Wednesday
Feb252015

Cool Free Stuff: DLR-On The Rafters (Drum & Bass)

Since going solo two years ago, all eyes have been on Bristol-based drum and bass producer DLR. Best known for his releases on Metalheadz and Dispatch, DLR just released his debut solo album Seeing Sounds on the latter imprint. It comes with a free sample track titled “On the Rafters”. A low-key roller, “On the Rafters” spearheads a catchy winding bassline which has no shortage of movement throughout. Delayed vocal stabs and organs reminiscent of oldskool jungle from two decades ago support this beast throughout its brief four minutes. Speaking of which, it’s nice to see DLR use an unconventional structure here…no second “drop”! Check it out here.

Tuesday
Feb242015

Cool Free Stuff: Dumka-New Joy (Bass)

Boston bass producer Dumka releases his debut single “New Joy” as the sophomore entry of the Lifted Contingency Gold Mine series. Dumka’s spent the last year honing in on his signature sound, which is sparse, uncluttered, and grimy. “New Joy’s” sub-infused bassline with gentle top-end processing is the silent killer here; pitched glitchy percussion sounds and airy atmospherics handle the rest. Making just a few select samples and synths go a long way, “New Joy” has definitely put Dumka on my radar. Check the track below.

Monday
Feb232015

Cool Free Stuff: Ballex & Tekvision-Prismatic (Bass/Glitch Hop)

Scandinavian up-and-comers Ballex and Tekvision unite to unleash “Prismatic”, a slow-burning glitch hop piece topped with emotive strings and a sax-driven interlude at the halfway mark. As the delicately-balanced live and synthetic drums compete for airspace, scraps of multiple sounds are densely layered, heavily filtered, and work in precise timing with the gnarly bassline, which doesn’t overpower the complex arrangement here. There’s a lot going on and it’s easy for things to fall apart quickly here, but this duo keeps this stacked array of both live and synthesized sounds in check throughout. Free download!

Tuesday
Feb102015

Backyard: Zakim Releases New 4-Track EP With John Barera & Other Local Artists

As far as Boston’s contribution to house music is concerned, it’s pretty safe to say John Barera is the next artist to follow the footsteps of Soul Clap, Kon and Armand Van Helden as far as the offshore impact of his music is concerned. But don’t take my word for it. Or even that of Resident Advisor, FACTmag, Fabric, Boiler Room, and other notable features he has gotten in the past year. For Barera, his music does the talking. Something largely unchanged since before he had status and before he had a pager (or, ahem, Prophet and Juno synths).

Still reeling in the effects of his Graceless album he co-produced with Will Martin, 2015 is shaping up to be a significant year for Barera. And it couldn’t happened to a nicer guy honestly.

Last April Zakim released the John Barera and Friends EP, which not only showcased Barera’s talent as an artist, but also as a collaborator. Working in the studio with Ali Berger and Baltimoroder on that release proved to be a fruitful venture, as the vinyl sold swiftly and was well-received locally.

I’m happy to announce Barera is returning to Zakim in 2015 with the Sheffield Scene EP. And not only are Berger and Baltimoroder back in tow as well, but also Anton M, Walter Merlin Jones, and others. The Sheffield Scene EP expands Barera’s resume with four tracks of honest and straightforward house music. A great way to start the year on a high note.

The opening track “Gathering” (with Anton M) is a sun-drenched ode to the classic sound of Chicago house from the mid 1980s. With a feel-good chord progression and an underlying acid motif, “Gathering” can be played just about anywhere. “Stepping Out” (with Ali Berger) sports a similar cadence, kept in sync with Berger’s signature blend of vintage drum machines and outboard gear.

On the flip side we have two improvisational pieces. “Loan Shark” (with Baltimoroder) opens up the sonic palette with a broken beat, an arpeggio, and lots of breathing room. And finally we have the title track with Walter Merlin Jones (DFA, Westbound Music), entirely a live jam that never even touched a sequencer! As noted by Barera himself, “(The title track) Sheffield Scene was recorded live and focuses on the synth interplay between Barera and Jones. Barera also played some drum set. The session was engineered by Jesse Allen and features additional electronic percussion from Jide Max and handclaps from Bob Diesel, Weezey and everyone else.”

