Archive for December, 2010

P.I.M.P.’n with the Sickness

Posted in On Notice with tags , , , , , , on December 28, 2010 by jazner

TWO WEEKS AGO jazner pumped out a piece on his good friend Altitude Sickness, showing how he P.I.M.P. slapped the world with his mega-bomb of mash-ups and interactive player that gives the listener a peak inside the Tupperware goodies of his infamous monome on his new album, The Jamburglar.  Don’t get it twisted, these aren’t leftovers, but fresh takes on a variety of jams that get you bobbin’ like a tomcat at a petting party.  Holla.

For those of you out there stuck with the Time and reluctant to get with the Revolution, Altitude Sickness just dropped a video for “Frigid Flux (Redux)” that will get you racing to his site for a quick download of The Jamburglar and its Partially Interactive Media Player.

Those psychedelic squares dotting along the surface are the monome’s magic, pumping out the Animal Collective, Matmos, and other samples as Altitude Sickness tickles his plastic treasure for a tasty treat.  If you find yourself wondering how a DJ is able to bring the noise, organizing a handful of beats that amalgamate to wallop your eardrums with bombastic vibrations, feast your eyes on this sample of the P.I.M.P. done up by none other than the Sickness. Enjoy!


DJ Jazner’s Jamz of 2010

Posted in On Notice with tags , , , , , , , , on December 27, 2010 by jazner

LIKE I ALWAYS say to those haters who bag on Los Angeles and its so called light ‘pollution’: Who needs stars in the sky when they’re all over the ground, canvassing the endless city blocks and freeways as far as the eye can see?  One of these beaming celestial bodies is Cameron Mesirow, or Glasser, who released her full-length debut album Ring on True Panther Sounds earlier this September.

Right off the bat, the name of the album and cover art give you a sense of Glasser’s music. Cyclical like a ring and simultaneously disorientating and colorful as a kaleidoscope, Mesirow bumbles like a bee, humming and buzzing along her synth loops while pollinating heavenly harmonies that illuminate her crystalline voice. The album is smooth like a Kobe Bryant jump shot at the buzzer, a fluid ‘swish,’ untouched by any dissonance and leaving the listener in a state of ethereal bliss.

Ring balances on heavy, grimy drum beats with deep tribal undertones, reverberating bass that hits you in your darkest of viscera, and twinkling, glittering electronic sparkles of bells, vibes, crisp snaps and strings, all topped off with Mesirow’s seductive vocals. The album starts off with the druggy, gritty “Apply,” juxtaposing hypnotic stomping drums with Glasser’s signature choral echoes. It’s also an ode to Mesirow’s production friend GarageBand, which is what she first used to develop her beats on her introductory EPs. Mix that with the penultimate “Treasury of We” that showcases Tortoise-like vibes and bass and a beat breakdown dropping with enough intensity to make you cringe from aural pleasure, and you’ve got an album where the ‘next’ button can be completely disregarded.

DJ Jazner‘s favorite piece, however, is the gem tucked right in the middle of Ring named “T.” It’s like being encased in a velvety K-hole navigated by a hazy angel that wants to wrap you in a warm blanket of dub bass and sentimental synth. “T” attacks you from all angles, pulling you along downstream til you reach a climatic waterfall of glistening, aqueous, magical arpeggios. If you find yourself overloaded on all your new Christmas music or sick of the endless ‘best of’ lists (except this one, of course), just find “T” and it’ll put all tensions to rest.

Who says you need thousand dollar music software and hardware, mixers, even physical instruments? Glasser demonstrates how you can be a baller on a budget, using something as generic and stock as GarageBand to set the stage for one of jazner‘s favorite albums of 2010. Although she developed her sound and moved on from her Apple origins on Ring, Glasser is nonetheless something to look out for in the year to come and a hot new ticket in the underground scene.



