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Poolside – Do You Believe

I’m back in LA, the weather is right, the food is great and the music is perfect. I’ve been traveling so much lately and I love it, there’s nothing like seeing new things and hanging out with new people to enrich your experience. It’s so easy to stay at home, hang out with people you’ve known since high school and relive the great memories forever…

Do you believe that we have brighter days?…”

One of my friends recently read a Bruce Lee quote to me that reads “Be happy, but never satisfied.” I’d never heard that before but it’s something I’ve lived by my entire life. I’m a pretty lucky guy, I have amazing friends, I do what I love and I don’t take any of it for granted but for some reason I don’t have it in me to sit back and be content. I don’t see a limit to where life can go yet all around me are institutions and customs that box you in. I don’t know about you but I’m trying to Christopher Columbus this mofo and explore everything the world has to offer. Listening to this song really made me think about all this so I came across the question that picture ask –

Do you believe in what you want?

That’s something to think about man because so many things influence what we want. You could mess around chasing something because your friends do it or because it’s tradition or a million other reasons that have nothing to do with your personal desires and that type of action is a recipe for disaster. Long story short, know what you want and don’t be afraid to man up and get it. You may disappoint some people but in the end when you’re happy it will take a crazy person to be mad at you because of it. Alright, there’s much to do while in LA, peep this jam though, it’s perfect for all the holiday festivities. Enjoy.

Poolside – Do You Believe

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Kevin Casey’s Sample Saturday – Gil Scott-Heron et Kanye West

On Friday afternoon, we lost one of the true originators of this thing called hip-hop.  Gil Scott-Heron was an accomplished poet, musician, and author, known mostly for his performances in spoken word during the 1970’s and 80’s.  The album pictured above, was in reality the first instance of the hip-hop genre in recorded fashion.  Over heavy percussion and some jazz chord progressions, Heron spoke freely and intellectually regarding the deep-rooted issues effecting the black communities.  That’s hip-hop.  Small Talk at 125th and Lenox opens up with a song called “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” – yea he said that first.  In my opinion the deepest piece on the album is the one titled “Comment #1″, I’ll let him tell it though…

The time is in the street you know
Us living as we do upside down
And the new word to have is revolution
People don’t even want to hear the preacher spill or spiel
Because God’s hole card has been thoroughly piqued
And America is now blood and tears instead of milk and honey
The youngsters who were programmed
To continue fucking up woke up one night
Digging Paul Revere and Nat Turner as the good guys. America stripped
For bed and we had not all yet closed our eyes.”

A list of hip-hop artists that have sampled Gil Scott-Heron goes on and on; Talib Kweli, Common, Brand Nubian, Black Starr, Mos Def, Dr. Dre, Q-Tip, and most recently Kanye West.  Heron’s work is known as the earliest instances of hip-hop, so it seems right for it to be sampled on My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, which pretty much is an example of how far the genre has gone, and how far it can still go.  On “Who Will Survive In America” Kanye takes a backseat into just producer, as the vocals are entirely Gil Scott-Heron doing what he does.  Then at two separate points during “Lost In The World”, Heron again takes the mic and his quotes become the centerpiece of the record.  MBDTF will further ensure his words carry on long after his life, as the question can be asked, and answered every day – “Who will survive in America?”.

Gil Scott-Heron – Comment #1

Kanye West – Who Will Survive in America

Kanye West – Lost In The World

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Danger Mouse – Two Against One (feat. Jack White)

Enough said…

Make no mistake I don’t do anything for free
I keep my enemies closer than my mirror ever gets to me
And if you think that there is shelter in this attitude
Wait til you feel the warmth of my gratitude.

One, I get the feeling that it’s two against one.
One, I’m already fighting me, so what’s another one?
One, The mirror is a trigger and your mouth’s a gun.
One, Lucky for me, I’m not the only one.

And if it looks to me like you in your reflection
Plan to add your own fight to this dimension.
Then tell it that this ain’t no free-for-all to see,
There’s only three
It’s just you and me against me.

One, I get the feeling that it’s two against one.
One, I’m already fighting me, so what’s another one?
One, The mirror is a trigger and your mouth’s a gun.
One, lucky for me, I’m not the only one.
Lucky for me, I’m not the only one.

And if your foot’s on to sick a thousand “yes men”
Brand or brake into the middle of this little plan…
Then there’s your plan to hear me say,
That I won’t play around the way, anyway
I plan to plan around them.

One, I get the feeling that it’s two against one.
One, I’m already fighting me, so what’s another one?
One, the mirror is a trigger and your mouth’s a gun.
One, lucky for me, I’m not the only one.
Lucky for me, I’m not the only one…”

Danger Mouse – Two Against One (feat. Jack White)


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Munk & Asia Argento – Live Fast! Die Old!

