It’s been a long summer, I did a lot of branching out & I’m soaking in all the things my mind is now allowing me to enjoy. For those who know what’s up, I salute you — please bear with me though.I admit I was a little hesitant to listen to music of a high BPM. (I find that weird, I can sure get down tosome footwork.) I’m taking this little by little getting my research up, checking out the essentials, hearing the veteransspeak & keeping up the upcoming talent (<— the hi-hats on this are like heaven, WOW). I’m learning as I go & I’m loving every minute of it. I don’t know what it was that was mentally blocking me to give techno a chance for almost 21 years, pretty sure it was the whole “rave” lifestyle that I thought was associated with it. Oh, silly, silly me. But, what has made me want to know more about it are the minds behind the sounds, especially those who’ve made an impact in the Detroit scene.
“Jazz spawned house music, jazz spawned hip hop, jazz spawned funk and they all reflect back into that” - Theo Parrish
That little shame/excuse of the paragraph you just read is my way of encouraging some of you all who are currently having trouble adapting to music of a new genre to stick it out. Think of each genre as a person you’ve just met. What do you do you to get to know more about that person. Ask questions, take a walk in his/her shoes, learn about their origins and why act/walk/talk the way they do. Go out & explore my friends.
This has been providing me joy for the past two weeks I must say — along with the instrumental as well. Everything that I heard that’s available for streaming on YouTube from Kankick's Cal I Foreigner EP (recorded in ‘98, released in ‘03) has been nothing but heat, and it’ll be much sweeter if could get my hands on the real thing and experience it in full.
Delroy Edwards is honestly the reason why I decided to post ANYTHING on here recently. — he made this blogging stuff seem exciting for me again actually. Delroy is basically the spark I sorta needed to find the strength within me to share. It’s not that I don’t like sharing anymore — blah, blah, blah. Enough about my problems. My latest internet hiatus is over because I felt it was necessary to put out there that his the most exciting thing I listened to in a long while. He’s simply the truth: from his techno-based stuff to his experimental so techno-based stuff. He has this new screw tape Slowed Down Funk Vol. 1 where “Whats Yo Hood Like” stems from. The song reminds me of that Tommy — a decent blend of ruggedness with a gentle melody.
You can check out other favorites of mine, "Untitled 8", from his minimal-sounding Teenage Tapeand the loosie "Maxwell" from his SoundCloud:
A somewhat unrelated blurb: When it comes down to getting the word on what’s the best music coming out of Atlanta at the moment, my younger brother who’s a high-schooler happens to be my most valuable resource keeps my intact with my fascination with the music that comes from such a creative place. With only the use of his cell phone, he remains to stay strapped with the latest & greatest, mostly with songs from the New Atlanta movement currently in effect. My role is usually the annoying old man asking him, “Hey, what’s the name of the song where 2 Chainz says he has three cell phones & all of them are jumpin’? I’m digging that one.” He then politely leads me to the right direction.
Makonnen is still the only ATL native I keep up with on a normal basis. Almost everytime I check up on him, there’s something positive going for him. A lot has went down ever since I interviewed him in ‘12. His connections are becoming more elaborate as days pass by and more people are catching on to his works.
It seems like a more folks are catching on to his music and I wouldn’t want it any other way. The fourth installment of his Drink More Water series is out now including revamped versions of some Makonnen classics. As of now, he’s the current beholder of the Southside Atlanta’s go-to anthem — which happens to be "I Don’t Sell Molly No More" produced by Sonny Digital. Yeah, it’s going to be booming in some trucks for a while so get used to it.
"Sounds like a cross between Ornette Coleman and Gary Coleman." - via
I’m not an expert at finding interesting contemporary free jazz whatsoever, so when I run into as special as this, the quietly released self-titled album by the El Topo trio (these guys are behind the group, I’m sure of it), I get excited. Unfortunately, the only person that I knew was selling it closed up shop before I could buy the thing to hear it in full so now I’m stuck with only this mp3 & guilt. It’s all good though. You can have the mp3 too, which was provided by Sun Ark Records.
