Monday, December 29, 2008

The Young Punx...Insane Clown Posse?

Well, its time for another interview here at You Been Crushed.....this time I've brought you The Young Punx.....a UK outfit that takes the term "mashup" and, well, mashes it up.

Ok, I've watched a clip of the The Young Punx Live in Tokyo on your site. First of all congratulations on being total shredders. Could you please introduce the members briefly and their role in the empire?

'Total shredders..' that's a great expression and one we now wear with pride! Well The Young Punx are an innovative collective of diverse musicians led by multi-instrumentalist and producer, Hal Ritson. Other members of the band include co-founder Cameron Saunders, Guthrie Govan (Guitarist of The Year in Guitarist magazine), drummer Simon Bettison, DJ Medcab, singers Laura Kidd (currently touring with Tricky), Yolanda and Tiffiany Gore and Phonat (considered one of the most exciting new producers to emerge in 2008). We also have awesome guest vocals our next album from New York rapper MC Paul Barman, and Memphis rapper Count Bass D.

Seems like the Young Punx and crew have been on the UK music scene a while. Are their any musical skeletons in the closet? At the very least I detect a Drum and Bass DJ and a jazz guitarist....

We've been carving away our own niche for around 4- 5 years now and it feels like the musical direction is starting to swing in our favour. Our mission has always been to totally mash-up styles and fuck around with genre policies and currently you're starting to see a lot more of that with a move away from this ridiculous notion that to be 'real' you have to stick to one style and one style only. With respect to ‘skeletons in the closet’ Hal is behind the scenes on any number of the biggest dance records from the past dew years, including playing keyboards on “Call on me” singing the “Jimmy Sommerville” vocals on Supermode’s “Tell me why” and even playing most of the instruments on the current Sugababes release “No can do”!

Aside from the Young Punx, you have a record label as well. How long have you been doing that and who are your artists? Do you distribute physical copies (cd, vinyl) or is it strictly digital?

Yes we do, MofoHifi Records (2 years old). It deals in fresh and creative club tracks with quality mass appeal. Our focus has always been to try and discover exciting new talents in electronic music and developing them into real contenders for A-list staus; Phonat is probably the most pertinent example of us at work.. we are no where near the peak of Phonat but already the reactions to his music has been amazing... it means we're sticking true to our mission! Other artists include, Goshi Goshi, Sharooz and Deltawave plus of course it's a home for our own music. We used to issue vinyl but the market has bottomed out so mainly it's just digital.

I see you have a Shir Khan remix. We have that in common.... who else on the "scene" do you know/respect/like?

Shir Khan is legendary, his mix of Dirty Damp is awesome. We have a couple of Riva Starr tracks that have been a staple part of our DJ sets all year so we got him to do a mix for our next track, Juice & Gin featuring Yolanda.. we're REALLY pleased with the results. We also share our studio with drum and bass producers “Chase & Status”. They are absolutely incredible, and everyone should check out their new album “More than a lot” on Ram Records. Sinichi Osawa, the sampler of his new album is fucking incredible! And if you want a party I suggest you go out with Micky Slim!

Finally, are their any memorable shows you've played in US cities, (especially NYC!) and do you have plans of touring US cities (esp NYC!)

We played in New York last summer at the Mercury Lounge, which went really well, though of course it was our first ever live gig in the states, so fairly low key. Why weren’t you there?!!!! J We ended being interviewed by foxy drummer from Hole, Samantha Maloney, in Battery Park, and having races along the water front wearing clown masks. Did you know she can body pop quite well?

I could write you a whole book on the reasons the rest of that week (which included gigs in San Fran and LA) was memorable. It involved losing a bowler hat in a stretch limo in San Fran at 4 in the morning, a Mustang Shelby GTH, a stripper called Louise and drifting practice road through the Hollywood Hills. Make up your own story from there I guess.

We plan to come back to the USA at some point in 2009 to coincide with the release of our second album, but we don’t have any dates in the calendar firmly as yet.

We are DJ ing in Vancouver on New Years Eve if that counts though.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Sasha Fierce does MIA....

....and loving every minute of it. i mean, what is a diva....reeeeaaaallly. a woman that demands the respect she deserves. and using this new definition, i realize that i've been a diva since i was 5 years old....

----video on youtube---

now on the subject of hustling, it may appear like the crushers have stepped off for the moment, and it may be a minute before we do another show....but do not doubt the purple hustlers. we are hybernating in the studio for the winter creating magical crystal structures, revisiting dance training, and rewriting pop history....

we've put a rough demo up of a new track thats like a theme song for the blog and an anthem for the cold heart of the city....myspizzle

Monday, December 22, 2008

Drums of Death - The Indie Interview aka What You Won't See On BBC!

