Monday, December 31, 2012

The Gentleman

Lomography LC-A+
Lomography Color 100 35mm film

Triple exposure
1. Palm Tree
2. Pabst Blue Ribbon truck
3. Well dressed gentleman.

Capital Steez and the Pro Era - Stardom is a Mother F******

As the year comes to an end, I like to reflect on the adventures I've experienced 
and accomplishments I've made in the past 365 days. 
Rarely am I blown away about something brand new that is happening right 
in the middle of this annual reflection. 
On December 23rd of 2012 I stumbled upon a new hip-hop group out of Flatbush Brooklyn named,
the Pro Era.
Joey Bad Ass, Kirk Knight, CJ Fly, A LA Sole, Capital Steez, Dessy Hinds
Dirty Sanchez, Rokamouth, Nyck Caution, KWON and Dyemond Lewis.

Comprised of roughly 11 urban fashionista, backpacker, freestyle spitting, underground hip hop ascending Brooklynites, the Pro Era brings back all that has been missing from hip hop.
Packed with well produced samples, classic beat machine breakdowns and rhymes that 
make you feel like you are on a Brooklyn bound subway, 
the Pro Era is like a modern day Boot Camp Clik.

Almost immediately after sharing their new mixtape on Facebook,
it grew apparent that there was something wrong in the world of the Pro Era.
Unfortunately one of their shining members, Capital Steez,
died entirely too soon on the morning of December 24th, 2012.
Along with the rest of the hip hop world, I was shocked and saddened.
In an erie twist to Steez's death was his his final tweet:
"The end". 

It is still not disclosed what the cause of death for Capital Steez was, but the final tweet is 
a grim reminder at how social media is sometimes like a digital hell.
Fear not hip hoppers, the Pro Era will live on and will continue their success. 
After listening to the album numerous times, 
I have no doubt in my mind that we will be seeing more from these guys.
I also do not doubt that they will use the untimely death of Capital Steez as a method 
of motivation to become some of the most noted faces in Brooklyn hip hop history.

For the Pro Era Mixtape 

For more Pro Era music... Pro Era Soundcloud

Hoop Dreams

Little Italy, NYC, 2012.

I travel from city to city,
every one is different than the last.
One thing that stays the same,
is Love.

Special Thanks to: 2012 being over, Surviving the end of the world in the company of old friends.

Free Download: DJ Shadow Offers Free Download of DJ Set that Got Him Kicked Off the Decks in Miami

It's New Year's Eve and what better way to kick off 2013 than with a dope free download from the legendary DJ Shadow! You've probably heard the story of how Shadow was recently booted of the turntables in a posh Miami nightclub for playing music that was dubbed "too future."

Shadow vowed to release that set so we could all be the judge and today he has done just that! Download the genre-blurring set below and be sure to blast this loud as you usher in 2013:

Special Thanks: DJ Shadow for always innovating, 2013 being the dawning of a new era, The San Francisco 49ers back in the playoffs, Solomun, Headtron New Years Eve party in Santa Monica, good friends and much love

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

New Music Tuesdays: Get in the Holiday Spirit with this Free Download of Wham! "Last Christmas" Remixed By Ninja Tune Artist Slugabed

Woke up this morning and came across this cheeky lil gem of a remix! We've all heard Wham!'s classic holiday tune, "Last Christmas" about a million times, but you've never heard it quite like this. Ninja Tune artist, Slugabed, has some fun and offers his remix of the original by turning it into something that's going to the top of our 2012 holiday playlist.

Get your FREE Holiday DOWNLOAD on right here:

Special Thanks: Ninja Tune, Slugabed, Wham!, good holiday music, Man of Steel full trailer being not a disappointment, The LA Dodgers becoming the NL Yankees, Oblivion and m83

Monday, December 10, 2012

Music Mondays: Stones Throw Records Head Honcho Peanut Butter Wolf Reflects on the 20th Anniversary of Dr. Dre's "The Chronic" and Offers Unreleased Track

Everyone seems to be getting in on the 20th anniversary celebration of Dr. Dre's landmark hip-hop album, "The Chronic" and justifiably so. Now Los Angeles-based Stones Throw Records founder, Peanut Butter Wolf is reflecting on his love of G-Funk in a new interview with SPIN, where he also offers up an unreleased track from 1993 that sees the producer trying to tap into his inner D.R.E. Certainly not a bad effort to my ears, but the talent was clearly there from the beginning and Peanut Butter Wolf would eventually merge his diverse musical influences to carve his own signature sound with Stones Throw Records (thankfully).

                                                        The good Doc in "The Chronic" era
                                                  Peanut Butter Wolf doing what he does best

Special Thanks: Getting snuffed out of my fantasy football playoffs in round 1 to MC EVeryman no less, wrapping presents and breaking out the DuRock holiday playlist for the first time in 2012, vegetarian chili w/ daiya cheese, good tunes and big laughs

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Something Sublime for Saturday: Ulrich Schnauss Preps First New Album in Six Years With Free Download "A Long Way to Fall" and Beautiful Music Video

I've been championing the sounds of Ulrich Schnauss for over a decade now. With artists like Tycho beginning to catch fire with the more discerning electronic music lovers this year, it's important to know about Ulrich Schnauss. His first two albums, 2001's "Far Away Trains Passing By" and 2003's "A Strangely Isolated Place" are certified classics in the downtempo music community, combining elements of shoegaze, rock and Schnauss' signature layers of sublime electronic atmospherics.

