Saturday, July 01, 2006

the shuffle. [7/1/06]

Bad Intentions. Some real bad intentions.

So is life though, no? Welcome one and all to another installment of the shuffle. If one of you readers knows how to cure my PC of DVD drive problems, I'd be forever indebt to you... scream at me.

Been one busy ass week! June just flew by but I think I got a good chunk of junk done... heard some good tunes, and now it's on to this ridiculous July 4th weekend... even though the 4th is on a Tuesday, and I have to crawl into work on Monday... oh joy!

01/It must be hot being rich. Well, maybe not... Warren Buffett is planning on giving his billions away. So maybe it's not great being rich, but it's great to have a philantropist foundation like Bill Gates does. That dude could save Africa with the amount of loot he has! He won't, but it's nice to think he would.

02/It's definitely NOT hot being a Backstreet Boy, apparently. You either become a drunk, put out a Christian album, or you quit. Kevin Richardson quit. I thought I cared, but then I realized that I couldn't tell you any of their names. I'm just ignorant like that. Does anyone even care about "BSB" anymore? Didn't think so...

03/Good to know that the criminal record of the Bad Boy labelmates is still going strong. Babs of "Da Band" fame(?) got arrested earlier this week on some "lemme whup that trick who talked shit at the club" bullshit. Maybe she will actually release some music in the future... nah.

04/As if Bow Wow's head wasn't already ballooning on the strength of his garbage music, this conceited prick is contemplating a fucking EARLY RETIREMENT... whaaa?!?! Slow down there, young buck. You might have been in the game since you were in pampers, but let's be serious. You're money can't be that long...

05/The Residents plan on releasing blank CDs. Seriously.

06/Word on the street is Beck has a new 'Hip-Hop'-centric album forthcoming... this article was cool, made me feel good... but then I heard this dude is a fucking Scientologist, and I felt sick...

07/Who the hell is Gillie Da Kid? The first time I heard of him was when he got bucked in Philly... now he's saying he wrote Lil' Wayne's old rhymes? Wayne is lucky, then... his new shit is WAY PAST that old ish.

08/Funny how Rush Limbaugh got off for those old drug possession charges... and now got picked up for illegally obtaining Viagara.

09/How does Dallas Austin not have a weed carrier? And he's WAY out of town to be carrying his own blow... who even knew he was a head like that?!?!

10/I thought I had heard it all, but no... wait until you get hit with the PIMP TAX!

11/DJ Quik fucked up, and now is going to be locked down for 5 months... it's his own fault, though. His dumb ass wouldn't have been in this situation if he got back to me about that interview for The Flow.

12/Gotta love the NBA... the draft went down without a hitch this week, and they got a new ball. Oh joy.

13/Ludacris' 5th (and final?) album for Def Jam is set for a fall date. With "War With God" out there masterfully dissing someone (T.I.?), it looks like it's going to be a hot one. Do you guys think Def Jam will get rid of Luda? Also on the horizon is DJ Shadow's The Outsider, which should be touching down soon. Is this album too sharp of a turn for the beat-mastermind? Beanie Sigel is also hard at work in the studio on his next LP, which won't be out until early 2007 (hopefully). I wonder why he came with that "Teddy Pendergrass of Hip-Hop" thing, though... Finally, Jamie Kennedy finally got a deal for an album... and a fucking label!? What is that all about? Thing is, now there is no reason at all to watch "Blowin' Up". Which may or may not be a good thing.

14/Lil' Kim is set to be released from prison on Monday, July 3rd. All I can hope is that she keeps it on the same lyrical content of her last LP, and she doesn't go back to that Bella Mafia bullshit. Please, Kim.

15/What's up with idiot weed heads this week? Two guys get caught in the drive thru puffing the largest L seen by these cops at a KFC... and this other sick fuck got caught digging up graves to make, get this, a bong with someone's skull.

16/Finally, if you regularly check my blog, you know of my disgust for the Black Eyed Peas' will.i.am. This nugget got me cracking up when I heard it... BEP got in the middle of some bar brawl over in Germany, and will is now under investigation for his role?!?! I hope he got stomped on.

Am I mean? Well, when it comes to will.i.am, I can be...

enjoy your weekend, people. 1.

