If you’re at all following the electonic music scene in Paris, you might have heard from Piu Piu alongside the ClekCleckBoom crew, and if you really know what’s good, as one part of the Girls Girls Girls DJ crew. This week, she made her official debut as a solo artist with her Nightingale mixtape, a 13-track project where she is no a longer a pair of hands behind the decks (albeit soft), but the sweet and salty voice of a frontwoman. She has enlisted the production tips from Ryan Hemsworth and Myth Syzer, providing a glittery synths to pep up her love stories and while the majority of the lush soundtrack is provided by French Fries and Bambounou.
But it’s not all rosy: some songs display a more rugged edge, such as Bussin’ At ‘Em, produced by Metro Zu with a Trouble Trouble sample, and Baller featuring a screwed chorus and trappist beats. Also of note, Piu Piu’s Telephoned-out take on a Rick Ross classic. I am especially fond of the two-fold The Melt, whose second part comes before the first, and which really highlights her clever and catchy songwriting. Lucky for us this project is free, so head on over to Bandcamp and enjoy a dive into the blooming sounds of Peep pop.
Say bruh, are feeling kinda down? It’s been that kind of week, huh? Well don’t despair, I have just what you need to get through the weekend: how about a three-day long rave? Where, you ask? On the internets, of course! WARP2ONE Stream Force started on Friday at 8am and it is going to end on Sunday at 6pm, so you still have time to chill out, hit that ยาบ้า and wake up fresh faced on Monday. WARP2ONE Stream Force is gathering a plethora artists to play over 30 hours of music over the week-end, and it’s broadcasting out of the Netherlands so you know you’ll even be able to sleep party outside your house in the downtime. That is truly a well-organized event, there’s even the tacky artwork, all it’s missing is a hotline.
These are of course pre-recorded mixes being sent out into the ether from a central source, but: it’s still a worldwide rave. Dudes from Japan, Holland, France, United Kingdom – and other random countries thrown into the mix for good measure – have engaged in the next level of abstraction, where a DJ DJs their set into a larger set that the entire world can hear at the same time. The instant compression of time and space is so beautiful, it’s beautiful. I am writing this on a Friday morning and my colleagues are just walking in with coffee in their hands while I have already had my two hours of hard trance and I am ready to populate MySQL in its entirety (i’m going to start using this phrase as a euphemism for everything). Check out the trailer below and tune in to the stream whenever you’re ready to music the face.
Tall Tales is the podcast of Them Jeans (aka Jason Stewart), which started as him enjoying tea and crumpets with his electro-bros and has now grown into full on documentary of the party scene. You may be aware of Them Jeans through a million remixes he has done in the last few years for Top Billin, Crossfaded Bacon and Dim Mak, or if you’re in LA, as the host and bookie for Dim Mak Tuesdays at Cinespace. Also you may be aware of him because he’s kinda tall. Hence: tall tales.
The first episode featured Paul Devro, and that’s about as big as the names went in the beginning. Not that you wouldn’t be familiar with others guests if you’re a Mishka familiar, from Jokers of the Scene (here) to Teki Latex (here alongside Busdriver) and the Trouble & Bass fam (DTL, AC and Star Eyes). But if you’re not ’bout that life, you may feel like there’s a lot of industry jibber-jabber going around, between oddball tastemakers and managers and marathon séances with Jason’s buds. This latter episode, though split into 3 one-hour pieces, exemplifies quite well the point of Tall Tales: idle chatter, great characters, and a hint of techno-babble and drugs.
Twenty five or so episodes in, Nikki Jaggerman, manager of DJs, was a guest alongside Doorly, and it was podcast love at first glance: she would become a co-host of the show. Nikki is young and sweet, but her ingenuity at first was a bit awkward, and unfortunately she was brought in when Jason suffered an injury that had him SUPER bummed out for a few months and she could not carry the show with the diminished namesake. But now that’s all repaired, and she has grown into her own a lot. Sometimes she’s still playing the role of a little sister but it works out because Them Jeams is also playing the role of an elder brother. Which is funny because Nikki is his manager. And the manager of a lot of people that ended up on the pod. So the guests come in all friendly and there’s no need for pleasantries before things get started; at the end of each episode you get the feeling that you have heard an audio snapshot of a conversation between friends, and that’s pretty enjoyable. Lately they’ve been checkin the guests’ web search history, which is an ok way to end the show I guess. They do talk shop every now and then – because there has to be a point to these conversations – but most of the time they wait until the plugs to mention what the guests are selling. That’s nice.
