of Felix Da Housecat proves that he continues to shape the sound of his music today.

Also check out 2004's "Devin Dazzle & the Neon Fever"

October 03, 2007

Joni Mitchell 'Shine'


A consummate artist, Joni Mitchell is an accomplished musician, songwriter, poet and painter. Born Roberta Joan Anderson in the remote northwest Canada, she first found her niche on the Southern California scene of the late 60s and early 70s. A blunt critic of the music industry, Mitchell had stopped recording over the last several years, focusing mainly on her visual art until a burst of creative energy inspired her to begin anew.

Described by Mitchell as "as serious a work as I've ever done," Shine presents beautiful melodies, dark lyrics and a sparseness that recalls some of her seminal recordings. Much of the lyrical content reflects Mitchell's social and theological consciousness and her longtime plea for the health of the planet. Shine is one of three new artistic endeavors launched by Mitchell this year. The first, The Fiddle and the Drum, a ballet choreographed to Mitchell's music, debuted with the Alberta Ballet in Calgary with Mitchell serving as co-creator and artistic director. The second is a politically charged visual art exhibit that opened in New York this fall. For Shine, she composed "If" (based on Mitchell's favorite poem by Rudyard Kipling) and "If I Had a Heart," which the New York Times described as "one of the most haunting melodies she has ever written." The album also contains a joyous reinterpretation of her classic "Big Yellow Taxi." from 1970's 'Ladies of the Canyon'.

Official Site

October 01, 2007

X-Press 2 'Makeshift Feelgood'


Four years after x-press 2 and David Byrne swaggered to Number Two in the UK charts with 'Lazy', they're back with 'Makeshift Feelgood'. The last time they were here, their humongous fan base propelled their vinyl-only 12-inches - sold without a bar code, only in HMV - thumping into the charts. But they've been away for a while, sweating in the DJ trenches, frequenting international clubs, trapped in the their studio listening to Sixties sunshine-pop LPs and working on wrangling vocal stars from far and wide for their latest project.

Presenting DJ Rocky, DJ Diesel and Ashley Beedle. Once upon a time their roles could be described as just three of the UK's most respected DJs and committed partiers. They gigged and produced and remixed together, separately and as The Ballistic Brothers. Uniting in the studio in the early Nineties and shifting shape into X-Press 2, they marshalled their unparalleled knowledge of the history of house to make huge, hard-hitting, one-off singles beginning with clubfloor monsters 'Muzik Express' and 'London Xpress'. As the millennium turned they re-emerged as artists, now signed to Skint, with 'AC/DC'. If you went clubbing even once in the last decade-and-a-half, you clubbed to X-Press 2.

'Makeshift Feelgood' is an exciting mix of Electronic, Pop and traditional Dance Music. The first single from the album is 'Give It' featuring the vocals of Lambchop's Kurt Wagner.

September 26, 2007

Raul Midón 'A World Within A World'


New Mexico-born, New York-based Raul Midón brings a vibrant sound steeped in classic soul to the pop arena. Midón burst onto the scene in 2005 with his original debut album State of Mind, which included the summery single "Sunshine." While you can hear traces of Donny Hathaway, Stevie Wonder and Jose Feliciano in his music, Midón is an original whose passion is expressed in his indelible songs.

With 'A World Within a World', Midón has fashioned an album that is at once audacious and accessible. The opening "Pick Somebody Up," embeds a theme of uplifting social consciousness in an insinuating groove with a lush, uptown soulfulness. "Save My Life" updates the silky '70s soul of the Stylistics and Delfonics, infusing it with the deep funk of the same period courtesy of Midón's wah-wah electric guitar part. Midón focuses on another era altogether in "All The Answers" as he celebrates the ease of access to a vast universe of information thanks to the Internet.

'A World Within A World' was released in the US on September 25th.

September 20, 2007

Funky*C 'Joya'


Cristian Moraga – formerly of popular latin-funk band Los Tetas lands with his debut album Joya, a new latin funk sound, combining modern hip hop production with classic funk riffs, infectious vocals, and some nice songwriting. It's a classic old-school live sound mixed with modern instrumentation and computers. Joined by a parade of Latin guest stars including Dante Spinetta (from the famous Latin funk group Illya Kuriyaki), Julio Briceño (from Venezuela’s gosadera superstars Los Amigos Invisibles), and his very own father – Hugo Moraga – a musical legend from Chile’s Pinochet era, this astonishing debut is set to forge a new direction in Latin music.

September 18, 2007

Gloria Estefan '90 Millas'


Gloria pays tribute to her Cuban heritage with a collection of 14 newly recorded Spanish language songs celebrating the roots of Cuban music and Hispanic culture. The album also pays homage to the most influential and universally respected Latin musicians of the past 50 years. Like her 1994 world-wide smash CD “Mi Tierra,” 90 Milas continues in that musical direction with original and innovative Afro-Cuban rhythms. The CD takes the tropical and afro-Cuban rhythms to a whole new level of excellence with performances by the most acclaimed Latin artists and musicians of our time. Guest artist include Cachao, Chocolate, Paquito D'Rivera, Sheila E, Jose Feliciano, Andy Garcia, Giovanni Hidalgo, Generoso Jiménez, Johnny Pacheco, Arturo Sandoval, Carlos Santana and more. 90 Milas was written and Produced by 14 time Grammy Award Winning Producer Emilio Estefan.

September 14, 2007

Tiny Masters of Today 'Bang Bang Boom Cake'


Tiny Masters of Today is comprised of thirteen-year-old Ivan on guitar and vocals and his eleven-year-old sister Ada on bass and vocals. Somewhat inexplicably, Russell Simins of the legendary Jon Spencer Blues Explosion found the band via Myspace and petitioned to be their live drummer.

With Bang Bang Boom Cake, Tiny Masters of Today have delivered on the promise of their singles, offering up an unabashed punk pastiche that touches on everything from hip-hop to good ol‘ garage rock. Within the album are several surprising and successful collaborations with some outsider rock luminaries. Ex-Moldy Peaches singer Kimya Dawson (who also met the kids through Myspace) sang back up on several songs and co-wrote the song Trendsetter. B-52s’ frontman Fred Schneider joined in on Disco Bomb. Their Brooklyn neighbor Gibby Haynes from the Butthole Surfers came in for the aptly themed Texas. In one particularly astonishing moment, the pair face off against Karen O and Nick Zinner of Yeah Yeah Yeahs for the track Hologram World. The song was largely composed over email and is a wild romp that seems to have something to do with money, magic, and national security.

With all the guest artists it's a refreshingly entertaining album from what basically is a kid band. Besides drumming, Simins also produced the album.

September 10, 2007

Los Mono 'Somos Los Que Estamos'


A Chilean super-group, Los Mono is the collaborative effort from some of the top musicians/producers of Chile. Cristian Moraga aka Funky C, is one of the most recognized musicians in Chile and, as founder of the 'Los Tetas', was in one of the most influential alternative bands from Santiago in the last decade. Other members include Sebastian Silva (member of the popular Chilean band CHC), Gonzalo Gonzalez (acclaimed sound engineer -Los Prisioneros, Los Tres, Los Bunkers), Vicente Sanfuentes (as part of the duo 'The Hermanos Brothers', winner of MTV Latin America's ‘Best Independent Artist' and Nea (singer from the bands CHC and Yaia).

Not only is 'Somos Los Que Estamos' a full on high-energy blast from start to finish, the album is an adventure with a moral message; promoting creativity, originality, positivism, and self-responsibility. In fact, the conscious lyrics and upbeat vibe are the perfect compliment to an album that is driven from start to finish with a myriad of crunchy lo-fi beats n bleeps, infectious melodies and pure funk-fueled inspiration.

From the opening track, 'Se Puede' to "Gane Perder" and the party track 'Promesas', ready yourself for a new movement of electronica from South America.

September 06, 2007

Madlib 'Beat Konducta Vol. 3-4: India'


From the unlikely beach town of Oxnard, 40 miles north of Los Angeles, the multi-dimensional Madlib quickly rose to prominence as one of the most interesting figures in late-'90s hip-hop. With his childhood buddies in the Lootpack, Madlib quickly made a name for himself as a rapper, producer, and DJ. In particular, his expansive style and deft touch for composition made him one of hip-hop's most sought-after producers. An enthusiastic crate digger, with a deep reverence for jazz and soul, Madlib branched out into a number of ambitious, engaging solo projects.

Along with DJ Romes and Wild Child, Madlib formed the Lootpack in their hometown of Oxnard. The trio made their debut on tha Alkaholiks' 21 and Over in 1993. They continued doing work for tha Alkaholiks and other artists before releasing their full-length Soundpieces: Da Antidote six years later. The album earned solid reviews but went largely unnoticed. Madlib did not, however. After hooking up with Los Angeles DJ Peanut Butter Wolf, Madlib did a lot of production for Wolf's Stones Throw label. In 1999 the label released Quasimoto's astonishing The Unseen LP. Doubling as himself and his alter ego Quasimoto, Madlib handled vocals and production duties on the album, a huge critical success.

Not resting on his laurels, Madlib followed The Unseen a year later with his Yesterday's New Quintet project. Madlib played all the instruments himself, infusing his exploration of jazz with both style and substance. While continuing on with a massive release schedule and work load, Madlib completed a remix/reinterpretation project for Blue Note, a collaboration with Jay Dee under the Jaylib alias, a collaboration with MF Doom, produced 1/2 of fellow Lootpack member Wildchild's solo record and many other remix and producer tasks all in 2003. With each year Madlib has continued to expand his abilities beyond the core hip hop that he is known for with the release of 'Beat Konducta Vol 3-4: India.'

September 04, 2007

Federico Aubele 'Panamericana'


Aubele's longings for Buenos Aires and South America as a whole, sets the tone for his new album, "Panamericana", slated for worldwide release in September 2007. On the 13 tracked "Panamericana," one hears guitars, the bandoneon and horns that play out Latin rhythms. There are tango influences, a touch of bolero, reggae/dub bass lines, hip-hop beats, and electronic sounds. Vocals, all in Spanish, float in a smooth and sensual way over congas, drums and heavy bass beats. Aubele, who wrote all songs and lyrics-with the exception of "Lluvia," lyrics written by Gonzal Garces-sings solos and duets on 6 of the tracks. A variety of South American artists are featured throughout "Panamericana," such as singer/songwriter Amparo Sanchez of Amparanoia, the Columbian singer Vernie Varela, and Natalia Clavier, one of Aubele's live show singers. Among other groups who collaborated on "Panamericana" are Calexico (trumpets and wah guitars), and the legendary Argentinean Latin ska band Los Fabulosos Cadillacs (horn section). Thievery Corporation's Eric Hilton produced the album and also released it on Thievery's ESL record label.

August 30, 2007

Baron Zen 'At the Mall: Remixes'

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Before making his name as a DJ and Producer and before founding Stones Throw Records, Peanut Butter Wolf was programming drums for a one-man punk rock/disco army known as Baron Zen. Known to almost no one, because Baron Zen did not play shows, did not release records, rejected all forms of publicity, and above all, rejected the boundaries separating hip-hop, disco, punk rock, and pop.

Sweet Steve is the man behind Baron Zen. His recording career as Baron Zen lasted from 1988 to 1992, the best of which is collected on this album – his first and only. He was ahead of his time in the ‘80s, but the times have been threatening to catch up with him. Baron Zen today sounds like the missing link between PIL and DFA ... or suburban punk rock garage bands of the 80s and the DJ culture of today ... or The Dead Milkmen if they had been hip-hop b-boys. Baron Zen is DIY music that wears its pop influence on its sleeve: covers of Joy Division, Gap Band, Katrina and the Waves, and high-energy disco classic “When I Hear Music” by Debbie Deb.

