Category Archives: dubstep

GUARACHERO TRIBAL SEARCHTERM EDIT

500px-Map of USA TX

Peligrosa down in Texas – tribal guarachero-dubstep world headquarters, plus barbecue sauce. Red like hot like fire.

A surefire 3ball hit, from every direction:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Magnetic Man – Mad (Orion Guarachero Edit)

And one with duppified cut ups:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

16 Bit vs DJ Leo – Jump Guarachero (Orion Guarchero Edit)

both heaters are from DJ Orion’s free Animus EP. Whose title references Carl Jung.

Orion believes in generosity and we all benefit. Around this time last year he stopped by my radio show for a live mix. Orion’s Mad edit is a treat — muchacho loco! It accentuates and extends everything that’s joyous about the original (below) while removing all the trudge.

STERILE MALE SCREWWORM, MEXICANS WITH GUNS

Screwworm bg

PostNatural Organism of the Month over at The Center For PostNatural History.

“During the late 1950′s… Full-scale fly factories were produced in Florida and Texas capable of producing 500 billion sterile male flies per week.”

+

Processed dogs, lazily melodic toddlers, wubstep’s testoster-wobble sculpted into audio commentary on aggression by Ernest Gonzales’ solo project, Mexicans With Guns.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Mexicans With Guns – Los Perritos (buyable)

mexicans-with-guns-me-gusto-12

TELEPATHE REMIX

telepathe1

Telepathe‘s Dance Mother album has been one of the year’s standouts for me; the instant I heard it I knew I wanted to incorporate some of the material in our Solar Life Raft‘s emergency toolkit. (Never face the end of the world without nice synths – solar-powered when possible – and singing).

Matt Shadetek and I did two totally different remixes of “In Your Line”. This version, where we excavated a drafty house with bass foundations and disappeared the original guitars & drums, won out.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Telepathe – In Your Line (DJ /rupture & Matt Shadetek remix) from Solar Life Raft: The Ingredients

MEXICO: MICTLAN DUB FESTIVAL

Picture 008

[Salon Calavera]

puebla

 

This weekend I’ll be performing at the 3-city Mictlan Dub Festival, alongside Adrian Sherwood, Mungo’s Hi-Fi, and various local DJs and bands in each city. Things kicked off last night with a screening of the Dub Echoes documentary followed by a Q&A with me in the incredible Salon Calavera in the center of Mexico City. SKULL SALON. Mictlan, by the way, is an Aztec concept involving the proper path taken on the way to Death.

I’m looking forward to these dates. In NYC sometimes people ask me to do ‘cumbia’ sets, so it’s quite fitting that in Mexico I’m asked to do a special set presenting my interpretation of ‘dub’. I’ll be playing out a lot of stuff I rarely play out. Dub classicists beware!: much as I love Tubby & Co., I’m hostile to canonical interpretations/reiterations of dub…

Picture 005

[Salon Calavera, roof view]

for info–

Nov 27 – Puebla Cholula

Nov 28 – Mexico City

Nov 29 – Guadalajara

gdldubfest-web

BUZZROCK WARRIOR

Matt Shadetek and I mixed & produced a lot of music for the above album, nearly all of which we recorded in Geko’s living room. Straight DUTTY. We enlisted the skills of friends like Modeselektor, Maga Bo, Durrty Goodz, Chancha Via Circuito, and of course hometown fam 77Klash & Abena Koomson. We think it’s the best thing we’ve ever done, and we’re pleased to announce that Gold Dust agree with us! We (Dutty Artz) just signed a worldwide license deal with them, ensuring that Jahdan Blakkamoore’s debut album, Buzzrock Warrior, will sound far & wide. Brooklyn Tropical?!?! Dubstep Pop?!?!

Whatever beast we’ve created, it’ll hit the world this September. For warmup, look for Jahdan’s “The General” single out now, and his upcoming track on Diplo & Switch’s Major Lazer album project.

