Posts tagged "usc"

KXSC Sample Showcase feat. Godfrey At Large & Marc Payne

KXSC Radio presents the 3rd Sample Showcase of the year. This event series is put together by the Jazz and Hip-Hop departments in an effort to bridge the gap between the two genres through the discussion of sampling.

Our featured guests for this edition are Godrey At Large and Marc Payne. They will discuss their legendary careers, thoughts on sampling, and what it’s like to be sampled musicians. Hope to see you there! 


WHERE: Ground Zero Performance Cafe


USC alumnus, Dustin Warren, goes by the name Godfrey At Large and is a child of both Psychadelia and Soul. Touting a sound that spans everywhere from Marvin Gaye to Mars Volta, his music is a natural manifest of the limitless potential that music can have on our culture.
Born and raised in the heart of Los Angeles, he quickly grew to develop an unquenchable thirst for the fringe - drinking away at anything (and everything) that he felt was a expression of both destruction and rebirth. Artists such as Curtis Mayfield, Jimi Hendrix, and John Coltrane inspired him to follow in a tradition of abject confrontation between the artist, the music and the audience. Thus began a journey into the abyss - a sound that explores sound for the sake of sound, an art the explores art for the sake of destruction, a light that explores darkness for the sake of innovation, and a love that explores love for the sake of rebirth.

Payne is an example of a talented young man taking the non-traditional road to success as a rapper. He has opened for acts such as J.Cole, The Clipse, and T-Pain among others and by performing and having his mix-tapes featured at various universities, including USC, SDSU, Morehouse/Spellman in the AUC, UCLA, ASU, and the University of Miami. Marc has become very popular among the collegiate crowdhaving “slammed” at venues across the nation, from Da Poetry Lounge in Hollywood and Magic Johnson’s Starbuck’s in Ladera Hights, Calif. all the way to ‘They Nuyorican Poets Café’ in New York City, he has had the opportunity to open for spoken world legends and Def Poets such as Poetri, Aja Monet, Judy Holiday, Talaam Acey, and Javon Johnson. He has headlined shows from San Francisco to Tokyo to Europe. His goal is to connect with all audiences around the world.

Caribou - Our LoveYeah I know I offered you Our Love months ago, but this marks its official release. The tracks in the leak I gave you are out of order heh heh. Let’s all blame ANDY from ANNENBERG RADIO for ruining the experience of the album for us. K I’ve found a scapegoat, now the review:

Mr. Snaith puts down an album that’s warm, simple, emotive, euphoric, burning. Layered with melodic and sensitive electronica, the content surrounds love with track titles like “Can’t Do Without You” and “Your Love Will Set You Free.”  The album relays a clear message and Snaith has created something that will undoubtedly attain wider appeal. There’s no analysis necessary and we don’t need to unfold cerebral intentions. Our Love is about him and how he experiences love, communicated through a neat package of swelling, breathing synth. I think it’s really important to note that he released this album under the Caribou moniker. This isn’t meant to be as heavy and bumping as Daphni (but liiiike, he needs to please release another Daphni album). Oh hey, “Second Chance” features Jessy Lanza.  I don’t think it belongs in the album, but she has the voice of an angel so it’s chill. It’s aight. It’s coo. It’s solid. Can you pick up what I’m throwing down bud? Help, I’m addicted to watching Boiler Room sets and fucking over any chance I have of doing homework. Here’s Caribou and Jamie xx b2b YE YE YE YE

Bottom line: not as good as Swim, but it’s still Caribou so it’s better than many other things. THANKS CANADA. R.E.

