Chillwave in the winter


photo andrew franciosa

The other night, my friend was browsing iTunes for quite some time, in typical music-browsing fashion: some comments were made, some nods of approval, some smirks, some groans, some “oh well, if you like ________ you should check out ________,” some more comments were made, etc. After about 10 minutes, a bit defeated that nothing really caught his eye, he loaded up my Internet browser and searched for Toro Y Moi’s Myspace. I was familiar with the music but just on a name basis, like so many others. I fell asleep to Toro that night and woke up the next morning to hit play again first thing.

Three days later and I’ve probably accounted for about 116 plays out of the 53,963 plays he has for the song, “Leave Everywhere.” I literally just kept hitting refresh on this song, and am listening even as I type this. Toro Y Moi is considered part of the “chillwave” movement, a genre of music that I was never that heavily invested in, but my friends have been listening to associated bands, such Neon Indian or Washed Out for awhile now. So I’ve dabbled and been exposed to some of these bands by association.  You know.

But as I’m listening to Toro Y Moi, (the stage name of recording artist Chazwick Bundick) I’m really enjoying it– the songs are fairly simple rhythmically but in a good way; it’s catchy, it’s subtle, I’m into it. I guess “chillwave” could be best described as an innovative combination of pop and electronic music, featuring smooth, soft tempos and samplings. Easy listening that I don’t find to be boring listening.

Pitchfork has been reviewing bands that fall under this category for quite some time now in covering the independent music scene and Hipsterunoff has been riffing on chillwave as well. It’s still a relatively new trend in music but I find myself just skimming blog posts about bands in these genres because I find the whole thing annoying. Here’s what I mean: for example, Best Coast is considered “neo-surf pop” or “lo-fi”, Wavves is “noise pop,” Washed Out is “chillwave” and Neon Indian is “psychedelic indie dance.” Isn’t it all the same? Answer queue revolves somewhere around indie roots and the Internet.  And I find it all really fucking annoying.

Here’s part of the problem I have: chillwave (as all music genres are) is associated not only by sound but by production, distribution and circulation of music on a small, independent scale, as well as with the branding of “new wave” or even more broad, “indie.” And this is where all these bands have the same cultural roots: in the small-scale DIY universe made easier by the Internet, fueled by blogs, Bandcamp, Facebook, Twitter, word of mouth, Pitchfork, Tumblr, whatever.

How is this new? As early punk is associated with basement shows and zines, “chillwave” is associated with the Internet, etc. — This is simply how music genres are formed in our culture: pairing bands with similiar characteristics. And I don’t understand why chillwave has to have so many other annoying branches of classification. Hipsterrunoff has a really great post featuring the “genre shirt”: a shirt that lists all the different names associated with the “chillwave” movement. And looking at the shirt, I think you’ll agree — it all seems a bit excessive to me.

Another part of the problem I have with this genre is also the case with music in general in its Internet distribution and presence. I feel as though when I stumble across music unexpectedly from friends, I often just nod along, save their links to my bookmarks folder and stick to the music phase I’m in midst of at the time. It’s bittersweet, isn’t it? I love checking out new music (and appreciate when friends link me) but sometimes I just feel overwhelmed by just how much is out there, and how accessible it is via the Internet, that I stick to what I already know I like. I’m working on this, because I absolutely will say I’ve found a new favorite in Toro Y Moi, and might even trek to Boston to catch a show in April.

And lastly my main issue. How many people out there are bitching about chillwave and the image a person gains behind their musical tastes. There’s a lot of talk out there, even just stemming from what I found from a brief sesh with Google today. Can’t I just listen to music like Toro Y Moi without thinking about what genre they belong to and without being grouped into some sort of noob hipster category because I’m “late” to catching onto this “wave” and getting excited about this lo-fi/high synth music? People have been saying (in a general sense) the whole indie/chillwave movement has been overplayed or washed out as bands are becoming more well known, and the Internet results in quick yet short term success.

Who’s to say? Maybe this genre roots are tied to some of the pioneer bands who started “doing it differently” such as Animal Collective, or Panda Bear, or hell, maybe even loosely the Flaming Lips. Who really cares about the origin of this new genre and music movement?  It all depends on what you value and your own introduction to the music itself.  Like my friend Nick said, someone who is just learning about a band and gets excited about it, regardless of how long the bands been around, it’s cool to the person because it’s new to them.  Re-discovery can be just as pleasurable as discovery.

