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Kevin Casey’s Sample Saturday – Aaliyah et Drake

Drake has made his admiration and respect for Aaliyah very clear through various interviews, so it seemed appropriate for a record on his debut album to use a sample from Aaliyah’s debut album.  After being signed to Jive Records at the age of 15, the beautiful and talented Aaliyah was introduced to singer/producer R.Kelly who would end up being her mentor and also the lead songwriter and producer on her debut, Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number. He and his protege singer spent countless hours in the studio, molding her raw vocal talent into the sound of a young superstar. Fueled by two hit singles, the album peaked at number 18 on the Billboard 200 and sold over 3 million copies (wow – a number 18 album these days would be lucky to break 50 thousand).  The first single was “Back and Forth” and the second was Drake’s choice “At Your Best (You Are Love)”.  Like many other special artists we have lost, it’s hard not to imagine the heights her career would have reached by the present day.

Constructed by Drake’s lethal studio weapons, Noah “40″ Shebib and Boi-1da, “Unforgettable” starts and ends with the Aaliyah sample. They probably chose “At Your Best” because it contained a soothing acapella section, giving them a lot of flexibility in production. Aaliyah’s vocals are layered with some smooth pads and a nice chord progression that is used as the musical base for the song.  Since her part is a repetitive “Let Me Know…”, it may also have been the basis for the concept of the record. Basically, let Drizzy know if he’ll really be unforgettable.  Can’t forget my girl Rachel for her help with this one.

Aaliyah – At Your Best (You Are Love)

Drake ft. Young Jeezy – Unforgettable

via KevinCaseyMusic

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Portugal. The Man – The Dead Dog

Bad ass video. Bad ass song. Kinda reminds me of Justice’s Stress video but anything inspired by that work of art is fine by me.

Portugal The Man – The Dead Dog

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Conspiracy of Owls – Ancient Robots

I be up all night..
Whole crews in here,
Cause I don’t really know who I’mma lose this year…” – Drake

We threw a secret Noctambule party last night, so needless to say I was up forever which explains the extremely late start today. Tonight is going to be no different so I needed something relaxed to get me through this recovery and Ancient Robots couldn’t fit the bill better.  Conspiracy of Owls is a Detroit based Rock group with a love for the 70′s like no other.  I take it this song is a metaphor for people (robots) who spend their entire lives mindlessly working for others and never really gaining ownership.  I guess an ancient robot is an old person whose somehow never escaped the trap and continues to work till his/her dying day.  Fantastical metaphors and ambiguity was a very popular song writing style back in the day so it’s nice know these guys took note of all the details in their inspiration. Whatever it means, there’s no denying the amazing feel and relaxed nature of this song.  I’ll be adding this to all my morning playlist for sure, enjoy.

Conspiracy of Owls – Ancient Robots

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French Horn Rebellion – This Moment

I’m having so much fun listening to this song that I can barely write this post. I mean vibing to a song that constantly reminds you about the moment is one of the most powerful tools a person can have.

Have you ever noticed that the most stressful things in life are either things that happened or will supposedly happen? I’m starting to realize how futile even thinking about those things is. If you’re focusing on the past or the future so much, it means you’re not doing what you need to do this moment to change any of it. When your not in the moment your really not even existing, think about it, the past is gone, the future is unknown so thinking about that leaves you in some sort of limbo world that has nothing to do with your reality right now – be present every day. A lot of this mentality is driven by exaggerated fear that only serves to inaccurately represent the actual reality of the situation. I digress and this should really be a much longer post but I’m on severe attack mode these days so I’m pressed on time.

Could we really be having this moment?”

The production on this track is phenomenal and the feeling is all you could ask for on a Friday morning. These guys have such a knack for the feel good and I can’t get enough of it, enjoy.

French Horn Rebellion – This Moment

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Web Excellency Award 2010

Let’s face it, I’d never heard of Theatre Seat stores’ web excellency awards before they sent me an email announcing that EMPT had received one. Nevertheless, it’s awesome to get the recognition and I wanted to thank all the EMPT readers who keep coming back and making this thing pop. From hosting companies holding the site hostage to evil partners trying to take credit for our work, we’ve faced much adversity to keep this site up and running but we’re still here and you guys make that possible. Anyways, thanks to Theatre Seat Store for the love and thanks to guys for spreading the word…
The team has once again composed a list of the best blogs in music, this time focussing on the heavily-stamped ground of music reviews. We provide the unique sites below in one simple location for your review and enjoyment, while at the same time using the opportunity to award each for their fine writing skills and services to the sprawling world of music and, of course, the dear reader.  The amount of music review blogs out there is staggering to say the least – from professional publications to personal journals, we focussed not on the size of the operation (or indeed the subsequent output) when choosing our award winners but on the sheer quality of content on offer. This will be manifestly apparent to anyone who takes the time to read them, so without further ado…”
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Upstation – Take Me Out

So I’ve been dealing with a lot of nonsense lately, people trying to take credit for my work, trying to destroy themselves and take me with them.

Haters wanna beat me to the ground, ni%#@ how that sound my shit is better than it sounds…” – G.O.V.

