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Kono Michi

6 Nov

Attempting to review music while your wife and son are jamming to The Beatles Rockband is like making a suicide at a fountain dispenser–taking a hit from each flavor of soda you get a little taste of this, a little taste of that, but it’s all really just a blur. Not the ideal situation to be sure. I’m gonna go get my headphones….ah, that’s much better.

Kono Michi is a concert violinist with a beautiful voice and a knack for writing interesting songs. And excuse the blasphemy I’m about to embark on, but I find her voice warmer and more pleasant than that of Annie Clark’s (St. Vincent). If that’s even possible!

Violins open her track “My Monster,” then her vocals glide in, the strings drop out and a slow drumbeat thunders in. And like that you’re hooked. A deep male voice rolls in with the violin again, la-la-la-la-la-ing along, and the song kind of turns into a duet between Kono Michi and the monster on the cover. He sounds like a gentle fellow, and like she sings in the song, as long as they’re singing along, they’re getting along. Maybe a good relationship healer. Feeling sour towards your partner? Sing a song or two together!

If you’re not yet moved to give Kono Michi a try, then check out the video for “You are the First.” It’s a DIY stop-motion effort in which Kono Michi, a Brooklynite, traveled 6,000 miles across the country photographing herself jumping in the air so it looks as if she’s floating around. If that doesn’t mesmerize you for a few minutes, then you’re a sad, jaded soul and I feel for you…

My Monster [MP3]
You are the First [MP3]


17 Oct

The title to the album’s opener is antithetical to what’s happening around us economically. Not many people feel as if they’re living a charmed life these days. But the song’s about holding it together despite the mayhem that circles around us. “‘Charmed Life’ is about struggling to maintain sanity when it seems like the world around you is falling apart,” says Aaron Livingston, the vocal half of Icebird. Add RJD2′s production skills and beat-making abilities and you’ve got the makings of a musical opiate that’ll soothe the soul no matter what ails you.

The album, The Abandoned Lullaby, dropped last week and you can get a taste of another track via video below. And if you’re looking to add some charm to your life, RJD2 has offered up individual tracks to “The Charmed Life” for your remixing pleasure. If Icebird likes your remix best, they’ll set you up with some goodies. Details here.

Charmed Life

Going and Going and Going – RJD2 Remix


2 Mar

It’s been almost four years since Bonobo (aka Simon Green) dropped a full-length on our ears, so pardon me if I get all giddy on you with this post. Bonobo gets heavy rotation in my mixes and iPod for their timeless, jazzy goodness. Like the right jacket, his music can class up any occasion. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t been craving some new material. Two tracks from the forthcoming Black Sands album have been released so far, both featuring sultry guest vocalist Andreya Triana (whose pipes graced Flying Lotus’s Reset EP) and both have me salivating for more. If these two flavors any indication, we’ll see some interesting range from our man come the end of March.

Below you’ll find the video for “The Keeper” and both an album edit and a bumpin’ Warrior One remix of “Eyesdown” for your downloading pleasure.

Speaking of remixes, Bonobo is flipping the remix contest script and offering his remix talents to the song that gets the most votes. Get in on Bonobo’s own version of March Madness at (may the best bot, er…artist, win).



2 Nov

The title of this first UltraChorus track reminds me of my five-year-old. He started talking later than most children do and he often uses his own syntax and vocabulary (he named his stuffed puppy LLPP, pronounced “lil-lip”). When he gets tired of listening to me, or anyone for that matter, he’ll shake his hands and say, “Too many words, Dad.” We’ve quickly adapted, for better or for worse, his version of English and whenever we’re bored of anyone’s verbal tirades, anytime their words keep talking and we’ve stopped listening, we shake our hands and repeat our kid’s mantra. Their single artwork offers a keen graphic representation of this “too many words” phenomenon.

Musically, I can’t get enough of UltraChorus. These boys from Minneapolis have got pep! Chris from the band used to be in Sukpatch, and his latest project is an extension of the bedroom beats he cranked out for Grand Royal way back in the ’90s. Add the words “bubblegum disco” to the mix and you’ve got an idea of the party this duo dishes out.


Ruckus Roboticus

18 Sep

At 28, Dan Haug, aka Ruckus Roboticus, is the youngest DJ to be inducted into the elite forces of Solid Steel, Coldcut’s famed radio programme (as they spell it in the UK) and podcast…if my math is right. One thing I’m sure of, he’s the only DJ from Dayton, Ohio, to roll with Solid Steel. I discovered him in catching up with my podcasts and his last session (featured below) is utter dopeness. Listen to any of his smiles-a-minute dance mixes — most of which are free for the downloading on his newly refurbished site — and you can see what all the hype is about. He takes this body moving seriously. And, after you fall in love with his ability to work with other people’s music, be sure to purchase his equally infectious LP of original tunes, 2007′s Playing With Scratches, using the convenient e-commerce links below. It’s a quirky and sample-tastic romp in the vein of Kid Koala or Dosh. Thank you.



