Unemployed TV is the best thing out there. It's the shows you miss when you are working that really get you going -- part of the reason my wife and I live by our DVRs. The one show we have always taped over the last 4+ years of our relationship is Maury. And with one amazing discovery that has been tested and tried, the makers of NiggaMath© now bring to you...


Now, this primarily applies to the use of percentages to predict the future, mainly to determine paternity. It breaks down something like this:

You ever notice how when someone says that they are more than 100% of anything (not the father, are the father, faithful, etc.), it is usually the direct opposite? While Keisha might feel she is "275%" sure that Quameek is the father, 9 times out of 10 Quameek is definitely NOT the father, in fact neither is his cousin Shookwan or his father, Dee-Dock. And on the flipside, if Quameek were to feel that he was, oh, say "117.5%" sure he was not cheating on Keisha, chances are he not only cheated on her, but he did it about 200 times with 57 different women. I ask all of you to watch out for these instances -- if someone is more than 100% sure, they ain't so sure.

Now, there is a flipside to this: the super exaggarated assured-ness. Let's say Keisha was "2 billion % sure" that Quameek fathered both Rasheed AND lil Taquayla -- that throws all rules out, and it's a very good idea to bet the farm on Quameek being the father to both of those kids. It's just how it goes: when a female is THAT sure, it's definitely law. Quameek, though, is never that sure. That's how he got into this mess.

So be on the lookout for MauryMath©, and try to incorporate it into your everyday life.
Read More

Funky Drummin'

Ain't it funky, indeed.

No, this is not a post devoted to all of the tracks that have used the "Funky Drummer" breakbeat; Edan already did that in audio form.

This is just my love letter to the Funky Drummer.

Now when I was a shorty, back when Columbia rain suits and Cross Colours outfits were the rage, I copped a few tapes for the Walkman: Public Enemy's It Takes A Nation... was one of them, as well as this compilation of James Brown's, In The Jungle Groove. It has some great tracks on there, but it was always "Funky Drummer" that captivated me. I mean come on, 9+ minutes of funk and more funk. James going off about honky-tonk women and feeling it in his feet. I was dumbstruck, mainly because most of the music out there were Rappers trying to fit so many words into 16 bars, where here you have James doing a 1/4 of that in lyrics, and devoting the majority of the track to his musician(s).

And you cannot deny that James, way back in the late 60s/early 70s, predicted sample culture. He tells his whole band in the middle of the track, we gonna "turn over"... it's time to give the drummer some. Not to solo or anything, but just keep doing what he's doing, while the rest of the band cuts out and let's him go to work. I mean, he HAD to have known that 10, 20 years down the line, his drummer would become one of the staples of the "golden era" of Hip-Hop, and on into genres like Breaks and Drum & Bass. "It's in my shirt/about to work me to death". He knew what it was.

Funky Drummer indeed.
Read More

I was a skratch DJ in my past life

I can't help it -- ever since I was a likkle yout, I was infatuated with the sounds of vinyl being cut and spun backwards on 1200's. My fondest memory was seeing 3rd Bass' DJ Richie Rich on the Arsenio Hall Show cuttin' up "How you like me now!" at the end of their routine. It was short, but it was hot. Other times that stuck out was the fact that Eric B cut up that James Brown sample all throughout "I Ain't No Joke". Just got into that cut-up music. Everything from Coldcut to Kid Koala to Q-Bert to Craze.

MCs controlled the crowd, but DJs control the sound. The power in being able to pull back that record, cue it up again and just keep it flowing, without the need of a band or backing track, is just something awe-inspiring. I can go on YouTube and just watch DJs cut all day. I've been doing it for the last hour. I just can't help it -- one of the cornerstones of Hip-Hop, and probably the only thing out of that temple that I feel I could excel in.

Read More

Wedding Favors with flavor!

So as many of you know, I'm a married man. I love my wife, and even though we were broke, we still put on a pretty nice event, cutting corners and doing it ourselves. The only thing that took a long time was getting our wedding favors together... I mean we made a CD, but getting the right cover and color scheme, then burning about 50 copies? I mean with the cost of blank discs, jewel cases, ink, paper... nightmare. We also made some cute little bath soap things for the females, as well as nice "do not disturb" signs for the bathroom door, incense things, the whole 9. It came off nicely, but it was very time consuming... and I'm not sure how everyone else took to them. Well, in true rock the dub fashion, we continue our Holiday Gift Finds for 2006 for those who might be trying to save some money and add a bit of flair to their favors. has a plethora of Unique Wedding Favors, from these ill "Forever Glass" photo coasters for as low as $1.10 a pop to these quirky "Two Peas In a Pod" salt & pepper shakers. There are a bunch of wine-themed gifts as well, among other things. These jammies are cute, colorful and they add a really nice touch to your table settings and decorations. They also seem to be of great quality, from the glass pieces to the luggage tag with an engraved heart on it -- that's a very nice touch that not too many people would think of. Loads of perfect possibilities for your special guests, and I imagine that if you search hard enough, you too can find the perfect gift that will set your favor(s) off right.

If I had had the time and money to really get a wedding party up right, I'd have to check out and grab that wedding favor that is not the norm at all; sleek and unique is how I'd do it. That's how you should, too.

Read More

Get paid... to post?

So if you guys have peeped my "Can I borrow a dollar?" post from a week or so ago, you know that I've been trying to find blogging gigs, either freelance or with a dedicated site. The results? Not so good, so far... I have a various ads and such to the right of my blog that have yet to pay a dude who has a site devoted to Hip-Hop, free music and dissing celebs and ignorance in a strong, Black voice... why not, who knows. I have a few other prospects out there, and actually made a couple of dollars with another site, but nothing to major.

The other cash-cow I'm hoping to ride in on is PayPerPost. You might be asking yourself, "self, how does one find a site that pays you to post?"... well, I just did an easy enough search in Google: blog ads. I'm trying to get gwap like Papoose, nahmean? Now, this site offers you opportunities to make money by blogging about various things --- new movies, new websites, and other things. Have I taken advantage of it yet? I'm trying to... right now. I haven't seen something that has grabbed me as of yet, for I don't like making promises and then feeling bad about them. The pay is decent -- you can get $10 or more depending on the post. You have to stay within the tone they want, so if they want a very positive post, then you best talk it up! That's on you though. Me? I haven't made a dime yet, but who knows what the future holds? Maybe I can get good at this PPP thing and get paid so I can lay in the shade -- it can happen!

If you guys are bloggers who are also strugglin' parents like myself and my wife are, and need a side hustle that doesn't involve crack rocks and credit card scams, you might want to check out PayPerPost. If you can devote yourself to speaking on anything and getting paid for it, get gully and go for it!
Read More

Lucy Diamonds: Water of Life

Up on Lucy Diamonds' MySpace page, there is a new track of her's entitled "Water of Life", which features one of the old school dons, Grand Puba. Now, when I received this track, it was a pleasant Turkey Day surprise. Lucy flows sick on it, and Puba keeps it thoro on his verse. I didn't think anything of it, but then I got an e-mail with the link from some cat named Marvin Levy, her media rep, with the title "Shots Fired At Jay-Z!!!" ... word. She apologized, but apparently her crusade is still on and poppin' on Jay. It's kind of subtle, even though the title is a play on his "Water for Life" campaign. In any case, peep out her blog on MySpace to get the audio on this gem.

I'd like to hear Lucy rip up the instrumental to "Kingdom Come". That'd be something.
Read More


I just want to shout out bloggers/rumor cats at All Hip-Hop, XXL and other spots for gankin' my shit after I post it. I won't name names nor post links, but I see you guys stealin'. You remember what Ghost said on the purple tape...

that is all.
Read More

the shuffle. [11/25/2006]

You fuckers slept on my latest mixtape eh? Go drink you some beer and cool out to that jammy. I put it on and it puts a smile on my face -- Hip-Hop for those who don't get caught up in the mental nonsense.

