Tuesday
Mar152016

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 nminieri@yahoo.com 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

Friday
Mar042016

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 nminieri@yahoo.com with “Contest Entry” in the subject line with your full name in the body. Good luck!

Facebook event page

Tuesday
Feb232016

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!

Saturday
Feb202016

BBD Podcast 094: Joe Grafton (Together Fest Experience Mix)

Getting the BBD podcast series back up and running again I wanted to enlist a good friend of mine, Joe Grafton, to lay things down for #94. Grafton was brought into the dance scene in a bit of an unconventional way, which makes his story a bit more unique than most. Instead of discovering The Prodigy, Skrillex or the Chemical Brothers on the radio, buying turntables and “never looking back” like most, Grafton was actually helping spearhead an entire music festival with little more than a passing curiosity towards the content the outfit in question, Together, sought to curate. 

“When co-founder David Day sent out an email detailing his initial vision to start Together, I was quick to reply. We had collaborated when I was directing Somerville Local First and he was editing The Dig,” said Joe in a recent Q&A we did over email. “I had recently been exposed to dance but didn’t understand everything at first. I couldn’t describe genres, couldn’t remember the names of artists or tracks. Meanwhile I’m helping run a festival geared towards, and surrounded by, DJ’s.” 

Grafton goes on to name-check Together’s Director of Operations, Gareth Middlebrook (aka General Motor), in helping influence his decision to dive deeper into the world of DJ’ing after a few years of involvement with Together. “Once he taught me, not only did my relationship to the music change, but also my ability to converse with the team. It’s become an amazing creative outlet!” Grafton exclaimed.


Even on a holistic level, not having the knowledge of a niche style of music can often be a language barrier to people who eat, sleep and breathe it 24-7. But having worked directly with Grafton myself every year on the festival, this barrier never seemed to pose a challenge to him. Willing to learn as quickly as he was able to lend a hand in other avenues, Grafton made the effort to embrace the culture rather than be shunned or intimidated by it. That didn’t happen overnight.

As the Chief of Operations, Treasurer and what David Day calls “the engine of Together”, how much influence does Grafton have when it comes to influencing who plays the fest? When asking this, Grafton is quick to enforce emerging talent. “While booking falls more on (CEO) Alex Maniantis, we try to recognize it’s not just personal preferences that matter; we try to focus on underground and emerging performers people may not be familiar with yet.” Grafton goes on to mention one more important fact: “We like artists who are about the music, first and foremost.”

So what does Together mean for Grafton anyhow? “A shit ton of work??” he started. “Just kidding…not really. It’s really about our name, about bringing disparate communities together to create stronger communities and share the joy that comes from the world-class experience in music, art and technology.” To dive deeper on his personal experience, Grafton mentions how the Together team is “very much family” and the annual team photo at the end of the week-long fest “his favorite moment every year, where we all celebrate the fact we somehow pulled it off again.”


If Grafton was not able to see eye to eye with his team it is likely he never would’ve taken the time to learn more about the artists that picque their interest. 

The podcast mix Grafton recorded for BBD is entirely comprised of first-wave artist announcements from this year’s upcoming installment of Together, which include Floating Points, KiNK, Jon Hopkins, and others) as well as past headliners. Working with a small palette of artists can be limiting when it comes to creating a fluid mix, but Grafton acknowledges his experiences of having seen many of these performers in years past actually enhanced it. “I wanted this mix to encapsulate what Together week is about - daily FOMO of having to choose one show or another.”

As multiple events happen simultaneously throughout Boston over the course of Together week, past attendees surely can relate to having to “miss out” on seeing one artist in favor of another, or leaving one party right in the middle to check another one. “I hope I was able to make something cohesive that flows well from a variety of genres, but that’s part of the challenge and fun.” 

Concluding the interview I had to ask Grafton if he had any goals as far as DJ’ing goes. “Well my #1 goal was to get a mix on BBD so I think I can retire now?” (If only I was able to do the same purely from this blog, LMAO!!) 

Grafton is not only involved in Together, but also a Partner and Director of Business at Delta Foodservice Group, the founder of Somerville Local First and Treasurer of the Sustainable Business Network of Massachusetts. He also is a resident on Cathouseattic, a weekly live-streaming video feed showcasing local and often lesser-known DJ’s. Now that’s a full plate. 

