Friday, May 30, 2008
AS SENT TO ME FROM DJ TAP.10:
1 o.A.k. - Goodbye Girl
Before the end of July, I'll finally release the "Tender Knock"
mixtape so that the world will know about this subgenre of music that
DJ Tap.10 coined over 6 years ago, LOL! But it turned out that this
song has nothing to do with that…
I had the idea for Track to remake "Goodbye Girl" because the original
Go West version would sound dope "tenderized"… the song already had a
Tender Knock sensibility. Of course, Track took it in a totally
different direction, like he usually does when doing a remix, or
remake in this case. I was geeked though when I heard the final joint
with the vocal stylizings of Honor Roll freshman, producer ternt
saingerrrr, 1 o.A.k. Also, as a final touch, it was my platinum idea
to have him sing the outro "… so don't say goodnight, say
goodbyeeeeeeeeeeee", as a reference (and play on words) to
Blackstreet's classic "Before I Let You Go". This joint is definitely
one of my favorites from The [Re]Mixtape Vol. 2.
*Peep the Trackademicks Remixes of "Rifle Love" and "Regrets" from the
first [Re]Mixtape for a better understanding of the Tender Knock
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Video Taken by ME!
Janelle Monae LIVE in Oakland, CA 10/27/07 @ the Oakland Conservatory of Music
Before I ever heard her music, I was familiar with Janelle Monae´ through her highly stylized myspace page. This was around the time she was featured on Big Boi’s Purple Ribbon mixtape, before she surfaced on the “Idlewild” soundtrack or the “Morris Brown” video. I like what I heard. Real charismatic. When I heard “Call in the Law” on the soundtrack, I was sold. She had an undeniable amount stage presence on the damn CD! I could tell that she was playing the role while singing the song. I couldn’t wait to hear whatever she breathed on. One day Tap told me her first release was out; Metropolis Suite I of IV: The Chase. I can get real descriptive and all that, but I don’t think it’ll do justice to how excited I was to hear it. Everything was on point; the marketing, press, performances, costumes, blogs- and of course the MUSIC. Contemporary Black Art at its finest. I love a good concept project and this is the best of that. Apparently Diddy was intrigued enough to add her to the family. With siblings like Danity Kane and Day 26, lets hope there’s enough food at the table for everyone to eat… I’d love to see Making the Band: The Wondaland Arts Society Edition, although people with talent might be boring to watch... As far as me doing the remix, this is probably my favorite remix on the project. I understand that everyone needs love… especially cute androids.
Janelle Monae´- Violet Stars, Happy Hunting!.mp3
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
...Well kind of. My name is mentioned in the article . Word on the street is that the Nina Sky is on the new Kid Sister album- on a Trackademicks beat. That sounds worth listening to, If you ask me.
New Liner notes... Soon, very soon...
Friday, May 23, 2008
Picture: Jack & Track "A Deer In Headlights"
Jack Davey (J*Davey) “Valley of Love”
Real recognize real. As I write this, I think about how much the landscape of music is rapidly changing. Right now, on the business side, no one seems to know what is going to happen to in the midst of declined record sales, music piracy and all the other side effects of a technologically literate society. Labels continue to take more and do less. Myspace is giving voice to anyone willing to listen. And in some instances, music careers have been created as nothing more than promotional branding tools for other “more lucrative” ventures.
With that said, I met Jack and Brook of J*Davey in the spring of 05. I was already in full swing with my brand of WesternSlapademickTenderSmobbinCosmicMusic, but after hearing what they were bringing to the table, I felt like it was only a matter of time before the Fre$hCoast lifestyle and sound would once again permeate the pop soundscape. With 2008 in full swing, there has definitely change since then. Hip-Hop has changed. For proof, all one has to do is look at the lineups for Rock The Bells or The Roots’ Picnic. Hip-hop has undoubtedly been plugged in the socket.
After meeting the duo at a house party at Jack’s house, we hit it off and started linking whenever we were in each other’s cities. We always talked about doing something, but never could quite make it happen.
