VIDEO: Lyrics Born featuring The Preservation Hall Jazz Band’s “That’s It! (Real People Remix)”

Lyrics Born photo LyricsBorn_old2_zps3x3ief0y.jpg
22 years after Tom Shimura released his first single, a split 12″ with DJ Shadow on Solesides, Lyrics Born is still doing his thing and this time he’s mixing it up with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. This one is from his new album called Real People, have a listen to “That’s It!, this one being a remix.


FREE MP3 DL: Kat O1O’s “MeowMix Retrospective Vol. 1”

Her music is very much a part of her resume, and Kat Ouano has done a lot of music in the last 15 years. With new ventures in front of her, she has decided to put together a compilation of some highlights of that input in what she is calling MeowMix Retrospective Vol. 1. The second volume will follow next week so if you only know of the Kat O1O vibe but haven’t heard it yet, it’s the perfect time to do so and get down.

VIDEO: Gift Of Gab featuring Latryx & George Clinton’s “Everything Is Fine”

Some of you may know about The Next Logical Progression by Gift Of Gab, but did you ever imagine that his next logical progression would be this video? It’s for the track “Everything Is Fine”, featuring fellow Quannum fam Lyrics Born and Lateef The Truth Speaker. The video was beautifully directed by Justin Berger.

VIDEO/FREE MP3 DOWNLOAD: Latryx’s “Call To Arms”

It may be Lei Day on this May Day, but in other parts of the United States and the world, there have been a few protests of interest, specifically from the Occupy movement. Arrests have been made in Seattle, Portland (Oregon) and other cities, but they’re not giving up. Perhaps it’s appropriate that Latryx have dropped a video for the Headnodic-produced track, “Call To Arms”, on this day. You can download the single for free directly from (32mb), and in case you’re wondering “wait, how come a single is 32mb?” it’s because the file is a zip (tested) that contains the following mixes of the song:
1) Album Version
2) Clean Version
3) Instrumental
4) A Capella

Get at/to it.

SOME STUFFS: Gift Of Gab has presents in the form of his “Next Logical Progression”

Gift Of Gab has been unusually quiet as of late, which is odd because let’s face it: when you have a gift, and that gift is to gab… well, you know what I’m talking about. He’s wiping off the dust collected and is about to drop a new album called Next Logical Progression, so anyone who wanted to know what would come next from him, this is it. The new album will be released on March 27th, and this is the official track listing, with some quality guests joining him:

1. NLP
2. Introlude
3. Rise (featuring Raashan Ahmad and Zumbi)
4. Protocol (featuring Samantha Kravitz)
5. Everything Is Fine (featuring George Clinton and Latryx)
6. Toxic (featuring Martin Luther)
7. Wack But Good People
8. Effed Up
9. Market & 8th
10. Dream Warrior (featuring Ms K)
11. So So Much
12. Beyond Logic

One interesting factor about this album is that it caters less to his select use of samples, and more to trying out more instrumentation. You can hear (and download) the results by checking out “Protocol”.
Gift of Gab: Protocol ft. Samantha Kravitz by quannumprojects

On top of that, fans will be able to hear some of these new songs and a few classics or two when he goes on a brief tour this month:
January 20… Crystal Bay, NV (Crown Room)
January 21… Chico, CA (El Ray Theater)
January 22… Sacramento, CA (Harlowes)
January 25… Eugene, OR (Cozmic)
January 26… Portland, OR (Mt. Tabor)
January 27… Victoria, BC (Sugar)
January 28… Seattle, WA (Nectar Lounge)
January 29… Bellingham, WA (Wild Buffalo)

REVIEW: Mocean Worker’s “Candygram For Mowo!”

Photobucket Adam Dorm is back under his musical nom de plume Mocean Worker on an album that is a continuation of his digital exploration and manipulation with Candygram For Mowo! (!K7).

If you have enjoyed what he has been doing with the wide range of styles he has created in his music, you’ll enjoy this one as well. There are still hints of jazz, but also hip-hop, funk, soul, and dance music. His tracks are up there with the likes of RJD2, Jazzanova, and Fatboy Slim, and a few of these songs sound as comfortable as Us3, one might argue that it sounds like he just pressed play and went into cruise control mode, but that’s merely someone who knows how to organize and program his tracks extremely well. Your mileage, interpretation, and consumption may vary.