Third-tier tickets for the festival, which takes place May 15-22, are still available. Learn more on their website

 

Tracklist:
Bob Moses - Far From The Tree (Together 6)
Frank & Tony - Breath Game feat. Black Light Smoke (Together 6)
Floating Points - Montparnasse (Together 7)
Mano Le Tough - Primitive People (Tale of Us Remix) (Together 6)
Daniel Avery (KINK remix) - Knowing We’ll Be Here  (Avery - Together 5, KINK - Together 7)
In Gold - Palms Trax (Together 7)
Abandon Window (Redsparrow remix) - Jon Hopkins (Together 7)
Henrik Schwarz + Ame & Dixon - Where We At - (Together 7)
Break 4 Life - Soul Clap (Multiple Togethers)
Justin Martin - Ruff Stuff (Together 6)
SBTRKT - New Dorp. New York (Solomun Remix) - (Together 2)
Trentemoller - Always Something Better (Together 2)
Martyn - Seventy Four (Redshape remix) (Together 6)
Beat Faster - Maya Jane Coles (Together 2)
SOHN - Bloodflows (Sonny Alven remix) (Together 5)
Fatima Yamaha - What’s A Girl To Do (Together 7)

Wednesday
Feb102016

Ticket Giveaway! CreateSpace Presents Overtime @ Middle East, 2.2.16

The CreateSpace collective have managed to make themselves at home in their new headquarters at the Middle East in Cambridge. With a string of monthly events over the past year that lean towards the classic template of American house and techno, CreateSpace continues to be a driving force in bringing the sounds of Detroit and Chicago to Boston.  

Instead of a flashy headliner, for this month’s edition CreateSpace has decided to showcase three local veterans who’s names should need no introduction plus Elisabeth Dalton. Dalton might be new to Boston, but was heavily involved in helping build the scene in her Montreal hometown, playing shows and hosting events on the regular there. And considering the fact Some Like it Hott, Elements and Social Studies are three of the most distinct and enduring underground nights in this city, it’s only logical to have Alan Manzi, Lenore and Alfredo rep them properly.  

Expect freshness coupled with a refined and mature music selection. This is pure adult business!

Thanks to CreateSpace we’re doing a ticket giveaway for this. What you need to do: “like” Beantown Boogiedown and CreateSpace on Facebook, and email me at nminieri@yahoo.com to confirm your entry. I draw a winner this Friday at 12pm. Good luck.

