Category Mixtape

Arca’s ‘&&&&’, A Mixtape Sure To Open Some Creative Pathways

arca mixtape &&&&

To some extent 2013 can be slashed in half. Before and after Yeezus, I mean. That seems a bit audacious, right? It’s ONE record, maybe not Kanye’s most loved – although the croissants line still gets me. But if anything, like 808s & Heartbreak, it has opened the door for different producers and the darker side of dubstep, grime, and hip hop to become a part of the mainstream.

So who really made Yeezus?

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XXYYXX Spins Up A New Summer Mix for Fader and MoMA PS1

XXYYXX Spins Up A New Summer Mix for Fader and MoMA PS1

I was cruising around Soundcloud this morning when I came across this amazing summer mix by XXYYXX, aka Marcel Everett. Crafted as a part of a collaboration between The Fader magazine and MoMA PS1, the mix hits all the right notes for me, journeying between beat heavy electronic jams, hushed, atmospheric verses and tweaked out classic rap. A pretty good sampling of everything and a great mix for headphones or for everyone in your studio.

Tracklist under the jump.

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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.

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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.

GREATER THAN | A Mix by Los Angeles, I’m Yours

GREATER THAN | A Mix by Los Angeles, I'm Yours

GREATER THAN | A Mix by Los Angeles, I'm Yours

Download the mix by clicking here

I’m most embarrassed of my intellectual hoarding. Like most people who finished high school within the past decade (give or take five years), there’s this inclination to stockpile “what is cool” even if it is in our own minds. This can be a Tumblr you’re obsessed with that you are unwilling to share with others or an early seventies Italian horror film that you only show to special people: these are all examples of intellectual hoarding. They are these things out in the world that anyone can access but you, for whatever reason, feel like you discovered it and had a hand in making it and that your sharing it is doing the world a service.

I’m so awful about that and I’m kind of ashamed that I act this way. Music is a big thing that I hoard, thinking that no one has heard of whatever bizarro Berlin techno diva I’m obsessed with this week. As a means to cleanse this tendency and share some hoarded things, I decided to mix them all up into a mix. It is by no means an expert audial splicing but it does represent music that comes from this semi-entitled place we all have been in.

The hope of this mix is that you’ll encounter some new acts or jams that I’ve had on repeat in some form or another within the past few years. Some are like five years old (How, Still Going??) while others just came out Tuesday (Sup, Sky.)–they are all in my opinion “good” and an attempt to get you to move your ass at work.

The mix is also made in promotion of Los Angeles, I’m Yours and The Devastator‘s one-night-only pop-up shop that will be happening this Saturday at the Meltdown Comics Annex. The event is to help The Devastator celebrate their newest issue and lampoon the idea of all things “Indie.” Intellectual hoarding? Totally a product of the indie/hipster/silly people revolution. Enjoy the mix and you can catch another mix we made for the event over on Los Angeles, I’m Yours. Both mixes are going to play at the event, too.

A Trilogy of Halloween Mixtapes To Scare Up Your Night

We Never Heard It's Noise,  A Halloween mixtape by The Fox Is Black

Hellaween,  A Halloween mixtape by Punchy for The Fox Is Black

Download – We Never Heard It’s Noise
Download – Hellaween
Download – HALLOWEEN II – The Return of Punchy

It’s about that time of the year when people start downloading Halloween mixtapes so I’m reposting these mixes we’ve made over the years with new links. We’ve got three mixtapes to creep things up. The first is one I made called We Never Heard It’s Noise, which is a weird mix of indie/pop music that’s put together in a kind of scary narrative. It’s like a frightening audio journey filled with bone snapping, gloomy rain and a part around the 21 minute mark that might make you poop, it’s pretty great.

The other two mixes were made by my old friend Punchy who makes the best Halloween dance mixes ever. These are the mixes you want to put on when you have a Halloween party and get everyone dancing. First there’s Hellaween, which is the original mix, and then HELLAWEEN II / The Return of Punchy.

I’ve hosted these on my Dropbox account which I’m hoping will be a safe place to store them. If you have any issues please let me know and I’ll try to find them a new home.

3 Mixtapes for an awesome Halloween

We Never Heard It's Noise,  A Halloween mixtape by The Fox Is Black

Hellaween,  A Halloween mixtape by Punchy for The Fox Is Black

I didn’t really have the time to make a Halloween mix this year, so I thought I’d dig up a few gems fro, the vault to share again. One is by me, the other two are by my buddy Punchy, who makes the best dance mixes out there.

The mix at top is called We Never Heard It’s Noise, which I made back in 2009. I think I spent a couple of weeks on it, it was an obsession to make it completely gruesome and terrifying, but still using modern pop music. This might be the mixtape I’m most proud of, to be honest, because of all the layered sounds and transitions between songs. It starts our pretty slow and haunting, but by 5 minutes in it gets fast and crazy.

The other two are called Hellaween and Hellaween II: The Return of Punchy, and are perfect if you want a straight up dance party. He made the first mix in 2008 and then followed up with the sequel last year. The track lists on these are pretty hysterical as well, featuring everyone from Lady Gaga, Kanye, Nicki Minaj, Fresh Prince, Kid Cudi, Michale Jackson and a ton more great artists. If you’re having a Halloween party you’ll want to have these playing all night, they really don’t disappoint.

Follow these links to download the mixes:

We Never Heard It’s Noise (46:13)

Hellaween (50:16)

Hellaween II: The Return of Punchy (26:25)

Flying Lotus: Lovers Melt 2

LOVERS MELT 2 – Flying Lotus by kronika

Albeit a month late on this one, if you haven’t heard this summer mixtape by Flying Lotus you’ve missed out on one this great combination of classic tracks for your summer listening. Even though we’re a month into loving and absorbing this mixtape, I felt like I couldn’t wait any longer to bring this to your attention. As a follow up to his excellent Stones Throw podcast, Lovers Melt 2 follows the vibe of classic soul, jazz, fusion and psychadelia from the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s. For these dog days of summer, this’ll get your tail wagging (Editor’s Note: Ugggghhhh, Alec was punished for that one).

This mix lacks complicated transitions and mixing techniques, thank god, and simply focuses on great songs. It’s a cheat sheet to some extent, giving some of the most sampled songs of all time their original context. It’s a collection of DJ hits: all the songs you will probably recognize, just in different forms and mutations. Stevie Wonder’s Golden Lady makes an appearance, followed by hard bop/funk maestro Donald Byrd, and then classic tracks by George Duke and Bobby Caldwell who keep the funky love songs going. Midway through the mix, world jazz/funk takes over. Baris Manco’s Gonul Dagi hits with its unmistakable bass line and synth that keeps collectors digging for rare Turkish funk and Rotary Connection finally gets full play, more than just the Fugees sample. The mix evolves into a spiritual piece as Sun Ra, Weather Report, Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea are all given their due. Even David Lynch’s musical wanderings make an appearance.

I couldn’t find a better stream than the one Kronika put up on Soundcloud for your listening enjoyment, but please download it and put it on. It’s a great collection of tracks that will make you say “hey, I know that sound… from where?” So enjoy your porch and summer drinks to this excellent mix.