After my recent music slump, I’m simply happy to have found a new band (and a reason to be more open minded about what’s out there), and am straight-up disgruntled by the critical, nit-picky thinking that surrounds it online.  Who the fuck cares?  Granted, there’s clearly the chance you may think I have no absolutely no insight or clue into what I’m talking about with this topic, but again, who the fuck cares?  I say just listen to Toro Y Moi, and chill.

Andrew’s Music Monday: Whatever

So I listen to all sorts of shit and don’t particularly think I know much about any of it. Here’s some things I’ve got in the last week (thank you iTunes date added sort function) that I particularly enjoy or think people should listen to. Onward,

Here’s a mix done by the lovely folks at Ego Theives. Since I got into dubstep, I found a lot of their stuff always coming up around the internet, for a good reason, they are providing a lot of good content. This mix isn’t earth shattering but is still good and especially for those who are getting into this new fangled dubstep thing, it’s a good, safe, mix.

Tracklist:
Pianorama – Habstrakt
Screw Up – Subscape
Lights On feat. Ms Dynamite (Skream Remix) – Katy B
Just Jokes [EXCLUSIVE] – Roksonix
Star Feat Camila Marie (Doctor P No Rap Remix) – Blame
Spaceship (Trolley Snatcha Remix) – Kano
Champion Sound – Aquadrop
Lonely (Stinkahbell Remix) – Effie
Done Me Wrong feat. Lauren & Shide – Mikey B
Forgive Me – Document One
Bats – Crissy Criss & Youngman
Drop a Gem on Em (The Killabits VIP) [EXCLUSIVE] – Mobb Deep
Out For Blood – Zeds Dead & Omar LinX
Butterflies feat. Borgore [EXCLUSIVE] – Yael
Left The Room (Skream Remix) – P Money
How Long Ft. Dorrie (Filth Collins Remix) [EXCLUSIVE] – Pasteman
Slang Like This Remix feat. P Money, Newham Generals, Blacks – Sukh Knight
Aint Nobody (Breakage Remix) – Clare Maguire
Something In Your Eyes [EXCLUSIVE] – Stinkahbell
World Dominance feat. Farisha [EXCLUSIVE] – Mojo

Interested? Get at the download. The exclusives are worth it.

Onward,

This video, for so many reasons. Looney showed me this when we were searching for hysterical brostep, and I can’t stop watching it. Also, that first song, Typhoon by Foreign Beggars ft Chasing Shadows, rules. Even more so when those English dudes are wylin’ to new levels of hyphy to it.

Onward,

I love Katy B. End of story. Judge accordingly, but know I don’t care.

Onward,

Magnetic Man ft. Katy B playing Perfect Stranger live on BBC Radio 1. This is amazing. String section, Benga/Skream/Artwork make this nutty. American radio is such horse shit. I steal things off UK radio through the internet because it’s so good. Good job America. Also Katy B looks like enough of a chav that she could shred and roll with the real dudes.

Onward,

I like this song because I won a contest on Roska’s twitter and they sent me this vinyl, signed by Jamie George, JKenzo and Roska. I’m so pumped on it, but don’t have anything that can play vinyl (I don’t know if I lose hipster points, or gain them) so I will frame it and listen to it on YouTube.

Scotty’s Music Monday: Lil Silva, Looney, Murder Mark

Late last year Zecheriah Sitchin died of old age..for those not in the know, he was a super-genius scholar and author who founded what most people know as the ‘ancient astronaut’ theory, which is that ETs modified our DNA to get us to mine gold for them…long time C2C listener here

Anyway whether or not any of that is true I vibe out hard to music that has that same future-forward disregard for conventional thought and wisdom.   I’m saying GRAVITY DISPLACEMENT rhythms powered by ELEMENT 115.  Maybe it’s because I don’t do drugs, or more specifically that my ADD continues to go untreated.

So check out this Lil Silva mixtape that came in December a bit after Sitchin passed…getting old now but more than a few still-unreleased joints on it.  Silva helped take UK Funky in a direction that brings in the grime and low-end futurism, but his mixes always add in bashment and dancehall Roots vibes.  It’s like a musical representation of the Ancient Astronaut theory, getting that Familiar/Other hybrid in, bugged out alien beats with some dope MC’s and not-corny tribal percussion.  Exactly what I try to do when I’m mixing.

