Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Pay Dues vol. 0

The intro speaks for itself, "...if you've got Serato, bravo.  But if you can't cut vinyl records you won't be able to follow me." - KRS-One.

Everything I'm doing right now I consider paying my dues to this craft.  I respect hip-hop and DJ'ing.  I respect the culture, I respect the art form, I respect those who came before me and laid the ground work.  I feel it's important to practice the "old" ways not only to pay homage but also to become better.  When I'm at home, most of my practice time is spent mixing vinyl.  It forces me to work with a smaller library, know my music, and be technically refined.

I'm calling this "vol. 0" because I still feel that I'm at the genesis of it all.  When I have a library of stuff to look back on, this won't be a part of it.  This is the sketchbook used to fine-tune ideas.  It's fun to look and you can catch glimpses of what's to come but it's still not a polished masterpiece.

Here it is.  This was recorded live from the kitchen counter using two thrashed Shure M44-7's, two Tech 12's, a DJM 909 mixer (no effects were harmed, save for the intro) and all vinyl.

DJ B-Rock, "Pay Dues vol. 0" live from the kitchen counter all vinyl mix


Intro: excerpt from "The DJ," KRS-One from King of the Decks
"Sitting On Chrome (Ummah Remix)," Master Ace from J. Yancey, A.K.A.
"Rare Species," Mobb Deep from Soul In The Hole soundtrack
"One Mic (instrumental)" + "Shook Ones (acapella)" = "That Anthem" DJ B-Rock live blend
"Low Budget Allstars," Kev Brown, Kenn Star et al. from Port Authority
"Find A Way," A Tribe Called Quest from The Love Movement
"The Red," Jaylib from Champion Sound
"Till I Retire," Pete Rock from N.Y's Finest
"Catch My Breath (World)," Ta-Raach and the Lovelution from The Fevers
"Raw Life," Foreign Exchange from Connected
"Growing Old," Outkast from ATLiens
"Lost Ones," Jay-Z from Kingdom Come
"Sunshine," Atmosphere from Sad Clown, Bad Summer EP

Thanks for listening - DJ B-Rock

Friday, March 20, 2009

Last of the Record Buyers featuring Medium Zach

Dang!  I apologize for not giving you guys a heads up about this special night.  It was special for a number of reasons.  Mainly, though, the night featured the founder of LOTRB, Medium Zach, and marked his 10 year anniversary as a beat-maker (word?  That's definitely not a coincidence.  Read Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell).  Zach had an extensive library to get through and a couple of times he had to rush through things he wanted to play.  But he definitely dropped plenty of gems including some of his earlier works.  There was even an unreleased joint that Brother Ali rapped over that uncovered the history of some familiar verses.  He brought us from the beginning at the age of 16 to stuff that's still not released including a couple of snippets from the upcoming Big Quarters album.  I also learned that he's been working with some local non-hip-hop acts.  I forget their names and there isn't anything on his myspace.  But be on the lookout.

I also learned that I've been trippin' by not signing up for BQDirect.  There were multiple joints that Zach dropped that I've never heard before and assumed they were still waiting to see the light of day.  Nope.  A lot of them were, "This was on BQDirect November/June/September..."  I'm signing my sleepy ass up as all y'all should! -------------> click to link to their blog and sign up on the left-hand side

An excellent feature of the night are the questions that the attendees can ask via host Brandon All-Day.  I asked a couple of questions and Zach answered all of them very frankly.

1) Do you like to dig alone or with someone?  If with someone, who? He does like to dig with people and I'm blanking on the crew he enjoys to go digging with.  I apologize for my short-term memory.

2) What's your favorite city to dig in? Not only did he tell the crowd what his favorite city to search for records in was but he also named an unknown record shop that I quickly wrote down.  Haha!  I'm not telling y'all!  Y'all should've been there!  By the way, we're doing this road trip in the summer, Tommy!

3) What's your "guilty pleasure" to listen to when you're by yourself?  He admitted that he listens to himself when nobody's around because it's awkward to listen to himself when others are nearby.  He also said it as though it was more of a studying of his work as opposed to really enjoying it.

