Monday, February 28, 2011

blood and fire

this friday (march 4th)...

supreme la rock (aka mr. supreme)

i've known seattle-based supreme la rock for a few years, but the hommie mr. supreme for even longer. for a short while i knew a crazy dude named pappi panama, but i can barely remember his trip. one time, i even read about a cat named born supreme in a pacific northwest hip hop zine, but hell, that was likely over 15 years ago... what do all these nutters have in common??? they are the cultural brainchildren of danny clavesilla.

for those who don't know, supreme is a true enigma (trust me, i'm not exaggerating an iota here) and one of the deepest musical maniacs rolling. his record collection (see videos below, part 1 and 2) is the stuff of much-ballyhooed legend, but i've witnessed it live and direct so any haters, wet mouths or non-believers out there can simply fall back. to add to the insanity, supreme was also 1/2 (along w/ super producer jake one) of legendary break beat tape dons, the conmen. it was their series of self-released cassettes—that probed deep into the murky depths of sample archaeology (soul, funk, jazz, library, EZ, world, and whatever your imagine could create... and beyond...)—that turned me on to a new reality and musical attack... i remember visiting sea-town w/ my DJ partner kamandi to link w/ preme for a record deal while he and jake were recording a conmen mix (veteranos???) many moons ago (*unfortunately, the last mix dropped 10 years ago).

needless to say, these were different times, and there was serious secrecy in the air. break beats were highly coveted gold-like commodities then, a producers or disc jockeys secret weapon, and not to be shared w/ canadian strangers like us. jake was making sure that we couldn't see any of the album sleeves they were using for the project. pure comedy.  in retrospect, this competitive nature and one-upmanship helped elevate these artists to high levels in their respective games. supreme, once a talented rap producer w/ his conception records label and as part of the pioneering sharpshooters duo w/ deejay sureshot, has now turned his attention almost exclusively to world-wide DJ work. jake's production track record on the other hand is truly mind-blowing. but back to the DJ...

after forging a musically-minded friendship w/ supreme, kamandi and i even tried to bring the record guru north to our weekly soulcial party at the chameleon urban lounge. of course, this was a big deal for us and we not only had our mate jay gundzik design a spot on ad-like flyer for the occasion (see above), but also bought a beautiful bottle of X.O. hennessey as something of a rider. well, the night arrived and the club was more busy than usual, brimming w/ electricity, but no supreme. "sally got a one track mind," "ring the alarm," and dusty soul and funk 7"s filled the air as we waited for the headliner. though we had hung around the hotel patiently for hours beforehand and tried calling numerous times, it was safe to say that supreme was M.I.A..

eventually, we heard from the man. he had been detained and the border and denied entrance. DAMN!@#$%&?!!! perhaps the sight of a large tattooed man driving a mercedes benz filled w/ vinyl records made the guards a little suspicious. hard to say. anyways, our club patrons eventually found out that our guest of honour wasn't able to make it, and we finished the night a little deflated after such anticipation. c'est la vie i guess. but the night wasn't over yet. likely more than half cut at this point, we decided to crack supreme's henne and between a couple friends, proceeded to finish the WHOLE bottle at various locations across town. we ended the evening on the beach after making our 15th utterly obscene phone message to supreme's cellular, cursing him for not making the date. safe to say, if he still has these messages recorded somewhere deep in his archives (*i wouldn't be surprised, this man has EVERYTHING!!!), they could be potentially libelous in a court of law. oops...

regardless of our youthful hijinx, the point of this post is to say that supreme has been one of my biggest musical inspirations (teaching me to dig D-E-E-P-E-R... and always w/ a sense of humour), partially responsible for my rewarding link w/ light in the attic records (*BIG props to a man like shane as well!!!), and an all-around rad dude... it's our utmost honour to host supreme la rock for an all-vinyl set at this week's history of dance event at vancouver's waldorf hotel! thankfully, proper paper work for his journey has been taken care of this time. couldn't do it any other way. see you at the club folks! along w/ dancing bear of ladyhawk fame, jason lev, the magical rahaan from chi-town, and yours truly, prepare yourself for a bonkers evening...

the maniacal musical mind of...

