More Political Ramblings//Howie B

Apparently mentioning third party candidates on this blog is an easy way to get a lot of e-mails. I mentioned yesterday that I was undecided about who I was going to vote for. I'm between Kerry, Nader and Cobb at the moment. First of all, I'm sorry if this upset anyone. We've probably all heard the "a vote for Nader is a vote for Bush" line. But I don't think this is true. No candidate has a right to my vote until I give it to them, although I can understand why third parties aren't going to come in too strong this time around. The thing is, there are a lot of changes that I would like to see that neither of the major parties will endorse. But maybe right now is, unfortunately, not the time. Although I think this election does run much deeper than Kerry and Bush, I will probably end up voting for Kerry anyway, even though I suspect we'll do well in New Jersey as it is. I don't know that John Kerry is the best man to run the country (hopefully I'm wrong about that), but Bush is too far outside of my political views. Also, I don't want to think what the world will be like after another four years of Bush. The important thing, I think, is what happens after the election, regardless of who wins. The involvement of the people shouldn't just be once every four years; a lot happens in between that time. Ok, that's my two cents on everything. I'll try to stop the political ramblings for a little while.

Mp3 today from Howie B, one of the best I've heard from him in years actually. Over the years, Howie B has contributed his style of dark trip hop to many other artists. He's done production work for Tricky, U2, and Björk (yup, another Björk producer on here) as well as his album with Sly and Robbie, Drum n Bass Stripped to the Bone. Because of the Weather features Crispin Hunt and Will Donovan and is from the new album, Mayonnaise.

Howie B - Because of the Weather



Untitled//808 State

If you've been reading this blog a lot, it's probably no surprise that I'm not a fan of George Bush. Actually, to be fair, I don't like everything about John Kerry either, although I may vote for him anyway. I'm undecided between him and one of the third parties at the moment. But regardless of your political position, I think it's important to know what's going on if you want to participate in the system of our democratic republic. So tomorrow (thursday) night at 9 PM EST, when the first of the three debates is on, I think people should really watch them. Three debates really isn't a lot when you consider how much there is a debate. But, whether you think the media is too liberal or too conservative, you don't need commentary from CNN, Fox News or any of the others tell you what you should think. If anything, watch the debates on C-SPAN, which is probably the closest thing we do have to a "fair and balanced" media source. Also, it's kind of sad to say, but "freedom" has become something of a buzz word in this campaign on both sides. Of course everyone loves freedom, but remember that people have different ideas about what freedom is. So at the risk of sounding like a bad assignment in the a grade school history class, when a candidate uses this word (and they will) think about what you think it really means, and what it means to the rest of the world. Ok, that's my input into it. So now I'll stop with the politics and get onto the music...

More tracks from 808 State. I posted a handful of them back in the early days of Radio Babylon. The more I listen to them, the more I think that they are actually a pretty important band in the history of electronica. They never had huge hits, they're not written about as much as someone like Derrick May or Juan Atkins really. But they've always pushed the envelope further into what electronic music is supposed to sound like, sort of removing the borders and creating something that picks from other genres and brings it all together into a the beginnings of a potentially universal sound. Maybe it's just me, but they were a big influence of Björk and Aphex Twin too. Either way, I think they're fairly underrated in their genre.

808 State - Saxasalt

808 State - Sticky Hop




Human beatboxing is still alive and well it seems. Shlomo provided some of the beats on Björk's new album. The more I think of it, her choice of collaborators seems funny on Medulla. On one hand, there's Tagaq, the throat singer from Greenland, and then there are the more pop sounding artists like Razhel and Shlomo. There's even Dokaka, which is almost a ridiculous form of pop music, a pretty far cry from Tagaq anyway. I feel like she's simultaneously moved in both a pop and avant garde direction at once, to the point where Medulla is almost two different albums (compare Who Is It with Ancestors, and it's almost hard to believe they're on the same CD, other than the all vocal idea). I still actually like the album a lot though, even though it's gotten a lot of mixed opinions. Anyway, this was one of the beatbox collaborators, with some of his solo stuff. Shlomo performed on the single, Oceania.