If you've been paying attention to any blogs recently you've probably caught wind of Drums of Death.  We had the pleasure of doing a show with him in Munich for Vice Magazine and I must say it was kinda scary.  I also interviewed him, and although its not as professional as that crazy old BBC interview, its more REAL.  Yeah i said it BBC......more REAL!!!!! Anyhow enjoy this interview and live footage....

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

This Blue Monday Cover Is Rad

Blue Monday. Arguably one of the best synthpop tracks ever. Originally released in 1983 by Factory Records, it is recognized as the best selling UK 12" ever.  And for good reason.  Above is the original 12" sleeve, and as you can see they were already getting digital.  Btw if you've never heard of Factory Records, Malcom McLaren, or (god forbid) New Order, you need to watch 24 hour party people.

Meterhead featuring Emma Lucia have taken this classic and made a version that will make all the people in the club dance as if they are hearing the original, but they will give that little spark of joy in hearing a version they feel like they know but is actually totally new. Kudos.

Blue Monday Ft. Emma Lucia

Monday, December 15, 2008

Kevin Bacon, the Remix

So you may or may not know, Kevin Bacon is a movie star.  Wait what i meant was Kevin Bacon makes music.  With his brother.  They are called the Bacon Brothers.  So apparently they've been doing this since they were small Bacons, still attached to the pig.

As you would expect they have a small but loyal following, and i'm sure the warm and fuzzy feelings abound at their shows.

As you also might expect, they have remixes.  I ran into this cat Zack Hagan at a small french themed party and he told me he just remixed a Kevin Bacon song about a giant squid.  Being the responsible blogger that i am, i followed up and i have it here to share with u:

Thursday, December 11, 2008

EXCLUSIVE!! Interview with Nervous Records President Mike Weiss

Ok people, this is maybe the coolest thing yet for You Been Crushed: An exclusive interview with the president of Nervous Records, Michael Weiss. What is Nervous Records you ask? Just the label that put out Armand Van Helden's first release, signed Funk Master Flex, and basically defined NY club music (and had a big hand in hip hop) in the 90's and beyond.

The Interview:

Nervous records seems to be in the right place at the right time with the right artists. You started off doing East Coast house, then dipped in to Hip-Hop, then back into club music when hip hop went pop. Who's the magic A&R man behind this You?

I'm always behind the basic direction we're going in. Back in the 90's hip hop was hot in NYC, and that was the music I was into. There was a lot of talent rolling around. People would just jump on the mic in downtown clubs. It was a great time. I signed Black Moon. And having them on the label attracted like-minded headz who also liked east coast hop. A guy named Dru Friedman came to work at the label as an intern, and he quickly rose to being my A&R assistant. He then brought in Smif-n-Wessun. Having Black Moon and Smif-n-Wessun on the label made Nervous hot on the streets. KRS-One was impressed, and wanted to get affiliated. He brought in a new artist he had signed to his management company, Mad Lion. So it's always been a pretty organic process.

As you said, the real hip hop scene died out in the 90's, and then house/trance was hot in the clubs again. I signed some big club acts like Byron Stingily and Kim English, and having them on the label lead me to meeting a club guy named Kevin Williams, who became my A&R assistant. Kevin helped find big Nervous club hits like Charlotte/Skin, and Jonah/Sssst...Be Quiet.

Right now A&R is fully back in my shoulders.

Nervous is known for its logo. How was it conceived?

Standing in Vinylmania (12" shop on Carmine, now closed) on a Saturday afternoon in 1990. Pal Joey used to work there. He climbed up on one of the racks to get a 12" for someone who was at the counter. He tossed the record up to the counter, but it hit the guy in the head. I thought it was funny, came up with idea of a logo based on that.

I was a big fan of Funkmaster Flex back in the day. How did you discover and sign him?

I first met him when I was promoting a hip hop jam to Chuck Chillout up at WBLS. Chuck was the MC of the WBLS hip hop show. Flex was the DJ. He's truly one of the most proper guys in the biz. We met there, and he could see I was real ampted to get my tracks up and running. He told me he was deejaying at a hot spot named Club 2000 on 148 and Broadway on Sunday nites. I used to trek up there at 2:00 am on Sunday nites to give him wax,and he would test them out. He was the first dj in New York to play Who Got The Props. I had it on test pressing...he made me wait till 3:55, right before closing, before putting it on the decks. But he gave me a thumbs up after that one spin.

Exceeder was and still is a killer track. How do you find new artists and how do the blogs/internet play into that?

Exceeder is probably one of the three favorite Nervous tracks in the past 2 years - the others being Cicada/Things You Say, and Get Far/Shining Star. I go out least once or twice a week hitting afterhours spots....and know alot of dj's who will tip me when they hear something good. I also check out alot of the European radio stations on line.

You've developed and distributed a lot of music, and its all had one thing in common. The DJ. Whats your take on the current technology of djing in the mp3 era?

