Friday, October 15, 2010

Trippin' at the Shule

Not Daniel Goldstein.

Our friend Daniel Goldstein sent this Wolfgang Gartner mashup over to us. He pairs the club banger that reportedly took Gartner 600 hours to make with Stevie Wonder's pop classic, "Superstition." We're glad to share this with you all. Hope you enjoy.

If you like what you hear, check our fellow lantzman's Soundcloud.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

MuzjiksRx (10.14): Mashups for the Meatheads


Honestly, this is a shameless attempt to drum up some site traffic because I know Hype Machine users go ape for mashups. Yes, we're selling out. Deal with it.

Nu-Jazz: A Microcosmogrammatical Examination

If you're not familiar with the microgenre of nu-jazz, please allow me to explain: Imagine an alternate planetary system somewhere way out in the cosmic unknown. Let's say that at the center of this system is a sun, and this sun happens to be called Jazz. Like all suns, Jazz has a gravitational pull that causes other celestial objects to orbit around it. Now, envision Nu-Jazz on the very outskirts of Jazz’s pull—the Pluto of this musical solar system, as it were. Fittingly enough, some might argue that Nu-Jazz isn't even part is this solar system, and these folks have a valid case. After all, even though Nu-Jazz is still within Jazz’s field, it wobbles on its axis in a most peculiar way and revolves ever so off-kilter, threatening to hurdle off into space at any moment—perhaps to the neighboring Hip Hop galaxy or maybe to the Electronic sector or perchance to the Funk nebula. It may be grounded in the tenets of traditional jazz—what with its jittering syncopations and intricate polyrhythms—but the ancestry of nu-jazz ultimately sums to a sound wholly unique from its parts.

Now, please follow me back to Earth and join me in Winnetka, California. A small town outside of Los Angeles, Winnetka is to nu-jazz as Columbia, SC, is to chillwave and Manchester was to post-punk in the late ‘70s; that is, it is the birthplace, the evolutionary nexus, and for all intents and purposes, the headquarters of the genre. Specifically, the HQ is located at Brainfeeder Records, the label started by nu-jazz giant Steven Ellison, the man behind the Flying Lotus moniker. A nu-jazz all-star lineup, Brainfeeder is also home to fellow genre bigwigs Daedelus, Samiyam, and The Gaslamp Killer. I’m not sure one abstruse, name-dropping example will help clarify another, but it might help to think of Brainfeeder as the nu-jazz equivalent of witch house’s Disaro Records, which lays claim to oOoOO, White Ring, and host of other esoterically renowned musicians…

On second thought, like the often abrupt harmonic shifts in nu-jazz music, allow me to abandon my admittedly futile attempts at explaining music through obscure analogy and convoluted imagery, and let’s let the music do the explaining—specifically Flying Lotus’s magnum opus, Cosmogramma. Sure, the LP came out this past May, but if there was ever such a thing as an instant classic, this is it. A surprisingly tightly conceived concept album, the record builds in warm, ethereal, yet altogether epileptic samples that let the listener know that he’s in nu-jazz’s nerve center, as it were. This pre-liftoff procedure continues until track six, “Computer Face/Pure Being,” where FlyLo introduces the first out-and-out melody in the form of a massive synth line, and the engines start revving.

Then, Flying Lotus at ground control sends Major Thom Yorke to outer space on “…And the World Laughs with You.” And it is here, I’d say, where Ellison’s true genius is exhibited: instead of putting Yorke’s vocals front and center in the mix, he opts to utilize the Brit’s wavering wail as an instrument. This is ballsy. After landing perhaps the biggest and most respected name in modern music in the Radiohead frontman, Steven Ellison buries Yorke’s voice beneath a load of reverb and dizzying synthesizers and even chops it up—just to feed it back to us in sampled splices.

These moments of genius are by no means scarce events, mind you; rather, they’re hidden and are only revealed through repeat listens. For example, in the sensual “MmmHmm,” you’d have yourself a radio-worthy R&B hook and melody if the frantic bass line and overdriven percussion were silenced. Then, in “Do the Astral Plane,” FlyLo plays with the listener at 3:32, dropping out the Kanye-esque lilting strings and club-ready electro synths so that only the claps remain. It is here, in the negative space, that the listener realizes how much controlled chaos Flying Lotus is managing at one time.

And when we get to “Table Tennis,” we find nu-jazz’s answer to Enrique Iglesias’s “Do You Know.” But unlike its pop counterpart, the intervallically irregular ping-pong in “Table Tennis” is in no way danceable or immediately poppy; instead, it brings us full circle. That is, “Table Tennis”—perhaps the anthem of the nu-jazz microgenre—features guest vocalist Laura Darlington singing of gravity and motion and energy and elasticity, reminding us of the abstract lineage of this music. In a way, this penultimate song of Cosmogramma brings us back to a certain aural Great Unknown. We once again find ourselves traveling through the acoustic cosmos, steadily learning the arcane musical grammar of nu-jazz with each listen with Flying Lotus as our guide.

Do the Astral Plane [alt]

MmmHmm (ft. Thundercat) [alt]

Table Tennis (ft. Laura Darlington) [alt]

MuzjiksRx: Special Edition | Taylor Gang or Start Another Oil Spill

Monday, October 11, 2010


Ke$ha vs. The Beatles - Tik Tok Together (A doctordude Mashup) by DJGreenleaf

Saturday, October 9, 2010