Archive for 05/01/2017 - 06/01/2017

DJ Craze Murdered Respect LA

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Back in 1999, I knew of DJ Craze because he was a murderous turntablist, owning any turntable competition he brought his crates to. Somehow, he got bit by the drum & bass bug, and on his debut album Crazee Musick, he had a track—"Mogli"—that found him recreating a thumping jungle track using nothing but vinyl and his turntable. After that, he went on a dnb tear, dropping mixes, incorporating drum & bass sounds into his turntablism sets, and all-around being a G with it.

I remember the dubplate politics souring him on the genre, but he's been a fan, and recently, he took a trip to Los Angeles where he tore down Respect LA with a thunderous mix of drum & bass anthems new and old, as well as some BEATS, that got committed to tape. You can stream this gem (which features Armanni Reign on the mic) below. Enjoy your holiday weekend.

Trackstar the DJ's Solid Steel Mix Features His "Rare Appetite In Rap"

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Those of you who've been rocking with us for the longest should be up on Trackstar the DJ. He's gone from an internets phenom to being named the official tour DJ for Run the Jewels, including being the DJ behind the WRTJ shows on Apple Music.

This week, he contributed one awesome hour-long mix for Solid Steel, and it's amazing. No, seriously, it's the truth, but let him tell it, he had a totally different idea for the mix.

"Originally I had other plans for a more conceptual mix," he starts, "but as I was telling The Gaslamp Killer about my ideas on our tour date in Belgium, he told me not to bother with any of them and instead do a mix displaying what he called "My Rare Appetite In Rap". I trust The Gaslamp Killer (as you should, too), so I immediately switched gears and started putting together a playlist of songs from the last half-decade or so that I love that many rap fans may have missed. It features some names you'll recognize as well as some that you may not… Hopefully you enjoy these tunes as much as I do, and maybe pick up a new favorite artist or two."

Featured artists include Killer Mike, Rockwell Knuckles, A$AP Twelvyy, Tef Poe, Vince Staples, and more. Stream and download the full mix, and check out the full tracklist down below.


Commix On Dubplate Culture and Drum & Bass' Unpredictability

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commix

I've been a fan of the drum & bass scene for over two decades now, and no matter what new producers come along, I will always have a group of names who's released are "buy on sight" to me. You know, the producers who's tunes you always have to check for, and nine times out of 10 end up loving. Commix has been one of those names, for me, since the early 2000s.

While I don't remember the first tune I'd heard from Commix, I do remember being blown away by the then-Cambridge-based trio's "Satellite Song," as well as cuts like "Together" and "Talk to Frank." Their sound design was second-to-none (IMHO), but it was the energy that resided in their tunes that really captivated me. I was hooked, and not surprised when they became the first group to have an artist album on Goldie's legendary Metalheadz imprint, releasing their impeccable Call to Mind in 2007.

After some changes in both the group's dynamic and the different phases within the dnb scene, Commix is now just one man: George Levings. Since his return in 2016 with two Generation EPs, he's been working on the follow-up to Call to Mind, which is set to drop on Metalheadz as well. Before we get that, Dispatch Recordings snagged three Commix dubs (four if you count the digital-only exclusive "White Trash") for the sixth release in their Dispatch Dubplate series, which is out now.

We got a chance to speak with George about the tunes featured on this release, his thoughts on dubplate culture within the drum & bass scene, as well as how his sound evolved from what people loved in the early 2000s to now. He also gives us some thoughts on the direction he's heading with his next LP. Check out the full interview down below.

Here's How Maffew Ragazino Celebrated Cinco de Mayo

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While I don't really get into insane Cinco de Mayo celebrations, I normally do have a few things to drink on a Friday night. Somehow, my alcoholic intake was down to zero on a Friday that doubled as the 5th of May, but if I was sipping on some adult beverages, I would've had Maffew Ragazino's Cinco de Maffew on. It's pretty damn dope; the ground hasn't been broken 'round here, but both Maff and his boy Easalio coast over these bottom-heavy bangers. Stream the full project below.