This week was Turkey Day and Nigga Friday, so people got loaded up on turkey and then spent everything in their bank account. Shit, I know I'm a broke bastard, and I just sat at home! Better that way, though, I can't fuck with Nigga Friday.

I'm also trying to hustle myself -- getting paid to blog. If you know any websites who need someone who is knowledgable about music/entertainment and other things to do weekly blog posts for pay, holler at me. Seriously, it's time to get it.

I have a mixtape I'm doing for wifey that should be completed in the next week or so... and a special X-Mas themed jawn that is under wraps right now. Shouts to my cousin Mike over in the Navy -- keep ya head up.

01/So, Nintendo has released it's PS3/XBX360 killer, the Wii (which is going to be able to play about ANY Nintendo game that's come out in the past, as well as Genesis and TurboGrafx16 joints!!), and it's looking good -- except for the occasional controllers busting out TVs. Now my thing is, I've seen people do that whole "move the controller/cord around thinking that will help their character move" shit since the NES days, and I've seen some pretty crazy antics during heated games, but yo, your controller being thrown at the TV and cracking it? It WAS a bowling game being played, but dude, get a life ... or some pussy.

02/Ayo, people used to ask me back in the say if I watched Seinfeld. Aside from that "Soup Nazi" episode, I had not really watched that show. Now I know why: fucking Kramer is a racist. You guys had to have heard about Michael Richards' racist tirade after getting heckled by a couple of black dudes out in Cali. was quick to the punch, posting the video online early, and this shit is ridiculous... there was no need for him to call them niggers, no need for that comment about hanging a bitch upside down and sticking a fork in them. Fucking bitch. He went on Letterman and tried to apologize, but the salt had already been thrown in the wound. Now, Jesse Jackson had to step in and say that Richards was on some "hate speech" shit, which I am not sure I agree with, but I do agree with Jesse on his comments about Michael having some deep-seeding racism in there. I mean come on, no one "slips" and calls someone a nigger that many times, in that voice and in that context. The funniest part of this whole fiasco? Video of Richards in blackface for some old Whoopi Goldberg movie thing has surfaced, and its just a nail in the coffin. I feel like going to Best Buy and buying out their Seinfeld DVDs and burning them shits. Or just burning them right in the store. Fuck the system.

03/Rupert Murdoch buckled under pressure and decided to not release the OJ Simpson If I Did It nonsense to the public... but the shit still hit eBay, for a limited time. He kept it funky, saying that he knew the money was "blood money" and that he was looking out for his kids' monetary gain, which I can respect even if I don't respect the way he went out. He could have went a better route, but he chose to throw his baby's mom in the mud after being murked the way she was... that's crazy disrespectful, and above all, a reason for the white dudes to nail his as to the wall again. He's an imbecile, but God must be shining on him, he gets loads of breaks...

04/I saw this going off this past week and had no idea it'd turn into some beef. Word is Kelly Ripa had Clay Aiken on her show the week before last as a guest host. He put his hand over her mouth mid conversation, and she was like "yo I don't know where your hand's been". To be fair, she said the shit with a smile, but that's how Live is. Everything is a joke. So she spoke on it this past Monday and was like yo Clay is disrespectful. How about Rosie O'Donnell, the fat bulldagger, went on The View and was on some "as a gay American I'm appalled", and the chicks on the panel were like "we understand". I doubt Kelly was on some homo-hate shit, and she called the show to be like look, I have 3 kids, and it's cold flu season, this dude put his dirty hands on my face, I don't wanna catch something. Now, the rub is, Clay hasn't publically announced he is gay -- he's been coy to the whole situation. Rosie did a major foul on outting this queer, for no better reason than ratings. I love Kelly, I hope she pulls through.

05/I found it quite funny that soon to be divorced wife of Paul McCartney, Heather Mills McCartney, was saying shit like "I will never marry again". Given the rumored amount of her settlement, what man would be trying to marry that gold digger? Miss, you are no longer a catch. You can catch a piece of ass grease off Paul, thouhgh.

06/"Magician" David Blaine completed a pointless stunt this week. He was in some gyroscope thing shackled up, and had a time limit to get out so he could get poor families shopping certificates. He did it. Big fucking whoop, what happened to you in that water, nigga? And how come every one of your televised levatations looked fake as hell? I just can't get jazzed about anything homeboy does anymore.

07/So Jay-Z came out and blew the socks off you niggas, huh? 850K is nothing to shake your finger at, even if there's only 1 bonafide jam on the enitre thing. The funny part about those numbers is like 2 days before it dropped, Universal sued MySpace, and one of the reasons was because someone leaked Jay's Kingdom Come through the MySpace Music feature, which makes me laugh. More than likely it was a 15 year old Korean boy just being funny, but now MySpace Music has to shut down the whole operation? Are fake music acccounts really that big of a deal? Ease off, UMG. PS: Jay, your LP leaked on more places than fucking MySpace. And why the hell are you cameoing on Fall Out Boy albums?

08/New Era, them of the fitted cap, did a good thing and made an exclusive J Dilla cap to be sold on for Black (nigga) Friday. Good show, but it sucks because I'm a broke bastard. Proceeds go to the J Dilla Foundation, which is a beautiful thing.

09/On some scattered Hip-Hop news, the upcoming Clipse album got some good reviews, as well as good remarks, over at Oh Word via Sacha Orenstein, one the the blogging world's most on point writers. Def. go out and grab that album this Tuesday - if you are a fan of the Clipse or The Neptunes, you will enjoy. ... Nas has a new interview over at AHH, breaking down his comments on Hip-Hop (and other genres) being dead, and what his ass is going to do to help it out (parts 1 and 2). DJ Premier stepped up to be noodled at by, and brought out an interesting read on his label, his production feel, and other tidbits. I need NAPU, though.

Word life. That's all this nigga has for you lot today. I'm about to take it down, but remember... wash your hands.

Read More

Fanu's "Focussed", man!

I want to shout out my boy srix(!) for posting this up before I... I'm a slow poke (Check out his blog).

It looks like Finnish producer Fanu has a downtempo LP, Focussed Mind, set to drop on December 1st through Pauze. Sure to be a treat, this album packs a wallop. srix provided audio for all of the album's cuts, check out his post here.

Now, I have an old Fanu interview I did for DOA a while back that never got posted -- I am debating on if I should just post it here, but I will speak to them first...

If you want more info on Fanu, check out his MySpace page, or his main website. Both sides of his musical production are not to be fucked with. You'll be doing yourself a favor.
Read More

Friday, November 24th 2006 playlist

Today is officially Nigga Friday. Instead of going out and buying shit, we broke, so we're in the crib, vibin'. Here's an assload of tracks that have kept me sane this week:

Drum & Bass:

01/Lupe Fiasco "Kick, Push (Heist Remix)" [whitelabel] [gotta love that heavy bassline - took the best part of the track (which does NOT include a verse of Lupe's) and made it funky!]
02/Twisted Individual "Bigfoot" [grid] [some sly, murky bass from one of the dancefloor masters... his sound is going back to that darker, moodier thing. diggin' it.]
03/Wayz "Beyond" [doa] [new one on DOA records... gotta represent. HEAVY BASS!]
04/Jamal "Who The What?" [tov] [I'm not a big fan of TOV these days, but this and "Click Clack" are two DOPE Jamal tracks they picked up. see if you can steal this disc from the EP it came out on.]
05/PRS "Feeling Fine" [molten vinyl] [I dunno much about PRS or this label, but this track is tasty.]
06/Laroque "Bad Girls" [walnut] [001 on Laroque's new label, this one is a bit nasty, but it still has that liquid feel to it. don't sleep on Walnut.]
07/Break "Cold Sweat" [critical] [can this man do no wrong? WATCH THAT BASS!]
08/Mutt "Hot Lick Squeeze (RIP J Dilla)" [creative source] [tribute track from the one like Mutt. beautiful piece... that breakdown in the middle is the stuff heaven is made of.]
09/Infectious "One In A Million Things" [dubplate] [shouts to fu for this one... sounding good! Labels, keep your ears peeled...]
10/Spirit "Footprints" [renegade hardware] [very interesting track coming from the next Horsemen lp..its one of his where it shifts gears midway ala "Moving Target", and hearing Ink drop that before, it all makes sense...]
11/Autumn "Redemption" [fokuz] [another crew that does no wrong... deep, lush... just a warm track. add it to your order NOW!]
12/Calibre "The Way You Move" [innerground] [b-side wins again on this one.]
13/Nasty Habits vs. Blu Mar Ten "Shadowboxing 2006" [31 records] [out on promo right now... will this make a full release? 2k6 revamp of one of darkside DnB's classic tunes.]

