Hipster Apocalypse – X24

Ok, so, this ditty by Santa Fe rapper X24 may be a little late to the hipster pontification party, and I can’t really see this jokey tune living anywhere other than on Youtube, but there’s still some fun wordplay going on with rhymes like “i’m so post modern, what’s a genre?” or “I can’t go out and grab some food without a Kafka novel and some attitude”

Concerto Rock – Le Couleur

I feel like I may have seen Le Couleur in a Boreal Breweries induced drunken stupor in the summer of 2013  at the FME a when I was covering it for AUX so I’m excited to see their new analogue fantasy  video.  If you enjoy Montrealer French electro without the Quebecois accent, and also may be in love, then this could be the soundtrack to your next rendezvous. The video is shot by emerging artist, Ganesh Baron Aloir and will appear on their Dolce Désir EP which is due out in Feburary 2015.
You can also see Le Couleur perform later this week as part of the M for Montreal Festival with a show at Club Lambi on Friday, November 21.

Twin Shadow Can’t ‘Forget’ Musical Non-Acceptance Due to Race – Spinner


Justice Jock Jams: French Dance Duo Are Making Unlikely Sports Rock – Spinner


Mostly they appreciate the energy connected to sporting events.

“We are definitely making music to be on a soundtrack, or for a soccer match,” strong silent type Gaspard Auger told Spinner in a recent interview.

Xavier Rosnay agreed.

“We haven’t been watching the Olympics and we don’t love sports, but we love the simple and strong emotions related to them — like victory and excitement. It’s just like a fantasy,” says Rosnay.

Certainly athletic types are aware of Justice’s appeal. Last year Adidas used the song “Civilization” for their “Adidas is in all” commercial. The recently launched video for “New Lands,” directed by Canada, the Barcelona-based video production team, takes Justice’s music into even more sporting territory. The video depicts a mash up of various sports being played in a single game, ranging from lacrosse to football to roller derby, complete with robot laser targeting systems and pink glowing electrified balls.

According to Canada’s Luis Cerveró, “It was all about aesthetics and stylization: the ’70s sci-fi films of our childhood, with its gorgeous colors, gadgets and widescreen photography, and hints of Japanese anime, ’80s visual effects and sports films neuroticism.”

So yeah, exactly like sports.


DJ Mehdi Dead at 34 – Spinner


UPDATE: Reports have flowed in from France that DJ Mehdi died when his roof collapsed. According to MTV News, Mehdi was celebrating his 34th birthday with friends on his rooftop when the accident occured. We are still awaiting an official statement from his label Ed Banger.

Hip-hop and electro-house fans are in shock after news that famed French-Tunisian DJ Mehdi (Mehdi Favéris-Essadi) has passed at age 34. He was reportedly killed in an “accident” Sept. 13, according to In the Mix.

Close friend and collaborator DJ A-Trak tweeted Tuesday, “I have no words. My heart is completely shattered. Not this.”

DJ Mehdi was a visionary for urban music as he was part of the first wave of musicians to help bridge the gap between hip-hop, electro and indie rock sounds. He started his career as DJ for the group Different Teep, and found success with the legendary French rap group Ideal J. He was also DJ for Mafia K’1 Fry, a rap collective from the gritty Parisian suburbs.

His solo career was marked by a number of groundbreaking albums like ‘Des Friandises Pour Ta Bouche’ and ‘Lucky Boy,’ with the hit single ‘I Am Somebody’ featuring Chromeo. He was also known for his work with MC Solaar, Daft Punk, Chromeo, Miike Snow and many others. In 2006, his career was launched to global heights as he was signed to the French electro label Ed Banger Records. His last release came just a month ago on Pedro Winter’s ‘Let the Children Techno’ mix tape album, with the eerily foreshadowing title ‘Tragicomehdi.’

Many other musicians have expressed their grief via Twitter as well:

“R.I.P. DJ Mehdi. The void he has left behind is unbearable. Love you, Sir Bob Cornelius Rifo,” said Bloody Beetroots.

“Sitting in a chair crying. My hearts broken,” said Diplo. Adding: “I can only see mehdi smiling. He was always so happy he always smiling in all my memories he did everything with so much positivity.”

“Saddest news ever I have no words,” said Mr. Oizo.

“In remembrance of a dear soul DJ Medhi. Will be sorely missed!!!! :( :( :(,” said Snow.

“In disbelief. Just emailed him yesterday:( May God Bless your soul and your family. Rest in peace Mehdi,” said Solange Knowles.

“Damn…RIP MEHDI,” said Drake.

DJ Mehdi’s tragic death leaves his wife, renowned French graffiti artist Fafi, family and thousands of fans and friends in mourning.

James Franco and Drag Queen Art Star Kalup Linzy ‘Turn It Up’ on Dance-y Debut – Spinner


James Franco is a man of many trades, his latest being dance music maven alongside unlikely collaborator Kalup Linzy, a video artist drag queen R&B singer. Most of Linzy’s work has been in the art world — his avant-garde opera opens next month at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art — but he’s joined his famous friend in the pop-culture sphere with their recently released experimental, bass-heavy ‘Turn It Up’ EP.

According to Linzy, Franco approached him a few years ago after seeing him speak at the prestigious Art Basel Festival in Miami. The two became friends, sharing a mutual respect for each other’s work.

“There’s something different going on with him; he’s not just in the movie world,” Linzy tells Spinner of his A-list pal and collaborator. “What’s funny is that he was painting before his acting career took off and I was acting before my art career took off.”