August 27, 2007

Kinky 'Rarities'

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Kinky spent years honing their original sound, a fusion of Latin Rhythms, Mexican regional music, electronica and rock’n’roll, in their hometown of Monterrey, Mexico. They gave Chris Allison, (Coldplay, Beta Band), a three song demo presented on a cassette tape in the winter of 1999 while he was producing fellow Mexican band Plastilina Mosh. Six months later he signed them to his Sonic360 label. The five-man band exploded onto the international scene in the summer of 2000. Since 2002, the band has recorded three eclectic albums - Kinky (2002), Atlas (2003) and Reina (2006). They've been nominated for three Grammy’s, composed music for films and played countless gigs all over the world.

Rarities was originally put out in the UK as a limited edition of 750 hand numbered copies, just for Kinky’s UK fans, but overwhelming positive feedback from the European press has prompted the band and Sonic360 to launch a new full scale release in the US and Canada this past summer.

Like all their albums, Rarities blends sounds that are contemporary and traditional, dynamic and contemplative, innovative and yet strangely familiar. Rarities concludes with three live recordings “Más”, “The Headphonist”, and “Sol.”

You can check out Kinky live in Las Vegas at The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel on September 21st.

August 21, 2007

The Pinker Tones 'More Colours!'


Once again, Barecelona's Professor Manso and Mister Furia have managed to blend together an intoxicating mix of traditional Latin sounds, pop, funk, soul, swing, lounge, and psychedelia. This latest project features collaborations with a stellar line-up of remixes by some of my favorite Mexican artists including Kinky, Mexican Institute of Sound and Nortec Collective.

More Colours! Is the culmination of more than two years of constant touring around the globe, in which the band have met and worked with some truly inspirational artists. More than 30 of these musicians have contributed to More Colours! The international edition features not just one, but two complete remixes of "The Million Colour Revolution" with the same track lists from the original album while the U.S. edition is a selection of some of the bests remixes on one complete remix of TMCR.

The new remix album from The Million Colour Revolution will be released on August 21st in North America, and October 2nd in the rest of the World.

August 20, 2007

Luke Temple 'Snowbeast'


Massachusetts native Luke Temple’s brilliant Mill Pond release, Snowbeast, is a rich, undeniably warm folk-rock record. Temple didn’t depart much from the style of his last album, Hold a Match to a Gasoline World…and he shouldn’t have. Temple continues to lend special attention to vocals and banjo over other instrumentals, which truly sets his sound apart from those of his peers.

The album is simplistic in its melodies, but each track offers such powerful vocal delivery that the listener is immediately entranced. Temple is blessed with a haunting voice and incredible range—which garners comparisons from Jeff Buckley to Sufjan Stevens—and Snowbeast is an excellent forum to showcase his talent. The first half of the album is decidedly more uptempo: the dreamy “Saturday People” and “The Owl Song” will surely induce toe-tapping. However, the lingering melodies of the album’s slower tracks, such as the country-tinged “People Do,” truly encapsulate Temple’s simple and hypnotic style. Snowbeast is refreshing from beginning to end—and cements Luke Temple as a member of contemporary folk-rock royalty.

August 18, 2007

Anoushka Shankar and Karsh Kale 'Breathing Under Water'

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In this world of music fusion and crossovers we live in, it is hard for many artists to come up with a genuine meld of music that cohesively blends different sounds. On Breathing Under Water, Anoushka Shankar and Karsh Kale, successfully overcome the barrier of creating sincere music fusion, taking listeners into a whole new realm of musical bliss. The end result by both Indian artists who were raised in America, features a number of guest singers including Sting, Ravi Shankar and prolific Bollywood soundtrack composer Salim Merchant. The album represents the best kind of change that can be brought about through tasteful fusion and well crafted songwriting.

August 04, 2007

Bitter:Sweet 'The Remix Game'


With The Remix Game, Bitter:Sweet’s stunning debut, The Mating Game, is reworked by top remix producers. Many of the songs on The Remix Game are rare unreleased gems and tracks that have only available only on 12” or digitally. Mixmasters like Thievery Corporation, AtJazz, Skeewiff, Nicola Conte, and Fort Knox Five, lend their remix touches to make this sizzling soundtrack pop. Going from deep house to funky breakbeats, The Remix Album is a whole new approach to an already enchanting duo.

July 31, 2007

Gaudi and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan 'Dub Qawwali'

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Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan passed away 10 years ago but was and is still very much considered to be the greatest Qawwal in the world; not only recognized as a legend in his native Pakistan he also took his musical messages of peace, love and spirituality to the international stage, earning him the title of Pakistan's premier ambassador of Qawwali music.

With Dub Qawwali, London-based producer/artist Gaudi unites one of world's most revered voices with his modern production and dub remix style. The album blends organic and digital dub stylings with original vocals from Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. The result is a moving body of work that respectfully brings Khan's Qawwali songs together with Jamaican dub via superb 21st century studio techniques.

The use of vintage analogue studio equipment and dub production techniques such as tape echoes, valve amps, Fender Rhodes, spring reverbs, Hammond organ and Moog, characterizes Gaudi's production style, but on Dub Qawwali he revives Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan's vocals in a truly distinctive fashion – a vital accomplishment given Khan's stature. The legendary Pakistani artist has inspired the likes of Peter Gabriel, Michael Brook and Eddie Vedder and is in the Guinness Book of Records for having the world's largest recorded output by a Qawwali artist — a total of 125 albums.

July 27, 2007

Billie Holiday 'Remixed and Reimagined'

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Billie Holiday's Remixed & Reimagined showcases the 20th century's preeminent jazz vocalist - and also one of the most important female artists of all time - as never heard before. The latest installment of this critically-acclaimed series, Billy Holiday's most heartfelt vintage master-tape performances were selected and bestowed upon some of the most well know and current remixers and producers of this day, including DJ Logic, Tony Humphries, Nickodemus, Charles Feelgood, Swingsett, Jazzy Nice, and Organica.

The result of these two worlds colliding is a heart-stopping manifesto old world rhythm and poetry mixed with some of today's best beats and technology.

July 25, 2007

Secret Stealth 'Hooked on You'

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Secret Stealth has been creating some of the smoothest beats in the UK since the band formed in 2004. Their debut release 'Ssshhh!' was a multi-layered record laced with everything from instrumental hip-hop beats to warm acid house. The following year they followed it up with their second release ' Mince & Onions'. Both records were not released in the US, but now they've taken some of the best songs from both albums and put them on their US debut album 'Hooked on You'. With their latest release Secret Stealth are all over the place. From songs that sound like the Ohio Players to four on the floor dance numbers all the way to drum & bass. With this album you're going to get everything from house, to funk, to soul and beyond. Sounds like they're covering all their bases with something for everyone.

July 20, 2007

Ulrich Schnauss 'Goodbye'

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Goodbye is the last in the trilogy of Ulrich Schnauss' works that also include, "Far Away Trains Passing By" (2001) and "A Strangely Isolated Place" (2003). It was A Strangley Isolated Place that cemented Ulrich's place among the elite electronic artists. The latter album combined the early 90s' Creation Records and 4AD sound of pioneering acts like Slowdive, My Bloody Valentine & Cocteau Twins with modern electronic tapestries.

Schnauss' third album, Goodbye, marks the first new release on Domino. It's also the end of a chapter in his sound. Gone are the textural, chanting choruses Schnauss used in his previous albums instead on 'Goodbye" he uses more overt vocals totally submersed in effects and layers of delay. The ambient tracks are more spacious, the songs more memorable and the multi-layered, guitar-heavy tracks more ragingly psychedelic. At times it seems that there are over 100 different audio tracks playing simultaneously. No wonder Goodbye took three solid years to make.

July 13, 2007

Bob Marley 'Roots, Rock, Remixed'

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Reggae legend Bob Marley is being reintroduced to a new generation with remixes of some of his older Roots Reggae tracks. Today’s hottest producers –including Afrodisiac Sound System, Jimpster (Jamie Odell), Yes King (Rhys Adams & Mark Rae), Trio Elétrico (Boozoo Bajou), Fort Knox Five and DJ Spooky have remixed a dozen of Marley's cherished roots songs.

Roots, Rock, Remixed balances that fine line of being respectful to the inimitable artist Marely was, even while using the bass-heavy, digital technologies available to us today. Nothing of the gorgeous, analog originals (including classics like “One Love,” “Trenchtown Rock,” and “Lively Up Yourself”) is lost in translation.

July 08, 2007

Ojos de Brujo 'Techari Remixes'


Ojos de Brujos' groundbreaking fusion of flamenco, rumba and hip-hop has brought them acclaim as one of the most exciting new bands to come out of Spain in years. On the Techari Remixes, tracks from their latest release are taken into exciting new directions by a host of global sonic innovators. Remixers include, Asian Underground pioneer Nitin Sawhney, UK drum n' bass heroes London Elektricity, Afro-Peruvian groovemeisters Novalima, Ojos' own DJ Panko and many others.

July 05, 2007

Mexican Institute of Sound (MIS) “Piñata”


Following the success of last year’s Mexican Institute of Sound (MIS) debut ‘Méjico Máxico’, MIS is back with “Piñata” (out July 24th on Nacional Records), an infectious mix of electronica, dub, cha cha cha, cumbia, spoken word and other musical treats. The new album features a number of guests including members of Tom Tom Club, Cornelius, and Babasonicos. In the past year, MIS has received widespread acclaim from outlets like Spin, NY Times, and Urb, as well as radio support from such tastemakers as Area54 - 94/7fm (Portland), Indie 103 (Los Angeles), KEXP (Seattle) and KUT (Austin). MIS’ music has also been featured in other projects including a recent episode of ABC’s hit sitcom “Ugly Betty”, Dos Equis’ national advertising campaign, multiple soundtracks, and the upcoming EA Games release ‘FIFA 2008.’

Camilo Lara is the one-man dynamo behind Mexican Institute of Sound. Hailing from Mexico City, Lara channels his inner rockstar, while holding down a day job as head of a major label. When his day job's done, Lara steps out of his executive alter ego, gets involved with the underground musica movement and begins his musical mission delivering electronic masterpieces with only the help of his computer, his nurturing imagination, and his awesome collection of vinyl.

Piñata continues the vision established by MIS’ debut album, Méjico Máxico, as a carefully constructed collage of musical influences that combine to reflect Lara’s unique impression of life in bustling Mexico City.

June 30, 2007

Suphala 'Blueprint'


Suphala’s upcoming recording, ‘Blueprint’ (Suphala Productions/ July 10th) features eclectic performances from a bevy of innovative and celebrated artists. Known as a world class tabla player as well as a progressive songwriter and producer, Suphala sought out surprising collaborations with a bevy of virtuoso artists for her upcoming album. Contributions on ‘Blueprint’ range from Edie Brickell’s ethereal vocals to Vernon Reid’s hip-hip and funk guitar riffs.

June 25, 2007

Bumps "Bumps"


Tortoise producer/drummer/vibes player John McEntire teams up with two fellow Tortoise players, percussionist Dan Bitney, and drummer/keyboardist/vibes player John Herndon to create 23 instrumental percussion pieces, showcasing their rhythmical prowess in tracks ranging from straight funk rhythms to Brazilian/Latin flavors to more esoteric fare.

As members of Tortoise they helped infuse a new aesthetic into the indie rock scene of the 1990s. The group set itself apart by focusing on instrumental prowess and group interaction. Instead of the tried and true themes of familiar alternative and punk, Tortoise opened up their scope of influences to create a new musical vision – dubiously called “post rock” – incorporating styles from genres such as Krautrock, dub, avant-garde jazz, classical minimalism, ambient and space music, film music and British electronica.

