Knxwledge Discusses Stones Throw LP "Hud Dreems," Amoeba Crate Digging, His Church Upbringing, & Kendrick Lamar Production

Posted by Billyjam, May 19, 2015 11:43am | Post a Comment

Knxwledge (pronounced Knowledge) is known for such things as being a producer for Kendrick Lamar's current hit album To Pimp a Butterfly (for the track "Momma"); a regular contributor at the Low End Theory events; and, most importantly, as an incredibly prolific producer whose impressive catalog includes a long list of self-released cassettes, albums, and EPs for such labels as All City and Stones Throw. His latest album, Hud Dreems (pre-order on vinyl) was just released on Stones Throw.

The talented 26-year-old LA-based producer is a major fan of Amoeba Music and spends a lot of his spare time digging in the crates of Amoeba Hollywood for records with obscure sounds to sample. Naturally then the NJ born-and-raised producer was quite at home when he got invited to DJ a set at Amoeba Hollywood last month during Record Store Day celebrations at the Sunset Blvd. store. Around that same time I caught up with the producer to talk about making music, his new Stones Throw release, and of course crate digging at Amoeba - something he was more than happy to chat about.

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DJ Qbert & Yogafrog's Thud Rumble Join Intel For New DJ/Tech Innovation, Showcasing @ This Weekend's Maker Faire in San Mateo

Posted by Billyjam, May 15, 2015 01:15pm | Post a Comment

Thud Rumble - the ever pioneering Bay Area-based DJ music/technology company co-founded by DJ Qbert and Yogafrog two decades ago - continues its ever-innovative streak with the unveiling and demonstration of its latest creation: computing embedded DJ equipment and a sensor activated turntable using IntelR technology. A collaboration with Intel, the new technology will be showcased at this weekend's Maker Faire in San Mateo where visitors can experience experimental samples and prototypes. For this new creation Thud Rumble staffers, including Hard Rich, Qbert, and Yogafrog, have taken the IntelR ‘Edison board (a computer module the size of a postage stamp that includes a CPU, MCU, memory, storage, and built-in WiFi) and paired it with three commonly utilized DJ and production instruments – a Stanton STR8-150 turntable, a Native Instruments Kontrol S25 keyboard, and a Maschine by Native Instruments.

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R.I.P. B.B. King

Posted by Billyjam, May 15, 2015 06:19am | Post a Comment

"King of The Blues" B.B. King, the legendary American guitarist and singer/songwriter, died late last night at his Las Vegas home. He was 89 years of age and had enjoyed a prolific recording and performing career spanning seven decades. According to a report this morning by the Associated Press, who interviewed the blues icon's attorney Brent Bryson, King reportedly died "peacefully in his sleep at 9:40 p.m. PDT" last night (Thursday, May 14) with the local county coroner confirming the death, and that "funeral arrangements were underway" for the 15-time Grammy winner.

The son of sharecroppers, he was born Riley B. King on a Mississippi cotton plantation in 1925 but would go on to enjoy an illustrious lifelong career that  would include him performing at the White House in 2012 where the President of the United States would join him singing "Sweet Home Alabama." In that long legendary career, in which he got dubbed "the king of the blues" even though his music would transcend the blues, B.B. King recorded dozens of albums, won 15 Grammy awards, made his Gibson guitar a household name ("Lucille"), and introduced blues to a whole new audience in the '60s, all the while influencing a generation of guitar players, including a young Eric Clapton. He also earned a rep for working hard. Much like the late James Brown (aka "the hardest working man in showbiz") King had earned a rep for tirelessly gigging, typically between 250 days to 340 days out of the year. Although after turning 80 in 2005 he vowed to cut down to just 100 shows a year! In recent years poor health, mainly diabetes, had begun to take its toll on King who collapsed last October during a show in Chicago. Since then he had been in hospice care at his Nevada home.

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"Hardcore Architecture" Offers Revealing Peek At Where 1980's American Punk Angst Lived

Posted by Billyjam, May 14, 2015 03:00pm | Post a Comment

Hardcore Architecture'
s collection of photos of homes of the addresses of American hardcore punk bands of three decades ago offers a surprising and revealing peek at the actual locations where American 80's hardcore punk angst lived. And if, while browsing this engaging Tumblr page, that the addresses of these American punk bands would be mostly comfy looking middle-class suburban homes rather than say run down city squats, you would be right on point. For example the photo image above of the stately looking home is in fact the address Iowa punk band Pent Up Agression typed on the J-card cover of their 1985 cassette release Defining the Problem. They mailed the tape in hopes of review to MAMIMUMROCKNROLL (MRR) at the time who not only wrote a review but also published the band's contact address - which, three decades later, would provide the basis for the research of Hardcore Architecture's sleuths. Back in October 1985 in MRR issue #29 Tim Yohannan described Pent Up Agression's tape as packing "fast-as-hell, pissed political lyrics." To the late great punk ambassador Yohannan and his fellow MRR volunteers at the time back in eighties, no doubt, these typed or hand-written addresses on the cassettes that flooded their San Francisco PO Box would have been mostly just names of abstract locations. That was before the Internet. Hence why the current day Hardcore Architecture project involved simply inputting addresses via Google image searches to pinpoint the punk bands' matching addresses. Three decades later these homes, like the one above for  Des Moines' Pent Up Agression or below of fellow Iowa hardcore act Suburban Death Trip, have likely not changed too much.

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Hip-Hop History Tuesdays: Number One Hip-Hop Singles of 1991

Posted by Billyjam, May 12, 2015 08:30pm | Post a Comment
1991 was one good year for hip-hop! Proof lies in this week's Hip-Hop History Amoeblog in which we rewind 24 full years back to the Golden Era hip-hop year of '91 for a nice cross section of the popular hip-hop/rap singles for that year via the number Billboard rap songs of 1991 with the single's corresponding music videos presented below [two of the 24 tracks are audio-only versions]. As you'd expect from that definitive year in the genre there are many true hip-hop classics included here such as the Main Source's "Looking At The Front Door" (Wild Pitch/EMI) from that year's full-length Breaking Atoms which, starting on March 23rd, 1991, clocked in for three consecutive weeks as the number one hip-hop single in the country, UMC's' "Blue Cheese," the Geto Boys' timeless "Mind Playing Tricks On Me,"  Public Enemy's "Can't Truss It," and A Tribe Called Quest's perfect track "Check The Rhime" - the first of three single's off their groundbreaking second album The Low End Theory. Add to this ED O.G & DA Bulldogs "I Got To Have It," 3rd Bass' "Pop Goes The Weasel," and EPMD's "Gold Digger" as well as such cross over hits as Naughty By Nature's "O.P.P." and LL Cool J's two hit singles "Mama Said Knock You Out" and "Around The Way Girl."     

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