Now six years after he released, "Goodbye," Schnauss is retuning with a brand-new album in January 2013. To mark the anticipated release, he's offered a free download of new song, "A Long Way to Fall" over on his SoundCloud page along with dropping a gorgeous music video for the track.

Check them out and be sure to play them when you want to get lost in another world.

Special Thanks: Pittfire Pizza parties to celebrate MC EVeryman's 30th birthday, sleeping in, warm egg  sandwiches, Nate Dogg, Native Foods, creative friends and fantasy football playoffs beginning 

Friday, December 7, 2012

Dub Out Your Christmas with this Free Holiday Download from Fort Knox Five

With the holidays here, there's been a lot of crappy Christmas music everywhere. But our friends Fort Knox 5 have put together one of their famous remixes, this time in the form of a deep dub reggae reworking of some classic Christmas cuts. Hello Charlie Brown!

Go get your download on right here and be sure to put this on your holiday playlist:

Special Thanks: Friday pizza parties, MC EVeryman celebrating 30 years on this planet, dope Submotion Orchestra remixes, blueberry muffins, upcoming m83 film scores, The New York Knicks and Tycho coming back to the Troubadour in January 2013

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Free Download: Gangstarr "Code of the Streets (The Apple Scruffs Edit)"

Sometimes you just need to go back to the classics...

This dope edit of the Gangstarr track "Code of the Streets" by The Apple Scruff hits all the right notes and is a prime example of a group operating at the peak of their creative powers.

Special Thanks: Gangstarr, RIP Guru, the late MC's first 2 volumes in the acclaimed 'Jazzmataz' series, Planas, Scribbler podcasts, friends who have excellent taste in tunes and give a damn

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Total Science Offer Free Download of their Remix of dRamatic and dbAudio's Drum & Bass Jam "Far Away (Feat. Grimm)"

The hits just keep coming this week! Another of Upperhands' favorite drum & bass dons, Total Science, have just made their slamming remix of dRamatic and dbAudio's song "Far Away (Feat. Grimm)" available for FREE download via their SoundCloud page.

Full on rolling liquid funk, this is an absolute must for all the true d&B headz out there!

Special Thanks: Total Science, Free downloads, Jackson Market, liquid drum & bass, Major Lazer, organic black tea, midweek getdown sessions with friends and the anticipated debut of Little Giants

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Flying Lotus is out of his mind. In a good way: The Captain Murphy Mixtape - FREE DL

As if Flying Lotus wasn't already creatively out of his mind, he has yet again baffled me 
on what planet he resides from, because it's not Earth. 
Laying down a "Madlib Medicine Show-esque" mix album is no easy job, 
but Flying Lotus nails it and goes a little bit deeper than Madlib: 
An accompanying video for the entire album.

"Captain Murphy" still masked on some MF Doom ish.

Flying Lotus from under the covered veil.
Nice gold cape.

Under the moniker Captain Murphy, Flying Lotus finally reveals to the world that 
he's been rapping all along. Featured as Captain Murphy on some of his previous releases,
Flying Lotus has the flow of Guilty Simpson, matched with the boasting of 
Beanie Siegel. Guaranteed to make you nod your head til your fitted hat 
falls off are the dirty dusty old breaks that Flying Lotus remixes. 
Anyone who knows hip hop on a higher level will recognize some of the 
classics samples that have blessed songs like De La Soul's, "Pony Ride" track,
 that re-works "High on Sunshine" by the Commodores.

Guaranteed to flip the script is the video that accompanies the mixtape. 
I don't want to give the whole thing away, so I will keep this breif.
You remember in the 90's when that bald dude created a cult, got a whole grip of 
people to believe that the world was coming to an end, then finally convinced them to  
taste the death drink?
The theme of the accompanying video to Captain Murphy contains multiple clips from the video
the cult leader made and distributed to the press upon his death. 
Or was it his final enlightenment?

To stream the video and mix together from Flying Lotus' site, Captain Murphy XXX
To donwload the  Instrumental mix in .mp3 form to your iTunes,  Strictlybeats.blogspot
For every other form you're going to have to get it yourself, 
it's out there, but you didn't hear it from me.

Special Thanks to: The Art of Flight Snowboarding series on Netflix, Flying Lotus, addictions to computers.

New Music Tuesdays: LTJ Bukem Classic Drum & Bass Track "Return to Atlantis" Gets Remixed by DJ Marky & S.P.Y

Hold up! Wow, one of the biggest tracks in drum & bass history, "Return to Atlantis," the 1993 classic by LTJ Bukem has just been given a fresh re-rub from none other than DJ Marky and S.P.Y! Keeping plenty of the original intact but beefing up the drums for 2013...this one is a sure-fire dancefloor filler!

Out now via the recently re-launched Good Looking Records!

Now Mr. Bukem, would you kindly please come back to Los Angeles?

