Center of the Universe : Acid Rembetiko

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The awesome Norwegian Center of the Universe’s Oriental Skweee EP “Never Mind the Boreks” will be ready soon for free download on Generation Bass Digital.

Whilst you’re waiting for that sublime slice of Skweee, you can grab his latest release which takes in some Acid Rembetiko. Rembetiko is “a term used today to designate originally disparate kinds of urban Greek folk music which have come to be grouped together since the so-called rebetika revival, which started in the 1960s and developed further from the early 1970s onwards”.

It’s a cut from his latest Yellow Vinyl 7″ which he has released via Bandcamp. It contains 2 other Synth driven Indie tracks in the vein of Kraftwerk/Visage/New Order/Human league and with shades of the brilliant Bobby O’, one of my fave producers of the 80’s!

Coming soon on Generation Bass Digital:

Never mind the b+Âreks Cover

THE SOUNDS OF THE CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE

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I’ve been following the brilliant Norwegian artist Center of the Universe aka Jørgen Skjulstads for a few years now. This dude does a unique brand of quirky electronica that takes in all manner of things. His releases contain traditional songs remade alongside original compositions inspired by archaic entertainment consoles and pre-iPhone computer culture ranging from Azeri Skip, Post-Reggaeton, BalkanBit, Oriental Dub, Arabic Skweee, Balkan Skweee through to Post-Rembetika amongst many other things. A great mix and fusion of different types of Electronic music from Video Game Music, Chiptune, Skweee and Dub all inspired by different parts of the world too, including the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Scandanavia.

I was at first struck by his Arabic Skweee, Oriental Dub, BalkanBit and Balkan Skweee productions which got me straight away. He has an impressive track record going back 15 years.

He is due to drop his first EP on the Generation Bass Digital label very soon, it’s an EP I’ve been begging him to do for us for about 2 years now and trust me, it is worth waiting for.

So I thought it was time for us to introduce him and his wonderful creations to many of you who probably have never heard any of his material before.

Check out his stuff here including a playlist that I created especially to highlight some my favourite material from his soundcloud. A lot of his other great stuff is on his Bandcamp label Metronomicon Audio which he defines as “a small record label based in Oslo, Norway. Strictly speaking, it is not really a label, but rather a community with some 20 active members and a wide range of affiliates which together aim to promote new and interesting music.”

Inspired by folk music and rhythmic excesses from all over the world the Center of the Universe made his first recordings in 2000. The group, which admittedly is not a band, but rather Jørgen Skjulstads (Now we’ve got members, Salvatore) solo project, combines heavy bass, odd meters and various exotic elements with a lo-fi approach in his recording methods.

Center of the Universe has been active in the Norwegian underground music scene since 1998 and has in addition to participating in several other projects, found the time to release a whole host of solo albums, including a trilogy where the theme was space and time. It is difficult to give a clear definition of the band’s musical impression, as this tends to change from release to release, but it would not be wrong to say that melody is always at the center. What apparently may begin as a pop song entice you into a world where nothing is as it seems and musical expectations are seldom met. For the Center of the Universe no surna is too high and no bass too deep. He has always walked off the beaten path next to the road less travelled and keeps trudging on in a landscape where the sun shines, vulcanoes erupt and it’s raining guitars, sitars and just plain’ol tars.

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Zaed Naes : Arabs with Synthesizers [Future 80's Middle Eastern New Wave]

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Arabs With Synthesizers isn’t the name of the release but the name of the dudes who mixed these tracks by Egyptian Electronic band Zaed Naes but I loved the way it sounds and so I included it as part of the main heading.

Zaed Naes say this about themselves:

“Our music does not sit in any time zone or on any map.
It is an ever evolving melting pot mixed by us and our
collaborators, we add a bit here and subtract a bit from there.”

They feature a variety of vocalists including Maii Waleed, the subject of our previous post. I love the tracks they have done with her, they are unbelievable, sounding like Future 80’s Middle Eastern New Wave!  Some comparison with Lebanese Trip Hoppers “Soapkills” and Middle Eastern Electro Pop pioneers“Yas” are inevitable!

They create an intoxicating blend of Electronica with Indie Dream Pop and Shoegaze sensibilities fused with the gorgeous Middle Eastern tongue.  Sounds like a delicacy and it is!!!

