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Stream King Britt’s new Fhloston Paradigm album, The Phoenix

Photo by John Kaufman
Photo by John Kaufman

Pitchfork Advance is streaming King Britt’s new Fhloston Paradigm album, The Phoenix. Drawing inspiration from his love of science fiction movies like Blade Runner and The Fifth Element (where the name of the project comes from), Sun Ra, funk, and Afrofuturism, Britt has created a soundtrack to an imaginary motion picture, filled with moody, synthesized soundscapes, with contributions by Marlo Reynolds, and vocalists Rachel Claudio, Pia Ercole, and Natasha Kmeto.

Listen to The Phoenix here.

In other King Britt/Fhloston Paradigm news, listen to their contribution to the new Red Hot + Bach album below. Featuring classical vocalist Pia Ercole, they perform “Ave Maria” and was inspired by the late Sixties Moog synth collection of Bach compositions Switched On Bach, by Wendy Carlos.

King Britt performs at Union Transfer on July 12th with Nightmares On Wax and on July 14th at Johnny Brenda’s.

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A tribute to Sun Ra, curated by King Britt and Kate Watson-Wallace featuring Vernon Reid and Tendai Maraire of Shabazz Palaces

A tribute to the jazz musician Sun Ra curated by King Britt and choreographer/visual artist Kate Watson-Wallace will take place at Fringe Arts on Friday, June 6. The event is a live improvisational “re-contextualization” of Sun Ra’s music featuring Tendai Maraire of Shabazz Palaces on percussion, Vernon Reid of Living Color on guitar, King Britt on beats and electronics, Anthony Tidd on bass, vocalist Imani Izuri, and Marlo Reynolds on keyboards. Live video will be provided by Jason Senk and “movement” by Jaamil Olawale Kosoko of Philadiction Movement. The event, says King Britt, is the first of several that “music/multidimensional events” that the Fringe is presenting in its new space.

The jazz musician, originally from Birmingham, Alabama, relocated to the Germantown section of Philadelphia in 1968 where he resided until his death in 1993. King Britt came up with the idea of a tribute to Sun Ra since it was close to Sun Ra’s birthday. “I suggested we do a tribute to him by creating a beautiful ensemble of music, video and dance,” Britt told me in an e-mail. “Everyone involved has been touched by Ra and his legacy. Sun Ra always embraced the art of improvisation within a construct of his compositions. He also embraced technology and used it in a way that propelled the music to new places.”

“We felt that everyone involved would be comfortable in this context and non obvious samples and loops, from some of Sun Ra’s improvs, will steer the direction of the journey,” said Britt. “Everyone involved, including video, which will be mixed live, are all very good improvisors and it will be a one time only experience. This is event is important because it will bridge the gap between generations. A lot of the older Sun Ra fans will love to witness a new spin on his legacy and the young fans who have come to know Sonny, through samples, hip hop and alternative music, will get to learn a bit of the history through multidisciplinary lenses.”

Go here for tickets and more information about the show. Below, check out a documentary about Sun Ra by film maker Robert Mugge, A Joyful Noise.

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King Britt, Dave P and Cosmo Baker are DJ’ing KAWS at PAFA event this Friday, October 11th

KAWS
KAWS

A new exhibition is opening at Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts this Friday, October 12th, featuring the work of KAWS – an artist and designer Philadelphians will recognize from his Companion (Passing Through) installation in 30th Street Station this spring.

KAWS @ PAFA features both indoor and outdoor works including a new 9-foot sculpture outside and over 60 paintings and sculptures installed in the galleries of the PAFA. The opening reception and preview party is this Friday. October 11th at 8 p.m. at Lenfest Plaza at PAFA. Providing the soundtrack for the event are King Britt, Dave P. of Making Time and Cosmo Baker. Go here for tickets and more information. Below, sample a taste of Cosmo Baker’s Top Ten mix.

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Download of the Moment: King Britt’s Sexytech Mix #1

artworks-000056049926-xjqnsy-t500x500A cool sonic treat showed up care of King Britt this weekend; his new Sexytech Mix #1a 71-minute continuous mix of swift beats, keyboard loops, alluring hooks and smooth vibes galore. It’s “the first in my series of sexy techno faves that I have come to love,” King writes. “No tracklistings…just listening…..” And while the no-tracklisting element comes to the dismay of some Soundcloud commenters – these are evidently some deep deep tracks here, reworked and blended imaginatively as only King Britt can – it is a perfect collection to switch on and zone out. Listen to Sexytech Mix #1 below, download it over at Soundcloud.

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Mayer Hawthorne and King Britt doing DJ sets at Hard Rock Philly this Saturday night, August 3

hawthorneDJ Mayer Hawthorne and King Britt are doing DJ sets at the Hard Rock Cafe this Saturday night, August 3rd. Hawthorne plays at Musikfest this Saturday and will headline Union Transfer on September 10. This Friday night, August 2nd, King Britt will be “re-contextualizing” the classic film, The Brother From Another Planet, in collaboration with the Blackstar Film Festival. Go here for more information about the event at Johnny Brenda’s.

Go here for tickets to dance the night away with King Britt and Mayer Hawthorne.

Below, listen to and download Hawthorne’s classic soul mix.

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King Britt performs at Frankford Historical Society tonight for Hidden City Festival

KING BRITT by King TexasPhilly DJ and electronic producer King Britt will perform at the Hidden City Philly Festival tomorrow, putting on an original, live, experimental electronic show as part of the Heritage Electronics Concert.

