||Nice one for Wide Hive! A four star review in URB.
They call out the track Unison, which we released under a Creative Commons License.
(I’ve been working with dissent‘s Gregory Howe on a new band that I’ll be able to tell you all about soon! I just want to have a track finished first 🙂
Here’s the URB review of
URB – January 2006 – 4 Stars
“This funky hip-hop unit from Northern Cali [still led by Gregory Howe] takes a nice step forward on their fourth album. First is the more concentrated focus on tribal beats and techniques, although it doesn’t overwhelm the smooth and inventive production. But even more impressive is the songwriting on cuts like “Unison,” which highlight the vocals of Nathalie Sanchez and a semi-trip-hop taste that makes one of the best entries to the genre since Portishead went their merry way. But it’s not really dour; rather upbeat, even when slow. Catchy, even when complex. “Kaleidosouls” is some fine neo-soul while “Native Time” rides a swinging beat against smooth jazz chords and some serious laser beam effects. This much melding doesn’t usually come off so well, but Howe and company keep it tight. An unexpected pleasure.” (Jack Real)
Yippie. The first review is in, and it’s a goodin’ I don’t think the online version is up yet, so here it is:
BPM – September 2005
“Dissent is back with their forth long player, Primal Deconstruction. If you enjoyed their last journey through emotion and sound this’ll surely treat you right. Gregory Howe, the brainchild behind the blunted, sonic landscape (who also happens to serve as el jefe for the label), delivers the sort of musical variety that makes a lasting impression. Between the brushed drums, loose horn arrangements, syrupy jazz licks, guitar strums and memorable beats, many arenas are dabbled in – it’s one big harmonius nuptial. But, without Howe’s clear vision and passion, the album would, no doubt, come off as yet another generic broken beat excursion. Thankfully that’s not the case-spectrum of sound serves as a sonic narrative, but the message is fully realized through the hauntingly sultry voice of Nathalie Sanchez. Highlights include the rhythmically adventurous uptempo jam “Native Time” and “Pouvez-Vous Voir Le Soleil,” which serves as a low-key coda to an elegant album.” (Jackie Chiles)
So one of the reasons why I’ve been so bad about blogging lately is that I’m quite obsessed with learning everything there is to know about running a record label — in this case, the everluvin’ Wide Hive Records.
It’s part of my graduate research at SFSU, and my experience will also supplement a couple books I’m in the process of writing…
Anyhoo, our latest release is dissent‘s
There are three different tracks you can check out in MP3 format.
It has been our experience during the course of my research that our downloads only increase as we increase the number of free mp3 tracks
samples we give away on our website. (just to be clear, these are complete versions of these songs 🙂
Also, our number one and number two itunes downloads for the month of May 2005, were the two we’ve been giving away for free for almost a year. Interesting.
Anyway, more on all that later…just give it a listen for now, and tell me what cha think.
interested peeps: I’d be happy to send you an advance cd. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Remember to come as my guest — and bring friends.
It’ll be quite a show. More info here.
Opening at 9:30pm Each the Beat Boxer performing with DJ Quest
Then from 10-12:30:
Variable Unit w/Special Guest Hosts:
Zealous and Prophet
Felonius: One Love Hip Hop
(Soulati, Infinite, A kid named Keith and D. Wolf)
Ho Flow and Mic Blake and their whole vocal crew from Bop City Pacific
(Caitlin Cornwell, Dawn “Dee Dee” Hilgesen, Christi “KiKi” Hilgesen)
(Anderson Ray & Macsen Apollo)
From the Delinquent Monestary Crew:
Complexity, Lush One, and Ajaxx
Audio Tracks –
Davu (Poetry Slam Champion)
Plus More Guests TBA
Prozack Turner and Marc Stretch
Here’s a short clip (5 MB) explaining how Foreign Legion is anything but dissolved, and the complete interview (22 MB) from last week’s SCOUT at the Red Devil Lounge in San Francisco.
I had some interesting conversations with these guys off camera, and I must say, they were mighty real – whether talking about the pros and cons of being signed to a big label (Turner) or comparing the social networking architectures of Friendster and MySpace (Stretch).
Both Zack and Stretch are plannnig to drop back by in on either June 22 or June 29, but nothing is confirmed yet.
These last two shows are going to be special like that — in addition to the announced performers, there will be a lot of past peeps dropping back by to rekindle…
So it was another fantastic show — albeit another poorly attended one — at SCOUT wednesday night.
We’re beginning to think of these more as live recording sessions:)
It would be nice to have a larger than 75 person audience there, because I think it helps the performers out, but this isn’t a “live” album, where we need to hear the crowd and such.