Here’s more with other collaborators:

Tasty Tuesday Cumbia – The Future Is Now

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In most of my posts, I’ve been exploring the developments of music, trying to “connect the dots”, as Caballo poetically calls it, and seeking to forecast what will happen next. Because that is what my music-heart loves most: innovating, sharing ideas, bringing people together and in that way trying to be your own little part of this future of music as it unfolds in front of your eyes. It’s like the chemistry you learn at high school. There’s a certain energy needed for a reaction to take off. Sometimes a little, and sometimes a lot. But at a certain moment, you reach a point where a drastic change towards a whole new world becomes visible everywhere, almost automatically. I believe this moment is now!

The years gone by were the age of hypes. Different genres were fighting each other for the title ‘Next Big Thing’, which basically meant, the next big EDM-thing/succesor of dubstep. So whether it was 110 BPM, 90 BPM, 100 BPM, dembows, 108 drums or whatever else, the main purpose of it all was feeding the next fancy flavour to a drop-hungry molly-popping festival-crowd. With these stages and crowds as the highest thinkable end-point of a successful music career, the rules of the game were simple: press the serotonin and adrenaline buttons in the brain as smartly as possible with every means at your disposal. It d0esn’t matter whether you use heavy rise builds, euphoric chords, high-voltage basses, or tossing a cake, as long as you manage to make masses of thousands of people feel like they’re having an orgasm every 2 or 3 minutes. And as soon as they’ve tasted your flavour, they throw it away and try the next one.

But that was until 2014. Now there are much more exciting times ahead of us. In my first monumental moombahton post I called it the zombie apocalypse. Dead, underground genres that do not only resurrect from their graves to feast on the remnants of the gone-by music world, but also cross paths with each other in the process, forming new hybrids and new cohesions, bringing more dedicated fanbases together into what begins to look like more permanent scenes that are entirely new and vibrant. This future is beginning to take shape all around us. Let’s embrace it and celebrate it with some tasty cumbia. Because after all, cumbia is still with us in this new future and more vital than ever. I can hardly think of another genre so innovative, flexible and hype-immune that it can set a perfect example for what tommorow’s music will be like.

Mixtapes:

Our trip into tomorrow’s music has a perfect start with this mixtape from Dj Caution, the fifth edition of his ‘Descubre la Cumbia’ (‘Discover the Cumbia’) mixtape-series. Enjoy a futuristic blend of digital-electronic, organic and galactic dub flavoured cumbia grooves!

https://soundcloud.com/dj-caution-3/descubre-la-cumbia-5

I must confess that I don’t know exactly what ‘cumbion’ means. First I thought it was another word for ‘cumbiaton’ but that doesn’t seem to be the case. I’ve been wondering cus I’ve seen this worshiping-kid meme saying “Oi nomas ese cumbion” all over the place on Facebook over the last weeks, which made me wonder. But whatever the word means, this mixtape from Kuko Selekta, from Aguascalientes, Mexico, contains anything from mainstream cumbia to pop-cumbifications to cumbiaton with an extra crazy surprise halfway the mixtape!

https://soundcloud.com/kuko-el-reggae-ero/oi-no-mas-ese-cumbion

And just before publishing this post, I discovered a minimixtape from the Argentinian cumbia dub master Sonido Landero which came out today!

Albums/EP’s/Compilations:

Our central attention goes out to the wonderful 10-track album that was released a week ago on Regional Label by Tribilín Sound, one of the label’s collaborators of the first hour. I couldn’t give a better discription of it than what the label’s official webpage writes about it. ‘Aqui Siempre Bailamos’ (‘Here We Always Dance’) is: “a road-map that collects the works of Tribilin Sound with classics recovered, remastered and remixed, in addition of some exclusive material of one of the producers of the new sound of Peru. With collabs from Umoja, Reptilian Commander, Yelram Selectah and Loko Bonó that are amazing.” “The fruit of the confidence that Regional has put in me,” says the maestro Alvaro Ernesto himself, “thanks to them and thanks to the public I’ve had a good reason to explore cumbia, and more.” Generation Bass wants to thank the producer as well as the label for delivering such fantastic music: forward looking, excellent quality and one of the most promising thinkable examples of what the future of music will bring!

It is about exactly a year ago since one of the best cumbia songs came out that I’ve ever heard in my life: La Yegros – ‘Viene de Mi’. Today Piper Street Sound presents all remixes of this song together in one mixtape, featuring well-known artists like Rafael Aragon and El Remolon. Unfortunately there are no links to the individual tracks and I didn’t manage to gather them all by myself but still a excellent compilation!

https://soundcloud.com/piperstreetsound/viene-de-mixtape

Single releases:

Last week we shared Schlachthofbronx‘ fresh new album ‘Rave and Romance’, reason for Andrés Digital to give the first track on the album a cumbia makeover: ‘Turn the Lights Off’!