Mixed Treats

01/NozL ft. 2tall & Muzzell "Akabizzl" [nice mash-up of a nasty beat, scratches, guitars... the EP this came out on is choice, check it out.]
02/SDM "One Blood" [you gota love free dubstep. he has another one available, too: "Got It". check out his website for more dnb fun.]
03/Coki "Shattered" [new one out on Tempa... been waiting for this one for some time.]
04/Lil' Jon ft. Three 6 Mafia vs. Coki "Act A Shattered Fool (DJ Nappy Mashup)" [I doctored the name on that one, and helped in the conception of this track, but if you dig dubstep and ignorant rap, you cannot tell me this shit isn't perfect.]
05/Nas ft. Jay-Z "Black Republicans" [from Nas' forthcoming album... the beat on this one is so ridiculous. Good to hear Jigga and Esco on a track together, I really like how this one sounds.]
06/Tonedeff ft. Extended Famm "Ugly Woman" [shouts to the QN5 family, this one samples the classic Jimmy Soul track. lovin' it; we need more truly funny Hip-Hop.]
07/Juggaknots "Berkowitz" [Breeze and fam do the damn thing over a nice beat. nothing else to say, really.]
08/Fat Joe "Flow Joe" [that 1993 classic Fat Gangsta shit, back when he was straight up DITC. I love that beat.]
09/Ghostface Killah & Theodore Unit "Crooklyn Dodgers 2 freestyle" [so More Fish is gonna be on some Theodore Unit shit instead of strictly Ghost, eh? It could be worse...]
10/Jay-Z "44 Four's (Live)" [live version of Jay's "22 Two's" with his new shit, "44 Four's" right after it... sickness.]
11/Showbiz & AG "Party Groove (Instrumental)" [classic DITC 1992 style... take a trip back.]

I have a few mixes up over at dubplate digest; one from Stunna for Bios Recs, one from SpectraSoul reppin' Horizons Music. I also still have my "Ill-bred" mixtape up of ignorant hip-hop. Check all of that shit out.

Final Thought:

Just take it easy...

Spark some izm...

take 1,2 then pass it.

Read More

[rock the dub Interview]: The Enemy

Who knew that Atlanta was such a hot bed for good music? Back up 10 years ago... did you think that ATL would have a lock on the Rap game like it does? Did you think that an outfit of 3 guys from the A would take the DnB world by storm the way Evol Intent has? To be honest, I always knew it. Don't ask me to elaborate, I just had a gut feeling that this outfit was going to blow up. And guess what? 4 years and loads of "glitch" heavy DnB tunes, and Evol has dropped tunes on Renegade Hardware, Human Imprint, Barcode, Tech Itch, Outbreak and their home label, Evol Intent. This is not about the collective though, but one member: The Enemy. He is one quietly diverse artist. I got a chance on a recommendation *ez Inaya* to peep his Hip-Hop beats, and was floored at the funk that was so different than tracks like "Street Knowledge" (which I heard KRS-One LOVES!)... and when I got tuned in to his "Slow Funeral" alias, I knew I had to chop it up with this budding wonder. Check out the spoils of our discussion...

khal: As a core, Evol Intent hadn’t gotten true notoriety from the masses until 2004, when you guys came with the Barcode 12”. Many heads might not realize that you 3 started the Evol Intent label back in 2002. How did you guys get together and start Evol Intent? What was your goal in starting that label; were you trying to make a name for yourselves or just get your music out there?

The Enemy: Knick and Gigantor had met up at college and started working on a couple tracks and they found me through some friends of friends and the internet. We traded a few remixes and then started some collaboration tracks. I moved to Atlanta after I finished college just because it seemed like the right thing to do and I knew there would be a lot more opportunity for me here. With Evol Intent Recordings, the label, it was mainly to get our music out there and release what we wanted without any compromise. It paid off by building up a pretty decent fan base, getting some buzz going which lead to attention from the major players in the scene.

khal: As you guys have progressed, you went from unknown producers to some of the new breed of dark DnB styles to being the masthead for a style that has been called “glitch” on the Internets. How do YOU perceive your DnB output?

The Enemy: Honestly, it’s pretty different for every track. Now we are getting to the point that we don’t think of it as DnB, but just music. We don’t sit down and say “Let’s make a DnB track”, we just make music as we see fit, obviously most of it is going to fall in the DnB tempo range with us being DJ’s, but I think a lot of the tunes on our new album will surprise a lot of people.

khal: The E.I. tracks have evolved immensely from the days of “Take That” and “Seedic”. How did you guys get from that early point 4 years ago to where you are now, which is considered by many to be the next level of producers ready to run things?

The Enemy: I think our skills have just steadily progressed and still are progressing. We haven’t really settled in a comfortable state, nor kept making the same track over and over. It’s just constant progression I think. I’ve also always put a lot of thought into the branding and marketing of EI and am always thinking of new ways to get our name, image & sounds out there. There’s a lot of elements that need to come together to be successful in the music business that I feel that a lot of DnB producers overlook.

khal: Being as there are 3 producers in Evol Intent, take us into the studio and let us know how an Evol Intent track gets made. Are you just bouncing ideas off of each other, or do you come to the table with fleshed out tunes already?

The Enemy: Typically, one of us will have an idea for a tune and ‘sketch’ it out, a rough 32 bars or sometimes a lot further. Then we’ll just send the file around in a circle for hours, days, weeks, or months until we feel it’s complete. If one of us if feeling extra special, we’ll have almost the whole song done and then pass it around for some final feedback or tweaks or some edits here and there.

khal: What’s your studio setup like? Are you strictly software based, or do you like to mix it up? What is your most essential piece of equipment?

The Enemy: We all 3 have separate studio setups and all own quite a bit of gear. But for EI tunes it’s mostly just software for the actual production. Gigantor has a great analog tape machine we’ll use to run sounds through, but as far as samplers or synths, it’s all software.

khal: One thing about you guys is, on the strength of your “Amazing Friends” series with Dieselboy’s Human Imprint, you guys do rock a nice amount of collabos with other producers. How does a track like “Broken Sword” get made, with credits to not only Mayhem and the THINKTANK crew, but Evol Intent as well? Are these tunes created in the studio with all parties present, or are you guys utilizing AIM (or other programs) to get the sounds to each other?

The Enemy: "Broken Sword" started with Knick, Mayhem & Trip1 from TT in the studio then progressed afterwards through some passing files around. With “Rapture” we just traded files back and forth through AIM with Ewun until it was finished.

khal: Not many of your DnB fans might know this, but as a solo artist, you have branched out into other genres… you have recently won an Atlanta Hip-Hop beat-making competition, for instance. What differences are there in making Hip-Hop tracks as opposed to DnB tracks?

The Enemy: It’s a world of difference. Night and Day really. Especially with the type of DnB we usually make. With Hip-Hop, you have to be conscious of the vocals, so the music needs to be the background, whereas in DnB it’s at the front. It’s a fine line of keeping things minimal enough to not clutter up the vocals, but also keep things interesting.

khal: Is any style easier for you to make than the other?

