Tag Archives: Philly

( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) Pre-EMM chat with Blueshift on house music, brunch

Ahead of his set on the #2014EMM, I caught up with Philly DJ and producer Blueshift to chat about house music, changing tastes (music and otherwise), and the Philly scene. He’s got a release out on the legendary New York label Nurvous Recordings, and was the co-founder of the highly acclaimed French Express blog, amongst manyyy other things.

Blueshift in the mix!

Blueshift is one of the many artists we are honored to have as part of our 2014 Electronic Music Marathon. He’s a sick DJ and reps the deeper, house-y sounds – don’t miss his set!

Chris B: Wassup man, thanks for linking up, and looking forward to having you on the EMM!

Blueshift: Noo problem, man – happy to chat, and stoked to participate!

CB: So, how did you get into house music?

Blueshift: I’ve always been a fan of 80’s music. Even as a kid, synthesizer-heavy stuff caught my ear. I loved Eurodance! When I discovered dance music and really got into it, it was mainly the harder stuff like hard trance and such. Over the years, I just branched out and moved to different genres.

CB: What was one of the first tracks like that that you loved?

Blueshift: Snap! – “Rhythm Is a Dancer” is one I always really liked.

CB: As you got older, what was some of the dance-y stuff you got into?

Blueshift: In the later years of high school, I was really getting into music, but listened relatively passively. I remember this one track by Ghost in the Machine called “A Time Long Forgotten” – I listened to that a lot. I think I had a few Hybrid tracks around then, too. College is where I discovered internet radio dance music stations and got into hard house and trance. Stuff like Tidy Boys and Tunnel Trance Force.

CB: So how did you end up moving towards the funky side of things?

Blueshift: Just through changing tastes. I moved from trance, to progressive stuff, and somewhere around 2006/2007 my ear really caught onto the french house and nu-disco sound.

CB: Around that time for me, that was Justice / MSTRKRFT – what was it for you?

Blueshift: I liked their sound, but for me it was the Lifelike/Fred Falke/Alan Braxe crew that really did it for me. Thinking back, the turning point might have been when my friend played one of James Grant’s early Anjunabeats Worldwide shows for me, and I heard Michael Cassette’s tracks for the first time. Something about it just seemed to combine trance, but with a pure 80’s sound and it totally shoved my taste in that direction for the next few years.

CB: They are both awesome crews – as a side note, have you heard Erol’s fabric live mix? Pure FILTHH.

Blueshift: I haven’t! I’ll load it up on queue for today :D

CB: Have you always been based out of Philly?

Blueshift: For the most part. I was in NJ for a couple years for the last year of high school and for college, but moved back around 2006.

CB: I feel like the ‘scene’ here has kind of blossomed recently – tell me about your experiences in Philly – as a resident, as a DJ, etc

Blueshift: The scene in Philly DEFINITELY has exploded in the past two years or so. The caliber of artists coming through now is so great. We have tons of awesome and current acts in on a regular basis, and lots of smaller groups popping up as well. There’s a pretty steady rotating lineup of good gigs. Philly can also be a pretty tough city to get a handle on though; I’ve played a wide range of shows here, from empty to packed, but I’m definitely grateful for all the opportunities I’ve had to play here.

CB: Who are some of your artist homeys in Philly that we should know about?

Blueshift: The Worldtown peeps have been putting out some great tracks recently (and crushing it with their events) **editor’s note: they’re spinning for us on the EMM, too!**, Apt One always brings the heat **also spinning for the EMM**, Les Professionnels are super pro **ALSO spinning for the EMM**, and PS 118 has some really tight stuff upcoming. Maggs Bruchez are also some of my favorite Philly producers.

CB: Where’s your fave brunch spot?

Blueshift: Cafe Renata in West Philly. I’m always there. I’ve also found myself at Broad Street Diner a bunch recently.

CB: I love pork roll – how do you feel about pork roll?

Blueshift: Pork roll is great, man. Blew my mind when I first heard it called Taylor Ham.

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The 11th annual Electronic Music Marathon will take place October 10-13 on WKDU. 91.7 FM Philadelphia / wkdu.org worldwide!!!!

Tune in for our amazing lineup of DJs, on-air giveaways, and support college radio and arts education while you’re at it!!!!!

Get @ us all weekend long during the marathon for info / giveaways | @wkdu #2014EMM

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Lil Sean gets his very own day @ PhilaMOCA

Lil Sean is probably the most beloved 12 year old in Philadelphia.

He’s the unofficial mayor of the Eraserhood and now even has his own mural to prove it.

The mural, prominently displayed on the exterior of PhilaMOCA at Ridge Avenue and Spring Garden, was only one part of the festivities for Lil Sean Day, which also included the premier of his film and a selection of his favorite local bands.

Lil Sean

Lil Sean humbly addressing his supporters at PhilaMOCA after his mural was unveiled.

So how exactly does a 12 year old go about getting themselves their own day?

