Ticket Giveaway! Shake Presents Pearson Sound @ Goodlife, 9.19.15

Pearson Sound is a local favorite who makes his return to Boston amidst a brief stateside tour this weekend at Goodlife, thanks in part to Shake. Making a trip to our city at least once a year, Pearson Sound has been in the midst of a seemingly endless tour which is partially based off the strength of his Hessle Audio label. Revered for helping launch the career of the likes of fellow producers such as Untold, James Blake and Blawan, this artist has had a significant hand in helping shape post-modern British bass music in recent years.

Also a producer himself with a decade-long resume and multiple aliases, Pearson Sound’s long-awaited debut album released earlier this year and was a very well disciplined effort considering his eclectic (and even unpredictable) taste in music. Partially responsible (alongside Addison Groove) for helping fuse the Chicago footwork sound with formative British bass music over a half-decade ago, in Pearson Sound’s self-titled album we witness a refined sound focusing on not only complex rhythms and unorthodox bass modulations, but the space between the two. With many of its tracks varying in tempo and structure, it’s anything but formulaic. His DJ sets are renowned for being as equally as wild a ride. 

Alongside Pearson Sound, Bassic residents C Dubs and Damian Silva are also taking to the decks for an opening tag set, so in the words of the former or the two…expect this one to be “bananas”. In fact, C Dubs also recorded a quick promo mix for the show, which you can check exclusively on the Shake page. It’s loaded with not only new pressure, but also a couple grime classics in the second half!

And as per usual, we’re also doing a ticket giveaway for this one. Just “like” Shake and Beantown Boogiedown on Facebook, and leave your name and email in the comments section below. Drawing is at 12pm this Saturday. Good luck peeps.

Facebook event page


Cool Free Stuff: Genairo Nvilla & Goldy-Ghetto (Bass/Tropical)

Dutch artist Genairo Nvilla just put out a heater on free digi-label Sosumi titled “Ghetto”. More or less a modern-day remake of David Morales’ classic “In The Ghetto” from two decades ago, Goldy lays down the ragga-styled vocals in a similar cadence on this version. Hard-hitting tribal drums and blatant build-ups definitely help make “Ghetto” appeal to a typical festie crowd. However the overall groove and non-cliche mixture of Caribbean influences also this track to not become stale too quickly either. Check it out below, as well as Sosumi’s Soundcloud for plenty of other free jams.


Cool Free Stuff: Just Good Music 20K Subscribers Compilation (Downtempo)

Just Good Music is a rapidly-growing curatorial outpost on YouTube for proper instrumental hip hop and downtempo. With hundreds of original uploads and over 20K subscribers, it’s safe to say this method of distribution is quickly becoming the new paradigm for labels. To celebrate the 20K milestone they just put out a free compilation consisting of tracks by CYGN, Handbook, Flamingosis and others. Some of these tracks are run the gamut of being heavily Dilla inspired (ain’t nuthin wrong with that) to ones that rely on layered synths to fill every possible sonic void. A DJ mix of all 11 tracks is also included. If you dig Soulection (the quintessential online aggregator within this style of music), then Just Good Music is worth subscribing to as well.


Ticket Giveaway! Jackmaster @ Make it New, Middlesex Lounge, 8.20.15

Since the turn of the century, I can count on a single hand how many DJ’s who tour internationally have managed to get to that level without producing original music. One of those 4 or 5 would certainly be Jackmaster. Someone highly regarded as a tastemaker whos fingers are several seconds AHEAD of the pulse of dance music, he makes his return to Make it New this coming Thursday. 

Jackmaster is the brains behind the seminal Numbers label, alongside several defunct but highly-regarded ones active during a turbulent time in the late 2000s: Dress 2 Sweat, Point.One and Wireblock. At a time when everyone thought everything was going dubstep or electro, Jackmaster just sat back and gave airtime to the sounds he thought could still light a party without trendiness being a major concern.  

During that period, Jackmaster was the first to sign Hudson Mohawke, Bok Bok and L-Viz 1990. He also pressed up tracks by Rustie, SBTRKT, Untold and Jamie XX before all the punters on the major EDM blogs were championing their sounds. And who can forget “Bax” by Moska, arguably one of the ten most popular house joints to come from the right side of the Atlantic since the turn of the century…also a Numbers release. The guy’s taste is impeccable, and combines a variety of influences from both sides of the pond across a several generations to create an end product that is fresh and engaging. It’s tough to argue with that. 

