FIRST HE WANTED to see you, now you left him with that deep hurt.
Sir Michael Morrison aka Octo Octa, the Brooklyn beast of beats churning out house grooves for 100% Silk, has emerged from the underground with the Oh Love 12″, the follow-up to his essential Let Me Feel You EP that came out late last year.
Ghostly vocals reminiscent of Amanda Brown flitter through this teaser video for “Deep Hurt”, which isn’t surprising, considering Octo Octa just teamed up with LA Vampires for the latest in their collaborative projects, Freedom2K, also out now on 100% Silk.
The Silk seamstresses are on the trail touring Europe this summer, with all roads leading to Sonar, so be sure to catch them in a town near you EU readers.
NEW TRACK FLOATING in from the 100% Silk / Not Not Fun crew. LA Vampires, who in the past collaborated with Zola Jesus, Ital, and Matrix Metals, teams up with fellow Silk-r Octo Octa this time around, revealing the first cut, “Wherever, Boy”, off their upcoming 12″, due May-ish on 100% Silk.
LA Vampires, like Maria Minerva in some respects, falls in a gray area between the dancy Silk aesthetic and drone zone of NNF. “Wherever, Boy” starts off with a classic house progression, something you might’ve heard at The Warehouse in Chicago back in the day. The track quickly swirls into a blizzard of synths and Amanda Brown’s vampish vocals, a colorful soundscape of club confusion and allusion.
For the LA friends, be sure to catch Octo Octa (live LA debut!), along with Magic Touch, LA Vampires, Bobby Browser, and Silk newbie Roche May 19th in Silverlake.
PICK UP YR mouse and come browse the first 12″ of 2012 from 100% Silk, served up by Oakland’s Andre Ferreira aka Bobby Browser, entitled Just Browsing.
Take a chill pill and groove to the mellow house vibes of “Smooth Cruise”, an A-side cut packed with space cadet synths fluttering in the night sky like the lights of an aurora borealis. Peep the teaser video above or dive into the full version stream below.
Flip the record over for the sensual bedroom slow jam “No Appointments”, featuring vocals from San Francisco’s Group Rhoda.
No Appointments ft. Group Rhoda
Bobby Browser’s record release party is cracking this Friday the 13th (beware!) in LA @ Little Temple, with appearances from Ital, Pharaohs, and the whole 100% Silk family. Find out more here.
ONE YEAR AGO today, this humble little blog set forth into the vast thickets of the interwebs to bring you a wide variety of tracks to put your body and mind in motion.
It’s been a tremendously fun, challenging, and inspiring journey, and it was all made possible by YOU.
A HUGE THANK YOU to all those that have supported this site, your viewership and encouragement does not go unnoticed.
Now, to return the love, jazner brings you a collection of his favorite memories, tracks, labels, and artists of 2011.
Enjoy, thank you all again so much, and here’s to plenty more in 2012!
And please, if you like what you hear, don’t download it, go out and buy these records. As Ras_G says, “you don’t have the record till you have the record”, so get physical wit it and take these all for a spin!
Wake Ups (Friends of Friends)
40 Karats ft. Zackey Force Funk (Friends of Friends)
My dood Salva went on a major tear in 2011, dropping his debut LP, Complex Housing, and the Yellobone EP for Friends of Friends Music, as well as compiling a killer collection of tracks on Surreal Estate for his Frite Nite label, remixing Miguel Migs, Beans, DZA and many others, while being invited to Red Bull Music Academy. So proud of this guy, one of the hardest workers in the game who will surely see dividends in 2012 with a European tour alongside Shlohmo and many more goodies in the works.
Floating Points, the prime example of quality over quantity. Some of the most sensual, romantic, deepest and soulful tunes of 2011 came from FP, aka Sam Shepherd aka Eglo Records’ head. “Marilyn” (pictured above) is a bedroom / dance-floor crossover heater ranking as one of the best tracks of the year, with it’s counter part “Faruxz” generating an equal amount of love and smoothness. The single-sided record store release “Sais (Dub)” is a deep-house gem showcased on Fourtet’s Fabriclive 59 mix and one of jazner‘s most prized pieces of wax. The production on Fatima’s Follow You EP is emotional and heartfelt. And Shadows is complex, introspective, and incredibly moving. If you ain’t up on Floating Points, or Eglo Records, get on it, you will not be sorry.
