Wednesday, November 17, 2010


It has been a while since I posted last. Excuse the hiatus. I'm sure you all missed my posts sooo much. =p Anyway, Ashley has inspired me to begin posting a bit again, so here it goes. Ready....

Over the last couple years, I have seen the birth of several efforts to invite music artists to perform live to record in interesting spaces including bathrooms, taxi cars, staircases, swimming pools, as well as more conventional locations. I love these projects like LiveDaily and Black Cab, just to name a couple. Today I came across another one of these projects done by le-Hiboo, a French group that I haven't actually found much info about. They have a great variety of artists, though many are French, and there are artists of many styles. The camera work is beautiful, and the artists perform in all sorts of different spaces, including the swimming pool I mentioned earlier. I will just leave you with a couple samples that I really love, and shut up now.

Basia Bulmat. She is fantastic.

HibOO d'Live : Basia Bulat "The Shore"

and these guys, Local Natives.

HibOO d'Live : Local Natives "Wide eyes"

Monday, November 8, 2010

Yeasayer (Sunrise &Rome)

They say crazy people are drawn to music because it soothes them. Well I think I'm really drawn to Yeasayer because they successfully embed crazy into odd melodic and catchy music. This is what I'm enjoying now, and I hope you guys enjoy it too.


From All Hour Cymbals (their debut)

From Odd Blood (their most recent album)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Memory Tapes-Bicycle

5 and a half months after graduation, I still find myself sometimes riding the chill wave.
I hope that you guys are too.


Saturday, March 20, 2010

Seba Jun aka Nujabes, Rest in Peace

photo by yosuke moriya. kamakura, summer 2009

Some of you may have heard that Jun Seba aka Nujabes died last month in a car crash. When I first heard this news, via text by Jeff in the early morning, i couldn't accept the reality of it. hours later, i look up the news, and confirm that indeed nujabes had been in a fatal car accident. i never knew i could be so sad to have to say goodbye to someone who i had never met. nujabes really reached out to his audience, to me, through his music, and put his soul into his work. In commemoration, i just wanted to share a bit of my experience with nujabes and the memories he has left with me.

I was introduced to Nujabes toward the end of 04' by a cherished friend, and have brought his music everywhere with me since. I was a sophomore then. I had just spent the previous year bouncing all around the hip hop scene in Washington State, neglecting my academics. I ended up doing poorly in school, so my mother decided she would start staying at home and watch over me. It was pretty hard for me to find my movements so limited, but i found myself lots of books, video games, cartoons, and music kept me entertained for the most part during my house arrest, and I got my first taste of Nujabes. this was the song that got me to start saying "chill" all the time.

Aruarian Dance - Nujabes - Departure

I did some quick research and found out the song was from an OST for an anime, Samurai Champloo. Some key words in the description of this anime include Samurais, breakdancing, and hip hop. What more could a high school boy ask for? So I pull up the first episode, and this is what I saw.

Battlecry - Nujabes (feat. Shing02) - Departure

I was already drooling before the episode started. I absolutely love all the music that is used in the series, and after some more digging, discovered a couple other artists who nujabes worked with, fat jon, tsutchie, and most notably Shing02, the MC in the video above. It was 2004, so I had a few years of nujabes releases to catch up on. I started looking at some earlier albums, and found that in before doing Battlecry for Samurai Champloo, Shingo02 and Nujabes also collaborated on a series called luv sic. Here's part 1&2:

These were on Hydeout Productions 1st Collection.

I also found he produced a mixtape, ristorante mixtape, of some really amazing artists. Here are a few artists I ended up looking into and continue listening to and enjoying today.

Wolf Drawn - Emancipator - Soon It Will Be Cold Enough

Choking You - Prefuse 73 - One Word Extinguisher
[Scott Herran aka Prefuse 73 just put out a new project under the name Risil]

Make You Feel That Way - Blackalicious - Ristorante Mixtape

Tricky Tricky - Royksopp (So & So Remix) - Junior

There are many other amazing artists on this mix. Check it out if youre feelin it. The following year, he released an absolutely amazing album, a common favorite amongst many. You might imagine just how geeked I was when I saw luv sic pt 3 on the tracklist.

luv sic. pt 3 - Nujabes (feat. Shing02) - Modal Soul

This is my favorite beat in the luv sic series. and i relaly dig all of Shing02's verses. If you listen to anything in this post, you should listen to this trilogy. Anyway, I know, I cheated and skipped the first track....but I went back! Here's what I found.