Friday, June 30, 2006

Friday, June 30th 2006 playlist


It's been an ill week. And I have to deal with fucked up DVD drives... or a PC that's hating on the drives. No picnic. I did accumulate some ill mixes though: DJ J Period's Cornerstone Mixtape #84. DJ Eleven's Summer Madness mix (more info on DJ Eleven's mixes here). Affray's "Inception Mix" for the Summer of '06. Check out the Chocolate Swim EP for free as well. Probably some more but I can't think of them. Been on some ill ish this week, thanks to Spine Magazine and Dubalty.

01/Dubalty ft. MC Fever "Big Time Dappa" [zombie]
02/Agent Alvin "On The Run" [g2]
03/Ludacris "War With God" [promo]
04/Visioneers "The World Is Yours" [bbe?]
05/J Dilla ft. Common & D'Angelo "So Far To Go" [stones throw]
06/Alpha Omega "Mind Aura" [thermal]
07/Pack FM "Clik, Clak & Spray" [getting up ost]
08/Visionary "Jungle Rock" [digital soundboy]
09/Gremlinz "The Thorn" [renegade hardware]
10/Liquid Liquid "Cavern" [getting up ost]

That's how we do. Have a safe weekend...

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

[rock the dub Interview]: DJ Motive

With a genre as worldwide as DnB, it's always a great thing when a dynamic new producer starts to show signs of creativity, as well as injecting a different feel and aesthetic to a scene that can breed stagnant releases. With a handful of releases to his credit, DJ Motive is one of those artists that truly tries to strike out on his own, and has been getting tracks out on dsci4, Dispatch, Soundtrax, and has his future shining bright ahead of him. khal got a chance to prod Motive with questions, and Motive, with his dry humor and honest attitude, stands firm and drops some nuggets of knowledge...

khal: Your track record in DnB is kind of short, but very impressive. How did you get into DnB production?

DJ Motive: Short but impressive - sounds like I'm a wrestler. I got into production thru the usual channels really, I've been DJing since about '97, but there comes a point for many DJs where you can't find the exact sound you're after. So you have to try and do it yourself.

khal: Australia wasn’t initially known as a spot where ill DnB was coming from, but as of late, guys like yourself, Pendulum, Shock-One, BaD RoBoT, Greg Packer and others have really started to make noise. Do you guys get together at all?

DJ Motive: I know Pendulum and Greg Packer - but all the artists you've mentioned are from Perth - the world's most remote city - so it's a fair way from my city (Melbourne). About 5 hours via plane, or about 4 days by train.We usually try 'n get together for a drink if they are in town, which is a few times a year, but we've never tried to make a tune together.

khal: Would you say there is a certain “sound” that Australia brings to the DnB scene as a whole?

DJ Motive: From an international point of view, it's pretty heavily slanted towards the Perth sound, the hyper rave sound of Pendulum, Shock-One, BaD RoBoT. On the east coast there's more of the dubwise thing, which I guess people will put me, Ritual, and Vice Versa in to that category - but we don't sell any records so no-one has heard of us.

khal: Who are some of your major influences production wise, and why?

DJ Motive: Ummm.... good question, I've answered this one a few times and I'm pretty sure my answer changes all the time. But I'd say that my influences are Jonny L, Seiji, Switch / Solid Groove, Timbaland, old school jungle especially the '96-'99 era of Moving Shadow and Metalheadz, some reggae & dub - in particular I'm really into some of Sly & Robbie's stuff, some of King Tubby's mixes, some dubstep like Toasty. Optical, Photek, Dom, Jonny L, and Boymerang stuff from '96-'99. To me, all the above have kind of got similarities in their use of bass, beat & sample that I really like - I like good production, I like fuzzy bass, spacious beats and kick-heavy production, a touch of melody (but not too much).

khal: For the production heads out there, can you break down what kind of studio setup you have?

DJ Motive: Yeh I've got a really cool set-up these days that I love working on. It's actually really cheap, entry-level sort of stuff. At the heart is an iMac G5 running Ableton Live 5.2 and Logic Express. I don't really use Logic that much tho, it's all about Ableton Live which I've been using for about a year or so. I don't really run very many plug-ins, TCNative bundle does most of it, ummm what else, Ohmboyz Delay is essential. An M-Audio Firewire card is connected to the G5, running to a Soundcraft Compact 4 mixer, and out from that are the Tapco S8 monitors. On the outboard I've got the Electrix Filter Factory analog filter, the Electrix Mo-Fx rack, which is a flange, tremolo, delay unit with overdrive, and a Focusrite Focus EQ (courtesy DJ Trace). You need some outboard, otherwise you'll have no flashing LEDs to look at, no knobs to twiddle, and that's no fun.


khal: How do you work? Are you just vibing off of instinct in the studio or do you go with a certain sound or plan you want to flesh out?