6 Jun

Todd Osborn reflects all that is great about Detroit to me. Like many of his local influences (including legendary radio DJs The Electrifying Mojo and The Wizard), he’s a jack of all genres – producing techno, house, jungle, hip-hop, and dubstep records with equal aplomb. He’s also a restless tinkerer with many side interests including, as his latest EP on Ghostly indicates, hovercrafting. “Fire” – from that EP – is a silky smooth disco track, a synthetic blend of strings, stings, guitar, and vibraphone over a buoyant 4/4 beat. On the other hand, “The Count,” also on the EP, can only be shared in the context of its video, which lets his worldwide fans in on one of Detroit’s treasured secrets: “The New Dance Show,” a local late-night TV show that I, along with many other suburban Detroit kids, watched with great awe back in the late ’80s. Twenty years later, those moves sync up nice and tight to this exquisite slice of minimalist techno without any need for special effects magic…



19 May

French wunderkind label Kitsuné is feeling lucky! The seventh incarnation of their stellar compilation series hits early next month, and they’ve sifted out this nugget o’ hard disco to share as an invitation to grab your sieve and join them in their search for more gold. autoKratz represents the electro side of Kitsuné’s electro-pop spectrum, but neither autoKratz, nor the label allow themselves to be held hostage to pithy genres. They’re explorers! Adventurers! Pop ‘n’ Lockers! Vocoders! They’re all good and Kitsuné Maison #7 will trip you out! (safely and naturally, naturally).


Etienne de Crécy

18 Apr

A quick tip for the Coachella bound: Etienne De Crecy proves it’s dope to be square. De Crécy makes his U.S. debut this Sunday night at Coachella and he’s bringing his tricked out, larger than life Rubik’s Cube-Lite Brite. I won’t bore you with describing how the thing works. Watch the video to see this beautiful monster in action. The contraption was designed by fellow Frenchmen Exyst and when The Killers asked them to design a similar cube for their European MTV performance Exyst declined. The Killers ripped off the light show anyway. Of course, their version ended up looking like an, over-the-top, seizure inducing Hollywood Squares set. But that’s beside the point

Though not a household name, de Crécy was instrumental in developing the French house sound. He and Alex Gopher founded the Solid record label and he’s released a slew of singles and albums on his own and in collaboration with Cassius and Air. “Home” is an unreleased track that de Crécy plays during his live sets. Between the driving bass lines, the fuzzed out knob twiddles, and state-of-the-art light show, be sure to brace yourself for maximum tripping Sunday night in the Sahara Tent.


Project Jenny, Project Jan

8 Apr

Project Jenny, Project Jan soften the downtime since their debut album two years ago with this new collaborative EP. Considering the topic, their ode to unrequited love, “Pins and Needles,” featuring Fujiya & Miyagi, settles into a smooth club groove, while their work with percussion wunderkinds and fellow Brooklynites So Percussion and Mixel Pixel stirs up darker, primordial feelings. The emotional range on this EP seems to span eons and reminds me of Shriekback’s dark tone on Oil and Gold. It’s unexpected (but not unwelcomed) from the usually playful PJPJ, but they return with their usual pluck on the final tracks with Adam Matta and Clack Singles Club. No matter their mood, Project Jenny, Project Jan has left me with a bout of paresthesia, eagerly anticipating their next album, due before year’s end.

Pins and Needles Feat. Fujiya & Miyagi [MP3, 5.6MB, 160kbps]

Original Post 6/23/07:
Mapquest Project Jenny, Project Jan. Go ahead. I dare you. You’ll have a hard time pinpointing the Brooklyn duo because they’re all over the proverbial map. When their debut EP opens up with the marching band sound of “Fight Song,” you know you’re in for a treat. On their first full-length, XOXOXOXOXO, they start the party again with a nice brass section, giving way to a bright samba number. The freestyle-stylee vocals of Jeremy Haines keeps the tracks loose and the whole album will get you shake, shake, shaking your caboose, dancing the duck-duck-goose. Feeling down lately? These boys are sure to get you up and out of your seat with a little bit of banjo, a little bit of swing, a little bit of hip hop, a little bit of reggae and lots and lots of fun. Philly, Boston, Montreal, Toronto and Cleveland brace yourselves for this Brooklyn brand of electro-karaoke coming your way live next month with Fujiya & Miyagi. A match made in dancefloor heaven.

320 [MP3, 4.4MB, 192kbps]
Train Track [MP3, 3.9MB, 192kbps]


Coltrane Motion

23 Mar

There’s something about 3hive’s hard drives and Coltrane Motion. Sam’s crashed three years ago shortly before posting about Chicago’s Coltrane Motion, and mine recently had to be replaced, too, shortly before posting about them. I had intended to also post some photos I took of Coltrane Motion when I saw them in May 2006 while in Chigaco, but I may have to blame a different hard drive crash from last summer for misplacing most of those. Which is rather unfortunate, as they played in an old church, and I got a sweet shot of Michael Bond bouncing under an enormous lighted cross while still trying to keep his mouth at microphone level and not tipping over his laptop stand. Michael, the driving force behind Coltrane Motion, is also a dead-ringer for 3hive’s Sam, but alas, that photographic evidence is also missing. I did find an poor quality shot I took with my phone inside the church, which is below. Sam’s description of Coltrane Motion still holds true, as further demonstrated by their first 7″ release “The Year Without A Summer b/w Maya Blue,” out tomorrow.

Original Post by Sam on 14 Jan 2006:
My hard drive crashed this week which, as reliant as I am on my PowerBook, is like suffering short-term memory loss. One of the few artists I remember having on tap for 3hive is Coltrane Motion, who are members of a Midwest artist-run collective/label called, irony of ironies, datawaslost. These tracks are a good representation of Coltrane Motion’s “sound” — in quotes because they seem to have as many “sounds” as they have songs, due in part to their habit of making their own software and instruments. This makes remembering what I wanted to say about Coltrane Motion even more difficult. Was I pogoing to the urgent dance-punk of “I Guess the Kids Are OK” or singing along to the sizzling crooner pop of “Pi Is Exactly Three”? Cutting rug to the cheeky Beck send-up “Supersexy ’67″ or stroking my chin to the backmasked glitch ‘n’ beats of “The End of Every Movie”? Couldn’t tell ya. So I guess I’ll own up to liking all four. And, please, before you start downloading: a moment of silence for my hard drive…