Amoeblog

New York State of Mind Amoeblog #88: Crotona Park Jams, Outdoor Movies, Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival, 4 Knots Music Festival & More

Posted by Billyjam, July 9, 2014 02:12pm | Post a Comment

Summer is officially well underway here in New York City with proof being that there are simply too many things going on simultaneously to possibly attend them all -  a good thing because every day there is a myriad of fun events (mostly free, and mostly outdoors) to chose from ranging from music concerts of all genres, to films in fun locations, to dance productions, and art shows, etc. These include the must-attend annual summer tradition of the Tools of War grassroots hip-hop produced Park Jams which take place in parks in the Bronx and Manhattan over the three main summer months on either Tuesday or Thursday late afternoon/early evenings. Since it's now July that means that the Park Jams, with the focus on the DJs, are happening at Crotona Park up in the Boogie Down Bronx - bringing the phenomenon, that gave birth to hip-hop four decades ago, back full circle. 

Last week, up until the summer thunderstorm kicked in the last quarter of the four-hour event, those entertaining included 1980's DMC champ DJ Cheese, "forever" host Grandmaster Caz, and legendary hip-hop DJ Jazzy Jay who is pictured top care of Ignacio Soltero. (Soltero also took photo above from one of last month's Spanish Harlem Tools of War Park Jams at White Park). Tomorrow (Thursday July 10) at the Crotona Park, Bronx location at the same time (4pm-8pm) the lineup will include DJ Cash Money, DJ Jazzy Joyce, and DJ Looie Loo. For full listings see flyer below or click here.

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The State of Turntablism/Skratch Music in 2011: Part 2 with Christie Z Pabon, DJ Slyce, DJ Quest, Snayk Eyez, DJ ALF, DJ Needlz, ThatKidNamedCee, & Jimmy The Hideous Penguin

Posted by Billyjam, October 7, 2011 12:26pm | Post a Comment
Coinciding with the ongoing 2011 DMC World DJ Championships happening currently in London, England at the 02 Arena's Indig02 this is the second in a two-part Amoeblog series on the current state of turntablism/skratch music (here's yesterday's Amoeblog). Note that the results for the DMC World DJ Championship battles (which end by midnight Friday, Oct 7th, UK time = 4pm West Coast time) will be published tomorrow in the Hip-Hop Weekly Rap Up Amoeblog. As you know turntablism is a musical form born out of hip-hop by the DJ but not given an actual name until  the mid nineties when DJ Babu coined the term turntablism to describe the DJ as a turntable manipulation artist - one as worthy of respect as any other musical instrumentalist. By that stage I personally had already been a convert for a good decade and a half to this infectious component of hip-hop music. In fact when I first heard hip-hop in its formative days I was drawn more to the DJ than the MC. And ever since I've been hooked on the sound of scratching and spellbound by beat juggling and all the other skilled moves that the DJ as mixer & turntable master so effortlessly throws down. To me this musical style, unique to hip-hop and whose pioneers included Kool Herc, Grandmaster Flash, and Grand Wizzard Theodore (creator of the scratch), has always been deserving of its own genre or at least sub-genre.  And as a diehard fan and supporter of DJ scratching from hip-hop's earliest days when I first heard in the late 70's through all the years later up to and beyond including that point when QBert altered the spelling of the word from scratch to skratch, I have thoroughly enjoyed closely following its evolvement; warmly witnessing turntablim/skratch music's creative growth as it blossomed with a seemingly never ending array of new sounds generated by an ever-progressing arsenal of new styles and techniques been added to this vibrant art form. 

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Hip-Hop Rap Up 09:24:10: Black Milk, Slaine (La Coka Nostra), Rob Swift, Roc Raida Tributes, Cool Nutz, Donwill, Ill Bill + DJ Muggs + More

Posted by Billyjam, September 24, 2010 11:00am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music Hollywood Weekly Hip-Hop Top Five Chart: 09:24:10


1) Black Milk Album of the Year (Fat Beats)

2) Eminem Recovery (Aftermath, Interscope, Shady)

3) The Roots How I Got Over (Def Jam)

4) Big Boi Sir Lucious Left Foot... The Son of Chico Dusty (Def Jam)

5) Black Eyed Peas The E.N.D. (Interscope)

Thanks to Ricky Ray Rivere at the Hollywood Amoeba Music for this week's hip-hop top chart, which features some releases that have been out for a minute -- most notably the still-going-strong Black Eyed Peas' summer 2009 album The E.N.D. "It's a singles driven market," noted Ricky, adding that the Peas "always have a current hit single it seems." One of the newer chart entries is Black Milk's recently released follow up album to Tronic, the twelve track Album of the Year on Fat Beats that most people seem to be feeling.

Last Sunday, Sept. 19th, 2010, marked the one-year anniversary of the tragic death of New York DJ extraordinaire Roc Raida of the X-Men/X-Ecutioners fame. He was a much loved champion DJ & gifted turntablist (and really nice guy). The occasion has been marked by many over the past week both online and in the clubs.

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Interview With Rob Swift About New Album The Architect (Ipecac)

Posted by Billyjam, March 1, 2010 11:45pm | Post a Comment
Rob Swift
Released last Tuesday, The Architect by DJ/producer Rob Swift (X-Men, X-Ecutioners, Ill Insanity) has been selling well at Amoeba Music. At the San Francisco store it charted at number three last week on the latest Top Five Chart. Put out by Mike Patton on his Ipecac Recordings, The Architect is the latest in a string of solo releases from the prolific turntable artist, who for this latest release constructed and modeled the album like a classical music composition.

In fact, The Architect is an ambitious project, even for an artist like Swift, who has made a career out of pushing the envelope with his innovative turntable-as-instrument recordings. The Architect, which he dedicated to his former X-Ecutioners band-mate Roc Raida, who died last year, is an excellent recording that raises the bar on turntablist/scratch albums.

I recently caught up with Rob Swift to ask him about the new album and how it came into being. "In June of 2008 I was in my bathroom shaving and my girlfriend, her name is Tess, walked into the bathroom and was like, 'I want you to listen to something. So she set up her iPod and little speakers and played a piece by Chopin for me. I forget what piece it was but I remember being blown away and been really touched and moved by this music I was listening to," he recalled. "So I finished shaving and came out of the bathroom and I was like, Tess you gotta play me more of that music. What is it? And she started to explain to me about classical music. And the funny thing is that all of us have been exposed to classical music at one time or another, whether in a movie or at Macy's in an elevator, or if you're watching commercials. So as much exposure as I have had to the genre of classical music, I don't think my mind and my heart was ready to accept it. But for some reason on that day in my bathroom, my heart was ready to embrace this genre."

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Amoeba Music Weekly Hip-Hop Round Up 02:26:10: Ras Kass, RasCue, Snoop, Ya Boy, Big Rich, Rob Swift, Dan the Automator, Freeway & Jake One, etc.

Posted by Billyjam, February 26, 2010 10:07am | Post a Comment

Amoeba Music San Francisco Weekly Hip-Hop Top Five Chart: 02:26:10



1) Big RIch & Ya Boy Guns & Roses EP (Black Card Music)




Big Rich & Ya Boy "Street N*gga" (2010)







2)  V/A Snoop Dogg presents West Coast Blueprint (Priority Records)


 
Kid Frost "La Raza" (West Coast Blueprint)







3) Rob Swift No The Architect (Ipecac)


   Rob Swift "The Architect" (title track)

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