Festival season may be winding down, but there’s still plenty to look forward to in the few weeks that remain. Case in point: Afro-Punk, a free festival coming to Brooklyn’s Commodore Barry Park the weekend of August 27-28.
In addition to the stellar line-up, which includes Santigold, Janelle Monae, Cee Lo Green, Toro Y Moi, Das Racist, Kenna, Gordon Voidwell, Dances with White Girls and Jillionnaire, Afro-Punk will host a skate competition and over a dozen food trucks. Sounds like a perfect afternoon in the park.
Did we mention it’s free? And easily accessible by subway? We’ll see you there.
More info on the line-up and location can be found HERE.
This past weekend, Downtown Records celebrated its five year anniversary with two fantastic nights of music. The first night at Webster Hall featured The Suzan, Lissy Trullie, White Denim, Art Brut and A-Trak. The following night at Terminal 5 featured Miike Snow, Major Lazer and Santigold, with DJ sets by DJ Mehdi and So Me.
One of favorite labels, Downtown Records (home to Fool’s Gold and Mad Decent, among others) is celebrating its five year anniversary next month with two awesome nights of music, right here in New York City.
On Friday, March 4th, Downtown will take over Webster Hall for the first night of festivities. We’ve always had a soft spot for Japanese quartet The Suzan, but they really blew us away last week when they opened for Chromeo at Terminal 5. If you haven’t already (and even if you have), make it a point to see this band before they head back to the motherland. The line-up also features A-Trak, Art Brut, White Denim and Lissy Trullie. Tickets available HERE.
The party continues on March 5th at Terminal 5 with Miike Snow, Major Lazer with special guest Santigold, DJ Mehdi and So Me. I think the line-up speaks for itself. As a matter of fact, it’s already sold out.
CLICK HERE to get tickets for the first night at Webster Hall, and if you’re not familiar with the entire line-up, fret not, our friends at RCRLBL have you covered with a free playlist. Check it out HERE.
In a surprising union, Major Lazer (Diplo + Switch) has teamed up with La Roux to create Lazerproof, a mixtape that combines Major Lazer’s electro-dancehall bangers with tracks from La Roux’s eponymous debut album. No stranger to the realm of mixtapes, Diplo has collaborated with M.I.A. on Piracy Funds Terrorism and Santigold on Top Ranking, creating mixtapes that fuse the respective artists’ debut albums with a selection of hip hop, dubstep and reggae beats. La Roux’s songs have seen their share of dubstep remixes, making her collaboration with Major Lazer a little less surprising (bonus: check out tradehooks compilation of the best La Roux remixes HERE).
Lazerproof balances the familiar with the unfamiliar, while delivering surprise after surprise. Some songs are close derrivatives of their respective archetypes - the Costra Nostra Edit of “Cover My Eyes” adds a ska beat while keeping the melody and vocals intact. “In For The Kill” gets reworked twice, first in “Independent Kill”, where Candi Redd raps over the original melody, then again in ”In 4 The Kill Pon de Skream”, which takes Skream’s pervasive remix and laces it with a stripped-down beat from “Pon de Floor” for a curiously subtle result.
“Magic (Falling Soldiers Dub)”, a less obvious interpretation of “As If By Magic”, takes the vocals from its poppy predecessor and lays it over a reggae dub. Stripped of its synth undertones, the song takes on a completely different mood. The two closing tracks – “I Said It (Major Lazer Dubplate)” featuring Opal and “Hold Yuh (Double Dubplate)” featuring Gyptian – left us mystified. Although there are two La Roux songs that didn’t get the mixtape treatment (“Saviour” and “Reflections Are Protection”), neither resembles the tracks in question.
CLICK HERE to download Lazerproof from the Mad Decent blog, a free download if you get it today (Wednesday, May 26). Last we checked, the server was having some issues, so if you need it right this second (as we did), head over to the Stockholm Beat Connection for an alternate download link.
We leave you with two samples from Lazerproof: “In 4 The Kill Pon de Skream” and the mysterious “Hold Yuh (Double Dubplate)”. If you can figure out its origins, by all means, enlighten us in the comments section below.
Major Lazer & La Roux – “In 4 The Kill Pon de Skream”
Major Lazer & La Roux featuring Gyptian – “Hold Yuh (Double Dubplate)”
Last week, ?uestlove took to Twitter to announce the initial line-up for the third annual Roots Picnic in Philadelphia. Vampire Weekend, Mayer Hawthorne, and The Very Best will join The Roots, along with Clipse, Tune-Yards, Das Racist, DJ Jazzy Jeff, MM Jam Boys, and Bajah + The Dry Eye Crew.
