Starkey – “Orbits” LP, Canadian dates & ticket contest


Last month, Philadelphia-based producer, DJ & music theory professor at the University Of Philadelphia – Starkey – dropped his third album, Orbits, via Civil Music.  It’s a bit of a concept album, highly inspired by science fiction films – incorporating cinematic influences as much as musical influences, which is a quality that has always been present in much of Starkey’s output.

In comparison to his previous full-length efforts that came out on Planet Mu, Pitchfork‘s review states that with Orbits, Starkey “manages to draw all his influences together into something more consistent, an actual streamlined signature sound that makes perfect sense given the records that preceded it.”  Mixmag also featured it as album of the month for January, & gave it a 9/10.


The single “Command” included remixes from UK-dubstep king Plastician & rising young producer Pedro123, and is a great example of the sci-fi inspired, synth’d out stutter funk sound that he’s perfected with this release.  Other favorites from the album include “Lzr,” “Thugs,” & “G V Star (Pt 2)” – his sound design really has reached a sublime level, each track bending your mind distinctively, transporting you to different dimensions of outer space.

starkey-poster-2Starkey returns to Canada this week for two shows, Thursday January 10th at TEN Nightclub in Calgary alongside Megalodon (event page) & the following Friday January 11th at The Waldorf Hotel in Vancouver with Max Ulis, Michael Red & dj Dubconscious (event page).  We’ve got two pairs of guestlist spots for both Vancouver & Calgary shows up for grabs – all you have to do is email me at & tell me the name of one of Starkey’s previous two albums that came out on Planet Mu – also please specify which city you are in.  For the Calgary show, the contest will be open until Wednesday January 9th at 8pm, at which point I will randomly select two correct answers as the winners & notify them by email.  For the Vancouver show, the contest will be open one day longer, entries accepted until Thursday January 10th, at 8pm.

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Lido Pimienta – live at W2 Lights NYE


As part of W2’s Lights New Year’s Eve celebration, Colombian-born & Toronto-based singer/songwriter Lido Pimienta will make her Vancouver debut alongside a star-studded cast of the finest artists in the city, & beyond.  Though she defies all labels by a mile, ‘Colombian psychedelic pop’ seems to be a term that works – sometimes referred to as a ‘Colombian darling,’ she makes a point of letting you know that her music hits on a much deeper & more intense level than a label like that might suggest.

Lido Pimienta – “La Rata” shot in Bogota, Colombia

Her first record, Color, saw a full vinyl release via LA-based label KU DE TA in 2010 to high praise across the board – from indie blogs to ABC News.  Cleverly combining afro-Latin percussion & songwriting with contemporary & experimental production styles she’s clearly defined a sound that is singularly her own.

She has a wealth of new material in the works for her next album with different producers from across the globe, including Atropolis & Thornato from NYC & Vancouver’s own WEPA! crew members, Self Evident & Gameboy, both of whom will be performing at the W2 Lights NYE party as well.  Keep up with her on her fan page, band camp, soundcloud & twitter.  This last track is my personal favorite so far, a collaboration with Javier Alerta.

lightsnye Continue reading

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Fat Freddy’s Drop – new single “Silver & Gold”

FFD26-1024x680New Zealand’s 9 times platinum, 7 member dub super group, Fat Freddy’s Drop, has a new album Blackbird dropping in 2013, and the first single “Silver & Gold” has been made available as a free download along with a New Zealand 12″ vinyl pressing, that’s already completely sold out – though they may do a European pressing when the album is released.  Download the track for free via their soundcloud below.


Back in November, they did a 2-show run of an ‘animated & illustrated’ live preview of the new album at the Sydney Opera House – they’ve offered up a bit of a video recap including interview clips and live footage, check it out here inna hi-fi, or via YouTube below.  Keeping things current, here is an interview with Fat Freddy’s saxophonist Scott Towers that dropped earlier today via, discussing the new album & other random things.


The band also recently released a set of remixes done by DJ Vadim featuring the vocalists from his band The ElectricPugz Atomz & Sabira Jade.  They’re all available for free download on their soundcloud, you might recognize the “Flashback” remix from my 2011 Shambhala promo mix, Fractured Sentiments.  Check for them after the drop. Continue reading

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Xmas giveaway: Smerins Antisocial Club – “Walking In The Air”


I’m never huge on Christmas cheer, but this ska reworking of a classic festive tune made famous by 1982’s The Snowman hit my inbox last week & has just been made available for a free download so I figured I’d share it to my blog.  Watch the full animation, including David Bowie’s introduction here.

The original composition was by Howard Blake and this cover was recorded by Bristol-based funk band, Smerins Antisocial Club.  The track was recorded at BBC studios for Nemone‘s BBC6 show back in 2010, which is the footage that makes up the music video.  You can download the track for free via their bandcamp here.  The Smerins clan is also known for their collaboration with Tenor Fly, on “Dr. Who,” where they re-imagine the melodies from the TV show’s theme song, in a reggae stylee.  This track came out on Brighton-based label Tru Thoughts.