4) (I didn't ask this) How'd you get to be 'Medium'?  When Zach started working with the Interlock crew people kept on getting confused between the two Zachs (Zachariah aka Big Zach aka White Jesus aka New MC).  So since Zachariah is a tall dude, Medium Zach got stuck with 'little' Zach for a while.  It was alright for a while until Zach got credited for some joints on an Interlock record and the credit was "lil' Zach."  Zach wasn't feeling that but didn't do much about it until he ran into a friend at Hymie's.  The friend referenced his credit, asked him if he liked it, and then asked him how he felt about "Medium Zach."  It stuck.

It was a great night.  I only wish that my boy Tommy could have attended not only to drop some jewels but also to experience it all.

Sidenote: as I was leaving I ran into Tasha from Black Blondie.  She plays the keys, sings and looks pretty.  I asked her when their album was finally dropping.  It's coming April 14!!!  I can't wait!  The release party will be April 17 at the Triple Rock.

Oh, and Benzilla (a beast!) dropped some lavabangers (copyright, Lazerbeak).  And it wouldn't be a LOTRB without Bold Illin' doing a little jig and bringing that soul-sample goodness.


Big Quarters, "Track 19" from Zip Disk Breaks

C'etait un rendez-vous

"It's a date."  I can't believe it's been this long since I've posted any car-related stuff.  It must be the weather.  You'll soon enough realize the extent of my car nuttery.  Cheers to my brother for putting me on to this great video.  This is the official promo description:  

"On an August morning in 1978, French filmmaker Claude Lelouch mounted a gyro-stabilized camera to the bumper of a Ferrari 275 GTB and had a friend, a professional Formula 1 racer, drive at breakneck speed through the heart of Paris.

No streets were closed, for Lelouch was unable to obtain a permit."

Something seemed a little off between the sound and the sense of speed in the video.  Neither seemed to match with the description.  Yes, it sounded like a Ferrari GTB, but the shifting points and the speed of the engine didn't seem to mesh.  I consider myself a pretty good driver with experience on a race track and the lines that the car was taking were less than ideal.  The car control seemed a little sloppy in the slow parts as well.  I didn't think much of this until I did a little more research.

In the little bit of research I did on this video, the consensus seems to be that neither a Ferrari or an F1 driver were actually used.  Instead, the more likely explanation that coincides with my initial suspicions was that Claude Lelouch drove his automatic Mercedes and later dubbed over with the Ferrari sounds.  This also verifies the sense of speed, or lack thereof.

What's important, however, is not whether how the film was promoted was true or not.  It's purpose rests not in automotive stardom, but rather in the very unique and advanced piece of filmmaking that it is.  I don't care if an Astrovan was piloted through Paris by my grandma.  This film is absolutely thrilling!

Claude Lelouch's Rendezvous... from Dat on Vimeo.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Blue Gardenias

I just picked up an exquisite record today: Dinah Washington, The Jazz Sides.  It's self-explanatory: a compilation of Dinah Washington's best jazz records.  What really got me excited was finally figuring out the sample to Dag Nabbit's "Blue Gardenias."  Don't hate.  It would've taken me a quick google search to find it if I had looked.  I had just completely forgot about the track off of Foreign Beggars' Asylum Speakers album.  I had picked it up while I was in England last winter on an excellent recommendation from a gallery curator in Canterbury.  Sadly, Dinah Washington hasn't been on my radar until now.  I'm pretty sure she has done a different, more common recording of "Blue Gardenia."  This is an excellent example, though, and you can still hear what was sampled in her first refrain.

I can't say enough about this instrumental.  It's really flipped but just as beautiful in a creepy way.  I've definitely put this on repeat for a couple of minutes before.  Enjoy!

Dag Nabbit, "Blue Gardenias" from Asylum Speakers

Friday, March 13, 2009


I've been reclusive this past week or so.  I apologize to my fanbase.  My energy has been spent trying to record a perfect, live, all-vinyl hip-hop mix and then beating myself after I fail for the dozenth time.  It's coming.  Be on the lookout.  I decided it would be best to take a break from the tables and give you guys some lovely new music.

