Nicolaas Jar and Peaking Lights – Making mixtapes for fun

my life is a whirlwind of overwhelming undecided muck. I dont even have time to evoke one clear thought on one particular piece. but I feel compelled to share that there are two people (actually 3.5 total) that are blowing my mind with projects they’ve been coming out with recently… and its not even their full time job.

Both Peaking Lights and Nicolas Jaar are releasing thought-pulsing, incredible mixes and the craziest part is… they’re just side projects of theirs. Yes they have an LP in the mix, a tour in the mix, but these… oh, these are just for fun.

For fun?!? You freaks of nature. How do you find time in your epic musical life to create the most awesome mixes, just for fun? And your fun becomes my fun; our fun! You blow my mind. When I go play basketball and have fun, no one else has fun because of my fun. That’s not the way it works. Quit winning at everything!

But seriously, please don’t quit winning. You’re mixes Jean-Grey my mind for 2 hours straight: I love it.

Nico Jaar  just created a 2 hour long mix for BBC Radio 1 that goes in every direction imaginable from Jay-Z to classical beauty. Very Jaar-esque.

And then these nincompoops, Peaking Lights, have time to be in love, have a baby, and then make 4 fucking mixes on top of their sophomore LP coming up in June. Are you shitting me!? You freaks. Do you time travel? Did you clone yourselves like that terrible Michael Keaton movie to help you take care of your daily responsiblities? I have no clue but  keep it up.

Lucifer 4, the 4th installment of the Lucifer mixtape series in honor of their baby, is an early summer feel-good reggae fest. It’s for real good times.

Jack White and Spiritualized – AG Rojas makes some awesomely disturbing videos

I came across both these awesomely fucked up videos in anticipation for both Jack White and Spiritualized’s upcoming LPs Blunderbuss and Sweet Heart, Sweet Light. Both videos stand alone in being a couple of the most intense, shocking and visually stunning videos to pair with some awesome high intensity tracks.

and then I noticed the connection: AG Rojas, you dirty director, you; you sure know how to make one sick video…. or a couple of sick videos.

Jack White – Sixteen Saltines

Disturbing Video #1 – A child governed world with no laws or gravity. Destruction=Fun.

Spiritualized – Hey Jane

Disturbing Video #2 – A typical day in the life of a low-income, trans-gender single parent, prostitute/stripper/warrior…. (Rojas. you went too far with this one.)

Sweet Heart, Sweet Light is out today via Double Six and is already being hailed as one of their best albums since Jason Pierce started doing way too many drugs, and then stopped, and started doing other drugs to keep him from doing more of the other drugs.

Blunderbuss is out April 24 via Third Man/Columbia, and let’s be honest, can Jack White do any wrong? It’s doubtful. You’ll also be able to stream the album in full tonight @ 9pm via iTunes, here.

Peaking Lights – Lucifer Mixtape

so two days ago I found this James Murphy set that I wanted to share with the world but I couldn’t figure out how to insert the damn screwy music player. follow the lame link at the bottom.

alas, it all happens for a reason cause I found another disco funk mixtape even nastier than James Murphy’s. but how can it be?!

turns out the stellar mix was made by this new age dub-pop duo and their baby, aka Peaking Lights.

exqueeze me? baking powder?  this mom and pop couple created this dirty disco mix entitled “Lucifer”?… in inspiration to their newborn baby?….

it all makes a bit more sense when you hear how they talk:

All of our record titles have come to us in dreams, daydreams and epiphanies. Lucifer sat so strong with us. It means “Venus, bearer of light” and is the first sign of the sunrise. There are some major astrological and astronomical events involving Venus in this year of 2012.

…It’s changed us, or maybe we were already changed when we wrote it and it is that cathartic release. There was a new approach to recording our rhythms and we were able to see thru many more influences. To us this record is about play and playfulness, unconditional love, rhythms and pulses, creation and vibration.

ooooohhh. so they’re those kind of ppl… they look about like every young parent in line at greenlife in asheville, sipping on iced mate with a cart full of organic asparagus baby food.

regardless of hippy snobbery, this infant (Mikko) must be the most righteous baby-muse of all time, because he inspired two nasty funky mixtapes, in prelude to their full LP, Lucifer, out June 18, via Mexican Summer. listen to the first of the two mixtapes above. by the sounds of it, Lucifer will have us all feeling damn playful .

*James Murphy footnote:


here’s the James Murphy’s discotastic funk jam at the Boiler Room in London, via RBMA Radio.

Action Bronson – Blue Chips mixtape

Action Bronson is a fat rapper that rips verses about food and sounds a lot like Ghostface. enough said.

