Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Wick-It the Instigator - Grindhouse Basterds

Wick-It the Instigator - Grindhouse Basterds

This Monday, Nashville-based DJ/producer Wick-It the Instigator released Grindhouse Basterds, a hip hop, mash-up, remix, electronic, dubstep, mixtape that comes with a heavy dose of everyone's favorite Quentin Tarantino films. It's the long-awaited, much-talked about follow-up to his wildly successful mash-up album The Brothers of Chico Dusty (Big Boi vs. The Black Keys) from last year that took him straight to the next level overnight. Now, Wick-It is melting faces all over the country on a nightly basis and his Grindhouse Basterds is exactly what all of his fans have been waiting for.

It's no secret. Anyone that knows me well, knows that I don't really get down to much dubstep...if any at all. This mixtape is somewhat heavy on dubstep, I mean it IS Wick-It. But I can deal with it and I even found myself head-nodding pretty hard to the mixtape's namesake opening track Grindhouse Basterds, Reservoir Dawgz featuring Bun B and Yelawolf, and the remix of the Pulp Fiction Theme. It's all tastefully done in most spots and simply takes the tracks to the next level when he builds it up then drops it hard into the 'filthiness,' as the kids say.

My favorite parts of the album are by far the hip hop remix/mash-ups. He features nearly every emcee in my top 10 (and then some) - including KRS-One, Notorious B.I.G., Slug, RZA, Ghostface Killah, Murs, Method Man, Aesop Rock, Busta Rhymes, Bun B and Yelawolf. Without question, for me, the strongest tracks are Shoalin vs. White Lotus, Bang Bang, Stuntman Mics, and What Happened to You. These tracks are just more up my alley. True to hip hop with a superb choice of acapellas over some very well-produced tracks. This is how I like my Wick-It. Plus, he gets extra points since Kanye isn't anywhere to be heard on it. Kudos, sir.

I have been following Wick-It for a while. I helped book him at a club I was working at in Memphis 6 years ago or so. He was a dope DJ back then, but he has definitely taken it to a whole new level. In the last year, he has reinvented himself somewhat. It seems now he known for his dubstep rather than his hip hop DJ'ing by the younger generation.  Regardless, he is a force to be reckoned with. His fanbase is steadily growing and his internet presence is off the charts. He has changed with the times, as all good DJ's must do to stay alive. Grindhouse Basterds is a just as good as I figured it would be. I would recommend it to anyone who is into electronic, dubstep or hip hop. It's good a great all-around showing of his skills as a DJ and a producer. I hope to hear more tracks produced by him for dope emcees, majors and indie cats. It would be great to see him able to educate the younger generation he captivates with his dubstep on the importance and beauty of old school hip hop- which I know he loves just as much as me. It's present on this mixtape and I only hope he keeps it up.

Grindhouse Basterds also features some strong performances from Nashville emcees Future, Cas One, Iller and Tre E (from Sam and Tre).

Now, GO download or stream the album for free on his website: You'll thank me.

The Acidophiles - The Water EP

The Acidophiles - The Water EP

Right on the heels of Wick-It's release, CO-based electronic producers, the Acidophiles dropped the newest episode in their elements series, The Water EP. This time around they only bring us 3 tracks, but don't let that lead you to believe there is less music on this release. The opening track, Surge, clocks in at over eleven minutes. Without missing a step, the Acidophiles start out their newest EP in the same manner as many of their previous releases: with a slowly building soundscape. I always enjoy this part of their jams as it helps lead me into the hardest bass without slapping me in the face. While the arpeggios and blips are as strong as ever, the bass clearly takes the spotlight on this track. The middle portion of Surge brings some of the hardest bass I've heard on an Acidophiles release (and that's saying something) up until the last minutes when they opt for a funky, squelchy bass patch that gives the whole track a chance to break it back down to the pre-face-melting status of the song's intro.

Sublimation may be a more literal title than I originally thought as the intro is laced with ambiance and background sounds that will make you think of subliminal messages. Just when you think things are beginning to hypnotize you, a patch that could have come straight from Maniac Mansion on the NES leads us into the first of the melodic soundscapes of the track. This track is much more low-key than the previous, with locced-out claps that carry the rhythm as the synthetic elements breakdown and ride back to the top again. In final quarter of the track, the grit comes back to the forefront of the mix. A nasty bass synth leads us through a beat-repeat driven outro that takes the melodic content of this song to its highest point. The slowing walking bass melody creates a fantastic sense of emotion and building drama up until the plunky arpeggiated synth drops tempo and leads into the final track.

Galatic Tides is aptly named as it makes you feel as if you are riding the waves of Saturn's outer most rings. This track is a great example of what continues to draw me back to the Acidophiles tunes again and again. They use sounds that could have been used in the soundtrack of every video game on the NES system. More importantly, they use sounds that are pure and let them focus on the progressions and melodies they create. The combination of their musical sensibilities with their production on Propellerhead's Reason software create a very unique subset of sounds that are not being made by really any other producers I am familiar with. The epic bass sounds of dubstep, mixed with the low-key down-tempo beats and 8-bit synths create a sound that is both new and classic at the same time.  The psychedelic element of the Acidophiles sound may be what makes it so successful. Every track tends to take you on a journey. Although this EP is named in honor of water, I feel that it should refer to water in is coolest state: ice; mainly because each of these tracks transports me to outer space. Galactic Tides first made me feel like I was surfing in space, but by the end, I feel like I am zipping across the cosmos on a beam of light.

Overall, the Water EP is a great addition to the other releases in the elements series. The Acidophiles are able to distill the essence of the elements they pay homage to and channel it into their music time and time again. And I, for one, truly enjoy it.

Be sure to check out all of the elements EPs from the Acidophiles at their site

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Remix Wednesday: Blackcat Sylvester x Ugly Lovely - The Bar Kays - Soul Finger Remix!

I'm very excited to revive Remix Wednesday with this remix from Nashville's Blackcat Sylvester and Ugly Lovely. They took "Soul Finger" from the Memphis funk legends The Bar-Kays and turned it into a remix worthy of today's dance floor. Featuring Jay-Z and Kanye West acapellas, this feels like what we wish Watch the Throne could have been. I was very skeptical when I saw the words "Soul Finger" and "Remix" in the same sentence. This song was already a "banger" in its own time. On top of that, growing up in Memphis, this song holds a special place in my heart. But after one listen, I was sold. These doods pulled it off. And more importantly, they didn't butcher this soul classic. The hypnotic sliding bass line of the Bar-Kays is supplanted by a phat and slightly gritty synth bass that occasionally throws in some wobble. The solid back beat of the original is re-imagined with some modern day samples, electronic tweaking, and a healthy seasoning of break-beats. I commend these guys for paying homage to some Memphis funk in a classy way. Do it up, fellas.

