Recommendation - Bowie's Impeccable and Mature Approach to Taste

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You go through stages in your life as someone who’s passionate about something. There’s the early phase where you are raw and nothing but pure energy taking in everything possible like a sponge. There’s the participation phase where you get involved learning about that interest, developing a community around that shared interest. The next stage is (all bravado and not actually) that you know everything and can flex your muscles as a knowledge base. You take in less and pontificate a lot. Now knowing more than you did in the beginning there’s now ego. You become a (annoying) know it all. You rigorously support and create levels to which newbies must attain to earn your respect within the space. Then as you get older you (hoepfully) get over yourself and that ego. The things you held high as the word of god itself don’t matter as much as it once did. You enjoy and celebrate others enjoying the same thing. No longer a proud gate-keeper you share with no agenda of one-upping or proving yourself. You share as a means to give to others around you.

David Bowie’s Favorite Albums
David Bowie’s Favorite Books

I doubt David Bowie went through the cultural fan life cycle I described above. I believe that David had it figured out from the beginning as a young person. I believe that he was excited and inspired not letting ego overtake him as it did to so many. He let inspiration come and allowed that inspiration to play a part in his creative output. He never stopped being a fan. If you read interviews with him or hear from people who studied his life, he loved art in all forms. This is something we could all learn from. His fandom then and throughout his life was a mature fandom that was self-assured and not afraid to share obvious things that people would not expect when their playing the “how obscure can you get” recommendation game. It comes across as you read the list. Also making a list is difficult. Good Job, David.

Recommendation - Let’s Rave! Dipset Trance Party

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If I told you that Trance and Hip Hop could be a great combination would you believe me? I wouldn’t. But it’s TRUE! Read on….

I was late to Cam’ron and the Dipset Revolution that happened in the early to mid 2000’s. By the time I started paying attention to Cam I was living in NYC in 2008 where I was swept up in the fever of his past work and acclaim. I missed the 02 - 06 prime, which was where Cam, Juelz, Jim Jones and Purple set affiliates were releasing key mixtapes (CDR status), setting fashion trends, and were the soundtrack to all of Harlem.

In 2008 or 2009 Cam’ron came to my job to do a listening party for his soon to be released album “Crime Pays.” The album was ok but listening to it live the thing that stood out to me was the instrumentals. The beats were the 2000’s rap equivalent to Spector’s “Wall of Sound” and My Bloody Valentines 90’s fuzz tones. The sonics were out of control and distorted (in a good way). It was 100% maximalism.

I later learned that majority of the production was produced by a cadre of producers that produced exclusively for Dipset. One of those producers was named “AraabMuzik” who later went on to become a solo artist and live act in his own right. AraabMuzik’s profile shot up a year later in 2010 and he released his debut album in 2011. His music/live set was cool but the real story was the group of producers who he came up with that along with him had a deep fascination with trance music.

I’m not sure but sometime between 2009 and 2011 they released a series of mixtapes that explored mashing-up (I know an awful word that should never be used in music) Trance and Hip Hop, two entirely divergent styles of music. The music sounds like the “Eurovision Song Contest” at a rave in Harlem through the filters of kids influenced by Just-Blazed, Bink!, and other BIG BEAT producers of that time.

I present to you Dipset Trance Party Volumes 1, 2, and 3. I IMPLORE you to download these ASAP as they could be gone in the near future. Rave on!

Inspiration - Crew

Thoughts - Saba's emotional honesty and grief on "Care For Me"

I was walking down the street listening to Saba’s heartfelt, heartbreaking, and uplifting album “Care For Me” and it touched me. When the album finished I felt like I had just got done with watching a great movie. It achieves the feat of taking grief and circumstance, putting it into music and making you as stranger who has no relationship to anyone involved feel something. Powerful. I wanted to share my thoughts so I did via audio which runs around 19 minutes. If you sit with the album from start to finish I think you’ll feel the same way I did.

“I don’t Need No One New to Miss” - Saba on “Busy”

Listen to Care For Me

Madlib Recommendation - Wrenne Evans recommends Erin Rae

Today on Jones Robinson we have our FIRST Madlib Recommendation: a series I created with the goal of getting recommendations from people who have a unique point of view and, most importantly, good taste. 

First up is one of my favorite people in the world, Ms. Wrenne Evans a photographer out of Nashville, Tennessee who covers music and culture. Wrenne loves music and makes it her world. She also has a wicked sense of humor which you can enjoy on the daily via her twitter account. Her recommendation is the singer songwriter “Erin Rae.”  

