Posts by Alec Rojas

Ghostpoet’s “Meltdown” Reimagined by Squarepusher

Ghostpoet's "Meltdown" Reimagined by Squarepusher

Ghostpoet is a rising star of UK grime/rap/garage vocalists. Ever since 2011’s pristine Peanut Butter Blues & Melancholy Jam, his cult following status has only grown larger, including some stateside love (myself included, of course). His music wonderfully blends moodiness and reflection. The dark, brooding beats hover and oscillate between grime, trip hop and backpacker hip hop. And his voice, well, his voice captures an emotional context that few can achieve. “Cash and Carry Me Home” was remixed endlessly, while “Survive It” feels like a million life lessons all rolled up into one. So where’s the follow up?

The new album, Some Say I So Say Light, emerged on May 6 to equal aplomb. Not afraid of bending genres and convention, the record takes soul, rap, grime, and reflective or meditative lyrics and mashes them together. Fortunately for us, the excellent new single “Meltdown” gets remixed by the one and only Squarepusher. He amps it up a few notches, dropping the meditative nature of the track into a wobbly, brilliant mashing of sound. This is one of those songs that will feel iconic for the year as time goes by, a microcosm of the variety of sound in 2013.

Shlomo and Jeremih Come Together for “Bo Peep (Do U Right)”

Shlomo and Jeremih Come Together for "Bo Peep (Do U Right)"

Yours Truly, SF based music documentarians, have spent the better part of the last year videotaping some of the more innovative trendsetters in music. Be it the newest smoldering Los Angeles IT-girl or a new soul singer, they have chronicled some of the best emerging artists in the past few years. Recently, they taped Shlomo and Jeremih while they worked on a new single.

Continue reading

RL Grime & Salva Remix Jamie Liddell’s “What A Shame”

RL Grime & Salva

Maybe it’s the Boiler Room effect. Or the whirlwind success that seems to accompany the D-I-Y-in-mommas-bedroom-when-you’re-under-25 beatmaking crew. But the world of pop production and “indie” production consistently overlaps. One minute you’re slaving in the basement and the next moment you’re sending beats to the A$AP Mob and Yeezy wants to sample you. Ok that doesn’t happen to everybody – it just appears that way.

So the pairing of RL Grime and Salva makes all the sense in the world. Two of LA’s more sought after producers, they earlier struck gold on their collaboration on the GOOD Music hit ‘Mercy’. As RL Grimes ascends through some Mad Decency and Salva takes sets from Low End Theory and Power 106, any further collaborations are just icing on the cake. Somehow combining a bit of trap, UK Garage and Liddell’s songwriting chops, the remix of “What a Shame” is a mover and a shaker. The original comes from the Liddell’s self titled record from this year. A banger in its own right. Liddell, for all his neo-soul crooniness, remains a purveyor of the underground beat scene. With these dudes at the helm, I just have to say: they know just when to drop the beat. Headphones users and people with subwoofers be warned.

The Mission Statement Mix by TNGHT

The Mission Statement Mix by TNGHT


TNGHT must be the most important bass and trap outfit out there. One part Glasgow and one part Montreal, the group makes beat making look effortless. Made up of two rising production stars in Hudson Mohawke and Lunice, the group not only is affiliated with the recently-dead-but-now-risen Lil Wayne but also Yeezy and G.O.O.D. Music. With spots in the latest Adidas ad and some Adult Swim drops, these dudes are firmly on the map. Last year’s EP, with all of its weird twists, turns, and absolutely brutal bass lines, sounded like a Southern Crunk Rave.

That’s a good thing.

Continue reading

Karriem Riggins flips “Summer Madness”, makes your day sunnier

Karriem Victor photo by Gerrard Victor

Photo by Gerard Victor

The f0nk. We’ve discussed it before, and now it’s back again. Released in 1974 by Kool and the Gang, “Summer Madness” remains one of the best grooves from the 70’s. The beat is not only irrepressible but one of the most familiar samples of all time. G-funk and Mr. Smith with Jazzy Jeff helped reintroduce the song to a younger audience, and to them, it is the definition of summer.

So now it gets a flip by one of the best drummers in the game.

Continue reading

“Goldmine” by Kilo Kish (produced by Starslinger)

Kilo Kish

Kilo Kish seems to have her aesthetic planned out. The FIT grad has collaborated with Childish Gambino, SBTRKT, and members of the A$AP and OFWGKTA in under a year. And just last month she brought a lot of attention to herself because of the K+ mixtape she dropped (which you can listen to at the end of the post). That’s probably because she has a breeziness to her vocals, a style that floats somewhere between singing and rapping.