Yuh Nuh See (Hotflush)
Sepalcure has taken the electronic world by storm. Seamlessly weaving juke, house, and UK bass tropes together on their self-titled debut LP and Fleur EP, both on Hotflush, Sepalcure has emerged as love personified, truly next level stuff. Machinedrum and Braille function as a real team, with neither artists’ style overtaking the others’ contribution. Each Sepalcure track has elements of both producers and fuse together as a genuine collaboration of equal parts. On repeat since it dropped, Sepalcure may be jazner‘s favorite LP of the year.
U Don’t Survive (Planet Mu)
Now U Know The Deal 4 Real (Planet Mu)
No surprise here. 2011 was the year of Machinedrum, aka Travis Stewart. Having been featured here extensively, Machinedrum produced some of the most exciting, alternative, and genre bending tracks in 2011, two of which are available above. Room(s) is the only album able to challenge Sepalcure as jazner‘s favorite of the year, although both feature Machinedrum so maybe it settles as a push. On top of Room(s), Machinedrum also dropped the Sacred Frequency EP for Planet Mu, as well as a grip of remixes, the best perhaps being the one he did for Scuba’s “M.A.R.S.”, featured on Scuba’s DJ-Kicks for !K7.
LV & Joshua Idehen
LV & Joshua Idehen’s LP, Routes, on Keysound, was on heavy repeat this summer, with “Tough” being the track that got the most love. It’s like a body in motion, rhythms of respiration, with sonic phrases breathing in and out, building on one another and functioning as a complex organism. Cannot listen to that one enough. Joshua Idenhen’s spoken word vocals add a human element to LV’s UK Funky beats and dub reggae shades. Definitely one that stuck with jazner in 2011.
Hands down the best show jazner has ever seen at Low End Theory. Death Grips tramples, thrashes, and spits in the face of genre. Exmilitary, and specifically tracks like “Blood Creepin” and “Lord Of The Game”, are eerie, abrasive, fresh and incredibly awesome. It’s alien and brings you to a place of true callowness and shock. Not to mention the download was given away for free (above), cuz they don’t give a fluff about your money. It’s no secret Zach Hill is an otherworldly drummer, but the electronic elements and hip-hop / punk flows take Death Grips to the next level. IT GOES IT GOES IT GOES IT GOES – 4 real.
Ginger (Water Birth) [Partisan]
Part bias, part legitimate love, BOBBY had to be on the list. My best friend, Tom Greenberg, a dude I’ve known since we were 3 years old, a dude I used to jam with in my garage as a teenager, is a big force behind the BOBBY collective, and I am so proud of him, as well as Martin, Paolo, and the rest of the collective. Their self-titled album is beautiful, unique, and brought tears to my eyes the first time I heard it. They were the main reason I went to SXSW, and the crew has since been featured on NPR, Interview Mag, and just recently finished up a Daytrotter session. Not to mention Molly Erin Sarle and Amelia Meath (two-thirds of Mountain Man), who recorded and toured with BOBBY, respectively, have since hit the road with Feist on her international tour, doing backing vocals. For those that have never heard BOBBY, just take a listen to “Groggy”. Gets me every time.
After seeing Pharaohs perform live a handful of times, jazner was so moved that he needed to contact Ale and Sam for an interview and do a feature for this site. The crew was even generous enough to provide an exclusive remix of their uber-jammer “Uhh Uhh”, also available as a free download. These dublab labrats combine all sorts of threads (house, jazz, psyche, you name it) and produce truly heady / groovy jams that take you to worlds you’ve never imagined. If you have a chance to see these guys live, do it, it’s a cathartic experience.