How appropriate is it to make a post about a band named Recloose after being away for a while?  It just so happens that the new tracks that I'm digging this week are from this funky collaboration.  I picked up the band's latest, Perfect Timing (won New Zealand's Best Electronica/Dance Album of 2008), in my magic promo pile earlier this week and have given it multiple spins.  What I know is that the music is made in large part by Matthew Chicoine: DJ, producer, multi-instrumentalist and funky guy.  He teams up with some great artists to make certifiably funky boogie jointies.  If his stuff were a little dustier, I would have sworn this was straight out of the late 70's/early 80's.  There's a little bit of everything on this album: R&B, funk, boogie, and disco.  I'm only going to post my two favorite tracks though I highly recommend this whole album.

This is by far my favorite track.  It was right down my alley once I heard the synths twirking and the slap bass in the opening bar.  Then it went and gone blew my mind as Tyna comes in with a super mellow voice and setting the lady straight while still keeping his composure, "...I don't care/I don't give a fff/No, I won't swear."  The echo of "emotional funk-funk-funk-funk" at the end of the first refrain is an example of a little thing, but proves the artistry of the group.  Usually the word "funk" is used to describe positive, cool things in a funk track.  That little echo and the delivery of "emotional funk-funk-funk-funk" helps deliver the message that the subject matter of the song is the garbage nobody needs in their life.

Everything great about positive dance tunes can be found in this track: swirling synths, uplifting horns, a funky bassline, tasteful effects, a dance song about a dance party and the fictional (?) hot spot where you can forget your worries.  I'll forgive them for missing a syllable in "sanctury" (sic).  Judging by the attention to detail in the rest of the album, I'm guessing that they mispronounce it on purpose because the extra syllable just doesn't work sonically.  This song gets me rolling my upper body side-to-side every time.  By the song's end I have my plans for the night figured out: I'm heading to The Sanctuary!  You better believe that if I open up a club I'm calling it "The Sanctuary" and this is the last song played every night.  

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Get Cryphy 14 in pictures

You know the drill.  It's the day after another successful Get Cryphy.  The crowd continues to become more diverse as this party evolves.  It was great to see all lifestyles and ethnicities represented.

The guest DJ of the night was So Gold who really got the crowd heated with a blend that I've never heard before.  I'm going to assume it's his own special blend.  He dropped the instrumental of Justin Timberlake's "My Love" which got the girls going, and then brought in the vocals of "Thuggish Ruggish Bone" for all the fellas (and weed smokers).  It worked so well.

I also must give a shout out to the local, independent retailer of cool ish, Phenom, for giving away cool schwag.  Items included shirts, stickers, caps and even a skateboard!  Bill tossed wooden projectile into the crowd midway through the night.  I can't believe nobody got hurt.  A lot of people ended up leaving with some good stuff.  I'm still trying to convince my girl to let me rock the stocking cap she nabbed.  I can't complain though, because I caught a solid long sleeve.  Props to Phenom.


Friday, March 6, 2009

Do It To It volume 2

Mike Davis (aka Mike the 2600 King) has a lot of friends.  Burlesque Design has a lot of friends.  The high school quarterback has a lot friends.  The difference between this group of people is that Mike and Burlesque have an abundance of talented and equally cool friends.

Last year, Mike got together a bunch of talented DJ's, made some killer dance tracks, and pressed them all on yummy wax.  To top it off, each EP cover was designed and screen-printed in-house at Mike's Burlesque Design studio.  It got rave reviews at taste-making music retailer, turntablelab.com.  To celebrate a job well done, the gang through a bonkers party in First Ave's main room where Mike and Dave Nada rocked their nads of.  I won't forget that party.

I'd normally include a download from a featured record, but since this is an EP and it's from a Minnehappinite I'm not.  If you follow the "cop this" link, you can stream the tracks.  Or for an example of what Mike's track, "Give It To Me", sounds like in a mix you can download my all-vinyl live mix from a year ago .  His track is featured around 5:50.

recorded live using all vinyl

And coming later in March (with a co-sign by the Top Billin boys)...

Monday, March 2, 2009

New Release Tuesdays promo mix


I finally got around to putting a brief mix together to promote my Tuesday night gig.  This is part one of what was going to be a two part mix.  I have been under the weather the last few days, so this will suffice to give you a taste of what to expect when you come thru the Dinkytowner on Tuesday night.