Eventually in mid ‘06 I moved into my first studio, the now defunct Band Room (prior to that everything was made in my bedroom). One of the first beats I made in there was the track to “Valley of Love”. I remember it vividly. The room had no windows or furniture. It was sweltering hot. I had no shirt on. The only light in the room was from the purple screen of the Ensoniq ASR-88. This shit was electric. Originally, I had planned to keep this beat for my album, as I had fallen in love with it. So when Jack finally came around to as for a beat, I wasn’t sure I had anything fitting. So unsure, in fact, that I only burned a CD with one beat. I had never given just one beat to anyone. Three maybe. Not one. Luckily, she fell in love with it and banged it out. It’s a wonderful statement about her “Valley of Love”.
Fast forward. Mike and I are down in LA at Brook’s old studio. Jack plays us what she laid down. It was fresh. So, before the song is even finished playing, Pro Tools gives us some weird status message. The session is frozen. Jack’s hard drive had crashed. We sat there for an hour trying to revive it but it wasn’t happening. I’m sure many music addicts can relate when I say that only hearing the song once was hell. Needless to say, I wasn’t able to hear the song for about another six months until I went down to work with them in the studio.
J*Davey is one of the dopest groups to arrive on the scene in the last few years, and definitely my favorite. This song can also be found on the J*Davey’s Land of the Lost EPisode. If you aren’t up on them, you’re ears aren’t as happy as they could be! Be on the look out for more J*Davey/Trackademicks/Honor Roll collabs...
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Phonte and Carlitta Durand “Halfway”
This song was one of the best surprises I’ve ever gotten. After having the opportunity to remix “Don’t Leave Me Alone” for Windimoto, I got in touch with Phonte. He is one of the most talented dudes out there, a real straight forward to the point type dude. After bonding over some of the industry’s most promising offerings, we finally go around to talking about some music. We talked about a few things like low-tech studio methods for the technologically impaired, his upcoming 80s remake project with Zo!, and doing some music together. I sent him a few beats, hoping he could do something with them. So one Saturday morning, I get an IM from Tay telling me to check my email… Bam!
“Halfway” is one of the most sought after tracks on this [Re]Mixtape. It was icing on the cake to hear Carlitta on the track. Tay is one of those dudes that get it. Everything is right in the pocket to garner that mass appeal.Tap has played it in the club numerous time and every time someone asks about it. We wanted to play the whole thing, but we had to save some for when it drops…
Also, be on the look out for a Trackademicks Remix of this right here...
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Honeycut “Shadows” (Remix)
Shout out to Lydia over at Quannum Projects for this one. She hit me up one day and asked if I would be down to do a remix of this track. I wasn’t up on Honeycut but after hearing the track, I knew there was room to flex. The vocals were fun so I had to give it a real upbeat remix. I’m a big fan of dance rock and had been itching to do a remix in that vein. Of course, I can’t ever stay in one genre, so this one was also heavily influenced by my love for early 80’s Funk, Soul, Boogie, and Soulful Electro-House. This is somewhat of an homage to the aforementioned genres, as well as current dance music masters like DFA andMetro Area…This probably one of my favorites on the [Re]Mixtape.
Also, can I just say that the dancing in this youtube video is WONDERFUL… These dudes use an MPC and and ASR-10 in place of live drums. Wow.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Music Video: The Editors- "Bullets”
The Editors are dope. Before I did this remix, all I had heard from them was “Munich”. After hearing the album, “Fingers in the Factories” became a favorite of mine. I was feeling the sound already, so when the homie Catchdubs asked me if I was down to do something for the Editors remix project on Fader Label, I gladly accepted. I ended up doing two remixes, one for “Bullets” and the other for “Camera”.
Originally, the basic idea behind the “Bullets” Remix was to juxtapose the vocals with a dark soundscape, almost on a DJ Shadow-esque trip-hop vibe. The vocals were very expressive, so I wanted a remix that exposed the emotion and feeling of the original. A lot of times, I have a tendency to ramp up the energy in a track as it ticks along without a hint in the beginning. However, with this one felt like going hard in at the beginning and backing off when the verse began so I could build back up to it. The final result was a lot crazier than I had anticipated. Super Synthetic, with arpeggios everywhere. With this remix, I used the Juno-60 for the arpeggiated bass line and the ASR-88 for everything else.
The Editors- Bullets.mp3
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Goapele is one of the dopest artists here in the Bay. She's also someone that people recognize outside of the Bay. Tap and I had a chance to get an exclusive tour of Skyblaze's new, Top Secret Oakland facility. The plans for the studio were pretty amazing. It will definitely be a driving force in the production of quality music here in Oakland. I can't wait to get a chance to do some work up in there...