(Backstage in Mulhouse, no sleep til Finland, more updates “soon”.)

CHARLES HOLGATE AND THE PUBLICITY GAME

This post originally went live on January 19th. Soonafter Charles Holgate called me up (for the 1st time!), requesting that I take it down for two reasons: 1. because I had mistakenly referred to him as an employee of Sarah Lockhart’s Ammunition dubstep conglomerate (rather than an independent publicist who works with them) and 2., because he wanted to ‘keep working the release’. Charles gave me a list of 9 “confirmed press” spots where it was to be reviewed, and told me to give him 2 weeks, during which time he would make good. He suggested that if I didn’t see proof of his work in that time, I could put the post back up. I gladly agreed.

At one point in the conversation, he said that Uproot had been received with apathy. I said “Fine! The UK is a weird market. But why can’t you produce any evidence, even a single email from a journalist in support of that story?” Charles’s response was incredible: he told me that each January he deletes all of his emails from the previous year. (akin to: the dog ate my homework)

Over the next few days, I was contacted by about half a dozen UK music writers, all saying some version of “I regularly get calls/emails from Charles and he never once mentioned Uproot .”

This confirmed my worst suspicions, but I still wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt. Instead of the 2 weeks he asked for, I’ve given him 7…

Unfortunately, the same process has repeated itself. I’ve sent Holgate multiple emails asking for any update on the “confirmed press” (if it was confirmed in mid-January, how come it’s not in print by mid-March?). I was repeatedly told by Charles that I’d get an update “tomorrow”.

After a few weeks of ‘tomorrow’ (well over the 2 week deadline he set for himself) and honoring our verbal agreement— here is the original post, edited to reflect his status as an independent publicist.

_________

I’d like to explain how Charles Holgate aka MC Nomad, an independent publicist best known for his work representing the Tempa/Rinse FM/FWD conglomerate, stole several thousand dollars — not from me, but from the artists I used on Uproot and the label it was released on. But before we get to that, we need to take a quick look at the publicity business.

+ + +

With all the talk about declining record sales and the near-terminal state of the music industry model as we knew it in the 90s, people rarely mention the role of publicists. Like live shows, the work of the publicists will endure even as CD sales plummet.

It’s possible – but highly difficult – to land record reviews in significant media outlets without a publicist acting as intermediary. Music PR fees vary widely – from $1000 to upwards of $5000 a month – and there’s usually a 2 month minimum. (You can, essentially, pay your way onto major TV appearances such as the David Letterman show. But those fees only make sense if you’ve got a decent product, massive fan base, great distribution, a tour to cross-promote, etc.)

That said, the work of a publicist is fairly hard to pin down. They talk to writers and editors – via email, phonecalls, drinks after work, bumping into them at shows, etc. Publicists get music writers hyped about the album, detailing its importance/awesomeness while suggesting ways it can be covered in the writer’s publication(s). They coordinate interviews. Publicists are sensitive to the marketability of any given release and tailor the campaign around that. Usually PR companies give the record label mailing address and the label does the physical mailout. One pays the publicists to follow up: “have you received the package? what did you think?…”

In a perfect world, a publicist is a cool person who helps translate the musician’s vision to the public. Their fees pays for themselves via increased CD sales, and everybody’s happy. This is often the case! In an imperfect world you get Holgate… wait, it almost never gets that bad. (More on this in a bit)

Hiring a professional publicist is a virtual necessity for any release’s visibility. But their work is intangible — How do you quantify buzz? And a publicist’s role in raising it? The only time I got reviewed in VIBE was with Gold Teeth Thief, a mix CD that was barely buyable. Lord knows I’ve never had a publicist or manager.

