Pages Navigation Menu

Music Journalism Done Differently

News: Lineup Announced For Rhymesayers 20th Anniversary Concert

Posted by on Oct 14, 2015 in Featured, Latest, News, Reads | 0 comments

Written by Kevin Madert

In a hip-hop landscape overpopulated by inconsequential lyrics tracking at the third grade level, manufactured radio-friendly rhymes, and whatever the hell Iggy Azalea is, Rhymesayers Entertainment shines bright as a last bastion of hope. Born and bred in Minnesota, the independent label has come a long way since being founded by Sean Daley, Anthony Davis (both of Atmosphere), Musab Saad (aka Sab the Artist) and Brent Sayers (aka Siddiq), but the music over profit mindset & consistently thought-provoking lyricism present from day one has never wavered.

In the aforementioned climate of the genre it’s laudable for anyone to stay relevant for twenty minutes, much less two decades, yet here we are. And in true RS fashion, the twentieth anniversary shindig slated for December 4th at the Target Center in Minneapolis is shaping up to be a hell of a celebration.

rse20

Atmosphere, Grieves, Dilated Peoples, Brother Ali, and Aesop Rock top a bill stuffed to bursting with Rhymesayers-signed talent – an indicator of just how influential the label has been in the underground hip-hop community since the mid-90s. You can bet AltFreq will do everything we can to make the trek to the Twin Cities in December to take part in this party for the ages.

Tickets for Rhymesayers 20 go on sale to the general public starting this Friday, October 16 at 10am CST (that’s 11am EST, local friends). A general admission ticket will run you a whopping 20 bucks, with VIP options also available. All other pertinent information can be obtained via the Rhymesayers website.


Rhymesayers 20 Lineup (in alphabetical order)

Abstract Rude | Aesop Rock | Atmosphere | Battlecats | BK One | Blueprint | Boom Bap Project
Brother Ali | deM atlaS | Dilated Peoples | DJ Abilities | Evidence | Felt | Freeway | Grayskul | Grieves Hail Mary Mallon | I Self Devine | Jake One | K-Salaam | Los Nativos | Micranots | Mr. Dibbs | Musab P.O.S | Prof | Soul Position | The Uncluded | Toki Wright

Read More

Meet Boston’s Wessanders, Hear His Futuristic Flip of “Too Original” (Interview)

Posted by on Aug 27, 2015 in Featured, Latest, Noise, Reads | 0 comments

Written by Kevin Madert

On Tuesday, longtime friend of the blog and general musical wunderkind Wessanders put out a nifty little flip of Major Lazer’s “Too Original.” Clocking in at just over three minutes, it’s conceptually concise, executed with the calm and collected precision of a consummate professional. Sharply crafted, awash in lush nuances, and catchy as all hell, it’s the latest in a string of commendable releases from the Boston-based producer/DJ.

We got the chance to sit down with Wessanders to delve deeper into his creative process, career progress, and plenty in between.


Alternate Frequency: Your music, while often containing similar sonic components, seems to eschew any kind of genre categorization. Is this a conscious effort or just a product of your approach to production?

Wessanders:  I’m still learning the basics, so right now I’m doing a lot of exploring. There’s no use in lying and saying I have any real idea what I’m doing. But I do think there are certain things my ear just loves, so there are reoccurring elements in my music. I’m also constantly honing my ability to make and recycle sounds.

AF: Take your most recent effort, a rework of Major Lazer’s “Too Original.” You took an arguably generic tune and morphed it into a unique, deceptively simple midtempo future track – deftly juxtaposing darkness and light with a roiling zipperlike bassline and wavy pulsating synths. Tell us a bit about your process in creating this remix/remixes in general. How does the approach differ from your approach to producing originals?

W: While I’m definitely trying to lean towards more original works, remixes are a lot of fun for me. When I really love an element in a song – and when it’s something I think I can augmented without destroying –  it comes easily. For a while I fell into a trap of throwing vocals on top of my original tracks for the sake of attention; I’ve since learned to hold off unless they fit so perfectly you can’t say no.

I love working with Major Lazer vocals. They’re always upbeat and fun and make me wanna throw stuff at other stuff in a non-destructive way. Messing with those came pretty easily, and after that it became all about the bass sound. Once I had something steady bouncing around I got a little bored, and I didn’t want the track to lose its rawness. So I duplicated the sound and processed it. Panned that ho’ and there you go.

AF: You’re a part of the Friends With Robots collective, which we often feature on our site. Tell us a bit about your involvement with FWR. What does the group mean to you? Any unheralded names on the roster we should be watching out for?

W: All my homies have something to offer in the bigger picture of what we’re doing. Something different. That’s why they’re all my favorite people in music right now. We work off each other and drive each other to create real art. It’s one thing to watch someone from afar and try and figure out what they’re doing just by listening. It’s another to be able to ask a friend and have him show you the way to start perfecting it. You grow so much with forward-thinking people around you. You gotta spend time with the people who make you a better you, and when you find them keep them around. That’s why Friends With Robots isn’t just a place for us to stack plays; it’s a place us for us to develop our ideas and track our growth as both individual and collaborative artists.