One of indie rock’s most in-demand master producers of the last decade, McEntire has worked with a staggering number of artists as engineer, producer and remixer. With Bumps, he lends his talents toward pushing the boundaries of a typical break beat record, fusing influences from funk, Brazilian, Latin and Afrobeat music.

June 21, 2007

Nickodemus 'Endangered Species'


There is something to be said about the exposure you get from having your music featured in an Apple iTunes/iPod ad. The latest iTunes television ad features a song called "Mi Swing es Tropical" by Nickodemus. The song was originally released on his own label in 2005 and could be found on a couple of compilations as well. Last fall Nickodemus signed to ESL (Eighteenth Street Lounge Records.....Thievery Corporation's label) and they repackaged/reworked some songs and re-released "Endangered Species".

The release wasn't getting much traction, but with the new exposure from the Apple ad, ESL is once again making a marketing push and with much more success this time. It reminds me of Sia's album "Colour the Small One" that languished for a year before her song "Breathe Me" was featured in the finale of "Six Feet Under". Right away there was another big push for her album, a tour and "Breathe Me" became that song from Six Feet Under.

Check out the Apple/Nickodemus ad and song here:

June 19, 2007

Introducing: "Bossa Records"

We've been getting great feedback to the music we're listening to while we're sitting here coding and designing away on our Bossa platform. So, instead of just listing album artwork on the right side of our blog, we made a little music recommendation site with the help of Amazon. They call it aStore.......but we call it Bossa Records. It gives us a great resource to showcase what we like to listen to and write a little bit about the music as well. Not only that, we're now even buying more music since the store does a pretty good job of recommending new music too!

Check it out and let us know what you think.

Bossa Records

June 18, 2007

DJ Sun 'Monday Drive EP'

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A prolific DJ and radio show host, DJ SUN debuts as a recording artist with the EP Monday Drive. The release is reflective of his varied background; blending styles and nostalgic aesthetics into a down to midtempo sound. Warm, immediate and slightly scuffed, DJ SUN produces songs which retain the flavor of vintage vinyl. “Monday Drive” is just that—a hazy, winding dreamscape of sparkling keyboards and dusty beats. Presto, a veteran of downtempo and hip hop production, lends an Asian touch in the “Monday Drive” remix. “Marksonthekeys” is a collaboration with Mark Sound featuring lush keyboard and guitar work contrasted by a pushing drum track. Nappy G contributes a lively backbone of percussion to the haunting grooves of “Hello,” while emerging artists Karina Nistal and Jawwaad lend their vocals to this unorthodox duet. “Ten” is a nod to Massive Attack, which has been hugely influential to DJ SUN, and features Jessica Zweback (SkyBlue 72) and Mark Sound on keyboards. The track was included on the Scion CD11 compilation Label-Less Lifestyles, released last year. Exploring new terrain as well as old, the five tracks on the Monday Drive EP are guaranteed to keep you moving.

June 05, 2007

Ulrich Schnauss 'Quicksand Memory EP'

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It has been over six years since Ulrich Schnauss introduced the world to his wonderful blend of electronic textures and shoegazer aesthetics featured on his debut album "Far Away Trains Passing By". It has also been four years since Ulrich’s last recorded testament "A Strangely Isolated Place" hit store shelves in his native Germany in 2003. The latter album cemented Ulrich’s place among the elite electronic artists. The album combined the early 90s’ sound of pioneering acts like Slowdive and My Bloody Valentine with modern electronic tapestries.

Thankfully the Quicksand Memory EP is here to bring Ulrich’s musical drought to an end and to announce the arrival of Ulrich’s upcoming full length new album "Goodbye" out July 10th. The Quicksand Memory EP features two brand new tracks. “Look At The Sky” opens the EP with a song that translates Ulrich’s compositional vision with the unexpected help of a live band. The 2nd track “Medusa” is the EPs true gem which will also appear on the new album. The remaining tracks are Robin Guthrie’s (Cocteau Twins) reworking of two of Ulrich’s most celebrated songs, “Gone Forever” and the stunning “On My Own.”

June 04, 2007

Epo-555 'Mafia'


Epo-555 is from Copenhagen, Denmark. The band has a unique and fascinating sound which combines such different genres as noise rock, alt country, low key electronica and bursting / catchy pop tunes with poetic and political lyrics. The result is refreshing, innovative and original.

Mafia is the sophmore album from epo-555. Perfecting their crisp boy/girl poptunes, they serve up a slightly more electronic sound than on their debut “Dexter Fox” but still crammed full of innovative ideas and sounds.

May 30, 2007

Genji Siraisi 'Censorsh!t'


Composer, producer, programmer and performer, Genji Siraisi is a rhythmic jack-of-all-trades. His drumming has been the foundation for jazz/funk group Groove Collective since the band’s formation in the mid 90s, which in turn gave birth to the Acid Jazz scene in NYC at the first Giant Step events. Just now hitting the mainstream, Groove Collective was nominated for a 2007 Grammy. Genji has worked with such notables as Tupac, Masters at Work, Digital Underground and Naked Music. He’s also produced albums for Warner, London/Payday and Giant Step, among others. His upcoming album Censorsh!t takes a post-modern (and often post-apocalyptic) stance with a mixture of downtempo grooves, glitch-hop, ambient textures and minimal dancefloor tracks, all seamlessly blended into a bold and cinematic journey.

May 14, 2007

Spanish Harlem Orchestra 'United We Swing'

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Since their arrival in 2000, Spanish Harlem Orchestra (SHO) has established itself as a standard bearer of contemporary Latin music. Directed by world-renowned pianist, arranger, and producer Oscar Hernández, the thirteen-member all-star ensemble has reintroduced the classic sounds of New York City Salsa to music lovers worldwide. United We Swing, SHO’s third album, is a stunning follow-up to their 2004 Grammy award-winning album Across 110th St., and their 2002 Grammy nominated debut, Un Gran Día En El Barrio. On United We Swing, Spanish Harlem Orchestra continues in the same classic-meets-contemporary sound, but with refreshing originality. Nine of the songs are original compositions grounded in the unique identity the band has forged based on the musical legacy of El Barrio, a pulsating Eastside community in NYC located to the south of 125th St that gave rise to Boogaloo, Latin Soul, and Salsa.

May 09, 2007

Balkan Beat Box 'Nu-Med'


Balkan Beat Box blends electronic music with hard-edged folk music from North Africa, the Middle East, the Balkans and Eastern Europe. With Nu Med, BBB steps forward with a cohesive new album that imagines a Middle East without borders and a healthy dose of New York energy. Having performed at Bonnaroo, Central Park Summerstage, Montreal JazzFest and having toured extensively with Matisyahu as well as on headlining international tours, Balkan Beat returns with Nu Med, a musical vision of what the Mediterranean would sound like if borders were removed.

Led by Ori Kaplan and Tamir Muskat, BBB makes connections that politics often keep separate. Jewish, Gypsy, Arabic, and American are united by hip hop beats and dancehall toasts. BBB’s musical hitch-hiking continues as they mix things up with dub and electronics, juxtaposed with ancient Moroccan and Mediterranean melodies. The band’s sound gives equal weight to soulful acoustic timbres and digital rhythms creating a uniquely organic sound with electronic elements. Echoing his growing involvement in their live shows, MC Tomer Yosef is a dynamic presence on Nu Med, blazing his way through featured tracks Digital Monkey, Mexico City, & Hermetico.

With their fusion of Jewish melodies, Balkan brass-band stomp and frenetic gypsy rhythms with hip-hop, reggae, and electro production, this internationally acclaimed collective is out to prove that the entire world is, indeed, their stage.

April 17, 2007

Visually see the difference between WAV, MP3 and AAC

There’s been a lot of hype lately about Apple’s decision to start offering music in its iTunes store as non protected higher bit rate AAC files starting in May. I argued in my personal blog that as long as Apple keeps selling songs in AAC compressed format, it basically remains a protected song since you can’t do much with AAC except put the songs on your iPod and a few other players.

Audiophiles have complained forever about the loss of sound quality because of the compression and I’m not going to argue that. People complained about the warmth of a song on a vinyl record being lost when the cd came out, but going from cd to mp3 was a much bigger loss. Luckily bandwidth has improved so much in the last couple of years that downloading and using any music in less than 192Kbps is a complete waste of time. If more music was available in 320 Kbps we would have music that is audibly almost as good as the original wav file from a store bought cd.

There is an audible difference between an AAC, MP3 and Wav file. Try it at home with a song that you have from the original store bought cd, then make a MP3 version of the song and after that download the same song in AAC format from the iTunes store. You’ll hear a clear difference.

I imported the “Nickodemus” song “Cleopatra In New York - Karuan Remix” into Adobe Audition and you can visually see the difference in quality.

The visuals are fairly small but if you saw them on a regular 19" monitor you can see a major difference. Try it yourself with Audition.




April 16, 2007

Wax Poetic 'Brasil'

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Wax Poetic’s Brasil is the final installment of a three-part series of records from the Nublu founder and bandleader Ilhan Ersahin’s Wax Poetic project. Where Wax Poetic’s first major release saw Ersahin collaborating with Norah Jones, N’dea Davenport and Saul Williams, Wax Poetic’s Brasil brings Ilhan in body and spirit to South America. On the album he collaborates with Bebel Gilberto, Sabina Sciubba of Brazilian Girls, Otto, Karina Zeviani, Mamelo Soundsystem and Forro in the Dark, making a work not only highlighting the talent within the country’s borders but also reflecting its vibrancy and grace.

March 26, 2007

DJ Vadim 'The Soundcatcher'


Over the past years DJ Vadim has been DJ’ing, touring with his group ONE SELF, remixing Fat Freddy’s Drop, Gangstarr, Ojos de Brujo, and Alice Russell, as well as re-editing Prince, Al Green and Ann Peebles. Now he’s delivering his 5th and latest album, The Soundcatcher, which he considers his "most concise, precise and best work to date”. He transplanted him self and his ‘timber yard studio’ to Brooklyn New York in early 2006 where most of the latest LP was written and produced. The Sound Catcher is everything you’ve come to expect from this powerhouse DJ/producer. It’s unpredictable with touches of disco and tubby-esque dub moments, varied with brushes of blues, soul, rap , and urban grime bedlam with double time bounce. The new album presents straight shots of classic soul, charged, MC-driven wake-up calls, and dense, dubby instrumentals.

March 14, 2007

Pacha Massive 'All Good Things'


Straight from the boogie-down Bronx comes Pacha Massive. Already the darlings of indie radio, Pacha Massive (from ‘Pachamama’ meaning “Mother Earth”), is the creative collaboration between Dominican-born Nova (keys / guitar/ writer/ producer) and Colombian-born Maya (writer/bass). The result is a funky fusion of traditional Latin rhythms like Colombian cumbia, Dominican palo, reggae, dancehall, dub and electronica sure to get the pachanga fired up. The duo met in New York while working on a project with Ivan Benavides (Sidestepper, Bloque, Carlos Vives) where a creative collaboration between the two led to the formation of Pacha Massive in 2005. Pacha Massive landed an impressive first gig opening for Colombian rockers Aterciopelados at Madison Square Garden and has since gone on to share the stage with artists like Ozomatli, Sidestepper, and Yerba Buena.

