Monday, May 30, 2011

Semtek: TBC

When I was a kid, I would always hear stories and read books about the year 2000 being a time of futuristic cars that fly and houses heavily equipped with computers and having sliding doors like you see at supermarkets.

That being said, "TBC" is a tune by Semtek that makes you feel like you're in a time as described above. In celebrating this new release, that also included a show with an impressive line-up this past weekend, Jus' Like Music Records is letting fans have this cool tune for FREE. Now, rush on over to the Don't Be Afraid Bandcamp page and get it. Enjoy!

Friday, May 27, 2011

R.I.P. Gil Scott-Heron

Gilbert "Gil" Scott-Heron
(April 1, 1949 – May 27, 2011)

It always saddens me to find out when a musical architect makes their transition into the spirit realm. Earlier today, Gil Scott-Heron passed away at St. Luke's Hospital in New York City after falling ill, upon returning from a European trip.

Scott-Heron was a poet, musician and author, who gave himself the "bluesologist" moniker, and like many of his peers, credited with helping to lay the foundation for Hip-Hop. His collaborative efforts with Brian Jackson featured a musical fusion of African rhythms, Jazz, Blues and Soul music, as well as lyrical content concerning social and political issues of the time, delivered in both rapping and melismatic vocal styles by Scott-Heron.

Scott-Heron's recording work is often associated with black militant activism and has received much critical acclaim for one of his most well-known compositions "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised". His poetic style has been influential upon every generation of hip hop since his popularity began. In addition to being widely considered an influence in today's music, Scott-Heron remained active until his death, and in 2010 released his first new album in 16 years, entitled I'm New Here. Gil Scott-Heron will be greatly and dearly missed.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

AFTA-1: Mansion

Thanks to the guys over at Str8NoChaser, I had the pleasure of meeting Los Angeles based producer and visual artist Afta-1, who's currently visiting Houston. "Afta" chatting with him and a few photos, I got myself hand crafted, numbered copies of the H(eye)land and Form albums. Being such a big fan of Afta-1, i'm surprised H(eye)land got past me. Don't want to be a sleeper.

Saturn Never Sleeps: Tory

Since June 2009 Saturn Never Sleeps, composed of the legendary Philly natives DJ/Producer King Britt and Rucyl, formerly of the G.O.A.T.S. [a 90's Hip-Hop group], who calls herself a sci-fi singer, both have been cooking up some tasty treats together since. The trek continues on with their latest single "Tory" which will be part of the Yesterday's Machine project that drops this summer. Get your first taste of what to expect with a FREE download from this talented duo in the player below and visit for some extra goodies. Enjoy!

Shisa Boy: Uzoyimela

Shisa Boy (l) & DJ Clock (r)

Currently, South African native Shisa Boy is tearing up the airwaves with his Kwaito hit "Uzoyimela". If you love House music, i'm sure you'll love the sound of Kwaito and the artists who perform it. Enjoy!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

MeeMee Nelzy: Comme Un Lotus [Buscrates 16-Bit Remix]

This is a tune I must put on my next installment of Soul Blendz in the next few days. MeeMee Nelzy, who hails from Paris, France, blesses us with her lovely vocals "en Français". The original version of "Comme Un Lotus" [means "Like A Lotus"] appears on her Âme Nouvelle album. The track for this remix is courtesy of Pittsburgh pad pounder Buscrates 16-Bit Ensemble. Enjoy!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Beat Torrent: Skrillex vs Noisia vs Busta Rhymes

I got hipped to this wicked tune by Beat Torrent via my friend from France named Skeezo Phonik after he posted it on Facebook. My comment on his page was; "Will somebody help me find my mind? I just lost it." An incredible mash-up by an extraordinary DJ crew who also represents France. Vocals are crafted by a well versed (pun intended) Hip-Hop emcee, none other than the lyrical machine gun Busta Rhymes. After your ear holes take this in to create massive brain waves, you'll understand why I commented as I did. Fasten your seat belts and Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Muhsinah: How Great

Many people stateside think that mainly Go-Go and funk come from the capitol city of Washington D.C. The monumental city also houses some fantastic soul music that moves the spirit, as well as your feet. Jill Scott is not the only one who's living life like it's golden, because Muhsinah , pleasantly nicknamed "The Golden Girl", proves that she is with her silky, euphoric vocals, as well as her gift to produce.

Currently, she's about to release and EP titled Gone. As an appreciation for continued support from fans, she's offering her first single "How Great" as a gift. Pay a visit to to download. While you're there, make her feel extra special by voting for her to open for Jennifer Hudson at the Soul Beach Music Festival in Aruba on Memorial Day weekend. Follow Muhsinah on Twitter, then share this info with friends and tag the post with #TeamMusinah.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

DJ Kool Emdee LIVE @ Azul Lounge 4/22/11

This is a LIVE DJ set I did a couple of weeks ago at my weekly residency called Azul Lounge here in Houston. Plenty of Soul, Hip-Hop and Old School goodies. Get it for FREE! Enjoy!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Happy Birthday: Stevie Wonder

Stevie Wonder (born May 13, 1950 as Steveland Hardaway Judkins, later changed to Morris) is a singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer and activist who signed with Motown Records' Tamla label at the age of eleven, after being discovered by Gerald White, brother of Ronnie White of The Miracles.

