Sunday, June 29, 2008

Orange Alert Music Minute

The backbone of hip hop is the DJ, and one of the best DJ's of the late nineties was a man out of Boston named Fakts One. His beats and scratches played a big role in the early albums by Mr. Lif among other Boston emcees, and he was a member of The Perceptionist. His solo debut album, Long Range, was scheduled to be released just after the first Perceptionist album back in 2005. However, the label stalled and finally folded before the album could reach the shelves. A devastated Fakts completely abandoned his career, his music, and his friends. Finally, five years after its completion, Long Range will be released (July 22nd on Greenstreets Entertainment) EXACTLY how he had intended before quitting the business. The album has some of the best MC's around (Little Brother, Planet Asia, Boot Camp Clik as well as his brothers in The Perceptionists; Mr. Lif and Akrobatik) and as one would expect, the beats are that classic boombap sound, drenched with his own blood, sweat and tears. It's a shame it took so long for this to happen but as they say good things come to those who wait. Hopefully when Fakts hears all his years of hard work finally coming to light, he can sit back (wherever he is), smile and realize it was well worth the journey.

Listen to: "Grown Folks" f/Little Brother (mp3)

The first musician that I ever interviewed for Orange Alert was a young woman from the UK named Kathryn Bint. Better known as One Little Plane, at the time she only had a few songs recorded and more focused on performing and learning before officially stepping into the studio. That was in May of 2007, and now One Little Plane is ready soar with her debut album Until (out June 30th on Text Records).

Check out her appearance with Ed Harcourt (more on him tomorrow) on Welcome to our TV Show.

Listen to: The Sunshine Kid (mp3)

What is it that clicks inside a band that completely stops the rollercoaster that is their career. Through out their choppy past, Readymade Breakup has always seemed to be trying to hard to sound a certain way or present a certain style. They never quite made it to the level they wanted. However, on the latest effort which is due in July, Alice on the Vine, they employed a whole new philosophy, Less Thinking, More Feeling. The result is a collection of tracks full of life and emotion.

Here is the story... The start of 2007 saw the release of the band's debut, Isn't That What It's For?, which received critical praise for its lush pop textures and sweeping melancholy. Singer/songwriter Paul Rosevear, bassist G.E., and keyboardist Matt Jaworski recorded the album bit by bit throughout 2006 with friend and producer Arun Venkatesh. The music was quickly featured by big names like Dunkin Donuts and Turner Broadcasting, received constant radio spins on NY/NJ rock and college radio markets, as well as maintained steady internet presence on blogs and playlists throughout the year. However after touring in support of the album throughout the year - with new guitarist Jim Fitzgerald added to the line-up and the return of drummer Spicy O'Neil - the band knew it was time to make a record that captured the soul and spirit they felt making music together live. Armed with a laptop, a handful of microphones, and any instrument they could possibly get their hands on, the group said goodbye to their day jobs, friends, and social lives and rented a small house at the Jersey Shore. "We basically moved in together and wrote and recorded every day, 10 hours a day, for about 3 months, just spilling out whatever ideas came naturally," says Rosevear. "We're not engineers and none of us had ever done anything like this before. But we knew what felt great and that's what this whole thing was about. Forgetting everything except what feels right."

Listen to: Honey, You Might Be Right (mp3)

MP3 Round-Up! The inbox was flooded this week, so here is the run down...

Kid Dakota - Chutes + Ladders (mp3) from A Winner's Shadow (3/08)
C. Robin Madigan - To The Horizon (mp3)
These Modern Socks - Worry Free Lifestyle (mp3)
Murdocks - Spirit of '95 (mp3)
Computer vs Banjo - Magazine Queen (Ninja Simone Remix) (mp3)
Ivan Colon - Gabriel (mp3)
Duchess - Ccut Up (mp3)

Brian Coates moves to New York in 2004 where the music/art project that is to become The Great Northwest commences. It grows to involve over 20 people including Portland ex-pats Noah and Nathan Rice (the Christopher Twins), Josh Kalberg, and Dale Winston. After a year+ in NYC, Brian's wanderlust leads him west to California. At his friend Armando's house in Fresno, a musical beacon was sounded. Joe Kaczmarerk, Brent Fellows, Courtney Taylor Taylor, Brent DeBoer, Ray Gordon, Sean "Gothman" Addams, Poopy Simons, Louise Fenton, and a load of new friends converge for a blowout of a party. Brian Richburg, owner of Studio 9 in Fresno makes them a deal for studio time and recording begins. More than an album's worth of music is made. Brian, working with Dead Meadow, ends up in the Mt. Pleasant neighborhood of our nation's capital in 2006. Douglas and Mike from Kora meet up with him at a bar in their mutual 'hood to hear some unmixed MP3s on his laptop, leave awe-struck and sign him straight away to put out an LP. During a summer pitstop in Portland, with longtime bandmate Randall Crush, the songs receive mixing treatment at The Dandy Warhols' Odditorium with mastering back east by TJ Lipple (Aloha) at Silver Sonya in Arlington, VA.

The 13 track album brims over with lush soundscapes and ambient modulations. Pop melodies and slowcore pacing coalesce seamlessly throughout the record. Lavish and haunting vocals woven with Brian's savvy wordplay complete the sonically induced mind altering experience. After the mixing session, Coates said tenderly, "there's guitar, there's bass, there's drums, there's trombone, there's Leslie speakers, practice amps, Jew's Harps, drum loops, tambourines, ebows, harmonicas and pie tins. There's thought... there's love."

Listen to: Chief John (mp3)

The Peel Back: DJ Spooky vs Scanner The Quick and The Dead (Sulfur Records Feb. 2000)

The first installment of the Meld Series, this album has always fascinated me. Bringing together two of the most innovative and intelligent producers in electronic music can only result in a hauntingly beautiful album. Dj Spooky brings the off-beat and distorted hip hop, illbient groove, and Scanner twists the most obscure knobs available. Together the advance all forms of music into onto a completely new planet. From the raw scratches and samples of "Uncanny" to grace and electro-beauty of "Guanxi" these two fit together perfectly.
Journey/Edison/Uncanny (mp3)/Ngugi/Dialogic/Channel Float/Kybernetes/Guanxi (mp3) /Synchronism 2/Heterotopian/Snowshore/Synchronism/Creaking Door

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