Araabmuzik, Balam Acab, Light Asylum, Laurel Halo, Run DMT + special guest!


If you were to Google the name Araabmuzik, you would discover a lot video's showing this music producer hammering on an MPC as if he was Travis Barker on the drums. With his fast rhythmic touches on the machine - while donning a New Era fitted, some might call it poetry in motion, others might say it's suicide on an MPC, but for the Dipset in-house producer it's just another day on the job.

Born Abraham Orellana in Providence, RI, the middle child of two other siblings, he grew up with an affection to music starting at a very young age. "I've been drumming since the age of 3. When I was around 10, I started getting into keyboard and producing my own music." Half Dominican and Guatemalan, he confesses that his Hispanic heritage has influenced his music to a degree. With his mom being a one-time professional singer he's been around melodies and beats his entire life, however; growing up in Providence... it's natural to assume Hip-Hop not having much of an influence in the city, considering that's it sprawled so far away in New England. "There's definitely a lot of Hip-Hop here. You'll find a lot of local rap groups, solo artists out here that are trying make it, it's just the fact that we're not on the map like that just yet." Having found much success working with Dipset members Cam'Ron, Duke Da God, Hell Rell and others, he's also shopped beats to Young Jeezy, Ludacris, Cassidy, Gucci Man, Young Dro and Fabolous. With his rapid beat making techniques, it's easy to understand why it's getting him on shows from state to state because it's amazing to see. "I've been getting booked by clubs lately to do shows performing on my MPC live. It's something different, unique and it puts me in a position to be a trendsetter, but on the other hand - it's allowing other producers in the crowd to hear my sound and see what I'm doing, but I don't think you can really duplicate what I'm doing." Putting a name on how to define his music and style is a daunting task, but under the fabric of his beats still lies a blueprint from the influences of Dr. Dre, Swizz Beats, Pete Rock, 9th Wonder, Hi-Tek, DJ Khalil and Beatmakers. These famous producers vicariously helped in perfecting his craft to the point now that it's a full time job. "When I first started making beats, I went from the keyboard to a software program and to an MPC. My motivation at that time was just for the fact that I wanted to hear and make my own music. All my old beats on the keyboard where like a good 3-4 minutes long and as I got better, so did the beats." Not really needing much for motivation when making a new beats is natural. "I'm not the type that needs to smoke a blunt or have a drink to be creative. "I just sit down and think of what I'm going to do or how I'm going to do it. It doesn't take long - no more than ten minutes for me to complete a beat. It's always like 10-15 minutes the most and then I'm done."

As his talents continue to move him forward, don't ever think leaving his hometown is in the plans. "Growing up in Providence, I was blessed because I didn't have to go through a lot of the things that other people that I know in places like Boston and New York had to go through. I was raised by both my mom and my pops and their still together this day. Besides, it doesn't matter where I'm from just so long as the people keep liking my beats that's all that matters."

The project of Pennsylvanias Alec Koone, Balam Acab (named after a Mayan demigod who created rainbows by piercing clouds with arrows) began as an experimental noise project while he was a high school student.

Fuzzy, almost dubsteppy bits of gently glitchy gauziness, angelic vocals, wreathed in reverb, drifting over swirling industrial loops and shimmering synths. Totally blissed out and otherworldly. Recalling The Caretaker, Pole, Broadcast and Boards of Canada, and even the canonical chill-out of Global Communication and The KLF.

Sumptuous, psychedelic, richly melodic: Balam Acab's latest album is a joy to listen to, and confirms he is a singular, exacting artist who exists in spite of, not because of, contemporary trends. Highly recommended. Triangle Records

Light Asylum

There's a sense of release watching a performer who was clearly born to be on stage, whose whole life has been building up to the moment when all their pent-up artistic urges can be turned loose on an audience. Some people make music for fun; others do it because there's a force that's been bearing down on them since birth that positively compels them to flush it all out of their systems. Light Asylum singer Shannon Funchess would seem to be a card-carrying member of the latter group. She manages to route her sinewy vocal through the cold-blooded seething of Ian Curtis, the deadpan drawl of Grace Jones and the full-tilt intensity of Henry Rollins circa Damaged.

The juddering electro-goth backing provides a perfect foil for her to break out that extraordinary range, which effortlessly transitions from hoarse rasps to deep-throated contralto brooding and back again. Funchess' lyrical conceits mostly center on drugs and religious imagery, but there's a vitality and conviction to her delivery, a sense that she needs to be up there doing this, that elevates Light Asylum beyond the sizable amount of past and present artists who have explored similar territory.

Laurel Halo

Laurel Halo's music floats like flying gardens up the information superhighway. She is an electronic musician from Ann Arbor, Michigan and lives in Brooklyn.

Run DMT (Baltimore)

Run DMT is music artist Michael Collins from Baltimore, USA.

Collins gave away his first albums as Run DMT, Bong Voyage and Get Ripped Or Die Trying, for free on the Internet in 2009, and later in the form of an extremely limited cassette edition of 20 on Chocolate Bobka’s Curatorial Club.

Collins withdrew from the scene only to emerged two years later with follow up album Dreams.



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