RIYL: Manitoba, Daphni, Four Tet

Recommended Tracks: “Can’t Do Without You –you will hear this during the intermission of every concert for the next month, “All I Ever Need”, “Our Love” ,“Julia Brightly”, “Back Home”, “Your Love Will Set You Free”

Flying Lotus - You’re Dead!Flying Lotus is renowned as the infamous supplier of beats for adult swim promos, but You’re Dead! feels almost like a show in and of itself. The album is certainly his most thematic- dare I say cartoony- release to date, taking his association with adult swim to a whole new level. And this association transcends more than the cover, which is literally a cartoon. The songs are a chaotic wash of brushed drums, speed-demon bass lines, and dissonant electric piano chords. Ladies and gents, this is jazz-fusion. Perhaps the most interesting texture on You’re Dead! is the questionably goofy metal guitar that surfaces periodically. It’s actually awesome, but I was definitely surprised to hear Flylo experimenting with such a distinctly prog rock sound. United by ominous lyrical motifs exploring the mysteries of death and human mortality, You’re Dead! is the closest Flylo has come to a concept album. Spooky stuff, guys. The album also boasts some huge names for features: Kendrick Lamar, Snoop Dogg, Angel Deradoorian of Dirty Projectors, Fkn Herbie Hancock?! Not to mention a handful of his regular collaborators, namely Thundercat and Niki Randa. No Laura Darlington this time though *shedding single tear*. While the features are all enjoyable, I would’ve thought Flylo could’ve found a lot more to do with such a fantastic line up of artists. Kendrick tears it up on “Never Catch Me” with a verse that’s a little too reminiscent of his flow on “Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe” for my taste. Likewise, while Herbie, Angel, and Niki sound great on their features, I don’t think they did anything that only they could’ve done. On “Tesla” and “Moment of Hesitation, “ Herbie’s piano playing is mostly present for ethereal effect, wrought with lots of fleeting and unrecognizable flourishes up and down the keys. Similarly, Angel and Niki had practically no lyrics to sing, their voices serve as brief effects, surfacing and then disappearing again almost immediately. Beautiful effects, mind you. And they did a good job; but I know Flylo could’ve given them bigger roles. Does that make sense? I found most of my enjoyment from some of the albums under-hyped tracks. On “Coronus, the Terminator”, the ghostly choral/posse vocals remind me of Parliament or even Outkast. The influence suits Flylo well. The song “The Boys Who Died In Their Sleep” quickly becomes a slimy-voiced drug lament that is both silly and a little worrisome (for the speaker’s sake). The whole track is absolutely dripping with character. Love It. Probably my favorite little gem is “Ready err Not”, a bloopy and refreshing tangent from the rest of the Charlie Parker heroine-crazed album. The simple tune jaunts along like Pink Floyd’s “Time”, wet with a synth that sends waves of color pulsating through my mind. Consistent with Flylo’s video game obsession, it would fit well in an underground level of Super Mario. I’ve always loved Flylo’s ability to make albums that are cohesive units where all the songs sound like they belong beside one another. It’s a lost art in today’s fast-moving culture where artists are just as inclined to post a track to Soundcloud from time to time. On You’re Dead! however, he may have reached his limit on that sense of album uniformity. This record is such a solitary chunk of music that it’s tough to single out songs to listen to by themselves. Without the context of the rest of the album, it can be a little… well, context-less. You wouldn’t pick up a random book and read a random chapter would you? So for maximum enjoyment, I recommend giving this thing a full listen from beginning to end. Shut your eyes, open your mind, and let the mayhem take you on a journey! AROG

RIYL: Bonobo, Aphex Twin, Thundercat, Flylo’s old stuff

Recommended Tracks: “Never Catch Me”, “Coronus, The Terminator”, “Ready Err Not”, “Moment of Hesitation”

The Bots – Pink PalmsPink Palms, the debut album of Los Angeles siblings Mikaiah and Anaiah Lei, The Bots, is an impressive effort from the young group. The album has a distinctively blues-rock feel amongst its punk riffs but remains imprinted in garage punk. There are also small electronic undertones and interludes throughout the album that lull you into short trances before the guitar fires you back into the song. The lead vocals jolt from gentle serenades into yearning cries and the duo’s voices compliment the grimy guitar well.  Catchy “All I Really Want”, a spastic punk dream carnival, is the albums strongest effort. The young band shows a lot of potential on this record and it is definitely a fun listen. WIll

