Hijak Special Bios #4 – Aoi

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Coming live with brand new material debuting exclusively at Hijak is multi-skilled b-boy and Melbourne underground sensation Aoi.

This guy is on a quest to be the best where it counts for things hip-hop.  His portfolio is impressive to say the least.  eight albums (many of which are free at his Bandcamp), the Spotwelder remix tapes, a couple of other mixtapes, seven MC albums under his now-deceased alias of Prince Mackerel (who died in a terrorist attack on Disneyland), spittin’ bars under his new moniker of Slums Mack for a host of single tracks with rap group Stonecuttaz, and beats maker for TMFSE (as part of a whole album on US label Smoker’s Cough), Jak Tripper, Lukey Cage, Noemotion Goldmask and The Baroness (w/ Class A).

His appearance at Hijak will cement his position as one of the most solid acts you should be following in Melbourne’s matrix, with a live set performed without screens, utilising his self-professed caveman technique using a pair of samplers and turntable to work his magic.  Do not miss out on this one if you know what’s up.

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Aoi Bandcamp:  aoibeats.bandcamp.com
Aoi Soundcloud: soundcloud.com/aoibeats
Aoi Facebook:  facebook.com/aoi3000

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HIJAK – LABOR DAY SPECIAL – SUNDAY 15 MARCH @ GRUMPY’S

Friday 29 August – Top Shelf #1: Future Beats Special

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This Friday, Haarp Media and The Workshop are presenting the first showcase to address and challenge generic concept – Top Shelf. This first showcase addresses the genre of FUTURE BEATS (also known as left-field or wonky beats). I for one am fucking excited about this.

Some people might be wondering what “future beats” are, right?

As curator of this event, I figure I owe you guys a bit of shit-talk in my reasoning to putting the show on and why I chose these particular artists.

Well, the essential idea is that there’s a genre called ‘future beats” which is sort of a fusion of future garage and R&B/hip-hop sensibilities, especially in regards to the percussive boom-bap hits and 808 snares. As an objective genre, it checks out in regards to labelling tunes, and you can use it to conform certain sounds to certain sounds.

But just like any other genre, “future beats” suffers from overkill, with 90% of tracks in the tag consisting of barely inspired composition, or being shitty remixes or bootlegs that attempt to carry the genre’s sound unconvincingly.

I feel there’s more of an idea and broader scale to how we can approach “future beats”, and I’ve three distinct questions to ask you as a listener that you might like to take into consideration.

How can we have future beats without knowing our past?

My personal opinion is that if you want a serious understanding on the in’s and out’s of electronica, it’s important to have a healthy respect for electronic music’s rich and lively history. The whole idea that music has reached this point can only be attributed to the past. With no recognition of the past, how can we have a future – or for that matter – even know where we are right now historically?

When we consider our past in beats, how does this relate to the genre of future beats?

The textbook definition (if there is one) of future beats is rooted in hip-hop, r&b, garage, and all the textural embellishments of electronica that make niche beats so unique and pleasing on the ears.. But what significant aesthetics would we take into consideration here?

Well, there’s the boom-crack of original dirty hip-hop percussion. There’s the rolling 808 snares that continuously make us confuse future beats with chill trap. There’s the off-centre and unstable synth work that wobbles and fizzes and crackles in a dervish with the central key melodies. Another important thing to observe with future beats is the progressed use of 2-4 timing, as lended from dubstep and trap (and their variations). Also present in a lot of tracks tagged as future beats is the central timing of juke/footwork, as well as the frenetic and trippy syncopation of the crazy 160bpm genre

it might be remarked that rather than future beats actually being a certified and original genre, it’s actually a hybrid of various past genres. If this is the case, why don’t we expand on the sounds that are already present in future beats?

What ways can we expand on these foundational ideas of “future beats” as so far defined by the genre?

Where else do the previously stated aesthetics fit into modern electronica? What other styles of beats relate to generic future beats, and how can we make it all flow together?