CHARLES HOLGATE: BAD AMMUNITION

Only three titles from my entire discography have been serviced by a publicity firm: Minesweeper Suite, Special Gunpowder, and now Uproot. For the recent CD, the label (the Agriculture) hired online PR in America (note: they didn’t do print media PR). In the UK, they hired a person named Charles Holgate. Dubstep fans may know Charles from his appearances as MC Nomad.

charles holgate mc nomad

[Tempa/FWD/RinseFM publicist Charles Holgate]

After he agreed to work for the Agriculture, Charles informed them that he was leaving Zzzonked (a PR firm) to go solo, focusing on publicity for dubstep’s cross-platform monopoly: Ammunition / FWD / Rinse FM. The first two are run by Sarah Lockhart. Ammunition is the parent company of several dubstep record labels: Tempa, Soulja, Road, Vehicle, Shelflife, Texture, Lifestyle, and Bingo. FWD has long been promoted as the dubstep night, offering the canonical dubstep experience. (Yes kids, the ‘underground’ London dubstep scene is a carefully controlled, heavily centralized machine). Rinse FM is a London pirate station. Charles and Sarah work with Rinse FM in its attempt to ‘go legit’ and enter the commercial radio market. Charles assured the Agriculture that everything would be fine despite his sudden move.

I met Charles Holgate aka MC Nomad in London this July. We ate pasta and discussed Uproot. He seemed professional. I went away content. Then Charles disappeared. After being paid-in-full for his services and and receiving the promo CDs, he simply stopped returning our emails. Complete silence. (During an album’s promotional campaign, it’s normal to have at least several email interchanges with the publicist each week).

I began to worry – not a single sign of interest had come from the UK. This is highly unusual. The UK boasts what is probably the world’s highest per-capita number of electronic music fans. (Perhaps it’s John Peel’s legacy.) I was getting interview requests from the Czech Republic, Italy, Mexico – yet nothing at all from the UK. In early October Charles Holgate broke his silence, promising a “full update” in a few days. Nothing arrived. In early November Charles Holgate promised a “full update” in a few days. Nothing arrived. No response to emails, no returning phone calls. It was obvious we’d been had, but I hoped he was honest enough to explain why, and either start working or give back the remaining copies.

I decided to give him a call on December 17th. Connection! Once he heard it was me, Charles began stammering… He told me he had received 100 copies (the label had sent him 200-300 CDs). He kept stammering. He promised to email an update by 1pm the next day. Nothing arrived. Two weeks ago Holgate sent us the long-awaited “update” (only 6 months late!) in which he took responsibility for the Pitchfork review and two mentions (not reviews) on UK websites that I’m in direct contact with. Charles blamed his lack of results on end-of-year holidays (remember, we started working with him in July). He apologized. He promised weekly updates. Since then, nothing.

charles holgate MC Nomad1

[MC Nomad on the mic]

I’m outing Charles Holgate because I don’t want this to happen to any other labels or artists. It’s more severe than the typical lazy publicist or unpromotable release. If he hadn’t been stammering like a fool when I asked him what was going on, I might’ve given Charles the benefit of the doubt. Why? Because this is the first time I’ve been dicked over in the music business. In general, the independent music scene is very self-supportive and honest and open-minded.

For the record, this was not my money spent — I mean stolen. I received a flat producer’s fee for Uproot– any profits made are to be split 50/50 between the record label and the artists on the mix.

So yes, a publicist who works with Ammunition/FWD/Rinse FM torpedoed the project in the UK. I have no reason to believe that Ammunition knew about Holgate’s activities; I mention Ammunition because most know him for his work representing them (and as MC Nomad on Rinse FM, etc). By snatching the label’s money and several hundred of its CDs in exchange for silence and inept lies, Charles Holgate has robbed the artists on Uproot and the label that was cool enough to release it in the first place (most labels hate mix CDs since the licensing is expensive and requires a mountain of paperwork).

Instead of UK publicity paying for itself via increased sales/visibility, there is a big black hole. ‘MC Nomad’ buried Uproot! (the irony is not lost on me.) Usually UK distros will send a few copies to key media sources, but since Charles Holgate was contracted to do just that, the distro didn’t perform their standard basic mail-out. Result: few or no UK media sources received the mix.