Jahari “Walk With Me”, Cassette Rip From ‘Situation Sessions’
It’s been a while, I know. Many things have knocked the blog down a few notches on my priority list — however my listening habits remained consistent over the weeks I haven’t posted a thing. I spent a lot of time riding back & forth in my car equipped with cassette player that has gotten more action than it has ever had recently. The PPU-released Situations Sessions has lived there for some time.
The Situations Sessions is a tape of basement recordings made in the 80’s by Army vet/my favorite funk-man Dwight Sykes & fellow Detroit musicians known collectively as Jahari. I bought it off of the strength of its preview PPU released two months ago — and it has become my favorite cassette release of the year so far. There’s many highlights: The show-starting, upbeat "Fire & Desire", the love-yearning "One NightStand”, the trance-like "Mystical Lady" the heart-broken ending "That I Need" — and of course my still-remaining favorite "Walk With Me" (my feelings about it remain the same just as the first time I heard it). I’ve never posted a song twice before, so this counts as the first one getting the special treatment. As a mentioned before, the versions of the songs on the cassette are slightly different than previous versions Dwight shared before, more raw — you can feel it sink in as each song plays. Most of my time listening to Walk With Me reenacting the drummer’s (Hank McCall?) patterns with my imaginary drum set.
What you’re hearing right now is a cassette rip of “Walk With Me” provided my me. It’s all I’m willing to share, to hear the rest of these lo-fi gems you’ll have to get a copy of Situations Sessionshere via PPU. You can check out some other goodies such as alternate versions of songs that are featured the cassette below.
(Photo: Dwight Sykes & Jahari, scanned by me)
(Photo: Situations Sessions liner notes, scanned by me)
As soon as you open your eyes , you stretch your arms as far as they can you go. You then yawn & take a moment to gather yourself. The smell of breakfast that hits your nose is the indicates where you are — at home. You begin to recall of the plans you’ve thought of before dozing off, oh yes, hoping for the rest of the day will be as relaxed as the lush instrumentation of dil withers …
There’s a handful of key players that are guiding today’s Internet-backed beat scene. One that I personally think we’ll be listening to and talking about for years to come is Bradford Caudle, you may know him better as Ohbliv — a Richmond-based producer who makes comfort music for the soul. As I mentioned before in the introduction of my Favorites Of ‘13 list, Ohbliv is definitely one of my favorite producers doing it right now — not only sonically, but for his open-mindedness & music knowledge as well. He was nice enough to answer the few questions I’ve conjured up during my times of listening to his music that I wanted to ask and what’s below happens to be the result of them …
"My brain, the 404 & vinyl" — that’s the answer you’ve responded with when asked about your setup you use, and that was a few years ago. As of right now you’re many beattapes/albums deep within the game. Are you going with the same routine? I was wondering if you ever experienced times when you heard something on YouTube and having the itch to hook your sampler to your laptop, and give it a go. You’ve shared your thoughts on ‘Tube digging/crate-digging once before & you seem to be fond of the good old-fashioned way of record-shopping.
Yeah I remember that answer, haha. That’s still my stance for the most part, but between all the dumb movies, historical lectures, songs I listen to I can’t help but grab something. To keep it a stack, I think these days, you kinda gotta with the way these new folks are chopping YouTube, mp3’s…crazy sources. It kinda saddens me its like that but times change. I came up strictly vinyl but I’m not spending 50 plus for the same record a kid just downloaded from a blog or whatever.
(Video: Ohbliv digging with David Straange (KVZE) & Tuamie)
In a recent interview, your pal Knxwledge mentioned that when he creates his beats, he attempts to make them "unrappable" as possible. As a fan of instrumentals, I can understand that there are times when I like for a beat to just ride vocal-free. I consider a huge majority of your beats to be indeed “rappable”. Is there a code of conduct that you have when it comes to people hopping on your beats?
Putting instrumental music out these days, you’re taking a risk because rappers are hungry. You simply can’t stop these dudes, I’ve encountered some snake business but for the most part just don’t be wack, and don’t front like we built and I did a track for you. I’d much rather if you do use a track to say “instrumental by…” instead of “produced” cuz I didn’t produce it for you. It’s cool some think that my beats are “rappable” I freestyle to my shit too, so why not, just don’t be a vulture about it.
