Friday, August 20, 2004

Big Dada/ Ninja tune

The Diplodocus is perhaps the most recognizable dinosaur of the late Jurassic period -- a large, lumbering herbivore characterized by its long neck and the distinct absence of any dexterity whatsoever. An unlikely guise then for the Florida-raised and Philly dwelling DJ who is characterized by a fluid, genre-bending dexterity that sees him embrace diverse sounds ranging from Baltimore, hip hop and funk to southern bounce, dancehall and assorted psychedelia.

Best known for being one half of the Hollertronix duo, his debut LP on Ninja tune/ Big Dada comes after a string of 12’ releases on the label and illustrates a mature and eclectic production style, perhaps forged from his days cutting up samples on an old Akai S20. Florida treads musical ground as expansive as the state itself--from the strings and dusty breaks of the David Axelrod-inspired “Big Lost” to the Jamaican dancehall “Diplo Rhythm” featuring Vybz Cartel, Sandra Melody and Pantera Os Danadinhos.

One of the strongest collaborations on the record comes with Martina Topley-Bird’s soft vocals on “Into the Sun”. It’s an unlikely downtempo amalgamation of said vocal talent, swirling Beatles Revolver-esque tape loops, all the while propelled by drums straight out of a booty bass track. An odd combination in theory, but here it simply works.

“Indian Thick Jawns” features an outstanding flow from Peace over a lumbering beat with a Talvin Singh-styled blend of intricate tabla percussion and synths, furthering the eclectic sound on the record. “Summer’s Gonna Hurt You”, originally featured on the Epistemology Suite 12’ release, is a psych gem featuring thick upright bass tones punctuated by sputtering lo-fi drum machine breaks and sampled, crooning vocals.

Though Florida does contain elements of the booty bass and crunk familiar to fans of his DJ sets, it also shows Diplo as a serious student of various genres of music, a devoted cratedigger and perhaps most noticeably, a producer with a classical composer's feel for development. It’s a stunning debut from the man with the endearing, though unlikely name.

Monday, August 16, 2004

Cylob/ Machine Drum and Eustachain

forthcoming on

Aphex Twin's Rephlex imprint continues its stateside push with this debut live appearance from Chris Jeffs, aka Cylob; a prolific artist known for his leftfield productions and remixes for everyone from Soulwax to Christian Vogel to Richard D. James. For this performance, expect him to pull out everything from bleepy techno and electro to chopped-up static funk. Furthering this sonic eclecticism are Machine Drum and Eustachain, also playing live. Throw in a few pints of Zywiec, a high alcohol-content Polish beer popular at this unconventional venue, and you've got yourself a memorable (or is that dis-memorable?) night. (CJN)

Konsepshun w/ DJ Craze

forthcoming on

Though sweaty ravers yelling "Rewind!" have become increasingly rare in the city as drum 'n bass plays second fiddle to house and hip-hop, the music is undoubtedly thriving in the global scene. That three-time DMC world champion DJ Craze chooses to apply his jaw dropping deck skills to d 'n b, slicing and splicing frantic polyrhythms in lieu of the hip-hop his contemporaries generally focus on, is a testament to the genre's vitality. Also on hand tonight is one of the scene's legends, Jmajik, who's gained widespread notoriety for his house- and jazz-inspired productions as well as his technical ability. Support comes from an NYC breakbeat legend in his own right, DB, as well as some local talent. (CJN)

Friday, August 13, 2004

Time Out Of Mind
Far Out Recordings

forthcoming on

When Masters at Work's Kenny Dope hails your beats as "the phattest ever," it's a hearty endorsement indeed. Mark Pritchard, the recipient of said compliment, is widely seen as one of the UK's most talented, eclectic producers. In his Troubleman guise, he brings a handful of crispy breaks and delightfully percussive funk, soul, and bossa to the table, and authoritatively throws down aces. The subtleties and attention to detail that make this record truly special are best captured on tracks such as the Fela-esque breakdance epic "Strikehard" and the David Axelrod-inspired keys and wobbly bass groove of "The Righteous Path." (CJN)

Thursday, August 12, 2004

The Beans
Intr Version

The Beans' debut for Mitchell Akiyama's Intr Version imprint focuses on a decidedly atmospheric post-rock formula, where acoustic guitars, minimal snare rudiments, and electronic shards and textures lay scattered amidst spacious layers of sound. Bassplayer is cerebral and cinematic, though notably more subdued than the grandiose output of their Canadian countrymen Godspeed You! Black Emperor, to whom they are often compared. "My Love is a Rhinestone" is easily the album's highlight; a song that builds from the murky depths of melancholia toward an absolutely blissful conclusion, akin to waking up from an unnerving dream and realizing you're lying in a sun-drenched field of flowers. (CJN)