Sheffield Scene is raw, uncut, and uncompromising. I’m confident these tracks will stand the test of time, and am looking forward to future output from everyone involved in its making.

Stream all four tracks from Sheffield Scene below, and you can purchase the 12” single on Bandcamp. As per usual, it’s a limited run of 100 copies so move quick!

 

Tuesday
Feb102015

Cool Free Stuff: Liberator Sound-Bleeding Black (4LMNTZ Remix) (Electro House)

To change up the pace from the usual de rigueur house, trap, and dnb tracks I write about on here, I’ve randomly decided to throw a little electroclash into the mix. DJ/producer 4LMNTZ is currently one of Boston’s biggest advocates of this sound, which peaked around seven years ago with the likes of Le Castlevania, Bloody Beetroots, Boys Noize, and others.  

A BBD Podcast alumni, 4LMNTZ lent a hand on remixing a brand new track by Liberator Sound called “Bleeding Black”. The original version is a bleak juxtaposition of classical piano that book-ends each side with gritty, ear-piercing saw wave synths. 4LMNTZ dials things up even further by adding more weight to the drums, disguising the piano from the original behind them, and making the breakdowns and build-ups more pronounced for club play. As an unrelenting DJ who still plays this type of stuff almost exclusively, 4LMNTZ’s take on this one is clearly tried and tested for the dancefloor. 

Free download below!

Monday
Feb092015

Cool Free Stuff: Nick Garcia-Stress EP (House)

Boston alumni Nick Garcia returns back to the fold with a new three-tracker, released late last week on Dubco. Garcia, who made several key features on BBD last year (in the form of an appearance on the Together compilation as well as his remix for Alcatraz’s “Give Me Luv”) gives us his most even-handed attempt in the studio yet with this trio, entitled the Stress EP.

All three tracks on Stress are loosely tied to one another not just by their names (“Cause”, “Effect”, and “Reaction”) but also by Garcia’s strict palette of sounds and textures he adheres to. Largely synthetic in nature with minimal sampling involved, each consist of minor keys, moving pads, minimal vocals, and lots of movement as each one progresses. They lean towards the progressive side of the house spectrum, which isn’t a surprise as his stint working at Yoshitoshi has given Garcia plenty of influence to draw from.

The main differences between the tracks on Stress largely reside in their basslines and tempo. While “Cause” is a slower affair with a subtler bass that works with the kickdrums, “Effect” dials things up a bit and rolls with pitched 808 sounds on the low end. And the b-line to “Reaction”, which has the most movement out of all of them, is perhaps its best feature.

You can grab these tracks from Garcia for free on Dubco’s site, or click on the “Free Download” link under the Soundcloud links below!