If you are in the UK, I suggest that you ask him for a copy. Charles Holgate should have several hundred Uproots occupying space in his London flat.

MONTREAL TAKE TWO

a few weeks ago I was invite to inaugurate the BoomBox party up in Montreal — and ended up spending 7 hours in Newark Airport as they cancelled one flight after the other…

anyhow, the event is rescheduled for this Saturday, and it should be even better, as now the amazing selector Gervase from London’s Heatwave crew will be joining us!

Le 13 décembre 2008 au Zoobizarre :
BoomBox avec /Rupture + Gervase + Khiasma
$5 avant minuit – $10 apres

+ + +

In other news, the final Skull Disco release, Soundboys’ Gravestone Gets Desecrated by Vandals is available as 2 CD and a 2LP selection. My remix of ‘In the Void’ appears on both. The records are particularly interesting, as it is marbled grey vinyl with no information whatsover. Tombstone style! You need serious subs to hear it, but Raz’s 12-minute rmx is a definite highlight.

112112112112

+ + +

DID SOMEBODY SAY WUBSTEP?

No, somebody said HEAVY CENTRIST WUBSTEP aka mid-range wobble from our favorite subsidiaries of the Tempa/Ammunition/FWD/Rinse conglomerate.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Skream – Fick

…but the center is where things go to die?

over in Glasgow, Mungo’s Hi Fi roots system gets its wub on w/ the new Scrub A Dub sublabel, one to watch, here singing of dubplates on a mp3:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Mungo’s Hi Fi – Dubplate Fi Dem

DUTTY MOVES

OiNK is dead. In the past week, I was invited to 2 post-OiNK sites (by an altruistic stranger and the same woman who gave me my first taste of pig). Both sites are quite good. Together they have almost as many members as OiNK did, and they’re only a few months old. You can change the skin/stylesheet of each one to an ‘OiNK’ setting, so it looks almost exactly like our departed friend.

Cut off the head, several grow back.

+

I’m playing NYC’s DubWar party tonite, with special guest Jah Dan blessing the mic. Details and ticket giveway over at Dutty Artz.

Matt Shadetek & I sat down and looked at our release schedule for 2008 – it is beastly. It is craziness. We are being topsecret w/ power moves for the moment but soon we’ll turn it on and it won’t stop. the label has a myspace, the iceberg’s tip.

+

Alan blogs. And it’s great. sorry, gringos.

+

Greg = gringo, but when he writes about funk carioca, he talks about contracts, which is wonderful. His post led me to Flamin Hotz, who talks about contracts, which is wonderful. The Flamin Hotz post is the best online overview i’ve seen of funk economics; before you can even talk about international exploitation/interaction, there’s a ton of Brasil-side madness to contend with:

When the artist in the favela sells the song, the contracts stipulates that he is signing over all of his rights to the music for a one time fee (roughly $1000 reais or approximately $500), the artist will not be allowed to play the song live any more, and that the artist will get no credit for the musical process that was put into the song. In the Baile Funk scene this is just business as usual and has created a huge divide in who actually is getting money from CD sales, radio play, and international licensing. Our goal with our international release is to combat this system where money is only filtering to the top of the food chain.

This touches on what happens in many musical ecosystems across the planet. Most of the classic reggae tunes, for example, are owned and controlled by the studio bosses, so when labels like Soul Jazz license material the studio bosses are the ones they must legally deal with — the ones who get paid. For example, if you want to put Sister Nancy’s classic anthem ‘Bam Bam’ on a compilation, you do not need her permission and she does not receive any money from it, even though she wrote and performed the lyrics.

The music business is a kind of pathetic vivid nightmare, run by greedy people, dilettantes, and people who don’t like music.

+

Maga Bo knows incredible amounts about Brazilian music. A comprehensive radio show/podcast he’s done for years is now archived at Spannered.