There have been a few repeat guests, and sometimes Nikki and Jason run out of guests so they end up chatting together. So there’s kind of a soap-opera quality to following the show that cannot be understated. Because if you’re at all worried about what DJs do on their off time, well you should legitimately start considering Tall Tales as the Pauly D Project of people with computer tans. Amidst the banter, there is always a gem of relevance that is just waiting to be dug up. And if you don’t know any of these guests, you get to discover some interesting people (try the Daedelus episode for example, ever the sweetheart, or the interview with Tashi Candelee where the conversation gets all serious). I can think of a couple of kind of “ehh” episodes, but you really can’t go wrong by picking any one episode and start your journey. That’s Five Stars on iTunes for these guys, check out Them Jean’s latest single for No Brainer below.
The story goes that he locked himself up in the countryside of his native Britain; not sure if that’s true, but the results are there: Twists and Turns is a resolutely UK release. Which may or may not surprising from somebody so deeply steeped in early UK Grime, but is certainly a change from his latest globetrotting, maximal releases. This is more in the vein of the Night Slugs and stripped down to its most essential, scorching elements. Download the full project (one mixed track) on his website today, or stream it below from his Soundcloud.
But she’s smarter than Rick Ross and she meant a crop-top and a mini-skirt – not shoes, since Vuitton shoes ain’t all that (I’m kidding you guys, she’s wearing the shoes too). Miku’s latest outing is an opera, with a full orchestra, as operas should be, and a hologram singer. It’s entitled The End and orchestrated by the ATAK multimedia music group – so, not your typical Stravinsky or whatever. And from what I hear, people were mostly concerned about the lack of a person on stage; not so much about the fact that it was an electro-acoustic performance through and through (not just the vocals). Either way, it’s amazing. And the outfits were designed by Louis Vuitton via Marc Jacobs, so a bit more western than her typical cybermaid clothing, which a lot of people also found weird I guess.
But now Miku has been immortalized with life-size statue posted up in the Bankamura hall, un-towering at a kawaii 5’1″ (let us be reminded that she is 16 years old, which may also account for her slightly dysmorphic figure) and wearing said Vuitton outfit. After a run of selected dates in Tokyo, the performance has just been renewed and some dates have been announced for overseas dates at the Théatre du Châtelet in Paris, mid-November. Check out a video below for an idea of what a Miku show looks like and cross your fingers that it comes to an opera house near you, so you can finally take your mom and/or girlfriend out to a decent place for once.
Well. “Fashion.” He’s making t-shirts. And selling random crap related to movies. So he’s not really quitting but I’ll get back to that later. Extension765, launched last week, is Soderbergh’s take on movie licensed products which – as we all know – are quite often sub-par. And – as we know – Mishka has provided some low-key relief to the matter, but there are still a lot of movies to be covered, and for that I salute the arrival of Extension765 and its cheeky bootleg approach.
For now the offerings are pretty timid: a Citizen Kane newspaper font thing, a French Connection stencil font thing, and a bunch of other declinations of font work related to Double Indemnity, Laura, Touch of Evil, Psycho, or Saboteur. So yeah, nothing transcendent, but enough to satisfy the average movie nerd’s lack of CaféPress-fueled irony. I would never wear it but the Network reference is perhaps the most interesting while the Airport is probably the most conceptually accomplished.
If there is one flaw I can see in this business model, it’s the very nich audience that the products are speaking to: not only you have to be old enough to understand the references, you also have to be cool enough to still wear t-shirts. But I suppose they don’t really have to fight for financial backing and or exposure. I have a strange relationship with Steven Soderbergh’s work, seeing how I work in a place where he used to work and live in a place that he chose as a setting for one of his movies. But even without that background, you should be aware by now that this is the same cinematographic mind that produced Ocean’s 11/12/13 and Traffic or more recently Magic Mike and The Informant!. I find it… Ironic? Revealing? that his garment offerings somewhat reflect the man’s movie career: understated, well-executed, half smart but at the end of the day, somewhat lackluster.
