N*E*R*D - In Search of... The Neptunes

Before über-production duo The Neptunes got any stateside props for their “rock group” side project N*E*R*D, the album was released first in Europe in the Fall of 2001. Here in the U.S. it was immediately panned by most U.S. Hip Hop rags (yaaaawn…) So the day it was supposed to finally be released in the states, in early 2002, N*E*R*D - In Search of… The Neptunes was pulled from the shelves and Chad and Pharell went back to the studio… With help from Star Trak signees Spy Mob they rerecorded the drum tracks and many of the synth parts this time using live instruments. The previous version had been created (like all the other Neptunes tracks) with synthesizers, samplers, etc… and besides the song structure and vocals you didn’t (at least I didn’t) really think “rock music” (choke, cough)… So this was more of a “Rock” repackaging if you will… giving it a more classifiable and band based sound.

SO. Finally, it would see a true U.S. release… in April 2002… almost a year after the original demo surfaced. The result is the N*E*R*D you saw playing Coachella and all the other big amphitheatres and festivals around the U.S…

But how did the original album sound?!?!? Well… hmm… I think… better… in some cases… in others the rock rework edges out the original. Personally, I prefer the original sampler and synth version… as I’m a synthetic music fucknut… But there are a couple songs that were definitely improved upon with Spymob’s instrumentation.

Maybe these... Maybe not?

N*E*R*D - Things Are Getting Better (Original)
N*E*R*D - Things Are Getting Better

N*E*R*D - Tape You (Original)
N*E*R*D - Tape You

You decide…

Ying Yang Twins / Common / Kanye West / Nu Tone / Matrix / Recloose / Joe Dukie

Today, I figured I’d just do a random post of some of the joints that I’ve been bangin' in my earhole this week... though there are about 12 tru bangers old and new that have come to my attention this week... I’ll limit it to 4 for times sake (mine)…

Proving again to all the naysayers… Drum and Bass will never die… Matrix delivers an outstanding full vocal remix that KILLS the original Nu Tone joint Seven Days... which is from his nu full length Brave Nu World…

Nu Tone - Seven Years (Matrix Remix) Hospital Records (NHS87) 2005

I’m tellin’ ya… just buy ANY and EVERY thing that comes out on Hospital and you’ll keep yourself sorted on some serious quality controlled D&B… outstanding outstandingness…

FINALLY some new bidnazz from Recloose… here is a jazzy neo electric slice of 4/4 funkiness…

Recloose Featuring Joe Dukie - Dust (White Label) 2005

I really dig the vocal on this one… BUT… if you are one of those DJs afraid to rinse a full vocal… the instrumental on the flip side stands on its own… Recloose needs to release a new album… like… NOW.

The vocalist on the cut, Joe Dukie, has been in the wings for a minute with other releases on Sonar Kollective and Best Seven… the later with ill Austrian MC… Sugar B. So show Dukie some love…
Errrr… okay… sorry… that was totally uncalled for.

Common Featuring Kanye West – Go produced by Kanye West
from the forthcoming album Be 2005

This is the best track from the 11 track bootleg that’s been floatin’ around… which is NOT the final version of the album… Jay Dee and Kanye West produce the entire thang… so you know the productions on point… though I’m not much of a Kanye fan. This bootleg is quality... but I really wanted him to keep pushin it like the his last album... Though commercially unsuccessful... Electric Circus was absolutely genius… ahead of its time… and will be looked back on as a CLASSIC… the Soulquarians came on point… but Hip Hop just ain’t ready. I thought you knew?

Electric Circus will be Common’s Paul Boutique…

Last but not certainly not least... I heard this on the radio a couple weeks ago… turned it off immediately... it reminded me of that Lil' Jon tune I'm not feelin' (there's not many)... That Toma track from Miami's Pitbull... its nothing but a Lil’ Jon beat and an annoying pitched kicked drum for the bassline. Very basic… Well this track is the same idea… even uses the same kick for the bass. But strips the beat down even more… using only a snap and an occasional skat skat (or is it skeet skeet?) for hi hats… the real highlight here for me is The Ying Yang Twins flow... They spit that southern slang in a way only they can… going so far as to deliver their lyrics in a whisper… a first for a mainstream rap song… It wasn’t until I heard it a couple more times… before I GOT IT… Produced by the Ying Yang Twins' DJ Smurf... Yes that DJ Smurf... who used to produce miami bass back in the 90's for Shy-D and others. Before producing his biggest hit to date for Ying Yang, he was probably most well know for working on the Luke, and Kizzy Rock track... B-Otch.