The Enemy: I’ve got a pretty wide range I think, but I don’t think one is easier than the other to make. I do a lot of ‘live’ trueschool Hip-Hop type tracks that I record live guitars, bass, Rhodes, organs or whatever on, so that obviously takes more time to get it all recorded but it’s fun and doesn’t seem any harder to me than firing up some VSTs and knocking out some simple synth lines for more crunk type beats.

khal: There is also another project you are working on, under the Slow Funeral alias. That side seems to be more on an IDM/broken beat style of production. Can you talk a little more about your influences in that style of music, and do you have any plans of shopping those sounds to other labels?

The Enemy: Yes, this is my deeper musical outlet. It’s just a solo thing that I feel I can do whatever I want with, no limitations. There’s so many influences I could’nt begin to name them, I’m sure when someone listens to a track or 2 they could easily guess quite of few of my influences. I definitely have plans on shopping it around. I’ve got about 5-6 unreleased finished songs and up to twenty more that need to be flushed out and finished. It’s on the back burner right now, but I hope to get back around to it ASAP. I’ve made a lot of good connections with some major IDM/downtempo labels over the past couple years, so that should come in handy when I get around to shopping the LP.

khal: These days in DnB, many artists are putting out artist albums. Do you have any plans on putting out an album, either solo or with Knick and Gigantor? Will there be any compilation-style releases from Evol Intent in the near future?

The Enemy: We are finishing up our album right now actually =). We’ve got a tentative release date of Valentines Day 2007 for the 4x12” vinyl release and the 2xCD and digital release will follow a few weeks afterwards. There’s no plans for a compilation style LP on EI recs right now. Just sticking to the 12” single format, and we’re going to do a couple artist EPs next year from Ewun and a possible Evol Intent vs. Eye-D EP also.

khal: With the constant talk of DnB becoming stagnant and boring, what are your views on the product being put out? Are you bored with the tunes that have been released? Are you wishing more of a certain style was being released? Who would you say is currently smacking it on a production side of things?

The Enemy: I think the good thing is that people are realizing that the DnB product is boring and there seems to be people who are trying to change things and bring some new life into it, which is great. I start to think I’m bored with most of the DnB tunes being released but as soon as that happen, I’ll hear something that I’m really feeling. I don’t really have a preference or suggestion as to a certain style that should be released more, as long as the clichés are left alone. There needs to be progression and change, IMO. All the new Spor stuff is seriously smacking it. Ewun always amazes me also, always something new and heavy coming from him.

khal: Judging by your pics on MySpace, as well as hearing your sets in the past, you are a monster on the decks, DJing from Hollywood to the Netherlands. What is your mindset in making a mix – are you thinking as hard about putting a cohesive set together ala TeeBee, or do you kind of fly off the cuff with your sets?

The Enemy: I just freestyle it and play off the crowd for the most part. It’s usually a rollercoaster sort of thing. If you play nothing but super hard stuff for an extended period of time, then it loses its punch. I try to keep some good dynamics going. The set I would play at Therapy Sessions would probably be quite different from a set at some huge rave in D.C. depending on the crowd and vibe that’s there.

khal: Where do you hope to see yourself and your production going in the next couple of years? Do you have any hard goals set up for yourself?

The Enemy: I see Evol Intent still going strong with steady LPs and mix CDs coming out yearly or as soon as we knock them out. I also hope to be on the super producer status with the Hip-Hop thing, driving a limited edition 2008 Bentley with 42” rims. I just hope I can devote enough time to all the different projects I have to make them all succeed in some form. I am definitely getting goal-oriented. I’ve set some pretty hard ones up for the next year, so we’ll see how that goes =).

khal: Outside of production, what do you do to unwind and hang out?

The Enemy: Play around on the guitar or Rhodes. I’ve fallen for the xbox360, so I’ve been rinsing that a bit lately. My girlfriend keeps my free time tied up pretty well also.

khal: I know we share a bond in terms of being addicted to the TV show LOST… if you were on that island, which character do you think you’d take after, and why? Also, what the fuck do you think is happening on that island?

The Enemy: You’re thinking of Knick. ;) I don’t get into tv series dramas. I’ve got ‘The Office’ set on TiVo, but other than that I keep away from the demon box.

khal: People want to know what you are doing: do you have any releases set to drop soon? Where can your fans catch you spinning live?

The Enemy: Best place to stay up to date right now is our MySpace.

khal: Do you have any last bits of advice or shouts you’d like to give us?

The Enemy: I’d like to give some shout outs to my cats, Trapstar and Zooey for keeping it real each and every day. They keep me sane when I’m on the brink of insanity, and sometimes vice-versa.

related links:
Read More

Cry me a river

While I have a moment to relax while lil' man is doing the opposite of that pic right there, I want to speak to my fellow parents out there. In my situation, my son is 2 1/2 months old. Both of his grandmothers are alive (for good or ill), and they live under 10 minutes away. HELL, I KNOW! They just like to annoy the piss out of us, and it's not even the whole "my way of parenting is the right way" because my wife and I turned out to be good people despite the hardship and ridiculousness our respective parental units placed in our lives. We might be broke, but we're together and happy, which is more than I can say for them. But I digres...

The thing that set this off today was my mom coming over to drop my 10+ year old stereo system off to me. Nevermind the fact that she'd had it for like 5-6 months collecting dust... anyways, it just so happens that lil' man's schedule is getting flipped today. We are sticking to feedings every 4 hours right now, on some 10am, 2pm, 6pm, 10pm shit, you dig? She gets into my house at like 9:57:49AM to see Jayden sleeping. She asks "when's he due for a bottle?" My dumb ass tells her, oh in a little bit. I went outside to grab another speaker, come back in and Na-Na is holding my now-awake son. What? So in another minute everything is in my house, and she puts him back down, awake, and is like "OK, I'm off to work"... guess what happened? Can you see that picture up there? So now I have to stop whatever I was doing (probably some writing), and tend to him, which is not a problem but don't fuck up my schedule just so you can hold him. Come over more, come see him more than when it's convenient for you.

This isn't the only thing, though. A little under a month ago, my son came down with RSV and pneumonia. He was fucking HURTING, like if he hadn't gone to the hospital in one more day, it could have been fatal. It's the season, and he is a lil guy. So, OK, we might be being extra precautious, but is it really that crazy to ask that anyone who is going to be around him to have a flu shot? And am I being a crazy parent if I choose to keep my just-getting-over-his-cold son away from people large crowds, which was recommended by the pediatrician(s) on staff during his stay? Fuck you for making me feel like I have to decide between you and my son. My son will rinse you each and every, don't even test me. I am the type of guy who stands close to family, but if someone is acting like I am being silly for protecting the heads that live under my roof, then you know what? Good, crack whatever jokes you want to crack, but do them away from me. Stay out of my house, stay out of my life, and get out of my way. It's either get down or lay down, as my man Beans would say.

Again, for those thinking I'm a crazy parent, so be it. I am not risking my son's health so someone can feel good for holding for 10 minute clips. If it's really that important, take the precautions we are asking and let it be. Bunch of bitches.
Read More

Danforth Diamond: bringing romance back!

Right now, your friendly neighborhood khal is going to hip you to some romantic christmas gift ideas from this website I recently got hipped to. You know the old saying, diamonds are a girl's best friend, right? Well, at Danforth Diamond you can get a great selection of pieces, from engagement rings and wedding bands to pieces that you know will make your shorty melt. The hot thing about Danforth is that you can knock off 30-40% when you cop their items online. See, it's all about saving that almighty dollar these days. And you know the calender days are dropping, so you better hop on it quick, or you will be left at the Christmas gathering looking dumb and feeling dumber. Think it over, and then check out Danforth.
Read More

the shuffle. [11/18/06]

(Editor's note: this shuffle is for the week ending 11-18-2006; some of this news might be considered "old news", but it needed to be covered no matter what... deal wit da matta!)

What a week, what a week. Stress, stress and more stress... do any of you guys NOT have a job? How do you cope? How the hell do you SURVIVE with little to no money? I'll be happy when my accounts are not in the red... but, a change gon' come, I can feel it...