Not that I expect all over graphics or 3M, but a little more creativity wouldn’t hurt. Then again Mondo tried that, and they pretty much gave up on tees at this point, they’re even releasing music now. Which brings me to Soderbergh’s retirement announcement cum “state of the cinema address,” also from last week. It’s a very interesting piece that you should definitely read (over at Deadline) if you’re at all interested in the movie industry. But I take issue with his enthrallment in Rushkoff’s “Present Shock” thingie (which is fashionable, and I understand that). It’s a funny twist on Future Shock which you should read about on your own because this ain’t Com Studies 102. But. Really: are we all collectively victims of that Present Shock? Rushkoff’s argument applies mainly to the organizational level, but I’m talking about individuals here.
This is a “documentary” about the band Yes, directed by Soderbergh, dating back from 1985. Watch it.
Sure, it’s easy to be quote unquote enslaved by the social media and the CGI in our lives, but that doesn’t mean we cannot get out of it. Even for a second: see for example the Boston Marathon bombing suspect hunt, in which social media was first celebrated (pictures!) then despised (hate!) then celebrated (clues!) then despised (witch hunt!) then celebrated (got them!) all of which in the span of… 24? Maybe 48 hours? Step into the present, and it’s fucking crazy. Take step back, and watch it unfold. Isn’t that the point of cinema? and art, as a whole? Soderbergh sez “Art, in my view, is a very elegant problem-solving model.” Which is true, at least as far as an artist is concerned. But as a consumer of art (which he is, too) you know the experience of art is entirely different. Sure, you could perhaps try to analyze the kind of problem-solving that the artist attempted, but more importantly: it makes you take that step back.
Whether or not you think about it, art re-enacts life things that you don’t necessarily have time to think about, and gives you a new perspective. Whether or not the artist attempted to convey a specific point of view – which will probably be misunderstood anyway. But I understand his point of view: everything about his artform has changed so dramatically and so fast in the last thirty years that he feels at a loss when trying to adapt his old love to new methods. I see his t-shirt factory as both a strange way to capitalize on the bullshit he says he is at odds with and at the same time fight it with all the obliqueness that he is so keen on. That’s why I think he’s not really retiring at all. He’s just getting a bit older and grumpier and he had to say his piece, as an art-form commentary on the Present Shock he thinks he is experiencing, and as a way to move on. Let’s hope it all works out for him.
Some weeks ago, I told you about a CD release for KAIL’s latest brainchild: the SMASHOUT. A CD! That’s insane. Today, the project is being released on Bandcamp with an extra remix and a video, and I thought this would be a great time to hear a little more from the man himself. The person you hear on the record is really only a fraction of who KAIL is as a person, only a stark reminder that you cannot take ANYONE for granted. Kick in a couple dollars for the record, check out KAIL’s Real Raps Episode below and look out for a full EP with Ratbastard. Hop on that TRAMPoline.
Gnou: Who is Boulevard Bill?
KAIL: That’s all me… a nickname. I live in traffic and find peace on a trek. I put in the miles.
Gnou: On True Hollywood Squares you had a new character per track, whereas The Smashout is all done in the voice of Bill The Butcher, did you just feel especially comfortable with him?
KAIL: All me. This project was meant to strip down a lot of the theatrics of a true ALBUM and just jump straight to the short story. This is me acting as the recession-buster. But, using the moniker “Blvd. Bill” for this particular project was a symbol of PUSH. But, in reality, I play every character so very well because they exist as part of me. That’s how I win as a regiment.
Gnou: The songs on this EP are a lot less wordy than your previous projects, did you seek to extract as much juice as you could from everything you said on this record?
KAIL: Precisely. I said a lot more, even with fewer tracks.
Gnou: So what’s the relationship between KAIL and all these characters?
KAIL: Those muthafuckaz are just bastard children of the psyche… they’re like an incredible consultation firm that works pro bono. I don’t make this shit up. It’s pretty fuckin special.
