Feb 16, 2013

Listen: Black Chamber - "Black Chamber" album

To continue my "Slept On" series, I wanted to share the recent work of Portland (OR) experimental, jazz, hip hop group Black Chamber. This is chilled out music in the vein of the early 2000's work of DJ Krush and Toshinori Kondo but with a slightly improvised feel. I like to support my fellow instrumentalists and this release is a good soundtrack for the overcast and snowy day here in NYC this weekend. Check it out below and support some left brain artists around the world!


Feb 15, 2013

Fine Art Friday: Joseph Velasquez

Joseph Velasquez is an artist, educator and co-founder of Drive By Press, which was discussed a few months back here at The Double Truth. I have long been impressed with his ability to get tactile and graphic prints of faces (bends/wrinkles) and powerful cultural icons on to wood surfaces. Most of his output has been some tribute to the Latin art traditions of the American Southwest but with topics like luchadors, skulls (dia le los muertos), and other images related to his upbringing.

Most recently, he has begun a series of Hip Hop Icons that I took a particular interest in because of the quality and the history and I hope this is an on going series to help push the culture forward even more for future generations. The print I have below is only a draft of the KRS ONE print, but it shows the skill and craftsmanship that Velasquez dedicates to all of his work.

Get your learn on by watching his presentation at Auburn University below.


Feb 14, 2013

Listen: Chester Watson - "Phantom"

While falling down the rabbit hole of Youtube, I cam across this video for the track entitled "Phantom" and the eventual mixtape of the same title by Chester Watson. Impressed by the 15 year olds approach to music, he makes many of his own beats and experiments with the lo-fi, looped, old school vibe that helps him stand apart from most teenagers who tend to ape the current radio sounds. He sounds at times like a mix of Kendrick Lamar, Earl Sweatshirt and MF Doom, speaking in code with psyched out flows, but seems to be having fun with it and I appreciate any emcee trying to be more honest in his music, even in a "spaced out" persona.

Check out the free download of his mixtape and see for your self:


Feb 13, 2013

Video: C2C - "F·U·Y·A"

Props to my friend and DMC alumni WayStyles out of Seattle for sharing this video of the French DJ crew and group C2C flexing their creative muscle on a French show "Les Victoires de la Musique 2013", a version of American and British shows like "X Factor". I am always blown away when I see turntablism finding new ways to bend and warp music and these guys SNAP on both the visual effects, live singing, and showmanship. Make sure you watch the full video, as the video seems to start off rocky but begins to come together perfectly with the other elements. The track is called "F·U·Y·A" , but I have no clue what it means or stands for, but I don't care either. It is part of the album "Tetra" which you can hear below.


Feb 12, 2013

Listen: Von Pea X Aeon - "Things Have Changed"

Tanya Morgan's Von Pea and producer Aeon have teamed up for a collaborative album entitled "Duly Noted" due out on March 26 on HipNott Records. I am always glad to see Von Pea being active and spreading his humor and story telling over crispy production. If the recent single "Things have changed" is any indication of what the rest of "Duly Noted" will sound like, then I am excited to see what else is in store. Check the single out below and do your ears a favor!

Feb 11, 2013

Listen: DJ Charlie White -"Proper Etiquette" Album

Red Bull alumni and beatmaker extraordinaire DJ Charlie White recently dropped another instrumental opus full of bangers and smooth, soul influenced tracks entitled "Proper Etiquette" that, to quote a great line on RefinedHype, we all hope no wack rappers will "drop some mediocre rhymes over this shit". Plenty of throwback grooves on here and breaks that needed to be revisited so get your "zone out" on and support one of fellow instrumentalists and one of hip hop's secret weapons. Check the video preview above and grab the album below.


Feb 10, 2013

#DillaLegacy: February 10 - My Donut Daze

To end my February 7 (Dilla's Born Day) to February 10 (Dilla's Death) series of Dilla stan write-ups and dedications, I will drop this final post about an album that still effects me to this day. The circumstances surrounding "Donuts" was electric for me, as I was entranced by the "Donuts" promo version floating around on the web and ordered my copy on vinyl plus a bonus 7" from SandboxAutomatic and was awaiting its arrival. I was already a Stan for Dilla's instrumental series on Bling47 and the Fantastic Vol.2 instrumentals that never left my rotation and ater hearing what he did with some of the samples on "Donuts", I was excited to hear the real thing.

About a week before the album officially came out, I was digging in a thrift store for old 45′s and found the Gene Chandler sample that Dilla had used on the outro for "Donuts" with the quote "It's star time at the Regal Theatre..." and I had an odd tingle that I had unearthed some hidden gem and ran home to log in to Myspace (before Facebook came along) to message Dilla and tell him that I found the sample he used on the bootleg copy of Donuts with Stones Throw drops all over it.

By the time the real album came out on Dilla's birthday (Feb 7), Dilla passed three days later (Feb 10) and I realized I would never got a response to my post on Myspace. Since then, I constantly revisit this album to marvel at the magic he embedded in it. The theme of the tracks with samples saying things like "your gonna miss me" "my people" "say goodbye" seems like Dilla was talking with the music, embracing his mortality and offering a swan song with the choice of music and chops. Much ink has been spilled over this album, but I took this album as inspiration in pure form to follow his lead with offering short versions and sketches of music as both a teaser and a way to get the ideas out of my own head even in the raw form, for people to digest.

This album changed the way I made both my artwork and my music. It helped me rationalize the continued sampling of information (art, music, visuals, concepts, etc) despite living in an age where copyright laws hamper creativity. I still find new things I love about this album, but I use it as a springboard for ideas whenever I am in a slump. J Dilla changed my life indeed.