I’m always happy to see new music from Tu Guaina. A couple of months ago I talked to him about his work and he told me that he is mainly a visual artist, using music as a way to let off extra steam and creativity. Over the years this has resulted in an impressive list of tracks that are as visionary as his artworks.. Just check out the newest example!

2014 is halfway now and we’re already living in a world dominated by multinational corporations who become ever more powerful because of all the data that we generate and in which the technological abilities to create machines with human-like characteristics seems  closer than ever before. This cyberpunk reality is another aspect of realising that what was once a grim, dystopian vision of the future has become a reality we are living on a daily basis. As a preparation for 2019,  Tribilínsound also released an epic tribute to one of the best movies ever made: Blade Runner, cumbifying a classic tune from electronic music legend Vangelis.. Let’s dance the cumbia of the future replicant-revolution!

For the next song we move from future LA to a gone-by time in the past somewhere on the Mexican-Texan border where Mariachi trupets and industrial metal guitars swirl up the hormones in the town’s cantina, at least that is the visual interpretation of a Youtuber to Rammstein’s song ‘Te Quiero Puta‘.. Yelram Selectah shows some more love for dem putas with this crazy cumbia-trap-porn remix!

https://soundcloud.com/yelramselectah/taputaputapu-yelram-selectah

I can only think of one artist who can rival Yelram in a similar style of ‘crazy creativity’.. Latin-rap alchemist Chingo Bling(o) is back with a massive amount of cumbia-swag: ‘Accordion’!

https://soundcloud.com/chingobling-1/accordion

Captain Cumbia is also back with this nice mashup, cumbiafying Cypres Hill ft. The Fugee’s ‘Boom Biddy Bye Bye‘!

For who, like myself, can’t get enough of the fusion of cumbia with the powerful grafitti-vibe of latin-hiphop callejero, there is this remix of ‘Que Veneno‘, from the Peruvian rap crew Fucking Clan ft. Rila, cumbiafied by dumbiambero Deltatron!

Don Alex remixed a great song from the latin-indie-rock band Superlitio from Cali, Colombia, adding some extra accordion and organic cumbia percussion!

https://soundcloud.com/soydonalex/sexoconamordonalexrmx

Checking out their website I stumbled upon the band’s newest release, which came out in April this year, ‘Alma En Pedazos’ (‘Soul In Pieces’), an absolutely fantastic, emotional cumbia-rock song with a moving video that goes straight to the heart!

And here some more vibes that go straight to the heart with this remix of a classic song by the Israeli reggae band ‘Sheva’, cumbiafied by Arun y la Cumbia!

If is mixtape above has made you want more delicious, dreamy cumbia-dub sounds, here some more from Sonido Landero!

Anyone remembers ‘Bien Warrior’? If you don’t, you should definitely check out the original a massive cumbiamuffin hit from Miss Bolivia from a couple of years ago, now reinterpreted by Fede Flores!

4:20 Music Flavor makes so much great cumbia that I could almost fill entire weekly roundups with it. Here a selection of some of his newest releases, experimental as always!

https://soundcloud.com/4-20-music-flavor/bboys

https://soundcloud.com/4-20-music-flavor/juice-flavor

https://soundcloud.com/4-20-music-flavor/cumbia-smetana

I always love Dj Gecko‘s stuff, especially now he’s experimenting with different genres like trap and festival EDM, always bringing his fresh style. This week he delivered another nice short cumbia tune, also tagged with that new term ‘cumbion’.. I really should research it!

Another 3ball producer who is regularly doing cumbia now is Dj Gabriel, check out his newest release!

https://soundcloud.com/gabrielmix8a/sonoja-y-tambor-cumbia-editada-djgabriel8a

Closing goodies:

It’s tuesday so I’m again not just preserving the bangers for the end of the post but any catchy song that will stay in your head for the rest of the week.

Villera-pop is always kinda catchy so I thought it’d be more than time to blog some of that again. I’m a bit behind on the urban/nu-Villera scene, where many great new songs are being released every week as well.. so here a quick selection that caught my ear..

Roman El Original is a crew that fuse cumbia villera with a wide arrange of other latin styles, usually with a pop-ballad touch.. This is their newest release featuring some nice bachata and tango influences!

And another new nice ballad-ish villera-pop song here from Mak Donal!

Get it for free!

The following perreo-inducing cumbiaton banger ‘Donde Estan Las Atrevidas’ (‘Where Are The Ratchet B*tches’.. freely translated), a collab from the urban cumbia duo Me Gusta with the reggaeton duo Juan Quin y Dago a.k.a. Los Expertos seems to be a hit in Argentina!