This has been a crazy week, headline wise... no mistaking it, let's get right down to it.

01/For those who report the news, Jay-Z's leaked album did not come to the headlines until the 13th of November. This of course after the seedy underground had rocked with it since that Friday. Surprisingly, Def Jam said that there would be no pulling back the album, or trying to switch up the flow. This is surprising because the last time one of Jay's albums got leaked in a major way, a nigga got stabbed. Maybe it's because in this day and Internets-age, Jay had no fucking idea WHO leaked it... I bet anything if word comes out that Just(in) Blaze gave out Kingdom Come, Jay better be kept away from the Ginsu.

02/Speaking of November 13th, did any of you realize it had been two years since ODB passed? RIP to one of Hip-Hop's most beloved individuals... he is truly missed. Now Dame, where the FUCK is that LP?

03/Dipset capo Jim Jones has had his name all over the 'Net for various things... to start things off, Jay-Z finally attacked Jim over the "We Fly High" beat. "Brookyln High" has a very hot first verse, but is not the low-down "Takeover" Jay we were looking for. Not to be outdone, Jim Jones then came back at Jay with the help of Juelz, calling out his "30 something" lines... very interesting. Jim capitalized early on that shit, and Jay should have kept well alone if he wasn't going to seriously go at him. Oh, and to top it all off, it's going to be a Dipset Christmas this year! Shoot me already...

04/Now, folks, here is a bit of album news from the Rap World... Lord helps us. Timbaland is prepping his Timbaland Presents Shock Value album for a March '07 release. He is having everyone from Dr. Dre and Lil' Wayne to Elton John, Bjork and Fall Out Boy features on the album. I hope this comes out better than Diddy's "everyone but Michael Jackson" featured atrocity. The real beef was over Justin Timberlake's "subliminal" disses at SOMEBODY in that "Give It To Me" track... some say it was against Janet, I also heard he might have been spitting at Prince, even though he bit Prince heavily for that sophmore album of his... who fucking knows, who cares really. ...Big Boi is set to put out his 1st (well, 2nd) solo LP due in 2007. He is reported to have said that you can expect something from every genre, every type of sound, on this album... that will sound just like Speakerboxxx. OK so we are gonna encompass many different styles to sound just like the same shit I put out 3 years ago? OutKast fans will probably eat it up, and it might have a decent groove behind it, but after this Idlewild nonsense, will anyone care? ...Fat Joe and The Game both had LPs dropping on the 14th, and decided to link up and buy 10 copies of each other's albums... now only if Joe could have helped The Game from being arrested for police officer impersonation. Now I can't trust a cabbie for shit, but why would he just come out and be like "yo, dude said he was a cop"? What does he gain out of that? Game wants to keep the buzz flowing, so he told neph to speed through the lights. Simple. ...on the interview from, Ghostface speaks out on why he did not attend the VH1 Hip-Hop Honors this year, Raekwon breaks bread with Format Mag and Katt Wiliams breaks down his Hip-Hop jones for XXL. XXL also reported that Jacob the drug-dealing Jewler is suing Scarface for some unpaid jewelry. Now, what the fuck... your legal fees are less that $37K? Get your priorities straight, dumbass. ...And do you guys really give a fuck about an Irv Gotti reality show? I thought they'd start trying to highlight niggas that actually meant something... not the fucker behind Ja Rule's success.

05/You have to admire the fucking BALLS OJ Simpson has. This nigga is honestly going to come out with a book entitled ... wait for it... If I Did It!?!?! And the fucking publisher is like "I think this is his confession?!" AND FOX IS GOING TO AIR TWO SPECIALS ABOUT IT?! What the hell is this world coming to... OJ, word to the wise: 1) you got off. You, well J.C., duped the legal system out in LA and you are a free man - that double jeopardy law is NOT going away anytime soon, so just go somewhere and lay low. You are living off your NFL pension, and you have your lil cake. Shit, just be quiet. 2) Speaking of that money, you need to keep your name out of the limelight --- one of these days, Ron Goldman's pops is going to go buck on you something ugly. I mean, you haven't paid what you owe by the civil suit, so the more you talk shit, the more they gonna find your ass bloodied in whatever spot you stay now. Dumb nigga.

06/Now a guy like me, who is a sort-of artist, can't make a dime off the 2 blogs he runs, but dead-ass Andy Warhol's paintings are still going for $17.4 million?!?!

07/Sony's Playstation 3 system has dropped , and non-working momma's boys stayed up all night to cop it. Their asses are some smart-dumb asses, though, just check the eBay auctions that are popping up; if my cash was that disposable, I probably would have copped 3 and tripled my money. The craziest thing about this is people getting shot at while waiting in line -- with BBs, but still, that's insane. Not as bad as the crazy white boys who are smashing the new Wii right in front of people. That's just pure comedy.

08/Did anyone else notice (or give a fuck) about kris ex leaving his blogging post over at XXL? I mean, hell, he's a dope print writer --- I don't think he got the whole blogging thing, but so be it, I loved his swagger, and enjoy his article immensely. My question is, with the additions of a music video review blog and a mixtape review blog, when is ya boy khal going to get his own XXL blog? Hook it up, YN, I'm open to any ideas.

09/Did you guys think Kevin Federline was going to just lounge out while Brit divorced him? Nah, ya boy K-Federoni is out there partying! 4 kids, and he's got the balls to be out chillin in South Beach. I have a 2 month old son -- there's no WAY I can go out partying like that. If I go out, I am in by 2. Shit, then I wake up with the lil' man around 7am. Does Kev do that? No his scruffy ass is up smoking dutches. *SIGH* ... and he has a sex tape now? $20 says this thing is going to hit YouTube in a week or so... or she will either a) put out a protective order or b) leak the shit herself, make all of the money. Does anyone really want to see him fucking Brit though? I mean, I guess she's a dirty ass bird in the sack... I can only imagine. Do you really want to see K-Fed's fuck face though?

OK that's all I got right now... its a Hard Knock Life. Be prepared, I might have something special for you niggas next week. For right now, peep out my boy DJ Nappy's Extended RMX of Ghostface Killah's "Daytona 500". And I'm out.

Read More

Ill-bred (Nov. 2006)

I've been wanting to make an ignorant/commercial Hip-Hop mixtape for some time... enter "Ill-bred". The idea behind this mixtape is just shit that makes you move. This is drinking music, and if you smoke, smoking music. No frills, no declarations of "Hip-Hop needs a change"... just some ridin' music. They are some of my favorites from 2006 (with some other things thrown in there), including some pretty new shit. I also had to throw in some shit from my boy DJ Nappy and his various project: the "Izzo" RMX is from the Wired Weird project featuring Beat Bully, Definate, Big Jerms and Nappy, and the "Allure" RMX is from Definate & Nappy's The Green Album mixtape, which was Jay's Black Album acapellas over original beats. That version features MC Tony Ccino (RIP). Had to do it.

In any case, here is the tracklisting. Be forewarned: if you were fans of the other mixes I have done, this is not on that steeze at all. This is feel good music, with grooves you can vibe with. Don't try to dig too deep into a lot of the rhymes on these, they are pretty much just there to supplement the beats. In any case, check it out:

01/Lil' Scrappy ft. Young Buck "Money In The Bank"
02/Three 6 Mafia "Poppin' My Collar"
03/DJ Khaled ft. Slim Thug, Trina & Chamillionaire "Candy Paint"
04/Trick Daddy "I Pop"
05/Trae ft. Lil' Keke "Screw Done Already Warned Me"
06/Chino XL ft. Snoop Dogg "Don't Run From Me (Remix)"
07/Ludacris ft. Field Mob "Ultimate Satisfaction"
08/Cory Gunz ft. Lil' Wayne "I Gotcha"
09/Ghostface Killah "The Champ (unreleased version)"
10/Sean Price ft. Buckshot "Cardiac"
11/Jadakiss ft. Swizz Beatz "It Can Get Ugly"
12/Mobb Deep "Capital P, Capital H"
13/Busta Rhymes ft. Raekwon "Goldmine"
14/Clipse "Momma I'm Sorry"
15/Nas ft. Jay-Z "Black Republicans"
16/Jay-Z "Kingdom Come"
17/Jay-Z "Izzo (Wired Weird Mashup)"
18/Jay-Z ft. Tony Ccino "Allure ('Green Album' Remix)"

You gotta love it. If you don't s'all good. This is where my head is at when I need to unwind in the 2006. Save the backpacks for your gats and stolen goods. We going to the bar on this one.