Pretty amazing how the internet has made music and sounds and vibe available to everyone. Used to be that you had to go to New York, Chicago and Miami to find hot producers. Now you look everywhere. And before the internet, who could have predicted that Canadian and Dutch dudes would be making some of the hottest tracks? So the internet has definitely leveled the playing field, and made it possible for people all over to hear the newest joints, and get their tracks heard by everyone as well. All this is good for a label like Nervous. Bottom line we need club music to stay fresh. I think the bar has been raised on what a dj/producer needs to come with if he/she is to stay at the top of the game.

Last question: You are currently promoting Nervous Nitelife: House Classics Remixed which is a compilation of a lot of Nervous dance hits remixed. This is curated (is that the right word?) by Marlon D who is closely associated with one of my personal favs Jellybean Benitz. Anything you'd like readers to know about this release?

Yeah Jellybean deserves props for staying in the dance game so long. (and yeah nice vocabulary - curating is a perfect description for the way Marlon put together these older classics!) For this project, I wanted to get a dj who was not directly connected to any of the projects. So that knocked out alot of the major players, cause virtually everyone with a rep from the 90's has had something released on Nervous (Masters At Work, Armand Van Helden, Cevin Fisher, Frankie Feliciano, Paul Van Dyk, Roger Sanchez, Todd Terry etc). Somehow Marlon never had anything released on Nervous, so it made sense for someone with a fresh perspective on the tracks to come with ideas regarding who should do the remixes, and how the comp should be put together.

Thank you SO much for taking time out to answer my questions. I really appreciated being able to bring something so close to the heart of NY dance music into focus for You Been Crushed.....
-Air Jared

Monday, December 8, 2008

Crushed Records Presents: WZRDz

We are very excited to announce the WZRDZ EP release and with it this special promotional video featuring the inspirational 1977 animation by Ralph Bakshi and a remix of a song we all know and love:

From the press release:

Lore has it two WZRDz exist, one in the East and one in the West. The Eastern one lay deep with the knowledge of synths and stabs, while the Western one forged samples heavy as though a master hammer smith.

Their scrolls proclaim alliances amongst the tribes known as iheartcomix, Meterhead, Purple Crush, and Afrodesiac Soundsystem. Through struggle and triumph, through uploading and sequencing, brothers they came to be. By the portal known as Crushed Records, their ancient knowledge shall be revealed. .....WZRDz...

WZRDZ Myspace

This is just a teaser, and by the sound of it, you know the 4 song EP is so banging we really can't post any mp3's till later....though we will be dropping the full Nirvana Remix in a few, so stay tuned....

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Freddie Mas: True Artist of Brooklyn

Every once in a while you run across someone who makes you go "hm. that guy/girl is the real deal."

Now the definition of the Real Deal is something that is never really discussed, but everyone knows what it is. The Real Deal simply is. With that in mind i'd like to introduce you to Freddie Mas.

I recorded this video of him art-jamming in a brooklyn bar/record store called Sound Fix in Brooklyn. But don't get it twisted, Freddie Mas is a man of many talents. A song writer, guitarist, electronic musician, drummer, DJ and electro house dance punk funk music historian.

He has released records on Tigersushi and Codek, who put out a split EP with In Flagranti.

Here's how Tigersushi describes him:

"Freddie Mas is something like the whitey Grace Jones if the diva were ever to resurrect as an Arkham escapee singing fucked up power-psyche lyrics over house tunes. A man to follow, follow, only not too close. There's danger in those songs."

See that's the beauty of the Real Deal. Just as likely to quote literature as to jump on the hood of a cab and smash the windshield with a U-Lock (true story).

He's done his share of remixes (including one for Kudu) and composed a 60 song collection of under 2 minute songs meant to be played in an itunes playlist on shuffle. (itunes link)

Another thing about Freddie Mas: hes not really on the internet (aside from people selling his music). He is that real. If you've read this far than you might as well click on this review of his Arc Ep on German mp3 site It describes the essence of Freddie in a way i just couldn't seem to over the last 200 words.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Steam Machine

So I was over at DJ Krames' house yesterday to borrow his cabasa and he revealed to me a little known fact amongst the New York party scene: no one here has made a promo video for their party.  How un-promotional of everyone.  Well, Krames has rectified that with this crass little romp that takes us through a history of ass shaking in case you forgot what partying was.
Oh and stick around for the glam shots of the party's hosts, Sean Roberts, Nick the Duke, Kramesy, and Rekles. Oh and how could I forget Jeff from Culture of Me?

Introducing "Steam Machine" (re branded from "Unstoppable Perfect") a party held at a little diamond in the rough known as Happy Endings here in NYC on Thursdays.  BTW its called Happy Endings cause it used to be a massage parlor that must have offered happy endings.

Watch this video if you dare. May be NSFW...