Thursday, July 30, 2009

La Roux - Bulletproof (SKPmix)

On that grind, just entered another remix competition. Yet again in SKP styles, but this time I actually got a more straightforward recording setup working, so the guitars were recorded in mere hours.

I did a few things to really make the bass kick on this one, so if you can listen to it with a subwoofer, please do! It really is sort of a problem, as I always have mine plugged in and end up mixing with it. Then I unplug it to see what the mix will sound like with just regular speakers, and it sounds like it's coming out of a cell phone :-/

Anyways, go and check it out, and vote for it! I guess you can check out the other mixes and the original as well, but I haven't even done that yet...

(Click where it says vote on the remixes and then sort by most recent)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

It's Bigger Than...

A little while ago I had a bit of a conversation with Brandon Soderberg over on his blog 41yo. The actual post and all the comments are gone now, but the main issue was this album cover:

Brandon (from Baltimore) took offense to DJ Sega (from Philly) using signifiers from Baltimore Club culture - Nino "Doo Dew" Brown is a triple-reference to the character Nino Brown from the movie New Jack City, the Baltimore club group Doo Dew Kidz, and the first national club hit "Doo Doo Brown."

I myself saw his post as having a similar attitude as a certain infamous piece by Tom Breihan. Sega is one of my favourite DJ's out right now, and I didn't think he was at all deserving of the charges Brandon was laying on him (I mean look, his shirt even says he's paid his dues).

Our discussion was heated, but I think it stopped just short of a flamewar; and by the end of it I think we both saw eachother's sides of the argument more clearly.

So that brings us up to now, and Brandon's got a great new article in Baltimore's City Paper that he apparently interviewed DJ Sega for. It's all about Baltimore club music's offshoots in other cities, but is very measured and evenhanded, unlike a lot of articles touching that area.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Barletta - Panther (SKP SalaciousSound Remix)

So whew this track came about through an interesting process.

I got wind that Salacious Sound was having a remix contest for this local Toronto DJ Barletta. I've heard a couple of Barletta's tracks, but not the one that was the subject of this competition (Panther). I mean I've seen it on blogs, but I just never listened to it for one reason or another.

So I thought it would be pretty fun to remix the song without even having any knowledge of the original to base it on. I took the tracks that were provided to me and did a bit of re-arranging and effecting before even listening to them individually.

This was/is gonna be another comeback track for my "band" SKP, of which the core members are myself and mybro Ian. Both of us ran in to some difficulties recording our parts...

First off, I don't have a real dedicated recording interface at home. What I can do is bootleg my USB DJ mixer into a 4-track recorder. So what I usually do is run a mic into that and then I can record into my computer. For whatever reason, that wasn't working this time. So after trying every other possible configuration of cables between guitar and PC, I settled on this familiar chain:

guitar > amp > microphone > record on to tape in boom box; play back tape in boom box > plugged in to computer

That's familiar because it's how we used to record stuff in my room when we first started SKP. Just goes to show that crazy Rube Goldberg analog/digital spaghetti monstrosities NEVER FAIL!

Anyway, I got some passable guitar tracks layed down (including a bottleneck-slide solo, Auto-Tuned; patent pending). Ian's vocals were/are another story though, since he currently resides off the grid (without home Internet) in North Carolina. I was gonna record his vocals over the phone while he listened to another song of a similar tempo, but it just didn't end up happening.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Act Like You Know!

So I'm out on a flyer/poster mission last night and find myself on the corner of Richmond and Peter...
And I think I hear a little bit of this coming from someone's car...
So I was all like:
And turned to the guy in the car and said something like "that's a great song!" And he was all:
I said "DJ Blaqstarr! Tote It!" Him:
Then the song played out for a few more measures and I realized it was actually this:
But I was like "Still! Big song!" Quoth the gino:
So now I'm practically jumping up and down in the middle of Club District in the middle of the night, shouting at this guy about how I'm trying to compliment him on his music and he doesn't even know what it is he's listening to.

On another note, I also found myself in front of this place last night...
Apparently there was a huge extended hours dubstep party there that I hadn't heard a word of.

I just think it's crazy how a year-and-a-half ago, when I was first getting in to dubstep, it was almost impossible to find a place in Toronto to go to for it. Now you can just have a random party on a Tuesday night with absolutely no promotion and bring out a couple hundred random hipsters and yuppies who don't even know what DJs are playing. I asked!

Also last night, Cajmere was performing at Ultra:
As awesome as that song is though, I'm not too upset about missing that one because I'm pretty sure they won't let you in the door at Ultra unless yer over 25 and think that makes you better than everyone.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


K so BARNBURNAZ is like my party-throwing-gruppa with my dudes Stephen Hawk and Durag. A couple weeks ago we went around lookin' for places to DJ and Sutra Tiki Bar just got back to me, so we're doin' this! Let's hear it for a good turnout!

Friday, June 12, 2009

"superman that socialism, waterboard that terrorism"...