We decided to make this edition of our mixtape series open submission because we have so many amazing friends that make music; I’m super excited to see what hits the inbox in the next few weeks. If you make music, we want to hear it.

AF: As a Wessanders listener for some time, I’ve noticed a steady, marked increase in your production prowess. That’s not to say your earlier works weren’t enjoyable and well-crafted, but with each successive release the sounds have become crisper and the hooks catchier. Is there a specific area musically where you believe you’ve grown most? Where do you see your continuing maturation as an artist taking you in the future?

W: I’m working on everything. Sometimes I see progression in my music, but that just reminds me I’ve barely breached the surface, which in turn drives me to work way harder. Right now my work ethic is shit, so I wake up every day and try and make it better. I’ve recently found myself obsessed with a whole new world of sound design in techno, tech-house, and minimal. The focus is on crafting different atmosphere, with a heavier emphasis on progression. So that’s what I see myself chasing for the next little bit – generally I’m trying to pay attention to sound better. I’ve also started working with a few producers on a vocal project called Kaiiak; that’s been fun and I’m hype to start making more and different tunes.

Inspiration-wise, the last two years would be so much different without dudes like Choppa Dunks, Sevnth Wonder, Encanti (ZebblerEncantiExperience), Nacho Marco (Spain) and especially all my Young Travolta boys. I’ve learned something imperative from all of them.

AF: Now just for fun; you’ve got a time machine and the ability to collaborate with any three artists, living or dead, at any point in their careers. Who do you pick, when, and why?

Jeez. There are so many dead that I’m going living…

1. Dave Tipper
2. Tigran Hamasyan
3. Kendrick Lamar

AF: Thanks for your time!


If you’re interested in submitting music for FWR06, all inquiries should be directed to contact@friendswithrobots.com. You can stream “Too Original (the lost flip)” below.

Connect with Wessanders: (Facebook / Soundcloud / Twitter)

Read More

The Daily Frequency (8/25/15)

Posted by on Aug 25, 2015 in Latest, News, Reads | 0 comments

Written by Kevin Madert

1. All sorts of nostalgia kicks off today’s installment of The Daily Frequency: after much speculation, Underoath will embark on a thirty-date nationwide reunion tour in the spring of 2016. At every stop on that tour, the group will perform their albums They’re Only Chasing Safety and Define the Great Line from front to back. On the end of the band’s two year hiatus, frontman Spencer Chamberlin told Alternative Press, “I hated the idea of Underoath being ‘over’ and I’m not sure what we are, but we are all friends again and that’s really the most important thing…That being said, we felt like now is a great time to do a tour and celebrate Define The Great Line turning 10.” Never fear, DMV Underoathians (wonder if I just invented that term now?): the group will take the stage at the Fillmore Silver Spring on April 20. A full list of dates and additional pertinent information can be found on the band’s website. (via Alternative Press)

Read More

News: Emancipator Announces New Album + Ensemble Tour, Releases Lead Single

Posted by on Jul 14, 2015 in Featured, Latest, News, Reads | 0 comments

-Written by Kevin Madert

Chasers of the chill and denizens of downtempo rejoice: new Emancipator is on its way. The trip-hop project long helmed by producer/multi-instrumentalist Doug Appling will release Seven Seas on September 25 via his own Loci Records. Just four days later, a full-fledged US tour will kick off in support of the producer’s fourth full-length, beginning in New Orleans and wending its way through the US & Canada before concluding two months later in Pomona, CA.

Read More

News: New Song From Bring Me the Horizon

Posted by on Jul 13, 2015 in Latest, News, Reads | 0 comments

Bring Me the Horizon have released a new song, “Happy Song”, after teasing fans with a series of puzzles and riddles that seemed to leave everybody rather stumped for awhile. This new track is a rather significant departure from the sound we heard on Sempiternal, but if you heard last year’s single, “Drown”, then this new sound is nothing new to you.

BMTH have been known for changing up their sound pretty consistently through their new releases, and “Happy Song” shows that this new album (about which we currently know very little) will not be any different. They are ditching the synth parts and heavy chugging breakdowns for a more straight up hard rock sound, which should provide rather polarizing results from fans.

Check out “Happy Song” below, and let us know what you think of Bring Me the Horizon’s new sound.

Read More

News: Coheed & Cambria Announce New Album, Release Single

Posted by on Jul 8, 2015 in Latest, News, Reads | 0 comments

Yesterday Coheed & Cambria announced a new album, The Color Before the Sun, due out on 10/9 through 300 Entertainment.  To give listeners a taste of what they can expect, the band released the first single from the album, “You Got Spirit, Kid” yesterday via YouTube. The song will be available for digital download tomorrow, July 10th.

Coheed’s 8th studio album will be the first album that is not a part of The Amory Wars saga, or indeed, a concept album at all. It will be interesting to see how this new dynamic affects Coheed’s sound. But if the first single is any indication, this new album will actually revisit the classic Coheed sound. So this will definitely be an album to keep your eyes on.

Check after the jump to listen to “You Got Spirit, Kid”.

Read More
Advertisement