SendSpace link :: Megaupload link :: MORE LINKS TO COME!

If anyone wants to be nice and host this or upload it to another file-sharing site, let me know!

This is vol. 6 of the Dub Sessions. I don't think anyone has heard vol. 2, which I might redo, and I know for a fact no one has heard vol. 3, because 3 got deleted! Coming soon, though.

Read More

delay of shuffle

Just letting you faithful readers know that my Nov. 18th edition of the shuffle might be delayed a day or so... my peoples are getting the Pacquiao-Morales III fight, and I might be trekking up there to catch it. I apologize if any of you are dying to catch up on this weeks news from a rock the dub perspective, but I need a mental health night... OK, carry on.

Read More

Friday, November 17th, 2006 playlist

Damn job search has ya boy going mental... but at least I'm getting to listen to music at the spot. Loads of new material came in this week, and this list does not even cap off the Hip-Hop & DnB I peeped this week, but some of that shit is on the low to protect the unprotected. More on that if/when it comes out. Peep game:

01/Clipse "Ride Around Shining" [leaks galore this week... is this CD the album of the year? my review in a couple of weeks will let you know the skinny on it...]
02/Jay-Z "Brooklyn High" [Jay finally disses Jim Jones, over the "We Fly High" beat. Gotta love that 1st verse.]
03/Snoop Dogg ft. R Kelly "That's That Shit" [that beat is so nice, I can't help it.]
04/Birdman & Lil' Wayne ft. Fat Joe "About All That" [you can't deny that southern gospel feel in the organs and shit. One of Wayne's best verses on that LP. shouts to Hav for the heads up.]
05/The Game "I'm Chillin'" [UK-only bonus track to his "Doctor's Advocate" CD. Diggin' that shit forreal.]
06/Martyn "Believe It" [he keeps getting better. first one for Bassbin, and it's a keeper.]
07/Clipz "Download" [001 for Clipz' Audio Zoo imprint... funny as hell! that intro is crack.]
08/Twisted Indiviudal "Boob Job" [his grooves are so fine, so unorthodox, so not the norm, I can't help but get into them.]
09/kapsil "Numb" [double J doing the damn thing on the DnB tip.]
10/Fracture & Neptune "Ventura" [no real need to explain. Sleep if you want, this one is the jam!]

if you peeps are looking for mixes, check out my latest "FYLP" post on dubplate digest.

I'm about to eat and get back on this job search grind, but here is a YouTube final thought:

Read More

[rock the dub Interview]: FRISKe

Becoming a part of a collective works wonders for your status. One day, FRISKe was just another kid in his bedroom, checking out beats and perfecting his DJing... fast forward to 2005, and he scores an unlikely underground hit with "Troublesome", which was featured on the sampler to the Renegade Hardware LP, Apocalypse, which showcased his Horsemen bredren flexing their muscles and trying to save the world. That album lead to a bit of critical praise, and not only has FRISKe been featured on the sampler to the next Horsemen album, Revelations, with "Da Shinin'" but he has a tune entitled "Villians" with Perpetuum that has been getting rinsed by plenty of heads for a bit now. With his tracks being featured on the Carpe Diem album, as well as forthcoming bits on 13 Music, FRISKe is set to take the DnB world by storm with his infectious beats and dark tones. Catch him at the forefront of his career, speaking on the industry, his background and other points of interest.

khal: EZ FRISKe, what's going on? Now you're one of the latest additions to Loxy & Ink's Horsemen crew. How exactly did you link up with those guys?

FRISKe: Yo. Well, I've known Ink for a few years now; I'd say it's been about 2 years since they brought me in. I'd been passing Loxy some tunes which he was feelin', 1 of which was "Troublesome", and its been official since then.

khal: I see that, while you may be new to the scene as a whole, you've actually started producing and DJing at a young age. Can you talk a little bit about how you got into electronic music as a whole, and how that evolved to you getting signed to a big DnB label?

FRISKe: Yeah, I've been into this music since I was 13; I've been making music since about age 11. It was probably around 93/94 when I listened to hardcore for the first time, from an old tape my sister had. I then started DJing a couple of years later, and at age 21 I was doing a weekly show on Kool FM London. That's when I started to take things seriously and got into producing properly: did the usual route of sending out demos and that to various labels. Then I met Ink a few years ago and passed him a CD and been in contact ever since. Over the next year or so I was sending quite a few tunes over to Loxy and Ink which they was feeling and was brought in.

khal: While some might see that your catalogue is smaller than others, there's no denying that the tunes you've gotten released so far are on some big releases. When you were making tracks like "Troublesome" and "Shattered", were you creating them for those albums, or did those tunes just happen to get snapped up for those releases?

FRISKe: There was no plan really. I'd been passing Loxy various tunes, and "Troublesome" was picked for the first Horsemen LP, Apocalypse. "Shattered" was a thing Gremlinz had started, which was basically just a loop. I passed through and we rolled it out, sent it to Clayton and the next day it was signed.

khal: With such a large squad of producers, how does it feel being in a collective like the Horsemen? Do you guys chat regularly about your plans/releases/etc? How often do you guys collaborate on tracks together?

FRISKe: Yeh, it's a daily thing, you know. Always on the case, as far as collabs, I've recently finished a new thing with Perpetuum, and currently I am working on new material with Aspect and The Fix.

khal: I get the impression, from talking with Perpetuum and seeing your crew's span, that you guys are on a mission to educate and inject something new and different into the scene. How do you feel about the current state of the DnB scene, where many believe that people are producing beautiful turds, as opposed to great tunes?

FRISKe: Well, personally, I'm not really feeling a lot of what's considered popular right now. I feel us mans are definately filling a gap that was left in the scene a few years back, and brining something new to the table. Saying that, there are some serious tunes around at the moment.

khal: Take us into FRISKe's studio: what kind of software/hardware are you working with? Also, how does your creative process start? Are you sitting down with ideas already mapped out, or do you just start freestyling until something works?

FRISKe: I got a pretty basic set up. I aint really a gear head, its all about samples, vibes and ideas, for me. It ain't what you use, it's what you do with it. But anyway, equipment wise, PC based, Yamaha monitors, various VSTs, Waves Platinum and about a million samples which I've collected over the last 5/6 years. Writing a tune, it depends really. I ain't really got no formula. Sometimes I'll get some mad ideas and have the tune already mapped out somewhat, and other times, I'll just be playing around with samples and the inspiration comes from there.

khal: Based on the info on your MySpace page, you have a gang of collaborations coming in the near future. Do you prefer working by yourself or with others? Are there any pros/cons to working either way?

FRISKe: It depends really; some tunes I'll be working on just roll out. Others not so easily. That's when it's a good time to bring someone in on it. There's not many cons really. Most of my collabs are with Horsemen so were all relatively on the same page when it comes to the sound we want.

khal: There is also talk of you branching out into production for other realms (TV, radio, movies, etc.); can you shed some light on those excursions?

FRISKe: Yeah, I've done a bit of work for NBC in the States, making music for thier adverts and commericals and that. It's really just a goal of mine right now, you know just to keep it moving, opening doors and that.

khal: Concrete Jungle is the name of your soon-to-be imprint. What is your focus and plan with that label? Will you solely be dropping your own tunes on there, or will others be able to submit tunes to you?