By age 13, Wonder had a major hit, "Fingertips (Pt. 2)", a 1963 single taken from a live recording of a Motor Town Revue performance, issued on the album Recorded Live: The 12 Year Old Genius. The song, featuring Wonder on vocals, bongos, and harmonica, and a young Marvin Gaye on drums, was a #1 hit on the U.S. pop and R&B charts and launched him into the public consciousness.

Wonder's songs are renowned for being quite difficult to sing. He has a very developed sense of harmony and uses many extended chords utilizing extensions such as 9ths, 11ths, 13ths, b5s, etc. in his compositions. Many of his melodies make abrupt, unpredictable changes. Many of his vocal melodies are also melismatic, meaning that a syllable is sung over several notes. Some of his best known and most frequently covered songs are played in keys which are more often found in jazz than in pop and rock. For example, "Superstition", "Higher Ground" and "I Wish" are in the key of E flat minor, and feature distinctive riffs in the E flat minor pentatonic scale (i.e. largely on the black notes of the keyboard).

Wonder played a large role in bringing synthesizers to the forefront of popular music. He developed many new textures and sounds never heard before. In 1981, Wonder became the first owner of an E-mu Emulator. With the soundtrack album Journey Through The Secret Life of Plants (1979), featured in the film The Secret Life of Plants. Mostly instrumental, the album was composed using the Computer Music Melodian, an early sampler. Wonder toured briefly in support of the album, and used a Fairlight CMI sampler on stage.

Stevie Wonder has recorded more than thirty U.S. top ten hits and received twenty-two Grammy Awards, the most ever awarded to a male solo artist. Wonder is also noted for his work as an activist for political causes, including his 1980 campaign to make Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday a holiday in the United States. In 2009, Wonder was named a United Nations Messenger of Peace. In 2008, Billboard magazine released a list of the Hot 100 All-Time Top Artists to celebrate the US singles chart's fiftieth anniversary, with Wonder at number five. Between 1983 and 2009, Wonder has also won numerous other awards and received recognition.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

DJ Artistic: Generations Podcast 008

OK gang. Here's a mix from San Diego based producer DJ Artistic, who's done some delicious tracks for the Hip-Hop and Soul group Deep Rooted, also of the SD. Go ahead and get your ears full and share with friends. It's a FREE download. Enjoy!

Twitter: DJ Artistic

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Brother Spanky: Soul Beauty Vol. 2: The Love EP

I'm certainly glad that many artists are making the word love the main focus of recent projectds that are coming out. With that being said, Washington D.C. based composer Brother Spanky does his bit with Soul Beauty Vol. 2: The Love EP, which came out a few days ago. After listening to the entire album, I would say he's more like a Raphael Saadiq meets Wyclef, with a blend of Brand New Heavies. You can follow Brother Spanky on Twitter for more updates and such. Enjoy!

Moby: Destroyed (Album)

For some odd reason, I had always thought that Moby was from the UK for a long time. I guessed it was from having several releases on UK record labels, as well as his vocal delivery on his tunes, made it seemed as if he had a European accent.

Anyway, after having the most successful electronica album [Play (1999)] in the history of the genre (selling more than 10 million copies worldwide), he's back for 2011 with Destroyed. Just yesterday he released one single, "The Day" via and iTunes, and the rest of the album will drop in a few days...or so. Be sure to visit his website because there's a great freebie as well. Enjoy!

Happy Birthday: Judith Jamison

I know this is not a music artist, however this is an important artist who is music related and an important figure in the world of dance. Dancer, choreographer and professor Judith Jamison, born May 10, 1943 in Philadelphia, PA, got her start in the world of dance as a child at the Judimar School of Dance, then later attending Fisk University. She left Fisk to attend the Philadelphia Dance Academy, where she eventually became a visiting professor.

In 1964, Jamison made her New York City debut when Agnes de Mille of the American Ballet Theatre invited her to dance in "The Four Marys". In 1965, Jamison moved to New York and joined the Alvin Ailey Dance Company and later became a principle dancer. In 1971 Ailey choreographed Cry for Jamison, a 15 minute solo piece that expressed the struggles of black women. It is one of her signature pieces.

Jamison left Ailey dance company in 1980 to star in Sophisticated Ladies, a Broadway musical based on some of Duke Ellington's music. Tap great Gregory Hines was also part of that roster.

Jamison returned to Ailey's company and choreographed many of her own dances, her premier piece Divining, in 1984, and other works include Just Call Me Dance (1984), Into the Life (1987), Hymn (1993), Sweet Release (1996), and Double Exposure (2000).