Pacha Massive’s infectious first single “Don’t Let Go” was featured last year on the Nacional Records soundtrack to the box-office hit “La Mujer de Mi Hermano,” The debut album ‘All Good Things’ is already being hotly anticipated, with the track “Don’t Let Go” recently selected by NBC to air in the popular show ‘Las Vegas’. All Good Things is self-produced by Nova with additional mixing in Monterrey, Mexico by Alejandro Rosso of platinum-selling Mexican act Plastilina Mosh. For Nova, a seasoned musician who has played with acts like New York reggae-latin fusion band King Chango, self-producing was a positive experience “because no one knows your material better than yourself and you have the freedom to experiment until you stumble upon what you were looking for.” Nova adds, “Our songs deal with the struggles of everyday life, perseverance and those hardships we all go through to achieve our dreams”.

February 28, 2007

Bebel Gilberto 'Bring Back The Love Remixes'


Bebel Gilberto’s debut CD, Tanto Tempo became a world wide phenomenon, selling a million copies around the globe and captivating audiences with its mix of classic bossa nova updated with cool electronica. On her latest Grammy nominated release simply titled, Bebel Gilberto , Bebel collaborated with producer Marius de Vries (Madonna, Björk, Annie Lennox) and once again topped the World Charts.

Now, an international cast of the world’s best dance, hip hop and electronica producers have remixed the songs from Bebel Gilberto into a variety of fresh, modern styles. From well known masters like, Thievery Corporation, Tom Middleton, Guy Sigsworth, DJ Spinna and Grant Nelson to such fast rising new talents as, Spiritual South, Yam Who? and Telefon Tel Aviv, Bebel Gilberto Remixed surveys an impressive cross section of some of the dance world’s brightest stars.

February 27, 2007

4Hero 'Play With The Changes'


As pioneers of jungle and drum n bass, 4hero changed the face of modern music and made a huge contribution to dance culture. Forging ahead with fresh beats and techniques on their new album Play With The Changes, out today on Milan Records, the London-based duo of Dennis “Dego” McFarlane and Mark “Mark Mac” Clair have crafted genre-crossing stream of precious sonic moments entirely their own. Play with the Changes marks 4hero’s first album in six years in a prolific career that has gained critical acclaim, a Mercury Prize nomination (1998’s Two Pages), MOBO award and widespread respect from the music industry. Influenced by underground techno as much as Chicago soul, their music is a synthesis of past and future, artificial and organic, strange and familiar. Intertwining live and electronic sounds, 4hero create futuristic soul for real music heads. It’s an experiment where they ‘play with the changes.’ Suffused with a love of black music history (think Roy Ayers, Rotary Connection, Sun Ra, Minnie Riperton, Afrika Bambaataa), and technical innovation, After releasing the classic “Mr Kirk’s Nightmare,” they established Reinforced Records and unleashed Goldie onto the world, as well as material by Doc Scott, Photek Peshay and Grooverider. Using various pseudonyms--more recently Visioneers and DKD--and through their own labels, (Reinforced, Raw Canvas, 2000 Black, Omniverse and Twisted Funk) Marc and Dego continue to venture into hitherto unknown musical fields, create sounds that no-one else has imagined and work with diverse and talented musicians, poets and singers. New alliances have also been formed on Play With The Changes. Grammy Award-winning legend Jody Watley, hotly-tipped Angeleno’s Jack Davey (J*DaVey) appear on “Take My Time”, Darien Brockington and Phonte of Little Brother contribute to “Give In”, and Larry Mizell--who has written and produced for the Jackson 5, Marvin Gaye and countless others--join Talita Long amongst a host of new evolving talent for the album on the title track.

February 22, 2007

Ojos de Brujo 'Techari'


Back in October I was in Amsterdam for the ADE (Amsterdam Dance Event). It was three days of seminars and focus groups related to the dance music industry. Most importantly though, it was three nights of non-stop partying all over Amsterdam's best clubs with some of the top DJ’s in the world. On one of those nights I went to Paradiso to see Arling and Cameron perform in one of the upstairs rooms. The main auditorium was packed that night and the sounds coming through the doors was mesmerizing. It was the Barcelona band Ojos de Brujo.....they are one of the most strikingly original bands of the new millennia. The name Ojos de Brujo translates as “Eyes of the Wizard” and there is no one quite like them; not only because of their vibrant, seemingly supernatural musicality, but also because of their radical contemporary edge and strong collective spirit. They reflect their Spanish and gypsy roots, but travel light years beyond the traditional flamenco sound. Their live shows have become stuff of legend, and they have left a path of sold-out shows and stunned audiences in their wake since the European release earlier this year of their third, long-awaited album, Techarí. It is an ambitious, self-produced journey, recorded both abroad in Cuba and New York and in a studio at the foot of the Pyrenees mountains, close to the birthplace of Salvador Dalí. Full of innovative musical ideas developed on their celebrated Barí tour, when they were wowing crowds across the world at festivals like Womad, the Montreal Jazz Festival, and NY Summerstage, Techarí represents their maverick spirit and dedication to pushing the boundaries of their sound and experimenting with the awesome sonic power of collective musical freedom. They work with DJ’s scratching in flamenco rhythms, and on the flip side take flamenco into an urban arena. During their concerts they’d go from hip hop to jazz, to rock, ragga, funk, and all kinds of Latin, East Asian, and Hindi directions. Ojos de Brujo’s parameters are so wide they are able to create an incredibly infectious sound that crosses all borders. I was amazed that evening I saw them live in Amsterdam and rushed out and bought all the import material I could get my hands on. Now available Stateside through Six Degrees, Techari is a must have for anyone wanting to push their musical boundaries.

November 20, 2006

Stereotyp 'Keepin Me'


Stefan Moerth, better known to the music world as Stereotyp, is a hardcore producer. And it's not that he makes Hardcore music, which he often does, but that his life is all about producing. Stereotyp tours seldom, rarely does interviews, and 90% of his time is spent in the studio. As a result his tracks are meticulously crafted and filled with micro-sonic details that peel away and reveal themselves in complex layers only after repeat listening. An average Stereotyp production is mind-blowing to say the least, and any DJ that had a chance to test his work in a club environment will testify to this fact. Every Stereotyp beat is bass heavy, 5th element type futuristic, and sonically altered. And this goes for all genres Moerth retouches and updates, be it Dancehall, Hip Hop or Soul - and he done touched them all. His now classic G-Stone debut entitled My Sound (2002) was a foray into the future of Dancehall and Soul music. With this release Moerth showed the possibilities of a sonic future that is still due to arrive. Many remixes later, he paired up with Al Haca and dropped, what could be one of the most advanced takes on Dancehall and Hip Hop on the market today - the Phase III (2004) LP released by Klein Records. Just the collaborations alone speak for the weight of the Stereotyp Opus. Some of the voices that touched his instrumentals belong to legends such as: Cappadonna (Wu Tang Clan), Daddy Freddy, Hubert Tubbs (Tower of Power), Lady Saw, Hawk Eye, Ras B and Spectacular - to name a few. Just for the record - Stereotyp still lives in Vienna, where he continues to offend the local, but yet internationally renowned Down-tempo scene by pushing a sound Vienna is not yet recognized for.

November 13, 2006

Urban Legend 'Tranquilidad Cubana'


Recorded in Havana, Los Angeles and New York, The Urban Legend sound is an eclectic mix of various Cuban styles with an infusion of Electronica, Lounge and Hip Hop. A diverse cast of more than 20 top musicians were involved in the recording of this record. From Cuban percussionists and MCs to LA Djs and New York Jazz musicians. The result is a funky Cuban re-mix sound, perfect to accompany the drinking of mojitos, dancing or just watching the sunset.

November 10, 2006

Forro In The Dark 'Bonfires Of São João'


Of all amazing bands that play at Nublu, Forro in the Dark is the one that has been filling up this NYC club every single Wednesday for the past two and a half years!! Rain, snow, shine—there’s always a line outside on a Wednesday night. Why? Forro captures a vibe that could only be created in this part of town, in this part of the world, by these kinds of musicians. Mauro Refosco, the leader of the band, also plays with Bebel Gilberto, David Byrne, and Caetano Veloso to name a few. He has the magic of always making Forro’s performances a party. Despite the fact that forro is the traditional style of music from the Northeast of Brazil, Mauro and friends have evolved this music into a NYC/Nublu style . They extend the songs, repeat melodies, taking the rhythms throughout Brasil and Africa and back to the downtown NYC scene. They are spectacular—a band suited to fans of not only world music but fans of jazz, rock and dance music. This Album features vocal contributes from Bebel Gilberto, David Byrne, and Miho Hatori.

November 08, 2006

Jhelisa 'A Primitive Guide To Being There'


Internationally acclaimed artist Jhelisa Anderson was born in Jackson, Mississippi. The Anderson family was a singing family, with Jhelisa's father on the piano and organ. She began her career in 1990 in London with the UK band Soul Family Sensation releasing the album “New Wave” on One Little Indian. With lablemates The Shamen Jhelisa then recorded two top ten hit singles “Love Sex and Intelligence”, and “Phorever People” earning Jhelisa a platinum album with The Shamen. She also guested on Bjork’s “Debut” album. In 1994, after developing into an accomplished solo artist singing, writing, and producing under her first name Jhelisa, she released her first album “Galactica Rush” on Dorado Records, followed two years later by “Language Electric”, both highly critically acclaimed. Shortly after she began to record with Bryan Ferry, Courtney Pine, Massive Attack, Chaka Khan, and Da Lata. Jhelisa's best known track is “Friendly Pressure”.

Touring in the UK, Europe, and Japan Jhelisa shared the bill with the legendary James Brown, The Roots, Michael Franti, and Roy Ayers. Besides her musical activities, Jhelisa was featured in the Italian film “The Protagonist” starring British actress Tilda Swinton and was also one of the featured artists on the Nitin Sawhney tour in 2003, opening up for Sting, and culminating in a successful performance at the Royal Albert Hall in London for a sold out audience. Jhelisa has traveled extensively in both Africa and Brazil and taken inspiration from the rich musical cultures around the world. In 2004 Jhelisa moved to New Orleans to record her new album “Discovery of Amazing” for INFRACom!. When hurricane “Katrina” hit New Orleans Jhelisa left the city. Her studio and her house were destroyed by the flood and part of the album is lost too. Jhelisa now is completing the recordings in Atlanta. The album will be re-named: “A primitvie guide to being there” and it will be sold as a bundle toghether with the DVD “One week with Jhelisa - Rediscovering America”. Jhelisa was very outraged at the circumstances of the evavcuation and rescues at New Orleans and therefore held a press conference at the Popkomm Berlin 2005 and wrote a statement as well. Film director Markus Bader and DJ and INFRACom! label manager Jan Hagenkoetter visited Jhelisa in New Orleans in spring 2005 and filmed Jhelisa in New Orleans as she worked on her forthcoming album. Jhelisa introduces to the diversity of New Orleans, from the slave plantations to the city's boiling nightlife, always from a very personal and critical perspective, moulded by her European years and her journeys through Brazil and South Africa. “One week with Jhelisa - Rediscovering America” has become a rare and precious testimony of the sunken musical capital of New Orleans.

November 07, 2006

Tommy Guerrero 'From The Soul To The Soil'


Once upon a time, the City of San Francisco gave birth to a diminutive 3-headed beast named Tommy Guerrero. From a very young age, the kid could skateboard up walls and down hills like no one else. He played in punkrock bands well before he could even get into the clubs legally. And he displayed an artistry in Life that few folks ever achieve. At 40, the guy’s resume reads like a dream- Bones Brigade skate team in the 80’s, movie appearances, co-founder of Real Skateboards and 40’s Clothing, art director for Krooked Skateboarding, and prolific recording artist- from the “Fat Jazzy Grooves” and “Another Late Night” compilations, to albums for Mo’Wax, Galaxia, Function 8 and now Quannum, T.G. has lead a full life. Then there’s the collaborations with Lyrics Born, Jack Johnson and Prefuse 73. Remixes for Money Mark/Nigo, Poets of Rhythm and Sean Lee. His band Jet Black Crayon has toured with Isotope 217 and Tortoise. He’s scored tunes for Thomas Campbell’s surf film “Sprout” and had the honor of being the sole provider of music for Todd Oldham’s show “Hand Made Modern” on HGTV. He’s packed houses from the Fujirock Festival to Café DuNord in S.F. and MaxFish in N.Y.C. Tommy’s music, like his graphic design, is beguilingly simple. He sounds like a guy messing around on his front stoop, and maybe that’s exactly what he is- but the result will touch you down to your toes. From Mission District punkers to Shibuya-Ka hipsters- his melodies dance lightly around your head while the rhythms build under your feet. His is SOUL music, made by a street kid raised on Santana and Bill Withers. With more than a little nod to the Clash and Public Enemy in there, too.

