So it’s been a week since the release of the new album by XL Middleton and Eddy Funkster. If you have not copped it yet you are seriously sleeping. The homie XL was gracious enough to bless me with a copy. MoFunk Records is killing the game right now in the modern funk scene. They are starting to really develop their own signature sound and this album is no exception. It’s a family affair because pretty much everybody on the label is on the album in one way or another. The first track is appropriately titled “Mofunk Anthem.” It features Moniquea and Diamond Ortiz. If you have ever been to a MoFunk show you have definitely heard this song. It is an anthem. “Show Some Respect” is an electro funk slapper sure to raise elbows up at any place it is bumped. Another great track is “California Fly.” It’s an homage to classic 90’s g-funk shit in the LBC. It even features 90’s rapper Domino. Yes, that Domino. Overall the album is solid. If you enjoy electro funk with a 90’s g-funk twist and lowrider vibe you will enjoy it. For more information about MoFunk Records and to purchase the album click here.
Some music fans gets tattoos of their favorite band. Some name their kids after them. Some stalk them. To each their own right? But some dude in Florida who is a fan of the German electronic pioneers Kraftwerk legally changed his name. To Kraftwerk. He even documented the whole thing on flickr. So next time you hear somebody say they are the biggest Kraftwerk fan tell them about this guy: Kraftwerk.
Orange County loves their funk. Serio. If you cruise down the streets of Santa Ana chances are you will hear some boogie funk slappers bumping hard. New labels like MoFunk Records, Voltaire Records, Omega Supreme, etc. are keeping the modern funk movement alive and well. These labels have funk pioneer legends like Cameo, the Bar-Kays, Midnight Star, One Way, and Ozone to thank for paving the way. If you are not familiar with these groups you definitely are familiar with their songs. Cameo’s most famous are ‘Word Up” and “Candy”, Midnight Star told you not to park on the dance floor, and One Way’s “Cutie Pie” still gets the dance floor going. If you live in Southern California you can see all these groups together at the Orange County Funk Fest at the Anaheim Convention Center, along with the “Stone City Band”, “Slap-Bak”, and DJ OmarGod. Curious Entertainment is throwing the event. Tickets were sold out, but as of this writing they have an additional 100 tickets for $40 each left. If you love funk you definitely do not want to miss out. It all goes down Saturday, July 23rd. Just remember no parking on the dance floor.
There probably isn’t one vinyl night, b-boy competition or backyard party in Southern California that hasn’t felt the influence of Technics Repair Guru Abel Sisneros. Although being an accomplished and well known DJ and 45 collector, Abel has for the past 15 years been the go-to turntable repair person for those in the know.
Technics updated the SL-1200 in 1979 and gave the world the SL-1200mk 2. The redesigned turntable simplified and tactile controls and high torque direct drive motor not only allowed quick starts and stops, but eventually led DJ’s to start using them like musical instruments. From then until the present day, 36 long years later, Technics turntables have reigned supreme the world over for professional and amateur DJ’s alike and remained the only constant in the ever-evolving DJ booth.
But over time all things things breakdown. Switches wear, cords get pulled, beer gets spilled, decks change hands etc.
This is where a guy like Abel comes in, and why so many have relied on his expertise to keep the party going. Venues like the Echo, The Observatory , The House of Blues and Dublab have had him looking after their DJ booths, to make sure the music never stops.
Chances are pretty good that if you’ve ever done a DJ set in the LA or OC area, you most likely played a set on DJ Abel maintained set of SL-1200’s! For more information about getting your decks repaired or to schedule an appointment you can contact Abel at: https://www.facebook.com/DjAbel
– Rob Free (Instagram)
Stoner alert. Have you tried syncing the Wizard of Oz with Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon? Of course you have. Well now apparently you can add another movie to the list: Star Wars: The Force Awakens. According to an article on consequence of sound, “Apparently, three replays of Dark Side of the Moon in its entirety becomes the perfect soundtrack for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. According to Reddit, pressing play as the film’s opening scroll ends and the camera pans to the spaceship starts a synchronization that almost lines up perfectly with each act in the movie.” Click here for the entire article as well as more spoiler alerts. Here’s a clip of the first 8 minutes synced below. Blaze it up and enjoy.
Every time I travel with records I get stopped by the TSA. Every time. Some of the younger TSA agents have never seen records before so they have no idea what they are looking at in the x-ray scan. Thank goodness for 45s because they make it mad easier to travel. No DJ wants to check in their record bag if they don’t have to. Too many variables. I’ve heard heart breaking stories about records lost, damaged or stolen. I have the same bag I use when I travel for records that is the perfect size and can fit under the seat. Apparently RJD2 has the same routine when it comes to traveling records but went through some drama recently. According to an article on Vice he was nearly kicked off his flight over an argument over his carry on bag with his records. He was told his his bag was too big and he had to check it in. He then went to twitter:
But in the end everything worked out.
The Pasadena City College Flea Market hosts one of So Cal’s longest running and well stocked record swaps. Every first Sunday, in addition to roaming the flea market for clothes, toys, furniture, and more, you can explore the crates of over 50 vendors, selling vinyl and other used music mediums. PCC is an awesome place to get your collection started or possibly find that one gem you’ve been searching for, with numerous genres of music being sold, from punk to hip hop.
Tucked away on the east side of the city of Pasadena, the PCC Record Swap was originally a record club held at the Capitol Records building in the 1970’s. Once the city found out about it and wanted to require licenses for all the vendors, the promoters moved the show to Pasadena City College, where it’s built a following over the years.