DJ Motive: hmmmm.... how do I work. Lemme see, well, one thing I do is I pre-produce all my beats. I might just do a whole day of doing beats. I master each beat so that it's sounding as loud and clear as possible.Then when I've got an idea for a tune, I just go in and choose which beat is best. I don't cut or Recycle my beats, I do them in audio not midi. I usually get an idea from hearing tunes, usually old school ones, so sometimes I'll do a DJ mix for a while and eventually, something will come to me. Like maybe I'll hear a bassline from someone's tune, and I'll try and write an answer or counterpoint to it, so if I had it in the mix it would complete the phrase, does that make sense??

khal: Definitely. From hearing tracks like that dsci4 12" from 2006 to your releases on Soundtrax, as well as the smashing "Domino" on Dispatch, you exhibit a few different styles of DnB, from the more mellow side to full on dancefloor destruction. For a genre where there are tons of styles and loads of producers who stick to one style, why do you choose to flex different sounds and types of DnB?

DJ Motive: Yeah I actually don't understand how people can write their own niche style in such a niche genre like DnB. To tell the truth, it's probably because I haven't actually found exactly what I want to do or sound like. "Domino" is probably my favourite so far, I felt like I came up with something there that was mine. But generally, say if I do an amen tune or a liquid tune, I won't go back the next week and write another one just like it, even though it seems that's what the industry wants you to do. I listen to a lot of different music, I write different types of music, I DJ different types of music.

khal: From checking your MySpace page, there’s audio up for a Remix for a Big Bud tune that you did. You also Remixed a DJ Trace track for dsci4. How does this work; do the labels come to you, or do you create these remixes and then submit them to the labels? What are you looking to do when you Remix a track --- update it or recreate it?

DJ Motive: I really like doing remixes, one of my favourite things to do. Labels haven't come to me yet, I'm trying to make a name for myself as a remixer, so in the case of "Final Chapter" I asked Trace if I could do a remix. I've also done a remix of "Babylon Boy" on Shout Records - and I approached them and asked to do a remix. With the Big Bud "Children Of Jah" track, it was more that Big Bud wanted me to do one. I took a risk with that one, and turned it from a mellow, strolling reggae flavoured tune into a heavy amen & old school reese tune. An old school Dom & Roland influence on that tune. I was a bit nervous about Bud's reaction but he loves it. When I remix a track I just look at what the original track is, if it's a deeper track, I'll try and do a dancefloor thing. If it's already a dancefloor thing, I'll try and do a deeper thing. There's just no point to a remix if it sounds like the original.

khal: I also saw that you were recently in the US playing a few dates. What do you think is different about spinning for crowds in different countries? Would you play the same set for a crowd in Australia that you’d play in the US? Why or why not?

DJ Motive: Well I wouldn't change what I'd take, but I do notice that certain things go down better in some places than others, so if the crowd was to react one way then I'd keep going down that route. I think it's to do with what the local DJs have been pushing for the years prior. So it pretty much seems to change from city to city. I know that in Australia each city is different. Perth wants the most up front anthems, Adelaide love epic tech tracks, Sydney gets into the liquid and dubwise.

khal: What’s forthcoming from you? I know you have a few things done that are awaiting release… does that wait make you want to start your own imprint up?

DJ Motive: No, definitely not starting my own imprint up. You've got to be really keen on lots of hard work and very little reward if you want to start your own label. Yeh I've got some tunes that have been with labels for 2 years with no release, it's frustrating but it's just the way it is. As for forthcoming, I've got my remix of Big Bud's "Children Of Jah" coming out on Soundtrax, a 12" on Blindside called "Give Your Heart" with "After Hours" on the flip, and a remix of "Babylon Boy" on Shout Records.

khal: There was a thread on DOA that delved into the idea of there not being enough fans in DnB; basically, that everyone wants to be “down”, andt here are no pure fans out there, seemingly. Do you feel this is the case?