October 26, 2006

Sounds From the Ground 'High Rising'


Sounds From The Ground are London’s Nick Woolfson and Elliot Morgan Jones. Their debut album, ‘Kin’ came out on Waveform in 1996. The duo’s second Waveform album, ‘Terra Firma,’ released in 2000, helped secure SFTG as a satisfying and respected UK musical force. Billboard magazine called it “consistently engaging” and like all the SFTG titles, it continues to be enthusiastically received. In 2004, Nick and Elliot returned to their roots with their third Waveform title, ‘Luminal.’ A spacious and sometimes gritty release with contributions from pedal steel guitarist BJ Cole, vocalist Rachael Calladine, Canada’s talented throat singer and Bjork contributor Tanya Tagaq Gillis, dub maestro Dillinger and up and coming UK vocalist Taz. CDBaby described Luminal as “less lounge and more fat and dirty.”

Today with over a decade of sonic seasoning under their belts, SFTG serves up more fresh sounding and widely acclaimed ambient, dub, trip hop and chilled back electronic musical styles. "High Rising" is a reflective and mesmerizing future classic and yet another elevated effort - this time more laid back, with welcomed guest contributions from long time supporter Taz as well as fellow UK recording artitst, Gaudi. Listen for some exceptional tracks, including, ‘Rotorblade,’ ‘Slate Grey,’ ‘Viper Style’ and ‘Beautiful Feeling’ featuring smooth, sensuous vocals from Taz.

October 10, 2006

Thunderball 'Cinescope'


Washington, DC-based trio, Thunderball, are globally renowned purveyors of sophisticated, stereophonic-thrillers, and cinematic dub. Since 1997 their productions have shifted effortlessly between the genres of drum & bass, breakbeat and downtempo, building a strong following for their signature sound. Drawing from their love of ‘60s and ‘70s soundtracks, Brazilian beats and Afro-funk rhythms, Thunderball creates multi-faceted soundscapes designed for modern spy chases and late-night encounters. With their latest full-length album, Cinescope, Thunderball return from their Fort Knox Five duties in full form. URB Magazine declares, “Thunderball are back, dripping in Eastern sitar melodies and tempting drum lines.” Cinescope features 12 vivid soundscapes that fuse Latin funk, Afro rhythms, Indian Dub and Mediterranean Soul.

With this release, Thunderball broaden their scope pushing the boundaries of their music both sonically and vocally. On Cinescope they teamed up with long time collaborator Mustafa Akbar on the jazz funk thriller, “Return of the Panther” and on the soulfully introspective, “Elevated States.” Mustafa teams up with Miss Johnna M to rock the party on the ‘60s rave-up track, “Get Up with the Get Down.” Thunderball also enlisted the talents of Thievery Corporation’s MC’s Roots and Zeebo of See-I to create the dub ragga, “Strictly Rudeboy.” And the godfather of hip hop, Afrika Bambaataa, for the electro-pop anthem, “Electric Shaka.” After many delays in releasing another album after 2001's "Scorpio Rising" Thunderball has shown that a good thing should take its sweet time.

October 03, 2006

Four Tet "Remixes"


Kieran Hebden is just one of those artists whose receptive audience is without classification. And that extends into the world of musical collegues. Four Tet has commandeered fans and collaborators as wide reaching as experimental rock bands (Radiohead), massive pop acts (Coldplay), underground hip hop producers (the late J Dilla), post-punk influenced upstarts (Bloc Party), electronic mavericks (Aphex Twin), folk chanteuses (Beth Orton & Juana Molina) and jazz legends (with Kieran's ongoing collaboration with drummer Steve Reid). The first disc of Four Tet Remixes collects remixes of artists like Madvillain, Radiohead, Aphex Twin, Beth Orton, Bloc Party, His Name Is Alive and more. The second disc flips it around as it collects remixes of Four Tet’s original work by the likes of the late Jay Dee, Manitoba, Koushik, Battles, Sa-Ra Creative Partners, Boom Bip, Percee P and more!

September 25, 2006

Dan The Automator '2k7: The Tracks'


At a time when video game soundtracks seem more like an after thought to the game, 2K Sports and Decon present a soundtrack that’s as gripping as the game itself. With heavyweight hip-hop producer Dan the Automator (Dr. Octagon, Gorillaz, Deltron 3030) at the helm, 2K7 is the latest adjunct for the NBA2K7 video game and includes all new tracks from the famed track-master. To boot, The Automator created these tracks for many of hip-hop’s finest emcees, including Fabolous, Ghostface, E-40, Mos Def, Slim Thug and even a remix of the Tribe Called Quest classic, “Lyrics to Go.”

August 31, 2006

Dorfmeister vs Madrid De Los Austrias 'Grand Slam'


“Grand Slam” is suitably titled for the summer Season and pulls together the key productions and remixes of Sunshine Recordings Madrid de Los Austrias and G-Stone’s Richard Dorfmeister who have in recent years combined to form a crack production team. With heavy remixes by Koop, Groove Armanda and Willie Bobo to name a few, the collaboration now continues with new and unreleased material destined to light up dancefloors worldwide. 2004 saw the pairing release Valldemossa, a tightly programmed summer jam that moved the Dorfmeister vs MDLA doubles team up to the top of the world rankings. No doubt that Grand Slam will be gracing summer dancefloors everywhere.

August 30, 2006

Marisa Monte 'Universo Ao Meu Redor'


On September 12th, Blue Note/Metro Blue Records will simultaneously release two individual albums from the Brazilian superstar, singer, multi-instrumentalist, composer, producer, and musicologist, Marisa Monte. The albums, which were released in Brazil this Spring and have already sold platinum, feature an impressive array of guest collaborators as well, including David Byrne, Philip Glass, Seu Jorge, Carlinhos Brown, and Arnaldo Antunes.Universo ao meu redor (The Universe Around Me), co-produced by Monte and Mario Caldato, is her first-ever recording to focus entirely on the great Brazilian tradition of Samba. Having grown up immersed in Samba (her father Carlos was one of the directors of the famous Portela Samba school in Rio de Janeiro), Monte was aware that there were many songs that were passed along orally that weren’t being recorded and were in danger of being lost. So she began researching these songs and their histories by interviewing Samba composers, as well as their family members & colleagues.

August 28, 2006

Brazilian Girls "Talk To La Bomb"


Is Talk To La Bomb, the second album from New York quartet Brazilian Girls, the soundtrack to the end of the world, or the record that will ignite the planet’s salvation? A polyglot of rhythms, sounds, and languages, their sophomore set throbs with the energy of a teeming mob. Those crowds might be the bejeweled revelers of carnival in Rio or frightened citizens filling Tokyo streets as Godzilla approaches. No matter. Talk To La Bomb distills that surging energy—of all those cultures, those moods—into a single, dynamic album. In the fat, pulsating keyboards of the first single, “Jique,” ; Sabina spews a stream of consciousness lyric that incorporates English, German, French, Italian, and Spanish...often in the same sentence. “It’s this crazy mix of language, kind of how my brain functions,” admits Sabina. “It’s very me.” So what will the verdict be? Is Talk To La Bomb the beat that will make people dance to the end of the universe, or kick-start the revolution? Will we be crushed by fire-breathing lizards, or swept along by effervescent celebrants? If this first single is any indication, things are looking good.

August 23, 2006

Novalima 'Afro'


With their first international release, Afro, the four Lima-based producers known as Novalima give the sonically rich history of Peru new life, using brilliantly subtle electronic textures, warm bass tones and drums to create a percussive masterpiece that moves effortlessly between conventional organic roots music and progressive digital sounds. One could even say that Novalima has gone as far as creating their very own genre by manipulating traditional instruments such as the native cajon, quijada, and congas to compliment programmed beats, funk-inspired bass lines, and contemporary piano melodies. Perhaps the most enchanting aspect of Novalima however, is not just their forward thinking approach, but their firm insistence on musical authenticity despite their use of more modern techniques. At its core, Afro is a tribute to the centuries-old slave songs of Africans forcefully brought to the Americas. Taking the lyrics of these songs – comparable to the soulful spirituals and gospel Africans would create in America – and reinterpreting them through digital means, Novalima educates two crowds simultaneously: those interested in learning about the rich and tumultuous history of Peruvian land and its people, and those seeking fresh dance music. Take for instance “Zamba Lando,” a modern rendering of the Lando style. Much like gospel, it’s a style that takes the deep blues of slavery and transforms the energy into uplifting, at times even erotic music. The brainchild of producers Ramón Pérez Prieto, Rafael Morales, Carlos Li Carrillo and Grimaldo del Solar, Afro – an abbreviation of Afro-Peru/Afro-Peruvian – is not limited to the land itself. Recorded in Lima, London, Rio de Janeirio, Hong Kong and Barcelona, this band is the very definition of “world” culture. Employing a host of important names in Peruvian music for the recording such as legends Nicomedes Santa Cruz, Lucila Campos, Lucha Reyes and Zambo Cavero, Novalima spans generations as easily as terrain. With their self-titled debut and numerous 12” singles behind them, the continual presence of Novalima in the global music community proves this band’s innate power. Now available stateside, Novalima is certain to accomplish for Afro-Peruvian music what Gotan Project has for Argentina’s tango: a modern upkeep of their culture’s traditional music, appealing to people of all ages and ethnicities. And with albums like Afro, that culture is truly global.

August 16, 2006

Eliane Elias 'Around The City'


For Brazilian born pianist and composer, Eliane Elias, the bristling tableau of songs that make up her 18th album, Around The City, crackle with the vitality of an urban nightscape. But it’s the mortar between the virtuosic gems crafted by Eliane, this time around, that sets Around The City apart from any of her other acclaimed efforts.
Staking out fertile co-writing sessions (for the first time in her career) with album co-producer, Lester Mendez, and songwriter Lauren Christy, as well as creative collaborations with the disc’s other co-producer, Andres Levin, Eliane focused on what she calls: “A vocal structure where the voice becomes almost a character itself.” She also imbues the 13 song disc with a sense of in-the-moment dynamics and fearless playfulness that rivals even the best contemporary rock sonnets. Once again the noted jazz sensation dazzles with her mesmerizing pianism and brave and delectable helpings of material, offering up exotic covers, including the Tito Puente penned-Santana hit “Oye Como Va”, an inspired version of Bob Marley’s “Jammin’”, and even a swirling Beck selection, “Tropicalia,” (culled from his 1998 album Mutations), which ironically, was a homage to the Brazilian Tropicalia psychedelic/soul fusion movement of the mid-1960’s (powered by the likes of Sao Paulo musical anarchists Os Mutantes, and Caetano Veloso, Gal Costa and Gilberto Gil, among others), the latter of whom influenced Eliane’s early years. It’s these kind of full-circle thematic leaps that Eliane traverses with such ease on Around The City, each song an entry-point into this ‘dual’ jazz citizen’s (as one reviewer dubbed her) musical template, with Eliane effortlessly gliding from song to song in both Portuguese and English. Harboring such eclectic passions has always been a trademark of Eliane’s compositional DNA. “From my earliest musical memories I had a passion for doing something in a different, new way. These ideas were just swimming around in my head. You have to remember I never aspired to be a singer. The challenge was always the music. It was the piano for me. And composing. I was always writing and I was such a lover of improvised music, Brazilian rhythm and American jazz, how could I not dream of ways to one day integrate all these wonderful sounds into my own creations.” Signed to legendary Blue Note Records in 1986, after releasing her debut album, Eliane would ultimately become the label’s most prolific and enduring artist, delivering 15 albums, a great deal of them topping Billboard’s Jazz charts. Eliane signed with RCA/Bluebird Jazz in 2002, releasing the sultry Kissed By Nature. 2004’s Dreamer was her second album for the new label, and a wake-up call to fans that Eliane’s vocal adventures were just beginning. “Once I began singing more, fans would actually come up to me afterwards and ask me to please sing more in future shows. I also began to realize there was a technical side to it as fascinating as the piano. What I loved about working on Around The City is that there are songs where I stretch my abilities with both playing and singing.”

