Dust & Grooves release party – LOS ANGELES

Rappcats — June 3, 2014 | Comments (0)

Los Angeles – Join us Thursday, June 5 at 7PM for an opening reception, an in-studio photo exhibit, and book launch party for Dust & Grooves at Sonos Studio. This event will feature rotating sets from DJs and collectors who are featured in the book (The Gaslamp Killer, Egon, Oliver Wang, Zach Cowie) as well as from book editor Sheila B. The Dust & Grooves book will be on sale at the event, and author Eilon Paz will host a book signing.

FREE EVENT – RSVP REQUIRED

The After-Party: Upstairs at Ace Hotel Downtown LA
Thursday June 5th, 11 PM | FREE
Ace Hotel Downtown LA, 921 S. Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90015

June 7: Los Angeles Daytime Vinyl Hangout
Saturday June 7th, Noon-6PM | FREE
Sonos Studio, 145 N La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036

Dust & Grooves and Sonos Studio welcomes all to the Daytime Vinyl Hangout—an all-day event with vinyl pop-up stores, DJ sets by local collectors, vinyl-lovers, and DJs, giveaways from Dewar’s and Now-Again Records, and an open whiskey bar. This event will include a book signing by author Eilon Paz, and his Dust & Grooves book will be available for sale for the whole afternoon.

ON SALE: DUST & GROOVES – ADVENTURES IN RECORD COLLECTING

Madlib – Pinata Beats (Freddie Gibbs Instrumentals)

Madlib — May 28, 2014 | Comments (8)

ON SALE: MADLIB & FREDDIE GIBBS – PINATA BEATS

Instrumentals for Freddie Gibbs & Madlib’s Piñata.

There are few musicians – let alone beat–makers – whose output in its raw form provides his listener with a full on musical experience before anything is added. Madlib is one. Before a microphone is switched on, before a rhyme even uttered, a Madlib beat stands alone as a complete thing.

The album with Freddie Gibbs, Piñata – being hailed as contender for rap album of the year – was created between late 2011 and early 2013. But Gibbs also dipped back into Madlib’s archives going back as far as ten years for a few of the beats.

Double LP; CD with 8-page booklet; digital download.

Egon Mixtape on Gilles Peterson Worldwide

Egon — May 22, 2014 | Comments (1)

Egon recently visited Gilles Peterson’s Brownswood to offload some of his music knowledge with a mix and interview for Gilles’ syndicated Worldwide radio show.

On the web: gillespetersonworldwide.com

J Dilla – The Doe – produced by Supa Dave West

J DILLA “THE DOE” + INTERVIEW WITH SUPA DAVE WEST.

In 2001, J Dilla set out to record an album with his favorite hip-hop producers, one of these being Supa Dave West. Over a decade later, still in the long process of getting this full project released, we finally get to hear Dilla & West’s collaboration, mixed, mastered, and released on vinyl in the form of J Dilla’s “Give ‘Em What They Want” EP.

The EP contains three vocal tracks and two instrumentals. Of the three vocal tracks, “The Doe” and “No One’s Home” were produced by West and recorded December 2001, and the title track “Give ‘Em” is J Dilla’s own completely reworked version dating September 2002.

We spoke just yesterday with Supa Dave West about this collaboration.

Rappcats: How did you and Jay first meet?

Supa Dave West: I had a record deal at the time with Q-Tip’s Museum Music in ’97… I would go over Tips house to vibe, and we both started hearing about each other from that point. I met him sometime between then, when I started working with De La. We hung out a couple of times when he would come to NY for meetings. We both produced records for De La Soul. We talked a lot about our music philosophies. This was the pre-social media days. Everyone was just grinding… but we kept in touch.

In 2001 he told me about the project, working with his favorite dudes, producers that inspired him. He asked me to send him something. I sent him 36 beats and from those he picked 4.

What was your process like back then?

I worked on the ASR-10 and MPC 2000. These beats where made on MPC, needle dropping on melody spots in the record to a rythym and then looping it… one take usually… real art shit! I started doing that around ’98.

And then you worked together in person. Tell me about that.

Yeah, I would come though Detroit every year around Christmas, heading to Canada to make a huge beat tape for first quarter after the holidays. He picked me up where I was staying in Detroit in 2001… He eventually demo’d 4 joints but while I was there I dumped two beats and those ended up being “The Doe” and “No One’s Home”

“The Doe” was made before Jay’s version, “Give ‘Em What They Want”?

Yes. The “aahh” vocals on “Give em” was originally from “The Doe.”