Shlomo & Lay-Z - Lay-Z Bones

Shlomo - Freestyle 1

Shlomo - Drum n Bass

Shlomo - Freestyle 2

Shlomo - Trance

Shlomo - Freestyle 3

Shlomo live on Radio 1 (interview and live beatboxing)




Chromeo makes vintage, danceable funk. I used to think they were a love it or hate it kind of band, but I have to admit they're growing on me, so there goes my theory. But they've definitely gotten the attention of the people over at DFA Records, with some electro-punkish remixes from both the DFA themselves and from label mate, Juan Maclean. These are them, along with another Chromeo track, Needy Girl, and another remix of Me & My Man.

Chromeo - Me & My Man (The Juan Maclean Mix)

Chromeo - Destination Overdrive (DFA Remix)

Chromeo - Needy Girl

Chromeo - Me & My Man (Fly Whitey Mix)



Afrika Bambaataa & Gary Numan

Sorry it's another late update. So I was searching betterPropaganda for a track to post here this week and when I saw this first track on the homepage, I knew I didn't need to look any further. Afrika Bambaataa + Gary Numan = an amazing electro hiphop cover of classic synth pop song. Admittedly, I like the Nine Inch Nails cover of Metal better, but Bambaataa just gets respect because he's Bambaataa (and because he brought Kraftwerk to the dance floor in the 80's). And as a bonus, I'm posting another track from Bambaataa's new release, Dark Matter at the Speed of Light.

Afrika Bambaataa featuring Gary Numan - Metal

Afrika Bambaataa - Got That Vibe



Ulrich Schnauss

Ulrich Schnauss sounds like the type of artist who just had too many musical influences growing up. So when it came time to record his own music, rather than pick one style, he just had a go at it all, blending it all into the same songs. The result is the general feel of Casino Versus Japan with the production style of Manitoba, but with an energy that can just naturally change where it's necessary. His new single, On My Own, is one of my current favorite chill out records, but here is some older stuff, including songs from his many aliases.

Ulrich Schnauss - A Lie for Breakfast

Ulrich Schnauss - Attraktor part one

Ethereal 77 - Dawn

View to the Future - Sirius

Police in Cars with Headphones - Tetrapek



Eyes Upon the Eyes//DJ Shadow with Zach de la Rocha

Listening to the new Saul Williams cd the other day, I was thinking about Zach de la Rocha's vocal contribution to the song Act III Scene 2 (Shakespeare). It got me thinking again, is Zach's album ever going to come out? I'm actually quite surprised that we haven't heard more from him lately considering now is definitely the time that people would be listening. So I took a visit to his web site to see if anything was up. Turns out that he's got a new single, available on iTunes, that will be featured on an upcoming Fahrenheit 9/11 compilation cd (which is by the way, the only compilation I know of featuring The Clash, The Dixie Chicks, and Justin Timberlake, although fortunately not all on the same track). The track is called We Want It All and was co-produced by Trent Reznor. I also stumbled across a new poem of his, called Eyes Upon the Eyes written during the Fox News protest during the Republican National Convention in New York. I was at that protest, so it's funny to read something by Zach de la Rocha and realize that you're one of the people he's writing about. But since we haven't heard from Zach in a while, I thought I'd post an older track that he did with DJ Shadow before the Iraq War started. It was available for a while on marchofdeath.com. The lyrics are still on the site, and I have the mp3 here for anyone who missed it before.

DJ Shadow and Zach de la Rocha - March of Death


Untitled//Drums & Tuba

First day of work down. It's incredible how well my employers have been able to create a job with so much responsiblity and that's yet be so low on the company totem pole. No matter though. My desk is conveniently located away from just about everyone except for a woman whose job seems to consist of making arts and crafts (I assume they will one day be props on a show). I'm also have a rather larger desk for someone who just started, but I understand that it will soon be buried underneath a mound of production binders (each with their own mistakes in them that I must fix). Much of the paperwork that I'm working seems to be encoded so that no human being can actually read it. Well, one day down, 120 or so days to go, possibly more if it becomes a permanent position.

The name Drums & Tuba says a lot about the sound, but really there's a lot more going on there. Their last album came out on Ani DiFranco's Righteous Babe Records label. The sound consists of drums, tuba (obviously enough), guitar and electronics to create a very diverse groove sound. They remind me a bit of Stereolab and even more so Tortoise, but really Drums & Tuba have their own sound entirely.

