Archive for 04/01/2016 - 05/01/2016

Submerged and Bill Laswell Are Back With 'After Such Knowledge, What Forgiveness?'

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Ever since I was a kid, I've been searching for the perfect beat. That journey brought me to the sounds of Bill Laswell, who is one of the most captivating musicians I've ever heard of. He's a bass player and producer who's never been afraid to experiment in sound, with his sounds being heard everywhere from Herbie Hancock's Future Shock album to remixing Bob Marley and Miles Davis to his bands like Praxis and Methods of Defiance, the latter of which surprised me.

Coming into the drum & bass scene, especially stateside, you get to know guys like Submerged, a producer and label head of Ohm Resistance. Methods of Defiance is a project that Laswell and Submerged linked up for a couple of times over the last decade (including 2007's all-star dnb excursion titled INAMORATA), and today, their new release, After Such Knowledge, What Forgiveness?, is out today.

As you'll hear in the clips below, these two linked up for some forward-thinking, dirty future takes on everything from drum & bass to dubstep, bridging the gap for heads who might want more leftfield progression in their electronic journeys. These two don't get shook when approaching a "boundar"; they just walk around or barrel through them.

Word from Submerged is that the vinyl release of this project is due out on June 10th; you can grab the digital version via Ohm Resistance today, and pre-order the 2xLP edition as well from Bandcamp as well. Happy digging!

Donwill ft. Che Grand - "GOT"

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Dope little ditty from Donwill featuring his Lessondary compadre Che Grand. I saw a tweet recently saying that the Lessondary album will FINALLY be happening. Joints like this have me open as hell, and making me wish I had that shit right now.

Artwork Hosted a Magnificent "100% Prince Tribute Show"

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I won't front: I got kind of pissed that I received a 90-minute Prince tribute in my inbox about two hours after the announcement of his passing. Part of that was just me not being able to fully process his loss (I still can't really put it into words, although many people who are better equipped have done amazing jobs).

Last week, Artwork decided to take the full two-hours of his Rinse FM show to pay tribute to Prince. I think I'm ready to process this, especially since he doesn't do the cookie-cutter "hits" set. This delves heavily into his funkier, earlier side. Staples like "Erotic City" and "I Feel For You" are included, but a lot of this is just straight-up funk jams. Oh, and it kicks off with "Money Don't Matter 2 Night," which has been stuck in my head since Prince died. Damn.

Kemba Says 'Farewell' to YC The Cynic With New Mixtape

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Recently, YC The Cynic became no more. The newly-christened Kemba recently broke down why he was no longer using the "YC The Cynic" moniker, and has dropped The Farewell Tape, a DJ Charlie Hustle-mixed compilation of YC tracks with some of your favorite MCs, including Homeboy Sandman, King Mez, Soul Khan, Silent Knight, and many, many more.

Word is that he's been working on a new project with Frank Drake that he's "almost ready to start releasing." Keep your eyes on that, but jam the FUCK out to this in remembrance of the god that was before he blossoms into the man he's become.

Hucci & Gravez Link Up to "Bless" Us

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We don't have a lot of religion around here, but we have beats. Hucci and Gravez got together for this gem, and we noticed it on the holiest day of the week. Stay blessed.

Soul of the Message 2016 Graffiti Jam Live Blog

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Once again, it's ON! Live at the Orchid House in Trenton, NJ (which is at 134 E. Hanover Street) is the 2016 Soul of the Message show, which this year features a dope Graffiti Jam with food, good people, and a bunch of music (both with DJs Jay Kountree and ItsJustAhmad) and a grip live performances, a HUGE surprise, and much, much more. It's a $10 entrance, and BYOB, so act like you know.

I'm on the premises and will be attempting to maintain a live blog (jacking free WiFi out here is a mother), as well as keeping photos posted via the RTD Facebook page. Keep it locked!

Prince - "17 Days (DJ Michael Watts Remix)"

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Prince's death has hit me some type of way. I'm not really trying to write about it at length, nor do I feel like I should. My love for the music he's made started out as a personal thing, primarily because people loved Michael Jackson more, and I knew Prince was iller. I just knew it, so I just kept my tapes and CDs to self. It made sense; always felt like Prince was more of an introspective guy, even if he was trying to fuck the club up with tracks like "Erotic City."