RIYL: Bass Drum of Death, Cloud Nothings, Japandroids
Recommended Tracks: “All I Really Want”, “All of Them (Wide Awake)”, “Wet Blanket”

Olivia Jean – Bathtub Love KillingsIf Olivia Jean has got anything, it’s style. On her debut album Bathtub Love Killings she executes every song with attitude. While listening, Jean’s music has the swagger of a drunken tango, the sass of an angsty teen, the clattering piano of a Nashville honkytonk, and guitar tones that sting like a swarm of angry bees. Her Nancy Sinatra meets Amy Winehouse look also helps perpetuate the bad-girl mentality that exists throughout her music. Produced by Jack White, the album’s strong point is truly its personality. In the song “Merry Widow”, Jean paints herself as a Venus flytrap of sorts for men. Though innocently disguised as a song about wearing a certain piece of clothing to impress her man, when the searing bass distortion kicks in I can’t help but suspect that she’s actually a husband killer and that she herself is a merry widow. The guitar riff in “Reminisce” is done in the style of “Billie Jean” meets “Seven Nation Army” and her bad-girl reputation is reinforced when she sings, “she’s guided by the devil’s hand.” The title Bathtub Love Killings refers to an 1800s serial killer and serves a recurring theme of the album. This theme is pretty consistent and at times it’s hard to know whether she’s the victim, the witness, or the killer herself. Which I think is pretty cool. I suspect Jack White had a much larger role in making this record than is let on in the liner notes and there is part of me that wonders how far Olivia Jean would’ve gotten without Jack White’s validation. At times I also found that personality wasn’t enough to support a song and hold my interest; for instance, the fact that she’s always reminding me that she’s a bad girl makes me question whether she truly is. But these things aside, she’s got a cool sound going for her and I’d like to see where she takes it next. AROG

RIYL: Jack White, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Lana Del Rey

Recommended Tracks: “Merry Widow”, “Reminisce”, “Cat Fight”, “After The Storm”

Bonobo – The North Borders:  In the studio Bonobo is just one guy, but live it’s a full band, complete with sax, drums, cello, the works. This live album really gives us a flavor of the music that the album just can’t provide. The earnest sultry vocals of Andreya Triana and Szjerdene are able to narrate the bobbing beats and scuttling bleeps that Simon Green crafts alongside his band of strings, brass, and woodwinds. Listen for brush stick drumming and prog rock flute stylings on track three, as well as hang drums and what must be chimes on track one. Track one really reminds me of an upbeat version of nighttime in minecraft world. Ultimately, this album is a cascade of electronica meets baroque pop. Even the whistling and cheers of the crowd on these live takes seem timed to fit right into the many layers of Bonobo’s sound. SHILL

RIYL: Purity Ring, ODESZA, Chet Faker

Recommended Tracks: “Cirrus”, “Heaven for the Sinner”, “Emkay”

Kindness – OthernessMy people, we’ve got a new Kindness album. It features the likes of Dev(onte) Hynes, Kelela (YUSSS), Ade, Tawiah, aaaaaaaaaand M.anifest. “World Restart” is wonderful, such a prime starting point for Otherness. It’s a unique take on pop music, very easy to dance to, very simple, and you can tell that he’s drawing from an eclectic array of influences. This album truly establishes his ~sound~, flowing groovy bass lines with nouvelle disco and funk tang, brushed up in the studio. “8th Wonder” has the collab with M.anifest, a Ghanian rapper with a voice as smooth as sizzurp. He raps over organ, bass, horns, harp, cymbal rides, and beats (2 minutes into this track is when it gets rill good). The amalgamation of those elements resonates throughout the album in a really organic way. There’s a SAXOPHONE SOLO in “With You.” “For the Young” uses a sample of the collaboration between Herbie Hancock and Foday Musa Suso, a kora player from Gambia.

