…::Sounds Dope 2::..

February 20, 2009

Duane Powell returns to bring you some latin flavor …With A Twist of Lime on his latest SoundRotation

More Block 21 goodness from DJ Nimbus. This one was recorded Jan 21 and as he tells me there’s much more to come, so stay tuned…
This set is downtempo, chill-out, lounge, underground hip hop, and a little bit of darker neo soul / nu jazz.

DJ Nimbus -Block 21 (Jan 21 2009)

…::Dope Sounds::…

February 19, 2009

We’ve made it through to Hump Day, now let my man DJ Nimbus melt your cares away for the rest of the week with this Block 21 mix from Dec.24

DJ Nimbus – Block 21

Finally, new music from Cubic Zirconia!!! Visit FRESHselects to see what CZ put together, “as an introduction to the group, which as they put it is “a few of our tunes, a few songs we like, and some other stuff mixed in for good measure.” Get it HERE
George Benson – The World is a Ghetto

N.E.R.D – She Wants To Move (Oddisse Remix Instrumental)
Lina – My Fix
Method Man – The Riddler
9th Wonder Instrumental
Alice Russell – Universe
De La Soul – Ring Ring Ring (Ha Ha Hey)
Cam’Ron – What Means the World To You
N.E.R.D – Love Bomb
King Britt – Transcend Instrumental
Brand New Heavies – Once is Twice Enough
Black Eyed Peas – Fallin’ Up
Genesis – I Can’t Dance
Kindred – What Happens Now
Lonnie Liston Smith – The Real Side
Supreme – Kiss Me In My Sleep
Micatone – Quiet Boy
Kev Brown Instrumental

BLS iTunes Shuffle: Eclectique
Listen/Download/Get Podcast

The Swedish duo of Paul Mac Innes & T.B.O.I. have released their self titled debut album stateside and I couldn’t be more pleased. The project was originally released (Japan only) in 2007, yet has that timeless sound that doesn’t allow it to sound dated in 2 years like some albums. Once you run down their collaborations, which include artists like Swell Session, Ernesto, Little Dragon and Bennson, you know that you’re going to be treated to the finest in UK Soul. The duo does not disappoint and grabbed my interest at their intro track, Welcome to the Bunker.

Björn Almgren aka T.B.O.I. (The Brother Of Invention) is already a well known Swedish jazz saxophonist and talented drummer. Great producer will be a credit added to his name if he continues to create tracks like he did on this project. T.B.O.I. keeps the sound of their album from becoming monotonous by composing slow, moody landscapes (Don’t Know Me Yet) to more mid-tempo numbers like Run Away. The tracks have such a crisp sound that, at times, it kept me wondering if some of the tracks were created using live instruments. Nevertheless, they are a great compliment to Paul Mac Innes’ vocals. Paul’s voice, which has been compared to everyone from Bilal to Amp Fiddler, is divine and adds such character to T.B.O.I’s tracks. He’s able to deliver vocals that are sugary sweet (Need) or funky (Choose Now) to suit the need of the soundscape that T.B.O.I. provides.

You can pick up Paul Mac Innes & T.B.O.I. at CDbaby, Amazon.com and itunes.

Paul Mac Innes & T.B.O.I. – Need

It’s funny how the universe brings you things that you may (or may not) have known you were looking for. This is certainly the case with the beautiful new album by Nigerian singer/songwriter and composer Asa’s (pronounced “Asha”) self titled debut on Mercer Street Records (U.S.). (Album was released on Naive Records in Europe).

Born in Paris, France to Nigerian parents, Asa’s parents returned to Lagos while she, at aged two, would later return to her birthplace twenty years later to begin her career as a recording artist.

I first heard her single Jailer a while back on Jeremy Sole’s show on KCRW and both my wife and I kind of stopped what we were doing to listen more closely..
Asa’s sound is one of many influences, ranging from Bob Marley to Fela Kuti, to Joan Armatrading, (to name a few), but she remains in a style all of her own, blending reggae, funk, soul, hip hop, jazz, and her traditional Yoruba language into her own sound. Fans of either or all of the above should dig this or I’ll double your money back *lol*.

Multi-instrumentalist, gifted (and blind) Nigerian producer Cobhams Emmanuel Asuquo held down the arrangements and co-writing along with Asa, completing the project in a mere 6 weeks. Hammond organs, lush strings, flute (by Magic Malik) , upright bass, guitars, and slick percussion float throughout this 11 track journey like a dove in songs like Eyé àdaba, a morning song of prayer (sang in Yoruba), and the popular and catchy Jailer and Fire On The Mountain, with each respectively speaking on modern slavery and multiple social ills, in a way very reminiscent of how Bob (Marley) does – vividly telling you about the madness going on in the world while making you dance and then having you singing the songs in your head hours and hours after hearing them.