When Alvin Ailey died in 1989, Jamison was named Artistic Director of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, where she continues to choreograph dances. She published her autobiography "Dancing Spirit" in 1993. Jamison's numerous awards include Kennedy Center Honors (1999) and the National Medal of Arts (2001). She won a prime time Emmy Award and an American Choreography Award for Outstanding Choreography for the PBS "Great Performances: Dance In America" special, "A Hymn for Alvin Ailey."

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Dezaray Dawn: Deep EP

Time to cue the fanfare because the lovely and talented Dezaray Dawn is releasing her Deep EP on all digital outlets, via Sol Heir Music on May 31st. On her website she posted a preview of one of the tracks titled "Sail Away", which is produced by veteran UK producer Marc Mac of 4 Hero fame. I have a good feeling this tune will set the European airwaves on fire this summer. Stay tuned!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Modern Groove Assembly: May Podcast

I was pleasantly surprised to see Modern Groove Assembly having a page on Facebook and more delighted to see he uploaded this massive podcast that sounds heavenly. I really loved the tunes he dropped on Kajmere Sounds some years back, but he's showing he's not leaving anytime soon. Other than the delicious flavor in this mix, it's extra sweet that you can download it for FREE and upload to your mp3 player and take it on the go. Enjoy!

Be sure to visit

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Evil Needle: Cirrostratus

Some head nod goodness from French beat maker Evil Needle. For a limited time you can get the Cirrostratus full length as a FREE download via his Bandcamp page. Here are two of my favorite tracks from the LP. Enjoy!

AFTA-1 & Cazeaux Oslo: Marvelous Magical Jackobious Son (A Sweaterless Suite)

Los Angeles based producer AFTA-1 teams up with vocalist Cazeaux Oslo for a reinterpretation of two Michael Jackson songs ("Don't Spot Til You Get Enough" & "PYT"), dedicated to his memory. You can purchase the track via their Bandcamp page. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Joe Bataan: Under The Streetlamps (Anthology 1967-72)

Fania records has recently released an anthology of Joe Bataan tunes dating from 1967 - 1972. Bataan left the label in 1972. In 1973 he coined the term "salsoul", which ended up being the title of his first LP in 1973. Bataan would eventually go on to be co-founder of Salsoul Records and recorded three albums; Afro-Filipino (1975), Mestizo (1980) and II (1981).


01) Subway Joe
02) I'm Satisfied
03) Young Gifted and Brown
04) I'm No Stranger
05) Freedom
06) Too Much Lovin'
07) Gypsy Woman
08) Ordinary Guy
09) What Good Is A Castle
10) My Opera
11) If I Were A King
12) Under The Street Lamp
13) Make Me Smile
14) Magic Rose
15) Special Girl
16) So Young Too Young
17) Uptown
18) It's A Good Feeling (Riot)
19) Coco-e
20) Latin Soul Square Dance

Justice Allah: Bullsh8

Powerful new tune from my good friend Justice Allah of 144 Elite/South Park Coalition (SPC), who's a rapper/songwriter, producer, community activist and radio show host. As a student of Hip-Hop and helping to bridge the gap between the old and new schools, Justice remains true to the artistry by telling the stories of what's going on in our communities and the world as a whole. Not only is he talking about it, he's also doing something about it. Peep the lyrical content and don't fall for the "Bullsh8". Enjoy!

Happy Birthday: James Brown

James Joseph Brown (May 3, 1933 – December 25, 2006), referred to as "The Godfather of Soul", has been recognized as one of the most iconic figures in the 20th century popular music and was renowned for his vocals and feverish dancing. He was also called "the hardest-working man in show business".

A prolific singer, songwriter, dancer and bandleader, Brown was a pivotal force in the music industry, leaving his mark on numerous artists. During the height of the golden age of hip hop, Brown's work found new life in the form of digital sampling; he would go on to become the most sampled artist in the history of the genre. Brown's music also influenced the rhythms of African popular music, such as afrobeat, jùjú and mbalax, and provided a template for go-go music.

Brown began his professional music career in 1956 and rose to fame during the late 1950s and early 1960s on the strength of his thrilling live performances and string of smash hits. In addition to his acclaim in music, Brown was also a presence in American political affairs during the 1960s and 1970s.

Brown was recognized by numerous titles, including Soul Brother Number One, Sex Machine, Mr. Dynamite, The Hardest Working Man in Show Business, The King of Funk, Minister of The New New Super Heavy Funk, Mr. Please Please Please Please Himself, I Feel Good, and foremost The Godfather of Soul. In the song "Sweet Soul Music" by Arthur Conley, he is also described as the King of Soul.

"Give It Up or Turnit A Loose" called the "National Anthem of Hip-Hop" by Kurtis Blow.

"The Funky Drummer", the most sampled tune ever.

Monday, May 2, 2011