Archive for the 'midtempo' Category


artists everyone should follow: mr scruff

There are a lot of great DJs slash producers out there, but none of them get my vote like Mr Scruff does.  Aside from putting out some amazing albums of electronic music, he is also a great illustrator, marathon DJ and tea enthusiast.

Born Andrew Carthy, Scruff started DJing in 1994 at the age of 22 around Manchester, England. His name came from his scruffy facial hair and odd cartooning style.  He released his first single, “Hocus Pocus” on the small Rob’s records label. He dropped his first album “Mr Scruff” soon after, but due to some odd choices of lay out, it is often referred to as “Mrs Cruff.” Eventually he would transition over the the trip hop centric Ninja Tune label.

To be honest, you’ve probably heard of Mr Scruff even if you weren’t aware of it thanks to his big hit “Get a Move On” which was used in multiple commercials.

He is kind of considered a national treasure in England and amongst fans world-wide for his six hour or longer sets, where most DJs would only play for two or three.  And his taste…where to begin? It’s hard to pin down, but I’d venture to say he likes any kind of music that’s good, which covers a lot.  So a set could begin with some Orchestra Baobab and end up six hours later with some Macka B.  But the musical journey in between is wonderful to say the least.

He has an avid fan club on his website too HERE, as well as a popular line of teas (yes…teas!)

But better yet, Scruff has an active Soundcloud page that you should book mark HERE, where he regularly posts new work and giant DJ sets like the ones I’ve posted below.   That’s eighteen hours of music right there.

If you are savvy enough to join his fan club, you’ll receive updates, announcements and even download codes for some of said 6 hour sets…which make for excellent iPod stuffing.


music sites everyone should visit: resident advisor

I am constantly amazed at what can be found on the internet for free.  Free maps, free information, free pictures…free porn.  But my all time favorite is the amount of free music you can find with a simple click of the mouse, and one of my favorite places to do this is over at Resident Advisor.

Founded in 2001 as a site to cover the Australian dance music scene, it quickly outgrew it’s regional focus within a year and began a more global focus on electronic music from all over.  The site is full of all kinds of articles, reviews,  information, DJ charts, upcoming event listings, tickets and most notably podcasts.

(Note: try googling podcasts sometime.  You’ll find all kinds of stuff)

It’s the podcasts that really set RA apart from other music sites because they get some of the best and brightest musicians, DJs and producers to make mixes for them every week.  and if you sign up with them, you get em all for free.  I know what you’re thinking.  Another site that wants my info…blah blah blah.  They’ll send me emails, and spam and everything will suck.

True…maybe.  But that’s why you open a separate email account just for these purposes, because the music is worth it.

Previous podcast mixes of note came from such luminaries as Greg Wilson, DJ Harvey, Trus’me, The Orb, Todd Terje and Richie Hawtin.  But aside from the guys you know and love, you’ll discover a slew of names and styles you may never have heard of.  There’s also a Soundcloud page where it appears they are posting mixes of their monthly picks.

Here is one of my favorite mixes from 2008 from Aeroplane, which still gets played in my car from time to time. Download em, check em out…and then head over to RA for more.

RA 114 – Aeroplane

Because there’s always more.


mixes everyone should hear: leftside wobble – in todd we trust

This is Leftside Wobble’s tribute mix to Nordic super producer Todd Terje. If you don’t know who Todd Terje is, then this is an excellent primer on a man with a truly gifted ear.

If you don’t know who Leftside Wobble is you should check out his blog or his Soundcloud page and start catching up.

I just gave you not one…but two hits of pure gold here people, get to it.


Willow Band – Willowman (Todd Terje Edit)
Claudja Barry – I Wanna Dance (TangoTerge Edit)
Michael Jackson – Can’t Help It (TangoTerje Edit)
Paul Simon – Diamonds (Todd Terje Dub)
Crusaders – My Lady (TangoTerje Edit)
Kaoru Inoue – The Secret Field (Todd Terje Remix)
Dolle Jolle – Balearic Incarnation (Todd Terje Remix)
Chaz Jankel – Glad To Know You (Todd Terje Edit)
Chic – I Want Your Love (Todd Terje Edit)
America – Horse With Know Name (Todd Terje Edit)


Pocketknife and Cousin Cole – Tambourine Dream


You know, you never really get a grasp on an event until it’s effects reach you sometimes.  Like our financial crisis.  The axe began to fall yesterday at my office and when they were through 23 people were gone from our office landscape.  Truth be told, some of them were pretty useless, but there more than a few who weren’t…like my boy in Customer Service.