Add it to your sets and heat up the club coming weekend! ..and if you’re ready for some serious titties ‘n ass, check out the NSFW video..

Erick Jaimez teamed up with Fake Moustache for another exclusive preview of the upcoming Cumbiaholic Volume 3 that will drop on 11 June! Enjoy this excellently produced cumbia-trap-3ball banger..

https://soundcloud.com/erickjaimez/erick-jaimez-x-fake-moustache-fk-it-i-want-a-billion-read-info

I’ll end my introduction to the future with the remixes that have since been added to the original remixes compilation that we supported a while ago of Astros de Mendoza‘s ‘Vamos Bailando’..

1. Cumbia Drive

https://soundcloud.com/astrosmendoza/vamos-bailando-cumbia-drive

2. Tropikore

https://soundcloud.com/astrosmendoza/vamos-bailando-tropikore-remix

3. Don Alex

https://soundcloud.com/astrosmendoza/vamos-bailando-don-alex-remix

4. Chong-x

https://soundcloud.com/astrosmendoza/vamos-bailando-chong-x-remix

..because whatever the future of music may hold, we will keep dancing.. vamos bailando!

Mamba

Mamba

 

Pe Pa is a an amazing visual artist from Buenos Aires whom we’ll definitely do an art post about soon. But she is also a good vocalist who has now teamed up with the multi-talented producer Reptilian Commander for brand new music project: Mamba!

I’ve  always been a big time fan of Reptilian’s heavy tropical bangers. Really excited to find out about this project, which once again shows how good bass music goes together with full-lyrics songs! These are the first fruits of the project so far: a zouk bass/cumbia track, reggaeton bass track, and a ‘bassification’ of the Argentinian folk rhythm chacarera, combined with Pe Pa’s nice, rebellious vocals!

https://soundcloud.com/mambareptiliana/sets/mamba-1

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ZAKEE – TIPPIN

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If you ignore Zakee, then you are running the risk of ignoring an immense talent. We’ve been transfixed on him ever since he unleashed that KuKu Bass classic “Sane Eba” back in 2009.

On his latest work he unveils something that mutates between genres, Hip Hop, Trap, Indie and 80’s Pop. Deep and vibing shit!

PALACIOS By Warm Places

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A very interesting, dark at times, beautiful at times and mesmerizing album throughout comes our way by Warm Places.

Based out of sunny Tijuana, Mexico, a truly warm place except for all the dark things that happen there, Warm Places combines several genres into his own unique sound. The rhythms change up unexpectedly while very well thought out percussion drives the gorgeous melodies and haunting lyrics on the new album Palacios.

Aspects of house meet with Gothic beauty at the helm of Palacios. This album will take you on a pleasant trip into electronica, a heavenly trip to be more descriptive. I was pleasantly acquainted with this album. There are some really excellent tracks on here. One track in particular stands out to me, it’s titled Skinny Feels. This song rivals anything MGMT and similar bands have put out in recent years. Skinny Feels honestly deserves mainstream radio play, where I know it would be a massive hit.

Well consider us fortunate here at Generation Bass for us to be able to expose Warm Places new album. I am sure I will continue to follow Warm Places in the years to come. I won’t be surprised to one day hear something from this genius act on the radio, or see at festivals.

Enjoy, and enjoy how lucky you are to download it for free!

The Alienation Of The Modern Underground

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In the summer of 1981, in the month of August, on the first day of the month at 12:01 am something special aired on television for the first time. It was MTV. You might remember MTV; it was a channel dedicated to music and the music culture. Of course that MTV has been dead since the mid-‘90s but it was special before then. It was quite special to people like me who grew up with it. I was born during the same summer about one month and a half before.

You might be wondering why I am writing about MTV. I presume the majority, if not all of us, despise it. Well the reason I bring it up because I started to think about it in the light of the new music industry we are currently enthralled in. You might disagree with the points I’m going to bring up and that is okay. I want people to share their own opinions and openly debate. For a long time I couldn’t put my finger on what the problem is that I’ve been sensing with the new scenes. Today blogs seem to do two things. One is to share new music that the blog really enjoys and feels is worthy of sharing. The second deals with alienation and elitism. Today the blogs are intimidating. Actually new music media is incredibly intimidating. It is all about how “we know best and you know nothing.” It talks down to the listener or rather possible new listeners. The indie rock/alternative scene is anything but exempt from my accusation; it might actually be more elitist. If your band isn’t from Brooklyn then you’re not indie. At least it has that feeling. We are sitting at the cool kids table and we set up the feeling of people having to work their way in by acceptance. This is what I see in the underground music scene encompassing all the genres. This elitism is very problematic.