Touching down this Thursday at the Middlesex (315 Mass Ave, Cambridge), Jackmaster will be showing us what the flight case of many DJ’s will look like six months from now. And thanks to Make it New we’re doing a giveaway for this! Just “like” Beantown Boogiedown and MMMMAVEN on Facebook, and leave your name and email in the comments section below. Drawing is this Thursday at 12pm. Good luck!

Facebook event page


Backyard: Zakim Presses New 4-Track EP With Cirrus, Graphs & Others

After a 5-month wait, I am happy to finally spill the beans on the next Zakim vinyl release. This one is a 4-track atmospheric drum and bass EP from Cirrus. Titled “Rollout”, this is his sophomore effort for the label. The title track and “Nothing Left” (featuring Hallifax of Statesmen fame) are cerebral half-step sessions. The EP also includes two remixes: a downtempo one by Graphs and a remix of New Path (from his first Zakim EP) by veteran stateside producer Mixmaster Doc. And to top it off, we brought Fanu aboard to handle mastering duty.

We got the tests in earlier this week and the pressing plant turned the full 100-copy run around almost immediately afterwards. I should have them by end of day tomorrow. They’re $10 each, pressed to 150 gram multi-color splatter vinyl (meaning every copy is a different color) with full label artwork. They’re pressed at 45rpm and sound fantastic. Audio is on the Zakim Soundcloud (as well as embedded below); you can also pre-order it on Bandcamp.

After almost a year in the making, I am very excited about this one. If it sells well, I will definitely have more drum and bass pressed up down the road!

A1) Cirrus: Rollout
A2) Cirrus & Hallifax: Nothing Left
B1) Cirrus: Rollout (Graphs Remix)
B2) Cirrus: New Path (Mixmaster Doc Remix)


Cool Free Stuff: Bs As Deep-2A2A2A (House)

Bit of an unorthodox name on this freebie, but my god what belter here. Onward Recordings is a young digi-upstart with its heart firmly planted in the 90s. The label puts out bi-monthly releases that take cues from the sounds that emanated from Chicago, Detroit, and NYC during their heyday, ensconced in a modern-day production aesthetic. “2A2A2A” by Bs as Deep captures this essence and manages to span almost ten minutes off the strength of merely a killer drum loop, vocal snippet, and Juno riff. Total hands-in-the-air business. Be sure to check Onward’s Bandcamp page to browse through their back catalogue, which is over a dozen releases deep at this point.


Cool Free Stuff: Dural-Ice Cream (Juke)

#internetghetto is currently one of the freshest juke and bass outlets on Soundcloud right now. Dropping free goodness by complete unknowns practically daily, this crew has the knack for finding stuff that follows virtually none of the rules. “Ice Cream” by Dural is a perfect example. An R&B-inspired hyper-ballad sped up and compressed to a manic two minutes, this track seems to sample heavily from baby toys, xylophones, and pretty much anything else unorthodox. But it still sounds sweet, which is good because that’s how ice cream is supposed to be. Check it below and hit their Soundcloud page for dozens of other free jams like this.


Ticket Giveaway! Doc Scott @ Elements, 8.13.14

If you know drum and bass, you know Doc Scott. Beyond just a veteran, we’re talking about a guy who entirely helped shape the sound here, starting his production career 25 years ago…or at least four or five before the phrase “drum and bass” was even commonplace.

Doc Scott’s earliest work was perhaps his most defining. From the storming N.H.S. EP on Absolute 2 Records to tracks such as “Here Come The Drumz” on Reinforced, it didn’t take an expansive back catalogue to make a favorable impression with his vision of mixing brooding Detroit techno with the more fashionable rave sounds at the time. Doc Scott also helped refine drum and bass in the mid 90s and was a key player in the early days of Goldie’s Metalheadz label. His discography may not be vast but is highly concise. Almost every track and remix penned by Doc Scott is now an important part of a seasoned drum and bass DJ’s vocabulary.


This pioneer has spent much of the last decade-and-a-half focusing on his 31 label and DJ’ing. Doc Scott continues to push for artists on the outskirts making music which doesn’t necessarily follow all the long-established rules within the genre. Recent years have seen him promoting the likes of Thing, Gremlinz, Reza, Escher, and Hidden Turn on both his Future Beats podcast series as well as signing tracks of theirs to his label. 

