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Trippy Vibes Tuesday: Episode 41

8 May

It’s Time To Get Funked Up

It’s been a while since my last post, but I’ve been busy exploring that groovin’ fonque, the type of music that when you start listening to it you feel compelled to move every part of your body, not just toe tapping or head nodding, you gotta shake everything you got. It seems like there’s been a resurgence in it’s popularity, at least within certain scenes. While I’m sure many of you are already familiar with the work of bands like P-Funk and Sly and the Family Stone, a lot of the newer bands aren’t fully getting the attention they deserve. So without further ado, I think it’s time we delve into the music that Maceo Parker says is “3% jazz and 97% funky stuff.”

To start this off, a band that I have been listening to for a while now and when I saw them at last years Jazz Festival, thought that they threw down the hardest, the band is of course the one and only Soulive. Every year the trio takes up a ten day residency at the Brooklyn Bowl in New York aptly named, Bowlive. Each night Eric Krasno and brothers Alan and Neal Evans are joined by fantastic special guests ranging from jazz guitar guru John Scofield to ?uestlove from the Roots and almost every night is accompanied by a spectacular section of horns. All of these songs come from this years Bowlive and if you feel like this just isn’t enough for you, you can purchase the shows here.

Soulive – El Ron

Soulive – Too Much

Soulive – Funkify Your Life

Both of the Evans brothers have new albums out as well on Royal Family Records, a label that they help to run along with Krasno and Adam Deitch. Drummer Alan Evans assembled another organ trio, proving with Soulive that this is a format he thrives in bringing the groove, there is no shortage of energy from him. He even plays some guitar, bass and does some vocals on the Alan Evans Trio’s debut album, Drop Hop.

Neal has been hard at work over the last few years writing songs for his long awaited solo album, Bang. I haven’t heard the entire album yet, but he’s got a pretty solid track record for putting out great music, so I’m gonna go out on a limb and assume that the album is awesome. Neal also encourages all DJs/producers to remix his music and has put the stems up on his website for his song Octapus’ for anyone to experiment with.

I don’t know much about basketball, so I don’t know if the Knicks are a good team, but I do know that they are the team with the best taste in music as their games and advertisements are accompanied by the sweet sounds of Lettuce. All year I’ve been anxiously waiting the release of their new album Fly, which is finally set to be released on June 5th. The band was kind enough to release the song ‘Bowler,’ to hold us over until then, but they’ve been dropping new songs at their shows for a while now, so I’ve also got a few live songs for all y’all.

Lettuce – Bowler

Lettuce – Madison Square

Lettuce – Let Us Play

Now it’s time we move to the south to the great city of New Orleans where Ivan Neville’s Dumptaphunk calls home. This group is no stranger to the funk with Ivan and Ian Neville being sons of members of the legendary band The Meters. Dumpastaphunk has one of the fattest sounds around, utilizing not one but two bass players. Listening to the band will quickly leave you saying, “Put it in the dumpsta!”

Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk – In This World

Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk – Put It In The Dumpsta

Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk – Everybody Want Sum

Galactic is another band out of Nawlins, lead by the extraordinary drummer Stanton Moore, these guys know how to bring the funk. But in 2008, they release an album called From the Corner to the Block that shows they can take their grooves and lay down some some filthy hip hop. Just about every song on the album features notable members of the New Orleans music scene like Juvenile and Trombone Shorty.

Galactic – What You Need (with Lyrics Born)

Galactic – Hustle Up (with Boots Riley)

Galactic – From the Corner to the Block (with Juvenile and the Soul Rebels Brass Band)

While I’m on the topic of hip hop, a group called Quakers released their self-titled album. The group consists of 36 members, so there is a huge diversity of voices that you’ll hear on the album and it was produced by Geoff Barrow of Portishead along with 7-Stu-7 and Catalyst. The group is also a testament to the way musicians can come together in the digital age as many of the rappers that are featured on the album were discovered through the now dying, MySpace.

Quakers – Russia With Love

Quakers -Dark City Lights

Quaers – Smoke

Michal Menert, long time friend of Pretty Lights and part of the Pretty Lights Music family has put out a new album recently that like all music off PLM can be downloaded for free on their website. Break Science described Even if it Isn’t Right as being, “vibey, uplifting, golden era hip hop influenced electronic bangers” and I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Michal Menert – Solar Overdrive (Co-Produced by Derek VanScoten)

Michal Menert – The Ride

Michal Menert – New Heights

As a bonus check out this clip of Menert playing along side of everyone on the Pretty Lights Music label.

Finally, I leave you with Tom Caruana‘s mixtape, Black Gold. Mixing together the instrumentals of Jimi Hendrix with the raps of the Wu Tang Clan makes for a helluva combination, two artists who have mastered their crafts, I can only imagine that if Jimi were still around and played with the Clan, this is exactly how it would sound.