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JETS: Machinedrum’s new project + ticket contest for Vancouver show with Sinjin Hawke

LSR004-Packshot-onlineJETS is a new collaborative project consisting of Jimmy Edgar (JE) & Machinedrum (aka Travis Stewart, or TS – get it?), and they’ve recently released a 4-track EP on Leisure System, home to releases from other groundbreaking artists such as Eprom and Pixelord.  The result is a delicate middle ground between Jimmy Edgar’s smooth electro-funk style & the frantic, decidedly less-accessible, experimental work that Machinedrum is known for – an infectious success, I’ve found, so far..


JETS live in Barcelona, Spain

They also turned in a mix for FACT Magazine recently, entitled JETS Elements Radio Vol. 1 – packed full of exclusives from each producer, also including a mock advertising segment halfway through – proving that their sense of humor is as strong as their sense of rhythm.  Click here or on the mix’s artwork below to read FACT’s write-up, listen to the mix & check out the full tracklisting.  Further down, you’ll also find footage of their Boiler Room London set from late last year, also check this video interview & write-up from Dazed Digital for even more insight on their project.


Machinedrum himself has been very busy with solo projects, and also has an ongoing collaboration with Praveen Sharma aka Braille, together known as Sepalcure.  They performed at Basscoast this past summer, receiving rave reviews for both solo & collaborative performances.  Travis’ remix of Eprom’s “Regis Chillbin” was re-appropriated by Azealia Banks for her “Aquababe” track, leading to her recent Machinedrum-produced “Luxury” single, the music video for which has seen over a million views on YouTube.  Our good friend Amy over at Dub Selekta dropped a great interview with Machinedrum leading up to the festival, which you can read here.

Machinedrum will be joined on this upcoming gig at Shine on Friday December 21st by Sinjin Hawke – a Montreal native that has been operating out of Barcelona, Spain for years now & has recently made a name for himself mainly with the release of his Lights EP on Pelican Fly.  He treated us with a live PA set back in September for New Forms Festival, & will be performing a DJ set this time around.  Check out the aforementioned EP, and his live set from Boiler Room LA below.

Now then, if you’ve made it this far, you must be looking for the contest info.  We have two single tickets up for grabs – all you have to do is email me here at & tell me which city Machinedrum now calls home.  Entries will be accepted through ’til 6pm PST on Thursday December 20th, at which point two correctly-answering winners will be chosen at random & notified by email.  With a star-studded cast of local support including HxdB, Resident Advisor‘s Andrew Ryce, and Eames, this is most definitely the place to spend your last night on Earth, if the Mayan Calendar prophecy holds any truth… Continue reading

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gLAdiator – “New” LP, Don Diablo remix + ticket contest for Vancouver show

gLAdiator live at Dim Mak Studios w/ dj Sliink & Thugli

gLAdiator live at Dim Mak Studios

One of California’s freshest beatmaking exports are LA-based duo gLAdiator, who offered up a brand new full-length release for free download via their soundcloud yesterday.  Entitled New, their album is a foray into the currently fertile breeding ground shared between today’s bass music spectrum and the southern hip hop aesthetic.


gLAdiator opening for Rusko at Club Nokia in LA

Late last week they also unleashed a monster remix of dutch producer Don Diablo’s “M1 Stinger” – again the track is available for free download below.


gLAdiator hits town this Thursday, December 20th at Fortune Sound Club for their debut Vancouver appearance, and we’ve got two pairs of tickets up for grabs – just email me here at & tell me the names of the two members of gLAdiator.  I’ll take submissions thru ’til 6pm PST on Wednesday December 19th at which point I’ll randomly choose two correct answers, each of which will be put on the guestlist with a +1, and notified early Thursday.

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Wax Wednesdays at The Waldorf


The DJ booth inside the Tiki Bar

Last week, I started up a new weekly, all-vinyl reggae & dancehall night at the famous Tiki Bar, inside The Waldorf Hotel.  Each Wednesday night, Vancouver’s top reggae DJs will be bringing you a night of strictly vinyl selections, focusing on classic dancehall, reggae & dub.  There is no cover, music will run from 9pm-2am, & each week a different featured rum special will be on for $6 – last week it was a Dark & Stormy, featuring Gosling’s rum from Bermuda.

wax_postcard_300Our first week ended up being a surprising success with Lighta! Sound’s Self Evident passing through with some sublime dub & Studio One selections earlier on, following up with some tougher dancehall riddims at the end of the night.  This week we continue with another guest from Lighta! Sound – Mandai – known for her frequent trips to Jamaica acquiring dubplates from some of the country’s most highly regarded vocalists.  Check her Basscoast 2011 set below, stacked full of custom Lighta! Sound dubplates.. Click here for the event page.


The Tiki Bar

Wax Wednesdays takes a break on December 19th when the Tiki is closed for a private party, but is back in full force on Boxing Day, featuring another two heavy-hitters from Lighta! Sound – Taal Mala & Tank Gyal, the latter of which is responsible for Vancouver’s most popular dancehall weekly, Thursday Ting!  Check out her classic slack Agony” dancehall mix below, as well as a short set from Taal Mala of exclusive Lighta! dubplates recorded in Jamaica.. tikiparty I’ve also decided to upload my all-vinyl dancehall & reggae mix from back in 2009, The Upset, to give everyone an idea of the selections to expect from me.  Click here to get the soundcloud page for a full tracklisting, including riddims.  Hope to see you down for a Wednesday soon!

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