“Goldmine,” the first track off the mixtape, exists in a world of woozy seduction. As Starslinger and his Jet Jam parties begin to take over the globe (no really, the dude has 50k more followers on Soundcloud than Diplo and 100k more than Warp Records without even dropping an LP), the partnership of Starslinger and Kilo Kish appears inevitable and effortless. The reverbed drums, shaky strings, and chipmunk-esque vocals provide a seductive backdrop. Kilo Kish coos at the listener, begging, enticing us to believe that she has waited for someone like us. If it means a song like this, I’ll take that offer.

DJ Shadow’s Infamous South Beach Set

DJ Shadow

“Too futuristic” is what they called it. On December 14, 2012, DJ Shadow played Club Mansion in Miami’s famous South Beach. This was supposed to be one of the final stops of his All Basses Covered Tour which emerged from the beat music he played at Low End Theory last summer. Yet the club promoters, for whatever reason, kicked him off the turntables only 30 minutes into the set. A week later they issued an apology:

“We offer our most sincere apologies to DJ Shadow and his fans for his set being cut short at Mansion this past weekend. This error should not have happened and will not happen again, especially as we pride ourselves on creating an environment that cultivates and respects innovators such as DJ Shadow. We have learned a lot from this error and made changes within our organization to ensure that Mansion’s vision, and the vision of our guests, will never be compromised again.”

A bullshit apology if there ever was one. But the set itself? No bullshit at all. An absolute monster. Enough to take down Rodan, Mothra, AND Godzilla. DJ tricks are utilized all over the place: flawless transitions, perfect loops and fades, epic bass drops. All the tricks of the trade are utilized to make an exhilarating 90 minutes of contemporay music. Genre wise, for DJ Shadow that means a heavy dose of ratchet, DnB, glitch hop, and trap beats. Some heavy, skull-rattling stuff.

If anything, the days of Girl Talk-esque mash ups are firmly a thing of the past. Maybe his “crime” was only using one original track halfway through the set. But who else could mix and remix Fleetwood Mac, E-40, Thom Yorke, and an absurd hair metal solo? Only that dude with skills for 6 days.

The Awe Inspiring “Fjara” video by Sólstafir

‘Fjara’ video by Sólstafir

‘Fjara’ video by Sólstafir

We here at TFIB like Icelandic music. Like, a lot. It’s not that we will cover Sigur Ros and their amazing music videos… It’s that we’ll cover the singer as well. We give all kinds of shits about Bjork too, and frequently drift into a hazy sleep listening to múm. The blend of electronics and classical, well, we’ll just listen to Olafur Arnalds for that.

It can’t all be the romance of experimental, post-rock, and classical, music with a beautiful backdrop, right? Can Iceland rock? Like, HARD?

Continue reading

“À tout à l’heure,” a brand new song by Bibio

Bibio, photo by Mads Perch

Photo by Mads Perch

Ever since Ambivalence Avenue dropped four years ago, Stephen Wilkinson aka Bibio can safely be considered a TFIB fave. Blending atmospherics, Nick Drake esque guitar, dazzling intricate electronic sequences, and his prodigal, reverb drenched voice, few artists have such a defined aesthetic. Folktronic? Sure. Why not.

This is what makes the new track “À tout à l’heure” so perfectly magical. While his previous record Mind Bokeh felt constrained in its aural differences, it was apparent that Bibio made huge steps forward in songwriting. Working on the new release Silver Wilkinson, he remarked:

After working long and hard on an album, however, I crave change… like you might crave spring after winter. I love seasonal change, it affects me a lot. I like the idea of comparing albums to seasons – they stand alone yet are part of a bigger story. They complement each other. So this album, to an extent, started out with the desire for a new ‘season’, contrasting somewhat with the previous.

If the calendar is anything to go by, a new season indeed. “À tout à l’heure,” roughly translated into “a moment ago” or “see you soon,” moves from silky guitar arpeggios into a bouncy, uplifting rhythmic beat. The atmospherics slide in but this is undoubtedly an uplifting pop song, one for the season ahead.

J. Viewz turns common supermarket vegetables into MIDI instruments

J. Viewz Vegetable MIDI

When the MaKey MaKey made its Kickstarter debut the team issued a challenge: Make something amazing with this. The little microcontroller (Arduino based, ya nerds) can turn any object that conducts an electrical current into a keyboard key or a mouse. From linking The possibilities really are endless, I mean, you can turn a beach ball into a mouse.

Continue reading