Apr 15 2014

Frankie Knuckles RIP: A Revolution That Forgot Its Revolutionaries

AfterParadise Frankie Knuckles RIP: A Revolution That Forgot Its Revolutionaries

Frankie Knuckles passed away earlier this month (RIP). Sadly I don’t think I ever caught him live, but I was well aware of his legacy and impact. I enjoyed reading all of the tributes written about him – many from fans and fellow DJs whose lives he changed forever. Even major news outlets like USA Today and The Economist showed their respects to the house music icon, which was genuinely surprising to me. Never before had the history of house been discussed like this in mass media. Chances are it won’t happen again.

The dance music world may have paused momentarily to honor Frankie, but soon the knowledge and appreciation of house’s storied roots will continue to erode at its usual brisk pace due to fading memories, generational turnover, and mortality.

Unlike hip hop, dance music doesn’t have built in acknowledgement. Through name dropping, resurrected rhyme schemes, sampling, and even recycled fashion and iconography, even a casual rap fan will eventually discover the likes of Run DMC, the Sugar Hill Gang and Kurtis Blow. Thanks to rock n roll’s integral role in American culture, any modern rock fan could converse at length about the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix or Bob Dylan.

House music is different. Its story remains largely untold.

While Frankie Knuckles rightfully earned legendary status, many of his deserving peers did not. Ron Hardy, Arthur Russell and Walter Gibbons all died young and have already faded into obscurity, their life’s work completely unknown to the hundreds of millions who currently dance to music they helped create. Others are still alive, but have been relegated to obscurity regardless. Jesse Saunders and Farley Keith will not be having CNN – or even a Grantland – tribute articles written about them.

I remember watching a documentary on house music and learning that a teenaged Paul Oakenfold used to frequent the Paradise Garage and danced to sets by Larry Levan. If it wasn’t for that rare interview, I would have had no idea about the connection between European rave culture and the OG American disco clubs. I was a fan of both artists and a huge music nerd, but even that fact was unknown to me until recently. These days, does your average Ultra or EDC attendee even know who Oakenfold is? Would they even care to learn?

Maybe by its own design, house isn’t meant to be documented or remembered. Cross generational continuity is difficult to maintain in a youth driven dance movement. It didn’t help that many of those early DJs and dancers lived on the fringes of society: black, Latin, gay, and inner city. Seldom do these groups get to write history, and furthermore countless were lost to the AIDS epidemic and drug addiction back in the 80s.

Also, they often say that people dance to forget. As is the case today, to say that those early days of house music were hedonistic (and thus hazy) would be an understatement. That doesn’t mean that the magic that a great house DJ creates on the dance floor is any less real, but just like magic, those moments are fleeting and ethereal. House music blew up and overtook the world, but left precious little standing in its wake.

It’s a revolution that forgot its revolutionists.

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Post by Roger Jao

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TRACKS:

doublecougar Frankie Knuckles RIP: A Revolution That Forgot Its Revolutionaries


Apr 9 2014

Brooklyn’s Inky Jack drop “Freedom” single

inkyjackfreedom Brooklyns Inky Jack drop Freedom single

The Brooklyn beat madhouse that is Inky Jack just dropped a new track, “Freedom“.

This is the first taste from their new EP ‘Infrared‘, coming out in June, and if last year’s self titled release is anything to go by it’s going to be pretty special.

Mixing everything from dub and reggae to synth and rock, the Inky Jack boys put on quite a show. We’ll be keeping an eye out for upcoming tours and more goodies from this duo.

TRACKS:

doublecougar Brooklyns Inky Jack drop Freedom single


Apr 9 2014

Drake releases new two new tracks

drake Drake releases new two new tracks

If you ever get bored of last years excellent “Nothing Was The Same” (which, let’s face it, is highly unlikely) you can rest assured Drake still has a song or two under his belt.

Last week he dropped two new tracks with little fanfare and naturally both garnered millions of plays within hours. “Draft Day” shows the Toronto superstar can still spit hard when he feels like it and includes an unexpected dig at Cougar fave Chance The Rapper.

Days In The East” is more in the emo-r&B mould that has become Drake‘s speciality but if it ain’t broke why fix it?

TRACKS:

doublecougar Drake releases new two new tracks


Apr 9 2014

Introducing Zero Calories

zerocalories2 Introducing Zero Calories

Zero Calories is a new teenage crew coming out of Minneapolis and ready to remix your eardrums. The duo consisting of DJSIDEREAL and Sam McNaughton are dropping a new remix each week in the build up to Soundset 2014, where DJSIDEREAL will be sharing stages with the likes of Atmosphere, Nas, Earl Sweatshirt and Chance The Rapper to name just a few.