Facebook event page

Thursday
Feb042016

Let's Boogie! Upcoming Boston Events For February 2016 

Upcoming Events 

Trust Gallery Exhibition (Alexxxan, Nite Krawla & Joe Grafton) @ 228 Newbury St :: Boston MA :: 2.5.16 (7pm)
Shadows Over Boston (How Hard, Nevamore, Chaos D, Insight, Zydrate & more) @ Middle East Upstairs :: Cambridge MA :: 2.5.16
/\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\/
Flight 617 (Boltcutter) @ Goodlife :: Boston MA :: 2.6.16
Binary (Vanilla Ace) @ Wonderbar :: Allston MA :: 2.6.16
Serge Gamesbourg @ Middlesex :: Cambridge MA :: 2.6.16
Utopia (Bruno & Bmilk) @ Milky Way :: Jamaica Plain MA :: 2.6.16
Treasure Fingers & Landis Lapace @ Ascend :: Boston MA :: 2.6.16
/\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\/
Boston Beatbox Battle (Kenny Urban, Honeycomb, Gene Shinozaki & more) @ Middle East :: Cambridge MA :: 2.7.16
/\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\/
Techno Taco Tuesday @ 49 Social :: Boston MA :: 2.9.16
Vault (Bob Diesel) @ Middlesex :: Cambridge MA :: 2.9.16
Dream Atlas Premiere Party (Of The Trees, Spundose, Heiss & Caelis) @ Wonderbar :: Allston MA :: 2.9.16
/\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\/
Tale of Us @ Bijou :: Boston MA :: 2.10.16
Diehard on Decks (Lucius Natick, Weekend Dad vs Housewife, Cyb3rPunk & Reverend) @ Half Door :: Quincy MA :: 2.10.16
/\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\/
Elements (Kae Sharp) @ Phoenix Landing :: Cambridge MA :: 2.22.16
/\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\/ 
Jeremy Olander @ Bijou :: Boston MA :: 2.12.16
Frank White @ Middlesex :: Cambridge MA :: 2.12.16
PVRPLE (Amadeezy, Knife & more) @ Goodlife :: Boston MA :: 2.12.16
Overtime (Lenore, Elisabeth Dalton, Alfredo & Alan Manzi) @ Middle East Upstairs :: Cambridge MA :: 2.12.16
/\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\/ 
Nu! @ Middlesex :: Cambridge MA :: 2.13.16
Dark City Bass (Jakes) @ Goodlife :: Boston MA :: 2.13.16
/\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\/
Kidd & Madonny @ Royale :: Boston MA :: 2.14.16
The Wave @ Middlesex :: Cambridge MA :: 2.14.16
Cherub @ House of Blues :: Boston MA :: 2.14.16
Love is in the Air White Party @ Club Cafe :: Boston MA :: 2.14.16
H.O.M.E. Valentines Day Party (Bruno, Leo Alarcon & Househead Pete) @ Machine :: Boston MA :: 2.14.16
/\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\/
Toadface & Levitation Jones @ Wonderbar :: Boston MA :: 2.17.16
/\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\/
Make it New (Len Faki) @ Middlesex :: Cambridge MA :: 2.18.16
Elements (Skeptical) @ Phoenix Landing :: Cambridge MA :: 2.18.16
Feb PEM/PM Activate (A Tribe Called Red) @ Peabody Essex Museum :: Salem MA :: 2.18.16
/\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\/   
Goldroom @ Bijou :: Boston MA :: 2.19.16
7L @ Middlesex :: Cambridge MA :: 2.19.16
Community Links (Herodot & VENDi) @ TBD :: Boston MA :: 2.19.16
Project Mixx (Mark Starr & Lux Groove) @ Vanderbilt :: Boston MA :: 2.19.16
/\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\ 
Kon @ Middlesex :: Cambridge MA :: 2.20.16
Boombox @ Paradise :: Brighton MA :: 2.20.16
Claude Vonstroke @ Ascend :: Boston MA :: 2.20.16
Odyssey 617 Jam Hot (Bob Diesel, Evan Berube & Trip Report) @ Lilypad :: Cambridge MA :: 2.20.16
/\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\/   
Martin Roth @ Bijou :: Boston MA :: 2.24.16
/\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\  
Make it New (Martyn) @ Middlesex :: Cambridge MA :: 2.25.16
Elements (Residents) @ Phoenix Landing :: Cambridge MA :: 2.25.16
Dirty Chocolate & Sober Rob @ Middle East :: Cambridge MA :: 2.25.16
The Floozies, Russ Liquid & SunSquabi @ Royale :: Boston MA :: 2.25.16
/\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\/   
Maceo Plex @ Bijou :: Boston MA :: 2.26.16
Bear/Paul @ Middlesex :: Cambridge MA :: 2.26.16
Dusk Till Done (Clovis, Patrick Barry, Sudo & Johnny Vaz) @ Goodlife :: Boston MA :: 2.26.16
/\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\//\/   
Mija @ Ascend :: Boston MA :: 2.27.16
Kon 
@ Middlesex :: Cambridge MA :: 2.27.16

Wednesday
Feb032016

Ticket Giveaway! DJ Earl at Shake, 2.5.16

Nearing a half-decade after its global discovery outside its strong Chicago origins, juke and footwork continues to evolve and mature thanks to a new wave of talented artists. Waving the Teklife flag not just in allegiance to the sound but also to founding member DJ Rashad’s legacy, DJ Earl is currently one of the crew’s youngest yet most talented members. 

In his mid-20s, Earl has managed to build a library of samples extending as far back as more than twice his age. Building on top of a percussive foundation that ranges from juke’s atypical TR-808 kit to chopped breakbeats reminiscent of classic jungle, Earl works with a palette of obscure jazz, funk, disco and soul. While the sample-based workflow of juke and footwork has remained largely unchanged in the near two decades since its inception, Earl has proven that its rhythms, arrangements, and sources of influence continue to get more complex and interesting.

 
 
 

It’s no surprise that Shake managed to get ahold of Earl to have him come play Boston for the first time ever this Friday at Goodlife. As he finishes projects on an almost weekly basis expect freshness; alongside residents Fens, Damian Silva and Antonious Monk who are warming things up proper.

This is a giveaway contest so you know WTF to do…like Beantown Boogiedown and Shake on facebook, and email nminieri@yahoo.com with a confirmation to be entered to win. Drawing is for a pair of tix to the show, at 12pm on Friday.

