Amoeblog

Essential Records: The Pharcyde's 'Bizarre Ride II'

Posted by Billyjam, November 17, 2014 02:23pm | Post a Comment

The Pharcyde

Each person has their own personal way to judge and rate the music they love. For me the criteria for rating an LP an "Essential Record" includes two key qualities: first, it's an all killer, no filler album (no temptation to ever skip over any track); and secondly, it is such a quality release that it doesn't age one bit over time (the timeless factor). Sometimes an Essential Record gets even better over the years. Such is the case with The Pharcyde's remarkable 1992 debut album, Bizarre Ride II (Delicious Vinyl), which sounds even more amazing today than it did when I first heard it 22 years ago. I say this after playing the 57 minute record from start to finish twice in a row today, having not listened to it in a few years. Damn, that J-Swift-produced album is so incredibly good! It's packed with soul, passion, and richly varied but cohesive beats and flows - from jazzy to old school to next generation - with varying BPMs. But, most notably, the album was totally unlike anything else at the time.

In late 1992, the SoCal-based Delicious Vinyl record label released Bizarre Ride II within just a few weeks oThe Pharcyde Ya Mamaf fellow LA based hip-hop artist Dr. Dre's G-Funk classic, The Chronic. While the two landmark hip-hop releases may have been linked by timeline and geography, they could not have been further apart in sound and style. Even Bizarre Ride's wild, fun, cartoonish cover art set it apart as a record that did not take itself too seriously. The album effuses a feeling of nonstop fun all the way through, as proven by the numerous impromptu-sounding hilarious studio bits that were mixed in or left in the final recording, like at the end of "Ya Mama" where they are just riffing off of each other. Unique, too, is how many of the "skits" on Bizarre Ride sound like songs, such as the 2:10 long "Quinton's on the Way (Skit)" which is like a Louis Armstrong inspired jazz song that captures the guys having fun in the studio with their different sounding voices and tones perfectly in contrast with each other.

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DJ Woody's Excellent New Video Mix Shows His Love of '90's Hip-Hop & Pop Culture

Posted by Billyjam, September 4, 2012 10:03am | Post a Comment
          

           Big Phat 90's Mixtape from DJ Woody on Vimeo.

DJ Woody  is an amazingly gifted DJ who works in both audio and  video formats - and expertly in each. The UK DJ, who came to fame as an accomplished battle DJ (ITF, DMC, Vestax), not only impressively utilizes the the video scratch/mix format in the hip-hop DJ turntable tradition but this this gifted guy manages to take it  to a whole other next level. This skill he instantly demonstrates in his latest mind-blowing audio/video production above, Big Phat 90's Mixtape which is a pleasing flashback to the highlights (hip-hop and pop culture) of that bygone decade's years with many featured tracks from the first part of the decade - aka the latter half of hip-hop's much heralded Golden Era.

The instantly engaging, brand new, intricately assembled 45-minute, audio visual production is made in "video mixtape" format and, as such, is equally enjoyable to just listen to or watch and listen. Big Phat 90's Mixtape is also the 35 year DJ's salute to his favorite decade: the 1990's - hip-hop and beyond.  Fresh back in the UK from some doing some gigs in Russia over the weekend I caught up with the British talent born Lee Woodbine to ask him a few questions on hip-hop in the 90's,  and also what went into making this impressive video music mix.

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Albums Picks, New Albums Out Today: Twin Shadow, Holograms, Aesop Rock and More

Posted by Billy Gil, July 10, 2012 01:01pm | Post a Comment
Album Picks:

Twin Shadow ConfessTwin Shadow – Confess
 
I must “confess” that I was a big old sucker for Twin Shadow’s first album. One of those “I’m wired to like it” kind of things. George Lewis Jr.’s second album has some of the same slow-motion bittersweet nostalgia thing that made the first album so great, but it also comes alive with a new romantic swagger that previously was just implied by the music. His songs have lost none of their immaculate detail, though. “Golden Light” is immediately memorable for its big chorus, with Lewis at the peak of his Phil Collins/Peter Gabriel style of throaty, emotive vocals, but the verses are impeccably put together, too. First single “Five Seconds” has the same sort of “Boys of Summer” rush that Forget’s “Slow” had, but it’s no cheap retread — it sounds taken apart and put back together, as Lewis unleashes his pipes at unexpected moments, and the whole thing has such a wonderful hushed tension that it’s enthralling throughout. Confess shows Lewis can really go for it pop-wise while still engaging listeners with layered songs and well-considered production choices.
 

hologramsHolograms – Holograms
 
Really great, ferocious stuff from Sweden’s Holograms. “Monoliths” plays its goth cards early, with foreboding riffs and similarly indignant vocals that seem to call out some impending tragedy, which comes in the form of the song’s second two-thirds, a straight-ahead rush of focused guitar energy punctuated by belted vocals. “Chasing My Mind” meanwhile has an almost comically simple and upfront synth riff that the band then undermines with its weird yelp vocals and riffery — which comes out an improbably perfect concoction. Seems like this year’s Iceage. More European post-hardcore, please.

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DJ ICEWATER INTERVIEW

Posted by Billyjam, June 2, 2009 01:08pm | Post a Comment
DJ Icewater

Some may have just recently come to know of DJ Icewater as the tour DJ for the reunited Pharcyde. Others may long know the skilled Los Angeles born, Bay Area based DJ from his countless, always amazing mixtape CDs, which earned him, along with DJ Cobra, the "Mixtape DJ Of The Year" title at the Tech.nitions Conference in 2003. Some might remember him from his time as a Bay Area college radio DJ, be aware of him from his affiliation with the Solesides/Quannum or the Living Legends crews or maybe from his collaboration with such acts as the Bash Brothers, or from having been the live DJ for Shing02.

Some might even know him from the numerous acts he worked with in an audio engineer's capacity, including Lyrics Born, Jern Eye, and Keelay & Zaire. In sum, odds are that if you are a hip-hop fan, you've most likely stumbled up this talented DJ/producer's work somewhere along the way. He has been putting it down since 1995 and nowadays also does video live mixing. Busy juggling several projects, DJ Icewater recently took time out to chop it up with the Amoeblog.
DJ Icewater Shing02 Mix CD
Amoeblog:
How and when exactly did you first get into DJing?

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