RIP Beantown Boogiedown, 2009-16. Hello Zakim Recordings!!


I know there hasn’t been a lot of content posted on here over the course of the past two years. There are a number of reasons why, not the least of which has been my involvement with music production since the beginning of 2015. But even that aside, it took me some serious thinking to come to the conclusion that this blog has run its course in recent times. 
When I launched Beantown Boogiedown back in 2009 it was just a “fun music project” designed to take my mind off how bad the recession was at the time. I figured I’d do it for a couple months then run out of content to write about and move on to something else. Little did I realize how it became the foundation to almost all of the friends I’ve made in Boston’s music scene since then. I love writing about music and helping promote my friend’s artwork, and the fact hundreds of people came by this place every day to read about it was the icing on the cake.
Unfortunately, there have been some issues in recent years that needed to be addressed. The biggest ones included the following:
1. I’ve been running BBD on an obsolete, ten-year-old version of Squarespace, which is not even remotely optimized for Web 2.0. Because this blog has so much content (literally thousands of posts and gigs of photo galleries), upgrading to a more recent version (let alone Wordpress) was pretty much impossible. And staying on the old version eliminated any chance of building a responsive, mobile-friendly design. Google penalized me harshly for this by dropping my page rank, causing me to lose over 90% of my traffic almost overnight in 2014 (from over 1,000 visitors per day to less than 100). Social media integration on the old version of Squarespace was also pretty much non-existent. And if your content isn’t being shared across social, you’re irrelevant to Google.
2. Because the version of Squarespace I’m on is no longer officially supported, it’s also not secure. I learned this the hard way this past summer when the blog got hit by malware, which I’ve completely given up on trying to diagnose or fix myself without breaking the bank. The risk of infecting my computer has been the #1 reason why zero content has been posted here in months.
3. I launched my label, Zakim Recordings, back in 2013. The problem is, I’d spend most of my time promoting BBD instead of building a music community around Zakim and the artists involved with it, which would make much more sense. Single-branding is totally the move, especially in my limited amount of free time.
4. While I never plan to stop promoting artists who live in Boston, the name “Beantown Boogiedown” severely limited the scope to just within the city, opening up very few opportunities from outside. I want good music to be the scope of the blog I run, not necessarily location. And as slow as I’ve been to admit it, let’s be honest here… using the word “Beantown” really didn’t do me any favors either, especially as a transplant to this city. LMAO
So what’s the solution? I’ve decided to shift my efforts over, which is officially up and running. What I plan to do there is not unlike BBD. Lots of writeups on dance/electronic music I’m digging, with a slight emphasis towards local artists. A brand new DJ mix podcast series. Archives of photos. Ticket giveaway contests. And of course, the core of Zakim, the label itself…which is not only going to include vinyl releases but also digital and a promo channel. Due to limited time the writing style will mostly be short-form, but aside from that it will be very similar to what I did on here.
Basically I just wanted to streamline things, and the best way to overcome the technical limitations is to wipe the slate clean. I encourage you to check out the site, and hit it with a Facebook or Twitter follow to stay on top of what’s going on.

Some housekeeping:
1. All the BBD podcast mixes are archive and will stay online indefinitely. They can be streamed on my Mixcloud page
2. BBD will also stay online, at least for the next several years. I plan to slowly copy the majority of my photo archive over to the Zakim page however, for easier sharing. 
3. The BBD YouTube page will eventually be rebranded to Zakim, and will become a promo channel for various releases on the label. 
4. The BBD Soundcloud and Facebook pages will stay put. Since both have decent followings, I may leverage them at times to announce important releases or projects on Zakim.
In closing, I would like to thank everyone who has read or supported Beantown Boogiedown over the past 8 years. It is the biggest project I have ever built, and I hope to keep that spirit alive in 2017 on the new blog. Once again, this site will stay put, so all content I’ve produced here will continue to be available at least for the next few years. But either way, I appreciate you all. Over and onwards, and happy 2017!




Cool Free Stuff: Camino 84-Shining

Earning himself a spot on my “Boston musicians to follow list” in recent months with his viral track “Oh My”, Camino 84 returns with a follow up: “Shining”. In opposition to the relaxed vibes of his recent work, Shining aims squarely for the dancefloor while taking a variety of nostalgic cues from classic house on Shining. Think Frankie Knuckles or early cuts on Nervous Recordings here. Glossy pianos and a swinging rhythm track work in tandem with live bass guitar to lay down the groove with chopped vocals on top adding context. The show-stealer of Shining is its key change midway through — something rarely heard today but a hallmark of music that came out in the era he is paying homage. Grab this one below and follow Camino on soundcloud