So instead of going ham on what Prince really means to me, I'll just blast Michael Watts' chopped & screwed "17 Days," which was a "When Doves Cry" flipside. RIP.

He hasn't stopped there, though...

YC The Cynic is No Longer YC The Cynic

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If you've been rocking with us for the past five-plus years, you've definitely seen some material from YC The Cynic. He gained even more followers with GNK, his debut project that dropped back in 2013, and he's had me mark on him because he would never reveal what the "YC" stood for (I always called him YellowCake, because obviously). Either way, he's a good dude who's made a big change in the next phase of his career.

Recently, the homey took to Facebook to announce that he's no longer YC The Cynic:

I was 12 years old when I got the name YC. I grew up with it, made mistakes, and starting making a name as a teenager. The further I got into adulthood, the more I felt suffocated by it. This change will allow me to be the artist I’m becoming, unapologetically. I’ve learned a lot about the industry since the release of my last album. Thanks for showing me love throughout the first chapter of my career. Hopefully you continue to rock with me. – Kemba (formerly known as YC The Cynic)

His first release as Kemba is "Pretty Bodies," an intriguing cut featuring Mr. MFN eXquire that's taken from The Farewell Tape, which should be out later this week. Word from WatchLOUD is that it features unreleased material with the likes of King Mez, Homeboy Sandman, Mick Jenkins, Rapper Big Pooh, Milo, and more. Stream "Pretty Bodies" below.

Start Your Week Off Right With Some 'Twisted Garage' From Spooky

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The homey Spooky dropped a four-track of UK garage flips for whatever price you want to play. Do NOT play yourself.

RTD Playlist (4/10/2016)

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No excuses; I totally missed last week's playlist. With RTD turning 10 and me dropping a bunch of features for the day job, it just escaped me. All good, though, as this week's collection is larger, with new material from DJ Rashad & DJ Manny, Commodo, KRNE, 24hrs, and many, many more, including Armanni Reign's anti-Trump cut "Anyone."

Turn up.

DJ Rashad & DJ Manny - "Roll A Tree"

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When I really got into the Chicago-bred sound known as footwork, it was via DJ Manny's "All I Do (Is Smoke Trees)," which isn't a groundbreaking sentiment OR track, but the feeling within that somber, hypnotic repetition of a Lil Wayne line over the hyper track had me open. It's been that leftfield combination of hip-hop and electronic music around 160BPM that's had me hooked, and the TEKLIFE collective (of which Manny has been a part of and was blown up by the late DJ Rashad) does it best.

Out now is Afterlife, an official, posthumous release from DJ Rashad featuring a cavalcade of TEKLIFE affiliates collaborating with the prolific producer. The entire project is a footwork lover's wet dream, but there's something about the last track, "Roll A Tree," that brings not only that compilation back home, but brings my appreciation for the sound full circle. First off, it's built around Jill Scott's "A Long Walk," a song that for many was their first introduction to the Philly singer. Instead of doing a full-on remix, they just Manny and Rashad focus on the most TEK-related bit, where she suggests that her and her boo "roll a tree."

Again, there's no ground-breaking aspect about this cut. It's foreplay for beatfreaks; a couple of lines, looped over a funky, 808-booming beat, building up to the climactic "MAYBE WE CAN ROLL A TREE!" That's pretty much it, but instead of trying to dazzle heads with technical prowess or insane studio tricks, these two seem to have crafted a gem off feeling alone. It's a tried and true "TEKLIFE special," and has been on repeat since I discovered it.

DJ Green Lantern Released a Remastered Version of His 'Alive On Arrival' Mixtape

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Just the other day we celebrated 10 years of rockthedub, and color my surprise when I hop on Twitter and see that DJ Green Lantern remastered the very first project that was ever written about on rockthedub! That's right, Alive On Arrival turns 10 this year, and it's available in a dope remastered edition. The 35-track mixtape is now available in one MP3 (which is fire for my commute), and sounds better than ever.

You need to rock that "License to Kill (Remix II)," Remy Martin's "Bronx Blocks," T.I.'s "Get Ya Pay," and JR Writer on the mental "The Click." This is one proper banger for your Saturday night fuckery. You can stream and download the remastered tape below, or via Audiomack. Let's celebrate!