Robert of Zoinks Records in Pomona sells at PCC every Month. “I like the fact that people that didn’t go to shop for records often end up shopping at our space.” Armand Lewis, a jazz record dealer for over 25 years at PCC, had the same sentiment. “…young, old, you name it, they’ve shown up there. I’ve made lot of friends as well as learned a lot about music, the music business and business itself. You can’t ask for a better way to spend your day.”
The PCC Flea Market Record Swap returns Sunday, April 3rd, and every First Sunday of the Month. Check out this great video blog on the PCC record swap: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HsYRieQMZyo
For a little over a year now, you can stop by The Regent Theater in Downtown LA (a recently renovated space on main street, bordering the bank & toy districts) on 1st Sundays of the month, and find some amazing collectible items to further up your décor level at home, music on your turntable, or threads on your back.
It’s the Rock ‘N’ Roll Flea Market, and it boasts anything from vinyl records in various genres to musical instruments (still thinking of taking up guitar?). You can also find vintage clothing and jewelry to round out your shopping for the weekend. Not in the shopping mood? RNR Flea has 2 full bars, DJ’s spinning all day, and even a really fun “boozy brunch bingo,” where you can eat and drink while battling it out for some concert ticket prizes (I won tix to see Nightmares on Wax back in October, so clearly anyone can win)!
Mike Andrews, one of the organizers of the RNR Flea Market (and co-owner of the gift & design shop, Inheritance) said “We have had vendors selling weed smoking dinosaur coloring books and articulated brass bird skulls,” when asked what were a few bizarre items he’s seen for sale, so if you’re looking for unique items to add to your collection, this is a great spot for that. Some vendors include Bunny and Wolf out of Long Beach, who sell vintage clothing, LA LA Land Prints, who specialize in concert posters, Cowpunk Leather, and more.
The next Rock ‘N’ Roll Flea Market takes place on Sunday, April 3rd at The Regent Theater in Downtown LA. More info is available at their website: www.rnrflea.com
A lot of musicians have died this year, but when news broke out that Phife from A Tribe Called Quest passed away it really hit hip hop fans hard, and music lovers from around the world. Although he was only 45 he lived an incredible life and truly changed the world. Tribe is the GREATEST hip hop group of all time. PERIOD. End of discussion. Although details have not been released it is well known of his battle with diabetes. Any hip hop head has had heated debates about whether Q-Tip or Phife was their favorite in the group. Mine personally was the latter. His voice, lyrics and delivery were unique and just plain dope. Everybody has their favorite line from the five footer, Malik the 5′ freak. His verses on “Bugging Out” and “Scenario” are one of the illest verses of all time. He will truly be missed. Rest in power Malik Taylor. Our deepest condolences to his friends and family.
Non satire alert. Yes, you read that correctly. According to an article on nbc news.com, “Police in the town of Charlton have warned locals to watch out for “suspicious” men challenging residents to rap battles.” Oh the humanity! Are they Isis? The article further states that a, “Group of men in a black SUV confronted three young teens on Saturday afternoon. One of the men got out of the car and started rapping while the other occupants of the vehicle started asking the boys if they wanted to “spit some bars,” according to the Charlton Police Facebook page.” The boys turned them down and the men drove away. The teens then told their parents about the frightening hip hop experience and then the parents informed the police. The police literally described the encounter as suspicious and frightening, but ruled out any foul play or abduction plans. Glad to see the police focusing on important issues like spitting hot fire. Maybe next time the fire department will be called..
When it comes to MCs Nas is definitely one of the illest of all time. Period. The fact that he was 20 when his debut album “Illmatic” came out and the story it told was amazing. Production by Large Professor, Pete Rock, Q-Tip, Premier, etc. also did not hurt. Ever wonder who Nas’ favorite rappers were growing up and helped to influence him? Well now thanks to an interview he did recently with DJ Khaled for We the Best Radio we now know. Of course it’s all dope and Nas does not disappoint. His love of hip extends from the west coast, east coast, and south. Here’s the list below.
So there you have it. Nas truly is a hop hop fan first and foremost. Click here to check out the entire interview on youtube.
Over the course of his career, we’ve seen Kero Uno go through many musical progressions, from the Jazzy Hip Hop sounds in his early releases to experimenting with more electronic and pop sounds on his new album. “Reflection Eternal” is the 5th full-length from the producer/DJ, now living in Los Angeles. Kero has been producing records on the Plug Label for over a decade as rapper Kero One, but this album shows him stepping back from mic, and stepping up as a producer, under the new name Kero Uno. When asked why he made this decision, Kero said “Since I’ve already put out four albums worth of rap material, I wanted to let my beats do the speaking this time.”
The album opens with one of Kero Uno’s most experimental sounds, an electronic pop song called “Princess Diamond,” featuring Kelsey Bulkin of Made in Heights. The jazzy hip hop sounds we’ve come to expect from Kero are still here, including “Underwater” with LA emcee Blu, and “Function” with Brandun Deshay. It’s Kero Uno’s foray into new genres, such as the bossa nova sounds of “In Liberdade” and the synth R&B in “Dreamscape,” that really display his potential as a producer. Other Collaborations on this project include jazz singer Lindsay Olsen, R&B singer Michael Blume, and Soulection producer Starro, to name a few.
When asked about the importance of pressing his new album on vinyl, Kero said “I’ve pretty much pressed all my albums on vinyl. I am particularly proud of this project though, and… I felt like it would be a record that people would want in their collections.