Facebook event page

Tuesday
Feb022016

Cool Free Stuff: SQUNTO-Parquet (feat. Bashar) (Dubstep)

I’m not a huge midrangey dubstep type of guy (unfortunately I’m just too old to hang at this point), but if I were to pick one person from New England who reps that sound better than anyone right now my vote would go to SQUNTO. From a production standpoint this guy’s sound design is completely on point, turning his bass synthesis into a science while putting an equal amount of effort into his pads, strings, and other bits that aren’t just the “drop”. “Parquet” is his latest concoction; his first of the year. Enjoying an ascending career which is almost entirely self-made, be sure to check his Soundcloud as he literally has like 50 other freebies on there as well. 

Tuesday
Feb022016

Cool Free Stuff: Ducky-Work (Party Jam)

Today’s workout jam comes to us courtesy of Club Aerobics, a three piece female-driven imprint featuring a familiar face from Boston: Bianca Oblivion. Alongside cohorts Ducky and SuspectBitch, Club Aerobic’s aim is to drop free party jams on us once a month. First up: “Work” by Ducky. A straight 150 bpm floor-filler reminiscent of DJ Funk in his heyday, this one’s got the vocal hook and the 909, which is all that’s needed really. It doesn’t have the bed-squeak sound, but plenty of that stuff already exists. Oh yeah, it’s also NEST HQ approved. Niicceee. 

Thursday
Jan282016

Anjunabeats Touches Down in Boston Tonight; an Interview with Jason Ross & ilan Bluestone 

As the Anjunabeats collective embarks on the third stop of their North American tour at the House of Blues in Boston tonight, they come fully stocked with a surprise guest: Seven Lions. Playing alongside Andrew Bayer, Grum, ilan Bluestone and Jason Ross, this Above & Beyond-founded roster has been an important and enduring institution in the world of trance and progressive house these past few years. 

I had a chance to catch up with Bluestone and Ross via email to discuss some of their musical influences and production techniques in the studio. Read below to hear what they have to say about cultivating their signature sound!

ilan Bluestone
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/ibluestone
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ibluestone

Nick: Like many labels, Anjunabeats surely is specific with regard to the type of song they would sign. Do you ever find yourself having to compromise your personal style to fit their expectations, or are they open to your vision if it strays from the course?

ilan: They’re open to my vision. I’m always trying to expand my boundaries and figuring out new sounds I want to explore. While I love the Anjunabeats sound, and always have, it’s not something I keep in mind when I’m making music. I let my own style and tastes guide my productions, and it just happens that they fit very well with Anjunabeats.

Nick: What are your thoughts on producing while on tour? Do you prefer the distraction-free environment of the recording studio, or are you able to work on projects while on the plane or tour bus? 

ilan: I’m able to work on my projects anywhere these days. I have a good laptop, quality speakers I can fit in my suitcase, and some portable equipment that’s easy to travel with. It’s a bit more comfortable producing in a home studio, but making music on the road isn’t an issue. Plus, traveling does wonders for my inspiration.

Nick: How long did it take for you to get to the point where you were making music you were fully happy with? Do you still find yourself constantly improving your techniques (such as mixdowns and EQ’ing) even after all these years?

ilan: There’s always ways to improve, and I’m constantly learning — sometimes from experienced veterans and sometimes from amateur producers. I can’t say I’m fully happy with my music, even now. I’ve really improved a lot as a producer over the last couple years but I still want to be better. There’s always room for growth. As a producer, if you’re not trying to improve your techniques then your music is going to stagnate, and if you’re music is stagnating then you’re falling behind.

Jason Ross
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/jasonrossofficial
Facebook: http://facebook.com/jasonrossofficial

Nick: Who are a few of your biggest musical influences outside of dance/electronic music?

Jason: My biggest influences outside of dance music would have to be Sigur Ros, Jon Hopkins and M83 - artists that have styles outside the norm that hit you deeply. A lot of my influences can be found on my curated Spotify playlist.

Nick: The songwriting process can often be quite complicated, requiring many hours just to even get the chord progression and song structure in place. Were there any songs you completed where the opposite happened… they just quickly came together the second inspiration hit?

Jason: Totally, it’s definitely quite a process to get things right; so much goes into play. One track in particular that really just flowed was my track “Cairo.” I had a chord progression that I was super happy with - and everything just branched off of that. It was a beautiful thing, really. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xfxkrhsg1kg

Nick: What cities have given you the most musical inspiration in your travels?

Jason: Playing in Australia a few months back was very inspiring! Sydney, in particular, is a beautiful city, and I just felt so inspired and creative when I was there. It’s hard to produce on the road, but I came back with so much newfound inspiration, just waiting to draw out in the studio. :)

Tickets should still be available for tonight’s show, be sure to check here