Wrote about Jackie Venson for Guitar World. In the March 2018 issue and online here.
I wrote about Buckingham Nicks and Stevie Nicks and Fleetwood Mac and nerdy songwriting analytical stuff and all that “you two hos feed your own melodramatic narrative” bullshit for NPR Music’s Turning the Tables series. Read it here.
Carly and I took ’77 Music Club from our apartment to Bridgeport, CT for a guest session with the always fun and funky and wonderful Chris Frantz on his monthly WPKN radio show. We had a blast playing and talking about some of our favorite tunes that we’ve covered on the pod so far. ICYMI, listen to the archived interview here.
If you’re on the East Coast, you know by now that it’s been cold. So cold that iguanas in Florida are freezing and falling out of trees. So cold that sharks are dying from cold shock. So cold that the penguins at the zoo have to stay inside.
It feels like no better time than during this arctic freeze for Remora (AKA New York DJ/producer Maroje T.) to release his Symbiotic EP on Kraftjerkz Records. Its beats are just as crisp and cool as the air outside, but the movement it inspires will warm you up.
Merriam Webster defines symbiosis as a cooperative relationship, the living together or close union of two dissimilar organisms — Remora’s latest is just that. It’s the dual existence of raw drum beats and deep filters, the interwoven relationship of music that makes one part of your brain want to think and the other part just want to dance. It’s a push and a pull, a give and a take.
This is all a part of what makes Remora’s music so unique. It bounces between genres, weaving influences of metal, punk, and electro-breakbeat. It’s experimental by nature. It’s something to make you dream on the dance floor. And amid all the insanity the world is going through right now, it’s a welcome form of escapism we all need.
Symbiotic is available to order on vinyl through Halycon here.
Preview it on Soundcloud here.
Maroje T.’s last release, Anaphase, previously vinyl-only, is now available for digital download through Bandcamp and can be ordered here or previewed on Soundcloud here.
Catch the newest podcast episodes here:
Episode 3: Moondance – Van Morrison | November 6, 2017
Episode 4: Tango in the Night – Fleetwood Mac | November 24, 2017
Episode 5: Parallel Lines – Blondie | December 8, 2017
Episode 6: “River” – Joni Mitchell – special stocking stuffer episode | December 22, 2017
Two weeks ago, I went to a bar where the much-hyped DJ was actually a guy who just plugged an aux cord into his iPhone, then proceeded to fist-pump his way through a Spotify playlist of select choices like a radio remix of Justin Bieber’s “Sorry” and Migos’ “Bad and Boujee.”
There’s no doubt about it: We are living in an interesting, complex time for music, one where, technically, anyone can call themselves a DJ. In 2017, mention “DJing” and you’re more likely to be met with a reference to DJ Khaled’s Snapchat, an “Oh, that guy from Netflix?” if you mention Grandmaster Flash, and a straight-up “Huh?” if you bring up Afrika Bambaataa.
DJing has always been more a part of the underground music scene than the mainstream one. Now more than ever, though, it feels even more difficult to find an actual DJ — not one titled with the misnomer — who creates music that is both innovative and true to the original form. But, if you know where to look, in the clubs of Bushwick and the Bandcamps and Soundclouds of the internet, the real DJs are still there.
Kid Ginseng is one of them. A veteran DJ and head of New York-based electro-funk label Kraftjerkz, Kid Ginseng is the samurai of the New York scene: laser focused, beyond dedicated to his creative path. He’s calm, cool, and collected behind the decks, mixing and scratching with such precision and uniqueness that you can listen to his tracks over and over again, from varying angles, and still find something new: the creativity of picking samples, the science of identifying the repetitive hook, the art of putting it all together, like painting, but with sound.
What’s most interesting about Kid Ginseng is the scope his work covers. He covers the fundamentals with funky scratching and sampling of old school hip-hop and dance records. He takes influence from Kraftwerk’s Computer World and builds layers of electronic sound out of the “Numbers” beat. He plays with turntablism, scratching records at rapid speeds with a difficult-to-master blend of technical prowess and genuine feel. He’s unafraid to experiment with the playfulness of internet culture, combining spoken word samples from guests of peak-Dad sayings or iconic movie quotes with tight, rapidfire scratching and beats. With each endeavor, he remains both authentic and unexpected at the same time.
For those looking for something fresh and fun, funky and freaky, Kid Ginseng is your best bet:
For updates, follow Kid Ginseng and Kraftjerkz on Facebook, and if you’re in the New York area, be sure to check out his upcoming appearance at Bushwick’s Bossa Nova Civic Club and come get down to the get down (you can do that legally now!).
Over the past few months, we interviewed founding members Rod Frantz and Robin Rose, as well as early promoter and later bassist Bill Harvey, and producer Mike Thorne. The resulting podcast episode is an hour long edit of nearly six hours of fascinating conversations, and I’m extremely proud of it.
There are so many holes or shallow, glossy footnotes in history; right now feels like such an exciting time for journalists, historians, and storytellers. We can go back and tell these untold stories or fill out these sketches and recognize people who might have been overlooked the first time. We hope we were able to do that with this episode. Give it a listen.
Oh, and we have an exclusive, never-before-seen, lengthy letter that Brian Eno wrote the band in 1978 offering to produce them, if that’s any additional incentive to click on through.
Okay thanks bye.