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 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


Feb 22 2014

Weekend Videos: Kiesza – “Hideaway”

A friend recently turned me on to Canadian singer/songwriter Kiesza.  Her one take video shot in NYC for the single “Hideaway” is a joy to watch . I’ve had it on loop trying to pick up on everything that is going on behind her.

The early 90′s  tinged electro-pop acts as the perfect platform for her vocals to soar. Looking forward to more from this talent!

Hideaway” drops in March via Lokal Legend.

TRACKS:

doublecougar Weekend Videos: Kiesza   Hideaway


Feb 19 2014

Mixmag debut’s Audiofly’s ‘Excuse My Wildness’ (Carl Craig Remix)

audiofly Mixmag debuts Audioflys Excuse My Wildness (Carl Craig Remix)

And…. We’re back. After a small hiatus due in part to “real” jobs catching up with us and also that bastard Top Albums of 2013.

Here’s a new remix from Carl Craig for Australian minimal kings Audiofly‘s “Excuse My Wildness“. Don’t be fooled by the title, this is a lesson in control and dynamics that we can’t get enough of.

TRACKS:

doublecougar Mixmag debuts Audioflys Excuse My Wildness (Carl Craig Remix)


Jan 12 2014

Cougar Microbes Top Albums of 2013: Chance The Rapper – ‘Acid Rap’

Chance The Rapper Acid Rap Albums of 2013 Cougar Microbes Top Albums of 2013: Chance The Rapper   Acid Rap

Taking over from Kendrick Lamar as this year’s biggest rap breakthrough Chance The Rapper offered up one of 2013′s most exciting albums while seemingly ignoring everything that was “hot” around him. The samples retain an old school quality that allows for Chances upbeat verses to shine.

All of the hype is warranted. All of the praise is deserved. Chance the Rapper, not Kanye, put out the best rap album by a Chicagoan this year. No knocks to Ye as he still made my list, but what Chance did with this thing must be applauded. The cohesiveness of the album, matched with its stellar production and features, and Chance’s originality in his tortured crooning and wacky sing-rapping is one of the best things that happened in 2013 musically. It’s acts like this that are ensuring that new rappers in 2014 and beyond cannot expect to be taken seriously, unless they’re willing to bring something seriously great to the table” – Daniel Benny 

“‘Acid Rap’ was this young rapper’s second self-released mix tape and it put Chance in the spotlight for being the next rapper to watch. The album is surpassingly upbeat which is always refreshing in a genre that is dominated by put-downs. Acid rap was released right before summer and it” – Robin Petering

TRACKS:

doublecougar Cougar Microbes Top Albums of 2013: Chance The Rapper   Acid Rap