With carnival jumping off in T&T over the next week — & Mardi Gras a week from today — tis the season for Trini artists to roll out the big guns: tunes so massive that they run the road once the marching begins (not to mention before and after all is danced and done).
In recent days, they’ve spotlighted a few bangers from, among others, perennial road march champion, Machel Montano, who has enlisted Shaggy, among others, to help him run the road disya year. Which brings me to one of 08’s road tunes that no doubt will score big, perhaps even transcending the context-specific audience of carnival in T&T (and the diaspora). I’m talking about Montano’s bumper-pumper collabo with Lil Jon and Pitbull, “Defense” —
Now, some listeners might find themselves instantly connecting with the track, especially that earworm sax riff. Familiar, no?
Well, this sort of remix — perhaps better described as a rehash — is indeed familiar territory for Lil Jon, who seems to have a (klepto?) penchant for taking lesser-known club hits (at least, lesser known in the US) and making them into mainstream hits. His “work” on the track above (which I do like quite a bit, despite my jeers here) is not unlike what he did on “Culo,” also with Pitbull as accomplice, via Mr.Vegas’s “Pull Up” and Scatta’s Coolie Dance riddim (though, at least he added a couple 808 kicks to that one) — a track that some decided was some straight-up tief-job, though I do believe he licensed the riddim eventually.
I wonder if he licensed this one beforehand this time? For those who don’t recognize that sax-riff, it’s been floating around in internat’l club culture for a good five years now. Just last year — and presumably this is how Lil Jon caught wind of it — it resurfaced yet again in the form of Enur & Natasja’s “Calabria 2007” — a socafied version of a previously housey romp, featuring the nonchalant patois patter of Danish reggae vocalist, Natasja Saad (who, sadly, died last year in a car accident in Jamaica).
As this informative article details, Enur = Rune, a Danish DJ/producer who introduced the irrepressible sax-riff to the Ibiza masses back in 03. A couple years after its initial appearance, yet another remix, a version which married the riff to some Crystal Waters vox and a much more pronounced (and boring) house beat — making for some srsly clubby queso — became a top 5 hit in the UK. And two years after that (i.e., last summer), the riff reared its head again with Ms.Saad pon top. Since then, other remixes have surfaced as well, including a version ft. Mims. The riff just keeps giving and giving, going and going — as such, it’s perfect for the endurance test that is carnival.
So, yeah, Likkle Jon is coming to this a little late, but better late than never, and better great than never too. Despite (or perhaps b/c of) the producer’s light touch in this most recent instance, the track is reborn yet again, perhaps in time to run the road in T&T, if not crack US radio playlists. (I’ve already heard it on JAM’N 94.5 here in Boston.) It’s not much of a stretch for Pitbull, who’s been riding uptempo Caribbeanish club jams for a minute now, including some of Mr.Collipark’s finest Afro-Cubist concoctions, often while reprising a well-worn melody from one Latin classic or another (not that I can spot this one — anyone?). Dude totally kills it here, and Machel Montano gives it a good go, too. No doubt it would get my vote for road march winner, except that, sad to say, I won’t be a-marching come this Fat Tuesday. But thanks for the vicarious vibes, guys!
I’m not so good about keeping this page updated, which is why I link to the Beat Research site over on the sidebar there>>
At any rate, we’ve got some great guests lined up for the next month. Here they are, descriptions snipped&chopped from the BR website —
Jan 14 :: DJ Paul Dailey and Wayne’s Harvard Extension Class
A veteran of the dance music scene in New England and beyond, Paul Dailey has been rocking dancefloors for more than two decades. Hailing from Boston, Paul has traveled extensively and performed in some of the top venues and cities in the world (including the WMC in Miami and the Movement/DEMF in Detroit.) Paul regularly plays at RISE and Avalon in Boston, Metronome in Burlington, and Sullivan Room in New York City. He has played at some of the best parties and festivals in North America, alongside many of the best techno DJs in the world including Carl Cox, Richie Hawtin, Marco Bailey, Adam Beyer, Christian Smith and Chris Liebing. Paul also hosts a weekly show called Hardwired (www.hardwiredradio.com), which is the only international techno mix show broadcast across North America on XM Satellite Radio (channel 80) as well as weekly broadcasts for Orion 1 Radio, iParty.com, and he is a monthly resident (along with Timo Maas, Loco Dice, Adam Freeland and John Aquaviva) on Master Dub, an FM mix show syndicated across Italy.