I got caught up in the nonsense but long story short, life is short and then you’re on life support so I’m moving on and making the most of time on earth…

Another hero – another mindless crime.
Behind the curtain, in the pantomime.
Hold the line!
Does anybody want to take it anymore?

The Show must go on!” – Queen

So it’s back to the music and I couldn’t think of a better celebration song than Upstations Take Me Out. Fashioned by producer Leo Vasilets, the Moscow based group is a throwback to the amazing song writing of the 70′s and synth invasion of the 80′s and they do it quite well. Without getting to deep into the nerdy world of music production, today’s music is so quantized and perfect that it’s refreshing to hear a producer make the conscious decision to not correct every single mistake that makes a musician human. Don’t get me wrong, a style is a style and no style is really better than the other but there’s a sense of rebellion in the way these guys make music and I like it. Anyways, this is a great song to get you going in the AM, enjoy.

Upstation – Take Me Out

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White Arrows – Coming or Going (RAC Remix)

Stop the presses I’m back!…” – Fat Joe (The Incredible)

It’s official, RAC is on the indie music Alchemist. I like to post different artists everyday but this guy has so much fold that I’ve literally had to force myself to hold back from posting a new one everyday. I mean talk about imagination, some of these original tracks are so different that you can help but listen in amazement to these guys reinventions. Anyways, this dude deserves an award or something for absolutely mastering the remix niche. EMPT to RAC, we see you man! Alright, somehow it’s Monday again and there’s much to be done but you can count on some good music to help you get through it feeling good and in style, enjoy.

White Arrows – Coming or Going (RAC Remix)

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Kevin Casey’s Sample Saturday – Aretha Franklin et Mos Def

Any DJs from the pre-Serato era can most likely relate to thinking in the currency of records; twenty dollars = 4 records. Since this was my mentality, throughout high school I was a regular at Music Factory in The Bronx, and somewhere around 11th grade I copped the Mos Def 12″ for “Ms. Fat Booty”, with “Mathematics” on the B-Side.  Since this vinyl was equipped with two exceptionally dope instrumentals along with acapellas for each song, it stayed alive in my practice rotation for years, ultimately becoming on of my favorite records I ever owned.  I was always fascinated with the beats in rap songs, so the first thing I would do when I opened a record was check the credits for the producer.  The B-Side was another Primo classic, and “Ms. Fat Booty” was by a new name to me at that time, Ayotollah.

Producer Ayotollah is a wizard with the samples, and although fairly unknown he has constructed classics for countless New York based MCs like Ghostaface Killah, Guru, Talib Kweli, Cormega, and another Sample Saturday post “My Life” for Styles P.  His sound is largely based on soul samples, like in this case he uses the rare Aretha Franklin single “One Step Ahead.”  He starts “Ms. Fat Booty” with the chorus section of the beat, which is constructed with the 0:53 and 1:21 part of the sample.  Without listening to the original, it would be impossible to tell that this segment was put together with two pieces because of the way they seamlessly flow together.  The verse then comes in using a loop from the 0:36 mark.  Small chops are sprinkled on top to complete the boom-bap masterpiece.  My favorite Mos Def record to date.

Aretha Franklin – One Step Ahead

Mos Def – Ms. Fat Booty

via KevinCaseyMusic

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Foals – Miami (Jono Ma and Franklin Furter Remix)

I’ve been dealing with a bunch of nonsense lately so excuse the no post yesterday. Also, for all the people who texted and emailed asking about the Le Souk party stay tuned EMPT will be back on the road in no time. I’ve been up since 6 today ready to rock so I put on iTunes and the Jona Ma and Franklin Further remix of Miami came on, wow, talk about swing. I’ve been trying to post it for a while but couldn’t find the right time, today felt right. I don’t have time to discuss this song like I would like to but let’s just say this…

Let’s have a toast to the douchebags, let’s have a drink to the assholes.” – Kanye West

Music is love for me so to have a toast to all the jerks of the world couldn’t be more in tune with Bachelor Pad way, I wish you losers the utmost success at failure, enjoy.

Foals – Miami (Jono Ma and Franklin Furter Remix)

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Ben L’Oncle Soul – Seven Nation Army

And the nu-soul movement continues… Two weeks ago we were talking about Eli “Paperboy” Reed and now we have another incredible artist by the name of Benjamin Duterde aka Ben L’Oncle Soul. This dude is French, he sings Soul in French, it’s authentic and quite fresh. In case you were wondering French soul is nothing new, Motown Records actually has a French division and that’s how this Soul man got discovered but French soul in 2010? You don’t see that everyday and I like it.

Duturde gained recognition in 2009 when he released an EP called Soul Wash. The EP covered songs by The White Stripes, Katy Perry, the Spice Girls and Gnarles Barkley. I’m posting The White Stripes cover today and as your will hear it is absolutely amazing. Apparently, Ben is pretty well known in Europe and his EP reached the Top 5 in French album charts. My Parisian informants are slacking for not telling me about this sooner! Alright, we’re 4 days away from the weekend so add some French soul flavor to your hustle and make that money, enjoy.

Ben L’Oncle Soul – Seven Nation Army

Ben L’Oncle Soul – Soul Man

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