When I decided to remix this track, I wanted to bring it over 100% into my zone, change the feel of the whole song.
The original track is real organic and pretty lighthearted.
The remix is real synthetic and a tad bit emotional.
I decided to make it more "serious", like she's begging for dude's attention. I wanted it to sound like she was super infatuated, the type of girl who loves quick and passionate. In love in one week, out the next. To me, the passion in the sound conjures up visions of someone so lustful it hurts. Think of Prince in his basement apartment with Apollonia, backwards crying in the tape deck right before they get it on. You can cut the lust in the air with a spoon ("... because it's DULL you twit... it'll hurt more!"). And sometimes Passion and Pain go hand in hand.
Of course, I could be reading into it too much... Maybe it just sounds nice.
Either way it goes... It Goes!
Oh Yeah. To all the SUCKA DJs: The beginning of this track on the [Re]Mixtape Vol. 2 is the reason why DJ Tap.10 is a GENIUS. Period.
Please do your homework.
Hmmm... Feels like De Ja Vu..
Goapele- Love Me Right.mp3
Monday, May 12, 2008
Music Video- Ready for the World “Oh Sheila”
Ok, now normally I would be weary about even attempting to touch music that has been out for more than a few years. When you do this, you begin to mess with that gray area where music begins to either mature into classic material or gets lost and forgotten in the vaults, only to be dug up when that 20-year pop culture cycle comes full circle. With the advancement of technology, the 20 years is getting shorter everyday. In worst circumstances, the cycle is completed and recycled before a movement or cultural phenomenon gets any real shine…can anyone say Hyphy?
It’s also like a vintage wine where the region and harvesting conditions determine whether the winery had a good year. In my personal opinion, the mid-80s soundscape harvested by those such as Prince and all his offshoots was as solid and rich as the soil in Napa. So when you have legions of others plant seeds in the same soil, some of them are bound to yield some good shit. “Oh Sheila” was one of them. I think you get the point.
The homie Neros shot me a bunch of classic acapellas. Melvin Riley’s damn near androgynous lisp was screaming for an update. I decided to break the rules and do it anyway. Thankfully, the outcome didn’t disappoint me. I wanted to create a soundscape soft and lush enough to compliment this dude’s borderline hilarious vocals. I gave it soulful-electro-house feel, a fitting soundscape for a lounge in South Beach. I love this remix; it has had a ridiculously positive response from high school kids who didn’t have to like it whatsoever.
Also, on a side note, I know more than couple Sheilas…
Oh Yeah. To all the SUCKA DJs: The end of this track on the [Re]Mixtape Vol. 2 is the reason why DJ Tap.10 is a GENIUS. Period.
Please do your homework.
Ready For the World- "Oh Sheila" (Trackademicks Remix).mp3
Friday, May 9, 2008
Windimoto feat. Victor St. Clair “Don’t Let Me Leave Alone (Trackademicks Remix)”
I was asked to do an official remix the Windy-Motor City DJ/Production duo Windimoto. The homie Dom (Loud Minority/IM) shot me the track and told me that a certain “Little Brother” did the vocals. When I heard the song I was instantly hooked. It had an unassumingly smooth soulful house vibe. I wanted to bring up the energy so I decided to make the drums a bit harder. I’m a big fan of a lot of soulful UK electronic music so I decided to take this one in that direction. This remix was kind of a spring board for one of the original songs on the mixtape. Check out the original:
Windimoto feat. Victor St. Clair- Don't Let Me Leave Alone.mp3
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
1 O.A.K & Trackademicks “Got U Hooked”
The first time I heard this beat, I was at Pacific Standard Time, one of SF’s fre$hest weekly jumpoffs. DJ Sake One threw this instrumental on at the end of the night. I had to ask. When he told me who it was, I felt like an idiot, should have known that one! After hearing the original, I was turned out. Eventually, I got the idea to remake it, playing the role of the “whipped individual”. I wrote the hook and co-wrote the rest with 1 O.A.K. (and yes, the “Pookie” reference was his genius at work).