So check out this Lil Silva mixtape for Bridging the Gap:
[audio:https://keepalbanyboring.com/deliverables/BTGMX004-Lil-Silva.mp3] or download

Tracklist:
Wiley – Roaming
Seiji –Weed Killer
Donae’o – Oi Mate
Marcus Nasty – Untitled
Macabre Unit – Tensor Jam
Seiji – Timber
Chase & Status Ft Tempa T – Next Hype
Gyptian – Hold Yu – (Funkystepz remix)
Lil Silva – Cheese & Bun
Redlight ft Ms Dynamite – What You Talking About
Lil Silva – Untitled
Mc Creed – We Doin it Again
Lil Silva – Seasons
Breach – Fatherless
Teedra Moses – Be Your Girl (Perempay & Dee remix)
Macabre Unit – Dem Na Ready Yet
Ms Brat – Selecta (Redlight remix)

Also gotta share some stuff a little closer to home.  First off is Looney, whom I DJ with, has a new track called “Cool Jenkem Dealer”.  Wut!  It is proper Looney fashion = the percussion is powerful enough to stand on its own without the music.

Cool Jenkem Dealer by looney

Second, I gotta shout out Murder Mark from Bmore for giving me a taste of some his new tracks to play out for the people.  If you didn’t see my first post on here about Bmore Club check that out – he’s keeping that sound developing and moving, YES!  Be sure to check out his blog and ‘Get Busy’ below, still my favorite Murder Mark track..it stands up with the best of Bmore.

Get Busy 2010 by AyoMurderMark1

Party with Tina Mix 2

Duncan and I slapped this together a few nights ago when we were snowed in. Fun little mix to get your dance on to! If you’re really in a dancy mood, check out the B-more mix Scotty posted, it rules really, really hard. Anyway, enjoy.

Take 2 Mix by ents

Scotty’s Music Monday: Bmore Club and Shout out to me

I am Scott Birdsey, born and raised here, and I’m gonna be posting up tracks and mixtapes that will make you pee your pants and otherwise might’ve passed you by. I’m real down with mostly all of the regional club music thats been coming out in the y2k. I DJ and make tracks as Mycon, and do parties and mixtapes with Looney as Deep Children.

I also started a moped gang in Albany called Mohawk Mammoths, so I might end up throwing up some moped porn on here to try and recruit some more kids who want to ride around on toys from the 70s. We sandblast and powdercoat too if you got a bicycle or headgear you want done.

Anyone who’s been to any of our parties has heard me play B-more, cause it was the first real outsider club music I fell in love with. It bounces around in content between raunchy, comical, block party feel good, and Lil’ Jon. 90% of B-more is built around one of two breaks – Sing Sing by Gaz or Think by Lyn Collins. Hollertronix and a few others brought it out of Bmore around 2003, but it had been knocking clubs and radio in the city for more than 10 years before then.

Anyway Dubstep and London in general has kinda killed B-more, at least for the hipster types, but there’s still bangers being made in kid’s basements and it’s still going hard in Philly, Baltimore, and in random cities with DJs like me.

Bottom line is there’s a deep culture around it, like any good regional dance music, and if you’re into it, you can go way down the rabbit-hole going back through its roots. Here is a recent mixtape from DJ Sega, one of the best:

[audio:https://keepalbanyboring.com/deliverables/DJSEGA-Best-of-Club-Music-2010.mp3″] or download [original source here, baltimore-club.com]

Tracklist:
1] Let’s Start This Shit Off – Rod Lee
2] Hard In The Paint – Sliink
3] Hit Me Wit Da Hornz (DJ’s Name) – Rod Lee
4] Yeah – Booman
5] Takeover – King Tutt
6] Warface – Booman
7] Kacks (Katz) – KW Griff and Porkchop
8] Kacks Remix – KW Griff and Porkchop
9] Massive Attack – Sliink
10] Shut Up – Rod Lee

Anyway, if you’re looking for something that’s killing it right now, you should check out the Night Slugs sound

Editor’s note: This was scheduled to be published Tuesday. Monday, Tuesday, same thing. Other than Roska on Rinse.fm.