August 11, 2006

Kinky 'Reina'


On their third album REINA, Kinky turn chaos into a grand celebration as they conquer mudslides, floods and collapsing houses to produce their most exciting album yet. After touring the world in support of their last album, Atlas, Kinky was in need of some peace and relaxation; they had been leading a life of extremities. How extreme? One night they’d sleep in an alley outside of a stadium in Italy, and the next they’d be hanging out in a luxury hotel in front of the Kaula Lumpur Towers. One minute they’d be chowing down on tacos outside of a tavern in Tijuana, and the next they’d be drinking champagne with INXS and Gloria Gainer on a first class flight to Indonesia. When it came time to refocus their energy on the new album, the band decided to move away from their dry hot home of Monterrey, Mexico. They packed their bags and set out for the lush mountains of Southern California, where they set up shop in a hillside cabin. Once Kinky were settled and ready to start writing, they noticed the so-called “beautiful” Southern California weather was not all sunshine and blue skies. Instead, it was intense and incessant rain that caused huge mudslides and severe floods, destroying anything that got in its way. “We were so caught up in the recording process that we had no idea all of our neighbors had been evacuated. A house right down the street had collapsed from the storm,” recalls bassist Cesar Pliego. One particular day, the band could no longer remain unaware of the chaos outside. As they were in the midst of a daily recording session, a mud avalanche entered from the back of their studio into the living room where they had set up their instruments. Guitars, drums and keyboards were all covered in a mass of mud and debris. Refusing to give up and determined to continue on the creative path they were already so immersed in, the band immediately went into action. Drummer Omar Gongora remembers the dilemma, “We had to rebuild all of our instruments, using our Mexican way, utilizing whatever was readily available; clips, duck tape, random scraps of metal, branches, just about anything we could get our hands on.” As they quickly got back to the recording process, the idea for the album title, REINA emerged. Lead vocalist Gilberto Cerezo explains, “For us, working inside a studio completely covered in mud, was like being part of a great celebration inside a big chocolate cake. We thought of the Mexican Quinceanera parties where parents expend massive amounts of money for their daughters fifteenth birthday parties and the girls dress up in huge and very uncomfortable dresses just to be the REINA (Queen) for one day.” The results of recording throughout the mad So Cal weather are 12 invigorating and eclectic new tracks that invite listeners to a celebration that mixes rock, electronica, hip-hop, Latin rhythm and some pots and pans with lyrics influenced by deep observations of the superficiality of day to day exchanges. With guest appearances by Men At Work front man Colin Hay, Mexican alternative rock singer Ely Guerra, and Intocable’s accordion player Rick Munoz.

July 30, 2006

Various Artists 'PDX Pop Now! 2006'


PDX POP Now! is a labor of love, bringing together local volunteers to put on a free, nonprofit, all ages, KICK ASS music festival in the heart of Southeast Portland, Oregon. Mixing the biggest and smallest acts, the softest, quietest and the brashest, loudest, PDX POP Now! goes well beyond the bounds of pop music, incorporating folk, experimental, instrumental, hip hop, electronics, and more. The PDX POP Now! 2006 Compilation is (not surprisingly) similarly diverse. Exclusive tracks from Stephen Malkmus, The Thermals, Menomena, Viva Voce, Vursatyl (of Lifesavas), Talkdemonic, Tara Jane O’Neil, and more highlight PDX Pop Now! 2006. It’s worth noting, too, that this compilation was assembled completely blind. None of the organizers knew who they were listening to when they heard the tracks. Yes, artists like Colin Meloy, March Fourth, and Jackie O Motherfucker are pretty easy to pick out, but the bands on this comp are on here because they represent the pure sonic best of Portland and nothing else. As a collection, PDX POP Now! 2006 aim at celebrating and promoting Portland’s vital music community -- the 40-song collection also features musical gems contributed by PDX favorites Mirah, The Joggers, The Blow, and The Planet The. PDX Pop Now! extended an open invitation to its city’s musicians to submit music for consideration for the album as well, and selections culled from the work submitted by more than 350 artists round out the comp. Displaying Portland’s tremendous musical diversity, rock, pop, punk, hip hop, folk, electronic and experimental music, and even an original marching band arrangement are represented on the discs.

July 25, 2006

Various Artists 'Monsieur Gainsbourg Revisited'


Serge Gainsbourg, the singer-songwriter-Pygmalion-actor-filmmaker-author-entertainer-agitator-gambler-lady’s man, a man whose many facets reflect in each other to form one of the most dazzling prisms in twentieth-century French culture, and whose sparkle now spreads well beyond both France and the century. A few years ago both the superstar Madonna and the underground prophet John Zorn declared their admiration for Gainsbourg – separately, but with the same zeal. The English group Portishead lifted the heady atmosphere of Cargo culte from the Melody Nelson album for their stunning remix of Massive Attack’s Karmacoma. De La Soul sampled Gainsbourg, Beck borrowed wholesale (Paper tiger), and countless artists cover his songs. In France and worldwide (from Air to Sonic Youth) artists by the dozens claim him as an influence. Most are flabbergasted when they realise that at the beginning, he was the heir and soon-to-be conspirator of the Left Bank cabarets and the cellars of Saint-Germain, mixing Baudelairean poetry and oblique jazz under the influence of Boris Vian, coloured with exotic essences from lounge music. Again, when they discover he became the transformer of the pop movement, turning young Londoners’ heads, handing out songs to girls like sugar-and-spice pills. Or once more, when they come across the film soundtracks, mirroring some of his intensely cinematographic albums, such as Initials BB or Melody, not to mention when he parachuted into Jamaica at the time of the reggae version of La Marseillaise, or into New York USA under the blows of digital funk. For Gainsbourg is the classical and the modern combined in one man – ultra-classical and ultra-modern, able to absorb, Bowie-like, all that is avant-garde and bring it into the light, or to wrap up slang in the words of the great French orator, Bossuet.

When a cover album was planned by Jean-Daniel Beauvallet, Christian Fevret and Timothée Verrecchia for the fifteenth anniversary of his last lungful of Gitane smoke, it quickly became obvious that only foreign groups and artists could give new life to a repertoire so ingrained in French culture. Invitations were sent out and the overwhelmingly positive responses returned like boomerangs. Everyone rushes for Gainsbourg, and the cast list speaks for itself – from Tricky to Franz Ferdinand, from Cat Power to The Rakes, from Placebo to Michael Stipe (REM), from Portishead to Marianne Faithfull, from Jarvis Cocker to The Kills... “Pas dégueu !” (not too rotten), as Gainsbourg would have said. Maintaining the links with the past, some of the best known original singers also agreed to appear: Françoise Hardy, Dani, and above all Jane Birkin! One last hurdle remained – the language barrier, a risky business with Gainsbourg. An exercise in high precision, poetically and semantically, entrusted to two word-jugglers with a worldwide reputation, Boris Bergman and Paul Ives. Despite the prestige of the cast and the difficulty of carrying it out, Monsieur Gainsbourg Revisited was above all a project undertaken with humility, lightness and a certain degree of impertinence. This would, no doubt, have pleased the man who, over the thirty glorious years of his career, inspired this very cocktail more than anyone else.

July 19, 2006

Urbs 'toujours le meme film..'


Urbs, aka Paul Nawrata has been dj-ing for 15 years in Austria usually playing hip-hop but also breakz. After years of dj-ing he has now produced his first album 'toujours le meme film..'

Starting in 1997, Urbs' first production 'Closer to God' made it on several compilations. Both the original version and the remix by Thievery Corporation. From 2000 to 2003 Urbs worked together with DJ Cutex and the track 'Break of Dawn' became his international breakthrough.

For the last two years Urbs has been working on his first solo Album; Toujours le même film changing his style from hip-hop to soundtrack but never really losing his hip-hop roots. Urbs’ influences started off in his youth listening to classic tunes and New Wave, metal, and of course hip-hop. Looking for special sounds, Urbs started collecting soundtracks, chansons and Jazz of the 60s. Today, Urbs’ biggest influences for his album Toujours le même film are Ennio Morricone, Serge Gainsbourg, Francis Lai, Francois de Roubaix, Alain Goraguer, and original scores in general.

July 14, 2006

Birdy Nam Nam 'Uncivilized World'


Birdy Nam Nam (the name's an obscure reference from a Peter Sellers film) is a DMC World Championship scratch team... from France. And while they obviously have the chops to be able to attain that level of turntablist success, they're more about making "songs" and "music" as opposed to cutting together repetitive loops and gimmicky licks. They've clearly got a good sense of humor to match their deep musical knowledge, genre dexterity and assumedly vast record collection! Much in a similar style to Kid Koala, they piece together a patchwork of source material that runs from jazz to soul to any-and-everything. Through expert vinyl manipulation they forge seamless creations with a sophistication on par with kindred spirits DJ Shadow, DJ Food and the likes.

July 11, 2006

Lenine 'Lenine'


Ever since Antonio Carlos Jobim came north to record with Frank Sinatra in the 60s, artists like João Gilberto, Caetano Veloso, and Gilberto Gil have carried the legacy of MPB – the acronym for “Brazilian Popular Music” – to a global audience. Recently a younger generation has cemented Brazil’s place as a superpower in the music world. But Brazil, we now learn, has been holding out on us: with Lenine, Americans finally have a chance to hear the man who virtually swept Brazil’s annual TIM awards last year, winning “Best CD,” “Best Male Vocalist” (both in the judges’ voting and the separate fans’ poll) and “Best Song,” plus two Latin Grammys on top of it all. With his husky voice and irresistible blend of MPB, rock, hip-hop, and traditional music, Lenine (pronounced Leh- NEE-nee) has been called Brazil’s answer to Prince. His songs have been recorded by Milton Nascimento, Sergio Mendes, even Dionne Warwick.

But until now, he has been just a rumor to most American fans. Lenine’s self-titled US debut, culled from three remarkable Brazilian releases, and his stunning turn at the recent 2006 South By Southwest Festival, show that rumors can sometimes be true. Listening to Lenine, the mind (or maybe it’s the music) begins to play tricks on you, and you’re suddenly hearing echoes of Ry Cooder, Beck, Silvio Rodriguez, Stevie Wonder, Massive Attack, even the Beatles. Lenine announces himself right away, starting the compilation with the sounds of acoustic guitars over the distant pounding of drums, and leading into the effortless funk of “Jack Soul Brasileiro.” His rhythmic singing blurs the boundary between song and rap. A break featuring traditional forro accordion and maracatu drums from northeastern Brazil is embroidered with brief electric guitar power chords. Some of the most striking pieces on Lenine are the works that take a particularly Brazilian approach to electronica.