Gnou: Was The Smashout entirely produced by DJ Hannjahb? What his relationship with KAIL?
KAIL: DJ Hannjahb died in a hand-grenade accident in 2009. I do the producing now. Fuck that guy!
Gnou: I know you are a true family man; you had Ratbastard as the only guest on this record, but how do you feel about the growing Hellfyre family?
KAIL: It’s good as long as it doesn’t turn into Lord of the Flies. It’s like any family; a little structure and cooperation go a very long way.
Gnou: If NoCan is Prometheus, the God of Hellfyre, does that make your Hyperion, the Titan of the East?
KAIL: Nope. I’m William Redd Thedford IV, God of right-fucking-here/right-fucking-now
Gnou: And are thuggy white women Pandora?
KAIL: Pandora’s box… now, there’s some wordplay for you muthafuckaz!
Gnou: Is it fair to say that you are Rapgenius.com’ Rapgenius.com?
KAIL: Don’t get the question, but I’m am the rap genius… THE rap genius.
The hate / love potential of this track is absolutely off the charts. In all senses of the term. Can you think of an artist whose success has been more polarizing than Macklemore? I love the guy, but even I can’t get completely behind his Heist, he makes me feel like an old dude and I don’t like it. But at the same time, I’m glad to see him get to the place where he is right now, I’m delighted to see kids enjoying his music and I love that he’s just running victory laps around the world at this point. And how about Major Lazer? Have you listened to Free The Universe? Do you consider it a case of too many cooks in the kitchen or the perfect illustration of e pluribus unum? Because judging from the four and half reviews that surfaced, these seem to be the only two ways to read this album.
Well here at Mishka, we don’t take sides. We fear no man. So when this Major Lazer version of Can’t Hold Us surfaced, I listened. 1st Klase reworking the beat to a soca riddim is absolutely genius. The trap breakdown: not so much. Trinidad’s own Swappi 4D goes bonkers as he should, but why is he so scarce!? The samples from Mack’s vocals work great with the theme, yet they don’t exactly match the tempo – which is weird considering how much energy emanates from this track. So the result is a big fat decent rollercoaster of niceness. I understand that this is a remix, but I feel that if they could have got Macklemore to re-do his vocals for the mix it would have come out so much better. Nonetheless, this is a very enjoyable remix for those not yet tired of either artistic performance. Check it out below!
Main Course officially launched last year as DJ Neoteric as a platform for him and his buddies to make and share amy and everything that’s interesting. Today, things are still the same, except a year later Main Course has refocused its activities to releasing free music; because obviously that’s what everybody is mostly interested in.
This week marked two new releases from the label, a celebratory launch for the official involvement of Astronomar and Bot. A slight departure from their inaugural releases (or more in line with the roughless Roska remix of Klever) the two new two-tracks are rife with the freshest bass and cosmopolitan stylings that will get any club scene on its feets. Check out the cold cuts of Bot’s African Mining and the lasered infusion of ghettotech in Astronomar’s Pay Attention to understand the culinary genius of these two master tracksmen.
ALSO! Bot and Astronomar have collaborated on a single that marks the beginning of Main Course’s SNACKS series… To make the wait for the next Main Course more palatable! Hot in the window is 2D Noize’s banging Triplete and more to come from Swick, Will Eastman and Nacey. Make sure you follow the gents on Facebook and Soundcloud to stay abreast of the next servings.
Since the last time we heard from NoCanDo, he has put his blood sweat and tears into building his own studio, the Cosmic Zoo, where the magic is now happening in full thrust. Overrun with altruism, he has focused on releasing the homies’ projects, but now is the time for his own releases to come out.
If you have been following him soundcloud, you will be delighted to have downloadable versions of “Where’s the Money” and “More Credit”, not to mention to hear the original version of “All Over A Bitch”, whose remix instrumental went somewhere else. And in addition to that, eight more tracks that will have you quietly smashing your head against the walls of your cubicle, thanks in part to an always impeccable Kenny Segal goes beat that goes extra fucking hard and wisely TERNTTT UP self-titled apotheosis because it ain’t over. Cross your appendages that Jimmy The Burnout does not destroy all.