Archive for the 'genres' Category

Album Review: 22º Beatitude (Tarun Nayar)

Vancouver-based DJ/producer Tarun Nayar is a member and producer of Delhi 2 Dublin, which we wrote about a couple years ago. While D2D gives us a unique brand of Indian and Celtic fusion, Tarun’s musical endeavors reach far beyond welding together two rich genres.

His creative outpourings are driven by a humanitarian need to cross cultural boundaries and bring people together. As a founding member of Beats Without Borders, it’s no surprise that his music ranges from Angolan Kuduro to Punjabi Bhangra to Jamaican Dancehall to UK bass music.

On March 1, 2011 Tarun released his first solo album, 22º Beatitude, which is comprised of 10 years worth of material collected from travels and recordings around the world. On the album, which he describes as his most personal work, Tarun eschews the use of sample libraries and instead includes a plethora of live sounds (ocean, voices, etc) blended in with traditional indian and other asian instruments and upbeat dance beats.

One of the more intriguing aspects of the album is that each song is based on a chapter of his life. The listener is not simply left to use their imagination, however, as the album comes with archival photos and videos providing them with a dynamic audiovisual experience.

World music inhabits an interesting part of the musical spectrum, especially those subgenres that combine traditional cultural sounds with more contemporary electronic beats. The results are not always as seamless and complementary as they were perhaps intended to be. However, when done well these kinds of songs can be incredibly powerful.

On 22º Beatitude, a few of the songs pass through your ears without leaving much of an impression.  The majority of the songs, however, manage to find that sweet spot. Beats, bass, and culture come together to create something that both pleases the ears and stirs the heart.

Songs not to miss: “Rising Up,” “Turkish Spice,” “Mamaji,” and “Water.” Definitely check those out. Overall, the live samples of sounds like cars honking, people talking and kids laughing give the album a very human and very global feel.

Tarun Nayar seems to be accomplishing what he’s setting out to do and will certainly continue to be a force to be reckoned with on the global fusion scene.

Weezer Teases Fans

Weezer is preparing for the drop of their new album Raditude, set to be released on November 3rd, by teasing fans with a 33 second trailer of the music video for the album’s first single “(If You’re Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To.”


Raditude, said to be named by The Office’s Rainn Wilson,  is a follow up to the band’s June 2008 Red Album.  It is another disc to fall on Weezer’s catchy, pop-punk side, as opposed to their more mellow, thoughtful albums like the Blue Album.  Goofy track titles like “I’m Your Daddy” and “Tired of Sex” have listeners expecting some pretty good-humored songs.

“(If You’re Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To” was leaked onto the internet this summer when posted the song up for purchase 9 days before its original release date.  Weezer officially released the track two days later.

The video for the song was directed by Mark Webb,  director of (500) Days of Summer (sweet!) as well as many other music videos, and stars Cloverfield’s Odette Yustman.  It will premier on Babelgum but for now check out the teaser trailer:

Soulico Remix Contest

This 4 member DJ crew from Tel Aviv brings us traditional Jewish melodies on top of American hip-hop tracks, reggae, and funk. Meet Soulico.


Their new album, Exotic on the Speaker, is the “result of years of creative collaborations and finesse – culminating in 13 club ready tracks featuring the likes of Ghostface, Del the Funky Homosapien, M.I.A. understudy Rye Rye, Pigeon John, Lyrics Born, and more,” says The Daily Rind.

In anticipation of the new album, the boys released a free promo mixtape, Exotic on the Mixtape, including the song “Put em up”, which Pitchfork calls “an exuberant synthesis of traditional Israeli folk melodies and familiar hip-hop sensibilities.” You can download it all here.

Once you’ve download the mixtape, read Soulico’s answers to The Music Slut’s 8 Questions, including how playing to an Israeli audience differs from an American one, and check out Sabbo’s blog, Noiz in Zion, if you like remixes (and free downloads). Of course they are on MySpace and Facebook too.

