Monday, August 24, 2009

New K'Naan Mixtape

When a nasty producer and one of the hottest mc's on the scene use three of the biggest musical protest icons ever to live as inspiration, this happens: The Messengers, an ep featuring Somali rapper K'Naan and Okayplayer producer J. Period. Remixes of tracks from Bob Marley, Bob Dylan, and Fela Anikulapo Kuti will be released in four segments with a comprehensive release coming later. Check out the first three tracks here.

BLK JKS Album Release Party @ SOB's-9/8

THE baddest music promoter in the city, Manchild Black, is presenting South African rockers BLK JKS September 8th at SOB's to celebrate the release of their new album, After Robots. BLK JKS' multi-faceted sound combines ska, dub reggae, pop, rock, psychedelic, jazz and blues leaving everyone in the audience happy, impressed and ready for more. Coming from South Africa, they represent a long history of musical innovation and ingenuity. More than anything else, they represent the NEW South Africa with an updated consciousness and contemporary, global sound.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Two Dope Shows This Saturday Night

A dilemma that faces many New Yorkers every weekend: two parties that will blow your funky mind on the same night. This Saturday, that very problem will be testing my funkability with these two jams:

Planet Rump-The Booty Crisis

Saturday, August 15th
10pm - $7
Public Assembly (front room) 70 N. 6th St.
Williamsburg, Brooklyn
L to Bedford

Planet Rump is a new monthly dance party hosted by musician/DJ/promoter collective Planet Rump. Every third Saturday at Public Assembly, expect to see the freshest funkiest livest acts on the electro/dance/hip-hop scene. Kicking off the new party, we present Claire Hux, a hype Baltimore club duo with plenty of bass, booty and baby powder to spread around. Then Planet Rump will perform original club bangers using just a casio keyboard, some secret pedals, and 3 mics. Finally, Purple Crush will blast the party to freestyle bliss with catchy electro house that bumps, pops, and glides all over the dancefloor. Planet Rump DJs will keep you dancing between sets. It's a futuristic party from the past.

The Sound Liberation Festival
Saturday, August 15th
2pm-2am-$18, advance $15. Advance tickets available through
Littlefield-622 Degraw St (between Third and Fourth Aves)
Gowanus, Brooklyn
Subway: M, R to Union St

The Sound Liberation Front, devotees of “the power of music as a socially liberating and unifying cultural force,” tosses a full-scale party in Brooklyn’s copacetic art-and-performance space Littlefield. The event kicks off with the Sound Liberation Family Jam—a DJ workshop from DubSpot, dance instruction by the Afro Mosaic Soul Collective and similar activities for the young’uns. At 7pm, the party proper kicks in, featuring sets from the venerable hip-hop trio Brand Nubian, Afro-electro combo Chico Mann, dub producer Ticklah, Boogie Down Productions DJ Kenny Parker, the Rub’s Cosmo Baker, Libation’s Ian Friday and others. Go to for more info.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Album Review: Aphrodesia-Precious Commodity

Precious Commodity, the new album by Aphrodesia out July 8, 2009 on Shackrobeat Records, is an infectiously funky, diverse album that leaves you no choice but to get up dance while listening. Aphrodesia is a politically opinionated Afro-funk collective out of San Francisco, CA that has a reputation for their electric stage presence and ability to master a variety of African musical styles.

Aphrodesia came into existence as a band in 2003 in the "backyard shack" of bassist Ezra Gale. Their sound has always been powerful and innovative fueled by funked out guitar lines and churning percussion with an industrial-strength horn section belting out section lines and solos. What sets Aphrodesia apart perhaps the most are their female lead vocalists. Afrobeat was created as, and has been for the most part continued to be, a male-dominated genre where female voices were secondary, backup accompaniment, to the male lead vocals. As they've always been unafraid to do, Aphrodesia turns that institution on its head.

Their feminist, anti-establishment leanings extend past their arrangements and into their song lyrics throughout Precious Commodity. The song's title track is an allusion to prostitution in SE Asia. "The song is the story of this trans-continental sex trade, a kind of mockery of this old game where man thinks he is winning," explains singer and songwriter Lara Maykovich. "Power and money are evidently not the final quench. The thirst is satisfied by a more precious commodity. Sex, our most powerful possession and that which connects us to the unstoppable nature that man will never control. We began to think about the West's misconceptions on what is of value. The fear-driven mass of consumption, our denial of death that obstructs us from seeing what is truly precious.”

Aphrodesia as a whole takes on Maykovich's identity--her voice, the range of African styles and languages in which she sings, her forthright and dynamic style. Having spent time in Zimbabwe and Ghana, she brings an ingenuity to the band making it more than just an afrobeat band. That ingenuity is accentuated and replicated by the rest of the band who adhere to the same heterogeneous approach and philosophy.

Precious Commodity is a sensational album that continues Aphrodesia's trend of albums that push the genre of afrobeat to new levels. Incorporating instruments like thumb pianos and broadening their approach to their style has allowed for the group to make an album that is truly phenomenal. The album is available on Itunes as well as at You honestly do not have to be a fan of afrobeat, African music, world music, or whatever other label people you don't like to be associated with to enjoy this album. It is simply great music that is accessible to anyone.