For me, the answer to this question is Haarp Media’s leading slogan for genre – Submersive/Subversive. Never do what’s expected out of you.

Subversion is key to the expansion of future beats and indeed key to injecting life into any stagnating genre or sound. We need to keep thinking, we need to keep subverting in order to remain fluid and stop stagnation. Music – and indeed life – rots without subversion. We need the chaos of motion and anxiety to keep us in agitation, or any given body will basically die on the inside. Subversion, motion, life, chaos, alertness, (non-paralysing varieties of) anxiety, all these things are one and the same.

If we at Haarp Media say we’re going to do a “future beats” joint, you can expect not much of the event will conform to DJ Joe Blow’s generic set of “future beats”. We wouldn’t want to bore you shitless.

Our artists and how they tie in with these ideas….

I feel that the five artists we have playing at this first edition of Top Shelf will take us through five seperate trains of thought and movement involved in future beats. These modes will be represented by the five artist’s approaches to DJing/production and their unique tastes in music. All five DJ/producers come from our own city, so therefore I feel symbolically represent the collective local mind’s attempted definition of “future beats” within the global macrocosm.

Some modes within our showcase of future beats are obvious, whilst others may not initially seem to be entirely related to future beats if you weren’t to read this article.

Of course, the artists may essentially disagree with these statements and say they’re just playing beats, but let’s not spoil the spell here.

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Able8

Dave Di Paulo is Australia’s most prolific representative of contemporary future beats as a DJ. His small label Uncomfortable Beats has helped unearth a lot of new sounds, and quite a lot of these sounds are also future beats/wonky in terms of genre. You also couldn’t get a more active guy in terms of his involvement in the overall scene in Melbourne, and this also affects the eclectic degree to which Able8 presents future beats.

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Kayhat

Oh, that guy. Okay, so I guess I can say I’m basically influenced by all these artists and ideas. I’ll be keeping things fresh by mashing the different aforementioned aesthetics of future beats together in a way that’s chaotic and unpredictable. But hey, wouldn’t it be funny if the promoter of a future beats event barely even played any future beats? Maybe I’ll end up playing a whole set of micro-house to rock the boat of what you think are percussive elements of tomorrow.

//www.mixcloud.com/widget/iframe/?feed=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.mixcloud.com%2Fkayhat%2Fhaarp-media-sessions-003-oboe-asunder%2F&embed_uuid=80ebe87a-6cb8-4ab6-8df5-cde98b15bcc2&replace=0&hide_cover=1&embed_type=widget_standard&hide_tracklist=1

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Angus Green

This guy has always been expected to play “glitch-hop” (another genre I have qualms with in definition) at every “normal” gig he plays at, but recently he brought out an album that was more “future beats” than anything. I think his ability to keep fluid as a producer is awesome, and he represents cleaner yet glitchier ideas I have of the whole future beats movement in Melbourne with his sweeping synths and melodic nouce. He’s an ambassador for Australian festival-style future beats, and  it’d just be great to have a broader audience hear his stuff.

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Aoi

A producer who to me is possibly the most under-rated hip-hop producers in Australia, and has a clever and chaotic way of making beats that might classify him with some of his listeners as being a left-field or wonky beatsmith. He pretty much represents my previous point of needing to know your foundations in order to progress to some sort of future beat. This is reflected in his rough and ready percussive sampling, performed live utilising his “caveman” approach to hardware.

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2Fuddha

Melbourne’s #1 party DJ always gets things cracking, and his element is also in subversion. Not only can you expect future beats here, but also footwork, UKG, and pretty much where-ever the hype and dancefloor vibe leads. The main reasoning for me to put 2fuddha on is that he gets a party storming, and this to me is the main reasoning with any urban-styled beats playing in a Friday night club, am I right?

So there you have it. Not much more to say, really.

Get the fuck on down to the first adventurous episode of Top Shelf – Future Beats gone Haarp Media style, baby.

Written by Kayhat.