Here is probably the most universally enjoyed track in my own experience. Probably was the most common first track I play for people when introducing nujabes.

Feather - Nujabes (feat. Cise Star and Akin from Cyne) - Modal Soul

The most amazing thing about this album for me was that it inspired me to look into the MCs on his label, and some of their work that nujabes produced under his own label, Hydeout Productions.

Home Sweet Home - Substantial - To This Union a Son was Born

Bullshit As Usual - Pase Rock - Bullshit As Usual

The second semester my senior year in high school was a really insane time in my life. I had run away from home, slept in the streets of seattle, started getting my rejections and acceptances to colleges, dated my only true high school sweetheart and got dumped within a few months. My life was quite a rollercoaster. Some time amidst all this, I picked up Hydeout Productions 2nd Collection. There were some real gems here...

Winter Lane (Remix) - Nujabes - Hydeout Productions 2nd Collection
[The original is on Modal Soul Classics]

This song leaves me feeling very nostalgic and blue. Many of nujabes's music does this to me, and i love it.

After Hanabi (Listen to my Beat) - Nujabes

I brought all these tracks to Duke with me, and when people would chill in my room, i would just bump nujabes all the time. Soon, many of my friends were hooked too. By next semester, I had a friend telling me his brother was bumpin nujabes in a cafe in Boston and spreading his name. Everyone had their own favorites too. I still remember Martin pointing out this beauty for me. In the anime, it's used in episode 11, my favorite episode. i know, i'm corny.
Counting Stars - Nujabes

I didn't expect that so many people i would meet during that year would dig nujabes with such enthusiasm. for all of freshman year, my closest of friends and some more took nujabes everywhere with us, and rocked his tracks hard. In our rooms, in the showers, outside on the blackwell bench, wherever. Ananth and I even carried him on our phones. I still walk past some friends who will brighten up as they see me and say "i'm listening to nujabes right now!" And i still have people asking me "Who's this? This is really good!" and proceed to ask me to spell out his name for them.

For a while, basically sophomore year, I started getting into a lot of different music, largely introduced to me through friends here. I started getting to lots of indie, electronic, dance, and jazz music, thanks to some good friends like Pronoy and Serena who introduced some really great artists to me. Then, that summer I was spent my time in Durham with a friend of mine, Pilnik aka Big Bear, when nujabes released a new album! But we'll come back to that in a moment. I found some refreshed interest in nujabes and started digging around nujabes's collaborators, and found some amazing things. I learned that Cise Star, one of the MCs on feather, had done some work with another label, Project Moonscircle. Everything about this label is pretty effing amazing and epic.

Glen Porter and Robot Koch are both downtempo hip hop artists. I love how both of them develop the their songs throughout both these tracks. Robot Koch also does some really great dub work. 40 winks is another hip hop artist with some of the slickest beats i have ever heard.

Um - Glen Porter - Silent in Truth

101 - Robot Koch

Wizardry - 40 winks - The Lucid Effect

Last semester, I picked up the latest album released by Nujabes that I have, released in 09'. The title of the album is a pretty accurate description of what goes on here. I'll leave you with one last track from this compilation.

Departure - Akira Kosemura - Mellow Beats, Friend's & Lovers

arigato seba-san.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Blu - Silent

I dreamed of this last november. sometimes it's nice to be blue, especially having room to breathe.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Black Seeds-Sometimes Enough

The Black Seeds are a reggae band from New Zealand. I discovered them about 6 years or so ago by chance when I turned to the "World" music show on a local college station. Since then I never have heard anything from them, or even have met anyone who knows of them really, even though they're one of the biggest acts in NZ. Thus, I want to share the cult love of this group. They're absolutely amazing and their sound is so refreshing and chill to hear.

Before I let y'all click, I think its important to understand how difficult how hard it was to pick one Black Seeds song for y'all to sample. All their beats are good stuff. And though they expand beyond the reggae roots repetoire, they follow in the tradition's deep and inspirational lyricism. I absolutely love their Keep on Pushing and Into the Dojo efforts (the latter of which this song is off of). But the Keep on Pushing LP was so popular that it spawned a "Pushed" remix album, where there are remixes of the songs on the Keep on Pushing album. I encourage you to listen to that if you can find it. If not you're more then welcome to ask me about it. But below is the single to the Into the Dojo album. I know you'll love it.