July 10, 2006

Masters of Groove 'Masters Of Groove Meet Dj-9'


Masters Of Groove Meet Dj-9 is The follow up to “Masters Of Groove Meet Dr. No” JZZ 20306-2 which Featured: B3 great, Reuben Wilson - Organ, Grant Green, Jr – Guitar, & Bernard “Pretty” Purdie Drums. “Four all-star jazz-soul-funk-groove veterans (together for the first time) take on the music from the first 1962 Bond adventure film “Dr. No”. Masters Of Groove Meet Dj-9 takes on a electronica groove and focuses on collaborations with Dj-9, the Pro Tools & Production wizardry of Producer POLO and features Jazz, Groove, multi keyboardist Marc Cary whose credits include Roy Hargrove, The RH Factor, Joe Claussell, Verve Remixed, Spiritual Life Music and several tracks on the Ibadan label for Jerome Sydenham.

...a jazzy, electronica fueled odyssey, of beats & sound! ...groove, raw beats, breaks, future- bossa, chill, downbeat & ambient jazz!

July 06, 2006

Skye 'Mind How You Go'


As the voice of Morcheeba, Skye soundtracked our lives on albums such as Big Calm, she sold five million records and graced stages around the world. And yet somehow, she’s always remained an enigma. Private about her personal life and modest about her achievements, she never really played the pop star game. Skye’s debut solo album, MIND HOW YOU GO, is not so much a leap into the dark as a step into the light. Yet it was also a journey into the unknown. Of course, there is much that is familiar - the beguiling quality of her voice, the potent melodies that bury themselves deep inside your brain, and the cool elegance of her delivery. But this is also Skye as you have never heard her before. With Morcheeba, she was usually singing someone else’s lyrics. MIND HOW YOU GO finds Skye singing her own songs, telling her own stories and finding her own way. Skye’s determination to make a solo record dictated a steep learning curve because for the first time she was faced with the responsibility of coming up with the songs. “I’m proud of what I did with Morcheeba and I never felt fake singing someone else’s words. But this record is the real me. I haven’t had to learn the emotion behind the songs because it was already there. People ask what this record means to me, but that’s an alien question because I’ve been living and breathing it. It’s not a question of what it means to me. This record is me.” “What’s Wrong With Me?” is the first single from the record and features remixes by Nouvelle Vague, Jim Noir and Phonique.

June 22, 2006

Madrid de los Austrias 'Mas Amor'


With Madrid de los Austrias’ first full length album release “Amor” in 2001 they developed a trademark sound that can be easily distinguished. The album created a huge buzz with train spotters around the world and got great support from listeners and fans all over the globe. After their successful album release they teamed up with Richard Dorfmeister for several remixes for such amazing artists as Zero 7, Groove Armada, Willie Bobo, Koop and Pressure Drop to name a few. Recently they released the summer jam “Valldemossa” together with Richard Dorfmeister which has gained a lot of airplay on radio stations and dancefloors and will soon be releasing ‘Grand Slam’ a record of remixes and original tracks at the end of the summer.

With their latest release “Mas Amor” Madrid del los Austrias are setting new standards. This second album has all the elements to become a classic. “Mas Amor” is the stunning result of a long and healthy production process. Madrid de los Austrias went to Spain to record songs together with traditional flamenco artists. It is truly astonishing how worlds continue to collide in the electronic music world. Every imaginable cultural collage can be pasted together with amazing results. Madrid de los Austrias, perfectly exemplify this multi-culture phenomenon. They mix Havana, New York and Madrid into an intoxicating concoction, all with Viennese precision. The fusion of traditional flamenco roots and the elaborate Madrid de los Austrias trademark sound proofs to be a perfect combination. The involvement of top notch musicians is more than apparent and leads to a remarkable richness and maturity in the sound of the eleven tracks on the album. “Mas Amor” is a wonderfully intoxicating project; very organic, highly sexy music with a Latin twist.

June 20, 2006

Apollo Nove 'Res Inexplicata Volans'


How do you describe someone as eclectic as Apollo Nove? A modern-day pop Tropicalista, crooner, songwriter, pianist and collector of over sixty vintage synths, keyboards and effects from the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s? Apollo Nove is the prime contender for most innovative young producer in Brazil. Res Inexplicata Volans is his solo debut of twelve melodious, deep, moody songs that hover somewhere between psychedelic rock, eerie electronica and spacey folk. Recorded in São Paulo and mixed in Paris by Air engineer Yann Arnaud. Guest vocalists include Cibelle and Seu Jorge.

June 15, 2006

Banco de Gaia 'Farewell Ferengistan'


Toby Marks under the pseudonym Banco De Gaia has spent most of his career focusing on issues that he finds bewildering by expressing his thoughts and observations through music. The electronic musings of an ‘abstract techno/dance’ composer are not traditionally associated with an impassioned political polemic or works of merit and depth. However, his critically acclaimed 1995 album Last Train To Lhasa was written to highlight the plight of the Tibetan people and successfully mixed electronica with a braver vision, although Banco de Gaia himself has lost count of the number of times people have told him that ‘dance and politics’ just don’t mix. There are no ‘themes’ in dance music, just beats and hooks etc.

Fast-forward to 2006 and over a decade of questioning and consistently brilliant albums under the bridge later and here we are facing the same joyfully unsettling creature. Farewell Ferengistan captures the spirit and mood of Last Train To Lhasa but this time instead of being concerned with the remote tribes of Shangri-la, Banco de Gaia’s concerns are much closer to home: what are we doing to ourselves? Where is our materialism taking us, would it not be wise to consider our position? “Ferengistan” is a word of uncertain origin, it could be Arabic, German, Byzantine or Greek. In Central Asia, its common meaning is as a reference to the home of Westerners and Caucasians. It has connotations of greed, materialism and untrustworthiness. So by saying “Farewell Ferengistan,” Banco is noting the decline of the era of the prospector, the banker, the investor, the shareholder and the structures and systems of the corporate world. We must all in the end face the fact that commerce has consistently been doing ‘it’ on its own doorstep and that we cannot continue the way we have been because ultimately we are running out of resources and people to steal from.

Farewell Ferengistan is an album about humanity’s global predicament. After a decade and a half of music making it is great to see that Banco de Gaia remains as brave, experimental and willfully on his own path as ever. Toby Marks is someone who has influenced many musicians. In the U.S. particularly and across Europe, Banco de Gaia is respected for the innovator that he is for making records of consistent beauty and quality. The tone of Farewell Ferengistan turns mellow and reflective. “Saturn Return” takes the listener on a widescreen space shuttle launch to the outer planets in the company of Steve Reich and Terry Riley, then deposits us on the set of a spaghetti western version of 2001-esque “Flow My Tears, The Android Wept” where a lonesome computer sings a 17th century ballad to a flamenco dub accompaniment. The mood remains ambient as an English pastoral landscape merges with Himalayan melodies in”White Man’s Burden” until submitting to the relentless march of progress and percussion. The hint of menace brings listeners back down to earth in time to be washed clean by the sublime vocal harmonies and timeless truth of “We All Know The Truth (You Have God),” the perfect exit music for this movie.

Listen to Banco de Gaia mp3's

Juana Molina "Son"


Argentinean singer Juana Molina’s United States debut ‘Segundo’ quietly but surely worked its way into play lists of discerning listeners. A mixture of acoustic guitars, traditional percussion touches, electronic textures and her disarming vocals, it stands as one of the most evocative and original albums in recent memory. Juana Molina is not easily classified - as her music blurs lines between simple categorization. ‘Segundo’ slowly captured all who would listen, and it continues to do so. It was her first self-produced album, recorded in Juana’s home studio. It would take her a year and a half to finish. She loved the freedom she felt, waking up in the morning and going into her studio, turning on the computer and getting lost in her own world every day. 2004’s follow-up ‘Tres Cosas’ was equally revered, as Jon Pareles of the New York Times named it a top 10 record of the year. Two years worth of touring followed, including runs with Savath & Savalas, David Byrne, Belle and Sebastian, and Sam Prekop and appearances at Coachella and the Montreal Jazz Festival. This spring, she released her new self-produced album ‘Son.’

“When I started to write the songs for this record ‘Son,’ a new element that may have been hidden for a long time appeared; the randomness of the combination of sounds in nature. Each bird has a particular singing; nevertheless this singing is always different. It is not a pattern; it’s a drawing, a sound and a mode, only a few elements that each bird combines in a new way each time. In the same way, sometimes I chose to sing a melodic drawing I develop for the song. Verses are alike, but never the same (rios seco, no seas antipática) other times I chose to sing a repetitive melody. What changes here and moves randomly is, for example, a keyboard. It is like overlapping two different loops, with no synchronicity at all. One very rhythmic and the other one more lose. When you play both, at the same time, the loose loop will provoke a changing harmony, because their beats will never be in the same place. This causes a moving harmony.”

“During the tours, I also applied my new ideas to the old songs, that’s why, when I got back home, I recorded the first thing that came to mind using these new ideas. In October, when I sat down to put all I had for the record together I had the huge and pleasant surprise that I almost had the record done. ‘Son’ is a step forward on the same path I started with Segundo and followed with Tres Cosas.”

Utilizing guitar, keyboards, cymbals, gongs, bombo legüero, and a bass, ‘Son’ was recorded and produced entirely at home by Juana Molina.

“A luminous combination of fragile folk and bubbling electronica, Tres Cosas balances stark, seesawing melodies with computer moans and sparkles, like some organic-digital mix of Nick Drake and Brian Eno.” (A+) - Entertainment Weekly

“Her songs are intimacy defined, spinning tight, whispered harmonies over dizzying structures reminiscent of Erik Satie.” — LA Weekly

“Dazzlingly original...” (****) — Blender Magazine

Listen to Juana Molina mp3’s

June 12, 2006

Halou "Wholeness and Separation"


This year San Francisco based Halou celebrates 10 years as a band and returns with their most compelling work to date, Wholeness and Separation. Although It has been several years since their last release on Nettwerk Records [“Wiser” 2001], the band has hardly been dormant. The past few years have been spent using their production skills to help sculpt the sound of such artists as DJ Shadow, Lyrics Born, Frank Sinatra, Blackalicious, John Cale, Low, No Doubt and even a Rod Stewart remix which hit #1 on Billboard. In addition, Halou has scored 2 successful award winning films “This Girl’s Life” starring James Woods and “Quality of Life.”

Throughout all of this, the band has still found the time to create their finest album. Halou’s debut album, ‘We Only Love You’, was released in 1999 on Bedazzled Records. Featuring Rebecca’s stunningly honest and vibrant vocals, the album wove its way through abstract beats and sumptuously languid electronic pop music. ‘We Only Love You’ received overwhelming praise, and was championed by influential independent radio stations such as Seattle’s KEXP and LA’s KCRW and the syndicated electronica radio show AREA54 ( while earning endearing reviews by noteworthy US press. Halou’s newest recording, ‘Wholeness and Separation’, has fully realized the delicate balance of organic and electronic that Ryan, Rebecca and Count have coaxed from their minds and hearts. Luxurious strings, atmospheric textures, inventive electronics, and heartfelt vocals stretch this sonic collage across the spectrum of human emotion.

Don’t miss their compelling completely live performance which features live drums, cello, bass, guitar, various electronics, Rebecca’s mesmerizing vocals, all set to the backdrop of short films fully synchronized to the performance.

