Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Who's got the biggest party in Atlanta?

There was a stir in my google group this week. Digitalism this and digitalism that. “It’s going to be the best show.” I tried to stay away. Payday is two long weeks ago. Rent is due next week. I need to stay away.

So last night I get a phone call from my friend Jorge. “Are you sure you aren’t going? Did you at least look at the Youtube links I sent you?” I had not. I need to stay away but curiosity got the best of me. I clicked on the link…

I know this band... I know this song... I LOVE THIS SONG!!!... I called Jorge back , “Come pick me up, I am going.”

This was my first Kissatlanta event. It was also my first trip to the Masquerade. We were early, very early. There were a dozen people in various corners with Death Metal blasting through the speakers. It literally felt like we in the rooms namesake, hell. As we sat in this strange atmosphere, I told Jorge, "It can only get better from here." Two hours later GunsNBombs was finishing a spirited garage/punk/trance inspired set. Then Digitalism took the stage for one of my favorite performances in the past year.

They walked up on two tables worth of equipment: Two microphones, electronic drum machine, a few labtops, several processors, several turntables and keyboards. There was a ton of music coming from this duo (Jens "Jence" Moelle and İsmail "Isi" Tüfekçi) from Germany. Everything was spot on from the soundboard, to the synced projected images, to the wonderfully mixed set. For over an hour they banged out track after track. By the time they finished with Pogo, the crowd was literally chanting for more. Here is digitalsim ending their set, live in Atlanta, enjoy:

Oh, and by the way, Digitalism has got the biggest party in Atlanta. I'll never get tired of them singing that in "Home Zone." Here is a 10 minute mix that starts with "Idealistic and mixes into Home Zone" You can see it here:

Monday, March 24, 2008

If pop and minimal house had a baby

This is the only way I know to describe Matthew Dear’s newest album Asa Breed. The songs are surprisingly catchy. They have memorable melodies and decent vocals for a Dj/Producer.

The last DJ/Producer I liked, who decided to become a pop artist, was a disaster. To this day, I refuse to listen or watch RJD2 live. I don’t have tickets to go to his show in April because I am in great fear that he may sing. There is something wrong about paying to see on of the most creative hip-hop instrumentalist drop his craft to pick up a microphone and sing like an American Idol.

Matthew Dear is another story all together. Dear was born in Texas and moved to Michigan as a teenager. In Michigan, he was inspired by the now famous Detriot Techno Scene. While Attending College at Univeristy of Michigan, he started his own record label - Ghostly International. That record label has grown to the success that it has today, launching every Dear album since its’ inception.

I actually enjoy Asa Breed more than his earlier work in 2003/2004 (Leave Luck to Heaven/Backstroke). Both albums got critical acclaim for bridging the wide gap between Pop Culture and Techno. Both of these alums are great minimal house albums but I still believe they are a little one dimensional in comparision to Asa Breed.

Asa Breed not only displays Dear’s skill to produce music in many styles but with a variety of live arrangements. The sound is rich in production and extremely polished. One of the best elements of Asa Breed is the evolution of his song writing skill and how it relates to his production. The shining example is “Give Me More” which is a synthesized ballad meets acoustic guitar. Four years ago this track would be incredibly out of place but with Asa Breed it works to perfection. Here is a little taste of what else you will find on Matthew’s Latest release:

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Simian Mobile Disco in review

So March 19th has come and gone. The hang over and sleep deprivation is no longer effecting my motivation. The fog has cleared and these are the results:

I will be back for the “Unofficial Wednesday Night Hipster Dance Party” at MJQ. The resident DJ was playing some really great tracks as we were walking through the door from Justice, to Daft Punk,to Hot Chip, to MIA. From the time we arrived at 11pm, the place was starting to fill up. By the time the opening DJ Le Castle Vania started, the concourse was packed.