Let's Boogie! Upcoming Boston Events For September 2016 

Upcoming Events 

20th Annual Loft Reunion @ Milky Way :: Jamaica Plain MA :: 9.10.16
Bob Diesel’s Official 40th Anniversary Tour Party @ Goodlife :: Boston MA :: 9.10.16
Dancing on the Charles (Fred Everything, Pete Moss & more) @ Marsh Post 442 :: Cambridge MA :: 9.10.16
Vault (Byoosik & Dee Diggs) @ Middlesex :: Cambridge MA :: 9.13.16
William Thompson Funk Experiment @ Wonderbar :: Allston MA :: 9.13.16
Make it New (DJ Sprinkles) @ Middlesex :: Cambridge MA :: 9.15.16
RJD2 @ Middle East :: Cambridge MA :: 9.16.16
Sweet Shop (Mike Huckaby) @ Goodlife :: Boston MA :: 9.17.16
Foreign Resort, usLights & NITE @ Lilypad :: Somerville MA :: 9.17.16
Exmag Boat Cruise (Wobblesauce, Uncle Bob & Docious) @ Rowes Wharf :: Boston MA :: 9.17.16
Drown (Residents & Thelem) @ Wonderbar :: Allston MA :: 9.18.16
KNTRL (Byoosik) @ ZuZu :: Cambridge MA :: 9.21.16
Marvel Years & Artifakts @ Wonderbar :: Allston MA :: 9.21.16
Re:Set (K.Atou) @ Phoenix Landign :: Cambridge MA :: 9.21.16
Geotheory (Airwav, Dcha & Wandrew) @ Middle East :: Cambridge MA :: 9.22.16
iExperia @ House of Blues :: Boston MA :: 9.23.16
Deep Space MUM @ Somerville MA :: 9.24.16
Late Night Radio & Flamingosis @ Wonderbar :: Allston MA :: 9.28.16
Darko EP Release Party (Zoses & H2H) @ Wonderbar :: Allston MA :: 9.30.16
EPROM, Subset, Brightside & VII @ Middle East Downstairs :: Cambridge MA :: 9.30.16


Ticket Giveaway! Xtrah @ Elements, 9.8.16

If you’re an outsider to drum and bass and want to know what labels within the genre are hot at the moment, just go to Discogs and look up the ones who have released Xtrah’s music. A British-based producer heralding a new generation of tech-savvy soundsmiths, Xtrah is perhaps best known for his well-decorated back catalogue. Having released on the likes of Ram, Subtitles, Symmetry, Metalheadz and Critical (amongst others), we’re clearly dealing with a guy who means business. And that’s exactly what he’s going to get down to when he plays Elements next Thursday!


Cool Free Stuff: Zak Downtown-Hiatus (Moduloktopus Rework)

Local sound design maestro Moduloktopus comes correct with his future bass take on Zak Downtown’s “Hiatus”. Originally a southern hip hop fiasco, Moduloktopus pairs Zak’s original vocal to something much more epic than just a backing track. Keeping the vocals largely untouched, he creates his own tension and dynamics via expertly-arranged string sections which endlessly evolve as the verses unwind. Etched with a mind-boggling array of percussive sounds and other one-shots, Moduloktopus keeps this one dramatic without competing against what Zak originally laid down. Nicely done overall.

This is a free release on a new digi-label called The Mob, who will be bringing us more forward-thinking exercises in bass on a regular basis. Check their soundcloud.


Be on the lookout for future Moduloktopus projects, including an album which he will be gracing Boston with later this year. 


Backyard Music: Lifted Contingency Premieres New EP by Tone Ra

Tone Ra is easily one of the most heavily-touted artists on the Boston-based Lifted Contingency label. It isn’t hard to see why; his music manages to escape genre-driven pretenses, focusing on vibe over predictably-structured DJ friendliness. His Never See Me Again EP is a solid three-track affair that opens with the squalid textures of “Reason”. It’s primarily an atmospheric piece that manifests itself using bass in highly metered doses. “Wanting” adopts a heavier format with hard-as-steel drums, synth blips and lots of reverb; mere 808 fills reminding us of where trap music came from and how much it’s (thankfully) evolved in the past four years. Finally there’s “Moving On”, which boasts double-time rhythms and juke-driven tendencies…again with just enough 808 to give us some historical context. 

This one’s for sale on Beatport now; you can also follow Tone and Lifted on Soundcloud for other releases (of which they both have many). 