My personal favorite on this album is “My Own Little World”, featuring the one and only Lyrics Born getting into his finely tuned groove and entering another, while bringing in Mindi Abair into the proceedings too. If you’ve been a fan of LB’s work in the last decade, this is just him putting on a freshly cleaned suit and showing Mocean Worker fans what it’s all about.

The most touching song is the album closer “JD”, an obvious tribute and thank you to Mocean Worker’s father, the late Joel Dorn. If it’s a bit melancholy, go back into “Ya Damn Right” and “Say Yeah Yeah” and hear music that could tear apart any funky dance club or music you may hear in a television commercial or show, and not realize who created it.

I’ve always liked Mocean Worker’s production, never loose. One might say it’s too tight but really, when you know what you’re doing in the studio and are capable of making decent sounds, why bother with being lower than low? He delivers each and every time, and he does so again here. I for one would love to see him create a remix album out of this too. Maybe next year.

REVIEW: Headnodic’s “Red Line Radio”

Photobucket Headnodic has been the focus of attention for a little over ten years. I first became aware of him through Mission:, and when one of the MC’s in the group, Moe Pope, departed, they turned into Crown City Rockers. In between these albums he’d do the occasional remix, but also came out with two very fine albums, Headnodic Beats Vol. 1 and Tuesday. The former consisted of nothing but his own beat production and bass work, showing his Mission:/Crown City Rockers components, while the latter was a few beats along with tracks featuring a little help from his friends and band mates. The albums seemed fairly low-key, and my interpretation of this was that his group was meant to be the primary focus, while each of them would have the freedom to do whatever they wanted, and they did. Raashan Ahmad has recorded and toured extensively, it always seems like he never stops working, which is good. I’m a Kat Ouano fan for life, and if she’s not busy making her own music, she’s doing shows, sitting in with other artists, and becoming a primary focus in her own right. I’m a producer/beat junkie so I’m thinking like Robin Harris and saying to myself “where the fuck is Headnodic?” Truth is, he has never been far from radar range. He did an album with Moe Pope four years ago, but it had been nine years since he released a full-length album under his own name, and I’m glad to say that with Red Line Radio, he has tuned into the proper frequency and is ready to broadcast the goodness once again.

Let’s get direct and to the point: Raashan Ahmad and Moe Pope reunite Mission: style with the incredible title track, complete with an uptempo groove that shows how well the three of these guys worked together. Things are turned down just a notch (if only a notch) and gets extra funky as Lateef and Lyrics Born do what they do best and become the double-headed beast in “Movin’ On Up”. Add Kat O1O to the mix, and it sounds like you just went into a smoke-filled basement of good sounds and aromas and never want to leave. The highlight of the song (for me at least) is when the beat drops around the 2:18 mark and it sounds like Headnodic caught Lyrics Born eating a meal of some sort. The record light is on, he realizes this, goes “uh”, and he doesn’t get anxious, he just sits in the bean bag and rides with that style and finesse LB is known for. Classy, 100%.

True to his name, Headnodic creates one head nodder after anotther head nodder, and when you hear People Under The Stairs in “Surgeon General”, you realize why this album is called Red Line Radio: you’re tuned into the radio station you have been looking for all your life, the one that has been dominated by podcasts and online frequencies. This one goes back to the emotional vault of good times, and while it feels like the grooves of your favorite hip-hop radio station on the left of the dial, you realize that it’s music that has never faded out from the consciousness of anyone who feels this in the heart.

As the album goes on, the funk never stops. There was a time when you had to go out of your way to find an album that is damn good and you experienced it in real time. You’d pop the album on your turntable, cassette deck, or CD player, and waited anxiously for each song to blow your mind. When they say “Turn Your Radio Up” and you realize “oh shit, Gift Of Gab, The Grouch, and fricken Mr. Lif are in this?”, you can’t believe it. It’s also nice to hear Destani Wolf in the jazzy “Truth”, which features The Jazzy Mafia Horns and true to the title, this is indeed the truth. Wolf has such a rich, soulful voice, and it’s great to hear her bless a Headnodic track once again.