DJ Jazner’s Jamz of 2010

Posted in DJ Jazner with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 18, 2010 by jazner

IT WOULD BE a heinous offense to pin down a singular label or genre to describe Kode9’s 2010 album DJ Kicks. The initial impulse to tag on the ‘hip-hop,’ ‘dubstep,’ or even more exotic ‘post-dubstep’ catch phrases doesn’t even begin to scrape the grime off the surface of Kode9’s installment in the illustrious DJ Kicks series.

What makes this composite of Hyperdub head bangers one of jazner’s favorite albums of the year is its multiplicity. The shape-shifting dreamscapes and kinetic energy permeating throughout DJ Kicks is a breath of fresh air in an electronic music scene that has been watered down by mainstream attention and an influx of new artists all skitching on a generic, formulaic beat pattern.

After making his impression felt with his Dubstep Allstars, Vol. 3 classic, Kode9 returned in 2010 to reinvent how the industry interacts with its preconceptions of the dubstep sound.
Featuring broken beats, filthy glitch grime, wompy dub, and angelic R&B, DJ Kicks encapsulates an eclectic variety of groovy music perfect for the late-night dance party with your clique.
Kode9 mixes his 31 tracks into a seamless masterpiece that bounces throughout the musical spectrum.
Rozzi Daime’s “Dirty Illusions,” J*DaVeY’s “Mr. Mister,” and Morgan Zarate’s “M.A.B. (ft. Sarah Ann Webb)” inject a soulful hum that elegantly balances the heavy blast of bass bombs from Addison Groove’s “Foot Crab” and Ramadanman’s “Work Them.”

Leave your love for four on the floor at the door and open your mind to the syncopated beauty of broken beat made famous across the pond in the U.K. club scene. This is not house music or Deadmau5. DJ Kicks is a futuristic album that rose to the top of electronic albums in 2010, separating itself from the crowd with its progressive sound and cementing a top spot on DJ Jazner’s playlist.

Mr. Mister (full)

J*DaVeY – Mr. Mister by imculture

Footcrab (full)

Footcrab by kchekanov

Update – Teen Inc. Grows Up

Posted in On Notice with tags , , , , , , , on December 18, 2010 by jazner

ALMOST A WEEK ago, jazner wrote about a cutting-edge retro indie funk outfit about to breakthrough from the underground named Teen Inc.

It seems that within that time frame the group hit a growth spurt, losing the ‘Teen’ from its moniker and simply going with Inc.
Inc. has just dropped “A Usual Thang”, a fresh video ready to be gobbled up by your eardrums that melds “Special Tensions” and “Fountains.”

Listen to the filthy slap bass line of Daniel Aged pulling and guiding the song with its heavy undertow.

Lemar sets the groove in a pocket, infusing the rhythmic beat that makes the jam pop off.

Sam’s blaring sax gives it soul, creating the seamless transition from the two tracks. His wonky synth chops stoke the soulful fire even more, wailing in classic ’80s sizzle.

Sir Michael’s rhythm guitar pushes the tunes, keeping the audience on their toes.

And Andrew Aged’s singing and lead guitar round out Inc. with the sexy, hip, night-life glamor that energizes the group with a vibrant luminosity.

“A Usual Thang” is the calm before the storm as Inc. appears to be percolating in anticipation for the drop of a full length. Look for a winter/spring funky release of some bone rattling beats that leave hips on swivels.

Autumn Gloom/Winter Moon

Posted in DJ Jazner with tags , , , , , on December 15, 2010 by jazner

THIS ONE GOES out to all the people in the Northern Hemisphere stuck indoors because it’s cold and rainy outside, snowy even, suffering from cabin fever educed by ennui and blotted out daylight. Get comfortable with your cup of cocoa, put on a blanket and snug up with your special friend while DJ Jazner takes you on an aqueous journey filled with nice warm bass-y beats to keep you feeling cozy all through these long, cold months. Enjoy!
Autumn Gloom/Winter Moon –
Track List
Yo La Tengo – Little Eyes
Flying Lotus – Table Tennis (Feat. Laura Darlington)
Tortoise – Swung From The Gutters
Michael Jackson – Human Nature
King Midas Sound – Meltdown
Underworld – Push Downstairs
Bjork – Hidden Place
Portishead – Pedestal
Flying Lotus – RobertaFlack (Feat. Dolly)
The Sea and Cake – Darkest Night
Missy Elliot – The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)
Bob Dylan – Buckets Of Rain
*Note, couldn’t find every song, sorry! Please feel free to comment recommendations/requests.