He was one of the only guys back there who didn’t have his head firmly up his ass.  But since he never got along with the evil succubus who runs the department, he got the axe.  Right before Christmas too. Sheee-it.

It makes me sad and angry all at the same time…which I guess makes me “sangry.”

About the only thing right now that cheers me up is Pocketknife and Cousin Cole’s masterpiece of a mixtape called “Tambourine Dream,” which hits you like milk and cookies and a warm hug all at once.  I would have to say that it is just what the doctor ordered.

You may know the duo as the masterminds behind the Flagrant Fowl label who have been blowing up the scene for a hot minute now.  If I were you, I’d click that link and check their site for sweet downloadable goodness. They hit the ground running in 2006 with their first two Ep’s of remixes “Ruffle Yo Featherz” and “Tougher Than Featherz” where they remixed everyone from TI to Ram Jam.

With “Tambourine Dream” the dynamic duo spaz out on acoustic dreamscapes over dope beats with artists like Neil Young, Feist, Panda Bear, Nick Drake, John Lennon…the list is just too long and fucking awesome to cover.  Anytime someone can drop a good Nico track into the mix, I’m a happy man.

Poketknife (AKA Skooby Laposky) grew up in Iowa where he befriended legendary 70’s DJ Wolf on the basketball courts.  Even better, he ended up friends with Theo Parrish at art school and polished up his craft before moving to New York via Detroit.  Cousin Cole (AKA Cole Gerard) moved to NYC from Missouri in 97 to attend NYU.  He was mostly a hip hop head back then, but he branched out from there.  The two hooked up in 2004, both now live in Brooklyn… and the rest is DJing history.

What sets “Tambourine Dream” apart from the rest of the mixtapes isn’t just the odd selection of tracks that most DJ’s wouldn’t dream of throwing down (although that’s a big part of it for me,) but also in the way that neither DJ really overdid any of the remixes.  Seriously, this could have been a huge train wreck in the wrong hands…with all the songs losing what made them so special and becoming deluged by drums and samplers. Instead, the understated approach fits like a new pair of socks right out of the package.

Don’t sleep on this one folks, head over to TurntableLab and pick up a copy while they last.  And while you’re at it download this freaking sweet mix they did over at Allez Allez for some free ear candy.

UPDATE!  Cousin Cole posted the whole thing for free listening and download on his Soundcloud page HERE!


Nickodemus – Endangered Species

You know what Hip Hop?  You’re really disappointing me right now.  I mean, when was the last time a truely awesome album dropped?  Sure Kanye’s new album is good and he’s got a superb tour going on from what I hear, but it’s starting to look like you’re starting to lose ground.  Not that I blame you…you’ve had a good run.  We all had a good time together…remember that pool party in Manhatttan Beach in 93?  The good times we had in the eighties?  Even the jiggy era!

Now that I think about it, my booty call House Music hasn’t done much for me either.  Sure, she makes a good appearance from time to time…but she’s kind of flakey.

But, I’m afraid we’ve grown apart.   It’s not you…it’s me.  I need something more….and I’ve met someone new.

No it wasn’t on Ashley Madison.

Her name is Midtempo and she’s a really cool genre.  In fact, one of the best purveyors of the scene is a nice kid from New York named Nickodemus , and if you check out his first full length album ‘Endangered Species,” you’ll see what I mean.

Nickodemus came up from the burbs, riding the wave one catches after getting a first set of turntables.  He spent years honing his craft and playing numerous clubs like Giant Step before setting up his own gigs with other musicians and friends.  The driving force behind their nights was a complete abandonment of a single musical style or genre.  You would hear Drum and Bass alongside Rare Groove, Dub right next to African rhythms with live musicians…and it was this genre bending atmosphere that shaped Nickodemus and his musical tastes.

He and his compatriot Mariano founded the world famous club Turntables on the Hudson in 1998, which took place on the Chelsea Pier, and have been rocking the party ever since.  The thing about their dance parties is that you won’t hear anything you recognize…but you won’t care.

Unless you’re one of those people who can’t dance unless they know the song.

Which brings up a good point.  What’s up with those people?

I run into them at gigs all the time, and no matter how freaking awesome a track you throw down, they refuse to dance unless it’s something they know from the radio. Then again, these are the same folks that will walk up to world famous DJs at a club to make requests for the new Fergie song, so I guess that tells you right there.

So to revise…this is music for the more adventurous of the bunch.

Hip Hop usually occupies the 90-100 BPM range…House and electronic, around 120-130.  Midtempo hangs around the 106-118 neighborhood and it’s a pretty groovy place to be. So if you’re looking for something that isn’t hip hop and not as fast as electronic or house…look no further.


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