JDub Records, which is a “not-for-profit dedicated to innovative Jewish music, community, and cross cultural dialogue,” was lucky enough to sign Soulico before anyone else found them. CEO Aaron Bisman happened upon their first mixtape while he was rummaging through the bins at Tel Aviv’s Hatav Hashmini record store. Apparently they were hard to track down, but he jumped on their MySpace the day it went up and claimed them.


Thanks to our friends over at JDub Records for hooking us up with these guys. As part of the release of their new album, Soulico wants you to remix the title track, “Exotic on the Speaker,” and is giving you access to the stems of the song via the MixMatchMusic Remix Wizard. You can either download the stems (for free) and use the audio editing software of your choice OR simply click on the MixMaker button on the widget to make a remix in MixMatchMusic’s simple online music editor. If you’ve never experienced remixing before, or just want to see how the song was made, check out the MixMaker. Once you’ve completed your remix, upload it so that others can listen to, vote on and share it.

Soulico will be choosing one grand prize winner plus three runner-ups. Here’s what you can win:

Grand Prize:
– Soulico – Exotic on the Speaker CD + LP
– Stanton YakPak DJ bag filled with JDub Vinyl
– Your choice of Prime Loops Software
– Pair of Radius Ear buds
– Remix featured on & Soulico myspace

3 Runner-Ups:
– Stanton YakPak DJ bag filled with JDub Vinyl
– Copy of Soulico – Exotic on the Speaker CD
– Remix featured on & Soulico myspace

Deadlines: Contest starts Monday, October 5th and ends Monday November 23rd. Check out the official rules here.

Get on it!

How Sweet the Sound: Gospel Competition

Gospel music really shouldn’t be stuck inside of church walls. With the brief exception of Sister Act (and Sister Act 2), it typically doesn’t make much of a splash in the mainstream music world. If you’ve never experienced gospel music, especially live gospel music, it’s worth a listen.

Regardless of your beliefs or religious affiliations, it can be pretty damn powerful. It seems like there is some magical intangible quality that really only exists in that environment. Some of you might call it God. Some might view it as communities coming together to inspire and support one another through music. Perhaps it is simply the result of raw human emotions combining with some killer vocal talent.

Thanks to Verizon Wireless, the unique genre of choral worship music can now be experienced by a broader audience. How Sweet the Sound is the search for the best church choir in America. I guess America is not busy enough searching for the best [insert talent here] already… But hey, if there can be a Top Chef, a Top Model, and all that, why not a top church choir? I say bring it on, bitches!

Read all about the contest here, check out their blog here, and follow the tour as it travels across the country here. If you plan on actually attending one of the events, be sure to bring your old mobile phones to support their HopeLine project. Or if you’re the exhibitionist type, rock your own gospel at their karaoke booths and show the world what you’ve got.

Here’s a classic one for ya. Still makes me cry…

Monsters of Folk Release Self-Titled Album

The idea of combining indie rock darlings Conor Oberst, Mike Mogis, Jim James, and M. Ward, conceived in 2004, finally came to fruition yesterday with the release of The Monsters of Folk‘s self-titled album. The fifteen track disc defeats the old adage, often applied to super-groups, of the sum being less than its parts.

Monsters of Folk

The four artists, each already having their own successes with bands Bright Eyes, My Morning Jacket, and She & Him, highlight the best in each other. All four players share songwriting and vocal duties, and no one artist steals the spotlight completely; however, Oberst’s trademark sound does permeate most of the songs. His distinctive wordplay lyrics and jaunty folk-rock are predominant.

James’ past work with many different genres and influences in his band My Morning Jacket comes through on the trip-hop opening song “Dear God (Sincerely M.O.F.),” and the funk inspired “Losin Yo Head.” The evocative harmonies typical of Ward and Oberst are pervasive. And Mogis, originally of Oberst’s band Bright Eyes, plays a more minor role in the forefront of the album, but was major behind the scenes working as producer.

All four artists brought their best to the table, and created a disc of enjoyable, catchy folk tunes.