Drums & Tuba - The Mummy



Untitled//Luke Vibert

Fluxblog posted some effing good songs the other day. Download new stuff from Euro-pop star Annie (I'm guessing she's European anyway) and the incredible Saul Williams here.

I've been meaning to post some Luke Vibert music and considering the new Aphex Twin release (see previous post) reminded me of him, it seemed like a good time. Vibert's never been that big compared to the likes of Aphex Twin or Squarepusher, but he's still ubiquitous among the electronic music scene. He's recorded under a number of aliases (Wagon Christ, Plug, Amen Andrews, etc) for a number of labels (Rephlex, Astralwerks, Ninja Tune, etc). He's also experimented with different subgenres over the years, everything from trip hop to acid house. These are some of his more downtempo songs.

Luke Vibert & BJ Cole - Swing Light, Alright


Wagon Christ - Bend Over


New Aphex Twin!

I've just noticed that Rephlex has a page about a new release by Richard James called Analord 10 and will be out in the next few months. The good news about this speaks for itself. The bad news, it's only available as 180g Audiophile vinyl, which means that the sound quality should be fantastic, but it will probably also be expensive. And for only two tracks too. It's also packaged in a binder which will also hold future editions of the Analord series. As nice as the idea sounds, it'd be nice to get them all put together on one CD, wouldn't it? The unfortunate thing about Aphex Twin is that he's gotten quite good at making money lately but he's also talented enough to get away with it. So depending on how much he's looking for for this result (the line "Price: t.b.a." seems like a bad sign to me), I'll probably end up springing for it anyway. Of course there's also a bit of debate over the title "Analord." Despite the fact that it's also the name of a Wagon Christ track, is it a reference to the fact that these tracks may be refined versions of the back catalogue of his old analog work? Or is it... well I'll leave it your imagination. Considering this is Aphex Twin, I'm going to guess that it's a little of both.


The job hunts has come to an end//The Streets

Internet's been having some issues here lately. That seems to happen every so often. It's apparently a built in feature with my internet service provider. Every once in a while, they like to throw you off by not allowing you to get online for a day or so. So when you go to try to find jobs to apply for online or reply to important e-mails, instead you get a cultural perspective on things. Every few months, they like to remind you what life used to like before the days of the internet, so that when the internet famine is over, you can appreciate being online even more. And they don't even charge you extra for this feature. I wish I could have blamed them for a job I didn't get recently, but in truth it was my own fault. Last week, I came across an ad for a video production job, a one day shoot with a few days of preproduction. Unfortunately, they were interviewing for the job last tuesday and I had the misfortunate to not find the ad until late monday night. Needless to say, I wasn't called. Now normally this wouldn't bother me too much. I've put in a lot of applications that I haven't heard back from, it's be expected. What made this particularly upsetting was that the director of this shoot was none other than Michel Gondry. That's right, had I seen that site a day or two earlier, I might have gotten to work with Michel effing Gondry. For those of you unfamilar with Michel, let me just state that he is an absolute genius and one of my favorite directors ever. He's mostly done music videos (Cibo Matto, The Chemical Brothers, Beck, Daft Punk, a ton of Bjork's videos, Massive Attack, etc.) and also a couple of films including Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. And I could have potentially been working with him. The latest of my finding out about this news was considerably distressing. The good news is that I did finally get a job in the media industry. It's at the same place that I interned at, so I still get to work on documentaries. Unfortunately, the job mostly involves a lot of paperwork, as opposed to actual production work which is what I want to do, but hey, a job's a job, right? Oh, and new images will be up soon, I just got kind of behind in making new ones lately.

Today's tracks come from my current favorite British b-boy, The Streets (sorry to Dizzee Rascal). Mike Skinner's gotten a lot of attention since his first album, Original Pirate Material, but if you haven't heard his style of hip hop, it says a lot about being young in England. These are some rare songs from the sessions of A Grand Don't Come for Free, including alternate vocal versions of Fit But You Know It and Get Out of My House and a new b-side track, Soaked by the Ale.