Minor complaint: “Why Don’t You Love Me” has him trying too hard to sound like Prince and just ended up reminding me of the performer in a talent show who thinks he has this really full and soulful voice, but is actually pitchy as fuck. I hope that resonates with somebody because I knew someone like that in high school and he thought he was an amazing singer and would ALWAYS perform in the talent show and we were all like wtf can this guy stop. Kindness has a good voice, but I can’t really get behind his vocals in this track. I like the melodies and use of Dev Hynes, so there’s that. With such talented artists featured on the album, it’s blatant how Kindness was trying too hard to match them vocally (sometimes I laughed at his attempts). BUT. But that’s only in a few instances. There are definitely moments where his vocals are on fucking point, ie “This Is Not About Us.” Check it oot, bbz. ARI

Recommended Tracks: “World Restart”, “8th Wonder”, “With You”, “For the Young”

The Velvet Underground – The Velvet Underground & Nico: Few albums if any can be considered more influential in shaping contemporary music. It may have been a flop upon its release in 1967, but as Brain Eno once remarked “everyone who bought one of those 30,000 copies started a band”. Record stores refused to carry it, radio stations declined to play it, and now it’s in the god damn Library of Congress. Lyrics about sadomasochism, death, and prostitution are delivered with a frivolous innocence in the form of glittering lullabies, rock n roll ballads, and scathing experimental assaults. Reed’s signature ostrich guitar is on display slowly altering the chemistry of your brain while John Cale’s electric viola splits the seams of your skull spilling your brains out through your ear holes. This is the epitome of beauty from chaos. What are you waiting for? Peel slowly and see. SHILL

Souls of Mischief - There is Only NowHailing from Oakland, California (BAYYYYY AREEEAA), Souls of Mischief have dominated the underground hip-hop scene for decades now, both on their own, and as a part of legendary rap collective Hieroglyphics (check them if you haven’t) alongside the likes of Del the Funkee Homosapien. Their newest album, There is Only Now, is presented by Adrian Younge, who worked on the likes of the Black Dynamite Soundtrack and the Ghostface Killah album Twelve Reasons to Die. Bottom line, they’re dope. Check it out if you’re into funky, jazzy instrumental based hip-hop. JAISON
Recommended Tracks: “Time Stopped”, “Another Part of You”, “All You Got Is Your Word”, “Miriam Got A Mickey”, “The Sypnosis”, “Narrow Escape”, “Finally Back”


Kode9 & The Spaceape - Killing Season (EP)Press play on Kode9 & the Spaceape’s debut album Memories of the Future, and the first thing that greets you is a desolate violin sample welded to a militant halfstep beat, which continues until the violin is echoed out of the mix in a classic dub style, and in comes a heavy baritone, pronouncing each word measuredly and carefully, as if for the first time, commanding yet understated, like a spirit whispering in your ear.

Lately there’s been, a serious rise in pressure. A tension so visceral, we have to take serious measures…”

That was my introduction to the dub poetry of Stephen Samuel Gordon, aka Spaceape, who passed away last Thursday from a rare form of cancer. His dread visions of the future made him the voice of the early dubstep scene in London, a scene I became captivated with a few years ago, sparking an obsession that has waxed and waned but has always remained important to me. Spaceape’s vocals cut to the deep, meditative force at the core of sound system music, tapping into everything from fiery, blinding anger (witness his furious denouncing of society’s evils on The Bug’s “Fuckaz” and Kode9’s “Am I”) to melancholy and reflection. He gave a human voice, a spark of life and hope, to music that often recalled the oppression of the grey skies and concrete towers it was created in and around. I was never much for poetry, but Spaceape’s words spoke to me, created visions of a strange future filled with pain and anger, but also hope and humanity, all anchored by the throbbing low end of dub, the “alien virus” of music.  