FRISKe: It's basically gonna be a outlet for myself and other Horsemen tunes. I'm still working out distro so it's really at the very beginning stages still.

khal: Do you do any DJ gigs? I read you were given opportunities to represent on Kool FM… do you still touch down on radio stations like that? What would your current play list of tracks look like?

FRISKe: Kool was a good learning experience for me, I did the graveyard shift as most do when they start out. But it was good inspiration for me to take things further and is really what motivated me to get into production. I still got friends at Kool so I will be passing thru the studio again sometime in the near future. My current playlist consists of Horsemen LP, of course, various tunes from Gremlinz, The Fix, Spirit, Aspect, Manifest, Verb, Loxy and myself, Paradox, Hive, and also my EP, "Concrete Jungle EP", which is forthcoming on 13 Music.

khal: Could you give the masses a sense of what tunes you have lined up for the near future, and where they can hear these tracks?

FRISKe: Horsemen LP Sampler, LP and CD are all about to drop on Hardware all within the next couple of months, I am featured on all 3 parts, with "Da Shinin'", "Villains" with Perpetuum and "The Cypher". My debut EP "Concrete Jungle" will be dropping in the next couple of months on 13 Music. Plus more which are still TBC at the moment. You can hear these tracks at which is updated weekly.

khal: Where would you like to see your career as an artist go in the next 5 or so years?

FRISKe: I'd like to see myself running my own label, and take it to the next level.

khal: Do you have any shouts and/or final thoughts you'd like to kick before this interview ends?

FRISKe: Definetely. Got to big up Loxy and Ink everytime and all the Horsemen soldiers. Also big shouts to Clayton and Ollie @ Hardware, Dave @ 13 Music, Protocol, Krayz and all the kru @ Kool, and everyone who knows me and supports me, ressspect.

related links:
Read More

Can i borrow a dollar?

As I listen to my son hum in the background, I sit here, applying to work-at-home jobs and these "pay to blog" ones as well... trying to be the perfect father and a freelance writer is not easy.

I just have dreams that seem impossible. Is my writing that horrid that I cannot get paid to do what moves me? Is this world really so insane that people can fake a degree and fabricate their entire careers, or make up chunks of their lives and become best sellers, yet a nigga who writes what he feels ends up penniless? I mean, I do my writing... not to brag, but my writing has appeared for not only Dogs On Acid, one of the largest electronic dance music websites out there, but I have done pieces for the now defunct e-zine, The Flow, as well as had my pieces land on press releases for the Horizons Music Group of labels in the UK. I have done interviews and reviews (check the right panel if you doubt me) for this site, and continue to plug away when needed or drove to. My output might not be in the numbers of someone like Bol, but I still puts in my work. I just don't get what I need to do... should I go on an attack, ranking on fellow bloggers and the hands that feed me? Should I start some ridiculous plot to get Dubya to notice my posts? Do I need to get cancer or something, and devote long posts to chemo?

I am not going to sell out, nor sell myself for something I do not believe is geniuine... yet it seems like that's what I have to do.

This isn't a cry for help, this is just a rant. Journal-taktics, bitch. Soak it up.
Read More

[rock the dub Interview]: Martsman

In a genre like Drum & Bass, there is a plethora of sounds coming from all over the world. There are some producers who receive all of the shine whenever they drop (Goldie, Fresh, Pendulum, etc.), and others who seem to have a strong underground fanbase, but for all their good intentions, never seem to get the proper blessings from the above-ground listeners. Martsman is one of those producers. Crafting soundscapes that are heavy on experimentation and his own singular aesthetic, his releases have been championed by labels and websites worldwide. Where DnB has strayed from the original tracks that kept you guessing and interested in the new sounds coming in, Martsman comes from a school that take the tune and keeps it fresh with interesting, invigorating ideas. Upon the release of a few top-notch 12"s from Martin, we diced things up over the state of the scene, netlabels, and what goes on behind the twitchy robotic beasts that Martsman creates...

khal: While you’ve dropped ill beats on Exegene, Plainaudio, Offshore, as well as Counter Intelligence and (forthcoming) bits for Bassbin/Breakin’, many may not recognize your name. If you had to describe your style of production, what would you call it?

Martsman: I guess most people would probably call it “Leftfield Drum & Bass”. I can’t really name a particular style nor do I aim to go into a certain direction though. It’s Drum & Bass in a way I would like it to sound like.

khal: The way you produce reminds many of producers like Squarepusher or Alpha Omega: edited breaks with an attitude of pretty much “anything goes” for the rest of the track. How do you approach producing?

Martsman: When I started listening to Drum & Bass, it wasn’t mainly the typical mid- to end-nineties sound most of the DJs played (Jump Up, Techstep etc.), but more the musical and experimental stuff from the Reinforced camp. The sounds of Alpha Omega and Sonar Circle were basically what I got to know as “Drum & Bass” in the first row, followed by artists like Squarepusher, Aphex Twin or Plug. For me, Drum & Bass is the name for a particular framework. Within this framework, basically “anything goes”. I love to play around with expectations, breaks and breakdowns out of the blue, stop-and-goes, glitches and the like. I would like people to start reflecting about the music they listen to again. It’s not about getting too intellectual, so that the audience can’t enjoy it anymore, but more in a way of creating awareness of the fact that there is music to listen to and not only some sound to fidget to like mad.

khal: For the gear-heads out there, can you describe what your studio setup is like? Is there one piece of equipment that you couldn’t work without? If so, why?

Martsman: Simply put: I don’t have hardware equipment besides two small Genelec 8020A monitors, which I bought this year. All I do is software-only. I use a freeware modular tracker called “Jeskola Buzz” running on a laptop PC. I chose Buzz back then because it was freeware, and now I simply can’t imagine working with anything else.

khal: What inspires you to produce? Are you trying to evoke a certain message or feeling with your tunes, or are they more exploration and experimentation or what?

Martsman: I often have precise ideas on what I want to do soundwise – especially when it comes to drumpatterns and basslines. It is like I have like 4 bars of a track in my head and try to work this idea out. Interestingly, I think I haven’t ever really finished a track based on such an idea. It is more like the ideas are a basis for me to start and most of the time trying to work an idea out like this leads to results I don’t expect at all. Sometimes there is an intention or a program behind certain tracks though. Take “Antifunk” on Counter Intelligence for example – the main point about the tune is the break which is not used in a typical breakbeat fashion but in a quite steady and “antifunky” way. In “Jump Funk” the patterns change on the formula “every 8 bars, put in another bassdrum after the last one”. I kinda like concepts with simple mathematics. Most of the inspiration comes from other music, no matter what genre. However, I always take something with me to write ideas down as they often vanish as quick as they come.

khal: I know you are from Germany, but one of your first releases was for Offshore, with “Ago”, which is where I first heard your production. How did you get involved with Offshore, which is primarily based in New York, USA?

Martsman: I got in contact with Brett (DJ Clever – OSR mastermind) via Sileni, another Offshore artist. He put out a track called “Twitchy Droid Leg” back in 2004, which was like an enlightenment for me. I hadn’t heard anything like that before, and all of a sudden, Drum & Bass was making sense to me again. I found out Sileni was posting on “”, so I just sent him a message, which he replied to about half a year later. Then everything happened pretty fast – I sent him a couple of tracks and he was quite into them. So he pushed them into Brett’s direction. Brett signed two tracks: “Ago” – which was released in November 2005 as a split release with Commercial Suicide, and “Marksman” – which will be coming on the “Buried Treasures” CD compilation very soon.

khal: Is the DnB scene in Germany large? Do you have any dealings with producers like Amaning or Deep Inc or any of the newer German producers out there?

Martsman: First of all, I have to say that I am not part of the Drum & Bass scene here for as long as several other German producers are. The first contacts with the scene were around 2000 I’d say, and it took another 3-4 years until I started playing out and got into producing properly. So, basically, as things are just starting up for me at the moment I am also just getting involved in the German Drum & Bass scene gradually. However, I was pretty hard to find like-minded people over here. That’s why I’d say I am now in contact with more people outside of Germany than within the country. Nevertheless, there is a growing amount of leftfield producers and DJs here I am in contact with. Cycom from Hamburg, who has releases out on Santorin Records and Alphacut as well as forthcoming bits on Counter Intelligence, Breakin and Transmute and is also active member of Plainaudio, DJ Con.Struct, a promoter from Leipzig and artist of Outsider Recordings, LXC, the Alphacut labelhead, Bad Matter from Berlin (Intransigent Records, Alphacut), the NSF crew from Mannheim (Soothsayer, Exegene), of course all the guys from Plainaudio and quite a bunch of other DJs and promoters. Apparently, when you’re doing leftfield Drum & Bass, you can’t survive music-wise without networking outside of Germany. However, there’s a noticable movement going on here at the moment. And it also depends on where you live. When I moved to Berlin in April, I experienced a much larger audience and also a wider spectrum of musical styles in Drum & Bass, than in Karlsruhe, where I lived before and where people were mostly into one particular style of Drum & Bass which I couldn’t force myself to neither produce nor spin.

khal: In speaking with you previously, I hear you do A&R for Plainaudio. How did that opportunity come about?

Martsman: Plainaudio was founded by Iaka in 2001. After two vinyl releases (Cycom, Barth) the label took a break and relaunched again in 2005 as a netlabel for Drum & Bass as well as Electronica and Experimental. First I was asked to do a release for them and by that time I got involved with the organization as well. Plainaudio is currently run by Iaka and Cycom from Hamburg, Buzz from Dortmund and Flowpro and myself from Berlin.

khal: Speaking of Plainaudio, not only have you put out *free* releases for them, but you have two releases under your belt for the Exegene net label. How do you feel about giving your music away for free? Do you think releases like these will help ease up the p2p trading of mp3s?

Martsman: The main point about netlabels in my opinion is, that, when they are led well, they can reach a much wider audience than vinyl-only labels could ever do – due to podcasts and distribution via blogs, e.g. Plainaudio tracks are distributed via Starfrosch, Europe’s biggest podcast for electronic music. Thanks to that fact we have download rates up to over 20,000 with certain releases at present, steadily growing. As most of the stuff we provide is more musical than the usual DJ-tools, it is not the kind of music that would easily sell on bigger vinyl labels anyway. Therefore, putting tunes out on a netlabel in the context of a release seems to be an adequate way to avoid real gems being lost over time. Don’t get me wrong, there are more and more vinyl-labels out there, that sign and put out this kind of Drum & Bass, but compared to the output of the producers, there are still too few labels to cope with the amount of tracks being done, which are worth to see a release. You often see talented producers give away some of their tracks for free on internet boards nowadays – so why not do it more officially plus promote the tracks in a way they deserve?! Additionally, I consider Netlabels an appropriate way to support artists that aren’t signed to a bigger label yet – they can work like a promotional platform. As far as the p2p problem is concerned – I might be taking it too easy in this concern, but putting out music on vinyl only means putting out music for the DJs only. I suppose most of the people downloading MP3s via p2p networks are music lovers who don’t have the chance to get the tunes else than on vinyl – which doesn’t make sense, when you’re not a DJ, especially when you have to pay the same amount of money for a 12” as for a full CD album. I can’t believe that DJs seriously play out pirated MP3s, at least not if it is still possible to get a copy on wax. And if they do so, shame on them! There are ways to ease the whole problem though. Offshore’s complete back catalogue can be bought on Warp’s e.g. Other labels provide their tunes on Beatport for just a few bucks. I think that’s a good solution – it doesn’t really solve the problem with p2p, but at least it is an alternative for the non-DJ-audience to get the music they like legally.

khal: I’ve seen a few flicks of you DJing on your MySpace page. What types of tracks to you spin?

Martsman: I personally love every kind of breaks and bouncy stuff and I have a preference for everything that sounds electronic and sterile – tracks that don’t hide the fact that they are made with a computer, “Robot breaks”. I play lots of older stuff from the mid to the end of the nineties as well. I came to Drum & Bass rather late, which allows me to discover the sounds from back then with quite an excitement.

khal: Not to stereotype, but in the style(s) of DnB you produce, there seem to be a number of producers who tend to stick to wanting to promote and preserve the older sounds of DnB. They feel as though a lot of the newer stuff that gets released can be considered rubbish. Do you subscribe to those thoughts? Why or why not?

Martsman: Let me put it this way: It appears to me, that there aren’t too many things still to be done in Drum & Bass. I don’t say this in a pessimistic way, but it’s just a fact that most of the sounds and styles that appear “new” today, were there before. (Although it may sound a bit like a commercial by now, but in my opinion the only piece of Drum & Bass from the last couple of years that really came up with something totally new, was Sileni’s “Twitchy Droid Leg”). The only point is, that they are not as worn out yet as most of the mainstream Drum & Bass appears to be. E.g. I experienced that when I got a chance to go through the old Partisan catalogue recently and listened to some of Deep Blue’s old stuff. Interestingly, he did all this techno-influenced and halftime stuff that’s so en vogue now years ago! (And I think he’s not the only one who did.) Just it appears like no one was really interested. Today Amit’s the name when it comes to halftime stuff, and Martyn’s on his way to become the Detroit & Bass Don – and two yet existing ways to interpret Drum & Bass come to their right not only because their main protagonists do their thing very well but because a wider audience seems willing to accept it. However, I consider most of the recent mainstream Drum & Bass hardly exciting and therefore I guess I am in the same situation as most of the other guys who dig out older styles and sounds. But what makes the difference is probably the majority of them having been part of the scene from the early days on, which I was not. As I said, I came to Drum & Bass rather late and therefore, I don’t make a difference between the original “old stuff” and the “renaissance stuff” from today – it still sounds all fresh and playable to me.

khal: What producer or producers would you say are really making consistently dope tracks, inside and outside the DnB scene?

Martsman: There are quite a bunch of people I would like to name in this regard. Sileni’s the man when it comes to weirdo-robot-freakouts. Apart from “Twitchy Droid Leg” on Offshore there are other tracks out on Planet Mu, Thermal, Subtle Audio and Outsider and some lined up for Subvert Central Recordings as well. They are all more than worth checking out. Martyn’s doing his thing extremely well. From “Nxt 2 U” on play:musik to his remix of Graphic’s “I am metal” on Offshore, he’s consistingly following his path of a straight and yet out-of-the-box dancefloor oriented style. Alpha Omega – a legend back then, a legend now – nuff said. There are Macc, Fanu, Fracture & Neptune, Cycom and lots more from Subvert Central and beyond, who all are very strong when it comes to terms of next generation Drumfunk. In my opinion, there’s quite a lot going on at the moment!

khal: We’ve spoken on your past releases, but what do you have dropping in the near future? Any plans for an EP or LP releases?

Martsman: Sure there are plans, but nothing is settled yet, so I’d rather not talk about it at this point.

khal: Do you have any shout-outs or words of advice you’d like to drop before we wrap this up?
Martsman: I’ve been talking to a lot of DJs who emphasized, that they really would like to play more “out of the box” stuff but are too anxious that the audience would not like it and leave the dancefloor. In my experience, if you are consequent with what you play (and that doesn’t mean only to play for yourself!), most of the people come back after the first confusion. And besides, some more free room ain’t that bad if you really want to dance and not only nod your head, right?

Coming this December,
Offshore Recordings is releasing "Twitchy Droid Leg Remixes Part 2", which features a Martsman RMX of Sileni's "Twitchy Droid Leg" on the A side (followed up by a Vex'd RMX on the flip). We also have word that Martsman's "Antifunk", which is forthcoming on Counter Intelligence, is about to hit the testpress stage. Keep your eyes peeled, ears to the ground, and some cash tucked away for these releases.


related links:
Martsman on MySpace
Martsman on rolldabeats
Martsman releases on Plainaudio: PP009MD, PP019MD
Martsman releases on Exgene: XGN012, XGN028
Read More