Somewhere down the line the fast life became associated with excessive partying and self destruction but that’s far from the truth. Don’t get me wrong, you gotta work hard play harder and a little pleasure and indulgence is needed every now and then but that’s not what it’s all about. To me the fast life is about not settling, following your gut, making the most of your time and staying around things and people that make you happy. That’s exactly what this song is about which is why it quickly became my new mantra…

Live Fast, Die Old!
I don’t wanna die, I just wanna love…

Long story short, you can push it to the limit, have a great time but you don’t have to kill yourself in the process. So many of life’s great concepts are ruined by corny interpretations so it’s important to question everything. Don’t let anyone tell you what love is, what life is, what work is, what play is. It is what you make it…

Destroy all that you learned…”

This is the type of jam I would play to open up one of our parties. It’s got that classic groove, sexy talking and enough feel good to brighten up any day. After Vegas I thought I would be good on partying for a while but I can already feel myself craving the loud music and energy so we’ll see how long that last. Alright, time to go for a run, there’s much to do before the weekend and not enough time to do it, enjoy.

Munk & Asia Argento – Live Fast! Die Old!

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Deadmau5 – Raise Your Weapon (Madeon Extended Remix)

My red-eye flight got delayed 4 hours Monday night, there was an endless supply of crying babies everywhere I went and the lady sitting next to me was wearing dirty hospital scrubs on the plane. What are people thinking? I guess after an amazing weekend like that something had to go wrong. Anyways, I laid back in the cut yesterday to recover and now I’m back in action. It was good while it lasted but I’m so happy to be back in the big apple. I feel like a lot of places try to be a lot of things that New York is naturally

Here I am again in the city
With a fist full of dollars and baby you better believe:

I’m back! Back in the New York groove…” – Hello

Madeon, the 16 year old producer from France is absolutely smashing it these days. Pete Tong recently played his Raise Your Weapon remix on Radio One and his version of Que Veux Tuhas been everywhere and back. By the way this isn’t a bootleg, it’s an official remix released on Mau5trap so I’d say Madeon is doing pretty good as far as 16 year olds go. What’s his formula for success? It’s very simple, create and release great music and the rest will follow. If you’re a young artists pay close attention to this blueprint because it’s the only one that matters these days. I talk to a lot of older people in the music industry who are full of pessimism and don’t really understand the power of our generation, how we communicate and how we consume. Madeon is 16, he made a few remixes, probably didn’t make a dime from it but thanks for blogs and websites he got attention and now he’s in Deadmau5’s circle. I can name 15 other artists how have done the same in a heartbeat. This track is great and Madeon’s story is an inspiration to all of us. That said, I have to go work on my own story but here’s a mid-week banger to keep you going, enjoy.

Deadmau5 – Raise Your Weapon (Madeon Extended Remix)

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Foster the People – Warrant

Quick post here for your Tuesday. The highly antcipated debut album, Torches, from Foster the People finally released yesterday and happened to exceed my high expectations. Warrant is the last track on the album and grabbed my attention the most especially when I heard it live for the first time at Coachella last month. Their songs have an infectious buoyant energy that can’t be denied while listening. I caught these guys again last night in Hollywood at Jimmy Kimmel Live for a mini concert which wasn’t a true concert experience but sufficed nonetheless. Been listening to this album religiously and got to say it’s been nothing short of amazing, for a stellar freshman album release.

Got to get away
Everyone inside my head
Got to get away
They want me alive or dead”

Go out and support the Los Angeles natives when they tour in your city, you won’t be disapointed.

Foster the People – Warrant

– Joel

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Kaskade – Stars Align Tomorrow (Feat. Dimitri Vegas, Dada Life & Like Mike)

I’m at Mccaren airport recovering from a wild weekend of music in Vegas. I saw Kaskade at the zoo aka Marquee on Friday night and the place was jam packed, snow machines went off at 4 am, the energy was through the roof, it was fu$*ng epic. Its great to see so many heads in places where it’s all about the music.  The next day I woke up hurting but apparently there’s no break time in Vegas so we put on the mandatory shorts and checked out Pete Tom rocking it at Encore beach which was half naked girls everywhere, banging electro house, amazing weather and great vibes.

Apparently Vegas is the new spot for electronic nu-rave, I mean every where you look theres a billboard announcing the next big DJ in town and music is in full effect. Music is highly undervalued these days so shout out to all the Vegas clubs shelling out big dollars to host DJs.