Blackcat is known most recognizably for his efforts in the psychedelic, improvised outfit Call It Anything (C.I.A.). Ugly Lovely has been performing all over Nashville and Middle Tennessee as well as making waves on the internet with his recent mixtape Ay Girl! Ay! Ay! Take This CD! and numerous other remixes.

Blackcat Sylvester x Ugly Lovely - The Bar Kays - Soul Finger Remix! by Ugly Lovely

Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Breath of Fresh Air - The Acidophiles Drop Their Latest EP

The Air EP - The Acidophiles

Hot on the heels of their Earth EP, The Acidophiles bring us the next chapter in the elements series, The Air EP. I am no stranger to the musical inspiration of the elements: Fire, Wind (or Air), Water, and Earth and I would be hard pressed to call this a novel concept, but nonetheless it is a rich mythology that can bear much artistic fruit. The Acidophiles hold nothing back in the newest release. Where sometimes a concept may hinder an artist by caging them in, the Acidophiles instead simply use the elements as a canvas on which to paint their newest compositional ideas.

The Ft. Collins duo always stay consistent to the core elements of their sound, but on each release that I listen to, I always feel them pushing the envelope. Its a sure thing that you will hear melodic, arpeggiated soundscapes and atmospheric, club-ready beats. The overall compositions are never shy in slowly drawing you in and then blasting your face in classic dance hall style. One of my favorite compositional elements of the Acidophiles style is the overwhelming length and breadth of their tracks. Seven minutes seems to be the minimum.

"Particle" sets the tone for the Air EP, keeping things very similar to the overall sound that you would expect from the midi based composer duo, laying out a slowly building atmosphere of blips and beats that stretches out for a good eight minutes. The peaks and valleys of the building textures feels like a creature breathing in and out. Although "Particle" does a great job of laying the foundation for the EP, the following track, "Slipping Through Clouds" is what really hit me with something I didn't expect.

The second track on the Air EP is the longest and the beefy-est. The sampled beat at the beginning is like nothing I have heard from the Acidophiles. It lays in like a hip-hop track and then the synth melodies really begin to create the feel of future funk that I have yet to see from this group until now. While "Slipping Through Clouds" maintains the breathing in and out feel of "Particle," it is really much more of a banger so long as you can ride the wave of this ten minute track. After an etherial breakdown, conga samples begin to build the track back up. The addition of these samples fills out the Acidophiles sound in a way I never expected. While their beats are never lost on me, the effect of the trance is the most powerful. The combination of these two "genres," if you will, is where the Acidophiles have found their niche.

"This Too Shall Pass" may be the most explicit interpretation of the Air theme as we begin to hear abstracted samples of breaths and other sound effects laid over the maudlin piano intro. This track introduces more of the glitch-hop genre than I have become familiar with hearing from the Acidophiles. Whirrs, clicks, and claps build a chugging rhythm that carries the song along. Although, I am always impressed by their drive to innovate in their music, this track was a low point in the EP for me. "This Too Shall Pass" is curiously named as I find myself awaiting the next track up until the last minutes of the composition.

The final track, "Thermals," picks up the pace again with a sweeping synth melody that rides over a rhythmic, bass blip and amps up as a bending note rides into the heart of the composition. "Thermals" pulls us back to the foundation of what the Acidophiles does best and is akin in sound to "Particle." I find myself once again entranced as the modal composition carries the rhythmic synth melody in with a funky plunk and a swirvy note bend at the end of each pass. When the track breaks down to a hi-hat heavy groove, we hear a smooth improvised solo, or at least it sounds like an improvised solo, and whether or not it is improvised or carefully composed, it is a treat. As "Thermals" reaches its final few minutes, the Acidophiles pull out the bass music big guns that Colorado is known so well for. Thankfully, while still keeping it rather wompy, the outro to this track is not quite dubstep. The modulating frequency of the bass whirrs, chops, and shoots to the upper limits of the sound spectrum but always manages to keep it classy. Giving us only two minutes of this oft overused soundscape makes its more desirable and ends before you are left with a bad taste in your mouth (ears?)

As this elements series has progressed, I have been overly intrigued by each chapter. And I can't wait to hear more.

Check it out for yourself below.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Signal Path Drops Some Solstice Beats

Minds Make Lights - Signal Path

Wow. Marking the first day of summer, Signal Path drops part two of their "quadrILLolgy" entitled Minds Make Lights. Earlier this year they released part one, The Prosaic Fades, on the Spring Equinox. I think we can all predict when to expect part three.

Signal Path is bringing us their classy take on electronica and more importantly a fresh take on the filthy bass sounds of dubstep. Although dubstep has started to gain a rep for filth and grime, the wompy bass of this four track EP is more controlled and focused and never becomes overbearing. The beats are tight and danceable and the instrumentation is what keeps Signal Path grounded in a realm of electronic music that has longevity. You may find Minds Make Lights a bit too short, but it will only leaving you wanting to listen again. With the complex arrangements and deep textures of these tunes, you won't find it hard to listen to this over quite a few times.

Be sure to check it out for yourself below and on the band's website:

Monday, June 20, 2011

-33 Minutes of Bump: Vol 1- by z.matt.33 to be Released on 7/19

 Artwork by Leigh Bernstein/ diagonal. 2011.

A release date for Fresh Hats Tight Beats member z.matt.33's 33 Minutes of Bump: Vol.1 has been set for July 19, 2011. The album will released on Bandcamp and will be available for whatever price you feel it is worth. This release has been in the works for a while now and z.matt is more than ready to get it out to y'all. It's the first of hopefully many volumes of original BUMP for your eardrums. Within this first volume, he fuses elements of hip hop, funk, trip hop, some samples and all-around electronic goodness to make a sound that is guaranteed to make you get down. So mark your calendars (7/19) and get ready for that BUMP!

Here's a link to z.matt.33's Facebook page to stay informed about the album and upcoming shows. "Like" it and share!!!

Friday, June 17, 2011

with the first official mixtape from diagonal.