Killing Season, Kode9 & The Spaceape’s new EP on Hyperdub, is admittedly uneven in my eyes. The first two tracks, “Chasing A Beast” and “The Devil is a Liar” are more grating than hard, trying to capture the aggression of grime and footwork. However, the more ambient final three tracks are urgent and powerful, particularly the closing track, “Autumn Has Come”, which ends with the haunting line:

“Though life can be predictable, never ever is it fair. I must learn to dance with life again while autumn is still here.” 

Spaceape was a singular, brilliant talent who became one of the defining voices of a scene. I wish I could have heard everything he had to say. Please give him a place in your headphones. HENRY

Recommended Tracks: “Autumn Has Come”, “Kingstown”

The Bug - Exit (EP)To follow up his excellent Angels and Devils, The Bug’s new EP is like a bonus package that goes hard and dark- it includes songs off of the LP, versions of them, and new ones. “Void” ft. Liz Harris (of Grouper) is complemented by “Void Version”, a cavernous instrumental that creeps and builds like a monster waiting to be released. There’s a new track, “Black Wasp,” also ft. Liz Harris- expect pretty, eerie vocals over dubby noise- with its complement. Then the EP changes from being relatively ambient and spacey to being grimey and devastatingly powerful. Dirty, energizing “Function” (also off the LP) sets off the next track “Blaow”. Ragga master Daddy Freddy delivers some really heavy verses and makes you question what you’re doing with your life and why you’re not as hardcore. To be honest I can’t really discern much of the lyrics but it’s still really uncompromisingly powerful. In someone else’s words, “there’s a beauty and lush sparseness to be found within, even when at its most chaotic.” CARRIE
RIYL: Kode9, Burial, Actress
Recommended tracks: “Black Wasp”
Caetano Veloso - TransaThis one is going up next to SuperApe by Lee “MF Scratch” Perry if that means ANYTHING to you (it means it’s a classic in its canon). There once was a boyish man who asked another “Who is Caetano Veloso?”— to which the other responded at first with nothing but pure incredulity followed by the bare explanation “He’s like the Beatles,”— if THAT means anything to you. I’m going to purposefully abstain from expounding upon that to incline you to listen to what I’m going to call THE album from THE man, the legend, ‘The Beatles’, Caetano Veloso. IAN
Recommended Tracks: “You Don’t Know Me”, “9 out of 10”

Maya Beiser - UncoveredSo I mentioned this in a former email but Maya Beiser is an amazing cellist who in this album, covers famous rock tunes. The album description says she “uncovers” them— “exploring and reinventing the track”. IAN

RIYL: Andrew Bird, Led Zepplin, Nirvana, Hendrix
Recommended Tracks: “Black Dog”, “Lithium”, ”Kashmir”
Caetano Veloso - AbraçaçoWith the tropicalismo legend’s most recent album, Caetano Veloso has produced a truly contemporary record that sets his soft fluid tones against sounds grainier and more electric than any found in the rest of his other works. It is the sound of a man who’s lived a full life, remains full of life and doesn’t give uma foda. IAN
RIYL: Devendra Banhart, Vampire Weekend 2008/9 era?, John Frusciante (maybe a stretch)
Recommended Tracks: “A Bossa Nova É Foda”, the rest are all good

KXSC Radio is participating in the Spotify Sound Clash competition.

If we have the most follows on our playlist out of the other college organizations that have entered, we win $5000- $2500 goes to the charity of our choice (TBD) and the other $2500 goes to the station for music equipment!

KXSC is completely student run with no funding from USC. We were recently nominated for Best Use of Limited Resources in the CMJ College Radio Awards, so this scholarship is something we really need.

We already have the best music, so we just need your help. Follow our playlist and share with your friends! The winner will be selected on October 17th, so keep the follows coming. Let’s win!