Magic Touch – “Clubhouse” w/ Honey Owens
Octo Octa – “I’m Trying”
Malvoeaux – “Sunsets”
Again, no surprise here. Amanda and Britt’s Not Not Fun sub-pseudo-disco imprint was full of 2011′s weirdest, wildest, and most wonderful electronic tracks. From the psychedelic jazzy house of Pharaohs, the straight foof of Magic Touch’s “Clubhouse” & Octo Octa’s “I’m Trying”, the Inner City-esque 80s electronic pop of Sir Stephen, and the off-kilter stylings of Ital and Maria Minerva, 100% Silk was an underground tastemaker that took electronic music to places it never imagined going. Releases sell out instantly, all without Twitter, Facebook, or any other social media, and the website only recently ditched the ‘blogspot’ moniker from its address. It’s DIY disco glam to the fullest, and pushes the boundaries of what will get people to dance. Cannot wait to get SILK-Y in 2012!
Friends of Friends Music
Salva – “Obsession” ft. B. Bravo
Shlohmo – “Places”
Sure, there may be some bias here, being that I do PR for Friends of Friends Music. Nonetheless, FoF took me out of the perma-chronic haze of Santa Cruz and plugged me into a world of incredible, groundbreaking new music and a whole community of genuine and friendly artists and industry peeps. Cannot give enough gratitude for this. FoF saw its biggest year to date, with the release of Shlohmo’s critically acclaimed Bad Vibes LP, Salva’s splash, and being Resident Advisor’s August choice for Label of the Month. Don’t think we’re sleeping for a second, though, cuz there are big plans for 2012…Stay posted!
These two tracks just kill it every time. Trance-y, but in the best possible way, Scuba isn’t afraid to touch on electronic music’s bastard genre and compose it in ways that are not only palatable, but delectable. Not to mention Scuba’s side job is running Hotflush, one of the best labels around. With a DJ-Kicks to boot, there was no way Scuba wasn’t making this post.
With Dâm, it’s more than the music. Don’t get me wrong, Dâm-Funk does boogie / G-Funk best, with the majority of his music available for free via Soundcloud or through places like Scion A/V. But Dâm produces music with one of the purest, most positive mindsets and attitudes around, which is such a relief in a game that can rely so heavily on ego and one-upmanship. Dude grinds harder than most, touring non-stop, playing shows in LA nearly every week, and never loses his focus. His gigs, whether solo or with Master Blazter, explode with fun and great energy. People are all smiles, they dance, and Dâm vibes off this, jumping into the crowd with his keytar, slapping 5s, and letting you know how grateful he is for the support. Simply put, Dâm-Funk is the man.
NOTE: Our thoughts and prayers are with J-1, his family, and his friends. The drummer of Master Blazter passed away in November, and it’s so sad to see him go. When I saw him perform last in November with Dâm, he was so on point, even breaking out an Amen-esque drum solo that blew the top of the El Rey. This world won’t be the same without him, but we know he’s in a better place, and will always have him in our hearts.
Heart Crimes (4AD)
The group that started it all for jazner got signed to 4AD, performed at CMJ, opened for Dâm-Funk, and made some real sexy, soulful jams in 2011. Hope to see more from the Aged bros in 2012!
Thanks again to all the viewers out there! Keep checking in, commenting, and have a great 2012!!!
THE MAN WHO set 100% Silk in motion with his Ital’s Theme 12″, the label’s first ever release early this year, is taking his talents to Planet Mu and prepping a 5-track EP to be released February 2012.
Daniel Martin-McCormick, the producer better known under his off-kilter house alias Ital, is on deck to drop Hive Mind, pictured above, and so far it sounds packed with plenty of left-field singles.
From the thick intergalactic space house of “Doesn’t Matter (If You Love Him)”, to the rattling tribal disco rhythms of “First Wave”, Hive Mind sounds primed to take dance-floors off the beaten path and into the weirdo wonderland that has become a staple of Ital’s sound.
Really looking forward to this one once it’s available. Check back for a full review later this winter.
DISCO DIVE BAR debauchery and raunchy glitter attitude wail with foofy ferocity on Broken Anthem, the latest 100% Silk 12″ provided by Malvoeaux, the solo project of Innergaze frontman Jason Letkiewicz.
