Friday, April 30, 2010

Liner Notes: Trackademicks "Spend the Night"

Trackademicks - "Spend The Night" from HNRL on Vimeo.

"The recipe for ecstasy, I bet it'll you next to me..."

Contrary to popular belief, I didn't grow up on Prince.

Instead, around my late teens, I started to get up on his music at a snails pace, mostly as it related to hip-hop. At the time D'Angelo had just dropped "Untitled" and hella folks were comparing him to Prince. At that point, all I [thought I] knew about Prince was that he was a small androgynous light skinned guy with a high voice.

But over the next couple of years, his sound made its way into my dollar record collection and finally, musical consciousness. At one brief point I was watching Purple Rain like every other day. I realized that the reason I wasn't up on him was because the songs I were truly drawn to like "Pop Life", "17 days", "If I Was Your Girlfriend", just to name a few, hadn't resonated with me yet in a way to contextualize the more radio friendly Pop hits. Backwards, I know. Prince is someone that can do everything at an extremely high level. It took some of his nuanced musical tendencies to pull me in and open me up to his whole agenda. Once I got it, I could never leave it.

It wasn't until some years later (about a year and a half ago) that I got the idea to flip "Take Me With You" into a house track.

See, at the same time, I was already a big fan of all kinds of electronic music. French House like DaftPunk to UK Garage like Wookie to Naked Music in SF. But, of all the music I truly enjoyed, a "pretty" aesthetic was the the common denominator.

The idea for the track came when I heard the bridge of Prince's original. The chords were magnificent. I decided to loop up the phrase and give it the "Trackademick Revaluation". And it must not be a coincidence that the words "All I want is to Spend the Night Together", occupy that part of the song. Pretty much synopsizes the song, not to mention the main objectives of many drunkardly-amorous-nightclub-goers and lovers around the world.

I wanted it to feel like electricity. Fluid. Almost like a dream. A drug-induced dancefloor vacation.

I chose to connect the visual aspect to the sample's origin because I felt that Purple Rain was a perfect stylistic and thematic representation of this song. I definitely wanted to focus on the Prince/Apollonia connection, blatantly disregarding the larger story line, because, just like real life, nothing else matters when everything that you've ever wanted is staring at you in the face...

Shout out to Rob Critical for putting the visuals together.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Liner Notes: Chromeo- 100%


I've always like the Chromeo sound. So when I got word from Fool's Gold about remixing this for promotion they were doing with Bacardi, I was juiced.

One of my favorite things about this remix is the sax solo. For those who are unaware, I played the sax from fourth through twelfth grades. I guess you could say I was mediocre at best. Always around third chair in the section, once making second chair. I used to play the Baritone Sax because I was the biggest kid in the class. I was primarily in concert band, with a [very] backseat role in jazz band.

Basically I sucked.

It wasnt that I wasn't talented. I just hated practicing. Scales? Bari Sax arrangements of Bolero? Wamp and wamp.

I was bored.

What I did learn how to play half way decent was the synth melody of RBL Posse's "Bounce To This" (peep a young ass pre MTV-Sway in the video). I also used my Bari Sax in my early "Casioke" (Casio Keyboard and Karaoke) recordings. I'm about 99.9% sure yall will never hear those. They were wonderful(ly horrible and amatuer. Teens today are waaaaaaaay ahead of where we were musically, LOL).

I guess what I'm getting at is that I never put in the effort to get good enough to play a solo like the one on this song.

That's will be changing though... and I have the record to prove it!

Get It Here!


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Liner Notes: Trackademicks "Prime Factors"

Jokers Of The Scene "Baggy Bottom Boys" from Mr Goldbar on Vimeo.

Baggy Bottom Boys.

What is a Baggy Bottom Boy? Other than a song's title, I still have no idea.

What I do know is that while on tour with Fool's Gold, I heard this tune being played nightly by Jokers of the Scene. It turned out to be their tune and eventually a Fool's Gold release.

When I first heard the piano breakdown (2:50), I was real intrigued. It was totally different from the rest of the song. It wasn't till after the tour I got the idea to flip it into my own creation. Over the last few years a lot of rappers have decided to make what they consider a "Techno song". Some have been fresh, whereas others have ended up sounding like nondescript dance rap, not clearly influenced by any particular genre or subgenre of dance music. Just Faaaaaast.

