Wednesday, July 30, 2008

DJ Shadow - Miami Bass Mix

DJ Shadow

DJ Shadow, Miami Bass mix on Radio 1 September 9, 1998 (YSI link)

I've uploaded this DJ set before, but it seemed like a good one to re-up for anyone who missed out the first time and get us all caught up on what goes down here.

This one's pretty essential, a half-hour Miami bass radio set by the one and only DJ Shadow. He did this for the Radio 1 Evening Sessions program, hosted by Steve Lamacq, I believe. You get a nice intro to the Miami sound, which is normally associated with genres that came later like ghettohouse and funk carioca into the booty category. Shadow's set should remind us all how Miami bass has its roots in hip-hop, fitting considering Shadow is one of the most respected and talented names in the game. You'll notice lots of scratching, real raps (not repetitive samples like ghettohouse, say) and that trademark filthiness that set rap free to be as nasty as it wanted to be. There's also the higher tempo and sustained kicks, for those looking to get a blueprint for the sound.

I can't say I'm a huge Shadow fan, but this is a great mix for my ears. He gives each track room to develop, doesn't force the action to jam more songs in, plays a lot of hard-to-hear cuts. This will be the soundtrack to your summer afternoon party jams, if you know what's good for you. Enjoy, much more Miami bass to come this summer. Yeah!

Monday, July 28, 2008

The House Master Boyz and the Rude Boy of House - House Nation

The House Master Boyz and the Rude Boy Of House - House Nation

The House Master Boyz and the Rude Boy of House, "House Nation" (YSI link)

The House Master Boyz and the Rude Boy of House, "House Nation (The International Remix)" (YSI link)

The House Master Boyz and the Rude Boy of House, "House Nation (Track'n The House)" (YSI link)

Oh lordy, we're getting right back to full speed here at Pound for Pound. I contemplated starting off slow, maybe throwing up some new stuff that the kids are going nuts for now. But, fuckit, I know that my readers are the best in the world and they don't need to take it slow, we can jump right back into the thick of things.

Let's head right to the deep end, back to Chicago, mid-80s, one of Pound for Pound's favorite times and places for a classic track from The House Master Boyz and the Rude Boy of House, "House Nation." For the record, the Rude Boy House is the one and only, Farley "JackMaster" Funk, a.k.a. Farley Keith. This one dropped on our favorite label, Dance Mania, in 1986 and would soon become an anthem in the UK rave scene of the late 80s. This one's like a template for the sound we like here - sharp, primitive drums, a sick, kinda eerie bassline and a sample repeated over and over, a man's voice imploring the "House nation". It's all stripped down, consisting of few parts, but yet it sounds so damn perfect to my ears it's hard to believe how they can make it work. It has these peaks and valleys throughout, perfectly using the tempos

The remixes aren't quite at the level of the original, but are damn good in their own right. The International Remix is a shorter trip with some random new samples thrown into the mix. It doesn't have the peaks and valleys of the first one, it pretty much goes hard and fast (that's what she said) for the beginning, then slows down to a crawl towards the end with a final race to the finish line. The Track'n the House version is very similar to the original, the drums are switch up a bit, sounding a little less bassy and little more metronomic. For the most part, the original should do, sounds a little darker and filthier, but your mileage may vary.

Thanks to James Murphy and Pat Mahoney, who played this at PS1 on Saturday and reminded me how amazing this song is and how it kills the dancefloor. Messrs. Murphy and Maloney killed it, hope you didn't miss it. Okay, that's our first post in the return. Like riding a bike, people, like riding a bike.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Return of Pound for Pound

Terminator Stencil

The title and stencil say it all. Pound for Pound will be back in the next few days. Expect the usual mix of gay disco, gayer house, Miami bass, big boobs, ghettotech, ghetto house, acieed!, jack trax, Scarlett Johannson references, no wave, new wave, early rap, the unremembered 70s, and 80s, Morrissey love. In other words, the same old, same old. Oh, but how good that same old is, yafeelme?

I have missed all of you immensely and hope that we'll quickly become required reading again. Yeah! Pound for Pound! America! Yeah!