I'm asking these dudes nicely.  Here are a few possible plans of action for them to consider:

A) Become a parody group. Of course this would require them to first become actually good at rapping. I'd also suggest cutting the video length in half, because anything over three minutes these days just doesn't scream "comedy" to me.

B) Continue being serious. Yer still gonna hafta learn how to rap though.

C) Stop. Just...stop.

You can go ahead and be the only conservative at your college, I'm fine with that. But please please please please PLEASE could you not RAP about it? I would even theoretically be okay (or at least indifferent) with conservative hip-hop if it was done WELL! I mean, I ain't got a problem ridin' with my top down, listenin' to Jesus Muzik:

And on the other side, I'll admittedly get tired of preachy liberal hip-hop. But even though they also tend to sacrifice form for content, I can't think off-the-top-of-my-head of a leftist rapper that is just sooooo bad at rapping like The Young Cons.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Skratch Bastid - June 13 at Revival

I saw this dude open for Thunderheist a month or so ago, and thought The Phoenix was significantly lacking in bass that night, they had some pretty decent camera projections up so you could see exactly what he was doing.

It made me think: If one was unfamiliar with turntablism, and was just listening to it, it may seem unimpressive. One might say, "they're just repeating the same thing, and it's not even really on beat!" But if you can see it, or at least know what looping with turntables entails, it's pretty amazing.

Skratch Bastid is playing a special show at Revival on Saturday June 13.

video produced by NuFunk

Friday, May 29, 2009

Wale in Toronto vs Wale in Baltimore

So a little over a month ago I got to see Wale & UCB Go-Go Band play in Toronto. Mainly I wanted to go support since we were born in the same area (Montgomery County, Maryland). I'll admit I hadn't really followed the dude's hype, and I'll also admit that I never heard go-go until a Lil Jon / DJ Flexx collabo on Crunk Juice that I actually mistook for Bhangra influence at first. Anyway, the show was great, rather mindblowing actually. But I was not happy with Toronto's reception at all, so when I was back home on the Eastern Shore of Maryland for Memorial Day weekend, and saw he was playing in Baltimore...

Here's a point-by-point comparison of those two concerts:

Toronto: The Mod Club, capacity 600
Baltimore: Sonar (Club Room), capacity 300
I thought Sonar's location was pretty cool (a rather run-down looking area underneath a bunch of overpasses) and the inside was a lot more intimate. However, that also made it harder to get a good view  of the stage, and The Mod Club had better sound.

Toronto: Colin Munroe, DJ Mensa
Baltimore: Greenspan, Get 'Em Mamis with DJ Booman, Big Sean
Probably since it was a Sunday show, Toronto didn't get to have a ton of openers. Now I know everbody loves Colin Munroe and I'll agree that he looked like he was good at what he was doing on stage, I just personally wasn't excited to hear it, and went to get some food instead. DJ Mensa played a good set (as always) from what I can remember, but it was weird cuz I think he was tucked in that corner DJ booth or maybe somewhere else where you couldn't even see him.
Baltimore definitely had the better opening set, with locals Greenspan, G.E.M. and Booman. There was one dude wearing Underarmor that I heard hatin on the Get 'Em Mamis, but forget him. The other act, Big Sean, also performed really well considering they couldn't get the music working for most of his set - he ended up giving a mic to someone in the crowd to beatbox, and almost got random audience members to come up and play UCB's instruments until someone backstage brought out a laptop that worked.
WINNER: Baltimore

Toronto: seeing if Drake was around
Baltimore: fielding song requests
WINNER: Draw, just cuz I dunno if anybody wins with Twitter...

This is what really made the difference. Toronto's crowd, which was about 80% white hipsters, had just a very strange way about them. I mean, it seemed like they were enjoying it, I guess. There was a good amount of applause and cheering in between songs, but during... Most everyone was just standing with their arms folded and watching. Maybe this is just me but if that's how you wanna go to a show, man just buy a DVD of the concert. Tell me how there's a go-go band up there, a band that specializes in playing one of the most inherently danceable forms of music, and there are what, six people in all of The Mod Club even noddin' their heads? There was a small group of a few people that were into it though, so props to them. But out of everybody else, the most reaction he got out of them was when he covered Justice, which I don't even think that was the best song he played by far. Not that this strange spectatorish crowd appeared to phase Wale or UCB that much - they still put on a great show, albeit making a "blunt, encore-less exit" as Exclaim put it. For a more full review though, checkout The Gunsmoke Mafia.
The Baltimore demographic was completely different, with whitey only making up like 20% of the room, and most of them fitting the stereotype of "college kid" rather than "hipster." Not that that's much better, I mean there were a couple people that were embarassingly was kind of a problem. It was clear that the room was full of real Wale fans though, being within 50 miles of his hometown and all. There was even a point where the band took a break and the whole front row just sang one of his songs in its entirety. It was definitely a friendlier atmosphere, with a lot more conversation, and they played for at least an hour and half.
WINNER: Baltimore
Main Difference: Toronto had to be told when to put it's hands up; Baltimore knew.