DecibelCast Vol. 23 – “L.A.-ted”


It’s been a minute we realize since we last posted a DecibelCast mix (or anything else for that matter). We’ve all been pretty busy doing adult stuff in our respective lives and, unfortunately, this blog has suffered for it. We have of course continued to discover and enjoy lots of different music, we just haven’t made the time to write about it. But, I digress…

This here is a mix I made specifically for a recent trip to Los Angeles (hence the title)—it starts with a bunch of West Coast G funk-inspired stuff and then works its way into some slick summery electronic pop. All tracks are new (with one obvious exception) and all are ideal for the warm weather. It’s a damn fine collection of songs, and I’ve been rinsing it steadily for the past few weeks. And so I figured “Why not share it with all of you?”

Hope you’re enjoying the summer
Jay Autom@tticus

Download: “L.A.-ted”.zip 

STS & RJD2  – “Doing it Right”
Unknown Mortal Orchestra – “Can’t Keep Checking my Phone”
Thundercat – “Them Changes” (feat. Flying Lotus & Kamasi Washington)
NxWorries – “Suede”
Kendrick Lamar – “Momma”
Knxwledge – “Komestostai.Aintreallynootherwaytoputitro”
213 – “So Fly”
The Hood Internet – “Try Out” (Spoon x Dej Loaf Mashup)
The Internet – “Just Sayin/I tried”
A$AP Rocky – “Everyday” feat. Rod Stewart & Miguel
Hudson Mohawke – “Very First Breathe” (feat. Irfane)
Shamir – “Demon”
Jamie xx – “Good Times” feat. Popcaan & Young Thug
Hudson Mohawke – “Ryderz”
Dam-Funk – “Free”
Tuxedo – “Do It”
Hot Chip – “Love is the Future”
LA Priest – “Party Zute / Learning to Love”
Chromatics – “I Can Never Be Myself When You’re Around
Tame Impala – “Let It Happen”
Young Fathers – “Sirens”

Our Favorite Sounds: 2014 Edition


High Life before they sold out butcher Schlitz selfies… ahem. Let me try that one more time.

Happy new year everyone! We have a tradition at DECIBELity where we do our best-of/end-of-year lists at the beginning of the following year instead of the beginning of December like those other blogs.  Perhaps you thought we negligent or maybe just really late—well, you thought wrong. We are right on schedule.  You see, we do things a little bit different ’round here, it’s one of the many ways we set ourselves apart from the rest.

Each of us, as has become our custom, have chosen 15 or our favorite records and we each have created a mixtape including a single song from each of the aforementioned favorite recordings.

So, enjoy and we’ll be sure to continue to keep it DECIBEL’d for you all in ’15.

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Captain Murphy – “Duality” Mixtape

For the past six-or-so months, the name Captain Murphy had been appearing on some pretty stellar hip-hop alongside the likes of Earl Sweatshirt and Flying Lotus.

Up until a few weeks ago Murphy remained essentially anonymous prompting much Internetz speculation as to the truth of his identity–was it an alias of Odd Future‘s Tyler the Creator or the aforementioned Earl; some other established MC perhaps, or maybe a total unknown?

The mystery was solved at L.A.’s weekly Low End Theory club night a few weeks back, where Murphy was booked as headliner, and as it turned out, was none other than Steven Ellison, who is much better known as Flying Lotus.

Murphy’s unmasking coincided with the release of his debut mixtape Duality, in what was presumably a kind of oddball publicity maneuver.

Duality is being offered as a free download complete with a grip of original artwork, just in time for the holidays.

It’s classic “mixtape” in the tradition of Quasimoto’s The Unseen or MF Doom’s Operation Doomsday—meaning quirky nonsensical rhyming over sample-heavy, lo-fi beats, spliced with various and sundry snippets of cartoons and video games circa the ’90s.

The production, which is predictably dope, is mostly handled by Mr. Lotus and other Brainfeeder-affiliated artists like Samiyam, Teebs and Jeremiah Jae, but Madlib and Hudson Mohawke/Lunice project TNGHT also contribute.  The surprising thing here is just how accomplished a lyricist old FlyLo is. It’s understandable that he was mistaken for Earl or Tyler.

Get it HERE (and be sure to scope the bizarro visual accompaniment while you’re over there)

Here are a few videos from the album:

And here’s some footage of Murphy and Earl Sweatshirt performing “Between Friends” at the Low End Theory.

Thundercat – “The Golden Age of the Apocalypse”

Oh man, this is the record of the summer as far as I’m concerned (and although most folks are probably gearing up for the fall, here in San Francisco it is officially [Indian] summer!).

Having anticipated its late August release for several months, I “thought” I knew what to expect…

Some background info for you:

Thundercat is the nom de guerre of Steve Bruner, a L.A.-based virtuoso bass player (with perfect pitch to boot).  A veteran session musician, Bruner’s talents have been sought after by everyone from Erykah Badu to the Suicidal Tendencies. He’s played with Snoop Dogg and Bootsy Collins, and most recently he’s fallen in with Flying Lotus and his ever-expanding left-field hip-hop crew Brainfeeder (He played bass on Flying Lotus’ 2010 instellar-opus Cosmogramma).  In short this dude is a monster on the bass guitar.

Still it took me several listens to “get” this record.

Normally, I don’t go in for jazz fusion, but this isn’t your typical jazz-fusion record.  It’s a stunning display of retro-futurism — melding jazz, electro and the leftfield hip-hop sound so en vogue in LA at the moment – an amazingly rich collection of smoothed out summer jams, sprawling as far and wide as the city of Los Angeles.  This is at once club music, cruising-in-the-car music, backyard cook-out music, and headphone music.

Fans of Dam-Funk’s brand of astral boogie would do well to grab this, although “Golden Age” is way further out there than anything released by Mr. Funk as of yet.

The instrumentation is the stuff of next-level: Backed by Flying Lotus who produced the album and 20-year-old composer, pianist and fellow Brainfeeder Austin Peralta, Bruner effortlessly churns out consciousness expanding melodies on an instrument typically relegated to “keeping time.”

I think the fact that this has been lighting up the blogosphere for the past few weeks says it all.  When was the last time a “jazz-fusion” record scored an 8.1 on Pitchfork?

Thundercat – “Daylight”

Thundercat – “Walkin”

Thundercat – “For Love I Come”

Flying Lotus put together a killer mix of non-album Thundercat stuff a few months ago, which you can grab here

Flying Lotus – “Lover’s Melt: II”

Back in May Flying Lotus made a podcast for Stones Throw Records called Lover’s Melt, and I resisted posting it out of some misguided sense that I should only devote time/space to things that aren’t blogged to death all over the rest of the Internetz.

Fuck that shit! Mr. Lotus is an amazing DJ and Stones Throw is a standard bearer for quality and diversity in podcasts. That mix was one of the best things I’ve downloaded this year.

I refuse to make the same mistake twice, so I’m posting this mix here regardless of how many other places on the web it’s sure to be at.

Download Lover's Melt:II

edit: mix is 2 hrs long and file is high quality, meaning it’s fucking huge (300+ megs)