Wayne’s “electro class” at Harvard Extension School will be presenting their production projects from the Fall semester. Ranging from hip-hop & dancehall to house & techno to dubstep & jungle to remixes & mashups, expect a broad interpretation of “electronic music” from a talented group of students.
Jan 21 :: Dev/Null
A self-proclaimed “Music Nerd” Dev/Null has played shows all over the world including; Japan, Belgium, the Netherlands, UK, Ireland, Germany, Austria & The US
Though better known for his breakcore productions on the German label Cock Rock Disco, Allston-based producer Dev/Null is also a serious collector and DJ of oldschool jungle and breakbeat hardcore vinyl from 1991-1995. Come listen to him spin some of his favorite records from labels like Suburban Base, Reinforced and Moving
Shadow, plus plenty of lesser known tunes and white labels.
Jan 28 :: DJ Yamin
DJ Yamin aka Ben Epstein has been DJing and producing for over 12 years. His love for hip-hop spawned his quest to find the source of all the samples that were being used in the songs he loved. Digging through the dusty record bins he discovered such artists such as Bill Withers, P-Funk and The Meters. He put his knowledge to use and started a radio show called “The Grooveyard” on WMFO which lasted for over 7 years.
His first release as a producer was in 1994 with a breakbeat beat record called “5 Finger Breaks” produced alongside Moosaka. He has DJ’d with several Hip-Hop groups such as P.O.E. and III Kings and has opened up for such acts as Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley, Crown City Rockers and The Violent Femmes. He is the founder of Beats Not Bombs, a political organization that gathers artists and activists together to raise money and awareness for such groups as Amnesty International and Campaign to Ban Landmines.
If by “liberal bias,” the NYT is accused of taking pointed liberties with the language they employ, well then, count me as another critic.
Take, e.g., a couple recent items demonstrating the Grey Lady’s ongoing implicit prejudice against the plight of Palestinians (via the always astute, and acerbic, angryarab and leninology), dehumanizing and trivializing as usual —
Wanna have a direct hand in helping a fledgling but promising Botswana-based studio get its groove on? Help inject a little kwasa-kwasa into some Southern African crunky reggae? Well, if you’ve got a working strat or telecaster or any ol’ electric guitar really — & a bass guitar is wanted as well — I’ve got a place you can send it to, w/ potentially awesome returns! If so, get in touch >>
Today / tonight, my ever entertaining, unpredictable, visionary father-in-law (and, yes, now a grandpa, thx to Nico) is going to be on the Colbert Report! He’ll be there primarily to discuss his latest passion, poker as strategic thinking and educational tool (though you never know what might come out of Charlie’s mouth, esp as prodded by the likes of Colbert).
The writer’s strike (with which I’m in deep sympathy) has me a bit confused about whether this makes Charlie a scab of sorts, but it definitely makes him pretty damn cool in my book, regardless. Go Charlie!
Nico Marshall Nesson, born 17 Jan 2008, 12:37 pm, 8 lbs and 4.4 ozs
Mama Becca is a straight-up champion, enduring some hardlabor (i.e., “all those pain and suffering“) without the help of drugs or doctors*, and pushing that beautiful baby out in just under 9 hours.
Papa Wayne is happy as a clam. Tired? You bet. But I could stare at lil cutie at day long. Wake up every 45 minutes and walk her around the house? I’d walk the world for this kid.
Goodbye, sleep. Hello, Nico!
* I can’t say enough about the wonderful place that is the Cambridge Birth Center and the gentle, caring, and utterly competent midwives and nurses who shepherded us through. Becca spent much of her time in a large bathtub, which worked wonders, and the Victorian bedroom she gave birth in was a far cry from a hospital ward. Thanks especially to Christley, Irene, Deb, Tiffany, Gretchen, and our indispensable doula, Georgianna.
[this post used to have an embedded player from imeem featuring the apt aesop rock song, “labor” (posted the morning becca went into labor with nico); then myspace bought imeem, closed it down, and decided to put an advertisement here for ringtones instead, so i’ve replaced it with this exciting text and the following video. thx for nothing, myspace.]