Sean has been a fixture in the neighborhood for years – he can usually be found hanging out around PhilaMOCA, saying hello to passersby, and doling out fist bumps and signature handshakes to his many friends. I remember when I was finally cool enough to get a fist bump from Sean – it felt like I had earned my citizenship to the neighborhood.

Bigups to PhilaMOCA for continually providing unique and quality programming, and putting on such a solid day.

While you’re waiting around for the 2nd annual Lil Sean Day, be sure to go check out the amazing mural done by artist Karli Cox (who also plays Sean’s love interest in his film – WE SEE YOU, SEAN).

Dr. Plotkin and Sean

Dr. Plotkin, friend and former neighbor to Sean, poses with the young icon and his freshly unveiled mural.

 

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West Philly and Worldwide – Breaking it down with Matthew Law

Matthew Law FKA DJ PHSH is a man that really shouldn’t need an introduction.

He’s rocked pretty much every spot in Philly, and has been moving asses in clubs before he was even allowed to drink. He was the tour DJ for Dave Chappelle’s Oddball Comedy Tour, the Northeast champion of the 2013 Red Bull 3Style Contest, and has spun numerous highly acclaimed gigs including LA’s the Do-Over and Low End Theory.

DJ Lil Dave and Matthew Law

Matthew Law on the 1’s and 2’s at his July Friends and Fam party, as WKDU’s own DJ Lil’ Dave vibes out.
Photo cred: Tim Blackwell, Shots Fired

It seems like forever ago that I sat down with Matt, and since then, he’s recorded the official Roots Picnic Mixtape and opened up the annual PSK event for J. Rocc, Rich Medina, Cosmo Baker, Cash Money, and Questlove – amongst his normal crazy schedule.

Peep his dope set from PSK, and read our chat to get hype for his 3rd annual PHSH TANK Block Party this weekend.

Matthew Law LIVE at PSK 7.3.2014

CB: Who are you, and what do you do?

ML: I’m Matthew Law – you might know me from before as DJ PHSH. I’m a DJ, producer, vision guy – I have a lot of ideas.

CB: What were your first musical memories?

ML: My parents had a theatre company together, up until I was 14. I grew up with that, and also played violin for six years.

Growing up in West Philly in the 90s, the hip hop and alternative rock stuff was really poppin, so I remember that. My Dad liked the modern rock too, so we’d go on drives and listen to Y100 or WMMR and joke around. I still remember being like 7, and listening to Pearl Jam and making fun of Eddie Vedder with all the aaayyyyy-eee-yayy-yuhhh’s.

CB: Y100, RIP! I remember them making fun of Creed also.

ML: Oh Y100 would rag on Creed so hard.

It’s a weird segway – but I remember there being such a weird feeling of race separation once I started hearing Beastie Boys and Eminem on Y100, but not any other rap. I was like, “Oh so I guess if they’re white guys it’s OK for them to be on Y100?” I thought that was really strange, and even at 12, I boycotted them for like two months. My first concert was at Veterans Stadium with Dave Matthews Band, The Roots, and Santana. I was 10, and I came for Dave Matthews Band. I had no idea who The Roots were.

I don’t have any older siblings, so when it came to hip hop, the reason I probably attached to it so much, besides a few key people, was that I really had to discover it on my own, and make it my own.

CB: So how’d you get into DJing, and what was your first set up like?

ML: I saw Scratch, the documentary, and I was like, that’s what I wanna do, I wanna try it out. I didn’t really have anybody to show me anything up until I met Illvibe Collective. It was just watching Scratch over and over again.

It’s funny because on the special edition of it, Z-Trip gave a 20 minute tutorial on how to be a DJ for the most part. Last year, I was DJing at Output with Rich Medina, Questlove, and Z-Trip, and I was like, “Yo, you were my first DJ teacher!”

My first set up was the Stanton STR 880 DJ in a box. The first pair of turntables I saw in person was from this kid I went to Hebrew school with, he got those for his Bar Mitzvah. His Bar Mitzvah was after mine, and when I saw his, I was like, “Man, I shouldn’t have gotten a guitar!”

Matthew Law, King Britt, and Questlove

Two generations of amazing West Philly artists unite – Matthew Law, King Britt, and Questlove.
Photo from @djphsh Instagram

CB: How did you start to build up a name for yourself in Philly and beyond?

ML: I started DJing the Gathering, the longest running hip hop event in Philadelphia. When I was 18, I had my first consistent gig in a club at Medusa Lounge on Tuesdays. I didn’t try to drink, and I think I got a way with a lot of stuff because I knew I was there to work. I wasn’t there to party – I was there to make the party happen.

Then in 2009, everything blew up with my first party, Superdope. Nose Go, Yis Goodwin, had a magazine called McJawn with Gwen Vo, and Leah Kauffman had just started the blog Phrequency. Sammy Slice had his party Mo Money Mo Problems, and while we were somewhat in competition, as far as the kids that were our age, we all were working together in some way.

I started Superdope when I was 20, still not drinking, and on my 21st birthday, there was a thunderstorm. I thought nobody was gonna come out, and we had over 350 people that night.