In the midst of a small stateside tour right now, Doc Scott pays Boston a visit at Elements this Thursday at the Phoenix Landing (512 Mass Ave, Cambridge). Did somebody mention free tix to this? Well they could be yours…just enter by liking Beantown Boogiedown and Elements on Facebook and leaving your name and email in the comments section below. I draw a winner on Thursday at 12pm. Good luck!

Facebook event page


Backyard: Ali Berger & Sun Rad Release Analog Jams In Cassette Format

The cassette tape is currently in the midst of a resurgence in many underground music scenes. Everyone hopped the vinyl bandwagon over the past several years, to the tune of exhausted manufacturing plants, steep minimum pressing requirements, and hyper-extended waiting lists. But if the kids are still clamoring for a good product in limited, hard copy analogue format, what other options are there really?  

A select few important Boston releases saw the light of day exclusively on cassette this year, including Soul Clap’s annual Dancing on the Charles compilation. The most recent being local producers Ali Berger and Sun Rad, which just hit the streets earlier this month. Released by RSVPTapes, a regional outlet solely geared towards the C-90 format, this untitled compilation highlights recent studio outtakes and jam sessions by both artists.

Berger takes control of side one with seven songs of drastically varying length. Largely staying underneath the radar in recent months to focus extensively on finding his own sound, Berger’s output here is a display of his continued exploration of analog synthesizers and other unorthodox hardware. His avoidance of obvious sample use and computer-based sequencers forces Berger to focus on the performance and overall vibe of each track, rather than pristine sonics and paint-by-number arrangements. I like this approach, and it’s rarely observed in modern dance music to this degree of execution.

One of Berger’s musical traits is to write entire songs devoted to specific sounds on his drum machines, or as a dedication to classic sounds of yesteryear. Three tracks on this compilation do just that: “Toms of Life”, where pitched tom-tom drums pull double-duty for both rhythm and lead, “Acid Love”, which contains no shortage of squeaky solos and seamless 303’s, and “RX5 Zipper”, made almost entirely with sounds from a highly-underrated 80s-era drum machine from Yamaha. Another highlight also includes a relentless ten-minute techno piece titled “Furnace (Walk)”, which is the closest you’ll get to legally visiting an abandoned Detroit warehouse in the middle of the night from the comfort of your living room.

The four tracks on Sun Rad’s side are jam-based and analog in nature as well. The main difference being while Berger’s are mostly dry and unprocessed, Sun Rad applies liberal amounts of distortion to just about everything. These longer tracks vary wildly in tempo and style; while the opener “Last Leaf Pt. 1” sports laid-back dancehall vibes, “Camus” is an uptempo affair that doesn’t sound out of place in a techno set. The closing suite “Screw (Pts. 1 & 2)” has perhaps the most interesting sound design of the lot; a well-crafted balance of eerie harmonics and saturated atmospheric sounds abbreviated by a drastic midpoint tempo change. 

RSVP is hosting two official parties for this release. The first is a closing party for Salem Heritage Days this afternoon, featuring both Berger and Sun Rad alongside a slew of others. The second goes is the next SCANNERS at Deep Thoughts in Jamaica Plain on August 21st, which will feature DJ Won’t and Radio Skotvoid along with Berger and Sun Rad. More info on both of these events in the link.

You can pick up your limited (20 copies only!) cassette copy of this release on the RSVP Bandcamp page. Or if you prefer, digital versions are also available for purchase here as well. 


Beat Box: Free Akai S950-Processed Roland TR-808 Sample Pack

Last month I released sample packs on 7/07 and 7/27 honoring Roland’s legendary mid-80s drum machines. I ran all the samples through Akai’s S950 sampler for added gritty texture and posted the hits and Ableton drum racks for mass consumption.

Now it’s 8/08, so it’s only obvious what the next step is for this series. Roland’s TR-808 needs very little introduction; it’s likely the most used (and abused) old school drum machine in history.

Thanks to MO7S of Monism Music we managed to get a clean recording of every sound from his original TR-808. This includes a very large variety of tone, decay, and tune settings for the kick, snare, conga, tom, cymbal, and open hat. Similar to the other packs from last month, I then ran everything through the S950, saved the hits in separate folders and created an Ableton collected folder with each sound set up as drum racks.

I’m very happy with the positive feedback this series has gotten so far, which can only mean one thing: mark your calendar for 9/09!

Link to the individual hits & Ableton drum racks: