Sunday, January 8, 2012

THE BEES KNEES: Best of 2011

Yes, this is a tad late, but I just wanted to summarize my favorite tracks that came out this year. I am always preoccupied with digging in the past, that sometimes I have to come up for air and seek out new music that artists are releasing. In my humble opinion, the BEES KNEES of 2011...

10. MIGUEL CAMPBELL "Something Special, Sexy, Wonderful" Hot Creations

Since moving to Chicago, I have definitely been getting my dose of house music. But sometimes I am so overwhelmed with the sub-genres...acid, big room, balearic, minimal, progressive AHHH!  But this song is simple yet very effective. I had this joint on repeat for the first few days after hearing it. No need for crazy layers, the vocals are straight up and when the bassline kicks in I can't help but wanna strut.

9. CFCF "Cometrue" UNO

I first heard about CFCF when I picked up his album Continent in 2009. I fell in love with the Fleetwood Mac cover from that record (Raining Patterns is another choice cut). I became more curious about him once I learned that the Canadian Government financially backed the making of that album through support of the Department of Canadian Heritage (Canada Music Fund). So dope! I wish we had the $ here in the US to throw at talented artists to produce albums. But I digress...

Beautiful, etheral yet engaging. Great driving-home-after-the-gig tune.

8. QUADRON Average Fruit (10.4 Rog Gradeschool Crush Remix) Plug Research

Thank you to my friends who are constantly seeking out fresh music. I first heard this track thanks to my friend and Hotline partner, Boogie Brown. He played this at our Hotline party one night and the song was haunting me, I exhausted my google skills searching for it because Boogs couldn't text me back fast enough! The original cut is amazing also, more of a sultry vibe to it. But the Gradeschool Crush remix by 10.4 Rog is a lil' more playful. I look forward to hearing more stuff from him.
 Average Fruit (Remix by 10.4 Rog Gradeschool Crush) by Plug Research

7. DJ QUIK "Love of My Life" Mad Science/Fontana
From D-F's tumblr
I will claim California until the day I die. I don't know where it came from, but as a babybear I was raised to believe nothing really existed between NY and CA. But with age I realized there are some amazing places in between (Hi Chicago). Wherever I call home, I always have some music from my old stomping grounds to remind me of the 75degree days, traffic on the 10 Freeway, and car culture. This cut from The Book Of David is hands down my favorite and encapsulates the West Coast vibe which Quik is famous for. I was lucky enough to see Quik live with a band at DNA Lounge in SF, and it makes me overjoyed to hear that he recently performed with Dam-Funk and Steve Arrington. What a perfect medley.

6. 1-O.A.K. "Rewind produced by Trackademicks" HNRL
The Honor Roll team put out so much material in 2011 it was hard to pick a favorite. Honorable mentions go to Trackademicks Cherry 2000, Mike Baker's Legs and Josie Stingray's Got To Get It. I am a huge fan and supporter of the crew, and they carry the bay area on their backs (and most recently Mike Baker the Bike Maker moved out to NYC to spread the talent). I chose Rewind because the track is a great example of "champagne soul"-the genre for which the crew is responsible for creating. And 1-O.A.K.'s voice is unbelievable. I pray that this year is the year Honor Roll Crew gets the immense shine they deserve...worldwide not just in the bay.
 1-O.A.K. - Rewind (prod. by Trackademicks) by The Honor Roll

5. KING KRULE "The Noose of Jah City" True Panther Sounds EP

Formerly known as Zoo Kid...I guess you would call this nu-shoegaze? Whatever, I am digging it. I don't think he's even 21 yet. This may seem far-fetched, but he kinda reminds me of a red-headed Morrisey.

4. TIGER & WOODS "Love in Cambodgia" Running Back

I caught wind of this underground Tiger & Woods party in here Chicago a few months ago. I was told to get off at some stop off the red line, go under the train tracks and look for a door with a tiger poster on it. I had no idea where I was going and was about to give up until I heard some bass thumping. Finally found the party and dealt with some major dance floor bonerkillers (cologne-reeking, flashlight toting, just-got-off-work types) but it was worth it in the end because they played this song. My girl Natalia played first this for me while I was driving her car after a crazy night at DAMN GINA  in early 2011, this song will always remind me of her.

3. RHYMEFEST ft. KANYE "Brand New (Paul Nice Remix)" 

The first time I visited Chicago, I went to Rude-1's night at Empire Liquors and Rhymefest was there. He asked me how tall I was and complimented me on my boots, I didn't know who he was until after the fact. Cool story right? My only Chi-town celebrity encounter...

So the original version of this song is from 2006, but P.Nice makes it actually listenable! I don't have the record in my pawz (pre-ordered though, ship date 2/2012) only 300 copies pressed and signed by Paul himself! And on red vinyl. I am a sucka for colored wax! 

2. NYTE COURT "Just For You"

Chris Idiom+Joe Vargo=Nyte Court. Both hailing from Denver, have slowly been making a presence in San Francisco for the past few years. Individually talented beyond belief, each with separate strengths; Chris with his jaw-dropping DJ blends, runner up for the Scion mix competition live on 3 turntables, his ability to mix Art of Noise into Bone Thugs into Bjork...he makes you feel a self-imposed pressure to practice in your bedroom more. Joe as a versatile selector, connoisseur of all things soulful and record addict, a fiend! Together they make music that melts me. I can't wait to hear more from them. Just For You samples one of my favorite modern-soul tracks by Ingram.
  Just 4 u by NYTE COURT 

1. THE PENDLETONS "Waiting On You/Coming Down" Slept On Records
Is it any surprise that this is my number one pick? This 7" has been played at every Sweaterfunk since it was released (look closely at the label). I have been somewhat scared to bring the record out with me to play lately because E da Boss and Myron have only pressed something like 200 copies and has no plans of pressing more. Raer factor! There might be some copies available at Groove Merchant in SF. The B-side is a banger as well (Coming Down), a nice mid-tempo dancefloor warm-up. I had the luxury of seeing them perform this live at Sweaterfunk, E rocking doubles of "Glow Of Love" by Change (at 33 rpm) while Myron sang. Below is a soundcloud clip from that performance (shitty quality FYI) but I'd like to think Myron said "Mama-I've been waiting on you for so very long". Swoon. Love these men.

Salud to year twenty-twelve...


  1. awesome picks - you're going me hot education, Mamabear!

  2. Thanks for this one, ma. Someone's got to keep me posted with that new new shit.

    xo's from the bay,