CB: How was Low End Theory when you spun out there?

ML: Low End Theory was great. It was the first time in a while that I understood that a large crowd of people might not be there to dance, cuz it’s beat heads. So they’re just looking at you like, yeah, you might hear a ‘wooh’.

CB: Let’s talk about the Matthew Law name change.

ML: My full name is Matthew Lawrence Fishman-Dickerson. I came up with DJ PHSH in 10th grade chemistry – I just needed a name. I’m producing now, and I don’t want people to get the wrong idea about what I’m capable of, so that’s why I’m going with Matthew Law.

Plus, a lot of my mentors go by their names, Statik is now Mr. Sonny James, King Britt’s real name is King Britt, Rich Medina’s real name is Rich Medina, and I thought I’d get on the bus.

CB: Tell us what to expect from your new EP.

ML: I’m currently working on it. It’s a storytelling record. Originally it was like oh I’m breaking up from DJ PHSH, but it ended up being like oh I’m breaking up with a girl and then going into a new relationship, new girl. Each track is it’s own thing – it’s a score to my own short film in my mind. I just got a bass player on it, there’s some funky samples and modern funk electronics, and a slow jam with a really ill guitar solo from Joe Jordan.

CB: Favorite closing track:

ML: Between two records.

I’m always the first one there and last one to leave, somebody better be going home with something.

Mos Def – The Pannies

Or, Jaco Pastorius – A Portrait of Tracy

It was sampled for SWV’s – The Rain.
*editor’s note – I linked to the live version of this song because it’s the shit*

CB: What’s something interesting about you outside of music?

ML: I grew up watching a lot of anime. Not like oh Pokemon’s on, Dragonball Z’s on – no, I watched Akira in a dark room by myself when I was 11. I saw Ninja Scroll when I was 9. I think it’s really funny when people try to rag on anime and act like that shit’s for nerds – it was the foundation for your entire childhood! All those cartoons you used to watch were outsourced to Asia, stop bullshitting. Do not front. I take the strongest approach possible when it comes to defending watching good anime.

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Concert Review: Tennis @ Underground Arts (November 7, 2013)

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By Shannen Gaffney

Denver based indie pop group Tennis played on November 7th to an intimate and excited crowd at the Underground Arts space in Center City Philadelphia, which opened just last year. If you haven’t been to Underground Arts before, you’re missing out! The coolest new semi-hidden venue in Philly, it’s a small industrial warehouse-type of basement, covered in Christmas lights and art pieces.

They began the set with “Petition,” and played most of the best songs from 2012’s Young & Old: “My Better Self,” “Traveling,” and “It All Feels the Same,” along with some new songs. Their new EP, Small Sound, is a continuation of their cutesy, airy pop sound and has been released on the band’s own label, Communion. Alaina’s signature lush vocals are the focus point of Small Sound. On their single, “Mean Streets,” she sings, “Born and raised on the mean streets / That’s where she learned how to keep the beat”. The rest of the EP is full of similarly playful lyrics and melodies that got the small but energetic crowd dancing all night.

Here are some pictures from the show!

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by | November 9, 2013 · 3:05 pm

One of the BEST Moments of My Life at a Show

By Maeve Walker

I went to see Bomb the Music Industry at the church – it was maybe my second or third time seeing them. Not only are they are great band recorded, they are even more fun live. I was with a few friends, who also knew how much I liked them.

Never in my life had I ever crowd-surfed. Ever. It’s pretty scary, in theory. You’re up in the air, all willy-nilly, leaving your fate up to the crowd to carry you or let you fall. It’s not something that I normally would be interested in.

Bomb the Music Industry has a song “Sort of Like Being Pumped,” – it’s the final song on my favorite album, Scrambles. My friend, Jake, said that they don’t usually play that song (which bummed me out because it was my favorite song at the time).

Towards the end of the show, with only a few songs left, Jeff Rosenstock started playing the guitar riff of the song. My heart started beating really fast and soon I was singing stupidly with happiness.

Jake is pretty well known in Philly. He’s a larger than life person, in all aspects of the word. He probably saw my face light up and got an idea in his head – to throw me into the air unexpectedly at the big climax of the song.

As the song continues, we are near the middle of the crowd – if you know me, you know I like to be far away from crazy people running around because I typically wear glasses and am a girl that bruises easily. I like to watch the action from a safe distance.

The pivotal moment – the song is about to hit the big finale:

“IT’S BEEN A LONG DAMN WEEK WE GOTTA REST OUR TIRED FEET…”

Boom.

Jake takes me around the waist and chucks me into the air.

I’m on top of the crowd.

And I kid you not, confetti cannons go off, streamers fly through the air. Champange bottles are popped onstage.

It was like that exact moment was MADE for me to make my way towards the band, being carried by the crowd.

It was truly one of the most surreal moments of my life. I will never forget the song, the band, the streamers – the super ecstatic feeling of being on top of the world, totally immersed in a great song and band.

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