Growing up stateside, the only music from the Philippines I knew was my Grandmother’s lullabies. But digging through my Dad’s records one summer I came across a gem: The Soul Jugglers. Made up of local musicians and African-American US troops stationed in Subic, these dudes had so muchswag. An undeniably smooth Pinoy funk band, if it wasn’t for their Tagalog lyrics, The Soul Jugglers could pass for Motown proper. They strung together the kind of sound only Shaft could walk out to if he was a perm-haired manong in 1970s Metro Manila.
That record helped crack a history and heritage that wasn’t really talked about at home. The Soul Jugglers were among other Philippine bands that found creating music as respite during Ferdinand Marcos’ martial law. They defined the music eras through experimentation and surged into new sonic territories. There was joy to be found on those stages and studios, even when the world outside was deprived of it.
This was a long time coming. Sure, the Hiero Day festival graces Oakland every Labor Day weekend, but Saturday night’s Hiero After Dark party at The Midway in SF represented a far more ambitious event for the Hieroglyphics crew. It was so crucial for the culture and nothing short of a triumph.
We can’t deny the influence that Hiero has on Bay Area hip hop culture. Their legacy is timeless. But building on that legacy by propping up other artists in the Bay and mainstream nightlife culture, is what Hiero After Dark did best. The Midway was an apt massive space for the 2,000+ goers and felt like nothing short of a hip hop funhouse.
“Tonight was about connecting the new era…” Hieroglyphics’ Pep Love told us. “…connecting the artists with the new wave doing business: venues, promoters, people who curate events… Community and culture is what packs the house and that’s what Hiero does best.”
Everything Ecstatic is crazy excited to partner with Subsonic and Popscene on a new 90’s electronic dance party coming to Amnesia on Saturday, June 8th!
DJ’s Aaron Axelsen (Subsonic) and Spinelli (Everything Ecstatic) will be dropping classic 90’s electronic bombs from acts like Björk, The Chemical Brothers, Air, Roni Size, Everything But The Girl and more!
Lexi Papilion isn’t the type to beat around the bushes. Following in the rich tradition of artists who wear their influences perhaps too proudly on their album sleeves, the LA artist went with Punk Adjacent for the title of her debut solo album as Bloodboy. The “adjacent” is what you’ll want to pay attention to, as Bloodboy is most interesting when carving around the margins of what she’s signaled the listener to expect. A case-in-point: Standout track “Can’t Go Home With You Tonight”. At first blush, it’s a mid-tempo pop ballad adjacent to many things you’ve probably heard before, but Papilion’s emotive vocal performance pushes this one into special territory.
The production doesn’t hurt, either. Producer Taylor Locke (Cullen Omori, Geographer) steers Papilion’s howling chorus into red-line territory, generating just enough fuzz to clear the cobwebs off lyrics that lean into the lust-meets-disgust phase of a doomed romance. In the hands of a lesser talent it could all come across as a bit pathetic; instead, somehow, I’m left with the image of Papilion staring down the sea with two middle fingers in the air. It’s not quite punk (or even punk adjacent), but it scratches the same stubborn itch.
I took a jaunt up to Washington for the first time in damn near a decade last week. And despite multiple trips to Seattle in the past, I’d never seen a proper concert in the city before. This is no longer the case, and a couple of these five tracks that marked my trip related back to those live music experiences. Here they are, along with two new discoveries and one absolute classic that tell the story of a memorable trip to the PNW.
Nicola Cruz – “Criançada” (feat. Castello Branco)
We arrived on a Wednesday and made our way that evening to the tightly-packed yet still comfortable Nectar Lounge in Seattle’s Fremont District. Nicola is one of the few producers I’ll make a point to not miss when he comes through for a DJ set and I was happy to make up for the SF set I’d be missing with this Seattle tour stop. “Criançada,” with it’s Brazilian rhythms and vocals by Castello Branco, is a total standout on the incredible cultural journey that is Siku. Nobody infuses indigenous South American music into electronic production quite like the French/Ecuadorian Cruz and more than anything, this is type of music I want to have playing at a club when I’m catching up with friends, drinking and dancing the night away.
Jennifer Lee is best known as the eclectic, storytelling beat producer and performer, TOKiMONSTA. Though her latest effort, through her Young Art Records imprint, reinforces the LA artist as a benevolent music lover and curator at her core. Much like a TOKiMONSTA composition, the Young Art Sound II comp is an all-inclusive reflection of the rich diversity emerging throughout electronic music, from B. Lewis’ fuzzy, R&B-tinged trap, to the festival-friendly, EDM-lite of Blackbird Blackbird. Even in a seemingly saturated electro market, Lee believes, there are genuine gems to be unearthed.
One of these jewels is New Orleans singer Ambré, featured on “Strange Froot,” one of the two tracks TOKi herself produces on the 16-track comp. On the first TOKiMONSTA music released since 2017’s Grammy-nominated album Lune Rouge, Lee foregoes lushness for simplicity, and places her collaborator (and Kehlani’s 2015 tour opener!) at the song’s forefront. Ambré’s airy lead vocal floats over sparse, calming drums and elegant strings give way to dreamy, layered guitars for a blissful, romantic moment. As Ambré’s own moonlit ruminations fade, “Strange Froot” leaves room to ponder on what sonic tales Lee’s TOKiMONSTA has left to tell, waiting to be uncovered.
TOKiMONSTA takes Young Art Sound II on tour, starting on June 7. Peep “Strange Froot” below.
Well this is exciting… Everything Ecstatic is presenting a movie at the Mission District’s iconic Roxie Theater! And not just a plain old movie, but a full-blown “cult classic party” celebrating the 40th Anniversary of The Warriors, with an immersive evening of film, music and beer. We like to call this little endeavor, Analog Time Machine.
Here’s the gist: Analog Time Machine is a film, a DJ set to start the evening featuring music from and inspired by the film and themed beers from our friends at Local Brewing Co.
The Show: Thursday, May 23rd at the Roxie Theater on 16th St & Valencia. Music at 845, film at 930. Sharp. Tickets are $15 here.
The Film: Walter Hill’s 1979 cult classic, The Warriors tracks a New York subway gang on a mythic 30-mile journey from the north end of the Bronx to their home turf in Coney Island. Their only obstacle is every street gang in all the five boroughs.
The Music: A 45-minute DJ set by our boy DJ Nutzeffekt, with music from and inspired by the film. Think Joe Walsh’s iconic “In The City” and old school soul-sample-addled Wu-Tang cuts.
The Beer: SOMA’s Local Brewing Company will have fresh cans of their Chasing Haze IPA (a double hazy IPA loaded with Citra hops and a touch of Mosaic and Hollertau Blanc hops too) and Honey Punches of Oats Pale Ale (A Spring seasonal pale made with honey from the beehives on the Fairmont Hotel’s rooftop hives…seriously)