TMMMO... part 2

Thursday, February 24, 2011


catch an L

man, stoked to see the official release of birdapres' latest manifesto. i had the extreme privilege of penning a short set of liners for the album (*read below) and wanted to thank bird for his ceaseless honesty, integrity, and quality... you rule hommie!

download the album here:

Call me a sucker, call me a poseur, but I don't have the same appetite for rap music that I used to. Adopted by big business and mass media as their own personal songbook in the most crass and commercial way, it's often straight suits and soulless executives that draw "hot" tracks for the latest multimillion dollar promotion or advertising campaign rather than the rock steady, suave, and knowledgeable DJs of yore. Apparently, the kids still "love it!", but a main ingredient seems to have gone missing. It's a shame to say that even genre founders like Kool Herc are left to disintegrate in the dust like forgotten heroes in a bad Hollywood fantasy. But who knows, maybe I just need a few more Krispy Biskets in my diet?@#$!!! Of course, true hearts are what keeps this world-wide movement really burning. Which brings us to East Vancouver-born, Winnipeg-based rapper Birdapres, a unique quango in this game called hip-hop. Without going into lengthy biographical details—please note that he's been doing this music thing forever, surely bonus points for any jaded journalists out there—Bird has continued to grow as an artist (*extra points round here) while his class of 1990's-something peers have either quit altogether or lost the plot with an embarrassing series of progressively bad haircuts. Far beyond fashion or style, Birdapres has vision (and a sharp barber). He also has integrity and hasn't sold out… Yet!!!

So what about Catch An L, Bird's latest musical manifesto??? "On 5th listen, I like it," says the rapper, with his usual self-deprecating sense of worth. That's not to say that the man named Dane Goulet by Canadian hippie parents doesn't believe in his own work, it's just that he's not the ego-driven type of musician quick to brandish some sort of bigger-than-you presentation and unfounded arrogance in regards to his craft. Birdapres simply speaks from the notepad of his mind and produces straight from the heart. Or is it the other way around??? At any rate, listen to the album's words and gritty production (co-recorded by Belgian native Tom De Geeter, aka Speed Dial 7) and form your own opinion. Powerful, literate, and engaging to these ears, it's certainly a welcome and fresh update to an ever evolving discography. While I've known the man for many years, it was only during the post-millennium events which led to his monumental 2008 Toothpaste EP (also released on Marathon Of Dope) that I witnessed a true metamorphosis unlike any I've ever seen, a progressive re-birth without any of the evangelical hooting and hollering. No longer was Birdapres bound to the chains of your typical rapper-producer collaboration, he became a self-sufficient and well-rounded creative entity of his own making, deftly pairing his uncanny wordplay and charismatic cadence with private press beats handpicked from the dusty trails of Prairie vinyl graveyards, rainy day coastal thrifts, and BIG city come ups, all filtered through the sounds of minor key technology. Never one to embrace the "latest and greatest" fad or fast-moving trends, Bird patiently studies from the blueprint and drafts his own hieroglyphics.

Perhaps it is the province of Manitoba and its pace, people, climate, architecture, and food that has shaped his recent music more than anything else. For that, P-R-O-P-S!!! But who really knows??? Though he's been to University, he never over intellectualizes things, as a proud home owner, he still lives and breathes with an ear to the street, and regardless of his stature as a valued community player, he savours solitude. One thing that Bird isn't, is a phoney. Armed with a handful of 7" singles, portable turntable, and a trusty SP-303 sampler, he's more than likely to write a song about the time a troubled neighbourhood thug pulled a gun on him than pretending to be an OG gangster himself. It's this type of honesty that makes Birdapres transcend tired genre cliches and carbon copy clones. "Fuck Red Bull, I'd rather eat gruel," rapped the rapper's rapper on Toothpaste's title track. A line spurred on by jealously of those who take the corporate cheddar? Never… To put it bluntly, the world is fucked, the music business is pretty well fucked, and the mass media is definitely fucked, but Bird knows these truths all too well and doesn't attempt to get caught up in any of that brain drain fame game or artistic hopelessness. In this era of over documentation and false prophets, Catch An L is a humble and engaging tale of reality. Birdapres lives his music and this music reflects his musical life. He's even inspiring enough for this cynical hack to dig a little deeper and look beyond (once again). So if you're an old school head, new jack hustler or mere curiosity seeker, keep watching this sound...

Kevin "Sipreano" Howes (Voluntary In Nature)

make some NOISE

ah, ye ol' bloor cinema... wonder what the after party was like for director andrew munger's 1994 make some noise screeening? must have been a banger!@#$%!!! MSN is a rare (and well put together) glimpse into the early 90's post-cold front toronto rap scene... incredible to see the brother johnbronski moving and shaking like the force that he is, not to mention lil' mr. attic of da grassroots (and ghetto concept production fame) kicking it behind a grip of wax... never stop diggin hommie! peace to all these crucial players and thank you so very much for your contribution to rap music history. real heads know the deal. very inspiring flick...

view here (in full):

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

step on

(more) tiki talk...

well, it's almost that time again. really hype to be back at the waldorf tiki bar (thursday, feb. 24) for another full session of vinyl transmission. i've been digging up some interesting bits and bobs that i'll pack in my trusty crate for the night. downstairs in the library, josh stevensen is running his excellent VISIONS event w/ a live set by synth loonies B.C.V.C.O. so don't hesitate to make it an evening and roam around the creative beast of a hub that is the waldorf hotel...