Inspiration - Ralph Gibson Photographer

Ralph Gibson
American Art Photographer
www.ralphgibson.com

Jones Robinson Mix Series - 12.31.18 Mix

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New mix for you that I recorded about a week ago. This is a all vinyl Hip Hop (ish) mix

Tracklist
Looking Over a City - Latyrx featuring EL-Producto 
9Th Wonder - Digable Planets
I’m #1!!! - Boogie Down Productions 
Rico featuring Frank Ocean - MelloHype 
We Rank First - The Cuf 
Hollywood Divorce featuring Lil Wayne & Snoop Dogg - Outkast 
All The Way Live featuring King Tee - Alkaholiks
kemskreets.fekts - Knxwledge
Ain’t Sayin’ Nothin New - The Roots 
What cha Saying (DUB) - EPMD 
Rainy Dayz - Raekwon & Ghostface Killah
Shut Up - Lil Kim
Baby Phat featuring Devin the Dude - De La Soul 
Sitting on Chrome - Masta Ace Incorporated 
Crisis - Jam City
Burn (Instrumental) - Mobb Deep
Be Out - Mr. Lif 
Emergency - Dungeon Family
Da Beeper Record featuring Pharrell - Fam-Lay
African Fantasy - Native Son

Scene Report - Mexico City

Photography: Amanda Contrada

Photography: Amanda Contrada

I have always been interested in learning about and knowing what’s going on in cultural scenes within cities that I live. But with the emergence of the internet, I later became interested in scenes outside of my city. To have the ability to search for what’s happening in far away places, learn about artists I wouldn’t have known of previously, and see the types of creativity happening in different cities helped make the world smaller. It challenged and rounded out my tastes. People everywhere are creating culture. I have friends in many places and I love to ask them what’s happening culturally in those cities so I can know what’s going on, too.

With that I wanted to share a correspondence from Amanda Contrada — an expat from NYC (by way of Massachusetts) — who’s currently based in Mexico City. I met Amanda back in 2014 through friends in the music/media business. We’ve stayed in touch and even worked together for a while. Amanda has always been a passionate DIY participant, truly living the lifestyle as part of a generation of Brooklyn culture kids who produced and booked their own shows in the early part of this decade. She’s walks it like she talks it. I asked Amanda to tell me what it’s like in Mexico city and here’s what she wrote below.

My decision to move to Mexico City was one of the most spontaneous, random, unplanned things I’ve ever done. So far, no regrets. I had visited Mexico City a couple years ago and had the sensation as I left of heart strings being pulled as a part of me wanted to stay, so when I was looking for a new way to push myself and, corny as it sounds, grow as a person, I took a quick trip back down to reconfirm that yes, I like DF and yes, I have enough friends, leads, etc to make it work, and then packed up my life.

One of the reasons I was drawn to Mexico City was the music scene that I knew honestly very little about before moving down. My main insight into the scene here was based around Naafi, a crew of producers and DJs who have become one of Mexico’s most well-known exports, at least with music-blog-reading nightlife addicts (guilty). What I hadn’t realized is how much the scene here is based around parties vs live performances, electronic or otherwise. To be honest, I have mixed feelings about this, but there are some amazing parties, many in the queer scene, ranging from the Naafi ones to Traicion (both of which have Mexican Jihad in common as a driving force) to Por Detroit to Pervert

In a lot of ways the parties in CDMX remind me of some of the NY parties like Bunker or Papi Juice or Unter, but the onda of the parties here has much to do with the spirit of DIY as the music, repurposing unused and industrial spaces in a way that rarely happens in the post-Ghostship US. One party I recently went to was held in an abandoned hotel, with people crowding the landings on 3 floors to listen to the DJ play in the stairwell, dipping in and out of smaller rooms that held performance installations, art, and bars. At some point plaster from the ceiling rained down on my friend and me and I danced with grit and dust in my hair for the rest of the night. I grew up as a DIY kid and watched venue after venue close in NY – venues that my friends ran, that I booked at, that I occasionally slept at after particularly long nights – and to me, these parties where the environments are created by the organizers are complete in ways that they can never be when they’re in spaces run by traditional venue owners or created by brands.

I dated a Mexican guy for a minute who was a self-proclaimed hippy. Everything with him was ondas, vibras, y siendo fluido. Personally, I think he was full of shit, but the importance of onda is a value that feels very representative of Mexican culture to me. Buenas ondas, or good vibes, seem like an obvious thing to focus on in nightlife, but their weight in CDMX feels far greater than in other nightlife scenes I’ve explored. A party is good or bad here based on the vibe, not based on how easy or hard it is to get in, the name recognition of an artist playing, if you can see and be seen, or how hedonistic it gets. It’s the communities, the spaces, the sense of freedom vs hedonism. It’s about getting caught up enough to not check your watch and clock out at 2 or 3am, and to keep dancing with plaster in your hair.