The first two remixes have already gone live and are definitely worth checking out.The first one is twerk mix for Sage The Gemini ft. IAMSU! for the track”Gas Pedal“, and the second brings a posi vibe to a Travi$ Scott track that features 2 Chainz with Upper Echelon.

The coolest thing about this Zero Calories duo? Sam Mcnaughton and DJSIDEREAL are only 19 and 18 respectively. Still, they’re teaching some of the older folk in the game a lesson or two on how its supposed to be done (although they do look like they could amp up their calorie intake like they do with their tracks)

Make sure you check back next Tuesday when the duo will be unleashing the next track in the series via their soundcloud.

TRACKS:

doublecougar Introducing Zero Calories


Mar 8 2014

The Kokoro release new video/single for “Broken”

A short while ago we featured the mysterious duo The Kokoro as they teased with an intro video featuring apocalyptic shots from their upcoming productions. The duo followed this up with their outlandish debut video for “Broken“. The track lulls you into a false sense of security before hitting you over the head repeatedly with THAT drop.

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Mar 6 2014

Cougar Microbes sets sail for SXSW 2014

sxsw 2014 music Cougar Microbes sets sail for SXSW 2014Cougar Microbes returns to SXSW this year for what is guaranteed to be a week fuelled by new music discoveries, veteran renaissances, sunshine and good old Texan hospitality.

Words can not express how happy we are to return to what is our favourite festival in the world and this year promises to be no less exciting with keynotes from the likes of Neil Young, Lady Gaga, and Lil Wayne to name just a few superstars.

With last year’s event still firmly imprinted in our minds our team is boarding planes from all around to get to what is the live music capital of the world. We want to hit the ground running this year so be sure to check out our twitter feed for regular commentary as well as the sites Tumblr for photos.

Going on past experience often the best artists at SXSW are the ones you were not expecting. Having said that here are a bunch of performances we do not want to miss out in this year:

Mean Creek CMJ 2013 Cougar Microbes sets sail for SXSW 2014

Mean Creek

Who: Boston based indie-punk crew Mean Creek where one of the acts to delight us at CMJ last year. Their songs are loud and fuzzy yet convey a sense of optimism that’s contagious.

Where:  Valhalla, Mar 14 – 22:00 – 22:40

 Terry Poison 2013 Cougar Microbes sets sail for SXSW 2014

Terry Poison

Who: There is something truly cosmic about Israeli-based electronic pop trio Terry Poison – maybe it’s their intergalactic, apocalyptic beats, their uniquely stunning features or the impenetrable aura of cool that seems to radiate from every one of their infectious yet slightly off-kilter, darkly pulsing electronic pop numbers.

This will be the second time in Austin and this time they will also be discussing their tech angle (The award winning video for the track ‘Gorgeous has some 85k youtube views and was shot on 52 iphones).

Where? Speakeasy, 15 Mar 20:00 – 20:40

Kendrick lamar Cougar Microbes sets sail for SXSW 2014

Kendrick Lamar

Who: I will admit part of the magic of sxsw for me personally is seeing the smaller acts but when one of the best rappers of the past 10 years shows up we’ve also got to show up. Having come all the way from London watching Kendrick Lamar will be the culmination of a dream that begun the first time we heard ‘Good Kid, M.a.a.d City‘. Come out to celebrate the man who should have won a Grammy in everyone’s mind

Where: ACL Live at the Moody Theater, 12 Mar 22:00 – 23:30

vaadat charigim Cougar Microbes sets sail for SXSW 2014

Vaadat Charigim

Who: Vaadat Charigim blend of 80s rock, post-punk and shoegaze has seen them winning fans and praise globally; all this despite the obvious language barrier of their songs being in Hebrew.

Having already won rave reviews from the likes of Pitchfork, SPIN and Brooklyn Vegan the trio are making their North American debut at SXSW.

Their debut album was helmed by Modest Mouse producer Kyle “Slick” Johnson and carries numerous riveting numbers

Where: Hotel Vegas @ Volstead, Mar 13 00:30 – 01:00

in the valley below live cmj Cougar Microbes sets sail for SXSW 2014

In The Valley Below

Who: In The Valley Below where one of our most pleasing CMJ discoveries. Their vaguely Arcade Fire-esque sound is doused with a hefty dose of melancholia. A chance encounter between Jeffrey and Angela in Los Angeles is responsible for creating beautiful music.

Where: Swan Dive, Mar 12 21:00 – 21:40

Parish Underground, Mar 15 01:00 – 01:50

kosha dillz Cougar Microbes sets sail for SXSW 2014

Kosha Dillz

Who: Kosha Dillz may well be the hardest working man in Hip Hop. You are just as likely to see the NJ native playing major arenas or performing in the street but in either case it’s clear he always gives it 100%. True to form at SXSW he will be playing a few official shows as well as popping up on any stage that will have him. It’s not just hustle and bustle from him though as his last album ‘Awkward In A Good Way‘ is a genuine great release worth checking out.

