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: http://www.signalpathmusic.com

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 helloleigh@gmail.com. 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: http://soundcloud.com/flooziesduo

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: http://soundcloud.com/wick-it/

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 funk...as 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 kopeckyfamilyband.com

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 http://thebizcast.blogspot.com

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: http://e3.nintendo.com

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 theperfecthours.com, "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: http://www.milesbonny.com

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