Friday, February 12, 2010

Holly Miranda - Joints

Today I offer you a really amazing live performance of Holly Miranda and Marques Toliver. Over the last couple months, after binging on huge basses, synths, and crazy electronic noises, I've grown pretty nostalgic for some more natural sounds. Maybe natural isn't the right word...but just sounds that are all around us, or can be produced without having to plug in. So, when I saw this video, I just about threw my laptop over my head in excitement and made a mess of myself a couple times. This is the middle section of Miranda and Toliver's performance.

There are a lot of things I love about this video. The song itself is really tragic, and rings a very deep cord in my gut. The filming is pretty well done. The sound of strings on wood. The streets of NY. The use of space and utilizing its affects on the substance of the music. It's all very dreamy and wonderful.

Van Hunt-Outta the Sky

The three things I love in music: are hip hop beats, indie lyrics and R&B soul. It's amazing when all three of these things happen at once. And this happens in the music of Van Hunt.
It's really hard to choose one song from this guy, and I suggest that you guys try to listen to as much stuff from this man as possible (a relatively simple task since he is only working on his 4th album to date). But this song has been on repeat for about two weeks now and I want you guys to check it out. It's amazing stuff.


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Fashawn - Freedom \\ Exile

Fashawn is a artist from Fresno, California, and one of the young upstarts in the world of rappers. I don't really know too much about rap, but he's a pretty sick lyricist. Exile produced some slick beats for Fashawn's debut album, Boy Meets World. Kick back, bob your head, listen, get out there, and do something.

Little clip I picked up of Exile showing off on the drum machine.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Nosaj Thing

Please use some good speakers (not your laptop speakers) or headphones for the music on this post. You'll miss a lot otherwise.

Today I offer you an introduction to one of my favorite artists. Nosaj Thing, a current revolutionary in the world of electronic music. If you ever get a chance to see his performance, his work on the drum machine will blow your mind. He is the most refreshing thing I have personally experienced in the world of music in a long time, probably since I stumbled on Nujabes way back when Samurai Champloo was first released. Little funny detail, Nujabes = Jun Seba backwards and Nosaj = Jason backwards. Just something i giggle about happily. =]

I am not going to drop anything off his debut album, Drift, because I really think it should be heard as a whole. So if you want to hear the work on his album, ask me for a copy, or go get it. Here's a little taste of his body of work, and what he has already inspired. He does an amazing job of painting an audio landscape. The aesthete in me wants to make babies with his music.

couple songs he produced for a couple experimental rappers.

Here's the beat from man on the moon, with a short film inspired by it.

His live performance will seriously blow your mind. This is a little sample of his visual shows. Give it a minute at least.

For those interested, he is doing a show at Club 828 in Asheville on the 26th of this month, with Daedalus and Jogger. It's only 10 bucks when you buy your tickets in advanced. =]

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

VERSUSVersus - Eterno Resplandor De Una Mente Sin Recuerdos

Been a while since I have addressed screamo/hardcore, and not very long since I have stumbled to some really sick dance-punk. This track by VERSUSVersus from Mexico, formerly Andromeda vs Icarus, starts off with a fucking groovy riff, which had me wondering 10 seconds in, alright...this is too exciting really this really going to go anywhere? and pretty immediately, the screams and drums come in. if you don't feel like jumping around, throwing you head around, and go nuts, i'm sorry. The rest of the song has all kinds of other surprises, right until the end. WOOH!

VERSUSVersus - Eterno Resplandor De Una Mente Sin Recuerdos


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Snowden - Anti-Anti (Treasure Fingers Remix)

Today's featured dance track features an old tune by Snowden, an experimental rock group based in Brooklyn, remixed by Treasure Fingers, from Brooklyn and Atlanta, GA.

The original is pretty amazing itself, just a feel good, i-don't-give-a-fuck-i'm-going-to-enjoy-myself track. Treasure fingers does a great job of retaining that 'feel good' substance, and adds some electric grinds and tasty glitches that get you all wet and jittery. =D

Both these guys are worth checking out. Looks like Snowden is putting out an album soon and Treasure Fingers is still leaving his print on some sweet tracks. I left a couple other samples of their other work.

Snowden - Anti-Anti (Treasure Fingers Remix)

Snowden - Happy Christmas (War Is Over)
(a gloomy track off their latest LP, free on their myspace.

Treasure Fingers - Cross The Dancefloor