Monday
Feb092015

Let's Boogie! Upcoming Boston Events For February 2015

Upcoming Events 

Vinyl Social @ Goodlife :: Boston MA :: 2.11.15
Kastle & Sweater Beats @ Naga :: Cambridge MA :: 2.11.15
Playground (J.Zamora & Shahin) @ 6B Lounge :: Boston MA :: 2.11.15
Diehard on Decks (Digii, Per Hagman & DJ Ray) @ Half Door :: Quincy MA :: 2.11.15
Re:Set (Alex Villa, B3RAO & Marco Milicevic) @ Phoenix Landing :: Cambridge MA :: 2.11.15
Bridging the Gap (DJ ELL, Jenova 7, Rolex Daytona & more) @ Church Boston :: Boston MA :: 2.11.15
Wobble Wednesday House Night (Lux Groove, Greenlove & Kranz) @ Wonderbar :: Allston MA :: 2.11.15
Scanners (L Lewis, Wilted Woman, Isakleksr & DJ Won’t) @ Deep Thoughts :: Jamaica Plain MA :: 2.11.15
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Elements (Zero T) @ Phoenix Landing :: Cambridge MA :: 2.12.15
Make it New (Doctor Jeep & Bordello) @ Middlesex :: Cambridge MA :: 2.12.15
Venu Thursdays (Godoii & Davvid, Kairdo, Adventurixx & Colin Domigan) @ Venu :: Boston MA :: 2.12.15
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Kyle Rayner @ The Estate :: Boston MA :: 2.13.15
Frank White @ Middlesex :: Cambridge MA :: 2.13.15
Mark Knight & Doorly @ Bijou :: Boston MA :: 2.13.15
JuLee, Jon Santarelli & Leo Costa @ 49 Social :: Boston MA :: 2.13.15
Thomas Jack & Sam Feldt @ The Sinclair :: Cambridge MA :: 2.13.15
PVRPLE (DJ Ohso, Jay K, Knife & Amadeezy) @ Goodlife :: Boston MA :: 2.13.15
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DJ Costa @ The Estate :: Boston MA :: 2.14.15
FSQ & Kranz @ 49 Social :: Boston MA :: 2.14.15
Robbie Rivera @ Candibar :: Boston MA :: 2.14.15
Major Dundee @ Middlesex :: Cambridge MA :: 2.14.15
Rise Afterhours (Stephan Grondin & Allan Wilson) @ Rise :: Boston MA :: 2.14.15
Uhuru Afrika (Adam Gibbons, Dende & Mystina & Sidy Maiga) @ Milky Way :: Jamaica Plain MA :: 2.14.15
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H.O.M.E. (TBD) @ Machine :: Boston MA :: 2.15.15
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Dirtyphonics @ Venu :: Boston MA :: 2.19.15
Above & Beyond @ House of Blues :: Boston MA :: 2.19.15
Make it New (San Proper) @ Middlesex :: Cambridge MA :: 2.19.15
Delirium (Wubson & Daniel Sevelt) @ Half Door :: Quincy MA :: 2.19.15
Dre Day (Bladerunners, Brek & Knife) @ Goodlife :: Boston MA :: 2.19.15
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Durkin @ Middlesex :: Cambridge MA :: 2.20.15
Unity (Leo Alarcon) @ Goodlife :: Boston MA :: 2.20.15
Rise Afterhours (Designer Drugs) @ Boston MA :: 2.20.15
Sunnery James & Ryan Marciano @ Bijou :: Boston MA :: 2.20.15
Voyage (Dusty Digital, Daniel V & JAMINIC) @ 49 Social :: Boston MA :: 2.20.15
Pico Picante (Svntv Mverte, Afroboy, Ultratumba & Riobamba) @ Goodlife :: Boston MA :: 2.20.15
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Kon @ Middlesex :: Cambridge MA :: 2.21.15
Golf Clap @ Goodlife :: Boston MA :: 2.21.15
Jesse Jess @ The Estate :: Boston MA :: 2.21.15
Drown (Lenore & Cirrus) @ 49 Social :: Boston MA :: 2.21.15
Rise Afterhours (Will Monotone) @ Rise :: Boston MA :: 2.21.15
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Table Manners 1-Year Anniversary (DJ Precision) @ 101 Paris St :: Everett MA :: 2.22.15
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Louisahhh!!! @ Naga :: Cambridge MA :: 2.25.15
Dirt Monkey @ Middle East :: Cambridge MA :: 2.25.15
Re:Set (Ian Pooley) @ Phoenix Landing :: Cambridge MA :: 2.25.15
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French Fries @ 49 Social :: Boston MA :: 2.26.15
Viceroy & Phantoms @ Royale :: Boston MA :: 2.26.15
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Ani Quinn @ The Estate :: Boston MA :: 2.27.15
Brek.One @ Middlesex :: Cambridge MA :: 2.27.15
Social Studies (Black Madonna) @ Goodlife :: Boston MA :: 2.27.15
Binary (B3RAO, Alex Villa & Dubeats) @ Wonderbar :: Boston MA :: 2.27.15
Party No. 1 (Wubson, Thumper, Ghast & ISH) @ Wonderbar :: Cambridge MA :: 2.27.15
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Kon @ Middlesex :: Cambridge MA :: 2.28.15
Costa’s House Party @ The Estate :: Boston MA :: 2.28.15
Rise Afterhours (Joel Mull) @ Rise :: Boston MA :: 2.28.15
Hundred Waters @ The Sinclair :: Cambridge MA :: 2.28.15
Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (Keybar Bear) @ Great Scott :: Allston MA :: 2.28.15
Pink Noise (Precolumbian, Haram, Yung Zilla & Sax) @ Milky Way :: Jamaica Plain MA :: 2.28.15

