Fans of Gothenburg, Sweden's electronic pop band Little Dragon - especially those who have the unique quartet's current album Nabuma Rubberband on either CD or LP - will dig the new chopped and screwed, free remix version of the album that was unveiled today for free download on Adult Swim. The "ChopNotSlop" remix of the fourth ablum by the ever popular group, who have been nominated for a Grammy in the Best Dance / Electronic Album category for 2015, carries on the hella slowed-down remix production style pioneered by the late great DJ Screw.
This new remix was produced by Chopstar's OG Ron C and DJ Candlestick, who are major fans of the group and this album in particular. They felt it deserved to be given the ChopNotSlop treatment and transformed the album into a dreamy ethereal cloud, retitling the remix Nabuma Purple Rubberband. Then with the blessing of the group (who reportedly love the remix) and support from Adult Swim, the new version is now available for free streaming and free download. Meantime, if you do not already have the 12-track album (featuring songs such as the lead single "Klapp Klapp"), initially released last May care of Loma Vista Recording, you should get it from Amoeba on either CD or vinyl.
Little Dragon is bigger than ever! Not only is their new record, Nabuma Rubberband (Loma Vista Recordings), getting major buzz around the world, the band has also teamed up with RedBull for the Nabuma Derby! Fans have a chance to win tickets to see the band play Bonnaroo. There are two ways to win. First, build the fastest rubberband derby car and take home an exclusive Little Dragon prize pack. Second, upload a picture of your derby car to Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #NabumaDerby, and you could win two tickets to Bonnaroo (which is headlined this year by Elton John, Kanye West, Jack White and Vampire Weekend). Visit the Nabuma Derby site for details. Contest is being held now!
Little Dragon visited Amoeba Hollywood on Record Store Day and managed to sneak in some shopping. Of course they hung out and shared their findings with us! Yukimi and Erik kick things off with a couple of really cool shirts by jazz great Pharoah Sanders and '80s new wavers Devo. Yukimi digs up a classic twelve inch by Janet Jackson, the infamous "Got 'Til It's Gone." Legend has it the late great J.Dilla produced this hit, but credit was given to Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis! Clearly big fans of hip hop and R&B, Little Dragon also pick up Midnight Marauders by A Tribe Called Quest, which Erik calls the "best record in the world," and Destiny's Child's "Bootylicious" on vinyl. Check out the full episode for all their great finds!
Swans - To Be Kind (LP, Two-CD Set, Deluxe Two-CD/DVD Set, Download)
Swans records are more like happenings, unforgettable experiences you have to sit down and pay attention to. The two-hour To Be Kind, released 21 months after the similarly epic The Seer, is no exception. Sounds wriggle, writhe and heave on the hilariously titled “Screen Shot,” but Swans also seem to have more control than ever—these sounds are speaking to one another, albeit in some unspoken language, not creating a cacophony. The effect can be paralyzing. Listening to “Just a Little Boy (For Chester Burnett)” feels like staring into the darkest night, accompanied by a country sway and Michael Gira’s chants, which grow suddenly violent—“I’m just a little boy!” he cries repeatedly, while the guitars bellow and sigh with increasing pronunciation and sampled laughter ups the creep factor into Lynch territory. Gira growls “I need love” like it’s a threat. Meanwhile, “A Little God in my Hands” is Swans’ version of a pop song—thumping percussion (think Tom Waits) meets multiple voices singing over each other, while eerie backwoods instrumentation and sudden noise explosions burst out of nowhere but somehow still leave you bobbing your head along as Gira repeats evocative adjectives (“forever hateful, forever beautiful, forever needing, forever reaching”). It’s easy to attribute pagan imagery to Swans’ music and say it sounds like a sÃ©ance or something, but the 34-minute “Bring the Sun/Toussaint L’Overture” really does sound like the soundtrack to a sacrifice, or at least some wicked feast. Its slow, long build demands patience, but Gira’s always charismatic voice makes it worth the trip.
Record collectors and music fans of all stripes came together in the wee hours of April 19 outside of Amoeba Hollywood to get their hands on the super limited edition Record Store Day titles. Some of the hottest sellers of the morning included a glow in the dark Ghostbusters 10" by Ray Parker Jr, the R.E.M. Unplugged: The Complete 1991 and 2001 Sessions 4-LP box set, a Paramore "broken" 12", and the Cure/Dinosaur Jr split 7". Despite the early hours, there was plenty of enthusiasm, excitement, and camaraderie in the line. And lots and lots of coffee.
Watch our video below to see how the morning unfolded:
The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf generously provided coffee for the early birds, helping to fuel their stamina (and ours!).
Our Master of Ceremonies for the day was Mr. Brently Heilbron, a comedian, actor, and original host of our charity auctions, who now lives in Austin, TX.
One of the things I like about remixes is that they can bring new life into a track, make you hear it in an entirely different way. Remixes, like anything else, run the gamut and with the omnipresence of the remix these days there is a good chance of running into some crap ones too. But when they're good, they can be delicious. In fact, over the last few years I've come across a few remixes that I now prefer over their original tracks.
I'm in love with a new remix from LA/NYC band
Another example of a new remix I prefer over the original is a White Arrows remix of Active Child's "Johnny Belinda." The original track, from You Are All I See (Vagrant, 2011), has a completely different tempo and incorporates the faint stirrings of a choir of monks throughout. The remix maintains Pat Grossi's vocals, but alters the other elements completely. Download "Johnny Belinda (White Arrows Remix)."