We both respected each other as producers, but we talked about a lot of ways to realize the music, from a musicians point of view. That’s where I think he was coming from. I’m a drummer, and came up playing gospel. We connected in that way.

Jay did a lot of editing. He payed attention to detail in ways a lot of producers didn’t. He was heavily effecting his music and sound designing… that attention made the music special.

While these Dilla tracks from over 10 years ago finally see the light of day, what are you working on now?

Beat Boxing - an instrumental project, not with one ID to the next, but based on a whole storyboard… the companion, Spit Boxing with MC’s… and the third, Chop Sticks, a break beat record. I’m also in the studio working on De La’s next album, and doing something for Faith Evan’s next one… a song called “Miracles”.

www: Supa Dave West on Facebook | @SupaDaveWest

Stephen David Heitkotter – Black Orckid

Now-Again — May 19, 2014 | Comments (0)

ON SALE: STEPHEN DAVID HEITKOTTER – BLACK ORCKID

Deluxe reissue of a legendary ’70s California bedroom-made psychedelic album.

Restored/remastered transfer and never-before-heard demos. The CD/LP book contains dozens of unpublished photos and images and a thorough investigation into this exceedingly rare artifact.

Psychedelic rock record collectors have been repeating the name Heitkotter as if it were a mantra ever since the first copy of a hand-made demo LP turned up in a Los Angeles music publisher’s reject bin, with nothing more than that word scrawled across a plain white jacket (see it in the photos below).

The world has never heard something like Heitkotter – it is a unique piece of art unlike anything that came before or has come after it.

Now-Again Records embarked some years ago to find out more about Heitkotter’s music and his story, and in the process, visited the house where his album was recorded, found his musicians, rescued the demo-recordings that paved the way for this album, uncovered unpublished photos and paintings by the man behind the visionary album.

Stephen David Heitkotter was a Fresno, California kid who came of age in mid ’60s. He was the drummer for the Fresno garage wunderkinds the Road Runners, and even wrote a song for the band – “Pretty Me” – for one of their lauded 7-inch singles. Nobody really knows what happened after the band split up, becoming victims of the Vietnam War draft like many garage rock bands.

Stephen never made it to Vietnam – his meeting with the draft board is when he first started showing signs of mental illness. He stayed in Fresno and became a bedraggled post hippie who left the Age of Aquarius defiantly proclaiming that he would become a singer, songwriter and visual artist: Black Orckid.

The bizarre LP known as Heitkotter – recorded in around 1971 and pressed in a run of less than twenty five copies – was culmination of his artistic career. Ross Dwelle, Stephen’s childhood friend and the drummer on the record, describes the bedroom sessions in a handsome Craftsman home in Old Fresno as this young trio “trying to play five songs written by a man losing his mind … probably stoned the whole time.”

Stephen’s schizophrenia worsened in the ’70s. Towards the end of the decade, his parents – loving yet exhausted – institutionalized Stephen, and he has been the State of California’s ward ever since. His older brother William – who licensed Heitkotter for release on Now-Again – still sees his Stephen once a month, but he never mentions Heitkotter or its legend to him – Stephen himself is incapable of fathoming it in context, and it might tear him away from the fragile rope that still moors him to this earthly reality.

Heitkotter, this time issued as Black Orckid, as we assume Stephen would have wanted it – is too complicated to be written off as a symptom of a greater ill, or lionized by a few (and dismissed by the majority) as “outsider” art. It’s a rare and vital look at 60s and 70s American rock through the sad story – and incredible music – of an untethered soul. And as Now-Again shows in enlightening more of Stephen’s backstory, it can also be considered sweet, kind and optimistic. The Heitkotter tale is cautionary, but Stephen’s music is as close to the sublime as American rock has ever ventured.

Photos from the LP book showing Heitkotter’s photos, paintings, and original hand-signed album cover.

Badbadnotgood remixes Freddie Gibbs & Madlib – Shame

ON SALE: BADBADNOTGOOD – III

Rappcats exclusive: BBNG has remixed Freddie Gibbs & Madlib’s “Shame” and with the approval of the MC and Producer, the MP3 is included here as a bonus track.

BADBADNOTGOOD is a trio of musicians – Matthew Tavares on keys, Chester Hansen on bass, and Alex Sowinski on drums. They formed at Toronto’s Humber College Music Performance program in 2011, and quickly started changing the rules of what an improvised jazz group should be, and what hip-hop music could sound like.

The group released two collections of music on the web – BBNG EP and BBNG 2 – and won praise from the four corners of the globe and collaborated with Frank Ocean, Earl Sweatshirt, MF Doom, Pharaoh Monch and RZA among many. They signed to Innovative Leisure last year, and now released their first full length of original material on III.

BBNG live this week in Europe:
Tue 6 – Boilerroom.tv
Tue 6 – Xoyo – London
Wed 7 – The Exchange – Bristol
Fri 9 – Brudenell Social Club – Leeds
Sat 10 – Deaf Institute – Manchester
Mon 12 – Botanique @ Orangerie – Brussels
Tue 13 – Point Ephemere – Paris

J Dilla – Give Em What They Want

J Dilla — April 16, 2014 | Comments (10)

On saleJ DILLA – GIVE ‘EM WHAT THEY WANT

From Dilla’s long-lost (and still tangled) album The Diary, “Give ‘Em What They Want,” 12-inch on clear vinyl with five tracks produced in 2002 by J Dilla and Supa Dave West, on Pay Jay Productions.

Dilla set out in 2002 to record an album collaborating with his favorite producers, and Supa Dave West was among them. The first two vocal tracks on this record are built around the same lyrics – “Give ‘Em What They Want” produced by Dilla and “The Doe” produced by West are typical of how he would re-record a track, changing his delivery to fit another producer’s beat.

The last vocal track “So Far,” also produced by Supa Dave West, will be familiar to some fans of MP3 bootlegs. On this record, it’s mastered for the first time by Dave Cooley, who worked on Donuts, The Shining and Ruff Draft.

Thanks to James & Karla Murray for the cover photo, from their book Store Front (Ginko Press). The label illustration is by Denise Nestor, based on a photo by B+. Sleeve by Jeff Jank. This was produced for reissue by Eothen Alapatt, with coordination from House Shoes, Henoch Moore and J Rocc.

Pay Jay Productions was founded by J Dilla (James Yancey). The Estate of James Yancey is administered by attorney Alex Borden and overseen by the Probate Court of the State of California on behalf of Yancey’s four heirs – his mother, Maureen “Madukes” Yancey, his brother John “Illa J” Yancey and his two daughters, Ja’Mya Yancey and Ty-monae Whitlow.

In the seriesJ DILLA – ANTHEM | J DILLA – DIAMONDS & ICE

Dust & Grooves: Adventures in Record Collecting

Now shippingDust & Grooves: Adventures in Record Collecting

By Eilon Paz, chronicles 130 vinyl record collectors and their stacks.

Photographer Eilon Paz began “Dust & Grooves” as a pet project — Paz would photograph a collector and post shots to a blog. After five years of shooting and meeting serious record collectors around the world, Paz parlayed the project into an outstanding book with quality photos, design, and printing standards. More details.

• 416 pages covering over 130 record collections
• 12 full-length interviews with Egon, Gilles Peterson, Kieran Hebdan, Rich Medina, Gaslamp Killer, Dante Carfagna & many more.
• Forward by the RZA
• 250 full color photos

A few pages below: Eothen “Egon” Alapatt in Los Angeles. | The Bambaataa Collection – Johan Kugelberg alphabetized and organized Afrika Bambaataa’s 43,000 record collection in preparation for a move to Cornell University’s Hip-Hop History Archive, where it joins other hip-hop vinyl and artwork collections. (Cornell also hoped to archive the J Dilla record collection.) | Joe Bussard, Frederick, MD: Joe Bussard sitting in his basement with some of the rarest 78s in existence. The brown paper record jackets behind him are all uniformly discolored in the middle as a result of Joe’s hands sorting and searching through them for the past 60 years.



Watch Madlib create a beat from scratch in the matrix (sort of)

Madlib — April 9, 2014 | Comments (3)

From the gang at Noisey – What the hell goes into making a hip hop beat aside the most important part, a spark of creativity? Have you ever wanted to watch a legendary producer make a beat from scratch? We asked the beat conductor Madlib to hop on the tables, drums, and keys to create a beat right in front of our eyes, and captured it all in the video above.

Also check the photos from Noisey’s article on the Freddie Gibbs & Madlib record.

Pinata Alert – SAN FRANCISCO

Rappcats — March 27, 2014 | Comments (3)

Update: gone. | San Francisco, March 27, 4:55 PM, PST – There’s a pinata hanging in front of Groove Merchant, 687 Haight St., with a buncha 45s, Freddie & Madlib’s Piñata CD, a tour shirt, and other unnamable substances. First one to beat it open get’s the junk. Have fun, take a photo, and please clean up after yourself.

Tonight: Freddie Gibbs & Madlib play 1015 Folsom and March 28 in Los Angeles at the Echoplex.

Los Angeles Piñata
Chicago Piñata
NYC Piñata