Aoi – IXHA-94 (L-Burn Illuminati)

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Australian instrumental hip-hop producer Aoi has self-released a number of albums and mixtapes in his short career from 2008, collaborated with American underground rappers like Jak Tripper, TMFSE, GDP and Noemotion Goldmask, released a vinyl edition of LP Funnelweb on Melbourne label Wax Museum Records, and is inspired by dead things and David Lynch.

Aoi has a number of other projects ranging from bass music project Kitburner to DJing techno as Sarah Quill at local cult night Trans Melbourne Xprss, to his recently revealed enigmatic MC persona Prince Mackerel aka Slums McKenzie. He is also a part of rap and beats crew L-Burn Illuminati, whose MCs and producers include Class A, Mr DNA, Epps, Tigermoth and DOS4GW

Aoi’s latest offering – IXHA-94 – was produced in less than 24 hours. It’s a refreshing back-to-basics take in an era packed with VSTs and synthesis. The raw sample-based method of production reminds one of golden-age times of east coast hip-hop production. The sixteen tracks – with the exception of ‘Black Roses’ – are all less than three minutes in length, and stand well as complete individual works, rather than as Zomby-like sketches.

My first couple of listens were difficult for me to review, as the album can float easily like air into the sub-conscious. You could also have a lot of fun trying to identify the myriad of both samples used from Aoi’s extensive vinyl collection. We won’t spoil the mysteries by identifying them for you, and plus I’ll admit my knowledge isn’t anywhere near his encyclopedic knowledge of music.

‘Super VHS’ utilises Aoi’s sci-fi and anime sampling, laid with other vocal samples before laying a steady boom-bap loop complete with vinyl crackling and eerie strings. IXHA-94 then jumps into soul-funk track ‘Pre-Bumps’, which has a sensual undulating bassline laid with seductive guitar licks. ‘Work yr way backwards’ paces menacingly, and the drums patterning in this touches nicely on the ears.

‘Korx beat’ carries on in bare-bones minimalistic fashion, and then the album slows down in ‘Phalanx1’ which goes back to the grimey trademark stylings reminiscent of Aoi’s earlier work in album Funnelweb. After freeform interlude ‘Constellation’, things get more hype with Kool G Rap-influenced upbeat drum breaks in ‘Nilpoj (for Percee P)’, and then slow back down into the sleazy and funky guitar-driven ‘Drugpunk’.

The album continues in Aoi’s token lo-fi hissy drums and menacing overlaying, with stand-outs in the jazzy drum breaks of ‘brdcrmbs’, the vocal whimsy of ‘octwv/As it was meant to be’, and the vintage hype of ‘gateway drums’.

In summary, IXHA-94 is for those who like their beats OG, those who like sample spotting, and for those who like “real hip-hop”. It’s a refreshing glimpse past steroid-pumped and ultra-clean contemporary electronica, and relieves nostalgia of vintage beats still ever-present to diggers and producers of foundational hip-hop.

You can’t really fault this album for sheer speed of time in production. Less than 24 hours?! Wow.

8.25 out of 10 Haarp Strings.

IXHA-94 is available in a variety digital formats from Bandcamp for $6.66.

http://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/album=1664703040/size=large/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=0687f5/tracklist=false/artwork=small/transparent=true/

Written by Kristian Hatton.

Sunday 23 February – Tonic feat. Aoi, Ruffles and 2fuddha @ Loop

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A quick mention on this experimental electronic event. It’s a great option for those dining in the city on a Sunday evening, and should compliment your headspace in the wind-down to a busy week ahead.

It features Aoi, Ruffles, 2fuddha and Div, so you can expect a loose session with a lot of hip-hop instrumentalism, inovation, MIDI controllers and DJing. There’ll also be some visual shenanigans performed by Zeal.

9pm-1am. Loop, 23 Meyer Place, Melbourne CBD. Free!

FB Page: facebook.com/events

Written by Kristian Hatton.

Hi-Five: Melbourne’s Producers/DJs and Their Current Favourite Track – Part 5

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Selector #21 – Lysdexic

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Lysdexic is one of Melbourne’s hardest working label managers, owning glitch-heavy Hopskotch Records, which has helped Australia discover some hot new and alternative electronic music talent, as well as helping enlighten listeners to the exciting and hidden possibilities within glitch and bass music.

