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420247 by DJ Frane

"They try to playa hate me, 'cause I'm gettin' high all day."

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Alright, this is gonna be a quick one ’cause I leave for Palm Springs in a couple of hours, and the shit I say doesn’t really matter anyway.

I present to you another good one from DJ Frane. I have featured his two other albums, Journey to the Planet of Birds & Electric Garden of Delights before, but since I am mainly focusing on singles now, I decided to go with 420247. The beat is trip-tastic, but the best part is the lyrics, they’re funny, witty and oh so true. Check it!… You’ll at least get a good laugh out of ’em.

I just gotta give another shout out to this guy, never have I enjoyed someone’s music from the first track to the last so much, no less on all three of his albums. He’s a truly remarkable artist.

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Empire Ants & Broken by Gorillaz

Plastic Beach: a virtual vacation (with a few bumps along the ride).

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Started listening to Plastic Beach about a week ago. My first thoughts were similar to that of Demon Days, sounds good but nothing stands out. It seems like with Gorillaz, at least in my case, you need to give their albums a few listens to really feel their sound. Well, after a few listens I found some keepers, unfortunately not as many as in Demon Days.

Stylo was the first single from the album, released at the end of January of this year. Though it’s not my favorite, it’s among the better ones, some others being Superfast Jellyfish, On Melancholy Hill & Plastic Beach. But we aren’t here to discuss those, we’re here for the best (of the best), and those would be…

Empire Ants (for one). The song is split in two, the first half with vocals from 2-D (or Damon Albort in reality), with some pleasant, dreamlike instrumentals; and the second half with vocals featured from Little Dragon’s Yukimi Nagano, with a beat that’s straight 80’s XTC (or is that just me, I didn’t live through much of the 80’s). The song takes you to another reach, typical of Gorillaz. It’s my #1 pick, followed closely by Broken.

Broken is a little like the first part of Empire Ants, in that it has a pleasant & smooth sound (other than that, not so much). What I particularly like about this track is its soul-striken lyrics, instead of the usual drug induced ones (those can be fun too, though). They really capture the heart …or maybe that’s just my sensitive side… Anyways, it’s a well thought out track, and good for the those times of heartache … actually, that may not be the best idea (but listen to it nonetheless).

Finally, I just wanted to touch (a little) on some of the tracks that aren’t worth listening to: Sweepstakes (gets stuck in the head, and not in a good way), Some Kind of Nature (sorry Lou, ya just don’t do it for me here), and Welcome to the World of the Plastic Beach (Snoop I expect much more with a beat like this). The other tracks on the album are fairly good, but I haven’t warmed up to them quite yet. Tell me what you think, and let me know what your most/least favorites are

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Nightlite by Bonobo

"Come let's bring light to the night of need."

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I consider Bonobo a rare talent. Not only does he resonate such an affective sound, but he is consistent at it. With a lot of musicians I come across, their albums usually consist of a fair amount of good tracks, but a greater amount of mediocre, unmemorable ones. Reasons for this vary, but it usually has to do with the record labels attempt to hurry and/or manipulate the album for monetary reasons (I love to blame them). But I’m not here to criticize “big business”, I’m here to commend unrecognized talent (or what I consider to be), so let’s get to it…

Nightlite features Bajka who appears on four other tracks from Bonobo’s most recent album, Days to Come. I wouldn’t necessarily consider her a singer, nor a rapper, but possibly something in between. Whatever you call her, she’s a poet (maybe that’s what you call her) that can harmonize with Bonobo’s beat beautifully. Some of my favorite tracks on Days to Come include her vocals (this being one), and I’m sure I’ll feature a few others in the near future. As for Bonobo’s beat, it’s a cool, 8) downtempo night in Paris (or reminds me so). Wonder if it’s inspired by classic French music

I also just downloaded Eyesdown off Bonobo’s website, which is the new single from his upcoming album, Black Sands. The expected release date for the album is March 29th of this year. Check it out if you’re into Bonobo’s sound; I’m guessing it’ll be something worthwhile (like everything else of his). Let’s just say it’s the most anticipated album (for me) in March. Well, actually Plastic Beach by Gorillaz is, so I guess it’s second.

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Clubbed to Death by Rob Dougan

From the 1999 hit film, Fight Club oops, I mean The Matrix.

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I had a little difficulty with this one. I caught Clubbed to Death on some trip hop station, and knew I had heard it before. I could of sworn it was from Fight Club, but couldn’t find it on the soundtrack. I would’ve looked it up on the Internet, but didn’t know the name of it (at the time). It really started to get to me, so I started listening to the same radio station in hopes they’d play it again (so I could Shazam that shit!). After waiting a loonnng time, just as I was about to break, it came on! I found out the name, and looked it up… of course, it was from The Matrix (but it does sound a lot like a Fight Club track).

Anyways, then I had another problem… where the hell was it in The Matrix I looked it up on YouTube, and found some user manipulated clips, but nothing genuine. So, I decided to watch the movie, just so I could bestow this invaluable information to you (i.e. I have a lot of time on my hands :D). Well, here it is (the song is in the first 40 seconds). I would embed it for ya, but those damn YouTubers won’t allow it.

Whatever, the clip doesn’t give justice to Clubbed to Death. The damn thing is a full composition, running for seven minutes and thirty seconds… and eating up my bandwidth, accordingly. Well, you know my way with words (or you soon will), accurately describing a song in its full depth… or not… I should really work on that :). All I have to say is that it’s a song with some interesting instrumentals with some classic piano playin’.