The vibe was good at MJQ. There was a nice diversity of people even though there were many Hipsters and overall the mood was rawkus. People started going nuts with Le Castle Vania interesting mix of “disco punk”. Then he played Snowden’s “Black Eyes” remix and the place went wild. I was saving my video for Simian Mobile Disco but I couldn’t resist. The only other time I heard this song was after Snowden played at Lenny’s Saturday Night Dance Party and I was blown away. If anyone knows where I can get my hand on this remix, I would love some info. Here is that moment:

We had to wait until 1am for Simian Mobile Disco. By that time, it was difficult to move in the underground sea of people. The great thing about the show is that most of the people there A) were there to see the group B) knew and recognized all the songs. Through out the set their was sporadic jumping and screaming all around us. It reminded me of a rock concert. It was vibe that I was not used to for a dj set. Here is a 10 minute clip of the start of their show. I’ll be back for the end in a day or so keep tuned.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Evolution of Boom Bip

I first started listening to Boom Bip years ago. I had heard only good recommendations about this guy from various people. People said he sounded like Guillermo Scott Herren aka Prefuse 73, Piano Overlord, Savalth & Savalas, and Delarosa and Asora. In 2000 I was obsessed with the genius of Herren. I still am a huge fan to this day. There is a very special blend of the Hip Hop culture and electronic music that makes his music unique.

I hear many of those same qualities in Boom Bip. He originally started his career in the underground Cincinnati Hip Hop scene. His early work even included a collaberation with Dosone. Here is a track off their Circle album back in 2000.

From here, Bryan Hollon (Boom Bip) started a solo carrer where he began expirementing with electronic music. This is the first video off his debut album in 2002, Seed to Sun.

Three months ago I saw his new EP on Because I have always been a fan I downloaded The Sacchrilege EP right away. On my first listen I was so taken back by what I was listening too. Boom Bip has gone electro. Honestly, he sounds at home playing this genera. It was upbeat and I couldn't help myself from moving around. What an change in 8 short years.

The plot thickens. I was doing a little research for this blog on his record label, Lex Records and the evolution continues. Boom Bip has started a new band with vocalist Gruff Rhys called Neon Neon. Where the Sacchrilege Ep was Electro dance music, Neon Neon is a full out rockin' electro band. I have enjoyed the little that I have heard. Lucky for us, the debut album is being released in a week. March 18 in the United States. The UK gets a preview a day early on the 17th... You can get your preview now. I hope you enjoy the first single.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The softer side of Hot Chip

Since Hot Chip has released their new album, “Made in the Dark” they have been doing mad promotions. My girlfriend came across a live set that I have NEVER seen them do before. For they were interviewed and preformed live. Acoustic! No programming, no drum machines, no sampling, just 4 of the five members doing an acoustic set.

For those who haven’t heard of Hot Chip, this is a nice way to get acclimated. When you stip the group down to bare essentials, they are really very talented musicians. To produce the intricate electronic music they make they have to be above and beyond that. It was really refreshing to see this side of Hot Chip but I hope this isn’t a new trend. I prefer them playing their crazy electro-rock, like when we saw them in Atlanta:

Monday, March 3, 2008

I was mistaken when I said I had found the best show in March…

Man, was I wrong. Don’t get it twisted, I love Simian Mobile Disco. Period. But I doubt their Dj set will compare to Modeselektor’s live set. Modeselektor **MAY** be coming through Atlanta. I was looking at their myspace page and saw --- (March 23, Masquerade Atlanta GA). I flipped out and started dialing my friends. I could not confirm it on the Masquerade home page so I am keeping my fingers crossed.

This duo, Gernot Bronsert and Sebastian Szary, from Germany have gotten some press in 2007 for their song, "The White Flash" with Radiohead’s lead man, Thom York. That is actually how I found out about this band. I sampled their song together and had to hear more. In minutes I bought "Happy Birthday!". In days I bought their first album, “hello mom”. It will be minutes after their new album release before I buy that album.

They have an unbelievable blend of raw programming, dirty bass, top notch hip hop guest appearances, and truly danceable beats. To get a true feel of what they bring to their live show check this out:

March 23, 2008
Masquerade (Hell) Atlanta, GA
$ not released yet (tickets not on sale yet…)