Hopskotch Records has currently released a total of 38 releases, and show no sign of stopping soon. Lysdexic represents the Hopskotch sound as not only a DJ, but as a producer of dark and heavy cyberstep/dnb.

Track Selection: Anodyne Industries – Deep Dive (Hopskotch Records)

“Deep, atmospheric heavy halftime dnb. Definitive Anodyne Industries, my pick from the Decoder EP. (They will be) touring Australia in Feb/March 2014.”

Selector #22 – Gingus Khan

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Gingus Khan ventured to Melbourne nearly a decade ago, and was drawn to how our city was pioneering bass music with crews like Heavy Innit. He has stayed on and is well-known around town as a hilarious and boisterous, non-stop party animal as a punter, and a menace to all turntables when playing dubstep, grime or UKG.

You can see him regularly playing out with crews like Onepuf and other sectors of Melbourne’s post-Heavy Innit scene in the CBD.

Track Selection: Amy Winehouse – Stronger (Moony 2013 UKG Remix)

“Moony’s making some proper nice tunes at the minute, how can you go wrong with a tune that makes me dance to Amy Winehouse, innit.”

Selector #23 – Aoi

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Aoi is a member of L-Burn Illuminati, a group of MCs and producers more interested in making good music they like, rather than constantly marketing to a fickle modern audience. His back-to-basics approach to sampling, scratching and digging for records and drum breaks is reminiscent of the original approach to hip-hop production.

He has self-released multiple albums of instrumental hip-hop as Aoi, and also makes forays into drum and bass music as Kitburner, MCs as Slums Mackenzie, DJs techno as Sarah Quill, and produces juke as DJ Lamborghini Asshole. He will be shortly releasing seperate albums with American MCs and cult heroes Jak Tripper and The Man From Somewhere Else.

Track Selection: Peter Sellers – “Auntie Rotter” (1958 Parlophone)

“Parents are strange creatures. While speaking about life, music, comedy etc to Ma Dukes via the link frenzy conventions of the internet, she sprung this number on me. Apparently this was her first 7” single as a kid and made quite the impact. basically Peter Sellers intones the base sentiment of “Kill yr parents” with a jovial frivolity reserved for that early music class teacher you had when they passed out the triangles. Something we can all relate to, cut your loved ones up with a hatchet and get that paper. “here is your stabbing music.””

Selector #24 – Dubfonik

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Dubfonik aka Joel Klease is another young producer who started traversing electronica through UK dubstep, and released many tracks on Sixbux, Hopskotch and Bassweight. The last couple of years has seen Klease expand his horizons and start to take preference to the techno sounds of Berlin.

With his current deep and youthful repertoire of sounds, there’s a lot to look forward to from this producer that should expand upon preset atmospheric tendencies.

Track Selection: Maya Jane Coles – Burning Bright (Dense & Pika Remix) (I/AM/ME)

“As I have been focusing on techno a lot more lately (and a new alias in the works), tracks like this are the ones that make a dancefloor crazy and take me back to Berghain in Berlin.”

Selector #25 – Gelido

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Gelido is already a prolific and complex producer aged only 19 years of age, and is originally from Western Sydney. His production is unique and intricate, inspired by glitch, breakcore and other more experimental aspect of electronica.

He has a number of self-released albums at his Bandcamp (five), an ambient album on Communication Records (Sydney), a gabba ep on Bleemo Music, and a number of other single releases on his Soundcloud.

Track Selection: Badun – Ef10 (Rumprecordings)

‘“Badun is a group from Denmark that I stumbled upon about six months ago. They are an experimental, electronic jazz band that have a unique flavour of acidic jazz along with glitch that keeps my brain happy! Perfect for sleeping, drinking red wine (preferably something vintage) and the day after.”

http://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/album=2681205930/size=large/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=0687f5/tracklist=false/artwork=small/t=11/transparent=true/

Compiled by Kristian Hatton.