Songs about love (Subway), peace (360°), and dedications to her mother (Awé) make this debut one of the most complete and well balanced albums I’ve heard thus far for 2009.
The passionate songwriting, instrumentation, and style of the artist and producer exudes into every single track, resulting in a very impressive debut, one of reflection, peace and rebellion, and how they are all placed/displaced throughout life. Junior Star gives Asa 7 out of 7 head nods.

*Head Nod Scale
1=Don’t waste your time like I did mine.
2=Waste your time like I did mine but I dare you to disagree.
3=Well, there was the single.
4=If it were a hand in spades there’s “two and a possible”.
5=It’s a “good” album. Meaning at least 3 or 4 solid songs.
6=Really Good Project. Has the “Rewind Factor” more than once.
7=The number of completion. Great Album. Instant Classic.

Her album can be found at Amazon and iTunes and be sure to check out her website for videos and English translations of the songs on the album. Site can also be viewed in French.

Corrections and additions are marked in red except for album rating.

DSXXX Interview with Phonte

February 16, 2009

1. The Foreign Exchange – Take Off the Blues
2. DJ Mitsu – Hidenka and DJ Mitsu the Beats
3. Panacea – Flashback to Stardom (DJ Spinna Remix)
4. Cy Young – Whatever You Like
5. Mabanua – For The Sign
6. Oddisee; Phonte; Tor; Flying Lotus – The Perch
7. Crown City Rockers – Something (Katrah-Quey remix)
8. Jazzanova; Phonte – so Far From Home

…::Phonte Interview Pt 1::…
9. Big Daddy Kane – Aint No Half Steppin’
10. The Foreign Exchange – Sincere

…::Phonte Interview Pt 2::…
11. Steely Dan – Do It Again
12. Little Brother – Atari 2600
13. Evidence; Phonte; Blue; Will I Am – For Whom The Bell Tolls

…::Phonte Interview Pt 3::…
14. Black Milk – Try
15. Iman Williams – Down & Out (Applejac’s Reconstruction)
16. DJ KO; Phonte;Wordsworth; K-Hill; Masta Ace – Ladder of Success
17. S1; Phonte – Callin’ Me
18. DJ Spina; Phonte – Dillagence
19. DJ Spinna; Phonte – Intergalactic Soul
20. Focus; Royce Da 5’9″; Phonte; Stat Quo – Homage to Premier
21. Kev Brown; Phonte; Oddisee – Beats N’ Rhymes Instrumental
22. Eric Roberson; Phonte – I Been In Love
23. Liquid Spirits; Phonte – If You Don’t Love Me

DSXXX Interview with Phonte
Listen/Download/Get Podcast Here

Issac Hayes R.I.P. has always been a master at making us groove; just check his early Stax discography or his reception when he ARRIVED onstage at Wattstax. Definitely one to move not only our hearts and minds but also our butts, I Ain’t Never from his 1980 Polydor Records release, And Once Again literally had me dancing as I typed this. This album wasn’t a commercial smash and was folowed by another commercial dud, 1981’s Lifetime Thing which preceded his descent (emphasis mine) into acting. I wonder if he was jamming to this when he went to audition for Escape From New York

Isaac Hayes – I Ain’t Never

HUNTing for that new new…

February 15, 2009

Van Hunt has been releasing songs on his myspace page recently. Check out Songs In The Key of Life for four out of the six he placed there last week. He put up four tracks yesterday 2.14.2009 which he says, “…features a gracious host of down-tempos. it’s what i refer to as the lamplighter series.”

Get all four tracks HERE

Van Hunt – Sexy, Sexy Love

…::Sounds Dope::..

February 15, 2009

Drake finally releases the mixtape that had the internet eagerly and anxiously awaiting its release. I’ll be honest, I havent heard it but Im assuming it shouldn’t be a waste of your time. Get it HERE. So far Gone Features collaborations with everyone from Bun B to SantoGold.

Blu’s new EP, Her Favorite Colo(u)r is here. “On this self-produced project, Blu not only continues to show off his personal and flavorful rhyme style, but also shows he’s really no joke on the beats either. GODlee Barnes really comes into his own on here – crafting conceptual collages from quotes, chops & loops of some of my favorite movies, as well as greats like Jimi Hendrix, Curtis Mayfield, Etta James, Radiohead and others.”
Get it HERE

Gordon Gartrell Radio is a podcast hosted by Phonte and compiled by DJ Brainchild. In this episode, “Phonte welcomes everybody to the New Year by discussing the Inauguration of Barack Obama, the rigors of rap beef, and his wishes for 2009.” Peep the latest GG Radio HERE

PJ Morton – Jiborish

Britten – Keep It Up