Broken Anthem takes you to the highest disco heights with cutty edits guaranteed to keep your dance party raging til the haggard hours of dawn. Pulsing four-on-the-floor rhythms charge with choppy breaks and sassy swagger, carving deeper grooves on your wax due to repeated flips and constant revisits.
“Fatal Games”, the first track on the aptly titled Malvoeaux mix above, slows it down for a pastel skyline convertible ride with champagne bubbly poppin, easing you in to the head banging, hip swaying thump of the EP’s title track that follows next on the mix.
The A/V of “Sunsets” does the EP proper justice, with SILK’s trademark throwback aesthetic colliding head on with the dancy ecstasy of kids just wantin to have fun.
Peep Broken Antehm at the SILK site, where Malvoeaux also found time to sit down with Amanda and Britt for a mini interview.
NO LONGER A mere sub-label of Amanda and Britt Brown’s Not Not Fun Records, 100% Silk has emerged as a premiere dancefloor force all of its own. What started as an early 2011 off-kilter disco experiment has blossomed into an electronic tastemaking imprint able to go against the grain of conventionality, instantly selling out of their 12″ maxi single releases without the help of social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter.
From the foof house stylings of artists like Ital, Magic Touch, Octo Octa and Sir Stephen, to the space cadet disco of Maria Minerva and Innergaze, 100% Silk illuminates the edges of electronic music and puts the periphery in the spotlight.
Shining today is the latest silk-y collective Pharaohs, whose debut 12″, Uhh Uhh, is already sold out, although you can find a few at some distributors like Boomkat and others.
Centered around dublab, the non-profit, member supported free internet radio station currently in its fundraising Proton Drive, Pharaohs produce an eclectic, organic sound unmatched by any of 100% Silk’s previous releases.
Having been lucky enough to see the group perform live a handful of times, each set different than the last, jazner was able to catch up with the crew over email and discuss what Pharaohs is all about. Here’s what they had to say:
jazner: Who makes up Pharaohs? Is there a difference between members in the group in terms of recordings and live performances, or is the lineup set?
Pharaohs: Pharaohs was formed by Sam Cooper and Ale Cohen, with a rotating number of guest musicians. Yes, there is a difference from our recordings to live. The live sets develop out of a common idea we share with other musicians on how our music should be presented live. In the studio, those same folks, and others that never play live with Pharaohs, come and add their arrangements to the songs, sometime co-writing the songs with us.
j: How did the group come about, what is its history?
P: We met each other at a record store. Started talking about music and realized we had a lot in common. At our first session, it was immediate. We jammed and wrote 3 or 4 songs, some of them eventually came out on a cassette EP on Living Tapes. From there we developed our style and ways of composition, we included guests and started playing some live sets. An important point in the history of the group was when we did a live session at KPFK for dublab. It was all last minute, but it was fantastic. William Lemon III joined us on Saxophone and vocals. It was the first time where we started expanding our sound and the possibilities of what we could do.
j: Where are you guys from?
P: Ale Cohen: Los Angeles via Buenos Aires
Sam Cooper: The Pacific Ocean
j: Talk about your music, it seems so multilayered – there are hints of latin, house, jazz, psychedelia, amongst other threads. What kind of place does your music come from? Where are you trying to take your audience on this sonic journey? What does this world look / feel like? What artists, musicians, individuals, eras push you artistically / musically?
P: Yes, the influences are all there. We listen to this kind of music because it is music of the heart. It’s music of life and living and everything that surrounds us. A lot of our material is from jams that we do in the studio. Channeling. Sonic Archeology. From within us. Sometimes you can’t force anything – you have to let it come to you. You do not choose it, it chooses you. When working on a track we always ask ourselves if everything belongs there. Always looking to lose any extra baggage. We want our audience to lose themselves and be free. To exit their bodies. Have you ever seen anyone in a Voodoo trance? - kind of like that.
In regards to influences, the list is far to great to even name a few. It just wouldn’t do justice. However, we admire the work and the way some artists approach their work. That’s what has left a mark on how we approach things. All eras have amazing music, but if we have to name an era that influences us, it would be this one, the present.
j: On this same note, can you talk a little about 100% Silk? It’s a record label that seems to blur and ditch genre lines while mixing styles all together. Do you agree, and what are you thoughts on genre? What is your relation to Amanda and Britt? Why were you drawn to release the 12″ with them? What do you think 100% Silk’s role is in the LA music scene and beyond, and do you feel a part of that narrative?