Even with all of these special guests helping him out, the core of his music remains his productions and his bass work, he is someone who has always been confident in how he wants his music to be heard and goes out of his way to make it sound… okay, maybe “sound right” would be too arrogant, but maybe the words I’m trying to say is he goes out of his way to hopefully make his music feel good. He wants that music to make an impact on the listener and that comes from wanting to feel the music himself. As a producer, I can hear the layers and textures in his work, where he’s trying to recreate a vibe from the late 70’s or an 80’s party groove. Hip-hop at its best has always been about borrowing elements and reproducing it in any and all ways, to where you don’t know or care where it actually came from.

My point is this. If Headnodic has been someone you’ve heard about in passing, on blogs, or may have seen his name referenced in reviews, may I suggest getting to know him even more with this album. Red Line Radio is an accumulation of what he has built for himself in the last 12 years, and this is merely a crossroads which came from where he has been, and where he’s about to go next. Ethan Parsonage is probably that guy that, like you, listens to his music deeply and puts that passion he hears in others into his own music, and helps to define his own style. He doesn’t play around, or maybe a better way of saying it is: this is his playground, he knows how to assemble the toys, and if you’re nice, you’re more than welcome to play along with him. Playing, be it on a school ground or music, is about having fun, and Red Line Radio is a fun album from start to finish, feeling youthful like the classics but grown up with the class and dignity that comes from maturity. I look forward to the next frequencies.

(TIP: If you buy the CD version, you can actually put the disc on your turntable and play the label side as it doubles as a record. It features a previously unreleased track by The Mighty Underdogs. Only 1000 copies of the CD version with the vinyl pressed on it were made, and you can order your copy from or your favorite online music merchants.)

VIDEO: Lyrics Born featuring Sam Sparro’s “Coulda Woulda Shoulda”

If you are not feeling this song, maybe the video will make you change your mind. Nothing against Sam Sparro but c’mon, you have Joyo Velarde in this and… oh, is that Kat O1O? Indeed it is.

C’mon, only Lyrics Born could pull it off so well.

BTW – this screenshot is meant to represent a phone in her hand gesture, but I’m going to call it a “subliminal shaka” and leave it at that. Hui Joyo, we go eat.


VIDEO: Lyrics Born’s “Lies x 3”

Lyrics Born has made a video for “Lies x 3”, which looks like a long lost spy thriller from the 1960’s, or the video 2Pac wish he did with Jade Pinkett. His new album, As U Were, is due out on October 26th.

SOME STUFFS: Lyrics Born reveals cover artwork for “As U Were”

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What you are looking at is the approved final artwork for the forthcoming album by Lyrics Born, As U Were (Mobile Home Recordings/Decon). I like how the young man behind the baby sports a T-shirt with a cartoon Lyrics Born on it.

If the cover suggests someone in transition, the same can be said for the music on the album, scheduled for release on October 26th. The music will feature everything you’ve come to expect from Lyrics Born, from the hip-hop to the soul and the funk, and perhaps you’ll be surprised that he has a love for infectious pop as well, as heard in the first preview of the album in the form of “Lies x 3”, which is being made available for free at starting July 19th. For a bit of the familiar, some of the people who worked with him on As U Were include wife Joyo Velarde, fellow Quannum alumni Gift Of Gab and Lateef The Truth Speaker, along with Trackademicks, Jake One, Headnodic, Sam Sparro, and Francis and The Lights, a nice mixture of who you already like and those whose work you’ve been wanting to get into.

A distribution deal with Decon allows LB to own the rights to his music, something many independent artists are opting for. The deal also makes it possible for his music to be used in a number of ways, so outside of the traditional television and radio outlets, it will be music promotion 2.0, so you may very well hear him in a few HBO shows, maybe NPR (anyone who has heard some of NPR’s commercial breaks in recent years know that someone in the know has an ear for raers), perhaps a skateboard or surf DVD, or in places unknown.

What is known is the As U Were cover art and the music you can take a listen to by heading to his website. Also known: his commitment to making quality music and moving his audiences in all the right ways, and new ways. You only have a three month wait, do what you must to mark the day.