Hidden City Philly is an organization created to discover, remember, and celebrate the forgotten historical gems of our city. Their six-week long festival is chock-full of events, and for Friday’s soundtrack, Hidden City paired with local electronic record label/events producer/journal/all around cool organization Data Garden to present this concert at the Frankford Historical Society in Northeast Philly. Heritage Electronics will be a visual installation mixing history, music, technology, and location.

King Britt will use sounds recorded on site at the Frankford Historical Society and sample them into his performance – anything from ambient noise to vintage instruments. His eclectic style and combination of sounds from different cultures and time periods is a perfect pairing to both the visions of Hidden City Philly and Data Garden. The museum, not only a venue for the show, is both a Hidden City exhibit and a integral part of the musical performance itself.

A Philly native whose performances and music projects have taken him all around the world, King Britt is best known for putting contemporary twists and compositions on older and historical pieces. He began DJing around Philadelphia in 1990, and later went on to tour with Digable Planets, produce music under the Sylk 130 Collective, and even score commercials for L’Oreal and Rolex. His work has been featured in TV shows like Miami Vice and True Blood, he’s played festivals such as Camp Bisco and Glastonbury, and will tour Electronic music mecca Ibiza this summer.

King Britt’s set at the Heritage Electronics show is part of a Data Garden concert series titled A/V Archaeology, that will be held through the month of June at the Frankford Historical Society.Heritage Electronics

Other performers that night include Charles Cohen and a collaboration between Laura Baird, Dino Lionetti, and Gretchen Lohse. Synthesizer  and Nintendo visuals will be provided by No Carrier, while Daniel Rehn will create “curated video” with 140-character snippets of early internet text. Sounds cool, right?

It’s all live, experimental, and a unique medley of visual and auditory, both digital and antique. This past-meets-present performance is not something you want to miss.

King Britt @ Heritage Electronics
Friday, May 31 7-10 p.m.
Frankford Historical Society
1507 Orthodox St
Philadelphia, PA 19124
Tickets ($15)

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Free Download of the Moment: Arc In Round’s ::::remixed::::

AIRLocal folks including Ape School, Tadoma and King Britt – as well as outside-Philly names Benoît Pioulard and Lymbyc System – tried their hand at remixing Arc In Round‘s layered and heavy debut LP in the new ::::remixed:::: collection, available today as a free download. The set contains eight reconstructions of songs like “Spirit” (morphed into a driving krautrock rager by Pink Skull) and “II” (made all pulsing and dreamy by A Sunny Day in Glasgow), as well as two unreleased songs – “Even” and “Days Untried.” Give it a listen below, and download it at Bandcamp.

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Watch a video of King Britt’s Switched-On Garden set; download his tracks for remixing

Photo by Inna Spivakova | innaspivakova.com

This fall, famed Philly DJ and producer King Britt released his latest EP, the electronic tapestry The Bee and the Stamen, on local experimental label Data Garden. He celebrated its release with a stunning set at the label’s second annual Switched-On Garden showcase, which culminated in a breathtaking operatic piece performed with singer Pia Ercole. Ever one to keep things moving forward, King this week announced Fragments, a sample pack for budding producers to download and use to make their own mixes. Says King:

A fragment is a part detached. In this series, I wanted to give people detached parts that when put together create basic foundations, where they can create from. This isn’t your typical loops pack. I go into the studio to produce these fragments, using unconventional methods. Each Volume contains not only fragments but a special process in making them, which makes them unique to all the other packs out there.

Below, get a taste of what he’s talking about with a free download from Fragments, and get the entire thing at SoundsToSample.com. You can also watch a video excerpt of King’s Switched-On Garden performance with Pia Ercole.

KING BRITT feat PIA ERCOLE live at SWITCHED ON GARDEN from King Britt on Vimeo.

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Free Download: King Britt remixes Arc In Round’s “Spirit”

This afternoon, touring Philly space rock four-piece Arc In Round pushes towards the Triple Door in Seattle. Yesterday, King Britt gave a brilliant performance in Bartram’s Garden for The Switched on Garden 002 – the second showcase from local experimental label Data Garden. Last week, both artists were in much closer proximity – sonically speaking, anyway – when the Poconos-based label La Société Expéditionnaire released a King Britt remix of “Spirit,” the first single from Arc In Round’s self-titled debut. The driving, electric space rock of the original is flipped in favor of a glitchy, minimal electronic dub style, allowing Mikele Edwards’ vocals to float to the top. Download the remix below; listen to King’s new EP The Bee and the Stamen here and check out Arc in Round’s debut here.

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Download a new King Britt track, “Copper Speaks to Flesh” (playing Bartram’s Garden on Sunday)

Philadelphia DJ King Britt just released a new track, “Copper Speaks to Flesh,” as a free download on Soundcloud. The track, which is part of a “Sound Sculptures” exhibition going on throughout Philadelphia, was created to accompany Jim Sanborn’s Ars Mendedi sculpture in the Sidney and Ethal Lubert Plaza off Walnut Street. “Sound Sculptures” is an interactive art project sponsored by the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority’s Percent for Art program that allows observers to listen to different accompanying sound pieces at physical locations of art throughout the city using mp3 players, cell phones and smartphones. King Britt, whose next album The Bee and the Stamen is scheduled for release October 16th, will be performing this Sunday at the Data Garden Switched-On Garden Show 002 at Bartram’s Garden in West Philly. Download “Copper Speaks to Flesh” below.

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