static to distortion

On Friday night after my gig at Cafe Metropol I sat in my car, in front of my house, for a good half hour or more, completely transfixed.  The lights were off, the engine was off, but the radio was on.  I sat there with my s.o. as we stared blankly out the windshield, listening to Exile perform a live set on KPFK.

He was always one of my favorite producers (his album “Dirty Science” is completely sans the chain) but that night he became my hero.  Exile had sat in the radio station’s studio the first hour before his interview just sampling the output of the radio show.  He then proceeded to create an on-the-spot sound/beat collage using the samples he just captured.  He then went into a set of tracks from his just-released album, which uses the same premise: created from samples culled entirely from the radio.  El Keter has a great Blogarhythms post about the new album–titled succinctly, “Radio.” That night I went straight to my computer and bought it from iTunes.

Exile has an uncanny sense for rhythm as finely tuned as J Dilla, with a musical pallette that is absolutely unique.  “Radio,” from start to finish, was constantly putting my ears in a state of “holy shit, I’ve never been in this place before, and yet, it feels oddly familiar.”  It’s euphorically disorienting, aurally rich, politically poignant, and his beats are still funky as hell.  I’ll venture to say that when music historians look back, they’ll see the release of this album as groundbreaking and important an event as the release of Endtroducing…..

As much as I used to rag on LA, it’s a wonderful time to be living here.  Some of the most amazing music on the planet is coming from here at this moment.

Published in: on January 26, 2009 at 3:10 am  Leave a Comment  

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