DJ Motive: Ok, good question. Ummmm... yeah sometimes you go to a party and everyone is a DJ, everyone is a producer, everyone is a promoter - no one is actually paying to get in and just enjoy it. But I've met some fans, and to be honest they're a bit scary, who are so into it - but they really care about the music. They're good to meet cos they remind me that people care and are listening. Nice people to visit but you wouldn't want to live there.

khal: Is this part of the reason why the scene as we know it today seems to be slumping sales wise, and arguably production wise?

DJ Motive: There really aren't many sales of DnB, but it's kind of caught in a difficult position. The art of making "listening" DnB has long since died. And the dancefloor stuff these days, who's really going to buy it and listen to it - it's not really available in a convenient format for people to buy. DnB producers are in a difficult position. Basically the only money in DnB is from DJing. After getting a decent reputation on vinyl, a DJ can earn in a weekend what you would earn from releasing 12" -that is if the label paid you - and it usually takes a year to get paid after release. Given that it usually takes about 8-12 months for a record to come out, you won't see any money for almost 2 years. So producers are writing disposable dancefloor music which gets them a reputation and gets them gigs, but alienates people who were there since the start and love the sound, the people that used to buy the music. I think that's one of the reasons why we've seen the music go the way it has. And why artistic producers have migrated to other genres.

khal: I also know you’ve put a few mixes up online, showcasing your turntable skills. Do you have anything on that front coming soon?

DJ Motive: Well I have my radio show on straightup.com.au - I've missed my show since I've been in UK & US, but all my previous shows are archived. And there's lots of my own unreleased tracks in those sets. As for a proper online mix, it's been a while since I did the Saviour Mixtape last year, I'm in the middle of sorting a mix at the moment.

khal: Can you hit us off with a current top 10 of yours?

DJ Motive: Cambridge 4 - When Pilots Eject - Hospital
Tactile - Aldabra (Commix remix) - Dispatch
Jonny L - This Is Hardcore - Mr.L Recordings
Solid Groove & Sinden - Overbooked - Atlantic Jaxx
Motive - Stop Playing Games - unsigned
Concord Dawn - Man For All Seasons - Uprising
Bungle - Human Poison - Critical
Shapeshifter - Bring Change - TrueTone
Motive - Screw Top - unsigned
Roni Size & Die - It's A Jazz Thing remix - V

khal: If you have a day off of DJing or producing or just any type of DnB related work, what would you be doing?

DJ Motive: I'm a graphic designer by day, most days that's what I'll be doing. I try to travel when I can. I like watching football, or playing it via FIFA06. Now that I think about it I really don't know what I do in my spare time. Big up The Least Jiggy One...

Shouts to Motive for letting me pick his brain. If you want to check out more of his music, hit up his MySpace page. Peep this link for a list of his releases. There are also mp3 links to his Sound Trax releases here. "Babylon Boy" Remix, eh? Sounds sick! Big up ya chest, Motive!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Jay-Z "44 Four's"

As you guys may have known, Jay-Z performed his 10 year Anniversary show for Reasonable Doubt (AKA his baby) up in NYC at Radio City Music Hall this past Sunday. Reports say: Jay killed it (both nights, arguably). There are links to lots of photos, cracks on (big) Sauce Money, and even talk of how he switched up from doing "22 Two's" to this new joint, "44 Four's". Spine Magazine hooked up the mp3 of this, and here's the video, courtesy of the good folks at YouTube:

Monday, June 26, 2006

Marc Ecko's Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure [review]

If you know me, you know I get infatuated with a video game for a bit and then just turn it off, for whatever reason. Most games I can just put down and leave for a while. This game, Marc Ecko's Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure, is just not that game. If you are into Graf, you will be into this game. If you are into loads of action and free roaming environments, you will be into this game. If you are into Hip-Hop's 4 (5?) elements, you will be into this game. It's not for the casual gamer, but it can be. It definitely got me moving, and I'll let you know why...