Jamburglar on the Loose

Posted in On Notice with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 14, 2010 by jazner

Altitude Sickness is flying high after the release of his interactive digital LP, The Jamburglar, available for your listening and participatory pleasure here. This Altadena native has graced the stages of Los Angeles’ legendary Low End Theory, toured as part of the Princeton Laptop Orchestra (PLOrk), and enjoyed a residency at WPRB 103.3 FM in New Jersey. Hosting weekly parties featuring performances from the likes of GZA, Nosaj Thing, People Under the Stairs, and many others, Altitude Sickness’ greatest accomplishment to date may easily be his two homemade monomes, concocted out of Tupperware containers and made with lots of love. Altitude Sickness is currently chasing his PhD. and spearheading the monome movement in Los Angeles.

REINVENTING THE MUSICAL experience, bridging the line between artist and audience while producing the eclectic, multidimensional mash-ups and jam-bangers that run throughout The Jamburglar (not to mention the hours spent wrangling and debugging the project’s Partially Interactive Media Player, or P.I.M.P.) will make anyone a little queasy.

But Altitude Sickness has popped his Dramamine and dropped his album, launching off into uncharted territory with his copilot P.I.M.P. ready to get you bouncing to his monome magic.

The Jamburglar is a mash-up masterpiece of a few songs you know and many you don’t. Throughout the album, Altitude Sickness weaves his diverse and extensive melodic phrases into a seamless composition that hits hard with dubstep ‘wompity womps’, glitch, and hip-hop vibes, with glimmers of Daedelus blinking through the monome lights. Most will recognize the ‘wee-oh-wee’ of Lil’ Weezy’s “Mrs. Officer” on the track “Skip Hop”, or Thom Yorke’s whine on “Faze Funk.” But many will blank on the Yu Miyake and Balinese Monkey Chant samples, hearing it for the first time amongst the Sickness’ multi-layered beats. Yet this is what makes the album, and Altitude Sickness, so compelling: their ability to stretch across the musical landscape to unite sounds above- and underground from different eras and countries to create a smorgasbord of filthy, funky jams ready to rock you into dubmission.

The music isn’t the only part of The Jamburglar. Critical to the complete sensorial experience is the P.I.M.P., which allows the user to customize a visual connection to Altitude Sickness’ beats. Each song comes equipped with an image that can be superimposed with Altitude Sickness’ monome as he was creating his tracks in real-time, using the mini monome control panel in the P.I.M.P.’s left shoulder to set the mood just how you like (go ahead, brush it off).

The effect is a fourth wall breakdown, where the listener is as involved as the artist, taking the reins of the visual realm while the Sickness lays down the audio tracks. It’s like P.I.M.P. slaps you in the face, bringing the listener into the DJ’s world with the bird’s eye monome perspective, allowing them to watch as the beats and samples tick by on top of each song’s personalized image.

All in all, The Jamburglar is a fun listen that showcases the Altitude Sickness’ eclectic musical background while demonstrating a maturity and growth from his past works. Plug in the P.I.M.P. and dial in to some good jams. Why not? It’s free.

Solo Dinero

Solo Dinero by altitude sickness

Coffman vs. Knowles (Featherweight Champion Dub)

Coffman Vs Knowles (Featherweight Champion Dub) by altitude sickness

Spotlight – Teen Inc.

Posted in On Notice with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 12, 2010 by jazner
Teen Inc. hails from Los Angeles and is centered around the Aged brothers of Andrew (lead guitar, vocals) and Daniel (bass). The rest of the band is comprised of Sir Michael, Sam and Lemar, all on rhythm guitar, keys and drum set/machine, respectively. The group has released a 7 in. entitled “Fountains/Friend of the Night,” and is currently working hard at compiling a full-length album to be released in the near future. They are unsigned, as far as I know, gleaning what information I could from their myspace and official website.