Instead of going the fast [tempo] route (one I'm very familiar with), I decided to make an Fresh Coast Hip-Hop song out out of an actual Techno song.

Cut the tempo in half, add some bass, eff a hook, and rap my ass off.

Viola! Holla!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Liner Notes: Zero 7 feat. Eska "Medicine Man" (Trackademicks Remix)

*Swipe from previous post, Trackademicks x Zero 7

I've come to learn that it's extremely funny how things work out. The universe tends to foreshadow happenings in ways that you may just miss them if you're not paying attention.

Back in '05, Tap and went to London and got a chance to kick it out there for a brief stint. During that time, we got a chance to connect with Eska . At the time she was really making a lot of noise in London. Just in case you're unfamilar, her voice is the $h!t. Since that time, she's gone on to work with one of my favorites, Matthew Herbert . Wow.

When I got commissioned to remix Zero 7's upcoming single, I was speechless. I've been a fan for a minute. I remember hearing Bugz in the Attic flip "Distractions"... Sia's voice was amazing. I had the pleasure of catching them at the Hollywood Bowl along with Matthew Herbert and Gotan Project. That show was off the hook.

So when I got the parts for "Medicine Man", I heard a familiar voice on the track. It turned out that Eska was the featured vocalist. It also turns out that she is on more that a few songs on the album. After meeting her, we never got the chance to do any music, so this remix kind of brings everything full circle.


Available NOW in the UK Exclusively!!!
Zero 7 "Medicine Man" (Remixes) - EP
iTunes UK

Monday, April 19, 2010

[RE]Mixtape Vol. 3 Release Party Photos


Overpacked venue.
Hour long line.
Mayer Hawthorne

This past thursday's [Re]Mixtape Release Party at PST was epic to say the least.

Mr E. (Papalote)
Scott La Rockwell

Shout out to EVERYONE who came out and celebrated with us!

And if you couldn't make it... Don't trip. There will be plenty of HNRL release to make up your attendance!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Liner Notes: PPP "On A Cloud" (Trackademicks Remix)

Swipe previous post, Chillin On A Cloud With PPP

The first time I ever got a chance see Platinum Pied Pipers was back in '04 at Milk in San Francisco. They had already dropped the "Ridin' High"/"Open Your Eyes" 12", but I still wasn't sure what to expect from them. At that point the group was more hype than buzz in the Bay, but after seeing the show it became evident that PPP was something to pay attention to. And to put icing on the cake, the show introduced us to two women who have proven they to had something to offer the game: Tioimbe Lockhart and Georgia Anne Muldrow. I officially became a fan it all.

I finally got to meet Waajeed at Magic in '06. Dope dude. His only advice on the industry was simple. "Get Your MuthaF#@$%& Money!".

How insightful.
No really.


The fact that this remix actually happened shows that Tap and I actually have the power to will things into existence. I can't explain it, but somehow, through a string of events, I knew this would happen. When I finally got the acapella, I instantly fell in love with Karma's vocals. I decided to bring the track into my realm, while still preserving its funk roots. The horns in my version arent the same horns from the original. I wanted to mimic the original, while bringing a sampled element to it. The only request/guideline I recieved about the direction of the remix was to keep it on the dancefloor. So I had to keep it electric.

Go and buy it.
Buy it now.
The wax is available in stores.
It's on Itunes.

Get that, Get that!!!!


Monday, April 5, 2010

FREE DOWNLOAD: The [Re]Mixtape Vol. 3


The Third installment of my [Re]Mixtape Series is finally here!

FREE DOWNLOAD: The [Re]Mixtape Vol. 3

The 17 song mix includes remixes from the likes of Zero 7, Chromeo, Jazmine Sullivan, Janelle Monae, Little Dragon as well as a few exclusives of my own.

Over the next couple of weeks I'll be dropping exclusive liner notes right here on the blog along with other pertinent goodies around project...

SF Release Party 4/15 @ Pacific Standard Time... Details coming soon.

Download It.
Play It.
Share It.

Fresh Coast Stand UP!!!

Thursday, April 1, 2010