Exactly one year ago today - September 3rd, 2012 - avid East Bay DJ/music collector, former Amoeba Berkeley employee, and KALX DJ Matthew Africa was killed in a car accident while driving with his wife coming back from Reno, Nevada to their Oakland home. At yesterday's Hiero Day in Oakland, a lot of folks I ran into were thinking of Matthew and recalling this time last year when the shocking news of his death began circulating 'round the Bay. Here is link to an Amoeblog post written at that time that's worth re-reading, Remembering Matthew Africa Through The Music He Loved. The post includes input from many friends touched by this man's life that was fueled by the music he loved so much.
E-Lit @ Amoeba Berkeley with an overview of new hip-hop releases week ending Oct 5, 2012
Ameoba Music Berkeley Hip-Hop Chart Week Ending 10:05:12
1) Lupe Fiasco Food & Liquor II: The Great American Rap Album Pt. 1 (Atlantic)
Amoeba Berkeley Hip-Hop Top Five: Week Ending 09:14:12
1) Casual Respect Game Or Expect Flames (Nature Sounds)
2) JJ DOOM Key to the Kuffs (Lex Records)
3) 2 Chainz Based on a T.R.U. Story (Deluxe Edition) (Def Jam)
4) Blu & Exile Give My Flowers While I Can Still Smell Them (Dirty Science)
5) Thavius Beck The Most Beautiful Ugly (Plug Records)
Thanks to the ever knowledgeable E-Lit at the Berkeley Amoeba for this latest top five chart and run down of many of the great new hip-hop releases dropping around now. These include the highly recommended new Casual album Respect Game Or Expect Flames on Nature Sounds in which he wisely teams up with skilled producer J-Rawls (J-Live, Black Star, Count Bass D etc.) plus some mic collaborators like fellow Hiero crew member Del The Funky Homosapien who appears on the title track of Respect Game or Expect Flames. As usual E-Lit has many great tips on new music in both CD and vinyl formats, including lots of indie/underground hip-hop, in this week's video clip above. These include the new A-Trak 12" single (one side has a collab with Danny Brown), the new anticipated Blu & Exile album Give My Flowers While I Can Still Smell Them on Dirty Science, Dark Time Sunshine's full length (scroll down to see newly released music video from this Four Tet released ANX album), and the very underground CD (at a budget price too) from Mind + US & DJ Hoppa Everything is A-OK which, as E-Lit points out, includes tracks such as one dedicated to a dead cat and another to girls who like to smoke weed.
For his latest release the ever-evolving San Francisco turntablist / producer and "synth-freak" Teeko Shimon (aka DJ Teeko) has taken things a little further and deeper into the land of funk via his new collaboration with fellow San Francisco artist B. Bravo (of Bayonics and solo fame): The Starship Connection EP on Frite Night. Teeko describes the collab, that drops next week on September 18th, as " West Coast-inspired funk, modern dance music and classic analog electronics."
Teeko has really advanced and grown as an artist over the years from his days on the skratch DJ scene to his role in 4OneFunk and F.A.M.E. B. Bravo has appeared on compilations from Gilles Peteresonʼs label, Tokyo Dawn as well as solo release on Londonʼs Earnest Endeavours label and together with Teeko (for this new Frite Nite release) he finds good company. Together B. Bravo and Teeko serve up a nice fat slab of funk on The Starship Connection EP which is being released by Frite Nite next Tuesday.
"RIP to one of the best beat diggers, djs, and all around nicest dudes in the game. You will be missed, but your spirit will live on brotha."
The above comment, posted by Tha Megatron online yesterday, is just one of the literally hundreds of tributes that have been written about beloved Bay Area DJ Matthew Africa who was tragically killed last Monday (9/3) in a car crash. Since Thursday last, when the shocking news of this well-known and well-liked DJ's sudden death began circulating, friends and fans from the Bay and beyond have been mourning his passing through memories of the music that Matthew himself loved so much and happily shared via his radio shows, blogs, 2 Busy Sayin’ Yeah or Stay Hatin podcasts, club sets, and mixtapes. That comment by Tha Megatron was posted on the MixCrate page for Matthew Africa's final mix, "Matthew Africa: Plays Seven Inches," made a few weeks ago. On August 14th, the tireless crate-digging Bay Area DJ made what would be the last entry on his blog. And in true Matthew Africa fashion, it was all about music and records, and about how he was really looking forward to spinning 45s at the upcoming weekend's 45 Sessions - both to play records and to hang out with fellow music fanatics/DJs like DJ Platurn, E Da Boss, DJ Enki, and Joe Quixx.