(mp3: Ohbliv “Whistling Well”)
I have a habit of once I really getting really involved with something, like your music for instance, I have to go all out to make sure that I can hear everything I possibly can. So, when it came to finding out about your previous group Score One For The Little Guy a few months ago, I just had to grab everything I could scrape up. I ended up finding a decent amount of songs and I was excited to get a chance to hear you on the mic. You were nice man, was their a reason for your transition from rapping/producing to just producing? And also, do those tracks contain some your earliest production you’ve let out?
Wow, thanks man. Haha, yeah that was majority my beats, I also worked with a musician by the name of Bryce McCormick and a rapper named Corey Mclemore at the time. I was making beats on the low, but my focus was rapping at the time. Truly what made me transition was just lack of drive to be “the rapper” out in front being “that guy”, you know? We had a bit of local success, but through it all, I was getting deeper into the beats, until finally I decided I wanted to speak through the beats. Yeah there’s some old tunes floating around on iTunes or some torrent site now. I dunno, that was like another life in the past haha.
(Video: Ohbliv & Corey in the lab, 2009)
Every now & again I see you thought-provoking info-graphics regarding the mind & energy within self. I find them informative, could an you go into detail about how those things apply to your life and music — and do you have any recommended books/articles I should check out regarding those topics. I usually see what you share and try to stem off from that, but no luck so far.
First and foremost, I know nothing, I just try to abide by universal law as much as possible in my life. There is so much information out there about anything you want to know. If you seek you shall find, that’s real.
(mp3: Ohbliv “Devotional 1”)
When did become familiar with vaporwave, my first taste of it happened to be this year & I have to say it’s home to many of my favorite songs/albums that came out recently. (Ohbliv’s vaporwave alias Dark Twaine has occupied much space on here for great reasons.) Hearing you as Dark Twaine was crazy as first, I don’t know of many hip-hop producers toying with it as much as you — what drew to it?
I first heard Holograms by 骨架的 (soundcpu) in 2011, and this was before it was “vaporwave”. To me it was just slowed down sample based music, so the aesthetic was/is pleasing to me. I had been using similar techniques due to being a fan of chopped and screwed music since the early 2000’s. It wasn’t until I noticed it had become this “vaporwave” thing that it clicked with me.
(mp3: DarkTwaine_ “Silky Mystique”)
2013 is going down for me as the year that I mended my relationship with the Richmond music scene. Most of everything contemporary that I listen to has roots from there — artists like yourself, DJ Harrison, Ahnnu, David Straange(KVZE), Gordy Michael, Lil Ugly Mane & Tuamie … the variety of sounds is what gets me. Can you give a little insight on what it’s like to create music there and being around a wide spectrum of talent?
Being from VA, we are in the middle of the East Coast. Being from Richmond, we are in the middle of the state, so we gather many influences, from NY to ATL, then also the West Coast, we are sponges for all of that. It’s also a big, small city. We are able to connect and build with one another yet there is enough space for us to get into our own vibes.
Care to give the names of some current labels/artists you’re feeling right now?
Reflections Of Time Featuring Padro “Ride Your Pony Girl”
… doesn’t stem from an album named Sweet, Romantic And Sexyfor nothing.Straight 70’s private press funk by the not-so-well known Reflections Of Time. This one was brought to my attention months ago by Jason Elbogen’s vinyl-based, free-form radio show on WMFU, a place where almost anything you can imagine was played on the air. I sadly caught on to Jason’s run near it’s end, but the gems I had to chance to hear sure make up for it. Many archived podcasts are still up, have a look for yourself at what I mean by “anything”.
"… trying my hardest not to breathe in the incoming, never-ending flow of dust, it seems like its only intention is to meet my face. My fingers continue to pluck at the stack of vinyl set before me. I know almost everything in this crate, to see if anything new has made it in. And just like that, I see one that sticks out in the bunch. Some jazz by a pianist I never heard about. It’s a little banged up, some questionable smudges here & there — right up my alley."
Some dirty loopage from Top$' Gamestape. An upcoming split tape featuring him and rapper/producer JOHN DOPE is coming soon to DIRTY TAPES.