hip-hop posts

Tony Allen

Tuesday, August 14th, 2007 by Kyle

afro-beat // hip-hop

Funky good times and flavorlicious rhymes from the Afro-beat legend Tony Allen. Hooking up with artists like Damon Albarn, Ty, and Unsung Heroes, Home Cooking delivers a diverse course of intellect, style, and hip-happenin’ vibes to keep any party alive. Whether you’re looking to dance or sit back and feel the groove, it’s all in there.

Delicious flavors for your mind and booty.
Tony Allen – Every Season ft Damon Albarn & Ty
Tony Allen – Crazy Afrobeat
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Sunday, July 22nd, 2007 by Julija

ukrainian acoustic reggae // hip hop

The duo of Ukrainian guys 5’nizza (pronounced pyatnitsa) experiments with layers of vocals and an acoustic guitar like no-one else. Harmonizing the most unexpected, humming, rappin’ and improvising, they bring a smile to your face. Using human voice they create the best quality break-beat rhythms, instrumentation of drums and trumpets. 5’nizza throws together reggae-like sounds, rock influences, bossa nova melodies, random energetic ska, enjoyable hip hop and the greatest fun from Eastern European underground.

Recommended for sunny summer days.
5’nizza – Son
5’nizza – Voda
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Thursday, May 17th, 2007 by Paul Irish

cliq hop // abstract hip hop

I often wonder what the record label of the future looks like. Artists now can now create, record, promote and distribute their music for little or no cost. Thank you, Internet. Though I’ll admit, record labels have done a phenomenal job at curating similar talent; when you find an artist on Warp, Ninja Tune, or Stones Throw that you like, you can find other nuggets amongst their roster. Merck Records has been the same way, and it sadly closing its doors after years of delivering some amazing IDM and future beats.

One of the strongest producers from a star roster of talent
Deceptikon – Montana (feat. Cyne) (from Greater Cascadia – 2007)
Deceptikon – Sometimes You Hear It Coming (from Birds of Cascadia – 2006)
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Pop Producers Read mp3 Blogs

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2006 by Paul Irish
I don’t want to be too self-congratulatory, but I have heard that David Byrne reads Aurgasm and Nic Harcourt (of KCRW) frequents mp3 blogs. But it’s really unknown what use mp3 blogs have been, or will be, to the music industry at large. Let’s assume for a moment that producers follow mp3 blogs as much as they crate dig in their search of the next great sample. Follow me down this path, will you…

uk pop ← new orleans jazz
If you didn’t already hear, Lily Allen is ‘the next big thing’. Music geeks have been pushing her, wanting her songs will blow up in the US mainstream for a while. She’s definitely got the appeal potential: crisp and fun production underneath her own gritty urban storytelling. Her track “Knock ‘Em Out” was released as a B-side, but is now getting as much attention as her released singles.
Lily Allen – Knock ‘Em Out from Alright, Still (2006)
If you’ve been with Aurgasm for a while, that opening that forms the basis for the track might sound a little familiar. In December 2004 I shared a track by New Orleans pianist Professor Longhair. Take a listen:
Professor Longhair – Big Chief (1964)

cuban mambo → chicago hip hop
Around the same time, a little more south, a Cuban vocalist by the name of La Lupe was gaining notoriety for her energetic live show and, quite franky, her near-insanity. Before joining Tito Puente’s tour, her fan-base included Pablo Picasso, Jean-Paul Sartre and novelist Ernest Hemingway, who called her act, “the art of frenzy.” Last October, I dubbed her song “Fever” as an mp3 gem in The Link List.
La Lupe – Fever (1961)
Chicago’s Rhymefest is best known for penning Kanye’s Grammy-winning single “Jesus Walks”, but you’ll hear that La Lupe track repurposed in this new single off his LP.
Rhymefest – Fever from Blue Collar (2006)

Birdy Nam Nam

Monday, June 12th, 2006 by Paul Irish

turntablism // downtempo

I hear you asking. “How precisely does a group of four Parisian DJs snag the DMC World Team Champion title?” (You’re asking that, right?) Well, let me let you in on a secret. It has to do with eight turntables, half as many mixers, and four Frenchmen that know how to cut, copy, paste, and manipulate songs into healthy grooves. The impressive thing here is that Nam Nam’s music is enjoyable by itself, yet similar to DJ Kentaro and C-Mon & Kypski, their performace and video techniques add the extra piece that establishs their obvious dynasty in the realm of team DJs. Peep the languid track below and then drop into the video of ‘Absesses’.

Downtempo masterpieces, composed scratch by scratch.
Birdy Nam Nam – Kind of Laid Back

Birdy Nam Nam – Absesses

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Sugarhill Gang

Monday, May 15th, 2006 by Andrew Ladd

80’s rap remixed

I imagine it’s pretty hard to remix songs that are as oft-played and over-sampled as much of the Sugarhill catalogue– and when I saw Still The Joint: Sugarhill Remixed in my local music emporium a few summers ago, I was a little dubious. But hey, it was the right price, so I picked it up and let it grow on me. Roots Manuva’s remix of ‘The Message’ by Grandmaster Flash, particularly, has been a regular fixture on my headphones ever since, with its shadowy horns and tight, controlled bass. Even better, though, is the way other tracks slink out of my iPod’s shuffle mode and take me by surprise, like the strut-worthy Two Lone Swordsmen remix of The Sequence’s ‘Funk You Up’.