Its not for everybody but if you want to listen to some banging music and can get passed steroid nation, uncomfortably horny MILFs, cheese ball bottle service people and wanna be porn stars you’ll find a place where dance music is thriving day and night. If you want to listen to Bon Iver, read a good book and write poetry to your girlfriend Id look elsewhere. I don’t usually post club music but Kaskade dropped this track and the entire place went bonkers. This is pretty much what youll hear in the big rooms and man does it hit hard, enjoy.

Kaskade – Stars Align Tomorrow (Feat. Dimitri Vegas, Dada Life & Like Mike)

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Kevin Casey’s Sample Saturday – Buster Williams et Big L (prod. Buckwild)

This week we have something special for you guys.  EMPT got an exclusive interview with one of the pioneers of the art of sampling, the one and only Buckwild…..

I know loyal EMPT go-ers pride themselves on knowledge of music, so if you’re not already familiar with this legendary producer, this is a great introduction.  Buckwild was a major contributor to the 90’s East Coast sound, commonly known as hip-hop’s Golden Age. During that time he accumulated a streak of classic records for Biggie, Jay-Z, Nas, Big Pun, and everyone else who mattered to New York rap. I’m serious, everyone (for real, everyone). As an original member of the Diggin’ In The Crates crew, some of Buckwild’s most famous work was done with the late-great Big L, including his first ever single, “Put It On”…

When the guys at Sony heard what we had done for L’s first album, they felt like we didn’t have something to use for a single, and sent L back in to do 4 or 5 more records.  He came to my crib and I gave him about 5 beats, one of those being “Put It On”.  Being the perfectionist that he was, it took him a few days to write his verses.  Then he called me up and had everything planned out for the “Put It On” record.  He knew it was gonna have Kid Capri on the hook, he knew what the hook would be, and he knew it was gonna be the single.”

I asked what it was like working with Big L in the lab…

He always had all his verses prepared perfectly.  He was a cool guy to joke around with and shit but when in the booth the dude meant business like no-one else.  He was so competitive when it came to his music, like… he would constantly ask what I thought, “Yo, if you don’t like it tell me.”  That was a attitude that the 3 Big’s had – Big L, Biggie, and Big Pun – they were never ‘know it alls’ in the studio, and that’s what made them great.”

Because this is Sample Saturday, I had to stick with the formula, and ask Buck about the construction of the beat…

Beats were flying out quick those days man, I think I made that one that weekend, and then L picked it up that week.  I always liked the Buster Williams record, I would play it while I was just bullshitting, cleaning the studio or whatever.  I always had the whole vision of what I wanted to use before I put the sample in the machine, I got to know the samples very well.  I think I used 4 different sections to create the beat.  As far as the drums, I would always know the sound I was looking for, I had it in my head.  That’s what a lot of these guys don’t understand, you can’t just put any drums to a sample… that’s the key to a successful beat, the tones have to match.  The Skull Snaps break was perfect, so I threw that into my Akai 950, and put the Buster Williams chops into my sp1200… and that was that.”

A few years ago I was lucky enough to work in the same studio as Buckwild, and got a lot of these type of stories first hand. He’s a great teacher, humble person, and obviously an ultra talented producer. Many of Buck’s beats were behind my motivation to make my own, and for that I am very grateful, and I couldn’t think of anyone I’d rather have involved in one of these posts.  Look out for some future Buckwild/EMPT announcements, and take the time to learn more about some of his classics in this Complex article from April.  Until next time folks…

Buster Williams – Vibrations

Skull Snaps – It’s A New Day

Big L – Put It On

via KevinCaseyMusic

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Vico Uno – Heaven is a Bitch (Nas vs. Led Zepplin vs. Gramatik)

Excuse the delayed post today, I landed in San Fran this afternoon and have been restaurant hoping since. Anyways, I was walking back to my hotel when I checked my Soundcloud and I saw a submission that contained the names Nas, Led Zepplin & Gramtik – sold! The mashup was done by a dude named Vico Uno who describes himself like this –

My name is V!co Ono and i’m 18 years young. All you need to know is I am a Los Angeles native and I am very interested in all genres of music.”

Word.

I can’t hype this mashup enough. First of all, he used the AZ verse from Life’s A Bitch which is hands down one of the best Hip Hop verses of all time. He sampled Stairway to Heaven, one of the greatest rock songs of all time and used a Gramatik beat to tie it all together. Blending all those worlds so tastefully is the beauty of modern production so big ups to Vico Uno for making it happen. Alright, it’s Friday and I’ve got two more places to check out in the bay before I head to Vegas in the morning. Bump this at your pre-games and get the party started in style, enjoy.

Vico Uno – Heaven is a Bitch (Nas vs. Led Zepplin vs. Gramatik)

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Cinnamon Chasers – Luv Deluxe

One of my Skidmore friends reminded me of this goodie and I couldn’t stop watching…

Cinnamon Chasers – Luv Deluxe

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