We’ve been very pleased with the music that’s been coming out of these. We’re not at all sure yet how all the tracks are even going to be used. (There are more than 25 hours of shows recorded already.)
Anyway, this last show rocked with a really neat group of people. I’m getting the pictures and video together now, and I will get at least some of it up today, along with some more general information about this great family of artists that Variable Unit had the pleasure of collaborating with Wednesday night.
It was really neat having like 8 different mcs and singers each perform leads and switch to back ups for each others performances all night. They were all obviously good friends that had known each other forever. Gennessee hooked me up by arranging for all of them to come by for SCOUT. I was interviewing one of the other performers out front when they each descended and assembled promptly at 9:30 in front of the Red Devil Lounge.
They all looked happy and ready for action. (They already had the right vibe, and they hadn’t even entered the club yet.)
Here are the performers of which I speak: Gennessee, Cait Le Dee, Genevieve, L*Roneous, Dogwood Speaks, Bazooka Joe Gotti, Prozack Turner and Marc Stretch…hope I’m not leaving anyone out.
There were other great performers that night, such as JBo and his friend Chris Lee (who was just in from Norway visiting this week), Kero One, and Jesse Seaver the Beatboxer. Plus Each the Beatboxer guest hosted.
Anyway, it was a good time.
Hey – if the $7 entry fee is what’s stopping you from coming by, tell the door man you’re there as my guest. And don’t be afraid to bring friends. The more the merrier. (Do buy drinks if you can 🙂
Okay…back in a minute…I’m trying to get as much up as I can today…
Kero One is another artist performing at
tonight’s SCOUT, and he’s definitely a star on the rise.
You can hear tracks
From the California bay area, Kero One is an artist who had been emceeing, producing beats, writing graff, deejaying/scratching and collecting records since the early 90’s [more]. In the summer of 2003, Kero One released his first 12″ record entitled
We have a really interesting group of performers at tomorrow night’s SCOUT — all of which are up and comers who are becoming more recently established. (I have Gennessee, another one of tomorrow night’s peformers, to thank for it, too 🙂
Take Cait La Dee, who currently has one of her tracks being used in a Tide w/Downy commercial. She has a nice voice, and, I’m told, also has some flow.
Honestly, I’m also just glad to have another female MC at the show.
She will be only the second female mc we’ve at in our entire SCOUT series! (The other being Shania D, who played on
Where are you ladies? Give me a holler. There are only two shows left after this one! (Newcomers: this is a chance to debut with the best band in the world watching your back.)
anyway…I’m just trying to give you guys an idea of some of the cool performers we have coming by tomorrow night. It should be a really great show.
I’m probably gonna crash now, but I’ll be up in the AM with more about tomorrow night’s performers.
Here’s an interesting article about one of tomorrow night’s headliners:
Prozack Turner’s Sound Click page.
There are some samples too from his record there.
According to this article, Foreign Legion has parted ways. I didn’t know that — I know both Prozack Turner and Marc Stretch are performing at
tomorrow night’s SCOUT!
Taxation Without Representation: When DreamWorks’ music division was cannibalized, Prozack Turner had a record but no label. So he released it himself…
THE DOMINANT image on the cover of Prozack Turner’s solo debut, Death, Taxes & Prozack, is a baseball cap emblazoned with a San Jose logo. Flip the CD over and scan the production credits: Pete Rock, Alchemist, Supa Dave West, Organized Noize, Jake One, Madlib, DJ Design, Jay Dilla. In the corner, a tiny, out-of-focus insignia that resembles the DreamWorks logo teases the eye.
From the packaging, one can infer that Prozack Turner is a San Jose emcee who recorded an album with DreamWorks and hooked up with hotshot producers. That’s half the story. The reality? Zack “Prozack” Turner is from San Jose. He was in the local hip-hop group Foreign Legion (with DJ Design and Marc Stretch) that released the excellent Kidnapper Van and Play Tight full-lengths. Prozack was courted by Virgin and Grand Royal but signed to DreamWorks for a four-record deal.
In 2003, he assembled his dream production unit and recorded Death, Taxes & Prozack, with a $450,000 budget. In October of 2003, UMG bought out DreamWorks’ music division. Turner’s record, due to drop five months ago, was shelved. He got out of his contract, bootlegged Death, Taxes & Prozack and is selling it independently. If you look closer at the DreamWorks logo on the CD, it’s jacked up to say, “Out of Work.”
“It’s totally illegal the way I’m putting it out,” Turner admits. “They’re like, ‘We own this album.’ But I created this! It came out of my brain. Technically, on paper, they own the rights, but I held up my end of the bargain. I recorded the record thinking they were going to put it out.”