Lukey Cage – Powerman: Hero For Hire (self-released)

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First off – you can forget about hating on me for my lack of hip-hop knowledge compared to some, I’m reviewing this album because of computer game politics. I’ll give you some back story, which may make sense in context with the artist.

There’s this fucked up RPG game on Xbox 360 called Dark Souls. When you die, you risk losing all the shit you worked so hard to get. You stress out hard on this, no shit. I couldn’t beat the Taurus Demon in Dark Souls, so I had to get my friend to finish the demon off. I’d been playing this fucking game for four hours and there was eleven humanities and 10K+ souls in the mix, so I was on edge.

I was told I could have an extra hand with the demon if I reviewed Lukey Cage’s new album immediately. My “friend” then finished the so-called demon in five minutes, and I was put into writer’s debt. So here we are, I’m back in the music review game after nearly half a year, here with Lukey Cage’s new joint.

Okay, let’s get down to business.

Lukey Cage hails from Atlanta (Georgia), and can be related in collaboration to hip-hop contemporaries like Noemotion Goldmask and Niggavengers. He’s deeply entrenched in comic book culture, which influences his whole sound. To top this, he’s released a whole bunch of albums and collaborations that never (but perhaps should have) emerged into popular hip-hop terrain, ones with references ranging from popular culture to porn, and ones sampling such shows as Adventure Time as an entire theme in album @Izreal vol 2. Adventure Time Rhymes under his alias of Iz Real.

From the self-titled start track ‘Luke Cage’ where he flips rhymes referring to soccer, Wu Tang and gunplay, I can tell I’ve gotten myself in deep reviewing this one. His lyrics are dense and full of gems that you can keep coming back to time and time again to find new bits and pieces you haven’t heard before.

The first couple of things for me with this guy is that Lukey is heavily influenced – and in many ways equal to – top cats like MF Doom and Kool Keith, except Lukey Cage is very open about these influences. Some people may disagree, but I think it’s perfectly appropriate for artists to update tried and tested formula that is pioneered by original hip-hop MCs and production. It could be said that it’s impossible to deviate from original hip-hop formula of boom-bap and straight spitting. Perhaps it’s time for MCs to stop worrying about whether they sound like someone else, and rather focus on doing what they do well and be proud of their influences.

The beats on Powerman: Hero For Hire are produced by Agonist, drk Gyvr, Brock Landers and Melbourne’s own Aoi. They’re 90s-driven boom-bap licks done with style and integrity. Lukey Cage comes in strong and perfectly matched in tracks like Aoi-produced ‘Captain Powerman’, with repititious references to comic book heros, and shows that he is an underestimated and unmeasured quantity in terms of lyrical strength for poise, elegance and intelligence.

Any prolonged listen to Powerman: Hero For Hire will show a polished artist who is quietly and prolifically producing quality hip-hop on the underground, whilst the mainstream is preoccupied with the trap phenonemon. Is trap actually relevant in context to the original concept of hip-hop?

In summary, Powerman: Hero For Hire is a fine example and update that Lukey Cage consistantly shows original, clever and creative hip-hop still doing its thing, if you know where to dig.

Lukey Cage’s Powerman: Hero For Hire is available free for download.

Written By Kristian Hatton.

Monkey Marc’s DIY Sound System to be used at Horse Bazaar this Friday

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Hot off the presses, kids, confirmation has been given that we will be using Monkey Marc’s super awesome happy DIY sound system!

This fantastic system boasts a unique and full sound, and is carefully hand-crafted with love to bring magic to your ears! It’s also run on natural juice from the sun, i.e. solar power.

Monkey Marc and the Combat Wombats have used this system whilst trekking over the country through deserts protesting on human rights and environmental issues, so you can feel the revolution in the basstones.

Something like this is bound to make the Friday night line-up of Aoi, Ghostsoul, Titus12, Kayhat and U-Wish sound even more spectacular.

