Madlib has always called himself a DJ first, producer second, with jazz music as his first love and inspiration. With that in mind you might say this is what he does best.
The title card of Madlib Medicine Show No. 8 reads: Imagine an 80-minute music history course talking place in a dusty, hazy studio with wall-to-wall jazz vinyl - records from the past 40 years â€“ jazz, fusion, funky, obscure. This course will not be graded. There will be no lecture. Madlibâ€™s at the turntable.Â Class is now in session.
The front & back cover is the painting Jazzcats Crossing the Hudson (info).Â CD contains an 8-page booklet.
â€œMy purpose for music is positive social change,â€ says Orange County, California native Aloe Blacc. â€œEven if the music itself does not explicitly express anything that may signify positive social change, the product of the music will.â€ He is speaking in general terms regarding his career, but more specifically about the circumstances surrounding his upcoming album, Good Things, co-written by the versatile vocalist and songwriter in conjunction with the in-house production team at Truth & Soul Records.
Good Things marks a shift in methodology from personal to political for Aloe, who refers to the project as his report on present conditionsâ€”joblessness, homeless, the misappropriation of wealth, pillaging of resources, and a universal lack of compassion from the capitalism at-large under which we all function, but some struggle to survive. Song titles such as â€œYou Make Me Smileâ€ and â€œMiss Fortune,â€ coupled with airy, ethereal production from Truth & Soulâ€™s Leon Michels and Jeff Silverman mask a foreboding undercurrent in which Aloe crafts lyrics both thoughtful and thought-provoking. Nowhere is this more evident than on lead single, â€œI Need a Dollarâ€â€”commissioned by HBO as the theme music for the series How to Make It in Americaâ€”because ultimately, that is how to make it in America.
Dam-Funk, to many, is a new name from the past year or two, but what we see and hear from him is a great deal more interesting than a new and emerging artist with a sound influenced from the golden era of electro-funk.Â Dam-Funk is the real deal.Â He has been recording for himself for two decades, developing his work to his own taste, and using equipment like the Korg M1, Linn Drum, and Casio SK-1 since the days when many other musicians considered them novelty electronics rather than instruments.
At the request of Peanut Butter Wolf, Dam went through many of these recordings, all made on cassette, going back to his teenage years.Â As Wolf tells it, â€œDam told me, â€˜this is your project Wolf.Â Do whatever you want with it.Â I leave it in your hands.Â I don't even wanna see it til it's done.Â Have fun.â€™â€
The result is Dam-Fun's Adolescent Funk, a 14-track album recorded between 1988 and 1992.
When Stones Throw Records approached Berlesque of North America about designing and printing a concert poster for his royal flyness, the one and only boogie funk ambassador DÃ¢M-FunK, they jumped at the chance!Â Mike Davis put together this design for Dam's upcoming performances in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Screenprinted by Ben LaFond.
The 2010 edition of the Redbull Music Academy is currently happening in London.Â Part of the Academy features lectures from some ofÂ today's leading lights within the music scene.Â Check below for a selection of some of the lectures and check here for more.
Gabriel Roth - Daptone Records
Soul flows freely from the pores of producer/bandleader/composer Gabriel Roth â€“ much like snot streams down the filtrum of a feverish child. Born in a log cabin in Twin Peaks, CA (absolutely true) some time in the â€™70s, Roth survived traumatic brushes with record industry scumbags and near financial ruin before successfully launching his heralded soul/funk/afrobeat/gospel-centric record label, Daptone, with partner/sax maniac Neal Sugarman in the early â€™00s. HQ-ed in scenic Bushwick, Brooklyn in a renovated two-story hovel in which Roth himself installed the plumbing with bleeding, blistered hands (at least partly true), Daptoneâ€™s â€œHouse of Soulâ€ studios provide analog relief from the rest of the pop sphereâ€™s relentless digital din. And it is under Rothâ€™s leadership and guidance that the labelâ€™s dynamic roster of artists â€“ e.g. Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, the Budos Band, Naomi Shelton & the Gospel Queens, Menahan Street Band et al â€“ has epic-ly flourished, going from cult-followed curiosities to global soul ambassadors in just a few short years. Indeed, Gabriel Roth is the aglet to Daptoneâ€™s groove-imbued fibres. The resulting lace is ace.
Known as Los Angeles' "Ambassador of Boogie Funk," this man represents the citizens of the Funkmosphere to the fullest. Headquartered in the Culver City section of L.A., DÃ¢M (pronounced: 'Dame' as in Damon) spent the last few years cultivating a musical renaissance rooted in the early-'80s styles known as boogie, modern soul and electro-funk. As a DJ, DÃ¢M attracts the most discerning boogie funk aficionados within driving distance of his storied Monday-night Funkmosphere parties. But it's not just collectors at the bar toasting to the melodic sounds. Anyone who grooves to the likes of Slave, Aurra, early Prince and Prelude Records, will get a dose of those groups' unknown contemporaries more obscure but equally funk-worthy. By plugging in his arsenal of vintage synths and drum machines, DÃ¢M also channels the galactic harmonies of his inspiration into his own brand of modern funk: it comes as now surprise that Peanut Butter Wolf brought him on to the Stones Throw team to glide into the future with his unique, synth and bass-driven vibe. A new chapter for Southern Cali space funk? DÃ¢M right!
Rollerball enigma and silhouetted man-on-the-mic Kenny Dixon Jr. aka Moodymann is one of the most enigmatic and charismatic figures that house music ever bred. Despite his refusal to give interviews and play the press-and-promo game, Kennyâ€™s voice has been clearly amongst the loudest, when it comes to preserving the rich heritage of Afro-American music, while fighting the music industry powers that be. Blessed with an immaculate way of sampling, he takes stems from blues and soul, and respectfully takes them onto the next level â€“ just check his Tribute (To The Soul We Lost) ode to Marvin Gaye for proof. From his dark and dusty deep house tunes on Peacefrog, Planet E and his own KDJ label, to his more recent outings on the R&B-drenched Mahogani Music imprint as well as his 2009 sure-fire anthem Freaky MF, Moodymann's fingerprint has stayed unmistakable. Even a so-called techno tune like Dem Young Sconies sounds like nothing and nobody else on this planet. You can't kick this feeling when it hits!
Jay Electronica swept onto the hip hop scene in a wave of enigma late last decade. The effect of his quirky, emotional sound was compounded by the erratic methods of their release, drifting out unannounced via the internet - the Myspace leak of Act 1: Eternal Sunshine (The Pledge), a fifteen minute opus laced with movie samples and beatless film soundtracks, represented the beginning of an astounding surge of interest in both the man and his music, back in 2007. Since then, the New Orleans-born MC and producer has garnered heavy support from everybody from Nas to Gilles Peterson, and has worked heavily with soulslinger Just Blaze, dropping two instant neo-backpack classics, Exhibit A and Exhibit C. Only recently he partnered with New York-based "idea studio" Decon, working on his debut album as well as a video project with label founder Jason Goldwatch. With more anticipation around his Act II track than the rest of hip hop's class of '10 combined, and another project with fellow supa emcees Mos Def and Curren$y in the making, the future couldn't look brighter for Jay. To paraphrase his recent collaboration with Talib Kweli and Hi-Tek: he's only just begun.