This week, we’ll be featuring a playlist a day from Ropeadope, one of our favorite labels and a mainstay of the Earbits catalog. Lined up for you, we’ve hand-picked a few eclectic lists, a few focused specifically on Jazz, and one each devoted to Hip-Hop and Funk of exclusively Ropeadope artists. Their output is diverse and singular: string arrangements, glitchy electronics, boogie funk lines, extended instrumental solos, Minimalist classical structure, deep neo-soul changes. The array of ideas and musical breadth is dizzying, and this kind of cross-pollination and open experimentation is what, for me, makes Ropeadope such a fantastic imprint. The first of seven lists goes live tomorrow, so keep your ears peeled!
Tag Archive: funk
HARD Day Of The Dead took place last weekend with a strong lineup of house and dance producers from around the world. That festival (which used to be a 2-day indoor Halloween weekend festival named Hard Haunted Mansion) and the HARD production company in general have helped secure L.A.’s spot amongst the top U.S. cities for electronic music. The company was founded by Gary Richards, a longstanding L.A. DJ that performs under the name Destructo.
In honor of his city and the success he’s achieved for himself within it (and the success he’s helped achieve for L.A.’s EDM scene in general), Destructo released a track entitled “LA Funky.” The song features L.A. duo OLIVER, which consists of DJs Vaughn Oliver and Oliver Goldstein.
I love my job. Not many people can say that. Why do I love it, you ask? I do nothing but listen to Earbits all day, which provides me some serious time to peruse the up and coming music that we are constantly adding. From Metal to Jazz, and everything in between, I am ever-impressed by the catalog that our music department is building. Frankly, it’s getting ridiculous.
What does this mean to you?
Nasty grooves. Insane harmonies. Ridiculously catchy songs.
These are all things that you can count on from Wooster. And, tomorrow, Thursday, August 2 at 8 pm PDT, you can ask them where in the hell all of that funky goodness comes from!
That’s right – Santa Cruz, California will lend us their favorite musicians for one night to talk music, and more importantly, feature some brand-new, unreleased Wooster tracks from their upcoming album! Join Wooster for a LIVE chat and Listening Party on Earbits! Chat with the band and get a sneak-peak into their latest musical efforts, MONTHS before the album is released!
Anyone who has experimented with mind-altering substances will tell you that most of them enhance (or at least affect) the experience of listening to music. Those who play music well enough to do so under the influence will often tell you that drugs enhance your creativity and ability to dream up new music, too. In particular, you often see bands or people who write incredibly inventive music during periods of drug abuse, and then become incredibly boring and stale when they sober up (although there are a lot of reasons that might happen). At any rate, I don’t think many people will argue that drugs have no affect whatsoever on making music, or on your experience listening to it.
Lubriphonic is a 7-piece musical juggernaut hailing from the bluesy underbelly of the Chicago nightlife. Seemlessly fusing Funk, Soul, and good ol’ Rock ‘n Roll, the boys from Lubriphonic aren’t all flash – they’re one of the hardest working bands in the business! Often touring the nation more than 220 days a year, Lubriphonic has one self-appointed duty for all of their shows: to whip the crowd into a funk-fueled frenzy that doesn’t stop until last call.
Scott Feldman got a chance to chat with Lubriphonic front-man and guitarist, Giles Corey. Enjoy the interview! LISTEN to “Mixin’ In the Kitchen (Live)”, from their album, Soul-Solution!
Extended drum solos are usually saved for late in a band’s set, but Lubriphonic doesn’t play by the rules. “Rhino,” the opening track to the group’s 2010 album The Gig Is On begins with a rapid-fire 30 second drum solo before loud horns and ultra-fast funky guitar kick in. Just about all of the group’s skills are jam-packed into that 4-minute opening song, soulful, James Brown-esque vocals and a soaring guitar solo included. The group doesn’t waste any time displaying a wide range of style and skill. And once you hear what the group can do, you don’t want to stop listening.
A year ago today we launched the real Earbits website; before that it was just a blog. Everyone said we wouldn’t be able to get content without an audience, and vice versa. But a year ago today we entered the scene with 8 sexy channels of music – no hip hop, no electronic, no pop, no metal, and no audience. 8 little channels, and an announcement to friends and family.
Funky Like an Old Batch of Collard Greens
If you load New King, the new EP from Bay Area band Drop Apollo, into iTunes, the genre is automatically listed as “Pop/Funk.” Although that’s not one of the standard genre descriptions, it couldn’t be more accurate. From the moment the keys kick in on the album’s title track, the funkiness never stops. On top of that funk, the group repeatedly demonstrates their pop music sensibilities. Click here to listen to that first track, “New King,” on Earbits Radio.
Pop/funk has been a familiar genre for decades now, but in recent years the particular style has typically been associated with bands like Maroon 5. While Drop Apollo would probably appeal to Maroon 5’s fan base, the group seems to more closely adhere to the more traditional aspects of funk. The bass and drums drive the rhythm while the guitars and keys groove along. It’s obvious that the band has had an extensive musical education and has been heavily influenced by the funk greats that they’ve likely studied.
Unlike many bands that excel within a niche genre like funk, Drop Apollo also has obvious mass appeal. Every song on New King is radio-ready, and that’s by no means an exaggeration. Singer Matt Widdoes has soul that surpasses those prominent in the same scene (like the singer of that aforementioned pop/funk band). Drummer Dan Schwartz supplies a surplus of funk, and the guitars, keys and bass know how to match it.
Track three “Upside Down” is especially commercially appealing. The chorus, including lyrics “Every time you take me back home / I’m so uptown and upside down / Every time I wake up alone / You’re there wasting away from me.” wasted no time getting stuck in my head. At the end of the romantic song Widdoes remarks, “Make no mistake, I can write a love song too.”
“Upside Down” is followed by “Eve,” a song filled with religious descriptions and imagery as well as an entrancing breakdown. The fifth and final song “A Million Miles” ends with a full-on rock jam-out, complete with a shred-tastic guitar solo. As the solo fades out, it leaves you wanting more.
New King is brief, but there’s rarely a dull moment. That type of energy is exciting, but it also makes me wonder what these guys could be capable of if they slowed down the tempo a little bit. I guess we’ll have to wait until they release a full length LP to hear that.
Until that time, you can catch Drop Apollo live at The Mint in Los Angeles on 8/27 for their album release show or at Red Devil Lounge in San Francisco on 9/3 for a similar concert. These shows should be attended not only because you can pick up a hard copy of the EP there, but also because Drop Apollo sounds like they’d be an incredible live band. I mentioned before that all the songs on New King are radio-friendly, but they’re also prime material for a live performance.
If New King or the live performance of the album doesn’t inspire you to dance, you’ve got no soul. Drop Apollo’s got a lot.