The Neigh-bours events are a collaboration between Uncomfortable Beats, L-Burn Illuminati and Haarp Media, three of Melbourne’s finest smaller beats crews. The DIY system is now a regular institute at the Neigh-bours events.

The Neigh-bours team will operate on a pay-as-you-please basis, and all donations of five-plus dollars will also recieve a chance to win a double pass to REDSQ at the Royal Melbourne Hotel on Friday 28 February, featuring Berlin techno artist Redshape.

8pm-1am. Horse Bazaar, 397 Little Lonsdale Street, Melbourne CBD. Pay-as-you-please!

Written by Kristian Hatton.

Friday 13 December – Friday Da 13th feat. Tigermoth + Aoi + DOS4GW

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L-Burn Illuminati‘s back in the house once again for a banger of a show, this time via Sinister Jazz. Tigermoth is heading the gang this time with his blend of old-school hip-hop sensibilities, braod range of musical influences and technical finesse.

He’s performed in Japan and key points of America like Los Angeles and New York, and has also supported the likes of DJ Krush and MF Doom.

Also playing at this event are PBS’s Bevin Campbell (from radio show The Blend), psychopathically hard analog boom-bap dirges from DOS4GW, and Aoi‘s murky dungeon east-coast influenced hip-hop beats, including tracks from his recently released new album IXHA-94 (soon to be reviewed here at Haarp Media).

Starts 10pm. The Croft Institute, 21 Croft AlleyMelbourne CBD. $5.

FB Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/547941341965595/?ref=2&ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming

Written by Kristian Hatton.

Haarp Exclusive – WE HEART FREE SHIT (Part 1)

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This is a test of a new series within Haarp Media. If you like the article and you’d like it to continue, we better hear you holla, make sure you let us know or we won’t keep doing this.

Also if you have the coin, feel free to donate it to your favourite artists.

Lvader – Siren Songs (Sublimated Sounds)

You heard it from us first, right? Maybe, maybe not. Anyway, this is some dope footworky breaky stuff for you to bop to.

http://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/album=1982990913/size=large/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=0687f5/notracklist=true/transparent=true/

Mike Berkley – Liking Mainstream Because Hating Mainstream is Becoming too Mainstream (Beats Home)

Hey Berkley, thanks for bringing down Daisuke, MFP and Jealous Guy from Japan for us. If you haven’t heard this, do so. Cold and gnarly glitch.

http://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/album=3475658177/size=large/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=0687f5/notracklist=true/transparent=true/

Aoi – Spot Welders Vol.2

This is available for download at Aoi’s older Datarook website here: www.datarook.net/aoi/mp3/Aoi-Spotwelders_Volume_2.zip

While we don’t have a widget, we can safely confide that it’s a tasty bootleg album. Here’s the playlist so you know what the fuck we’re on.

01. axeintro
02. get nice – eric b and rakim
03. regrudge – gza
04. wwithin – black moon
05. poison fingers – ghostface killah
06. EXL-7 – OC
07. moog dump (edit) – street smartz
08. rek – edan and percee p
09. tilethrower
10. flora and fauna
11. cave funk – mf doom
12. instamatic – de la soul
13. reverse dust – bahamadia
14. railyard – m.o.p.
15. mk-ultra – notorious b.i.g.
16. night slob – method man
17. stressklack – kool g rap

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V/A – Beats Home Australia vs Japan Compilation (Beats Homes)

Go see what the fuss was about at the Laundry Bar last Sunday and listen to some of this. Don’t give up DJing or producing (if you do it), what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger. Shit will slay you but.

http://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/album=1045618263/size=large/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=0687f5/notracklist=true/transparent=true/

Songs for the Animals – Troubled Minds Cabins Crew (Bedroom Research)

This is a concept album created by Digi G’Alessio and his friend Kae. It’s basically arpeggio-style synths representing animals. I might review it later on, I only just found out about it myself, that’s why I chucked it in!

http://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/album=4240628515/size=large/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=0687f5/notracklist=true/transparent=true/

Written by Kristian Hatton