What this elitism does is negatively effects the growth of current bands/DJ’s/producers, because if they get too big then they’re “fakes.” No matter how hard they worked and for how many years they worked, they can only get so big before they are hated. And the mainstream is of course just another stream. A stream where individuality is not welcome and conformity is the name of the game. But I don’t see much difference in the indie/underground scene. Here if the new flavor of the day is “folk bass” then people feel they must conform to being folk bass producers to be accepted but are still faced with the “poser/bandwagon” aspect of that action. And the blogs just make it worse by making it appear intimidating to get into.

This is where my introduction about MTV comes into play. When I was growing up watching MTV, one of the big reasons why it was so great was because it invited EVERYONE in to feel like they belonged. The shows were trippy, the humor was crazy, censorship was the awful “C-word” and the news was on point. They had legend Kurt Loder as the main news anchor joining in his mid-30’s and leaving in his late 40’s. He gave it this unique credibility because he was older, he was the most prominent editor of the Rolling Stone magazine editorial staff and he was Circus magazine legend that wrote about the punk scene from the beginnings while being on location at CBGB’s. Anyone could tune in to MTV and feel like they were invited. Because they were. We learned about what was going on in the music industry, we saw interviews and special performances with some of our favorite artists. We learned a lot and never felt intimidated. Now why can’t this same vibe happen with us today?

Forget the mainstream, they are a whole mess and don’t even know what they’re doing. But in the underground why can’t we write passionately about what we love or at least what is happening in new music? And whatever happened to the joys of inspiration, as in inspiring people? Music history is full of artists we love who were inspired by others. The encountered their inspirations originally by witnessing them live, then FM radio helped by distributing inspiration around, which in turn inspired even more people. Also there was the written word by the once brilliant (and now again perhaps because in my opinion they’ve been having a good past few years but it’s all about politics) Rolling Stone magazine among the other magazines and press releases. Then came video and we could share, educate and inspire on an even grander scale. And now with the internet the sky is the limit. But recent years the internet has taken its turn for the worst. “If you are inspired then you are a poser and a fool for trying,” is the feeling I register.

I believe it is also psychological because it seems easier to offend and feel elite when you’re on your computer safe in your own home as opposed to in person. This is probably why there is so much negativity online. But we have this amazing special gift and we really should consider using it for good. Try not to hate on people attempting to produce music in the trendy new genre (or subgenre), but instead, inspire.

Now I’m not pointing fingers at anyone specifically. I am pointing fingers at all of us. I’m guilty too. I’d like to however address what has happened to me. I entered into digital cumbia because I was intrigued. When I took my first steps, people embraced me. They shared and showed me cumbia, they taught me and continue to do so. When I started producing cumbia I felt encouraged. So I must it isn’t entirely bad these days. I was lucky to be inspired by music with deep roots and friendly artists. Sure I encountered some resentment, but that is always expected. However over all my experience with cumbia has been pleasant and encouraging.

If you disagree with me that is okay. You are welcome to disagree with me. I would love to hear why though so I may learn. These are thoughts that have been racing through my mind the past week or so. Watching everyone go through the what is now, usual, routine of love and hate rants when a new genre hits the scene.

The questions I have for all of you are: Do I have a point? Am I wrong and can you explain to me how? Will you join me on the simple mission of returning respect, education, acceptance, inspiration, news, passion and in turn, power, to the music scene through blogging, sharing videos, liking bands/artists/DJ’s and sharing their music anyway else we can? I believe we can take the music industry to amazing new places if we want to.

A footnote: I don’t mean for us to always be positive with reviews because that is dishonest. I am only referring to the way we spread the music and educate those who want to understand and be a part of it.

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OMFG THE STROKES PAY HOMAGE TO DJ CREMOSO WTF!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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OMFG have you heard this!!!

The Strokes sound like my dude DJ CREMOSO on their new track WTFFFFF!

Check here to see what I mean:

DJ CREMOSO : KING OF TECNOBREGA – MIXED BY DJ UMB by Dj Umb on Mixcloud

And thanks to Paz ferrand for sending this video my way, man it sounds like this track.

As my dude Omulu says:

“One of strokes members is Brazilian, they have listened to the Cremoso remix for sure because this track dont sounds only tecnobrega but sounds like CREMOSO style of tecnobrega”!!