A chilled bag of electro funk.
Sugarhill Gang – The Message (Roots Manuva Remix)
Sugarhill Gang – Funk You Up (Two Lone Swordsmen Remix)
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Aurgasmic Adventures: Cuizinier

Sunday, April 30th, 2006 by Paul Irish

I need to share with you an encounter I had with a superstar French MC.

Poking around my myspace two weeks ago, I noticed a bulletin from the French rap group TTC, signed to Ninja Tune’s Big Dada label. This bulletin contained two interesting facts:

  1. Two of their members, Cuizinier and DJ Orgasmic, were touring the US
  2. They were looking for a place to crash in each of their stops

TTC – Dancingbox (Modeselektor remix)
Ever since hearing the Modeselektor remix of Dancingbox, I’d been deep into their sound. I figured I could offer up my pad, so I fired back a reply.
Cuizinier replied and was down for it:

hey thanks a lot man
i’ll call you when we’re in town
i already putted you on the guest list

Thursday afternoon I got a phone call from a number with seemingly too many digits. Hello? “Hey this is Cuiz”. After a short chat, I was set to meet up with him at the show. Going to the show I realized I didn’t really know what Cuizinier looked like, but I figured I could recognize a skinny white French rapper. On my way out the door I had grabbed my three bangin pairs of sunglasses so I could look my flyest; DJ A-Trak (Kanye West’s dj and 5-time World DMC Champion) and Brooklyn’s favorite dj duo, The Rub, were spinning.

The Rub warmed everything up with some reggae, then dropping into their signature dance/soul sound. Midway through their set we learned that this was the “Sunglasses Is A Must” tour and the three pair I brought along seemed fortuitously apropos.

A-Trak tore up his set, as usual, with some old classics and brand new hiphop– and of course he brought his turntablism a-game:
Video of A-Trak mixing it up (live)

Cuizinier took the stage around midnight and when I first realized the guy wearing the XXXL Celtics shirt was actually sleeping on my couch, I pretty much blew my shit. His set was hype as hell, bringing out the fire jams from both TTC’s Bâtards Sensibles and Cuizinier’s own Pour Les Filles records.
Video of Cuizinier – L’encule le plus cool (live)
Cuizinier – L’enculé le plus cool from Cuizinier’s Pour Les Filles Vol. 1 (2005)
Cuizinier – Seulement Toi (feat. Tido Berman) from Cuizinier’s Pour Les Filles Vol. 2 (2006)

After the show, me and my girl Anne waited for Cuizi to collect enough cash from the venue to pay for the next day’s train to New York. Cash in hand, we started heading back to my place. Cuizinier told me about the rest of the tour and TTC and Big Dada and all the news, accidentally slipping into French for several sentences, apologizing once he realized, and continuing. Off the stage, Cuizinier and DJ Orgasmic were surprisingly polite and well-spoken Frenchmen. We crashed at my pad, I woke them up at 9am and they took off for the subway shortly thereafter.

Before leaving however, my boy Cuizi Cuiz insisted in giving me a couple “presents” as thanks. I wound up with some goodies: copies of vols. 1 and 2 of his Pour Les Filles records, some flashy stickers and a dope ass Cuizinier sweatshirt.
So of course,


Sunglasses is a mustAs this was the Sunglasses Is A Must tour, y’all gotta email me your best photo of you rockin out in sunglasses.
Prizes will be awarded based on how fly y’all look. You might get just a sticker, or you may get all the booty.

Lil Wayne

Tuesday, December 20th, 2005 by Paul Irish

hip hop // neo-soul remixed

I’ll admit it’s odd for me to be writing on a fairly popular dirty south rap star, but this track “Shooter” has been on solid rotation since I first peeped. The casually dope bassline vibes underneath syncopated soul lyrics from Robin Thicke. Weezy gets in his breathy interjections every couple seconds until he lays into it heavy, nearly 90 seconds after the track starts. Tommy B describes it eloquently, “He’s got an easy drawl on this song, not the playful rasp from the rest of the album but a laid-back, unforced stream-of-consciousness that matches up perfectly with the track’s back-porch sunny-Alabama-afternoon lope.” Thicke’s 2003 soul track “Oh Shooter” bore that addictive lope, only it had Robin’s vocal crooning instead of Lil Wayne’s loose lyrics.
Firey southern rap dropped into a soulful riverboat groove.

Lil Wayne – Shooter
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Sunday, October 2nd, 2005 by Paul Irish

brazilian // baile funk // hip hop

With a name that translates to “little boy”, you can expect to be surprised by this Brazilian’s music. Curumin will open a song with your traditional brazilian instrumentation – sprinkles of ganza, strums of the cavaquinho, and rubs of the cuíca – but he’ll then roll in his octave-dipping synth bass and his wide ass-shaking beats. He expertly brings together 1970s funk and the hash haze of São Paulo street music, all set to a modern, accessible beat. Curumin’s debut, Achados e Perdidos, was just released on Quannum, DJ Shadow’s side label that also houses Lyrics Born, Apsci, and Blackalicious. [via]
Baile, bossa and a healthy dose of straight-up bounce.

Curumin – Guerreiro
Curumin – Tudo Bem Malandro
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DJ Kentaro

Wednesday, August 17th, 2005 by Paul Irish

japanese turntablism // traditional remixed

shamisen. n. 1. A Japanese 3-stringed musical instrument with a very long neck, plucked with a bachi (a binding of sticks).
turntable. n. 1. The circular horizontal rotating platform of a phonograph on which the record is placed.
Ready to see these two very different instruments bust out some crazy fusion of old and new?

Imagine a banjo player dueling with a DJ, in Japan…

DJ Kentaro mixing against a shamisen (skip to 0:40)