On New LP, Rob Swift Proves That Turntablism and Classical Music Have More In Common Than Anyone Ever Thought
The Architect Drops February 23rd on Ipecac Recordings
Click HERE for a free MP3 of “Rabia – 2nd Movement” and check out a video for the track below.
Master turntablist Rob Swift has strived to expand the definition of Hip Hop since his first release in the mid-90’s. In an age where creating an iTunes play list is the sole prerequisite for being called a DJ, Swift’s boundary-pushing new release, The Architect, is a refreshing reminder that the 1’s and 2’s are an instrument in themselves. Using his newfound love of classical music as a point of inspiration, Swift’s latest work has as much in common with Mozart as it does with Grandmaster Flash. The innovative album has found a perfect home on fellow experimental musician Mike Patton’s label, Ipecac Recordngs (Melvins, Isis, Hella).
Swift first arose to prominence as a member of the turntablist collective the X-Men a.k.a. X-ecutioners, and soon became known across the globe for his beat juggling skills. He has since gone on to work with an incredibly varied array of artists including Herbie Hancock, Cypress Hill, Dan the Automator, and Blue Man Group. Swift has also appeared on Sesame Street, ESPN, and The Late Show With David Letterman, all while maintaining his underground credibility and sense of adventure
A quick glance at The Architect’s track listing reveals that Swift has created a conceptual piece of work. Though mostly instrumental, the album is not a “concept album” but rather a series of compositions deliberately sequenced to form a greater, unified whole. On “Principio,” the album’s lone MC, Breez Evahflowin, breaks it down when he spits “The way it’s layed down, don’t shuffle this LP / the truth is you’d miss something that’s healthy / something like progress, the artform elevated / the next level of turntablism and innovators.”
Though only two tracks contain vocals, The Architect is ripe with emotion and abstract narrative. Orchestral strings and organs mingle with fierce breakbeats and expert scratching. Swift’s exploration of manipulating pitch and tempo are executed and organized with the mindset of a virtuosic composer. The album not only adds to Swift’s illustrious legacy, but also adds news chapters in the history of the DJ and hip hop at large.
Catch Rob Swift On The Wheels Live:
01/22: Brooklyn, NY @ Knitting Factory 01/23: Ocala, FL @ Ocala Shrine Club 01/30: Brooklyn, NY @ Savalas
The Architect track list:
01. Overture 02. Introduction 03. The Architect 04. Principio 05. Story Of A Man 06. Sound The Horn 07. Prelude To The 1st Movement 08. Rabia – 1st Movement 09. Rabia – 2nd Movement 10. Rabia – 3rd Movement 11. D.R.E.W. 12. Intermission 13. Lower Level – 1st Movement 14. Lower Level – 2nd Movement 15. Lower Level – 3rd Movement 16. Spartacus 17. Sound The Horn (reprise) 18. Ultimo
Late tonight we received word that Teddy Pendergrass had passed away, a story that's now been confirmed by multiple sources including The Globe and Mail in Canada. The soulful singer first found fame as a member of Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, then went on to a solo career in the 1970's that saw him release one platinum album after another of subtle yet powerful R&B. A tragic car accident in 1982 left Teddy partially paralyzed, yet he continued to sing and record and even performed at Live-Aid in 1985 from a wheelchair. In the decades that followed his Teddy Pendergrass Alliance advocated for equality and equal opportunity for all disabled people, showing that Mr. Pendergrass could inspire not just with his voice but through deed and action. And now another of the greatest singers of the last 50 years is gone far too soon. R.I.P. Teddy Pendergrass, you will be missed. Our condolences to your family, your friends and your many fans around the world - including me.
Bisco Smith - "Broadcast Live" (Remix of TV On The Radio's "Wear You Out") 01.13.2010 Bisco Brings Own Touch To Classic TVOTR Track
"Don't know what you need or where its gonna lead, but right here I got my moment to breathe."
As a preemptive strike before next week's release of his new album, The Broadcast, Bisco Smith is releasing a new track. This is no ordinary leaked track however; it's special for a couple of reasons. It's the first time Bisco has produced a song and released it to the world, and second, it's a remix of TV On The Radio's "Wear You Out" with new lyrics. For Bisco, the remix serves as a summation of the themes that he touches on in The Broadcast. "I'm a big fan of the group, but it was the lyrics of "Wear You Out" that inspired me to begin chopping up and reimagining the TVOTR track. The line 'I'm forgetting to breath' reminded me how creating music is my time to breathe after being caught in the day to day grind of New York City." Apparently Bisco has been doing a lot of "breathing" as the run up to the release of his sophomore full length album has been filled with immense creativity in the form of numerous remixes, videos, and multi-media elements (see links below). "Broadcast Live" is the perfect sonic appetizer for the January 19th release of The Broadcast.
Bisco Smith's second full-length album The Broadcast will be available January 19, 2010.
Bisco Smith moved to NYC 10 plus years ago from Connecticut and quickly made a name for himself DJ'ing at clubs, distributing mixtapes, performing at open mics, and in graffiti circles. His debut release, The Basics EP (2006), gained the favorable attention of music critics and his subsequent release, The Stay Up Project mixtape (2007) was downloaded over 5,000 times. Bisco's penchant for capturing our chaotic reality with his narratives, images, and collaborations has earned him a reputation as one of the most honest and creative artists of today. Going beyond music, Bisco Smith is also an accomplished graphic artist. He's done cover art, designed promotional materials and spearheaded art direction for artists such as Aesop Rock, The Perceptionists, C-Rayz-Walz, Murs, El-P, and others. His art has been featured in several magazines and art house coffee table books and in galleries, such as Danny Simmon's Rush Arts Gallery. 2008 was a big year for Bisco. He released the critically acclaimed album When Electric Night Falls (Embedded Music), toured the US, and performed at CMJ, SXSW, Scribble Jam, and NXNE. Since the start of 2009, Bisco has already released a multimedia project entitled The Strange Love Project, and is now preparing for the release of The Broadcast. It is clear that he shows no sign of slowing down. He spends his time designing everything from record covers to websites, painting walls, participating in art gallery shows, and mentoring the city’s youth with art and music, all the while transmitting top quality music to the world. Prepare to tune into Bisco Smith's forthcoming LP, The Broadcast, available January 19, 2010. Streams:
I have gotten lots of mixed feedback every since i announced last week that my next solo project, "Piano-rama", was being released on USB cards for its physical format. I completely understand the fact that people still collect CDs (hell, im one of them), BUT, its a matter of beng forward-thinking and really accepting what will soon be the future physical format for ALL music! I even recently pleaded with the head of Tasteful Licks Records about possibly doing a limited run of CDs & Vinyl, and while those options haven't been ruled out yet, i think its important to reiterate the fact that USB cards offer so much more by way of bonus content than CDs. Aside from the actual album, you'll also be getting: high-res pics for wallpapers as well as videos that give u an insider look into the creation of the album without having to go to YouTube for it... PLUS, if u really want it on a CD, simply burn the songs to one! Here are some pics of how the USB cards for the album will look, hopefully these get you all hyped like they do me!