Diagonaleigh, here, bringing you the first of my official mixtapes! I worked together with my associate, P Buck on this creation, in promotion of my new design firm, diagonal. We think you should enjoy it on this lovely summer day with a bevvy of your choice. To catch up on all goings-on at diagonal., check out the newsletter that just dropped today. And for any and all of your design needs, give me a shout at I'd love to make some magic for you!

diagonal. mixtape vol.1 by thinkdiagonal

///// GET SLANTED \\\\\\

Curated & Produced by: Diagonaleigh & P Buck

Track Listing:
1) Human Egg - Feeling On My Mind
2) Woolfy - Odyssey
3) Crystal Fighters - Follow
4) Those Shadow People - Untitled
5) Empire Of The Sun - Walking On a Dream
6) Crystal Fighters - Champion Sound (Alternative Mix)
7) Quantic - Absence Heard, Presence Felt
8) Metric - White Gold
9) P Buck - It Keeps On
10) Pogo - WIshery
11) Bibio - Light Sleep
12) Stardust - Music Sounds Better With You (Kaytradamus Remix)
13) Shena - Electrosexual (Aston Shuffle Remix)
14) Crystal Fighters - I Do This Everyday
15) Glasser - Glad (Delorean Remix)
16) Turnulence - Notorious

Release date: Jun 15, 2011

Phat Matt Winslow's -Diamonds in the Bluff- Gettin' Some Hometown Love

In a GoMemphis article published yesterday, my long-time homie, former band mate, partner-in-crime, and fellow-Winslow, Matt Shaffer -better known as Phat Matt Winslow, is getting some hometown love for throwing hip hop shows in Memphis. This has always been something we've striven to do in the Delta (since our early days in True Head Camp) and it is good to have someone giving credit where credit is due. I am in Nashville nowadays, but it always good to know a friend is doing well and keeping the dream alive. Promoting shows isn't really a fun job -especially in Memphis- so I give props to Matt for doing it, doing it, and doing it well. Give the article a read and if you are in the Memphis area go to the show tonite!!!


SADAT X (founding member of Brand Nubian) is still killin' the game and his rhymes are always on-point. It's gonna be hosted by DJ Hush and the show features a strong supporting cast from Memphis. Fathom9 (of Iron Mic Coalition and the Genesis Experiment), Taktix w/ my buddy Homework  (DJ, producer and the owner of Westham Records) and the legendary DJ Redeye Jedi (founder of Memphix) will all be warmin' it up for Sadat X. This is definitely going to be one of the dopest hip hop shows Memphis has seen in a while.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Remix Wednesday: Hip-Hoptronica Edition feat. The Floozies and Wick-it the Instigator

We're excited to bring you our first edition of Remix Wednesday. We're not going to put a regular schedule on this, but we can say that if we continue to drop some hot remixes on you, its gonna be on a Wednesday. Now, on to the music!

This week we are presenting two tracks that are both coincidentally electronic remixes of classic hip-hop tunes.

First up is The Floozies out of Lawrence, KS with their electro-funk remix of Snoop Dogg's "Drop It Like It's Hot." The Floozies have become well known for their high-energy, genre-bending live shows, but more recently they have been flexing their electronic producer muscles. Their most recently released album, Under Another Sun, showed off their chops at building tracks more suited to the world of electronica. The refreshing part of The Floozies sound is that even though they are dipping their toes in the trendy sounds of today, their methods are still based in traditional instrumentation. Check out the funky womp of their newest remix at their soundcloud:

Drop It Like It's Hot (Floozies Remix) by TheFloozies

Next, Wick-it the Instigator out of Nashville, TN brings us his epic version of Luniz's "I Got Five On It." In the past 12 months, Wick-It has blown up on the scene mainly from his release of the Big Boi / Black Keys Mash-up entitled The Brothers of Chico Dusty. I was excited when I saw this classic hip-hop track in Wick-Its ever notorious facebook feed. I've enjoyed seeing Wick-It blend genres as his hip-hop based work is some of my favorite. Much of Wick-It's earlier work was based in the beat culture, but ever since his forays into electronica began, he's been bringing us remixes in the form of iconic, dance floor bangers like the Bed Intruder Song (Wick-it DubStep Remix). Check out his latest track and all his other music at his soundcloud:

Luniz - I Got 5 On It (Wick-it Remix) by Wick-it the Instigator

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Bonnaroo 2011 Review: A Blast or Bust?

It's a loaded question of course. The music is always good, but who truly has the time or energy to see it all? If you aren't beat from the heat, lack of sleep (in the heat), sunburn, all the walking or just plain too much partying and you aren't perpetually waiting on your group of friends, you may just make it to the headliners and late-night sets...Centeroo is usually littered with worn-down party-goers that magically arise when the sun goes down. Asleep or not- The party must go on...And it always, most-certainly does...

For me, this year was a BLAST. It was by far the easiest and most enjoyable of all of my 7 Bonnaroo experiences. In May, I was excited to know that I was going to be playing in the VIP tents with my good friends and Winslows, The Biz. However, it all fell through and I was just more than a little put off by Bonnaroo due to the whole ordeal. But then I figured I am only a little over an hour away and that I should go. I only decided last week to attend, but everything fell together with a quickness. I was able to secure a Staff pass from a friend who worked a load-in earlier in the week. This pass was definitely key in the enjoyment of the weekend. I camped in the shade and/or the air-conditioned tents provided to anyone working the festival. I could make quick trips back to the car (parked behind Which Stage- one of 2 headliners' stages) to replenish supplies and beer. I was even able to use the bathroom in air-conditioned trailers- ALL major pluses to be part of the Staff or VIP. Accommodations were awesome...

The MUSIC...oh yeah, the music...was on-point this year.  I was rolling solo during most of the time during the daytime since many of my friends were working or camped with all the "normal people" out in the General Admission campgrounds, so I got to see a lot of music, more than previous years.

Bands I Saw (in order):

*Beats Antique - They had a new show altogether since the last time I saw them. They are taking on a more Thievery-esque feel with the addition of a bunch of REAL musicians on stage playing their music.

*Bela Fleck and the Flecktones (Original Line-up) - It was good to see this group for the first time in a long time. They played a nice, high-energy show.
*Grace Potter and the Nocturnals - She always puts on a good rock and roll show and this weekend just reaafirmed that fact that I am truly in love with this woman. She has come full-circle and in my humble opinion, she is officially a rock star by all stretches of the word. We only get so many of these in a lifetime...
*Atmosphere - Slug always puts on a good show. He busted out all of the classics and some of the tunes from the new album. He was one of the better hip hop shows of the weekend.
Ray Lamontagne - I only caught a few songs from his set but he sounded great. If I had been with a girl I might have stuck around for the whole thing. I just had to be moving at that point in the day.

*The Del McCoury Band and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band - This was truly legendary. A great collaboration between some of the best musicians still around in their individual styles. They even wrote the new "theme song" for Bonnaroo...