Where: 512, Mar 15 23:10 – 23:25

schoolboyq Cougar Microbes sets sail for SXSW 2014

Schoolboy Q

Who: Kendrick sometime collaborator Schoolboy Q offers a completely different approach to the craft he is no less exciting. His rough around the edges persona continues a proud tradition of volatile rappers who need to be heard

Where: ACL Live at the Moody Theatre, Mar 12 20:45 – 21:30

Lustre Pearl, Mar 13 01:00 – 01:40

Doritos #Boldstage, Mar 15 23:00 – 23:40

BadBadNotGood 1024x642 Cougar Microbes sets sail for SXSW 2014

BADBADNOTGOOD

Who: Toronto’s BADBADNOTGOOD are seemingly on a mission to make jazz cool again. Their intricate pieces built on a double bass sound, keyboards, beatboxing and live drums have seen fans spurting up all round the world and earned them collaboration offers from the likes of Frank Ocean and Tyler, The Creator. This is the kind of music that should be witnessed live and SXSW should fulfil this requirement.

Where: Swan Dive Patio, Mar 12 20:30 – 21:10

Austin Music Hall, Mar 15 20:35 – 21:00

 Cougar Microbes sets sail for SXSW 2014

Jungle

Who: Much hyped Londoners Jungle steadily built a strong fanbase without ever releasing their true identities. Now that the initial surprise has come and gone all that is left is a bunch of strong songs and on the basis of their recent performances a great live show to boot.

Where: Latitude 30, Mar 11, 00:00 – 00:40

Hype Hotel, Mar 14 22:00 – 22:35

 Cougar Microbes sets sail for SXSW 2014

The Wanton Bishops

Who: Who would have thought that some of the most exciting blues to come out in recent years would originate from Beirut of all places. The Wanton Bishops are travelling over to the USA for the first time to uncover the roots of the music they so expertly make and this encounter is worth witnessing.

Where: Lit Lounge Upstairs, Mar 14 00:00 -00:40

tyler Cougar Microbes sets sail for SXSW 2014

Tyler, The Creator

Who: Sometime Odd Future leader and all round trouble maker Tyler, The Creator is headed to Austin in what promises to be a rowdy show. With his latest effort ‘Wolf‘ still fresh in our mind we can’t wait to catch this one live.

Where: Mohawk Outdoor, Mar 12 01:00 – 01:50

The Gatsby, Mar 13 01:00 – 01:40

Parish, Mar 13 00:30 – 01:00

mayaisacowitz Cougar Microbes sets sail for SXSW 2014

Maya Isacowitz

Who: Singer-songwriter Maya Isacowitz intimate take on folk-rock sees her blend elements of soul, blues and country into her music. Having secured a GOLD RECORD in her native Israel with her self-produced 2011 debut “Safe & Sound” with sales in excess of 15,000 copies she went on to win Israel’s prestigious ACUM award for “Best New Artist“.

Maya played over 100 dates on her solo tour and also supported Chris Cornell in Israel on his “Songbook 2012” tour as well as Suzanne Vega in New York City. She is currently working on her second album due later this year.

Where: Wyndham Garden Hotel, Mar 14 19:00 – 19:45

Victorian Room at The Driskill, Mar 15 21:00 -21:40

Deap Vally 1024x682 Cougar Microbes sets sail for SXSW 2014

Deap Vally

Who: Simply labelling Deap Vally as an all female White Stripes would be paying them enormous disservice. Lindsey Troy and Julie Edwards are rock goddesses in the making and their music is guaranteed to resonate live. Their debut effort ‘Sistrionix‘ is what rock n roll should be all about.

Where: Trinity Hall @ Old School, Mar 14 23:00 – 23:40

Parish, Mar 15 01:00 – 01:50

doublecougar Cougar Microbes sets sail for SXSW 2014


Mar 2 2014

Tonic Fold live @ St Paul’s Church, London

Having just released their new album ‘The Violent Language of Portraits‘ , award winning experimental orchestra Tonic Fold put on an spectacular show at St Paul’s Church in Covent Garden last week.

With their multi-vocalist line-up including West End stars Andrew Derbyshire, Tom Parsons and Verity Quade, the 20 piece orchestra gave a truly dramatic performance, indulged by the imposing backdrop of St Paul’s Church.

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Mar 2 2014

Introducing The Kokoro

The Kokoro surfaced with this mysterious intro video said to be a taste of what’s to come. We’ve been waiting to hear more from the mysterious duo and they finally announced the launch of their new video “Broken“. We’ll be featuring that vid real soon as well because it deserves to be seen

TRACKS:

doublecougar Introducing The Kokoro