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Show Preview: Turkuaz and Jonathan Scales Fourchestra @ The Rex in Pittsburgh, 12/18/14

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Come celebrate Christmas a week early with Turkuaz and Jonathan Scales Fourchestra at the Rex for a funky-jolly dashin’ good night. If you’re heart isn’t warm enough with holiday joy, getting it pumpin’ on the dance floor might do you some good.

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Get your tickets before the show or at the door, which opens at 7pm.

For more information, check out Alex Neal’s interview with Dave Brandwein and my review on their show in Pittsburgh back in April of this year.

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Show Review: Netsky @ Mr. Smalls Theatre, 12/9/14

Netsky. Skynet? Arnold Schwarzenegger? What do these three things have in common? They are all massive. If you couldn’t make it out because you were studying for finals or stuck beneath that rock you’re living under, Netsky came to Pittsburgh with fellow DJ Kove to bring live drum & bass to Mr. Smalls. It was certainly nothing that I had expected. Netsky hit his peak in 2011 when America was teeming with electronic dance music and obsessed with Boris the Belgian. It makes sense that he was only able to make it to the ‘burgh three years down the road when his demand lowered to a reasonable level. It was clear from the start of the show that the energy was incendiary. The MC controlled the ebb and flow of the crowd with commands and the crowd faithfully appeasing the UK hype man. Maybe there WERE Skynet cyborgs in the crowd…Anywho, when amongst the fans you could tell that everyone was there to get down and dirty with the UK electronic sound pounding through the subwoofers.

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What was good? Netsky’s band was extremely talented. The keyboardist had flash-like fingers at points moving so fast that I was unsure that he was even playing the notes. The drummer was equally speedy and undoubtedly rough with his drum set hard-wired into their array of synthesizers and MIDI controllers. Lastly Netsky brought out a vocalist, whose pipes melted the air and soothed the soul. The fire those three brought to the stage connected with the audience and set the 18th century church ablaze. It was a comedic dichotomy to look at the drummer and keyboardist compared with Netsky, because they probably had 20+ years on him with complete or near complete baldness to boot. I walked out of the venue with muffled ears and my mind rearranged.

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What was meh? Surprisingly, Netsky himself. This was certainly an event where he took the backseat. As a producer and DJ he is phenomenal. Those two qualities brought him to the world stage when he was a mere 21 years of age. But, as a keyboardist performer…not so much. It wasn’t that he hit the wrong notes or played anything off key, but rather he just didn’t do anything that one could call..impressive. The live show brought out the simplicity of drum & bass that always felt more like a labyrinth of sound to me before. Perhaps it was his co-band mates who outshined Boris as a performer or that the performance was a little too scripted for my taste. Having been to the UK, there are often MCs who help to pump up the crowd. While I can’t deny the fun in call-and-response, it gets a bit stale after the 12th or 13th time saying the same thing. MC Netsky: learn some new rhymes dude.

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Overall, it was an excellent experience. If you know Netsky’s productions, he played a bunch of the hits like Everyday and Tomorrow’s Another Day and kept the crowd jumping like a school of fish. My only hope is that Netsky will come back to the ‘burgh to give us a solo taste of his DJ medicine.

 

Check out the video from my iFern below to see what you missed.

 

Cheers!

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“Imagine Rick Ross driving his Maybach around the rings of Saturn:” My Interview with LeMoti

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We were recently granted the opportunity to talk with LeMoti, two dudes from Pittsburgh who really love hip hop, about their musical influences, upcoming music and what their future awaits.

LeMoti, or Mason and Erli, are about to release their debut EP, “Hush Money,” out December 15 on Sleeveless Records. You can listen to their debut EP here, on their SoundCloud.

Continue reading

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Show Announcement: Turkuaz and Jonathan Scales Fourchestra @ The Rex Theater, 12/18/14

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What better way to warm your heart for the holidays than a feel-good show?

On December 18th, a week before Christmas, Turkuaz and Jonathan Scales Fourchestra will be playing in Pittsburgh at the Rex, which is part of Turkuaz’s Stereochrome EP tour.

I heard about Turkuaz back in April, when I saw them the Saturday before Easter, but this will be the first time I’ve ever heard Jonathan Scales Fourchestra live.

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Charleston City Paper

Jonathan Scales is best known for playing the steel pan, but he’s also played the saxophone since he was in high school. After graduating college in 2002, he formed a jazz fusion band called Jonathan Scales Fourchestra. Although they’ve been active since 2006, Scales had only created solo albums until 2013, when the Scales and fourchestra  came out with their debut album.  I love the song”Life After D”, which features Victor Wooten, and “Contortionist Ballerina”.

Turkuaz is a 9-piece band with some serious horsepower. You would think, being such a big band, they would have issues with small spaces but they make even a smaller venue, like the Rex, work in their favor. This is a group with some serious chemistry, as every move and note they make is not out of place with the rest. What makes that so amazing is, they all look like they’re doing their own thing and not really minding the other, as if they were in complete natural harmony with themselves. You can read more about them on my post from April.

Here’s a great cover of “Psycho Killer” by Turkuaz

Doors open at 8pm. Show starts at 9pm. Tickets are available online and at the door.

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Show Preview: Flosstradamus @ Terminal 5, 12/12/14

New York, get ready. After a summer of top-tiered festival appearances including Coachella and HARD Summer, Flosstradamus are bringing their HDYNATION tour to New York City for two consecutive nights of turning up at Terminal 5 on December 12th and 13th.

The Chicago-based duo are known for their energetic live shows and their unique production style which bridges several genres. It’s been a meteoric rise for J2K and Autobot. In 2014, the duo have collaborated with Waka Flocka Flame, Elkka and released an EP with Travis Porter, “Wake and Bake.” With tour dates going into the new year, Flosstradamus show no signs of stopping.

 

Flosstradamus are bringing the HDYNATION all over the states in the coming month. Tagging along are special guests GTA and Two9. Tickets are available online.

 

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Album Review: “Smokes” by Woo Park

 

Stop, drop, and spin this new EP just released from Chicago-based psychedelic soul warriors, Woo Park. “Smokes” features a fresh take on a jazzy core, exploring and integrating a vasty array of genres–a little funk, a little soul, a little hip hop–you know, everything that’s good in the world. Emily Nichols’ powerful, sultry vocal prowess draws you in, encouraging you to dive deeper and deeper into the music, with the rest of the band there to take you further. Smooth synth work flows through mellow guitar licks, groovin’ bass lines, and kickin’ drum beats. This album reminds me of club music. As in, some secret swanky underground club. My only upset with this one is that it seems like it’s over by the time I press play. This nine-track EP flies by and I just have to put it on again. What I do like is the fluidity of it, which keyboardist/synth wizard, Christian Zwit says was Woo Park’s intention behind the album, “…for it to be a straight listen, front to back.” Continue reading

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New Music: LeMoti – Hush Money

Pittsburgh duo Le Moti released the first single, “Hush Money,” from their upcoming debut EP of the same name, out December 15 on Stylust Beats’ Sleeveless Records. “Hush Money” bridges a fine gap between lowtemp, classical dubstep and trap aesthetics. The track is melodic, haunting and slow. It shows a great deal of potential from the up-and-coming duo.