Did I mention he’s also a Chef? Peter Luger, AKA Action Bronson, is a Queens bred Albanian Jew who is a trained fire-flame gourmet chef. needless to say Bronsonlinho isnt rapping about hitting up the Waffle House or BK after the club, but rather gettin down on “skirt steak shaved up straight up off the diaphram” or intricate preparation styles:

bone marrow roasted/spread it on the rosemary bread lightly toasted/drizzle with the vinagarette/ stuffed dutches and its pulling like a cigarette”

ugghhhh!!! no one has ever made high dining sound so fucking gangster! and I for one am in love with the gourmet/rap combination. Bronsonlinho does sound an insane amount like Ghostface Killah, but after wrestling with this conflict I’ve come to the conclusion: who the fuck careS? they share stylistic patterns in the NY rap game and he’ll tell you himself:

I’m not an actor, I don’t put voices on, I don’t do voice-overs, I’m not a Las Vegas act. I do me. This is my voice. I sound like nobody, I sound like me.

thats good enough for me. check his mixtape “Blue Chips” below w/ Party Supplies, which is elevating his rap status from demi-gangster to sous-gangster. he’s on the way to his executive gangster gig.

and as long as we’re talking about ugly rappers (I’m assuming most equate obese with ugly: whoops)… I’m not the first to say this, but Danny Brown is one ugly motherfucker. but this breezy new track with a laid back west coast groove feels like some classic early 90s track just got busted out of the basement. freakin fantastic track from this detroit rapper steppin up his game

Fat Tuesday! – DJ Chicken’s Mardi Gras ‘Under the Bridge’ Mix

it’s time to celebrate! it’s time to drink, to revel in the streets, to get down and dirty to rightheous line music!

when it’s Mardi Gras, that’s just what you do.

the mix below is most amazing thing I could’ve found today: an amazing Mardi Gras mix full of brass band jams mixed by Nola radio and block party DJ, DJ Chicken: guest mix courtesy of Louisiana Music and Culture magazine, OffBeat.

its a freaking raucous block party mix that leaves you craving to be amidst the rowdy filth of New Orleans with every beat and step. Mardi Gras is my favoritest holiday ever and it makes me so sad to not be able to celebrate it fully, but this mix brings you that much closer to it.

Laissez le Bon temp rouler! – let the good times roll, son!

Shabazz Palaces / Schoolboy Q: feeling vs faded

just for comparison purposes, take a look at the screen captures below for each video: one a colorful tribal african mask; the other, a black/white shot of an arsenal of Coronas. both images capturing a shot of rap culture’s two extremes.

Shabazz Palaces’ “are you… can you… were you (felt)?

Seattle Afro Arabic rap duo, Shabazz Palaces’ video “are..can…were you (felt)?” is a beautifully shot video with colorful floral pulses in the backdrop. following a beautiful au natural young black girl on her bike, she returns home and through an argument with her mother in Amharic (language of Ethiopia) we discover a distinct identity crisis of the cultures she inhabits: not just african and american, but the traditional of her mother and the contemporary of her own youth. the prolific song itself highlights the idea of ambivalence in “feeling”, expressing the constant collective internalization of a culture struggling to find an identity; a consciousness that cant even be expressed in words: “I can’t explain it with words/ I have to do it/ The ship I came here on vanished”. its just a feeling. visualize the feeling below:

got the feeling? now try not to feel anything. don’t think anything. does “weed and brews” come to mind?

Schoolboy Q feat. A$APRocky – Hands on the Wheel

in west coast “hippie rapper”, Schoolboy Q and A$AP Rocky’s video, “Hand’s on the Wheel”, these guys are taking every action to feel as little as possible, or to obtain the anti-feeling: “faded”. with a chorus filled with “weed and brews. life for me is just weed and brews”, the only feeling these guys introspect upon is “feeling lit, feeling light”; the physical feeling, of unfeeling. witness the awesomeness of no feeling below:

why did i decide to compare 2 obviously opposite videos? because they’re both super awesome. and I love them both. feeling vs faded? whats ultimately better?

who knows and who cares?! its obvious that in the rap game, it really doesn’t matter. as long as the musics in it, theres some feeling in it for everyone.

Alberto Rossini – videos directed for Desire & Glass Candy

i’ve been seeing all these awesome videos coming out with beautiful Super 8 footage to compliment these kaleidescopic synth-pop songs from bands that i’ve shamefully rarely heard of. lo and behold they’re all done by the same italian director, Alberto Rossini. the guy takes this fantastic hazy real life footage and makes a simple ride in a van seem some wild throwback biopic. its really just pleasant to watch and matches the music perfectly.

check out two of my favorites below:

Desire – “Don’t Call”

Glass Candy – “Warm in the Winter”

you can also check out my past post for another Glass Candy video, Halloween.