The Streets - Fit But You Know It (feat. Kano, Doneao, Tinchy Strider and Lady Sovereign)

The Streets - Fit But You Know It (feat. The Futureheads)

The Streets - Get Out of My House (feat. Demon, Bruza, Kano, and D Double E)

The Streets - Soaked By the Ale




No update for the next couple of days, so I'm posting the betterPropaganda track for the week a bit early. Why no postings, you ask? I'm off to the Jersey shore for a few days to my parents' house to watch the dog while their away. They have a Packard Bell computer. For those of you who don't remember Packard Bells, they were more or less the standard for PCs among people who didn't want to pay a lot back in the mid-90's. Some days I just can't get on the internet at all there. So in order to save myself some frustration, I may not bother posting again until next week.

So the betterPropaganda track this week comes from Solvent. This is good music to work on a computer with I think (assuming of course, you're not using 1995 Packard Bell, in which case I'd recommend Atari Teenage Riot so that you'll feel better when you yell at it and put your foot through the monitor). Solvent is maybe a little too downtempo to dance to, but too upbeat to sit completely still. Fits in nicely with the whole Ghostly International scene, Matthew Dear and similar artists. [Also, betterPropaganda has the new single by Radio 4 online. Unfortunately, it's stream only, but if you haven't heard Party Crashers yet, it's worth taking a few minutes to check it out.]

Solvent - Operating Ease


Get to know your bloggers//Explosions in the Sky

Brief update today. Tofu Hut is interviewing a bunch of the mp3 bloggers to help get to know the people behind the blogs. The story of Fluxbog is up now.

You know those bands that everyone and their mother tells you to listen to, but you never really get around to it? Well after a couple of weeks, I finally got around to hearing Explosions in the Sky. In a similar vein of Godspeed You! Black Emporer, they've got the large scale, orchestral, instrumental, almost rock sound. This is a live track, I'm currently hunting for more.

Explosions in the Sky - The Moment We Were Alone (Live in Akron, Ohio)



RNC pictures//DJ Vadim

The last day of the RNC protests was on Thursday and my sister came to visit. We went to the protests together. It was a nice bonding experience really. Anyway, she took pictures, some of which I've posted online today. Most of these are from outside of Madison Square Garden just before the President's speech. Here are the links for anyone who's interested, I may have more coming soon:

RNC picture 1

RNC picture 2

RNC picture 3

RNC picture 4

RNC picture 5

Music today comes from Russian hip hop producer, DJ Vadim from Ninja Tune. He's probably best known for his collaboration with vocalist Sarah Jones, the ultimate femanist hip hop track, Your Revolution. That track was one of the best examples of free speech in music I ever heard of after a radio station won a legal battle with the FCC over the right to play the song. I think it's an important song with a good message to it about not selling out your body. So all you college radio DJ's out there, remember it's now considered FCC-clean. But here are some other Vadim collaborations, not released on CD.

DJ Vadim featuring Mucho - T'es Importante

DJ Vadim featuring Promote - Hold Up

DJ Vadim featuring Adao - Headline News (Revisited)

DJ Vadim - Y2K

DJ Vadim featuring Motion Man - Til Suns In Your Eyes (Prunes/Pelding Remix)



Dissent//Jello Biafra

Sorry for the lack of updates this week. Being in the NY area, I had planned to do a special RNC week of Radio Babylon, not so much out of my distrust for the Bush administration, but more so because I think it's good that people are speaking their minds, on all sides of the political spectrum. But I've been going to a lot of demonstrations this week, getting footage and I've come back each night pretty dead to the world. I'll have a recap this weekend sometime. But yesterday, while at the big media protest outside of CNN and Fox News, I was very surprised to Dead Kennedys frontman, Jello Biafra speaking to the crowd. In light of this, I thought I should post some betterPropaganda hosted excerpts from his last spoken word album, Machine Gun in the Clown's Hand. On this album, he says a lot of the stuff that he said last night. Sorry I'm doing another post without music, but Biafra has a lot of good points and it's worth hearing him speak. [update on my post from week about Mouse on Mars and Bjork: both albums are available to preview or download on bleep.com]

Jello Biafra - Beat Around the Burning Bush

Jello Biafra - Miscue 911

Jello Biafra - Propane and Propane Accessories

Jello Biafra - The Big Ka Boom