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Despite having to reach all the way back to 2012 to find his most recent record, Lushlife has been busy during the last three years with projects like an expansive Shaking Through session and an innovative, Reddit-style art website called Designflow.
But now, as we draw closer to a release day for his follow-up to 2012′s Plateau Vision, Raj Haldar returns to that effort with a new live video for “Gymnopedie 1.2.”
With a new record on the horizon, Lushlife has released a different sort of project this month. The local rapper created a new website called Designflow, a convergence of creativity and commerce geared toward people who “dig well-designed products and ambitious art as much as [he does]….”
The first time I ever saw Lushlife live, main man Raj Haldar apologized for “all the nerdy shit I’ve got going on up here,” gesturing to his array of samplers and synths. Dude can spit a fierce verse, but he’s also a rapper who can deeply geek out from a production standpoint, which is why it makes complete sense to see him perform surrounded by snazzy synths and compressors for the Moog Sound Lab series. Continue reading →
Local experimental jazz composer Joshua Stamper is releasing a remix of his newest album, the skin, the sea, the sound entitled a righter rain will fall. Here’s the catch: he’s releasing it in pieces, one song a week. The project kicked off last week when he released a righter rain will fall, an incredible remix by Troy Herion that compressed the full length of the album into just 4:53. The album also features remixes by Chris Ward from Pattern Is Movement, Anthony LaMarca (who has played with St. Vincent and The War On Drugs) and Philadelphia expat Matt Davis. Continue reading →
Philly Rapper and DJ Lushlife is currently finishing production of a new album, the followup to his epic “Toynbee Suite”, he’s released a free download of a live concert that he recorded in Bratislava, Slovakia, in 2012.
Here’s what he says about it:
Last year, I did a crazy one-month tour in Europe before I was even finished with Plateau Vision. I wanted to feel some of the music in a live setting before the album was wrapped. There were weird festival dates with Handsome Furs and No Age in far off places like Skopje, Macedonia. I played a tiny heavy metal bar in Sofia, Bulgaria, too. It was some wild shit. Anyway, here’s a full-on mastered live recording from the May 8, 2011 date in Bratislava. At the very least, it should be an interesting artifact.
Download the recording here.
The rickety van piloted by Philly psych-thrash outfit Ruby the Hatchet rolled into Austin just a few hours before its first South By Southwest gig last week. Cutting it close, for sure, but the band was just happy to arrive.
“We broke down,” guitarist John Scarperia explained as he set up for the End Records showcase at LIT Lounge. “We were stuck in Tennessee for two days.”
Talk about a setback. I ask if they missed any tour shows on the trip down. Scarperia laughs, then says “We didn’t play any. But it was fun, all part of the adventure, right?
The band dished a raucous set of its heady, heavy rock to a modest but appreciative crowd – which included singer-songwriter Nicole Atkins, a longtime friend of Hatchet frontwoman Jillian Taylor. The next day, it rocked Thrasher Mag’s unofficial Deathmatch showcase, and spent the rest of the weekend mingling with the music-devouring masses. Overall, it was a positive experience, and even culminated in Taylor getting a new tattoo (a hatchet, of course).
Ruby the Hatchet was one of dozens of locals that made the trek to Austin this year. Musicians of all styles and degrees of renown represented Philly at SXSW. There were known names like rapper Spank Rock, who played an energized set to a buck wild crowd at the Boyz Noize showcase at The Majestic on Thursday, and alt-bluesman G. Love who played the 18th Floor of the Hilton Garden Inn the same night. There were emerging artists, like folk singer Vikesh Kapoor and punk power trio Amanda X, or SXSW vets like rapper Lushlife, heavy psych heads Creepoid, and dream punks Nothing, who played a 2 a.m. set on a pedestrian footbridge.
“I feel like SXSW serves as a hub for discovery,” says Philly rapper Chill Moody, who I caught during his showcase at the Amped Austin lounge on Saturday afternoon. “I met a bunch of musicians and professionals in the music industry in just one week. Built some strong connections that will hopefully help me with the next steps in my career.”
For Moody, who is used to feeding off the love of the hometown fan base he’s cultivated over the past few years – he headlines venues like The TLA and Union Transfer locally – it was an opportunity to perform to complete strangers in smaller rooms, and win them over. The Amped show featured his right hand man Beano, a charismatic and occasionally comedic R&B singer, hopping offstage and dancing in the midst of the crowd, to the delight of many Instagram-snappers.
“It was a good chance to show a different audience exactly what you can do,” said Moody.
Downstairs at the same venue, electronic rock duo City Rain debuted songs from their new Songs From a High School Dance LP, due out in late April. Again, the crowd was (with the exception of myself) strangers, but people fed off singer / songwriter Ben Runyuan’s relentless energy, particularly on the driving anthem “Waiting on a Dream.”
“This is our last showcase,” Runyan said. “So I’m just throwing everything I got into this.” Continue reading →
Upper Darby art-punk outfit mewithoutYou appears at Union Transfer tonight with post-hardcore group Touche Amore. mewithoutYou released their latest album, Ten Stories, in May of 2012. The 11-song album combines lead singer Aaron Weiss’ famously creative puns and plays on lyricism to construct a story plot as complicated as the guitar riffs and other instrumentation that make up the tunes. The songs tells the survival tales of a fox, elephant, bear and onion boy (hint: bonus track) – or more specifically, the circus animals and acts involved in a fictional train crash in 1878. Hear the band tell the creative story tonight. The show starts at 7 p.m. and tickets are $19 at the door.
Ushering in its fifth season of Shaking Through documentaries, Weathervane Music invites you to a kick-off event and benefit concert at Johnny Brenda’s on Saturday, March 1st. Featuring sets by local hip hop favorite Lushlife, Brooklyn punk band The So So Glos and Nashville musician Torres, the event will also include the premiere of Torres’ new Shaking Through episode.
Shaking Through is Weathervane Music’s experimental recording project. Ten times each year a guest curator brings musicians into Fishtown’s Miner Street Recording to create a new song from start to finish over the course of two days. Past collaborators include Hop Along, Purling Hiss, Strand of Oaks, Hezekiah Jones and more. Check out all of the episodes here and watch Lushlife’s November 2013 installment below. Tickets and information for the 21+ kick-off show can be found here.
Philly beatmaker RJD2 played a homecoming show on Friday night before a colorful and hula-hoop-bearing crowd at Union Transfer. On the tail end of a tour in support of his 2013 outing More Is Than Isn’t, Ramble John Krohn made the Union Transfer show an all-Philly affair, with hip-hop impressionist Lushlife opening the show heavy on new material and DJs Aaron Ruxbin and Jack Deezl of Actual Records spinning in between sets. Check out photos from the show in the gallery below.