Special Thanks: Drum & Bass legends, LTJ Bukem, DJ Marky, S.P.Y, the debut of Little Giants, The Prodigy's 'The Fat of the Land" album turning 15, My SF Giants for overpaying CF Angel Pagan for the sake of team chemistry and breakfast for dinner.

New Music Tuesdays: Motor City Drum Ensemble Prepares to Release New EP in January 2013

One of our favorite producers of 2012, Motor City Drum Ensemble, has delivered some good news in that he'll be releasing an EP of all-new music via his label, MCDE, on January 30, 2013!

Take a look at the album cover:

The tracklisting is:

A1. Send A Prayer Pt.1
A2. Send A Prayer Pt.2
B1. The Stranger
B2. SP11

This has us really excited and also hopeful that he may finally come to Los Angeles for a gig!

In the meantime, here's his excellent Resident Advisor Podcast that still sounds so fresh:

Special Thanks: Motor City Drum Ensemble, Proper House music, Classic Christmas jams, SF Giants keeping Angel Pagan even if they had to give him 1 more year than they should have, sunshine returning to LA and warm gingerbread cookies

Monday, December 3, 2012

New Music Monday: Random Movement Podcast #39

Random Movement Live @ RESPECT, Los Angeles 2011

Random Movement
Liquid Drum and Bass Producer and DJ
Hails from Ohio.
 Encompasses all that is fresh in Drum and Bass music with monthly 
Podcasts that exhibit conscious Drum and Bass on the forefront of production 
and mixing quality. 

Featuring new tracks from Dj Marky and S.P.Y., A-Sides, Pennygiles and 
one of Upperhand's favorite producers, MSDOS. 

One hour and 15 minutes of bone, brain and muscle liquifying beats for your mental.

Special Thanks to: Good friends who are battling disease - Stay Strong L's!, Unfortunate events in Kansas City, RIP Jordan Belcher, RIP MCA, RIP Austin Peralta, , RIP the Notorious B.I.G., R.I.P. Tupac Shakur, R.I.P. Big L, the gift of music, the gift of sound, Cameras, thanks to a tribe called quest, the Beastie Boys, to de la soul and to The Roots, thanks to KRS ONE, Gangstarr, all the Hip Hop backpackers, every spray can ever made, the invention of the turntable, Michael Jordan, every time that paint drips, MF Doom, skateboards, Dr. Dre's "The Chronic", tape decks with record buttons, Sony walkmans Miles Davis' trumpet, Bob Marley's heart, The Fugees, breaking curfews, drinking your first 40, seeing The Matrix for the first time in the movie theater, the first time you saw graffiti, the first time you did graffiti, the first time you saw someone play a guitar live, the first time you realized you are going to die, realizing you are a mere dot in the big picture of the world, realizing you mean something to this world.

Music Mondays: Massive Attack's 3D Puts Together Very Special Free Mixtape To Honor The Late Singer Terry Callier

Massive Attack have long been considered electronic dance music pioneers and one of our favorite groups. They recently re-released a special remastered version of their seminal debut album, "Blue Lines" earlier this month, and now, after the sad passing of legendary folk/soul singer, Terry Callier, founding Massive Attack member, 3D has put together this very special free mixtape stemming from their recording sessions in 2005. The results were the standout track, "Live With Me" from Massive Attack's greatest hits album, "Collection" and some additional collaborations on Callier's last album, "Hidden Conversations."

Fans will love hearing how 3D took some of the studio outtakes, stripped them down and spliced in some very candid moments with Callier in the studio. You can hear just how warm his voice still sounded.

Take a listen to the Windmill Sessions below:

Here's the video for the much different version of "Live With Me" that was featured on Massive Attack's excellent "Collection" album:

Special Thanks: Terry Callier who will never be forgotten, Massive Attack, Rainy Day Music, Blue Lines Remastered album sounding better than ever, Big laughs at the Ad-Rock Variety show at Largo, Random Movement podcasts and quinoa.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

KICKS #5 - Patrick Ewing 33 His

Patrick Ewing #33 Hi (Re Release)
Retail Price: Approx. $150.00

Ten Things I remember and love about Patrick Ewing:
10. Unfortunately playing in the Eastern Conference during the Jordan era and 
always losing to the Bulls.
9. Unfortunately the 2 years Jordan took off, losing to the Houston Rockets
in the closest chance the New York Knicks would have to win a championship in 20 years
8. Controversial Drat Lottery of 1986... the Knicks envelope was cold from what I hear.
7. Getting beat in the 1982 and 1985 NCAA championships by Michael Jordan's UNC Tar Heels,
then one of the biggest upsets in NCAA history to Villanova in 1985.
6. Being a part of one of the roughest basketball teams in history 
(John Starks, Charles Oakley, Anthony Mason)
5. Patrick Ewing's knee pads
4. Scolding John Starks in the NBA Playoffs against the Indiana Pacers for 
letting Reggie Miller get under his skin.
3. Jalen Rose's awesome story about stealing Patrick Ewing's portable television from the airport
2. Patrick Ewing sweating all over the court during free throws.
1. His innate ability to go into beast mode!