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

street slice #1

these perplexing quizical days

one rad thing about blogger is that you can monitor (to some degree) how people reach your site, "traffic sources" i think they call it... anyways, over the last week or so i've been noticing a lot of hits on my "those shocking shaking days" entry, a simple heads up re a terrific new compilation on now-again records out of L.A.. anyways, judging by the accompanying "search keywords" data, it appears that many of the viewers are folks looking to download the album for free. sorry, not here dears. if that's your bag please move along... so what does it all mean? simply something to ponder on this tuesday, february 22, 2011...

everybody's talkin'

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


sorry to report that my first full thursday night waldorf tiki bar session has been postponed from the 17th until the 24th to make room for an alvin & the chipmunks film shoot. hang tight folks, i've been digging deep in the crates to bring you a KILLER set a week this thursday...

round II...

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

those shocking shaking days


really hype to hear of this well researched compilation detailing the indonesian psychedelic-funk music scene on now-again records. the hommie MoSS had a BIG hand in this one... psych heads should also peep his recent fading sunshine reissue label (link below).

drama (instrumental)

Sunday, February 6, 2011

gung hay fat choy!!!

according to the chinese zodiac, 2011 is the year of the rabbit. though it began on february 3, today marks the annual new year parade in vancouver's chinatown (12-2 pm). we'll see you there...

Saturday, February 5, 2011

cowbell radio v2 2011 - kamandi and sipreano

had a hoot laying down this 1-hour mix w/ kamandi yesterday morning...
cheap laughs cowbell radio session/history of dance warm-up...
peep it!!!

hey, toronto...

how was night #1 of ladyhawk jamz??? boss, i can only imagine.

as for history of dance??? i-n-c-r-e-d-i-b-l-e!!! wanna send a BIG thank you to everyone at the waldorf and all those amazing party people who made it all swing. a little re-cap??? well, it's safe to say jason lev is a true wizard... you rule good sir (and thanks for the 7"s)!!! was kamandi taking little cat naps in between murderous sets??? did the snickers bar ever get eaten??? and last but not least, totally not surprised to see the stunt man saving our day once again... w/ music!!! just bonkers!@#$%?!!!

see you next month good folks...

Thursday, February 3, 2011

picking records

tiki talk

hey folks,
just wanted to keep you in the loop w/ the latest tiki news...
we're moving my night over to every thursday starting february 17 for maximum madness. that means no more "monday monday" (wink wink) blues i'm afraid. working on a few guests for the debut so hang tight for that info. also wanna thank the troopers who made the start of each week so fun for the last couple of months... to jay gundzik for his weekly "anything soul" early sets, josh wells for the die hard party support, and chris and roxanne and the rest of the tiki bar staff/waldorf crew...
ciao for now,
*PS - the HISTORY OF DANCE is tomorrow!!!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

toronto rocks...

history of dance

alright now, here we go. less than a week away from the debut history of dance party at the waldorf. both jason lev and myself are digging deep to bring you the best in sound dimensions. what to expect? well, i'll speak on behalf of my february 4th city limits discotheque DJ partners kamandi and the stunt man when i say that we'll be dropping everything from the clash to candido, loose ends to laid back and back again. there will be AM gold, funky reggae, groovy rock, 1960's soul, alternative classics, hard disco, boogie, and pop. and yes, we'll be lugging around crates of OG black vinyl 7"s/12"s/LPs to make this happening happen. no diss to computer DJs, but this is simply how we do... have always done... and will always do...  like the english beat, we "just can't stop it..." call us old-fashioned, but there's no turning back now. while i'm really tiring of incessant hollow promoting, we really need your support here. to turn the tides if you will. to show the the cookie cutter set how it's really done. now i know i'm not the only one who's bored of the lowest common denominator club nights that plague the majority of vancouver's booze and cruise establishments. and it's hella annoying to hear local DJs belly ache about how they don't even play music they like because that's what's expected of them to get paid. well, we're going far beyond that, bucking the trend, bringing back feeling into the mix, and expressing ourselves with love... so needless to say, bring your dancing shoes, good vibrations, and we'll do our humble best to help set your night right. ok, ok...
it's (almost) party time!!!

what: history of dance
when: friday, february 4, 2011
time: 10 pm-2 am
where: waldorf hotel (1489 east hastings street)

all the best,