Cool Free Stuff: Camino 84 & Sidney Gish-Oh My


I haven’t blogged in over 5 months, easily the longest since starting this place back in 2009. In that time I bought a house and finished a crap load of tunes. But as summer starts to wind down, my newsfeeds have been filled with fire music coming out of our backyard…too much of it to ignore really. So in the words of Elwood…”I’m getting the blog back together again”

Let’s start with Camino 84. Easily one Boston’s most promising up-and-comers, Camino scored himself a viral hit last week with “Oh My” featuring the vocal prowess of Sidney Gish and a killer guitar solo by Matt Lewin. One step beyond the typical 4/4 stomper, Oh My boasts a contemporary arrangement that suits a barbecue equally as well as a bar. Probably one of the most talked-about singles from anyone in Boston this year, Camino also put out a killer track on the Together compilation I curated earlier this year, as well as a killer mix full of disco and golden-era obscurities he dug up at WRBB last month.


Follow Camino 84 on Soundcloud.


Ticket Giveaway! Kasra at Elements, 3.17.15

If you’ve had any involvement in the underground drum and bass scene during the past decade it’s safe to say you have either heard or purchased a release on Critical Recordings. One of the most coveted imprints in the business, Critical has maintained a high threshold of quality even as they’ve grown significantly from its humble origins 15 years ago.  

Responsible for helping launch the careers of the likes of Stray, Rockwell, Enei, Sam Binga and other red-hot current acts, Critical has also been a canvas of output for established artists such as Break, Calibre and Total Science. The mastermind behind it all is none other than Kasra

A man focused primarily on the day-to-day runnings of Critical, Kasra’s skill at A&R’ing new acts and predicting the sounds that might be hot on the streets 14 months from now has particularly garnered his label with success in recent history. And anyone who sifts through as large a volume of demos as he does knows finding the gems can be a bit of a daunting task! 

Kasra returns to Elements this Thursday at the Phoenix Landing (512 Mass Ave) in Cambridge. Expect to hear many past, present, and future releases on not only his label, but your own record bag, when he touches down. With a standard of quality high enough to run one of the most esteemed labels in drum and bass, there’s no question this threshold is maintained behind the wheels as well!

Thanks to Elements we have a ticket giveaway going for this one. All you need to do is “like” Beantown Boogiedown and Elements on facebook, then email with “Kasra Ticket Giveaway” in the subject line to be entered to win. Winner gets in with a +1 for free on Thursday. Drawing will be on noon that day…good luck!

Facebook event page


Ticket Giveaway! Shake Presents Neil Landstrumm & DJ Won't @ Goodlife, 3.4.16

In an era of polished, paint-by-numbers production where every facet of making a competent (yet bland) song can be taught in a tutorial on YouTube, Neil Landstrumm is the self-taught anomaly who does things his own way. A 25-year veteran who has had his hands in visual art in addition to sound, Landstrumm’s workflow in the studio alone is an art in and of itself. 

Opting to work with a different setup of both vintage budget and highly sought-after hardware alongside DAWs and VSTs on every track results in a highly unpredictable outcome every time. His ability to leave listeners on their toes questioning what he might do next has resulted in a rich discography on well-revered labels as diverse as Tresor, Peacefrog, Planet Mu and Sneaker Social Club.

In the midst of his Night Comforts USA tour, Landstrumm touches down tonight at Goodlife for Shake in Boston, playing alongside Jamaica Plain’s own DJ Won’t (Will Mayo). A symbiotic choice, Won’t works with a similar, unformulaic approach in his own music, and should set things up nicely as evidenced in the podcast mix he recorded for Shake earlier this week.

And now the ticket giveaway. We’re going to give away one pair of tix to this show, and because I’m posting this so last minute you have until 8pm tonight to enter to win. To enter you just have to “like” Beantown Boogiedown and Shake on Facebook, then email with “Contest Entry” in the subject line with your full name in the body. Good luck!

Facebook event page


Backyard: Boston's Basement Movement Release New 7-Track Compilation

The Basement Movement isn’t a new collective to Boston, but they’ve been one of the first to properly find a happy medium between standard four-on-the-floor grooves and left-of-field breakbeats. With each having differences that run as deep as the democrat and republican political parties, it’s tough to find enough of a balance where both styles can co-exist without compromise or sacrificing freshness. But Basement Movement has done just that on their latest compilation, Transmissions, their first in several years. 

Transmissions culls seven tracks from as many northeast-based producers that work both on and off the 4x4 template. Rufus Gibson and Dusty Digital lay down the most disciplined styles of the lot, fusing their standard house flavors with a mild dose of disco and classic electro on “Gruv It To The Flo” and “Deeper Than My Deepest Blue”. Micetro explores wide stereo baselines in “That Fire” and FlyLosophy pens this crew’s new anthem with “Basement Thing”, complete with a catchy vocoded hook. Brrio’s “Don’t Fall in the Pond” is a halftime excursion that explores a myriad of textures, and Eureka, Mike Animal and Timmy Trax round out the effort by slowing things down on “Gettin’ It” and “Transcend”, perhaps the most melodic of the lot. 

Transmissions is a free compilation and now available on their Soundcloud page. Stream or download today!