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Shing02 Reports on NAMM 2011 Show @ Anaheim Convention Center, Jan 13-16

Posted by Billyjam, January 20, 2011 01:45pm | Post a Comment

NAMM 2011 Digest for the Amoeblog by Shing02 with Yamato Kaneko

Special to the Amoeblog by Shing02: Last week's four day NAMM 2011 Show at the Anaheim Convention Center in SoCal provided yet another fresh experience for attendees. Most of the new equipment from DJ-related brands had improvements based on last year's trend, compact digital control surfaces via MIDI for laptop software. It seems most of the software glitches are smoothed out, while more brands are gearing to encourage visual performances, such as innovative interfaces and video / mp4 mixers. There was a dazzling number of iPad apps / controllers on display, which I spared the viewer in the above video.

Personally, the most exciting surprise this year came from first-time participants downstairs in the sprawling convention center's Hall H. One was Reactable, a Barcelona -based company who has made significant upgrades to the interactive instrument, also popularized by Björk. The sophisticated design and intuitive interface welcomes users of all ages to be captivated for hours. (See video demo below from NAMM of this new technology that is billed as "the instrument that has changed the way we create and perform electronic music").

Another company was Emulator, who introduced a semi-translucent control surface for its Reaktor-based DJ software. The two companies both use a projector and smart capture techniques to detect movement. The Reactable projects the information from a laptop from underneath the table on to a plastic board,fader japan
then interprets the commands from fingers and blocks. The Emulator uses a digital screen that senses the projection and touches on a grid, much like a tablet. In the video below you'll see the demonstrator switch to a writing board while DJing, thus rendering shouting, "last call for alcohol!" into the mic obsolete in 2011.

In the near future, we can expect more infrared 3D movement capture and projection, for an experience like Minority Report.

Hip-Hop Rap Up 01:07:11: Ghostface #1, David Banner's Makeover, Madchild Banned in the USA, Louie Skaggs, Sims + More

Posted by Billyjam, January 7, 2011 07:07am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music San Francisco Weekly Hip-Hop Top Five Chart: 01:07:11


1) Ghostface Killah Apollo Kids (Def Jam)

2) Andre Nickatina & Tha Jacka My Middle Name Is Crime EP (I-Khan Distribution)

3) Kanye West My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam)

4) David Banner & 9th Wonder Death of a Pop Star (b.i.G.f.a.c.e. / Entertainment One Music)

5) Kid Cudi Man On The Moon 2: The Legend of Mr. Rager (Universal/Motown) 

Shout out to Luis at the San Francisco Amoeba store for supplying this week's top five chart. Since it's the first week of the new year, the chart entries are all late 2010 releases, with all but Kid Cudi and Kanye West dropping in December. Both Wu Tang Clan member Ghostface Killah's recommended, classic soul fueled Apollo Kids (Def Jam), which I wrote about in last week's Hip-Hop Rap Up, and David Banner & 9th Wonder's Death of a Pop Star (b.i.G.f.a.c.e. / Entertainment One Music) each dropped on December 21st and despite their release date (a period when typically albums get lost in the holiday madness) fans have managed to discover both wonderful releases.

Ghostface Killah "Drama (feat. Joell Ortiz & The Game)"  

David Banner & 9th Wonder "Slow Down (feat. Heather Victoria)" (2010)

While on the surface the pairing of mainstream rapper/producer David Banner with less mainstream North Carolina producer 9th Wonder might seem like an unlikely match, it is not. Banner's history dates back to Crooked Lettaz, his late nineties group that preceded his major label mainstream successes with such hits as "Play" and "Like A Pimp." And with this release, on which he has wisely fully relinquished all production duties to 9th Wonder, he marks a return to his roots. Deliberately titled Death of a Pop Star, Banner has connected with the smaller scale label Entertainment One (aka e One) -- formerly Koch -- in order to maintain more creative control (something he claims he did not have with the bigger labels).

