Resurrecting a MHz Legacy: RJD2 and Tage Future chase inspiration in “Out of Room”

MHz Legacy: s/tMHz Legacy: MHz Legacy (Man Bites Dog, 10/30/12)

MHz was a Columbus, Ohio, hip-hop collective made up of RJD2, Jakki da Motamouth, the late Camu Tao, Tage Future (née Proto), and Copywrite. After the release of Table Scraps in 2001, another record was long rumored but never seemed to come. The 2008 death of Tao seemed to put an end to the idea.

However, last year the group reunited and rebranded as MHz Legacy to release an eponymous debut album to much acclaim. Featuring all the other original members, and guest spots from Slug, Danny Brown, Ill Bill, and more, it proved that the group had more to say.

North Coast Music Festival

Concert Photos: North Coast Music Festival

“Summer’s Last Stand,” better known as North Coast Music Festival, lived up to its self-given nickname this year, breaking a sizable inaugural attendance and raking in nearly 50,000 loyal fans for a sold-out sophomore year. Despite being slightly overshadowed by Chicago’s other popular summer music fests, North Coast surpassed them in diversity with a far-reaching lineup.

Heavy beats bumped Union Park for a straight three days, spun by dubstep producers SBTRKT and Rusko and electronic hypnotists STS9 and Bassnectar. Day performers Little Dragon and Of Montreal loosened crowds for each night’s main acts, including Wiz Khalifa and David Guetta, who were silhouetted by LED backdrops on both headlining stages. Other ALARM favorites on hand included Common, Gogol Bordello, Thievery Corporation, RJD2, and The Budos Band.

Chicago photographer Caleb Condit was present to document the good times.  Check out the massive gallery below.


Concert Photos: RJD2 @ The Mid (Chicago, IL)

Crates of vinyl, four turntables, multiple DJs, a packed house — it was like something out the distant ’90s. The recent “Mayhem at The Mid” event, featuring headliner RJD2, had no shortage of scratch talent; DJ Intel, Big Once, BRC, Avi Sic, and RM Joint all took a turn at the tables. An impressive light show set off the party atmosphere, and a big projection screen onstage allowed the audience an up-close look at the DJs’ technical abilities. Photographer Jon Shaft went backstage to capture these images.



Beats & Rhymes: Blueprint’s Adventures In Counter-Culture

Each Monday, Beats & Rhymes highlights a new and notable hip-hop, rap, DJ, or electronic record that embraces independent sensibilities.

Blueprint: Adventures In Counter-CultureBlueprint: Adventures In Counter-Culture (Rhymesayers, 4/5/11)

Blueprint: “So Alive”

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Known for his lyrical virtuosity, Columbus MC Blueprint won fame as half of Soul Position with legendary indie-rap producer RJD2. After that group dissolved, he produced and released an admittedly retro solo album, called 1988, in 2005, and went six years without releasing a new solo LP. But while RJD2 has spent his time moving away from hip hop, Blueprint’s new record, Adventures in Counter-Culture, makes it clear that he has spent his time going deeper.

As the album unfolds, its sounds swerve and mutate, breaking away from the tropes of the genre and presenting an arresting hip-hop record. Though not all of the experiments pay off, the sheer inventiveness that Blueprint puts into his production and lyrics make Adventures in Counter-Culture worth a look.

The album’s first song, “Go Hard or Go Home,” serves as the album’s manifesto. Over a beat with droning, echoing synthesizers, Blueprint outlines his intentions: “I’ma tear rap down, then rebuild the shit, with total disregard of if the pieces even fit.” From a production standpoint, Blueprint delivers on this promise. Distant, sterile, inorganic synthesizers dominate the beats, serving as an aural complement to Blueprint’s lyrical themes of disconnection and alienation.

100 Unheralded Albums from 2010

Among the thousands of under-appreciated or under-publicized albums that were released in 2010, hundreds became our favorites and were presented in ALARM and on Of those, we pared down to 100 outstanding releases, leaving no genre unexplored in our list of this year’s overlooked gems.

MoogFest 2010

MoogFest 2010: A look at the electronic festival’s move to Asheville

Despite its history and charm, Asheville, North Carolina isn’t widely known as a destination for music and culture.  Many associate the town with the Blue Ridge Parkway, hippie drumming, and maybe Black Mountain College, a progressive institution that closed in 1957 but once was a center for artists like Merce Cunningham and John Cage.  But look deeper and you’ll also find a contemporary music scene, classy bars, and a population of locals that are culturally aware and proud of their town.

And they’re nice — like deep-South nice.  Maybe that’s why Robert Moog decided to spend the last 25 years of his life there.