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June 08, 2006

Kraak & Smaak 'Boogie Angst'


Breaks in the States will never be the same after leading Dutch trio, Kraak & Smaak, bring their massively musical debut full-length stateside. Oscar de Jong, Mark Kneppers and Wim Plug’s much-lauded work, BOOGIE ANGST, has already garnered praised from Pete Tong, Laurent Garnier, Annie Nightingale and so many more. Look for its U.S. release on Quango to include a kick-ass bonus disc of never-heard-before remixes. As a fearless threesome, Kraak & Smaak dose their funked-up breaks and soul jumping grooves (as the name implies) with everything from ‘70s rare groove (“Keep on Searching”) to ‘80s references heard on the addictive single “Money in the Bag.” Obsessive late-night flirtations with Blue Note jazz sounds and ferocious ‘70s guitar licks ensue to mark their signature breaks sound.

BOOGIE ANGST kicks off with the hooky twang of “Money in the Bag” then moves into “One of These Days,” a tune that pours honeyed vocals over looped guitars, spiraling trumpets and brass stabs. The balmy summer house sounds of “Keep Me Home” bounds through dusty woodwind and glimmering strings. “Danse Macabre” is a tripping, downbeat track with hauntingly soft vocals, while “5 to 4” takes on an epic Blade Runner style with stark mutated echoes and Middle Eastern pipes. “Mambo Solitario” elegantly curls strings around shuffling samba. And on and on it goes.

Twenty-eight-year-old Oscar De Jong, the main knob twiddler in Kraak & Smaak, formed the group in 2003 after a series of chance meetings with the other two. From his exposure to endless types of music as a student at the Music Conservatory in Rotterdam, he now cites his influences as jazz, hip-hop, funk, breakbeat and “all experimental music.” It’s something the other two relate to and have used to help create the musical synergy and energy-charged live shows that have been winning European audiences over ever since. Contrary to how it might seem, Kraak & Smaak didn’t start off to record an album.

First came a series of successful EPs, released on London breaks label, Jalapeno Records (Money in the Bag, Keep on Searching, Say Yeah, Set Fire To The Disco). Then it became clear that an album was surly in the mix after numerous studio tracks materialized in late night sessions fueled by “a good variety of alcohol.” Prior to joining Kraak & Smaak , DJ Wim Plug and Mark Knepper (a.k.a. DJ Knuppelhout) knew each other from spinning out at a lot of the same venues in Holland. Plug had traversed all over the country on the decks next to Portishead’s Andy Smith and drum ‘n’ bass stalwart DJ Aphrodite, among others. He was also a member of the multi-media turntable orchestra, Polyvinyl Big Band. As DJ Knuppelhout, Mark had released a mix CD (breaks) for legendary Dutch label Fresh Fruit and was a member of the popular ‘70s-‘80s retro-act, Wipneus & Pim. “I keep it totally separate from what I do with Kraak & Smaak,” he explains. “Although we did drop a drum ‘n’ bass remix of one of our chart hits recently. That was quite funny!” In DJ sets, Mark tends to play lots of funky breakbeat and “music for the ladies...” He also owns one of the biggest independent record shops in Leiden. “I suppose Plug and I were drawn to each other because of our total obsession with music.” Now the two boast that collectively they own the largest vinyl collection in Holland.

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Psapp 'The Only Thing I Ever Wanted'


Encountering Psapp’s Galia Durant and Carim Clasmann at their clandestine King’s Cross HQ-cum-studio-playpen is less like meeting a band and more like stumbling into a funny, hazy, miraculous parallel universe. A kind of boho bolthole-meets-Narnia-scape, theirs is a cosy, dusty, otherworldly realm - a clutter of home-made toys, doll’s house ephemera, somnolent cats, glinting laptops, and incalculable bric-a-brac of mysterious provenance. And that’s not to mention the duo’s veritable junkshop heaven of arcane musical instruments and ‘sound emitters’ that range from gleaming pianos and pot-bellied ouds to children’s xylophones, farmyard noise-makers, mechanical ashtrays and squeaky rubber poultry; all of it holding equal sway in Psapp’s giddy, skittering sonic dominion. Curious, then, that such an apparently cloistered, hermetic environment should be the wellspring for music whose appeal already stretches around the globe.

In part thanks to its ubiquity on primetime US TV shows like Gray’s Anatomy, Nip/Tuck and The OC, Psapp’s agitated-yet-swooning electro-acoustic signature is already a familiar sound in millions of living rooms. Indeed, Psapp have made a unique, fully focused noise since their debut track appeared in spring 2003, ushering in what has been a quietly meteoric ascent - from homespun indie hopefuls to assured international contenders in little over two years. Their own ‘silly noises’ married to Galia’s sultry vocals and perspicacious lyrics produced recordings of shimmering originality and nascent charm - an opinion shared by the handful of labels to which Psapp sent demos toward the end of 2002. By 2003 several Psapp tracks found their way to US music consultants who were universally wowed by the band’s evocative charms. The duo’s music seemed to chime with the TV zeitgeist and started to seep into primetime dramas (not to mention a very high profile Volkswagen advert), culminating in the track ‘Cosy In The Rocket’ being chosen as the theme music to hit ABC medical drama Grey’s Anatomy. At a stroke, burgeoning inquisitiveness about Psapp turned into an eager US fanbase.

Released in February 2005, ‘Tiger My Friend’ consolidated the burgeoning interest in all things Psapp. MOJO magazine’s four star review – “Arresting, childlike pop confections... effortlessly carved pop sophistication...” was typically hyperbolic. By autumn 2005 Psapp had spurned major label advances, preferring to ink a deal with Domino. After their initial touring forays were successfully completed, Psapp set about buffing their second album to lustrous perfection, pausing only to head down to the BMI Award for 2005’s Best TV Theme Tune for ‘Cosy In The Rocket’. The resulting album, ‘The Only Thing I Ever Wanted,’ marks a change of approach. “I think this new record’s got a bit more of an ‘in the house’ atmosphere, than the previous one”, Carim ventures. “A lot of the new songs are quite joyful but quite sad simultaneously,” Galia adds. “Songs can be pretty one-dimensional – ‘we’ve broken up’ or ‘I’m so in love’ - but life’s not really like that. When we were making the new album my cat, Puss Puss died, I came to live in King’s Cross, I fell in love, got engaged, got unengaged, had the landlord threatening to evict us at any moment and so on...” Emotional ambiguity and Damocles-like landlords notwithstanding, ‘The Only Thing I Ever Wanted’ is surely Psapp’s finest chapter to date. It’s brimful of undeniable pop hooks, gorgeous, mosaic-like arrangement details and looks set to transport Psapp to new, dizzying heights. What’s more, it’s surely the most poignant songwriting ever to be underscored by toy animals and kitchen utensils.

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May 26, 2006

Nouvelle Vague "Bande à Part"


Taking their moniker from the 60s new wave of cult French cinema, Nouvelle Vague are a French musical collective put together by arrangers Marc Collins and Olivier Libaux. On their first album, “Nouvelle Vague” the group resurrected lost classics from the 80s “New Wave” music era, and reinterpret them in a saucy bossa nova style. The songs were stripped back to acoustic arrangements with lithe shaker rhythms achieved by gathering a parade of chanteuses from all over the world (six French, one Brazilian and one New Yorker) to sex up everyone from XTC and Modern English to The Clash and The Undertones.

Nouvelle Vague returns June 26th with their second album 'Bande à Part'. They are still resurrecting 80’s new wave and punk songs but this time it’s not so much in a Bossa Nova style but more as dreadlocked reggae artist strumming his guitar in Kingston, Jamaica. Songs on ‘Bande A Part’ include covers of ‘The Killing moon’ by Echo and the Bunneymen, ‘Dancing by myself’ by Billie Idol and ‘Heart of glass’ by Blondie. These songs, along with eleven other mesmerizing reinterpretations, now grace Bande à Part, the next chapter in Novelle Vague's beguiling, retro-futurist odyssey.

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May 25, 2006

Zero 7 "The Garden"


Zero 7, aka Sam Hardaker and Henry Binns, are back with their third album, The Garden. Continuing to build on their established sonic blueprint, this album incorporates some more organic elements, such as acoustic guitar, into their chilled and down tempo sound. It features vocal performances by Swedish-born folkie Jose Gonzalez, Sia Furler and Henry Binns. The band’s previous albums, Simple Things and When It Falls, were critically acclaimed and rooted them firmly in the chill out and lounge category. The Garden sees Zero 7 take a fresher, more upbeat musical direction while still maintaining their trademark sound.

Their production still sounds richly detailed and beautifully executed, but there are some unpredictable twists this time around. Futures begins with a gently strummed acoustic guitar and the lilting voice of González, but ends sounding like Underworld. The Pageant of the Bizarre is a playful ride that concludes with a shift into Beach Boys-style harmonizing.

The Garden is different enough from their first two albums that it might surprise some listeners who are expecting the same chill sounds. However, with The Garden, Zero 7 have shown that can change direction and style without the burden of expectations and feeling pigeon-holed.

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April 30, 2006

Thievery Corporation - Versions


Washington DC’s Thievery Corporation return with the ultimate collection of 18 of their remixes from the last couple of years. The vinyl loving duo embraces the 60’s psychedelia and pop of the Doors and Herb Alpert as well as World and Lounge sounds from artists like Ustad Sultan Khan and Bebel Gilberto. Versions also contains dubbed out reworks of artists like Sarah McLachlan, Nouvelle Vague, Anoushka Shankar, Transglobal Underground and more. The only new track on the album is a song called Originality a song that the Thievery boys put together with reggae legend Sister Nancy.

The Thievery Corporation make over works wonders on most songs on Versions. If you’re a fan of down tempo, jazzy electro-lounge beats you’ll have to check out this latest offering.

If you live on the West Coast you won’t want to miss their live show; a 2 hour set with a live band and a parade of multi-lingual singers.

7/18: @ The Moore Theatre, Seattle, WA
7/19: @ Roseland Theater, Portland, OR
7/20: @ The Concourse, San Francisco, CA
7/21: @ 4th & B, San Diego, CA
7/22: @ 4th & B, San Diego, CA
7/23: @ The Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles, CA

April 14, 2006

Gotan Project - Lunático


The Gotan Project have followed up their 2001 million-selling La Revancha Del Tango with the masterful sophomore release; "Lunático". On their latest release Gotan Project again mix the heated passion of tango with the cool insistent beats of dance music. This time around they have kept the best of both genres offering up an unheralded fusion of music. On “Lunático” the production team delves further into the tradition, cutting down on the dub production and overarching electronic programming--now sexy grooves often come on the back of organic beats and an unprocessed sound captured during live studio sessions in Buenos Aires. This new focus is furthered with conventional bandoneon soloing as well as acoustic piano and string section backing. "We really wanted to explore both tango and folkloric music from Argentina a lot further than we had before," says band member and producer, Philippe Cohen Solal. "That's why many of the tracks are really classically tango-orientated, very traditional patterns that people like (Anibal) Troilo would use."

Not wanting to replicate any of what 'La Revancha…' had originally achieved musically, Philippe and fellow band members, Christoph Müller and Eduardo Makaroff spent the last 2 years working on ' Lunático ' - named, quite appropriately, after tango hero Carlos Gardel's champion racehorse of the 1930's. The album was recorded in Buenos Aires' prestigious Studio ION - the famed venue where tango greats like Astor Piazzolla had once laid down their aural magic to vast reel-to-reel tape machines.

With a decidedly stronger emphasis on the more organic roots of tango, almost to a classical level, 'Lunático' has taken one step backwards in order to move two steps forward in what not only the Gotan Project, but also many of Argentina's top tango musicians see as the progression of their beloved music's ever-evolving lifespan.
"Recording this album was a more natural process for us all," Philippe adds, "as we wanted to continue the tango experience and in ten years time hopefully we'll still feel the same."

Buy “Lunático”

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