My Morning Jacket - I was kind of upset that MMJ's set ran into Primus' but I didn't let that spoil the time I was able to spend at their show. I have to admit I was slow to jump on the MMJ bandwagon, but recently I have a new-found appreciation for their stuff. The new album is ridiculously awesome. They killed it and I was happy to see some good music before I headed to the Primus show. Yim Yames is also officially a rock star in my eyes.
*Primus - Wow. What can I say? I have waiting my entire life to see this band in this line-up and it melted my face. They played a good set and there was a crazy, performance art stunt during the set as well. Four hang-gliders flew over the crowd in formation and in unison dropped glitter bombs and what I think were LED ribbons. It was amazing. I've never seen anything like it before. PRIMUS SUCKS!!!
*Big Boi - First show of the late-night on Friday that I attended. Big Boi easily out-bumped Bassnectar who was playing a set at This Tent right next to him. Big Boi's show was at least 75% Outkast so of course I enjoyed it. His big stage show is pretty amazing. He has steppers/dancers behind him the whole time. And his lyrics are always on-point. He was one of my favorites of the weekend.
Lil' Wayne - No, I didn't go see Lil' Wayne...
Shpongle - I was ashamed to say that before this, I had never seen the legendary Shpongle LIVE and in action. He put on a pretty damn cool show. Visually amazing stuff.
Pretty Lights - Ehhhh... same set as usual. His stage show looked much cooler with the addition of a huge LED wall that looked like a city skyline. Besides that, he was the same as he ever is. I didn't see a drummer up there either...not to say there wasn't one. It was pretty crowded. All in all, pretty dissappointing...

*Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears - This band puts on one hell of a show. They are funky, sloppy, tight, all-in-one. If you don't know... you better ask somebody. Stop sleeping on these guys. I don't even know what else to say about them...
Black Uhuru - Cool, laid-back reggae set to recharge to.
*The Black Keys - This show was extremely crowded, as you could guess. I still enjoyed it from up-close or some of it anyway. I liked it...although, while I enjoy them as much as the next guy and they obviously have A LOT of fans, I wonder if they should have really played a main stage. I know they have blown up and all but damn..not to take away from their magic...I still loved the show. I don't want to sound like a hater considering I am listening to them right now as I write this...haha...
Bootsie Collins & the Funk University - I was only able to catch a small portion of this one too because he was over an hour late getting on stage. Damn Bootsie. He still brought the he always does.
*Dr. John w/ The Original Meters and Allen Toussaint and The Nevilles - Quite possibly one of the best shows of the weekend. Not only were there about 30 legends all on one stage (at different times), they were all Nawlins musicians that know how to bring the serious jazz and funk. It was awesome to see this. LEGENDARY for sure.
Eminem - No, I didn't go see Eminem...
*String Cheese Incident - Let me start off by saying that I am not really a huge Cheese fan or anything these days. In fact, I felt quite nostalgic when I started listening to their jams. It had been years since I had seen them. The show, however, got bizaare really quickly, haha...As soon as we walked up, we noticed a huuuuge blow-up T-Rex working it's way around the crowd. Then out of nowhere, the stage went dark, a beat kept on riding and then...well this happened...

Hopefully, you can make out what was going on here. I found the video randomly on Youtube. It was obviously a goofy shot at the Bonnaroo promoters for picking Lil' Wayne and Eminem to headline a music festival...and a shot at "dubstep" as well. Either way, it was pretty damn funny and a bit ridiculous.

After this it got even crazier. SCI dropped about 25-30 huge balls into the crowd to get bounced around. Then, a guy with a jet pack (yes, that's right, a jetpack) tried to take off from behind the stage.

It was a good show. We left early to meet up with people before STS9.

*STS9 - A great show from what I remember...


Railroad Earth - Now I see what everyone is talking about. One great bluegrass band. Check 'em out.
G. Love & the Special Sauce - I only caught a little of this set sitting in a tent far away, but he sounded like he was getting down.
*Mavis Staples - Again, I only caught a fraction of this show but what I saw was amazing. Her new album is pretty good and all of the classics were definitely played as well. LEGENDARY.
Bruce Hornsby and the Noisemaker - Bruce played a laid back set and all the old folks came out for this one. It was cool. I chilled in the shade for a bit then headed over to Galactic.
*Galactic - One of my favorites from the weekend only because it has been so long since I have seen them. Instead of the "House Man" (who is normally on stage singing with them), they have been touring with Corey Glover (yes, the same one from the band Living Colour), a welcome change in my eyes. They killed it and Stanton Moore even rocked a Jimi-esque drum solo from the front of the stage using only a snare and tambourine with a drumhead on it. It was pretty amazing. Even though they have probably been playing the same "festival set" on their festival run, I hadn't seen it yet and I enjoyed it from these Nawlins boys.
Robert Plant and the Band of Joy - I only caught the end and the encore. Very cool to see him in action. They put on a good show from what I actually got to see.
*Super Jam featuring Dan Auerbach and Dr. John - This was one of the best times I had at a show this weekend. I met Stanton Moore of Galactic. We were in the VIP area the whole time and we got to experience everything up-close and personal. Very cool Super Jam. It was especially nice for me because a truly talented Memphian was on stage as well.  The lovely Valerie June was one of their background singers. She did an awesome job, as did the rest of the band. Super Jam is always a good time.
Widespread Panic - I'm not a huge WSP fan, but I have seen my fair share of their shows in the past and from what I could gather it seemed like a good WSP set. Bruce Hornsby (sporting a Dallas Mavericks shirt!!! NBA Champs!) came out and rocked out on the Dr. John tune "Guilded Splinters." It was a good way to end the weeknd...layin' around and chillin' out.
[*My Favorites]

Up-and-Coming Acts (Bands to watch out for):
Gary Clark, Jr. - A mysterious black guy I saw rock out at the Ford Focus tent my friends were working the sound for. He is out of Austin and if he gets money behind him he will definitely blow up. I got the feeling I was watching a future rock star.
Gary Clark, Jr. Myspace
Yes, he has a Myspace account. His page isn't too representative of what I saw, but he is very diverse.

The Kopecky Family Band - From Nashville, these guys (and girl) put on a great show. They definitely brought the heat. Check them out at

All in all, it was an amazing experience. New/old friends, good music, good times. That is what the festival scene is all about. Sometimes it all gets lost in the heat and the relief to just be gone from the madness, however, this year's Bonnaroo was one to remember. Here's to 10 more years of Bonnaroo!

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Return: The Biz presents Podcast #21 on Eve of Cervantes' Show

The Bizcast Volume Twenty-One 2011-06-10

If you haven't heard The Bizcast yet, it's time to subscribe.

Winslow Family is proud to announce the release of The Bizcast Volume Twenty-One. On the eve of The Biz's return to the live scene, we are excited to share the first new podcast episode from The Biz in almost a year. This is the also the first release featuring drummer Ben E. King.

It's no coincidence that the Biz is reviving their online presence with a HUGE show at Cervantes' in Denver just a day away. The audio-visual union will be returning to headline The Other Side on Saturday, June 11th.

Check out the latest Bizcast at their blog

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Paving Funk: Memphis Music from the Moon

Luna - Paving Funk

Classic, power-trio rock music from Memphis, TN, Paving Funk brings all the soul of its name, but still manages to stay firmly rooted in classic rock territory. Long-time cohorts, Corbin Miles, Josh Fuller, and Frank Rhodes recently revealed their newest project with a concise four-track EP entitled Luna, now available on iTunes.