This is THE tune of the week...

Ying Yang Twinz - Wait (The Whisper Song) produced by DJ Smurf aka Beatz N' Azz
from the forthcoming album The United State Of Atlanta (U.S.A.) 2005

‘Cause I beat that cat wit’ a dawg…

Quasimoto / Madlib

This is one of Madlib's illest beats to date. Simple, analog, lopin' shit.

Quatimoto - Greenery
from The Further Adventures of Lord Quas (Stones Throw) 2005

Spark tha la. It's 420.

Mercedes-Benz Mixed Tape 06

Well Mercedes-Benz Mixed Tape #6 is up...

Mercedes-Benz Mixed Tape 06

I think this is the weakest one yet, but make up your own damn mind. ITS FREE. The compilation has a new joint from Maximilian Hecker but my favorites are the loungey Cakeheads and Steve Nicks tunes and the bouncey Wolfgang Miot cut...

Peep it...

Wolfgang Miot - Sous Les Tropiques

Download it before its gone 4 good...

You can check the tracks I posted from other releases which are no longer available... here.

Plantlife / 4 Hero

More on MIAMI later... heres a tune you just gotta hear...

From the 12" on Gut Instinct Recordings... Dego and Marc (4 Hero) on the rerub totally kill this slice of heavensoul. Perfect to start off a sunny weekend in the city.

Plantlife - When She Smiles She Lights The Sky (4 Hero Remix) (Gut Instinct) 2005

Check out the new Plantlife album featuring the original version of this soon to be classic.

M.I.A. / Sa-Ra / Diplo / Hollertronix - Live @ I/O in Miami / WMC 2005 / Winter Music Conference

So I made it to the annual weeklong electronic music conference(aka WMC 2005 aka debaucheryfest 2005) in Miami again this year… or more specifically the parties surrounding WMC. Originally, I had planned on blogging each day when I was there but frankly… I couldn’t type much less find my Sidekick most of the week. So… I’ll just give some post party analysis instead. Basically the party I wanted to see most was the FREE party in downtown MIA - The Triple Five Soul / Fader Magazine showcase at I/O.

Opening up the night were my heros of futuristic stankin’ space funk - Sa-Ra doing their thing. Unfortunately… It was not the full Sa-Ra electrical magical orgasmical orchestral band as it was last time I saw them in SF – only the 3 heads on 3 MICs on 3 turntables and 2 CDJs.

It was SO frickin’ disappointing. There were some sound problems yes… but the performance was a jumbled, unrehearsed, sloppy session. And I say that in the nicest possible way... I LOVE SA-RA, but they DID NOT make any new fans that night (Isn’t that the point of a free showcase?). I kept telling my friends not to judge ‘em by that show, they are good – REALLY – I SWEAR… but the show was WEAK…

Next up… the queen of blogsphere (did i just say that?) hype and current media darling - M.I.A. with Diplo (Ninja Tune). Diplo was on the 1s and 2s and M.I.A. and a background MC (female, dunno who).

I must admit I was a skeptic going in… M.I.A. has gotten so much frickin press but her album Arrullar (Now postponed for release in the states) was rather underwhelming. Yes it had a couple ill joints but the rest of the album was rather lackluster. Her live show on the other hand… brings a whole different kind of energy. A lot of the credit for that has to be given to Diplo who kicked it in true party rockin’ mashup stylee… a sort of more hyped version of the Diplo / M.I.A. mashup promo - Piracy Funds Terrorism…

M.I.A. / Diplo - Piracy Funds Terrorism, Vol. 1 (Hollertronix) 2004

I was sweatin’ by the end of the night and the illest tune was definitely their bassbin boomin’ rendition of 10 Dollar.

M.I.A. – 10 Dollar (Poj Cutprice Mix)

So yeah… I guess its time for me to pull out Arrullar again and see if I missed anything the first time, cause’ obviously there is much more talent there than I saw in the first place.

Also of note… Diplo’s new mix cd Favela On Blast: Rio Baile Funk 04 is out now on Ninja Tune… PICK THIS SHIT UP. Its all Brazilian Baile Funk which is essentially Brazilian Booty Bass… Same style as M.I.A.'s Bucky Gone Down and the Diplo Rhythm 12” on Big Dada… This mix is shit is hot! Cop it.

More about all the parties I didn’t go to… later.