IT’S NOT OFTEN that an opening act, let alone the first group of the night, is able to upstage the other performers on the bill, overshadowing the headliner and other openers to effectively take the audience to the height of the night, all before the clock’s even struck nine.

But Teen Inc.’s performance Dec. 1st at the Rio Theatre in Santa Cruz opening for Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti and Diva set the bar exceptionally high for the night, dazing the crowd into a state of catatonic pleasure that sent us grooving and hollering at a level that was unmatched by the other two groups. Teen Inc. took me on such a funky flashback ride, shaking me to my musical core with a sound simultaneously radical in its ingenuity yet familiar in its latent ’80s tropes, that I felt impelled to share these impressions of a band about to turn the corner and make some noise in the underground indie scene.

The first thing that came to mind at the start of the set was Prince, and not because the Purple Rain album, specifically “I Would Die 4 U,” has been stuck on repeat in my iTunes to the point where my housemates are considering kicking me out because they’re sick of listening to it. Prince and the synthy ’80s energy was conjured up within me throughout Teen Inc.’s performance. It was the subtle sexuality lining the undertones of each song, mixed with Andrew Aged’s high-pitched, melancholic mumble that seemed to be yearning for some answer from the crowd.

The most striking element was Aged’s solo style. Present throughout the set, Aged’s graceful, glistering guitar shredding rounded off Teen Inc.’s sound, giving it a texture that topped it off with an electric vibrancy that invigorated the musical experience. The solos didn’t overpower the melody like a heavy metal, roots rock or Jimmy Page solo would. Instead, they dotted the melody with striking embellishes.

Tom G. of the band Twigz told me one of the most important elements of a good song is its ability to move and progress forward, keeping the listener engaged and curious as to where the piece will lead, which involves breaking away from the typical verse-chorus-verse formula stagnating popular music.

This is Teen Inc., an attribute that defines them as an underground outfit a cut above the rest. Their songs had staccato beats that seemed to be chomping at the bit to be unleashed from their artists’ instruments, pushing the tunes with an urgency that kept me on my toes wondering where the song would lead and surprising me when it got there. This emotion can be heard in the opening measures of “Fountains,” where the listener is pulled along by the building and budding beats, to the final bloom of electric twinkling from the keys and lead guitar.

Not to mention that Teen Inc.’s songs don’t rely on a consistent melody that stays persistent from start to finish. Their songs had a quality I first noticed in The Beatles song, “Happiness Is A Warm Gun,” which showcases four heroin fueled vignettes, each unique and unrelated harmonically to the others, to the point where one could imagine each being their own individual Beatles song if they weren’t all put together as one. The same can be said of “Friend of the Night,” which ends on a different note than when it began, maintaining some of the introductory melody as it branches out to develop the song into a funky, dope bass driven syncopated jam that gives the tune a multifaceted shape able to be approached from various angles.

Teen Inc. is a group all of its own, unmatched by other acts today. Of course, there are connections to Ariel Pink, where both acts utilize a retro feel that tilts towards a washed out, lo-fi garage sound that has an intentional and distinct warped vibe, like a cassette tape that’s been sitting in a hot car too long. But with Ariel Pink, there is an obnoxious, over-the-top playfulness that makes his music as fun as it is funny, whereas Teen Inc. has a more morose, carnal nightlife vibe fitted for a hip L.A. underground all black themed party. One could see that in the way each band dressed, with Ariel Pink looking like a transvestite Kurt Kobain in a ‘Where’s Waldo?’ long sleeve with a beer belly, while the members of Teen Inc. all had an array of black, some sporting leather jackets, others with painted on jeans, most with black goth-like boots, sprinkled with the occasional sullen stare into the crowd.

Teen Inc. left an impression that has me excited and antsy for more music. Keep these guys on the radar, they’re on the verge of blowing up. Once the full-length drops, assuming it does, expect to be reading and hearing about Teen Inc. throughout the indie circuit. Keep an ear out..


Friend of the Night