In this game, you play the character Trane (voiced by Talib Kweli), a graf writer who has gotten a bit too deep into the scene. He lives in a city called New Radius (which seems to be modeled after NYC), a place where not only is graf a CRIME, but you will get stomped the kcuf out for even being SEEN with fat caps. You get drawn into the lovely intro, showing Trane today, ducking the CCK (the crew that patrols New Radius), speaking about the good ol' days. This game works just like a movie, with Trane narrating certain pieces. You get dropped at the beginning of his ascension, as a "toy", or a writer with no real recognition. You encounter the Vandals of New Radius, a crew headed up by some cat named Gabe (voiced by legendary MC Serch), who does not take to "toys" painting over his pieces. Once they embarass Trane, he goes loco and makes it his mission to get back at THEM! Along the way he forms a crew (SFC - Still Free Crew), and makes a serious name for himself, meeting tons of legends -- T-Kid, Cope2, Smith, the dude who did the "OBEY" pieces, Futura, SEEN... the list goes on and on. You pick up different abilities and techniques that help you further your progress. You go on a journey, hitting "heaven spots" (aka spots that are really hard to find, usually way up on buildings and train tracks)... it's a dreamer's true dream. I've been into graf ever since I was little, and always wanted to do what they did, but alas, my lettering sucked, even though I have a hot lil tag name. This game makes it possible for me to live out my dream...

The action in this game is fast and can be furious. You can tag with spray paint, markers, and later on, stencils and big wheat paste pieces. The game is good with letting you know where you can throw up pieces and murals, how big you can do them (the bigger, the more REP you attain), and other things. The controls are easy to pick up -- all you need is one level of practicing how to put up a tag and you will be a pro. The fighting engine is good to, with you being able to pick up different combos and "insult" moves to use on the various cats who will try and cramp your style. And the graphics? INSANE! Did you hear me? INSANE! There are spots where you get caught on camera and the whole screen morphs to what it would look like on a security cam monitor... nice, nice. The majority of the environments are free to move, and you can climb gates, ladders, walk on edges, dangle off of things, jump off walls... and all to attain certain missions objectives. The gameplay can be frustrating sometimes, but you will pick up on what you need to do relatively quickly. Once you hit a check point, you can go back to it if you make a mistake and die on a level. If you have common sense, you can get a grasp for what you need to do, which makes diving into the game very easy.

One of the strongest points in this game is the attention to detail. The click/clack of the spray can, the sounds of the slums and alley ways, right on to the music used in each scene. At times when you are running away from the law, you get a nice rock-influenced track on there... other times, you are in murky underground lairs, and the right, moody tune just accents the feel so perfectly. With heavy hitters on the voice work (which includes Charlie Murphy, Diddy, Brittany Murphy, The RZA, and others), as well as the different musical talents on the soundtrack (from Nina Simone to Pack FM to Talib Kweli and Rakim to Jane's Addiction to Mobb Deep, as well as tons of beats and original tracks from RJD2), you are treated to great aural pleasures to ride longside the beautiful visual experience. This game was obviously created to be a sort of mini-movie, and each piece makes the whole package and concept gel.

All in all, if my words don't inspire you to go out and check this game, this will: Amazon has it for $20 for the PS2. You can pay more, and you will get a package that includes tons of goodies, but it's not too necessary -- all I would really want is the Soundtrack, and well, I have no problem getting that (wink). Lovers of action and graf; Hip-Hop and good stories; art and passion... you all will find something to latch onto in this game. You don't believe me? Ask Gamespot.

rock the dub gives this game a 9.5 for attention to detail, overall gameplay, and the entrancing story.

Want more info on this game? Check out the official website. And for more graf-specific sites, check out Bomb The World, Art Crimes, Style Wars and Graffiti Warz.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Sunday YouTube Madness: Black Comedy

I say "Black" because I am a big fan of Black comics. I've watched everything from Robin Williams to Rosie O'Donnell (remember the old VH1 show she hosted?)... I'm a big fan of George Carlin and Dane Cook and a lot of other White comedians... but Black comedy is my shit. Pryor, Eddie, Chappelle, Rock... list goes on. So, let's check some hilarious stand-up from some of my favorite Black comics...

#1: Dave Chappelle on Def Comedy Jam (peep Martin's lil chuckle)...






#2: One of Bernie Mac's FUNNIEST sets ever. "I Ain't Scared Of You Muthafuckas", courtesy of Def Comedy Jam...





#3: Chris Rock's "Niggas Vs. Black People".. being Black, this shit is the TRUTH!




#4: Not much D.L. Hughley on YouTube (my boy D Habs thinks that his TV show killed his rep -- convincing argument); he is funny no matter what. Peep game...




#5: Richard Pryor vs. Chevy Chase on SNL... classic.