James Blake – “A Case of You” Video

this is a return from a long lulled hiatus of music finding and writing. in one of the most turbulent times of my life, i chose this song and video to harp upon; a piece that i feel truly captures the various shades and forms of darkness that can confront you in whatever stage of life your setting in.

James Blake, the young prince of dubstep, does a remake of the classic Joni Mitchell song, “A Case of You”, with an amazingly expressive video to compliment, directed by Seb Edwards and starring the beautiful Rebecca Hall (The Town, Frost/Nixon, The Prestige). Hall’s variety of expressions and emotions is as wide as the light spectrum used in the video, capturing the perpetual abrupt changes of moments through time.

there are incredible fluctuations of light: light to dark in the blink of an eye; smiling moments brightened by the warmth of luminescence and then flashes to harsh darkness; smiles to slides, just like that.

its a god damn rollercoaster of emotions. its a video that seriously gives me chills everytime i watch it for no further reason that the tumultuous moments through it captures the chaotic nature of time thats hits all too close to reality. its not all good or bad. its not all light or dark. its everything in between. man it’ll fuck you up, but we just gotta stay on our feet…

check out “A Case of You” on James Blake’s Enough Thunder EP, released on October 10, 2011 via ATLAS.

Darkside – Darkside EP

Nicolas Jaar just recently took his first sip of alcohol legally, but he was producing and distributing minimalist electro-pop tracks before he could even take his first drag of a clove cigarette. now a Brown student, studying comparative literature, the kid runs his own self started and solid record label, Clown and Sunset, and his debut full length album, Space Is Only Noise, although staying fairly under the radar has recieved critical praise amongst many (including a “pitchfork: best new music” title).

most recently he has released a free EP, under the side project Darkside that he calls “the closest thing to rock n’ roll I’ve ever done”. the sounds include his warm sonic waves of ambient tones and disruptive rhythms accompanied by perpetual burn searing guitar and bass riffs by Dave Harrington. taking the cosmic jams and unhinged rhythms that he commands so well in combination with gypsy-like guitar patterns and distant chants, the EP takes you on a solace desert journey into relaxation; although Jaar will tell you when it comes to relaxing, he “doesn’t like the feeling” .

Listen to the Darkside EP below.

also, fantastically juxtaposed is this mix Jaar created for XLR8R, which throws a slew of classic timed tracks into the dark and jazzed realm of his minimalist and house tendencies. one side (darkside), then the other: neither disappoint.

01 Bob Dylan “Love Sick” (Sony)
02 Nicolas Jaar “What My Last Girl Put Me Through”
03 Wendy Rene “After Laughter Comes Tears (Nicolas Jaar Edit)”
04 Nicolas Jaar “Materials (Nico’s Bluewave Edit)”
05 The Enticers “Thief (Live Set Edit)”
06 Pharoah Sanders “Meeting John Coltrane”
07 Nicolas Jaar “Variations” (Circus Company)
08 Nicolas Jaar “Hage Chahine (feat. Will Epstein)” (Wolf+ Lamb)
09 Nicolas Jaar “Dubliners” (Clown & Sunset)
10 Nicolas Jaar “Colomb” (Circus Company)
11 Nicolas Jaar “Avalanche (Tribute to Leonard Cohen)”
12 Nicolas Jaar “Russian Dolls” (Clown & Sunset)
13 Nicolas Jaar “Encore”

Monday get-up: Oneohtrix Point Never’s “Brooklyn Bombers” Mixes

out of work?— too bad its already twilight. ridden with sickness. cold weather. and its freaking Monday. fmlim (fuck my life its monday)

in times when you need a big time distraction to appease that mind of mush that you’ve brought along with you on your monday endeavors you need a good mix. and obviously not something bright and cheery: i mean its fucking monday.

Oneohtrix Point Never’s, Daniel Lopatin, was gracious enough to create a pair of mixes for Drowned in Sound titled “Brooklyn Bombers” and is compiled of “A SURVEY OF VARIOUS ARTISTS CURRENTLY RESIDING IN BROOKLYN I BELIEVE”, as Lopatin screams at us.

ignoring the fact that Brooklyn is anything but an underfocused locale in the music scene, this mix is incredibly compiled together including a slew of under-the-radar brooklyn artists from ambient and synth pop realms all the way to some drone and lo-fi, they all form into a tighly knit mix of blissful, yet nonsensical sounds, to gradually drive you through the grueling monday hours and tastefully appease that beautiful mind of mush dwelling inside your head.

Vol. 1

VOLUME 1: Tracklisting

01 FORMA – 246

Vol. 2

VOLUME 2: Tracklisting


and if that doesn’t do the trick, there’s always this…