Fast forward a few months. Back at PST on a Thursday night. This time the Honor Roll is performing. We perform “Got U Hooked”. Immediately after the show, my homegirl keeps asking where we got that beat from. I insisted that it was Three 6 Mafia. A few days later she hits me with a myspace comment saying that Three 6 got the beat from a song called “Roll With Me” featuring T.I. by Co-Ed. You learn something new everyday.
Three 6 Mafia- "Pussy Got You Hooked" featuring Remy Ma.mp3
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
Kelis in GQ, August 2006
Okay. Now anyone who knows me knows that my [primary] celebrity crush has been Kelis since I first got familiar from the ODB video and heard “Caught Out There”. She single-handedly paved the stylistic freeway for many of these “alternative urban” females… She was a hero to many young women looking for a way to express that edge, but couldn’t find an outlet within the pre-existing boundaries of mainstream hip-hop or r&b. I had the kaleidoscope-colored Kelis poster on my college dorm wall like a pre-pubescent groupie. I digress before I even begin…
Anyway, when Tap gave me this acapella, I approached it as if it were the woman herself. Of course I wanted to touch it, but I had to do it right, or I’d never have another go around. Originally, the first dude she was with had her moving at fast pace. Not too fast to where it wasn’t enjoyable (it's my favorite song on the album), just more aggressive. Personally, I like to take my time with situations like this. I decided to move a lot slower, soak up every moment I had with her, as if I might not ever get another chance at it. There we were, in no rush to get to her “galaxy”. We had all the time in the world. I think I put it down, gave a good performance, as she said “Thank You, You” after we were done... Hopefully when I see her again, for the first time, she’ll remember the effort I put forth and invite me up to do it again… Until then, I’ll have this moment on repeat. Luckily I recorded the whole thing.
This is what I call “Bed Music”, fitting for a “Perfect Day”… I know Kelis knows what I’m talking about. Ok, enough of the antics…
Monday, May 5, 2008
Trackademicks “Topsidin’” feat . Moxmore, Live @ Superfriends w/ Nick Catchdubs, Milk Bar SF
Both Moxmore and I were born in Alameda, Ca. Alameda is an island “off the coast of the ‘Town” (Oaktown, for all those stuck in 1990).
We have a beach.
We have coastal parks.
We have yacht clubs.
We have Kite Surfing.
Yes, growing up in “The Coney Island of the West Coast” (that’s no joke) exposed me at a young age to a bunch of life’s trappings… trappings I couldn’t afford. Coming up in the Bay, I developed a fondness for the outdoors and infatuated with the nautical lifestyle. When it comes to recreation and leisure, Northern California is as good as it gets. You’re in within driving distance to the mountains of Sierra Nevada, the snows of Tahoe, the deserts of California, the beaches of the Pacific Coast, and everything in between.
“Topsidin’” is the state of mind that this lifestyle breeds.
It’s Livin’ the Life.
Trackademicks "Topsidin'" feat. Moxmore, Live @ YoYo NYC w/ Mark Ronson & Aaron LaCrate for Mark Ronson's Birthday Bash
I had this beat for about a week before I decided to use it. The chord progression kept calling my name. I came up with a hook for this one came so easy. After laying it down, I played it for Moxmore. It was a no brainer. He laid his verse down and ever since then its been on.
If you’re unfamiliar with Moxmore, get ready. I’m confident in saying that he is one of the best.
Writes hella quick… WITHOUT a pen.
Punch lines forever.
Daunting stage presence.
Can bench-press your family.
Acts like Lloyd Christmas.
Truly an emcee’s emcee. No Sarcasm there. Nada.
Trackademicks & the Honor Roll "Topsidin" Live for the Fool's Gold Tour @ The Mezzanine SF
As you can see in the videos, this song gets the job done. Look for Topsidin’ on the upcoming "Enjoy What You Do"/"Topsidin’" 12” from Fool’s Gold Records later this summer… along with the music video...
“We’ll Surf on a Plane If We Got To Go…Topsidin’!”
Friday, May 2, 2008
TRACKADEMICKS *EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW*CRACK DISTRIBUTORS RADIO
Apparently I cook crack.
My mother would be so disappointed at me.
Peep the interview...
New Liner Notes very shortly...
TONIGHT!!! I'm opening for Lyrics Born @ The Independent in SF... Get There Early!