As always, post a comment and tell me what you think… does it sound like The Dust Brothers (creators of the Fight Club soundtrack) Oh, and be a fan on our Facebook page, ’cause i’ll give you this song if you do!!… we’ll ya get it either way, but common. :)

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In the Twilight by TM Juke

This song will put you on another level.

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It’s funny how songs can remind you of the most random places. In The Twilight reminds me of strolling around The British Museum, admiring all the fascinating artifacts. I actually went there twice while I was in London; once to actually appreciate the art, and another time to goof off and take funny pictures (I act like an adolescent at times all the time).

The reason I chose this song is because I like it (duh, haha)… ok, other than that I chose it for its unusual, yet appealing instrumentals. A lot of the time when I hear DJ’s experiment with new sounds the end result just sounds like a bunch meshed noise resembling a child pressing on a soundboard! However, in this case the sounds collaborate into a relaxing, downtempo beat with a natural flare. If you like this then definitely check out my first feature of TM Jukes, Knee Deep, which has some soulful vocals. And, if you’re reading this right now, you better scroll down and comment on this damn blog or else! ;) (or just be my Facebook fan :D)

Important, my favorite parts are at 2:06 (saxy) & 2:21 (the beat hits right) – check ’em out!
This song will put you on another level.

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Go for Mine by Rob the Viking

Skol, (Rob the) Vikings!

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I thought this was befitting to the recent Vikings win over the Cowboys :). I actually planned to feature this before hand, but this gave me the extra push.

Rob the Viking is a DJ/producer from the recognized underground hip-hop group, Swollen Members. Back in 2003, he came out with a solo album entitled Beats to Pillage and Conquer by. Maybe a song from this album could the Viking’s next fight song… maybe not. Though, the original (Skol, Vikings) may need to be updated. Anyways, Rob is talented in his own respect, and has worked with a widespread amount of underground MC’s (I am too lazy to find examples, just take my work for it).

My favorite song off the album would have to be Go for Mine (which should be obvious by now). It incorporates some hip-hop inspired beats accompanied with a string-bass (at least I think it is :D), as well as some excellent DJ doctoring. Overall, this may not be the most rich or engaging piece, but it does pull off some fine stringin’ with some original cuts.

Check out another beat by Rob (the Viking) featured on Therapy by Swollen Members. The MC’s for Swollen Members can really tear up Rob’s beats.

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Na Noite Se Resolve by DJ Soul Slinger

A good song for a great cause.

What initially caught my interest about this album was its purpose. Ecosystem is a 4 day festival in the Amazon, which is trying to raise awareness of the many threats the Brazilian rain forests are facing. The album is a mix of native roots and urban jungle beats by a compilation of artists from the festival. All of the proceeds from the album go to the Ecosystem foundation, so purchase this to invest in a better future :).

There’s not much to say about the song featured (that hasn’t been said) other than that it’s goood (with three o’s)… thought provoking, I know. The song incorporates vocal percussion, and a mix of natural sounds by both DJ Soul Slinger & Bid. Enjoy and let me know your thoughts about the track!

Also, subscribe to my Facebook Page because I’m in the cheap promotion tools mood ;)

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Pasderépit@punglist.com by La Phaze

Who knew the French could Rock?

I recently spotted this song (I’m not typing it out) on Pandora, and thought it made for a good feature. The only problem with it is it’s length (1:50). It’s an intro. for La Phaze’s album, Fin de Cycle, so I can undestand why it’s so short, but it would have been better if it carried on a little while longer. Most of La Phaze’s music seems to be a blend of rap, electro-rock and reggae. I am not the biggest fan of his other works, mostly because I still haven’t grown accustom to MC’s outside of the U.S. (a little more on this here), but this song (still not typing it out) is their stellar track, combining two elements in two different genres to create something new, yet familiar. These “two elements” I am speaking of are (1) the electric-guitar combined with (2) DJ scratching. Recently, I’ve had growing interest in the combination of the two… this song, along with a lot of music by Mel Gibson and the Pants (II), being great examples. The guitar in this, for some reason, reminds me of something Johnny Cash would rock out to, being in a large amphitheater to create that echo sound. It’s a nice quick little piece that won’t take much of your time, so give it a listen and tell me what you think…

Also, if you have any thoughts or info. about La Phrase or Pasderépit@punglist.com (there I said it… or copy/pasted it) please indulge me, I don’t know much about these guys ’cause a lot of the references are in French (and Babelfish can only do so much) :-

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Full Range Earmuff by Mix Master Mike

3 a.m. at the club.

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Full Range Earmuff is more upbeat and danceable than I usually post, but the beat is too good to pass up. The beat is on and is perfect for a club mix, but there’s one problem… it switches up in the middle, unsuccessfully. Don’t get me wrong, switchin’ up the beat halfway through can pull interest to the beat (e.g. DJ FraneII), but Mix Master Mike just doesn’t pull it off. I’ve included it in its entirety, so tell me what ya think…

In case you didn’t know, Mix Master Mike is most notable for his involvement in the Beastie Boys ever since the late 90’s.

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Animal Forest by DJ Okawari

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DJ Okawari is one hard fella to find. Well, most Japanese artists I’ve researched are… probably ’cause I don’t know Japanese. Anyway, here’s another Japanese DJ that blends up a mix of electronica, jazz and hip-hop… nothing special, I know, but give it a listen. It has a solid beat accompanied with a soulful sax (you know I love me some sax).

Another thing I’d like to point out is the amazing artwork for this album. But, to truely appreciate its intricacies you need to look at the full-sized version, provided here. All cover art for Okawari’s albums are done by Marumiyan.

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