Perfect Blue Gardens

Blue Gardens, the new release on Keysound Recordings, is the brainchild of a new musical talent who goes by the name E.m.m.a. Simply put, it’s some of the best music — and one of the more coherent albums and promising debuts — I’ve heard in years. My fave tracks are ones like “Shoot the Curl”

Gone for November

What a weekend on the way! First, this Friday, I’ll be honored & pleasured to drop some gems at the Good Life (downstairs to boot!) for an absurd iteration of Picó Picante, my favorite local dance party. (And apparently Boston’s too!) In addition to resident DJs, Pajaritos and Oxycontinental, I’ll be joining downstairs headliners Uhuru

Rapping to the Beat

Funny as it may be, I’m pretty sure Run DMC’s “Roots, Rap, Reggae” (featuring Yellowman) is the first “reggae” song I ever knew. As an occasionally awkward and awfully chintzy attempt at reggae via New York, it’s an odd introduction in nuff ways. On the other hand, there are a couple moments in the song,

New Lambada New Lambada New Lambada New Lambada

Thanks to DJ Effresh for putting me on to yet another interesting instantiation of the “Lambada.” Here’s Vakero, one of the DR’s fiercest MCs, jumping on a dembow-influenced reworking of a truly perennial tune, as hashed out here, way back when — Discussing this over at my/our Buzz, Birdseed pointed out that there’s a recent

Global Reggae

Next week I begin teaching my second course at MIT. It’s a new syllabus, though it draws on certain materials I’ve used before. In contrast to previous offerings, however, this will be the first time I teach a class with a primary focus on reggae outside of Jamaica — on what I’m calling here “global

Hello Stranger, My Old Friend

A couple weeks ago, as I was driving cross-country with my brother, we tuned into a show somewhere in Tennessee which was devoted to playing 50s and (early) 60s jams from the current week, however many years ago they may have hit. This was quite a treat, especially in comparison to insane-but-boring talk radio and

Global Hip-hop

Since I’m in a syllabus sharing mood, I figured I should finally get around to posting the one I put together in Spring 2008 for a course on “Global Hip-hop.” A series of case studies examining how hip-hop travels outside the US, what it carries with it, and how people adapt its forms to their

Mobile Music & Treble Culture

I’m in the process of working up a short essay on the topic of “treble culture” for a volume on “mobile music.” I’m hoping that some of my awesome readers/interlocutors might lend me a hand (and/or ear). There are two main areas in which I am interested: 1) the rise of “treble culture” and the

Real Talk, Lads

So, yeah, inundated by mixes, but finally got a chance to check out last month’s Rinse FM set by Butterz (ft. Terror Danjah), which shows grime (& its bastard cousin, dubstep) alive&well & wot-u-call-it as ever. Comfortably contentious even! Esp w/ the notion that grime might be less than alive & well. I love the

Linkthink #833: Beyond a Boundary

YouTube – Roots Manuva – Again & Again “With this record I was trying to tune into that old Channel One, Studio One aesthetic.” :: roots manuva hits that ball out the park on this lead single (prod. by shyFX?!) :: rodney da realest, u done know (tags: reggae hip-hop cricket caribbean video youtube london

Flag This: A Glance @ Google Nationalism

What can be gleaned by glancing at the first page of returns via Google Images for certain nations and their flags? I don’t know exactly, but I found the results fascinating enough to take several screenshots. I do like the play between a sort of repetitive stability and the occasional, odd (but telling) aberration, e.g.,

linkthink #2653: It Figures

Why I Don’t Like StuffWhitePeopleLike | Views | TheRoot.com gary dauphin — “Usually, even jokey talk about whiteness has a whiff of danger to it, but SWPL is likely the safest, most affable racial satire ever, a loving high-five between friends passing as critique.” (tags: race critique whiteness internet) Duke Vin, Count Suckle & the

linkthink #0293535: King of Wok

there is none frier The FADER – Prancehall’s Bass Odyssey, Part 5 prancehall interviews DJ NG (via wordthecat) :: that “Tell Me” track is chez fruityloopy (soca stylee too) :: too funny how many things “funky” means around the world — james brown is dead my ass (tags: interview bassline UK london funkyhouse garage grime

linkthink #739053: Hyphy Wifey Harvest

lower end spasm.: mix Thursday some bangin mixes, spanning juke, bmore, bassline, and dubstep :: fun at 140 bpm! (tags: mixes blogpost juke bmore bassline dubstep) lower end spasm.: MAD DECENT niche primer a couple niche/bassline mixes :: get up to speed (tags: mixes blogpost bassline house UK) Middle Eastern Fusions/Crossovers “Middle Eastern Influences in

linkthink #492356: Semper Fideles

Message from the Commander in Chief :: Castro Resigns “My only wish is to fight as a soldier in the battle of ideas. I shall continue to write under the heading of ‘Reflections by comrade Fidel.’ It will be just another weapon you can count on. Perhaps my voice will be heard. I shall be

Whirl-a-whirls

Two other entities in the (other)worldly spirit I was speakin of — and I mean that in a good way — would seem to merit some shine on em, ‘specially since one’s got a new mix up & out :: London’s Heatwave crew bring the picante to the blogaparty, lacing together Spanish rap y reggae

Dear Wayne #8353: JA inna US & UK

While we’re in a outsourcing mood here at w&w, allow we to offer up another recent q&a — Dear Wayne, Hope you’re well, This is a follow-up to an email that I sent last week regarding me possibly conducting an interview in the near future regarding the role of Jamaican styles in US and UK