Over the period of a year, the pair co-wrote and recorded the disc together. Initially, Linzy assumed the former ‘Freaks and Geeks‘ star would simply add some spoken-word elements to the mix but Franco had other plans, pushing to full-on sing on the release, which was co-produced by DJ/Rupture, as well as offer his own musical direction.

“He’s so talented, he might have been able to make the record on his own,” says Linzy, noting there was such a flow of output “we could even have released a double-album, but he’s so busy with all his movies.”

“The EP definitely went in an electronic direction,” he continues. “But I see it rooted in the tradition of R&B but with dubstep and also some Motown sounds — some [tracks] can be played in the club, but there are certain textures that are also meant to be listened to with headphones. I hope with that this new record will be added to the conversation of contemporary music, but as well within the conversation of art.”

The video for their current single, ‘Rising’ — which features lo-fi video shot by Franco from the set of General Hospital,’ where the Hollywood star has a recurring role as vagabond artist Franco, as well as footage of Linzy’s green screen work referencing Picasso and Basquiat — should certainly help drum up discussion. It might also tip off a few more people to the fact that Linzy, himself, did a stint on ABC’s daytime soap.

Watch Kalup Linzy and James Franco’s ‘Rising’ Video
It was Franco who pitched him to the producers at ‘General Hospital,’ who eventually brought Linzy on to play Franco’s pal Kalup Ishmael, a character that mirrors his own flamboyant art persona.

“It was a very comfortable experience,” says Linzy. “I saw they had a board set up with all my pictures and past performances with James [at various society events]. It was inspiring to see that they had really researched and integrated our lives together into the show. My character’s story line ran for four episodes.”

Appearing on ‘General Hospital’ was actually a logical career move for the artist as he’s explored gender and family issues through his own self-produced soap operas. Linzy points to his childhood in Florida where he watched daytime TV staples such as ‘Guiding Light’ with his grandmother for introducing him to the medium.

“By the time I got to junior high, I caught on to the storylines and started following the characters,” says Linzy. “They started influencing my creative thinking and I started making these soap operas as a teenager with my cousin.”

“My great grandmother used to listen to ‘Guiding Light’ on the radio in the 1930s,” he adds. “So that’s where it began.”

Sneaks Birthday Beats – Nov 8th – Coda

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The Original House Gangsta DJ Sneak will be returning Coda in Toronto for the nth instalment of his birthday beats tradition on November 8th.  While his Soundcloud page lists him in Toronto, I’m confused by the statement as I was told he wasn’t able to play at Digital Dreams in the summer due to border issues.  Huh?? Doesn’t exactly make sense to me but I’m glad he’ll be playing her regardless.


Other old school heavyweights holding down the fort and raising the cakes, will be Doc Martin whom I’m pretty sure I saw at a Phryll party at the Koolhaus in ’98, and there may or may not have been a spinning ball that you could climb into for a ride.


Love this track name.  Sums up pretty much how I feel, although, I’d be lying if I wrote I haven’t considered launching my own branded Jheri Curl line.

Hennessy Artistry x KEYSNKRATES

I thought it was pretty damn cool when I got to interview Matisse and Jr. Flow for Spinner way back in 2010 for AOL Spinner at the time and other interactions right here on Shipwrckd back in 2008!  I knew they were crazy talented artists creating an innovative ‘live cover band’ slash mashup performance concept at the time, but I never expected them to blow up the way they have. Signings to Dim Mak and long chains of star power events and partnerships with the likes of Hennessy have helped pushed them over the edge, so there you have it.

Keys N Krates Crank Up the ’90s Courtesy of ‘Live Remixing’ — NXNE

Keys N Krates

Courtesy of Keys N Krates 

aol-music-graveKeys N Krates are DMC World Champ DJ Junior Flow (Jr-Flo), drummer Adam Tune and soul singer Matisse. Together, they create what they call the ultimate in “live remixing” experiences, with their Top 40 mash-ups that sample liberally from the ’80s and ’90s. But more recently, they’ve actually been creating their own tracks and samples, too. No flash in the pan, Keys N Krates have been globally recognized for their unique swagger. Here, we talk to the Toronto act about why they don’t worry about lugging around tons of gear, how Canadian rapper Shad is keeping the “boom-bap alive” and why tUnE-yArDs is worthy of praise. 

How do you work together as a band?

Jr-Flo: We use just turntables, keys and drums as our main instruments. Our songs start with a sample that we find. It can be from any type of music, it can be jazz, rock, hip-hop, but not limited to any of those. We build a track around that sample utilizing the instruments that we play in the band. When we do live remixing, we usually take a hook or a line from a song. From that one hook, we’ll create our own version to it. That’s what live remixing is all about, and we perform those live on the fly. Recently, we’ve been making our own samples and original tracks. We’ll still use samples but it’s not as recognizable. Some of them will be very obscure and turn into our own.

Get a chance to see them with Just Blaze on November 20th.


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Drug Policy Abuse: A teenager’s plea about drugs

Did you know that according to UNICEF pot is more accessible to Canadian teens and more popular than cigarettes? Why is one legal and not the other?

Does your politician have a drug policy abuse problem? You can help.

Drug policy abuse is the intentional pursuit or promotion of a drug policy that has been shown to cause harm. If your politician suffers from this disorder, it’s time you had “the talk.”  A message from the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition.

Incredible Bloggers!

Wow, thanks Emily.

I’m flattered that you think I am the owner of Canada’s largest newspaper (The Toronto Star) and their digital properties, but sadly, I will have to decline, as enticing as the offer sounds. Perhaps do a bit more research before making your next offer!

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