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Hip-Hop Rap Up 07:30:10: Amoeba Hollywood Top 5 with Marques, KRS-One Amoeba Instore Review, Shing02 Interview + Live Music Guide

Posted by Billyjam, July 30, 2010 03:40pm | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music Hollywood Weekly Hip-Hop Top Five Chart: 07:30:10

Big Boi OutKast
1) Rick Ross Teflon Don (Def Jam)

2) Eminem Recovery (Aftermath, Interscope, Shady)

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

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

5) Drake Thank Me Later (Cash Money Records)

Special thanks to Marques at the Hollywood Amoeba Music store for this week's in-person Top Five Hip-Hop Chart (scroll down to see video clip) from the Sunset Blvd. store where I spent much of Wednesday and Thursday this week soaking in all the loveliness of being surrounded by so much music Damn but the huge, cavernous two-level Hollywood Amoeba is just so vast that you seriously need to pace yourself if you go shopping there. The hip-hop section alone, where I stumbled upon records and DVDs that I had never even seen before, is worth the trip.

Besides crate digging and talking music with a slew of impressively knowledgeable Hollywood Amoebites, I also had the honor of moderating Wednesday evening's Q&A session with The Teacha himself, Hip Hop KRS ONE + General Jefflegend KRS ONE, who, in support of his latest book, The Gospel of Hip Hop, came for an exclusive Amoeba Hollywood instore that involved him talking about his unique hip-hop history-meets- life- manual publication, and also responding to questions from myself and some Amoeba customers who had bought the KRS book. One such customer was General Jeff (pictured above with KRS) from the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council, who had a great question about homeless youth -- something that KRS, as a former homeless youth himself, enthusiastically responded to in enlightening detail.

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LOVE IS PRESSING A RECORD AS A TOKEN OF ETERNAL COMMITMENT

Posted by Billyjam, February 14, 2010 06:47pm | Post a Comment
Acco + Top Bill
Love is......well, love is many, many things, including, of course, the inspiration for innumerable songs. But perhaps the highest form of love is to make a record for the one you love as a token of your eternal commitment. Amoeblog reader and sometime contributor Acco, who lives in Japan and did the five part Graffiti in Yokohama Amoeblog series, did this when she got married to Top Bill some months back. For their wedding ceremony they had a special hip-hop song recorded and pressed up on 7" vinyl and nicely packaged to give away to guests at their wedding party.

The track, "Coupling Song," was produced by Top Bill, a Japanese hip-hop DJ/producer who lived for a short time in the Bay Area, with vocals by SoCal based Japanese transplant, producer/emcee Shing02, and with the song's hook sung by Emi Meyer. The design for the seven inch record and its packaging was all done by Acco, who told me that the idea for the record ties in with a Japanese tradition called Baumkuchen. "In the Japanese custom, we give Baumkuchen as gift at a marriage party. The Baumkuchen look similar to the rings of a tree. This mean a happiness to eternally." she said. "When I was a child, my mother told me that  'An old vinyl grow into Baumkuchen, it's very delicious.'" As pictured above, at the couple's wedding reception last October they played the "Coupling Song" single, which includes such romantic record-themed lyrics as "Every B needs an A, every B needs an A. Will you be my A? And I can be your B?" The full lyrics for this song appear below along with the audio for the vocal version. They pressed up 300 copies of the record (which has an instrumental version on side B) and saved some copies to give away but never sell.

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AMOEBA MUSIC WEEKLY HIP-HOP ROUND UP 01:29:10

Posted by Billyjam, January 29, 2010 07:00am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music Hollywood Weekly Hip-Hop Top Five Chart: 01:29:10

BlakRoc
1) BlakRoc Blakroc (V2/Cooperative)

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

3) Jay Z Blueprint 3 (Roc Nation/Atlantic)

4) Fashawn Boy Meets World (Loud)

5) Oh No Dr. No's Ethiopium (Stones Throw)

If the newest Amoeba Music Hollywood hip-hop chart above looks similar to the SoCal store's chart from three weeks ago, well, that's because it is exactly the same. All the top selling hip-hop releases from the past few weeks' weekly charts at the Hollywood store have been consistently selling well and hence holding steady in their respective chart slots at the Sunset Blvd. store. Both Jay-Z and the Black Eyed Peas' now months-old 2009 releases continue to sell phenomenally well, and not just at Amoeba but across the nation also. They are still simultaneously holding down spots on the Billboard Top 200 albums chart, ranking at #9 and #31 respectively on the national sales based chart. Meantime, instrumental versions of seven of the great tracks off the recommended self-titled BlakRoc album, composed and performed by The Black Keys for the emcees Mos Def, Raekwon, Pharoahe Monch, Ludacris, etc etc, were unveiled this week on the website The Black Keys Fan Lounge.

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