- Signed Sincerely, Hooch

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Trippy Vibes Tuesday: Episode 39

6 Mar

Strap Yourselves In,

It’s gonna be a roller coaster of music coming your way as you are start the climb with a nice build up that gets your nerves tingling all the way to your fingertips until you finally reach the top and the, BOOM! Drop faster than Superman trying to save a woman falling from a skyscraper. All of this accompanied with some twists and turns that will put you in the burn unit at your local hospital because your face has just been melted off.

High Contrast‘s latest album, The Agony and the Ecstasy, is providing me with a lot more ecstasy than agony.  The Hospital Records veteran mixes up some liquid instrumentation with the energy of jump up drum and bass giving all of us the best of both worlds. I was a little bit skeptical of the track The First Note is Silent before hearing it because it features Tiesto and I’ve never really been a fan of his, but I shouldn’t have doubted the skills of High Contrast and Underworld to make this an unreal track.

High Contrast – The Road Goes on Forever

HIgh Contrast – Wish You Were Here feat. Selah Corbin

High Contrast – The First Note is Silent feat. Tiesto and Underworld

DJ Marky‘s label, Innerground is dropping a ton of new drum and bass this year and the first release is from Flaco. These two bangers showcase the diversity that he has in his production with the first track Isla Verde, named for the Puerto Rican area of the same name he tries to transport you there with the smooth basslines, but with Gonna Take Time, he thinks it’s time to step away from the beach and onto the dance floor, with a focus more on the drums and minimalism with the bass he toys with different snares, hi-hats and rides, it provides a nice little break from the bass constantly being in your face.

And as a bonus here is a classic track from DJ Marky.

Dj Marky & XRS – LK

The Gorillaz have always put out great music and their new song is no different. However, the music video that goes along with the track somehow manages to make the song even better. There’s not much for me to say about it, but with what I’m assuming is going to be part of a new album and with Damon Albarn working on Rocket Juice and the Moon he is definitely one of the hardest working people in show business. The debut album from Rocket Juice and the Moon is slated for March 26th #Braceyourself

Funkadelic once asked the questions “Who says a jazz band can’t play dance music? Who says a rock band can’t play funky?” Well I think it’s time to update that a bit and ask, who says dance music can’t be funky? Die and Break‘s latest EP, Grand Funk Hustle, is some incredibly funky drum and bass that gives old themes a modern twist. Although I would have liked to hear the bass lines be a bit more smooth, maybe even feature a little bit of slapping a la Bootsy Collins, the album is good nonetheless and deserves some attention.

Die & Break – Grand Funk Hustle

Die & Break – Deep Search

Die & Break – Peace and Dub feat. MC Fats

The Robert Glasper Experiment‘s album has been out for a few weeks now, but with so much music coming out these days I haven’t really been able to give it a good listen until recently. As always though, I am blown away by this band, they represent everything that BAM music is all about and even if you don’t normally listen to jazz, I implore you to give this album a listen.

Robert Glasper Experiment – Always Shine feat. Lupe Fiasco and Bilal

Roebert Glasper Experiment – Black Radio feat. Yasiin Bey

Robert Glasper Experiment – Smells Like Teen Spirit

At the end of last year I went to New York to see The New Deal and was absolutely blown away by the opening act, D.V.S.*  Derek VanScoten has dropped a new track that’s part of a compilation for 1320 Records and takes a crazy glitch-hop song and puts some soulful slide guitar on top of it. It won’t be long before he’s headlining shows of his own, so be sure to keep an eye out for him.

Mochipet – Dinosaur Anthems (Derek VanScoten D.V.S.* remix)

I wasn’t planning on including this band, but I just saw them slaughter The Rex for the third time now and felt obliged to share their music with all of you. Snarky Puppy, a funky jazz band based out of New York never fail to put on an amazing show, the only downside was that there wasn’t enough space to go dance. Now go on and snarkify your life a bit.

Finally for today I leave you with another classic drum and bass tune.

Channel 2 Vs Nas And Noble – Surviving The Times

- Singed Sincerely, Hooch

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Trippy Vibes Tuesday: Episode 38

28 Feb

To My Open Minded Followers,

I know it’s late, but there are still a bit of time left of this fine Tuesday and I think it’s time for a dose of new music to listen to. I just finished having a conversation with one of my friends and we were discussing how we both think that people who only listen to one type of music don’t really make sense to us. So today, I plan on bombarding you with a who smorgasboard of artists from across the musical spectrum.

if y’all haven’t grabbed it yet, the soundtrack for the Re:Generation music documentary is available for free and while I’m sure most of you already heard Skrillex’s Breakin’ a Sweat, there were a few other tracks and remixes that embody what the project was all about; combining styles of music that wouldn’t otherwise interact with each other.