In his video announcement, ?uestlove promised to top last year’s spectacular performance with Public Enemy with a special surprise reunion. “This is a reunion that we thought we would never get,” he said of the surprise guest, “We’ve been waiting to make this reunion happen for the longest. It’s so incredible, I don’t even want to tell you who it is.” Judging by his hint – a gold chain and black fedora – we’re putting our money on Run DMC:
The Roots Picnic will take place at the Festival Pier in Philadelphia. CLICK HERE to purchase tickets, and be sure to check out photos from last year’s picnic, featuring Antibalas, Santigold, The Black Keys, Public Enemy, T.V. on the Radio, The Roots, and more. Watch ?uestlove’s video announcement after the jump…
Hard has been putting on music events in LA for years, but it wasn’t until last Saturday that they brought the party to the east coast. With an unbeatable line-up of Destructo, Jack Beats, Rusko, Major Lazer and Crookers, Hard proved that dubstep has indeed arrived in New York City.
Hailing from Brixton, Felix Buxton and Simon Ratcliffe got their start as Basement Jaxx in 1994. While the duo may have gotten their start with UK chart-topper “Rendez Vu,” from their first album, Remedy, they are better known for their singles “Where’s Your Head At?” and “Do Your Thing” from their second album, Rooty (2001). In 2004, the group won the Best Electronic/Dance Album Grammy for Kish Kash. Felix Buxton and Simon Ratcliffe can now add Scars to their list of marks. This revel of an album is beyond the group’s typical style, and more than delivers a satisfying listening experience. It is an eccentric collection of pure ingenuity and energy that accentuates the duo’s skills and attention to detail in sound and vocals.
The fifth studio album by the house duo, Scars features vocals by Kelis, Santigold, Yoko Ono, Eli “Paperboy” Reed, Yo Majesty! and others. While the duo may be overshadowed by a myriad of featured artists, it may serve them well to have such a comprehensive album with a widespread of variety, style and flavor. In making an album around the styles of fourteen unique vocalists, Basement Jaxx creates the crowning touch for what is an a la carte of an album. While each track can hold-up on their own, the compilation shows their versatility and ability to create a feast of an album. It reflects a time of mash-ups and cultural pollination in a musical-period where the focus is no longer on the construction of the album but on sole tracks – (the reason DJs like David Guetta and Tiesto are moving towards albums and compilations with an array of vocalists).
The album is available now. Basement Jaxx is scheduled for a DJ set in New York City at Santo’s Party House on November 7th. Click through for a listen, recommended tracks and a track list. Also, check out their visually enthralling video for “Raindrops”.
Amanda Blank‘s recently-released debut album, I Love You, features the Cool Kids, Lykke Li, and Santigold. You’ve probably heard Amanda’s single “Might Like You Better”where she exults “I might like you better if we slept together.” Amanda’s prowess on stage at the Siren Music Festival and on tour with Santigold made us look forward to her debut album. Like her performances, the album is provocative and comes just in time to add to the summer heat. If this is her call for our attention then she certainly deserves it. With a fast pace of club beats and mixes, glazed with enticing lyrics, Amanda Blank wants your love for this album, and well… there’s no way we could like her better. This CD is so bad (as in a good way) that it serves a spanking for a listen.
The album is currently available on imeem. Click here to check it out.
Santigold’s sold-out concert at Terminal 5 last night marks my fifth (yes, fifth) Santigold show in the past year. If you want to get technical about it, she was still “Santogold” for the first two shows, but a lawsuit earlier this year forced her to change her stage name to “Santigold”.
The great thing about seeing Santigold perform multiple times is that she has stepped up her game considerably from show to show, going from hot new act to rockstar in just under a year. Last night’s show was by far her strongest, featuring a live band, guest appearances, and the best set list to date.
You know if the news made it to Entertainment Weekly that this mixtape from Terry Urban and Gold Coin can’t have much longer left to live on the internet. Southerngold, which mixes Santigold’s debut album with southern rap vocals, received a cease and desist order from Santigold’s record label, Downtown Records.
While I marginally prefer Top Ranking, the official mixtape released last fall by Santigold and Diplo, Southerngold puts a great new spin on the album and is definitely worth a listen.
Update: Santigold released the following statement: “Some kid just hit me up about this on MySpace. It was the first I ever heard about it. I’ve never heard anything about this DJ or this remix, and certainly did not send a cease and desist letter. I’m a supporter of mixtape culture and intend to get to the bottom of it.”
Check out the mixtapes’ respective versions of Santigold’s “Shove It” below:
Southerngold – Still Tippin’ It (featuring Slim Thug and Mike Jones)