Past Events 

Re:Set (Cem Ozden) @ Phoenix Landing :: Cambridge MA :: 2.4.15
Wobble Wednesdays (Goldbloc & Mars Jupiter) @ Wonderbar :: Allston MA :: 2.4.15
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Paper Diamond & Afterburner @ Royale :: Boston MA :: 2.5.15
Make it New (Matthew Dear) @ Middlesex :: Cambridge MA :: 2.5.15
Elements (Cross Chatter) @ Phoenix Landing :: Cambridge MA :: 2.5.15
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Pete Tong @ Bijou :: Boston MA :: 2.6.15
Shake (Girl Unit & Addison Groove) @ Goodlife :: Boston MA :: 2.6.15
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Craig Mitchell @ Rise :: Boston MA :: 2.7.15
Studio XO (D-Lux & Les Deux) @ 49 Social :: Boston MA :: 2.7.15
CSC (Elastic, CS, Mdaly & Don Fochi) @ Milky Way :: Jamaica Plain MA :: 2.7.15

Tuesday
Feb032015

Ticket Giveaway! Shake Feat. Addison Groove & Girl Unit @ Goodlife, 2.6.15

Goodlife’s Shake monthly, co-created by Pete Dev/Null, Ali Berger and Megan Madara, enters their second installment this Friday. After a successful launch that showcased Jimmy Edgar, they bring not just one, but TWO, headliners to the fold this time around: Girl Unit and Addison Groove. With Shake’s heritage juggling the organic sounds of Detroit and Chicago house/techno with the ever-changing spirit of British dance music, it’s only appropriate they choose these two prolific Londoners for their sophomore event. 

Addison Groove needs little introduction; he has graced the decks of Goodlife many times before, even under his Headhunter guise during his formative years. One of the producers responsible for helping bring the sound of the TR-808 back into vogue again (as if it ever went out of style really), Addison Groove slathers the legendary drum machine’s kick tone with a healthy bit of distortion across everything he makes. He also has no problems hopping between styles or tempos, meaning you’re definitely not going to be hearing a stagnant set of music from him this weekend.

 
 
Girl Unit is also a prominent producer from the Night Slugs camp. Incorporating twisted fragments of R&B, disco and soul into his neo-futuristic landscapes, Girl Unit’s music is crowd friendly without losing too much of its edge. Similar to Addison Groove, expect plenty well-crafted 808 bass, along with a slew of forthcoming tracks by Kingdom, Bok Bok, L-Vis 1990, and other well-revered producers from his crew.

 
And with Ali Berger doing an all-hardware live set and Pete playing rare and obscure cuts most of us could only dream of being able to source, this will be a good night. And as always, we’re doing a ticket giveaway. All you need to do is “like” Shake and Beantown Boogiedown on Facebook, leave your name and email in the comments section, and you’ll automatically be entered to win a pair of tix. Drawing is this Friday at 12pm. Good luck, and see you on the dance floor! 

Facebook event page

Sunday
Feb012015

Cool Free Stuff: Zebbler Encanti Experience-Follow the Bubbles (Trap)

What always strikes me about a Zebbler Encanti Experience tune is you can never predict anything about it beforehand: the style, the tempo, the duration, anything really. When you spend most of the year on the road, visiting all sorts of unorthodox places in the woods, on the playa, or other awesome remote spots, it’s pretty safe to say you’re going to have musical influences more unique than most. Take “Follow the Bubbles” for example. While I often get skeptical over EDM.com’s overused “experimental trap” hashtag, that’s a story that definitely checks out here — the “experimental” part more so than even the “trap”. But in all seriousness, “Follow the Bubbles” is a high-octane number that bounces between a myriad of beat structures, woven firmly together with crazy modulated low frequency sonics. Definitely one of the more fun tracks I’ve heard from this endlessly-traveling duo, and a free download as well!

Friday
Jan232015

Cool Free Stuff: Alexander Koning-Flamingos on Ritalin (Minimal/Techno)

Ever since minimal techno producer Alexander Koning passed up the commercial labels he was originally signed on to start his own, he’s had the flexibility to experiment and evolve as an artist. Recent free tracks such as “Flamingos on Ritalin” illustrate his crafty sensibility, as the track title surely implies. A highly synthesized piece, “Flamingos on Ritalin” wields a repeating hypnotic riff that slowly expands over punchy kicks and a cornucopia of shakers. It’s catchy, highly melodic, and has long DJ-friendly passageways. Check it out below.