The trio sounds the tightest when the players are all focused on building a solid groove. The drums lay back, the bass cuts deep, and the guitar builds a soft, textural atmosphere that draws in the listener. It's clear that soloing and improvisation are important parts of the Paving Funk compositional method. Much of the album is fronted by the scathing guitar solos of Miles, but Rhodes on bass and Fuller on drums also have their moments in the spotlight.

The title of the first track on Luna, "Spacegrass," is a fitting description of the sound Paving Funk have created on this release. While at times leaning toward the upbeat and intense sound of jam-grass, Paving Funk also allows their compositions to drift into a more aloof and mysterious realm. With the intro track, the "space" element comes first with a slow, psychedelic guitar groove. Nearly half the song passes before the track begins to pick up steam. The second half is much more energetic with solos on guitar and bass. The dark overtone and sparse arrangement of the final jam is reminiscent of Ted Nugent's "Stranglehold." The fade at the end leaves you wanting more as this song seems to end before things really get good. A wailing metal-worthy solo by Miles fades out leaving us wondering, "What came next?" Perhaps the guys of Paving Funk should have taken a cue from The Nuge and just let this one ride out to a good eight or nine minutes. Either way, "Spacegrass" is a solid opening track that really sets the tone for the entire EP.

"Yellow Shoes" picks up the pace quite a bit and is one of the catchier songs on the album. The trio make the best out of their small arrangement with power-packed guitar riffs that come out strong when played on both guitar and bass together. Paving Funk capitalizes on the ability to build a tight groove over and over again throughout every song on Luna.

The title track, "Luna" is an encapsulation of what Paving Funk does best when they create these smooth, funky grooves. Rhodes and Fuller lock in the solid earthy rhythm of funk within a rock outfit and allow Miles' shimmering guitar chords to build the soulful atmosphere that sets this track apart.

Luna closes on the funkiest track of the whole EP, "Bubble." The composition bounces between a pounding riff-based hook to broken down verse sections where Miles' guitar work once again takes the driver's seat. Just before the half-way mark, Rhodes breaks out the slap bass work and the guitar goes into choppy wah-wah rhythm mode. Paving Funk really honors its name in this brief vamp. Fuller has his chance to solo on the drums through the hook that closes the song.

The debut effort by Memphis artists, Paving Funk, is a great showing for the often underrated power-trio format. With technology always in the forefront of the music industry, its refreshing to see a band taking it back to the roots of solid instrumentation. Not only do the guys of Paving Funk bring a consistent set of songs to the table with Luna, but they also present a clear vision of what their music is at its core. Overall, Luna is a blend of rock, funk, and jam tunes that put Paving Funk on a solid foundation with lots of room to expand.

Check it out for yourself on iTunes.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Nintendo reveals Wii U with Touchscreen Tablet Controller

Earlier today at the E3 Expo in Los Angeles, CA, Nintendo unveiled their newest console, the Wii U. The major hook for this system is once again related to the controller. The Wii U will use a tablet-style controller with a 6.2" built-in touchscreen. The new tablet controller also sports a front facing camera and the traditional buttons and directional pad.

Wii U isn't scheduled for a release until the Spring of 2012, but this will most likely be the only major console release for the next four or five years. Luckily for serious gamers, Nintendo has made it clear that they intend to extend their catalog beyond the casual gaming fare that has nearly killed the current Wii system. Many hardcore gamers have complained that Nintendo overextended their ideal of making games that were accessible to everyone and as a result alienated a large market of dedicated gamers. Nintendo has confirmed there will be much more involvement by third party developers for the next Wii and has already announced some titles including Tekken, Batman: Arkham City, and Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon.

Those who have already shelled out a pretty penny on the original Wii and its multitude of peripheral accessories should rest assured that Wii U will be backward compatible with games and motion controllers. Not only that, Nintendo revealed that some games can use both the original Wii controller and the new tablet controller together.

You can watch today's E3 presentation from Nintendo as well as view more info about the Wii U at their official website for the release:

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Perfect Hours Preview is Right on Time

The Perfect Hours - Self-titled

Well-known in Nashville as the drummer of the Coolin' System, Jim Bonomo dropped a preview of his newest project today: The Perfect Hours. Right now, we only get a short preview of the full album to come in October. Available at, "Dark or Pale" is a small taste of the crate-digging, J Dilla-inspired soundscape that Bonomo aims to recreate with The Perfect Hours. What sets this project apart from its inspiration is its selections based in soul jazz and, surprisingly, italian movie scores. Where Dilla tracks are laid-back and almost hypnotizing in their atmosphere, Perfect Hours is aggressive in its execution, much like bebop jazz. Dilla's tracks stood out for his amazing sample selections that somehow never got old even after the umpteenth repetition. It seems Perfect Hours' forte is based more in the compositional realm. As we can already hear in "Dark or Pale," a plethora of samples somehow all flow flawlessly together and continue to pull you in until the track drawls to a close. Although mostly sample-based, Bonomo says there are some instrumental performances on synths and drums. Also, he hinted at the possibility of some horn solos from his fellow Coolin' System band-mates.

We're excited to hear the whole album in October, but for now, check out the preview below.

Miles Bonny's Tribute to Gil Scott-Heron

"Gil Scott-Heron (Lament)" - Miles Bonny / Beat by Dexter

We recently reviewed the Belgian artists 74 Miles Away and were delighted to discover Miles Bonny in the mix. Miles is a Kansas City based soul singer who seems to have his fingers in many different pots. You can see Miles exhibiting many of his different talents (including singing, playing the flugalhorn, producing, and taking care of his kids) in this YouTube video from his website:

We are excited about his forthcoming release Lumberjack Soul which drops June 24th.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Banging Beats from a Not-Too-Distant Future: Protocol

Protocol - Self-Titled

Soulful, instrumental performances and exacted, hip-hop production come together in the self-titled debut album from Kansas-based producer duo, Protocol. Riding the wave of the livetronica movement, DVST8 and Smalls have created a sound akin to that of Theivery Corporation, RJD2, and DJ Shadow. A concept album based 200 years in the future, this is the soundtrack to the adventures of one man in an intergalactic society plagued by authoritarianism. The details of this concept are slightly foggy, but the sound of the album could be straight out of a feature film based on a Philip K. Dick story. Blade Runner, anyone?

Austin "Smalls" Hanson is the mind behind the multi-textured guitar performances that give Protocol its leanings toward a post-apocalyptic, science fiction film score. Dark and calculated, Hanson's guitar licks evoke the spaghetti-western-in-space motif that carries the concept through the entirety of the album. Sometimes slowly building and sometimes immediately dominating, the guitar textures are varied but exactly what each beat needs to become elevated to more than a hip-hop composition. Smalls is also accompanied by the guitar work of guest performers Matt Stewart and Adam Stuber.

The tracks are all grounded by DVST8's beat programming and sample selections. The hip-hop beats bring a succinct finesse that emulates a soulful drummer. The atmosphere of this record benefits from the electronic production because it helps lend the overall sound to the futuristic vision of the Protocol concept. Further grounding this album in the hip-hop realm, DVST8 brings solid turntablism and scratching to the forefront of many of the guitar laden compositions.

The album opens with "pro_log," a groovy guitar progression that immediately reminds the listener of the world inspired tracks of Thievery Corporation. The beat drops as sampled saxophone rides in and creates a laid-back cut that will continue the narrative for the rest of the album. "Time_to_leave" begins to really tell the futuristic story of a space traveler. This is the track where our minds begin to go elsewhere and the artists invite us to escape our reality. The sound of Protocol really begins to shine. More than any other track on the album, "time_to_leave" sticks in your mind. This is the stand-out track of this self-titled debut.

"travel_money" carries the idea of a narrative, but it begins to show the weaknesses of a cinematic composition. The passiveness of this track makes one feel like they are watching a dialogue scene with no dialogue. Thankfully, "high_roller" picks the pace back up with a bass line worthy of Digital Underground and a chugging organ rhythm. Although, not the strongest songs, "travel_money" and "high_roller" offer the listener the first traces of a continuum amongst each of these tracks as chapters of a story. The titles are not explicitly linked, but the fact that they both play off of money as a theme give the listener a chance to fill in the details with their own imagination. I begin to imagine a Harrison Ford-esque character scrounging his way across the galaxy and getting mixed up in something much bigger than himself.

The space-western feel of this album really begins to take place in "a_fallen_country." One can easily imagine the character on the cover of the album traversing the red deserts of Mars to this track. Another one of the standout tracks on the album, the synth patches used here evoke the sound of Pretty Lights. The scratching and sampling of guitar licks keep this track fresh until the end. The title hints at a desolate home world ravaged by war. It feels like our character has been marooned without resources where his survival is risky at best.

The intergalactic setting of Protocol crystalizes in "formations." The name lends itself to the idea of many spaceships in flight and begins to take the listener away from the desolate planets of far off galaxies and into the complex lifestyle of outer space. A heavey, synth-bass line supports muted guitar rhythms and together create the foundation for the quirky rhodes melodies sprinkled throughout the track.

Vocoder by DVST8 and funky guitar wah from fellow Digiproach artists, BRAHE, make "prairie_dogs" one of the stankiest tracks on the album. The opening riffs create the feel of a character lurking through the alleys of a great future city. We hear turntablism come to the front of the mix on "process_of_assimilation" with DVST8's scratching used for stop and start record sampling as well as tight rhythmic soloing. "final_option" features a catchy guitar lick that could be mistaken for a sitar. The world rhythm of this leading lick is dominated by heavy distorted guitar chugs that pretty much kill the Theivery vibe that the track opens on. The buzzy bass-synth helps balance out the grime by giving the composition a future funk element.

Protocol begins to shine in a different way with "aftermath." This track is deep in the cut with reverberating claps, atmospheric guitar loops, and a synthetic violin effect that lays over most of the song. This is another short interlude piece that actually feels a little too short. If Protocol would continue to cultivate this erie, mysterious sound they create on "aftermath," they might really be on to something.

"regeneration_station" is one of the albums most electronic detours. Although still within the overall soundscape these producers are after, the track is dominated by choppy, synth textures and a repetitive dance beat. The song would work great as background music for a boss fight on Mega Man, but as a listening experience, it lacks some of the soul and gusto that the rest of the album musters.

Protocol presents some of their fattest beats in the final chapters with "the_new_hero" and "departure." The second to last track, "the_new_hero" seems to set the album up for a sequel. With an air of triumph, this could be the soundtrack for the hero of the story walking with his back turned to a giant explosion. Enemies vanquished, the new hero arises. "departure" is dominated by a heavy beat and an eerie vocal chorus that could easily be the music for the credits but also suggest a scene of deep space flight. The hero boards his ship and moves on to the next great adventure.

The sound of Protocol could easily be expanded upon by a live band yet still manages to bring the out the best of the studio production format. Producers, Smalls and DVST8, have crafted an intriguing concept album that shines in its moments of perfect execution such as "time_to_leave" and "final_option." The best of these tracks capitalize on the fusion of guitar work and beat production. With a supporting cast of electronic synths and textures, Protocol have flexed their compositional muscle while still keeping their individual fortes in the spotlight. The only low points of this album are when the music falls victim to its own concept. The musical compositions sometimes seem to take a backseat to the idea of a sci-fi narrative. If this were, in fact, the film score to a movie, then some the weaker tracks would play a more vital role in fleshing out the experience as a whole. But as a primarily musical experience, the album might have benefited from simply leaving minutes of some tracks on the cutting room floor. Regardless of this shortcoming, Protocol present a set of tight tracks that will find many fans among the beat culture. The artists have presented a debut album with an enormous amount of potential for follow-up releases that will continue to tell the story of this sci-fi soundscape.

Protocol is now available on iTunes, Amazon, and CDBaby. You'll find it for the best price on Amazon at $8.99.

Be sure to listen for yourself below.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Latest Lotus Releases: Destroyer / Ridalin

"Destroyer" - Lotus

The new track from Lotus, "Destroyer," opens with lilting synths and glitchy clicks, creating the ambience on which a killer guitar groove is built. Just posted to their Bandcamp today as a free download, this track is a slight departure from the sound that Lotus has become known for as a jamtronica staple on the festival circuit. The electronic influences are far more subtle than on tracks like the simultaneous release "Ridalin." Lotus does a good job of crossing the festie fanbases by bouncing between happy-go-lucky, ten-minute jams and synthed-out, bass-heavy bangers.

If nothing else, Lotus always brings a danceable sound to their shows, but what drew me into "Destroyer" was the introspective nature of this guitar dominated composition. This is not so much a dance track or a jam, as it is a real rock song. The beat will move you, but it's more likely to make you head bang before it makes you shake your butt. "Destroyer" dances playfully around its arrangement, dipping occasionally back to the subtle groove that opens the song. Up until the final minute, the track slowly builds over the on-going electronic textures. The repeating peaks and valleys of the overlapping guitars carry the song through before its drops back into the more subtle atmosphere of the opening. The notes for this release read: "Lotus is able to encapsulate a small piece of their cathartic live shows on the studio version of Destroyer." This statement is never more true than in the final progression of the song. The beat drops to half time and the guitars wail one chord over each measure. Although short, this piece is poignant and evokes the most powerful emotional build and release heard on the whole track.

When the track wraps, it leaves me wanting to listen again.

Check it out for yourself below.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

74 Miles Away: Jazz and Future Beats

74 Miles Away - Self-Titled

Jazz and beats, a combination with an amazing amount of potential. Although not pushed to its fullest potential, experimental collaboration 74 Miles Away ambitiously explores this genre fusion. The self-titled release from this unexpected collaboration manages to literally ride the fence between the two genres it attempts to meld together. The release consists of four tracks performed by the Belgian Pierre Anckaert Trio and then the same four tracks reworked by Brussels producer duo Monkey Robot, featuring new vocal performances from Carina Andersson, Ahu Kelesoglu, and Miles Bonny. Although leaving itself widely more accessible to purist jazz fans and electronic dance hall goers independently, 74 Miles Away's choice to present these compositions independently may miss a great opportunity to merge these two disparate audiences.

Despite this segregated presentation, 74 Miles Away still manages to evoke some of the two genres' strongest elements while at the same time avoiding the pitfall of degrading what makes jazz and electronic production so enticing on their own. It is difficult at times to even compare the two sets of compositions as the Anckaert trio is the epitomy of organic instrumentation and then Monkey Robot is nearly the opposite with electronically produced textures and crispy machined beats. The thing that ties these two sets of tracks together is the spirit of progression which is ever-present in jazz and electronica. Although at times fully immersed in their own disciplines, they inevitably gravitate to the forward-thinking, future-funk elements that thrive in both environments.

The album does a good job of carrying the listener through the on-going transition from more traditional jazz compositions and improvisation, heard clearly on "Romeo and July" to more funky, groove based tracks like "Chromeface." The Anckaert trio is never quite as psychedelic and jammy as Herbie Hancock's 1973 Head Hunters, but it still pushes the envelope of the traditional jazz trio to the point that it makes for a smooth transition into the beat oriented remakes from Monkey Robot. You will hear the more synth-based grooves of Herbie Hancock's influence present immediately in the smooth, beat-laden "Finding A Place." Carina Andersson's vocal performance is a welcome change to the mix with her silky, chill hooks.

74 Miles Away begins to take is most dramatic turn in "So Amazing" where the wobbly bass reminiscent of a dubstep track dominates the composition. Luckily for those who have become bored with the uber-popular sub-genre, this track avoids the heaviness ever-present in today's bass music and opts for a more calculated and subtle execution which is highly successful. "Same Dream Again" beckons forth the ghost of J Dilla with its laid back hip-hop styled drums. The track features singer Ahu Kelesoglu, noted for her collaborations with Flying Lotus under the pseudonym "Dolly." It seems no coincidence that Ahu found her way on to this project as a singer known for her collaborations with one of the most successful producers to blend jazz with hip-hop and numerous electronic genres.

"Neverending Rhodes" closes the album on a high note with one of the most dancy beats dominated by the classic electro clap and a slappy, funked out bass line. The beat instantly induces you into a head-nodding trance while the inspired mono-synth solos keep the track's momentum rolling full steam ahead.

As you can probably tell by the content of this review, I favored the more electronic styles of Monkey Robot's tracks and I think 74 Miles Away will find a more engaged following amongst the club-going, bass music fanatics so prevalent in today's nightlife. But the affect of this genre-blending collaboration will most likely be difficult to clearly discern for many years, if not longer.

The Pierre Anckaert trio will without a doubt find eager ears within the modern jazz audience, and then, possibly, keep them entraced as the project transitions into the mixes of Monkey Robot. It is questionable if the electronic fans who so loyally absorb dubstep and bass music in general will have a mature enough palate to absorb the original compositions of Anckaert. Yet the exquisite blending of genres by these two groups is bound to create some cross-over between fan bases.

Perhaps it is naive to classify these two genres and their fan bases so exclusively. It is clear that the musicians of 74 Miles Away were able to easily bridge the gap between their two respective fortes, so it shouldn't be so far fetched to believe that the majority of listeners could do the same.

Be sure to check out 74 Miles Away for yourself below.

By clicking around a bit through the many sites that curate the 74 Miles Away project, I stumbled upon an extra treat. Here is a forthcoming track to be featured on a Laid Back Radio compilation. This is a live cover of Placebo's "Humpty Dumpty" featured at Melting Pot Music. This recording is the most successful realization of this project that I have heard so far in that it features both of the major composers' styles in one live performance. The self-title release previous to this recording does not feature Pierre and his trio performing or even actively collaborating with producer duo Monkey Robot. Although listening to this I still can hear a clear divide from one groups performance to the next, it is refreshing to hear them played as a single composition.

74 Miles Away - Seven Four (live at Stubru) by LaidBack

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

G.E.D. Soul Lands a One, Two Punch with Magic in Threes

Magic in Threes - Self-titled

Classic vintage sound, unmatchable swagger, the definition of cool: these are just a few of the phrases that come to mind while trying to find words that would adequately describe the sonic succulence that is the Magic in Threes. I for one couldn't be happier to know that somewhere in Nashville, TN the guys of G.E.D. Soul records are busy cooking up the newest thing that never got written about 30 or 40 years ago.

As a fan of the vintage production movement from the likes of the New Mastersounds and Dr. Dog, it didn't take long for me to fall deep into the pocket of the groove that Magic in Threes cuts on their debut self-titled album. G.E.D. Soul is not only a purveyor of vintage sound production but also vintage manufacturing. As the physical medium for music is becoming more and more an endangered species, emboldened labels like G.E.D. Soul are side-stepping the modern paradigm for music distribution and taking it back to a medium where sound quality is king. You will find many of the G.E.D. Soul releases available on vinyl 45s or LPs. Check the G.E.D. Soul Records store here at to browse the releases on vinyl, CD, or Mp3 from other funky label mates SkyHi, DeRoberts and the Half-Truths and the Coolin' System.

Magic in Threes takes no time to instill the groove from the first beat of their "Intro" through the fades into "Nick's Theme" and "Neal's Lament" where the laid-back hypnotic brand of funk continues with a subtle yet expressive solo on the rhodes stage piano.

The following track "Its Good to Be The King" is aptly named. Listening to this deep funk cut makes me want to ride in a drop top Cadillac DeVille from the '60s while tripping on acid and watching the trails of the streetlights pass by me like a some magic fireflies. "Breakin' the Beats" is another track with an unmistakable cinematic feel and you will find the effect further enhanced if you watch the video for "Mesothelioma" on the G.E.D. YouTube channel. The solid rhythm of this track stays true to sound we've heard so far on Magic In Threes, but the addition of the squeaky, slowly decaying synth tweaks the composition to another place.

The depths of the human mind must be no stranger to these composers. The psychedelic, almost slow-motion inducing feel of this album is never felt stronger than on "Pushin' Off." The melancholy slides of the melody played on the rhodes transmit the gritty angst of a dope addict while still managing to keep your head nodding. Its a disconcerting juxtaposition that Magic in Threes creates while emersing you into the sonic equivalent of an opium den while still somehow instilling the need to gyrate like you are at an Earth, Wind and Fire show.

The final track, "Trinity Way" helps us shake the sense of disconcertion like a dunk in a cold bath as the horn section swings us back into a composition that will simply make you want to strut down your nearest city block.

There is no doubt that Magic in Threes is a very passive listening experience. Even in the mode of active listening, you may find these tunes slipping into the background of your mind. Although this music is not aggressive in its execution, it is successful in presenting its vision. The debut self-titled from Magic in Threes is truly a listening experience worthy of the album format. This is not just a collection of songs. The playlist flows almost cinematically through the intro, themes and laments, and multiple interludes, but these are just stops along the way. The meat and potatoes of this album comes from Nick DeVan's and Dave Singleton's spot-on compositions and arrangements. As the musical architects behind Magic in Three's enchanting sound, Nick and Dave eloquently translate their vision to the forefront of the production in their numerous performances on drums, percussion, organ, synth, and more. The atmosphere of these 10 tracks is further cultivated by the engineers' commitment to authentic vintage sound. All in all, Magic in Threes is a real class act.

Check it out for yourself below.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Calvin's Self-Titled Debut Album

Calvin - Self-Titled

Out today, Calvin's self-titled debut album can be downloaded for free until the 27th at their bandcamp site via the links above. Not only are Calvin rolling out their first release, but they are doing it under their new label AM Crown Records. Also on the new label are the Temangerines.

I got to listen to the Calvin album all the way through three different times today, and I can easily say that "Battleship" and "Falling" are the stand-out tracks. Calvin may agree with me as these are respectively the opening and closing songs on the seven track album. I have had the opportunity to hear many of these songs live as well as in different recorded renditions, but today was my first listen to the final studio version of this release. Calvin did a good job of putting the studio polish on all these well-tested tracks that they have carried with them over the past three years.

The first track "Battleship" opens with a watery ambient sound that slowly draws you in to the following synth and then the shining guitar work that will dominate the rest of the album. Relaxing electric-guitar finger picking carries you along lightly through the verses with a carefree melody before the tune drops suddenly into a much darker, free fall psychedelia. Calvin has developed a style that you will hear throughout all seven tracks that can delve deeply into serious guitar angst and then without warning fall back into ethereal light hearted rock music. "Battleship" manages to touch on all these notes and does a good job of setting the tone for the rest of the listening experience.

As the album continues through "Toasty Tickles," "Time Ticks," and "Hooked" the band falls back into the sound that makes them a true rock band. Solid rhythm tracks from the classic alternative rock power trio could have been enough to make these tracks a solid listen, but the addition of piano and other synthetic keys take these tracks toward another sound more akin to Radiohead. The electronic influences from members Cory and Kurt's side project Little Miss Mr can be heard with the additions of sampled beats throughout many of the latter parts of these songs.

The album begins to take its most psychedelic turn with the track "Tumor." Heavy drums lead into crooning background vocals and wandering guitar melodies. The intro clocks almost two minutes before any vocals come to the front of the arrangement. Even then the darkness of this track lays heavy on your ears as lead singer Cory's vocals lurk into the track with a deeper voice drone than heard anywhere before on the album. The vocals begin to soar more as the track leads you in the its most grooving composition "Hit the Ceiling."

The final track "Falling" is a treat with some of most expressive performances from the band. This track feels more live and the players really bring emotion to the recording. The raging guitar jam accentuates the vocals well before the band drops into another psychedelic piano laden jam. When the album ends, "Falling" leaves me wanting more.

Be sure to check it out for yourself below and leave your comments.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Treks: The Remix - Stems Now Available

We are excited to announce that we are making the majority of our songs from the Fresh Hats Tight Beats album TREKS available for remixing. We will compile a compilation album from the best of these remixes. In order to get in on the action, just choose a track from the list below. Click the link next to the track name to download a zip of wav stems. Be prepared for a download that is about 100 MB in size.

02 - Fresh Pots! -

03 - Friday Eve -

04 - Java -

07 - Smooth Break -

08 - Master Control Program -

09 - Lullabyzzz -

10 - Dragon Massage -

These stems are optimized for use in Ableton Live, but could be used efficiently in any multi-track audio editing software. It should be noted, each track is a mixdown of each individual instrument starting on the first beat of the original arrangement. This means that certain tracks will have large areas of silence. Our stems are mixed down in this fashion so it would be easy to drop them into whatever music software you choose to work in and have them all match up without any fudging around. It is perfectly acceptable (in fact probably preferable) to chop these stems into smaller more manageable pieces. Either way, we have presented them in this fashion so that you will find it easy to sync the original tracks into one session together. After that, the ball is in your court.

Please send us your finished tracks to
Let the remixing commence!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Center of the Universe: Murfreesboro, TN

Do you recognize this room? I know I do.
As some of you may or may not know, there are a few Winslows (Tim, Zach, and myself) currently participating in Moustache May. We are not just sporting a moustache for the month of May, we are also documenting it online with about 300 other guys from all around the world. If you haven't seen this site yet, you really need to take a look at the amazing 'staches and the truly stellar photography that the users bring to this Nashville based website. It is to say the least, very, very entertaining.

While ranking and commenting on staches this weekend, I was excited to discover fellow moustache grower McGillbot had posted a picture which had clearly been taken in the living room / venue of our old Winslow house in Murfreesboro, TN. You can see the picture above. After a day or so, I was then further amazed to learn that another Moustache May participant, Henry Daggs, is currently a resident of the former Winslow heaquarters which is now known as House Pride. A collective of musicians and artists just like ourselves are now running the show at the house on Memorial. You can catch up with all their going-ons at

This house is where we recorded our first Winslow record, the Color album. The backyard of this house is also where we filmed 4 episodes of our show KickStickBottleBall which still plays on public access in Murfreesboro.

Those of you that are familiar with our old digs in Murfreesboro should peruse Henry's Moustache May pictures to get a few glimpses of what has become of our place of origin. Check out etcvisitor's profile at:

If you're too lazy to click a link, here is a video from House Pride's YouTube page featuring Henry singing one of his original songs in our old band room. Seems like that room was just meant for making music.

I love this video because I myself spent so much time playing music in that same room.

If anyone else can share stories from the previous lives of this house, we would love to hear them. Leave a comment or email us I believe its fair to say that this house has been a band house for a long, long time and for a while we were very happy to call it home. From one artistic collective to another, we wish much love and good luck to House Pride in their future ventures on Memorial Blvd. in Murfreesboro.