P: We love 100% Silk. Amanda and Britt are great. We feel a connection with them, and have a similar approach to things, so the connection was mutual. They have been so supportive. We’ve formed a wonderful relationship with them where things are understood without even saying them. From the moment we met, it all happened naturally, like “of course we are putting out a 12″ on 100% Silk, I can’t imagine not doing so”.
As far as genres are concerned, we’re definitely aren’t thinking about it when we’re writing. Genres can be good and at the same time they can be limiting. We don’t want boundaries in our music, we want our music to be free and invoke freedom. Anytime you blend worlds and ideas others think of as separate, and you find an original way of doing it, the results can be exceptional. I think that is the case with 100% Silk and its roster of artists. Not sure of the role of the label in LA, they do inspire a lot of people in the city and it does provide a center for something that few others, or no one maybe, does in LA, but really 100% SILK is not about connecting with one city, but with the world.
j: One thing that truly excites me about Pharaohs is the fact that you recreate your music live, when the norm for most electronic artists is to just hit play on their laptop and use whatever samples they’ve got. It feels more organic live. Can you talk about the differences between recreating your set live vs. sampling? What difference (if any) does this make, both for you as the artist and conversely the environment for the audience watching your set? Is the live set part of Pharaohs’ identity, and if so how / what does it do to form it?
P: Yes, we are excited about that too. In many ways we play our songs live, instead of using a laptop, because in some ways we can be quite basic in our understanding of technology. It doesn’t mean we don’t get it, but we do have a natural tendency to stick to that immediate feel of playing live, grabbing an instrument and play the sounds yourself, instead of loading, triggering and staring at a screen. We think the reception from the public has been good because of that, you can’t replace a live performance with a download. It would be so boring having a sample of the keyboard lines to then put them in a little box and trigger them pressing a rubber button. Give me a synth of a drum machine or some shakers! Lets jam with that and a saxophone – I wanna move! That sounds to me like more fun.
As for the live set being part of our identity. It’s starting to be. Definitely the structure for our live performances is starting to influence the way we compose new songs.
j: And finally, can you talk about dublab and Suzanne Kraft? Do these projects influence what you do for Pharaohs? What is their place in the LA music scene and beyond?
P: Yes, dublab is an internet radio station based in Los Angeles, for which I [Ale] also work for. Suzy K is our good friend and collaborator Diego Herrera. It’s funny, with Diego all happened so naturally that we don’t even remember a beginning, he was there, and that is it. What Diego does influences us for sure, his style can also be heard on Pharaohs, because he plays some of the lines. As for dublab, yes, of course, how could that not influence me, I’m there all day. I met Britt and Amanda there, so that was cool.
I can’t really say anything about what dublab or SK mean in the music scene of LA and the world without sounding absurd. All I can say is that dublab gets a lot of support from its community of listeners, and that means the world to me. As for SK, I’ll just say that I love his music and many people are into it as well.
Download “Gloria”, click the arrow (via The Fader).
ESTONIAN DUNGEON DISKO diva Maria Minerva has been on a tear this year, spinning goopey tapestries of somnolent beats on her first official LP weave Cabaret Cixous and the Noble Savage 12″, both for 100% Silk. And she ain’t done yet.
Minerva’s got one more silk bow tucked in the quiver, the Sacred & Profance Love? EP, primed to slink off Amanda and Britt’s sub-label somewhere in November time.
“Gloria” is our first taste of the upcoming 12″, and be careful with this one, it’s a catchy creeper. Stained glass cathedral synths swoosh through premarital love confessions too sexy for communion. A salvation sweeter than wine hangs on Minerva’s every infatuated whisper, leaving alter boys vulnerable to silk-y temptations of gothic carnal mischief.
Keep a gargoyle watch for Sacred & Profane Love? to drop in the upcoming weeks, and stay tuned for more 100% Silk from Pharaohs, SFV Acid, and more…