Cool Free Stuff: DJ Taye-Reminisce (Juke)

Teklife member DJ Taye just released a juke track titled “Reminisce” in memory of the legendary DJ Rashad, who passed away a year ago. It gets its point across immediately with the sample from Tom Scott’s sax riff from “Today”, first made famous when Pete Rock flipped it in “They Reminisce Over You”. A fitting choice of source material, the rest of the track throws all rhythmic conventions out the window, relying on complex and ever-changing rhythms coming out the 808 to help carry the riff. Not unlike the late, great pioneer’s work, which was never predictable and always evolving. Get it here.


Cool Free Stuff: Montel-Burnin' (House)

British house artist Montel comes correct with a freebie titled “Burnin’”. Opening on the strong foundation of a vintage hip hop break, this track slyly snakes its way into peak dancefloor territory by adding just the right elements to compliment its initial groove. With a garage-influenced bassline and repeated use of a tiny vocal snippet, the structure and arrangement of Burnin’ is equally as classic as its catchy vibe. When the rave stabs make their appearance in the breakdown you know it’s a keeper.


End of an Era: Some Thoughts on Rise's Closing, Plus Ticket Giveaway

Running a nightclub in a big city for an extended period of time is no easy feat, but add in the Boston and no-alcohol factors and you’re approaching the near-impossible. Well unless you’re talking about Rise. For 16 years, this after-hours institution owned by Tom Beaulieu and managed by Mike Swells served Boston partygoers some of the world’s best house and techno DJ’s and arguably one of the city’s finest-tuned sound systems. 

Rise bared witness to many changes in the world of dance since opening in 1998. A scene-wide 360-degree boom-bust cycle. A major economic recession that coincided in almost an identical cycle. A major wave of partiers from the 90s going into retirement and being replaced by younger seeds in the mid-2000s. A rise and fall in the general popularity of musical styles such as progressive house. Oh yeah, and a fire which started in an adjacent restaurant that nearly burned down the entire building. And despite such a highly uncertain climate, Rise weathered each of these storms gracefully while managing to stay relevant in an ever-changing climate.

Boston is not a city that makes it easy for larger clubs to host eclectic underground DJ’s and artists on weekends. With most of them running on increasingly thinner margins as rent prices continue to skyrocket, “playing it safe” is now the norm. Underground electronic acts are relegated to weeknights, smaller venues, or raves well outside the city limits. Rise has always been an exception however. And they thrived not only on bringing acts to town other major clubs would see as a liability, but they also managed to do it with minimal promotion, relying mainly on music fans and partygoers alike to spread the word organically. 

Extended sets at Rise were also commonplace, a major competitive advantage considering most DJ’s would be lucky to play for even 2 hours in a city that is militant about forcing everyone to pack up and go home at 2am on the dot. Marathon sets spanning four or even five hours from the likes of DJ Dan, Danny Howells, and Honey Dijon will forever be cemented in the psyche of many a Rise patron, including myself. Sometimes you would walk out of those doors temporarily forgetting what city you were even in!

Rise took many risks but a 16-year lifespan is proof they went about it in the right way. Unfortunately all good things must come to an end. As many know by now, their lease in the building they occupied expired several years ago with no option to renew. That said, the promoters managed to keep it running even on borrowed time, all the while being transparent with the public about the situation. It was an incredible run, and this coming weekend will close the final chapter of an epic musical storyline.

This Friday Brooklyn electro-house producer Tommie Sunshine will join D.C.-native Tittsworth to spearhead Rise’s penultimate all-nighter. In combination with local favorite Bamboora opening upstairs and Deezy & Embee, Matt Carey, Jaminic and Devon James rolling things in tandem in the lounge, expect this one to be packed with wall-to-wall energy. Thanks to Rise, we’re doing a ticket giveaway contest for this as well. All you need to do is “like” Beantown Boogiedown on Facebook, then leave your name and email in the comments section below. I draw the winner at 12pm this Friday…good luck!


The final Rise event goes down on Saturday night and will host house legend Danny Tenaglia. Certainly not someone who pays Boston a visit on a regular basis, and also not something you’ll want to miss. Well revered for his extended sets which are known to span well into the morning and possibly even the following afternoon…who wants to take bets at how long this one will go for? It ain’t over ‘til the last CD is ejected from the CDJ, kids!


On behalf of Beantown Boogiedown I’d personally like to thank Mike Swells for everything he has done to keep Rise an active force in Boston’s music scene, along with all the owners, staff, promoters, engineers, and DJ’s (local and abroad) that helped ensure each night there ran cohesively and smoothly. On to the next chapter….and more of my favorite pics I’ve taken there below!

Tommie Sunshine & Tittsworth Facebook Event Page | Danny Tenaglia Facebook Event Page


Cool Free Stuff: Kollektiv Ost-Tilli (Tech House)

Kollektiv Ost are an up-and-coming pair of house producers hailing from the Deutschland. Already frequenting the decks of clubs around Berlin and neighboring municipalities, Kolliktiv Ost has a straightforward sound that is clinical and well-polished. Their recent track “Tilli” is a free download which celebrates the duo’s humorous side, in honor of getting their 22,222nd follower on Soundcloud. Simplistic in nature, Tilli makes do with a repeating chorus, an uncomplicated riff, and an airy groove that compliments the incoming warm weather. It already has me anticipating all the cookouts and outdoor jams I’m sure I’ll be frequenting in the upcoming months.


