With tracks from Bomarr, Copy, Meanest Man Contest and Roman Ruins, Designed Entropy stands as a work of art, in both the music and packaging – a piece that Gold Robot says “explores the relationship between design, structure, and humanity.”
What better way to examine the structure of a song than by breaking it down and rebuilding it via remix? Hunter was kind enough to give me a first crack at posting the Fancy Mike remix of Bomarr’s Exchanges Among Systems, a reworking that isn’t shy about introducing some low end. Turn up the bass.
It was only a month ago that I posted a new remix by DJ Z-Trip, a reworking of The Dead Weather’s Treat Me Like Your Mother. Well, I’ve already got another remix to share – but it might be the last one for a while from our DJ hero.
Just a day after I received Z-Trip’s remix of the ’70s disco hit Le Freak by Chic, the former Phoenix-based turntable titan broke his clavicle in a snowboarding wreck. Not sure how a busted collarbone will affect his work or how long it will sideline him, but as he said: “Super thankful it wasn’t the wrist!” I mean, he’s still able to tweet, so that’s good news.
Well, I got an e-mail with a link to download what I presume is the finished product, featuring a verse from Slug of Atmosphere. I’m told Z-Trip will make this available for download on Friday, which seems likely considering the former Phoenix son – and current Las Vegas Rain man on Friday nights – is keen on sharing.
But until then, here’s a stream:
UPDATE: Z-Trip has made the track available for download.
While I’m the topic of Z-Trip, I’m long overdue in mentioning Watching the Wheels, a blog by Nicole Nelch, who is unearthing loads of old footage she shot during the heyday of the Bombshelter DJs (Z-Trip, Radar and Emile).
It’s a major nostalgia trip for me because I was probably at 90 percent of the performances she filmed; I know because I saved many of the same fliers. And if you look hard enough, you’ll see a scanned clip of an article with a shared byline featuring a formerly eager newspaper clerk pretending to be a reporter.
Check one of Nicole’s videos for a little taste of what the Bombshelter guys were doing some 10-plus years ago:
And wouldn’t you know it: Stones Throw released a new video today for the Mayer’s Green Eyed Love, the closer on his excellent debut A Strange Arrangement.
The video coincides with the release of a six-track 12-inch EP – on green vinyl, of course – that features remixes of Green Eyed Love. Stones Throw is offering one of them, by Classixx, as a free download.
Mayer Hawthorne’s excellent debut LP A Strange Arrangement is officially out today and I strongly recommend you drop your weekly allowance to purchase it. You can grab it directly from Stones Throw and get the limited-edition four-inch single with either the CD or LP.
One of the great jams on the album, Just Ain’t Gonna Work Out, has gotten the remix treatment from Astronote, a nice tweaking that keeps the soulful vibe of the original.
By now, you’ve probably had all the Michael Jackson tributes you can handle. (This is probably the first place you should have turned to for that.) Anyway, I’m not one to weep over the death of a celebrity – one of the strangest phenomenons to me (especially after watching events unfold on Twitter).
That’s not to say Jackson didn’t influence my listening habits. Of course he did. I can remember playing my brother’s vinyl copy of Thriller and friends dressing as Jackson for Halloween when I was younger.
But in many ways, hip-hop offers the best kind of tribute through the art of sampling. It’s a tangible form of gratitude and recognition of inspiration. And while I’m sure there are dozens and probably hundreds of others that I don’t have or haven’t heard, here’s just a few hip-hop tracks from my library that sample Jackson, with Nas’ It Ain’t Hard to Tell my favorite.
You might ask: Why would Delicious Vinyl re-release Tone Loc’s 1989 debut Loc-Ed After Dark? The real question is, Why not?
I’m just as wary as anybody of these seemingly endless reissue cash grabs that essentially ask fans to pay for an album twice, tempting them with additional, unreleased material. But in this instance, I’m OK with this 20th anniversary deluxe reissue (especially because you can download the six bonus tracks individually at eMusic or Amazon without purchasing the whole album again, assuming you already own it, which you should).
It’s also worth remembering that this was an important hip-hop record that helped thrust rap into the pop/mainstream world. That said, I have a hard time listening to Wild Thing and Funky Cold Medina anymore; those two tracks, played ad nauseam in my youth (and still now), have lost all semblance of relevant meaning. Though Tone’s raspy flow is the most recognizable trait of the album, the production/sampling team of Matt Dike, Michael Ross and the Dust Brothers makes Loc-Ed After Dark hold up 20 years later. (Dike and the Dust Brothers also were responsible for production work on Paul’s Boutique.)
Lastly, the album is one of many hip-hop records that drew inspiration from the Blue Note catalog for its cover.
The digital-only reissue features six bonus tracks: On Fire (OG 12″ version), Cheeba Cheeba (OG 12″ version), I Got It Goin’ On (Remix), The Homies (On Tilt Mix), Wild Beat and Funky Beats.
If you’re on Twitter, you gotta follow Q-Tip, who is pretty active and likes to post YouTube audio clips of classic soul jams.
Well, on Thursday, he posted access to a remix for Renaissance Rap, the “hidden” half attached to Move on The Renaissance. It’s basically the same (great) beat/melody but with new verses, including spots from Busta, Raekwon and Lil Wayne.