DJ Premier – Regeneration (ft Nas and The Berklee Symphony Orchestra)

Mark Ronson – A La Modeliste (Bonobo Remix)

The Crystal Method – I’m Not Leaving (ft Martha Reeves and The Funk Brothers)

Rocket Juice and the Moon is a project that I was interested in from the moment I heard the line up. Three musicians with completely different backgrounds and all members of bands that I’m already a fan of could have gone one of two ways, really fucking awesome or another supergroup that fails to live up to the hype. Well, Flea (Red Hot Chili Peppers), Damon Albarn (Gorillaz) and Tony Allen (Fela Kuti),  have released a song from their debut album and it is definitely a good sign of things to come. All of these guys are legends in their own right and it’s good to see that none of them try to over shadow each other, instead embrace what I would consider a fundamental ideology that underlies all forms of music, that music is just about the coming together and sharing of ideas.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been on a pretty big Chris Dave kick and discovered this album by Shafiq Husayn that he performed on called Shafiq En’ A-Free-Ka. This album combines hip-hop, jazz and R&B with the result being some of the smoothest shit I’ve heard in a while. The sheer force of all the musicians involved with this project is just next level and pushes the boundaries of contemporary jazz music.

Shafiq Husayn – Nirvana

Shafiq Husayn – Lost & Found featuring Jimetta Rose and Bilal

Shafiq Husayn – Evil Man

Many people, myself included, complain that pop music sucks. Although, there tends to be incredible musicians on the albums by pop stars, they are put in a box and their creativity is totally stifled because they have to play a certain way to fit the pop music model. Sweden’s Dirty Loops says fuck that! There doesn’t need to be a disconnect between crazy musicianship and pop sensibilities. These guys do covers of pop songs, and bad ones at that, and rearrange them to give the songs some balls. However, it doesn’t take away from the appeal that these songs have to the high school girl crowd. If music on the radio was like this, I would listen to the radio all the fucking time.

- Signed Sincerely, Hooch

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Trippy Vibes Tuesday: Episode 37

21 Feb

Fellow Rhythm Addicts,

The sweet sounds of drum and bass were the main thing that brought me out of my metal phase and into the world electronic music. That was years ago now, and I still haven’t stopped listening to it, with all the talent that is popping up these days it’s hard not go crazy for DnB sometimes. So put on your dancing shoes cuz these artists are gonna make it hard not to get up and step to the bass.

Tokyo Prose is an up and coming DJ from New Zealand, despite having a misleading name. He has been creating some of the most soulful drum and bass that I’ve heard in a while. After listening to his EP, Introducing Tokyo Prose, I think it’s safe to say that Calibre has had a big influence on this guy, which is never a bad thing. He’s got a lot of piano going on and a big focus on instrumentation, which is the biggest thing that attracted me to liquid DnB in the first place.

Tokyo Prose – Knucklehead

Tokyo Prose – Royale

Tokyo Prose – Echoes

While the rest of this post is going to be devoted to drum and bass, I think it’s necessary for everyone to take some time to listen to a bit of jazz or BAM music as some people are calling it these days, the start of which is from this article and has caused quite the controversy in New York. Anyway whatever you want to call it, The Robert Glasper Experiment released their latest album, Black Radio, and you can stream it for free here. Not only is the band comprised of top notch musicians, but features a whole slew of fantastic guest appearances from people like Erykah Badu and Yasiin Bey, formerly known as Mos Def.

Goldie has become one of the most widely recognized faces in DnB and for obvious reasons, not only has been a legend behind the decks, but his record label Metalheadz has been turning out some of the best DnB since its inception. Now Metalheadz is gearing up to put out their 100th release and it is going to be a track from the man himself. This gem produced by Goldie features a singer named Natalie Duncan who has an incredibly beautiful voice that compliments the music perfectly.

Goldie – Freedom feat. Natalie Duncan

Payback Season, a movie that I don’t really know anything about other than the fact that they got some serious talent to write the theme for it. Legendary MC Harry Shotta along with producer Original Sin made this banger and all I can say is that as long as the movie is as good as the soundtrack, then it’ll probably be the best movie of the year.

Everyone’s favourite Belgian, Netsky dropped this filthy chune a few weeks ago and I’m sorry I didn’t get it to you all sooner because it is one crazy jam. It starts off with a cool syncopated rhythm and then drops into typical drum and bass madness with some hardcore shredding on top of it. Netsky proves that the only thing Belgians do better than waffles is drum and bass.

Netsky – Give & Take

If you want to learn more about drum and bass, Brian Belle-Fortune just put out a book called All Crews, which has been getting rave reviews from the press and DJs alike. “All Crews is over ten years of journeys through the music and features interviews with the music’s top artists. However, it also delves deeper and looks at the pirate radio stations, labels, crews, promoters and ravers that form the backbone of the scene.”

- Signed Sincerely, Hooch

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