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Indian E-music – The right mix of Indian Vibes… » hip-hop


50 great tracks for October by Alicia Keys, DaBaby, Angel Olsen and more

Delivered... Ben Beaumont-Thomas and Laura Snapes | Scene | Tue 1 Oct 2019 10:00 am

An epic harp workout and an unearthed Japanese ambient gem sit alongside new rap from DaBaby and James Massiah in our playlist of the month’s best new music – read about our 10 favourites below

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Sampa the Great: The Return review

Delivered... Rachel Aroesti | Scene | Fri 13 Sep 2019 10:30 am

(Ninja Tune)
She’s charismatic and her challenges to western orthodoxy are welcome, but Sampa needs to find a fresher sonic palette

Over the past decade, hip-hop has relaxed its borders - welcoming in a flood of new styles, characters and concepts. One thing that still unites most rappers, however, is braggadocio; the aggressive, occasionally tiresome boasting that stems from rap’s battle past. As a Zambia-born, Botswana-raised, Australia-based woman, Sampa Tembo belongs firmly in rap’s inclusive modern age – but as her moniker suggests, she’s no stranger to a spot of rampant egotism. “I’m boutta blow up soon / I ain’t wasting time chilling with you”, she crows on Grass Is Greener, before describing herself in more biblically bombastic terms – as “The end / Beginning and on / and on” – over the intricate percussion of Dare to Fly.

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One to watch: Velvet Negroni

Delivered... Tara Joshi | Scene | Sat 24 Aug 2019 2:00 pm

The US singer-songwriter’s free-ranging debut is informed by the constraints of a strict evangelical upbringing

Artists such as Velvet Negroni are emblematic of the disintegration of distinct genres in the streaming age. Real name Jeremy Nutzman, under his current moniker he makes gorgeously expansive sounds that meld and melt the lines between everything from lush synthpop, experimental electronic and choppy rap to reggae and dub.

Born in Minneapolis, Nutzman was adopted by a white evangelical Christian family and boxed in by stringent rules. From the age of five he would play classical piano for at least an hour a day; secular music was forbidden. In an interview with the Fader, he described discovering a pile of abandoned CDs on his neighbour’s lawn, though all his attempts to hoard such treasures – even hiding them in air vents – were found out.

Velvet Negroni’s Neon Brown is released on 4AD on 30 August

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808 Day: NYC’s 808, for Run DMC, Beastie Boys, and Whodini

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Thu 8 Aug 2019 5:16 pm

Yes, yes, Detroit techno and all that. This 808 Day, Roland is giving NYC and hip hop some props – by shining the spotlight on pioneer Larry Smith.

Don’t get me wrong – the TR-808 certainly feeds my techno addiction. But part of what made Roland’s drum machine such a legend was that it crossed genres. And even as today’s club kids focus on techno when they dream of the 808, the 808 was also shaped by hip-hop, whose producers embraced the Roland box just as it did the MPC (think Public Enemy) and E-MU (Amen break, hello SP-1200).

Larry Smith is one of the visionaries you can thank for that, so it’s fitting Roland make him and his personal 808 the star of today:

In fact, I have to say, as a child of the 80s, this was my first exposure to the 808 as a kid. (And wow, so the sound of this exact box – crazy.) I absolutely remember that sense of what the hell is that strange sound the first time I heard Run DMC’s self-titled debut album; maybe you do, too. And its minimalist, Japanese electronic detachment is the perfect timbre to accompany rap and let the words stand on their own. But I think you can experience that now, even, listening to it today. Everything Larry Smith did has a sense of raw, elemental futurism. It practically begs you to strip down your 2019 production and get back to basics as much as in the mid 80s, before anyone had to worry about going VST crazy or applying some kind of weird AI-powered mastering.

And what a resume – Kurtis Blow, The Fat Boys, Run DMC, Whodini, Jimmy Spicer, Russell Simmons.

The other interesting aspect of Roland’s video here is that Smith was literally able to pass along some of his aesthetic by passing on this very TR-808 to Larry Smith, Jr., and Rashad Smith. Smith in turn goes on to be beat craftsman to the likes of A Tribe Called Quest, Uptown Records, and Bad Boy Records, a production powerhouse spinning the DNA for a lot of the sounds to come. The machine itself, as son Larry Smith, Jr. tells it, is part of history: “This my father’s original TR-808…This machine is Run DMC’s first two albums, all of Whodini, and also Licensed to Ill by Beastie Boys.”

But given the 808 is a household name, and for too many people this whole playlist might be news, let’s go ahead and declare this Larry Smith Day, too, while we’re at it. Part of what made the 808 a force was that he shaped it into a unique sound through some extraordinary musical collaborations:


Reading:

(great footnotes / timeline in that one)

Obituary for Larry Smith in The New York Times, 2014

More on the 808:

https://www.roland.com/global/promos/roland_tr-808/

The post 808 Day: NYC’s 808, for Run DMC, Beastie Boys, and Whodini appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Hip-hop and funk producer Ras G dies aged 39

Delivered... Ben Beaumont-Thomas | Scene | Tue 30 Jul 2019 9:47 am

Afrofuturist producer was an influential figure on LA alternative hip-hop scene and co-founded the Brainfeeder collective

Hip-hop and funk producer Ras G, co-founder of the influential Brainfeeder collective, has died aged 39. No cause of death has been given but he had revealed in December that he had diabetes and pneumonia.

Born Gregory Shorter Jr, Ras G was known for cosmic, Afrofuturist music that mixed genres including jazz, funk, soul, hip-hop and psychedelia. He released 24 albums and mixtapes since his debut in 2008, collaborated with artists including Thundercat and Open Mike Eagle, and frequently appeared at the Low End Theory, the Los Angeles club night that helped to reintroduce funk, jazz and electronic music to the city’s hip-hop scene.

Ras_G has left the planet, far beyond the galaxy.
Show us the way to the cosmos my friend.
I will love you forever.
Thank you for your time on earth.

Ohhhhhhrassssssssss
*airhorn*

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Hip-hop and funk producer Ras G dies aged 39

Delivered... Ben Beaumont-Thomas | Scene | Tue 30 Jul 2019 9:47 am

Afrofuturist producer was an influential figure on LA alternative hip-hop scene and co-founded the Brainfeeder collective

Hip-hop and funk producer Ras G, co-founder of the influential Brainfeeder collective, has died aged 39. No cause of death has been given but he had revealed in December that he had diabetes and pneumonia.

Born Gregory Shorter Jr, Ras G was known for cosmic, Afrofuturist music that mixed genres including jazz, funk, soul, hip-hop and psychedelia. He released 24 albums and mixtapes since his debut in 2008, collaborated with artists including Thundercat and Open Mike Eagle, and frequently appeared at the Low End Theory, the Los Angeles club night that helped to reintroduce funk, jazz and electronic music to the city’s hip-hop scene.

Ras_G has left the planet, far beyond the galaxy.
Show us the way to the cosmos my friend.
I will love you forever.
Thank you for your time on earth.

Ohhhhhhrassssssssss
*airhorn*

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Supersonic review – giant monsters and ghoul-sponge at UK’s best small festival

Delivered... Ben Beaumont-Thomas | Scene | Tue 23 Jul 2019 2:00 pm

Various venues, Birmingham
By embracing the heaviness in Birmingham’s heritage, and adding a strong dose of eccentricity, Supersonic is world-class

A city built on guns, iron and chemicals, often under drizzly skies and with no horizon, Birmingham has always been heavy. As the summer’s Home of Metal arts programme across the city suggests – including a Black Sabbath retrospective at the Museum and Art Gallery – that mood influenced its music, but Supersonic festival shows that while Brummies still adore heaviness, it comes in all kinds of pressures and weights. Celebrating its 15th year and set across three modestly sized stages, the world-beating lineup massages, prods and kicks at music’s edges.

Opening the weekend, Neurosis induce the weekend’s most soulful headbanging, and it’s evident why: with their slow guitar lines, bending like the Doppler effect of a passing 18-wheeler, the Californians are a bright blast of spiritual sludge-metal. Supporting them are local veterans Godflesh, whose tinny drum machine acts like a wretched treadmill, locking them into industrial nightmares of ratcheting intensity.

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Cassius’s Philippe Zdar dies in fall from Paris building

Delivered... Laura Snapes | Scene | Thu 20 Jun 2019 7:26 am

French producer worked for acts including Phoenix, Kanye West and the Beastie Boys

The French DJ and producer Philippe Zdar has died after accidentally falling from a building in Paris, his agent has said. He was 52 years old.

Zdar, born Philippe Cerboneschi, and Hubert Blanc-Francard had produced tracks for the French rapper MC Solaar before founding the dance music duo Cassius in 1989.

Related: Sign up for the Sleeve Notes email: music news, bold reviews and unexpected extras

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The E-mu SP-1200 sampler is getting a reboot: SP 2400

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Mon 17 Jun 2019 4:10 pm

It’s meant as a “spiritual successor,” say the creators – with both emulation of the classic E-mu sound and new features. But the SP 2400 in preorder still hope to bank off the renown of one of the most popular samplers ever, the genre-defining E-mu SP-1200.

All of this could be a test of the clone craze. Sure, 12-bit lo-fi sound has some real potential for music making. And the E-mu layout, with faders and pads, is accessible.

But at US$949, and only a preorder shipping some time in the winter, the SP 2400 isn’t the most practical choice. You’ve now got plenty of options from KORG, Elektron, Roland (including their wildly popular TR-8S), and even smaller makers like MFB for a grand or less – some of them a fraction of this cost. All of those can be had right now, without dropping hundreds of bucks in June to get something that could take until January or longer. Not to mention we may see a Behringer take on this idea shortly, knowing how that company follows social media.

In a way, then, these sorts of reboots are beginning to become like the remakes of classic cars – a sort of genre all their own. There’s a practicality cost to using these designs, and sometimes a price premium, but if you want something that looks like a classic with some upgraded innards beneath, you’ve got options.

That said, there’s a nice feature set here. I like the idea of the 12-bit/26k mode, though I wonder if they’ve recreated the signature filter sound of the E-mu. And while I’m a bit too skeptical to endorse dropping cash just for half a year of “bi-weekly progress reports … via this website, social media channels, and emails,” it could be worth a look when it arrives.

The main remaining question, then, is how authentic a recreation this is. The E-mu sounds the way that it does not just because of the bit- and sample rate, but the filters and signal path. If sound is really what you’re interested in, then sound is what you have to ask about. Maybe we’ll see that information in the coming updates.

The real draw here is probably that this actually samples – including a looper mode. That’s a feature missing on a lot of current gear.

It’s the creation of ISLA Instruments, who also made the KordBot. I’m curious how people fared with that crowdfunding project and the final result, which would be a great indicator of how to take this one.

I just hope that new ideas get as much attention as reboots of old ones. Heck, I feel that way about TV and movies. It’s obviously summer.

But here are those admittedly rather appealing specs –

• Sturdy 4-piece Steel/Aluminium enclosure.
• Mains Powered 100-250V AC.
• Dual Audio Engine:
12-Bit/26.04khz Lo-Fi Engine (Classic SP Sound) and 24-Bit/48khz Hi-Fi Engine
• Stereo Recording/Playback.
• Channels 1-8 Pannable to Main out L/R Channels 7+8 can be ‘linked’ to support stereo audio content.
• Headphone Output (9-10) w/independant monitoring of channels.
• Dedicated Microphone Pre-Amp.
• Looper Pedal Mode (with full duplex recording/playback).
• Record and overdub live audio during playback.
• USB Host & Device Ports:
Connect usb thumb drives, keyboards, midi controllers directly into the SP2400.

The post The E-mu SP-1200 sampler is getting a reboot: SP 2400 appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

‘It will rock your house!’ Inside the Iranian electronic underground

Delivered... Alastair Shuttleworth | Scene | Mon 25 Mar 2019 11:00 am

Ten years ago, electronic music in Iran was suppressed by the government. But now these strange, often punishing sounds are finding their way into the world

Ten years ago Bahman Ghobadi’s film No One Knows About Persian Cats followed a young Iranian songwriting duo’s efforts to form a band with other underground musicians in Iran. It presented a country in which music deemed politically or culturally incendiary was prohibited, since artists hoping to perform or distribute their work had to acquire permission from the Iranian ministry of culture and Islamic guidance, or risk arrest.

Western journalists seized upon a narrative of sensitive outlaws holed up in underground studios, but today a new story is emerging: of a visionary music community now able to openly share its strange creations. Increasingly, Iran is becoming recognised as a hub for some of the world’s most vital, forward-thinking experimental music.

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50 great tracks for March from Tierra Whack, Hayden Thorpe, Squid and more

Delivered... Ben Beaumont-Thomas and Laura Snapes | Scene | Wed 13 Mar 2019 12:30 pm

Punk-funkers Squid step on the gas, Jessie Ware moves left of centre and Tierra Whack breaks the one-minute mark – read about 10 of our favourite songs of the month, and subscribe to the 50-track playlist

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‘Blackness will never go away’: how Solange takes pride in her roots

Delivered... Britt Julious | Scene | Wed 6 Mar 2019 3:47 pm

At an immersive, city-wide multimedia presentation of her new album When I Get Home, the singer-songwriter explains how her childhood home of Houston nourished her creative spirit

‘It’s one thing to think with your spirit,” says Solange Knowles. “It’s another to actually live it through your body.” The Solange of today works with feelings, grooves, and frequencies in mind. If A Seat at the Table, her breakthrough third album, was a lyrically dense record about the complexities and struggles of the black American experience, then When I Get Home, her latest release, is the sonic manifestation of that blackness. Staccato rhythms and meditative mantras – designed to ground and heal her after time on the road – ripple on through the bodies of her listeners. It’s an album about settling into familiarity: with yourself, the people around you, and the places one calls home.

At the SHAPE community center in the third ward of Houston last Sunday evening, the record comes to life during a screening of a film, also entitled When I Get Home, that Solange created and directed to accompany the album. Despite the celebrities in attendance, this isn’t a premiere. The album arrived days before, with the film launching simultaneously on Apple Music and the recently revived, early-internet social network Black Planet. Instead, it is a celebration of her return to her roots.

Thank you to alll of uuuu! I’m coming up for air and overwhelmed with gratitude for all the love U sharing. Thank you for always giving me the space to expand and evolve and express. For constantly opening up my world, and allowing me to show you my own new ones. I express for survival, for breath. This shit gave me so much joy to make! I wasn’t afraid. My body wasn’t either, even at times of uncertainty. I love and appreciate u guys infinitely. You make me feel safe and held even in this big big strange world. I can’t thank you enough. It’s been hard to answer where home is, hard to know if it’s past or future...this album and film is one stream of thought and reflection into answering that. I thank you for your time and energy experiencing it with meee. So much love!

my Sol-Angel... no one talk to me ever again

I’ll always be a black woman, and I’ll always create work from this black woman’s body

Related: Solange: When I Get Home review – lose yourself in Knowles' hazy vision

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Sleaford Mods: Eton Alive review – damning details of life on a frayed isle

Delivered... Dave Simpson | Scene | Fri 22 Feb 2019 10:30 am

(Extreme Eating)
Always recognisable and always evolving, Andrew Fearn and Jason Williamson’s barked social snapshots turn melodic

Sleaford Mods’ frontman Jason Williamson recently revealed that lately he’s been listening to Alexander O’Neal, Chaka Khan and Luther Vandross, although the Nottinghamshire duo haven’t suddenly gone soul or R&B.

However, Andrew Fearn’s backing tracks are forever evolving and are a fair distance from 2013’s breakthrough, Austerity Dogs. The terrific Kebab Spiders is powered by two alternate basslines: one sounds like the sort of thing the great James Jamerson used to lay down for Motown and the other is clubbier, almost Belgian new beat. The brooding OBCT could be Depeche Mode or the Cure, until Williamson comes in and it includes, of all things, a kazoo solo. The highly melodic When You Come Up to Me, meanwhile, would be a lost 80s new romantic synth ballad were it delivered in any other voice. As ever, though, it’s Williamson’s trademark bark – a caustic, observant, irritant, unforgiving mix of John Cooper Clarke and Mark E Smith – which renders the Mods instantly recognisable. They are increasingly, as John Peel said of the Fall: “Always different, always the same.”

Related: 'Life is chaotic!' Sleaford Mods' Jason Williamson answers your questions

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James Blake: how the producer became hip-hop’s favourite Brit

Delivered... Al Horner | Scene | Tue 5 Feb 2019 12:00 pm

Nominated for two Grammy awards this week, his collaborations with Travis Scott follow those with Beyoncé. How did the DJ from Enfield become so well-connected?

For an artist whose sound is steeped in isolation, cutting a forlorn figure on icy electronic laments that shiver with loneliness, James Blake arrives at his latest album Assume Form as one of the best connected people in popular music.

At some point over the last decade, while journeying from the fringes of London’s dubstep scene to the epicentre of American rap and pop, it became easier to list superstars the acclaimed producer-songwriter hasn’t worked with. Beyoncé recruited him for Lemonade. Frank Ocean called on him for Blonde. Drake has sampled him and Kanye West declared him “Kanye’s favourite artist” before a few ultimately ill-fated 2014 writing sessions together. Bon Iver, Chance the Rapper and Jay-Z are other studio sparring partners. Blake is up for two Grammy awards in rap categories this year, alongside rappers Kendrick Lamar, Jay Rock and Future for their track King’s Dead, taken from the Black Panther soundtrack.

Related: James Blake: Assume Form review – lovestruck producer turns dark into light | Alexis Petridis' album of the week

Related: James Blake: Assume Form review – a big, glitchy, swooning, hyper-modern declaration of love

Related: James Blake speaks out about struggle with depression

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Oxide & Neutrino: how we made Bound 4 Da Reload (Casualty)

Delivered... Interviews by Dave Simpson | Scene | Tue 29 Jan 2019 7:00 am

‘There was a rise in gun crime and garage was blamed. We went from being on Top of the Pops to not being able to play anywhere. Then I was shot’

I met Neutrino at the pirate radio station Supreme FM, where we were doing DJ sets. We clicked and joined So Solid Crew, who at that time were 30 strong. When we all piled into a tiny room, it was crazy – but when Neutrino and I signed our own record deal, we became a separate entity.

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