Ticket Giveaway! JSTJR & Friends 8 at TT the Bears (Together Fest), 5.14.15

The next few months are looking pretty promising for music festivals in downtown Boston, the week-long Together fest being one of the more notable ones. Going into their sixth installment, Together is once again emphasizing what they do best: bringing scores of different sounds and sub-cultures under one umbrella, allowing partygoers to meet unfamiliar faces and discover different styles of music they may have not heard before.

The majority of the Together activities take place along the half-mile stretch between MIT and Central Square on Mass Ave. One of the more unconventional ones is JSTJR & Friends at TT the Bears on 5.14. A showcase that strays well off the beaten path of standard house and techno, JSTJR is bringing his crew back to Cambridge to musically take us as close to the equator as possible.


One of Boston’s biggest exports since being discovered by Diplo in 2013, JSTJR’s signature sound mashes dancehall, soca, baile funk, and other tropical sounds with the domesticated stylings of southern hip hop, Miami bass, and trap. There’s a lot of flavors bursting at the seams of his pieces, many of which are just north of two minutes in length. But a variety of influences plus a background in percussion (meaning the guy knows a good rhythm) have allowed JSTJR to pen literally hundreds of original songs in a short period of time.


This series is in its eighth installment, each of which has been bigger and better than the last. Alongside JSTJR for this one is his right-hand man Choppa Dunks, a local favorite who has played at many a JSTJR and Friends and also has a good touch for making uptempo dancehall. Then there’s G-Buck from Philly, who was recently discovered by Skrillex and a recent recruit on NEST HQ. Happy Colors joins us from Miami, and local up-and-comers Crvftsmen are currently popping off with their trap joints. Many of the artists have collab’d with each other here, so you can bet everyone’s gonna be on the same page musically for this one.


That said, we have a ticket giveaway in store for JSTJR & Friends 8. To enter to win a pair, all you need to do is share this post on your Facebook page, and leave your name and email in the comments section below to confirm you entered. I’m doing the drawing on April 29th at 12pm; good luck!

Facebook event page


Cool Free Stuff: Zhu-Faded (Delta Heavy Remix) (Drum & Bass)

Anyone who uses Soundcloud knows full well how many poor-quality Zhu bootlegs have been chewed up and spit out on there over the past year. While “Faded” has rivaled “Latch” by Disclosure in terms of bunk illicit remixes, it’s safe to say Delta Heavy’s version isn’t one of them. The drum and bass duo have applied their smooth-yet-saturated sound to the formula, leaving Zhu’s vocals essentially untouched aside from dialing up the tempo. It’s a straightforward remix that gets its point across without any flashy fills or other studio trickery. Get it here.


Cool Free Stuff: Utah?-Velocity (Bass)

Utah? is an emerging producer from the UK who has the knack for applying good garage basslines to a variety of musical contexts. While many of his tracks rhythmically traverse a bumpy 4x4 road, “Velocity” (a free download courtesy of the Symbols label) showcases a grimier and more sparse side of his palette. Laconic drums allow the synths to showcase a great deal of character. And while the bass stays on its best behavior during the first half, it reveals its true character in the upper harmonics during the back side. Grab it below; Symbols will be releasing an EP from Utah? later in the year.



Cool Free Stuff: Silky & Navid Izadi-When You're Gone (House)

Frankie Knuckles might be gone, but his spirit lives on through everything from parties to tribute songs bearing the pioneer’s namesake. One of the most recent of the latter is a free download by Silky and Navid Izadi titled “When You’re Gone”. Proving Knuckles’ ability to stay hip to upcoming talent even 40 years into his DJ career, he name-checked Silky as someone to watch right before he passed. Navid Izadi, best known for his collabs with Pillow Talk, Soul Clap and Wolf & Lamb is the co-piolt here and also laid down the vocals. It’s soulful, yet cutting-edge…just the way Knuckles would’ve liked it. Check it.


Cool Free Stuff: Alt OK-Don't Stop (Bass)

One of Boston’s recent additions to the rapidly-evolving pool of bass-centric producers is Alt-OK. Known for his knack of chopping the hell out of vocal samples and making them the key rhythmic elements to his well-textured songs, Alt-OK does just that on his most recent release “Don’t Stop”. A faster-tempo arrangement that brings elements of trap, juke and UK garage to the table, Don’t Stop’s signature is its well-layered use of the Gorillaz vocal from “Feel Good Inc”. With melodic perfect fifth pads running underneath to calm things, this one’s worth checking out. 


Cool Free Stuff: Durkin-Busy Child (Dream Club/Bass)

New zouk jam penned on the fly from Boston’s own Durkin. “Busy Child” borrows choice lyrics from Vell’s “Childish” set to the tone of dreamy keyboards and hard-hitting percussion. It tops out around 100 bpm, making it useful within Latin American-themed sets. Quite impressive how fast he pulled this one together as well!