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Links 1 through 10 of 3455 Wayne Marshall's Bookmarks

"Wallpaper music? None here. These are the albums that have shifted moods and created new worlds"

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' Dancehall crashed the mainstream in 2016, providing the sound and, crucially, the rhythm for the year’s biggest hits, from Drake’s ‘One Dance’ and Rihanna’s ‘Work’ to underground gems on Swing Ting and Mixpak. But should we be worried that, despite dancehall’s commercial clout, so few Jamaican artists are in the spotlight? Marvin Sparks reflects on a breakthrough year for the sound that should never be labelled “tropical house.” '

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PRECOLUMBIAN: I feel like a lot of those spaces really are intentionally meant to stay underground, because they want to have that safety. We do very targeted promotion for our parties so that we only bring the community in.

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PRECOLUMBIAN: As people in the margins, a lot of us are coming with so many life experiences and traumas, so it's essential to create a space that excludes the oppressions that a lot of people face. [For Cutn Paste, my night in Philly,] we created a manifesto to make sure people knew what we were about and the space that we were trying to create. The space is meant for queer people of color and their safety is of utmost importance. We wanted to have our intentions set forward so that people knew what we were about because we wanted to make sure that the people that we did create the space for felt safe and nurtured in that space: we don't tolerate racism, homophobia, fatphobia, transphobia, misogyny, and stuff like that. It's important to just name those things so that people know what is expected of them.

LA RAT: I definitely feel a lot of responsibility, as an organizer and as a DJ, for holding that space, but it's not just something that I hold — it's something that a ton of people in the room are holding. It makes a huge difference who's on staff and what kind of conversations you can have with the staff of a club before a party, and what kind of ongoing relationships and understandings you can build.

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'It’s hard to explain just how beautiful it feels to be surrounded by queer Latinxs, listening to the music of our childhoods, dancing the dances we learned at family parties, but doing it in beautiful transversive queer pairings. Nothing gives me more joy than seeing two queer Latina women dancing salsa, one of them leading the other even though she probably had to teach herself that role. Or two gay Latino men dancing close and sexy to a bachata rhythm. The lyrics may not be about our love, but in those moments we reclaim it wholeheartedly.'

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Jazz musicians have always improvised over different rhythms but, if you go to a jazz gig these days, you’re likely to hear a lot of musicians playing over the “slugging” beat popularised by the hip-hop producer J Dilla. It’s that wonky, slightly drunken-sounding funk beat that seems to have joined the arsenal of rhythms used by jazz musicians, alongside such mainstays as swing, bossa nova and the jazz waltz. “It’s basically the sound of someone sampling a funk beat on an Akai MPC sampler and editing it wrong,” says Rob Turner, drummer in the Mercury-nominated Manchester jazz trio Go Go Penguin. “Instead of starting the sample at the ‘transient’ – the start of the beat – it starts fractionally after that point. So the snare drums and hi-hats are all in slightly the wrong place. It sounds sluggish and disjointed and slightly screwed up, but it also sounds quite cool. And it’s something that young jazz drummers have worked out how to play. Go around music colleges and you’ll hear student drummers dividing up a bar into countless subdivisions and working how to ‘slug’ fluently – somewhere between ‘swung’ crotchets and ‘straight’ crotchets. Nowadays, so many young jazz drummers have learned to play like that we’ve started to call it the ‘college beat’. It shows you how jazz musicians have thoroughly internalised the hip-hop they’ve grown up with.”

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“If you want to create a great breakbeat, for instance, there is a sonic language and a feel that you have to understand. For instance, you can’t do it with an 18-inch bass drum [the standard size for jazz drummers]. You need one with a 20- or 22-inch diameter. You have to tune your snare drum differently. You can’t crash your cymbals every eight bars. Instead of adding fills, you have to remove components of that beat, or add juddering bass beats. And so on. If you’re not a hip-hop head, you won’t know that something’s wrong. The jazz musicians who have grown up with hip-hop, however, know this implicitly.”

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Douglas Sherman remembers Mancuso and the Loft:

I knew the records well because I loved to dance and that's essentially how I started at the Loft, just coming simply to dance. I'd come with a change of clothes because some of these were 14-hour parties. David would start at midnight and some of the best parties wouldn't end until 4PM on Sunday afternoon. By that time, some of my friends and I were soaked. We came to realize we had to come with a change of clothes because if it was cold outside, you didn't want to go out there all wet.
I think the idea of the Loft in terms of the musical side of things was this idea of transitions. David would refer to it as "the Bardos," which is kind of a loose reference to the Tibetan Book of the Dead. It's about the transitions we go from in our conscious state to a sleeping state, to different states and death and so on, in terms of a musical approach. I guess there was his idea of transitions [at the loft] taking things from calm to circus and then re-entry, which then takes all at some point. So in terms of the musical arc, David had a very profound way of using his musical sensibility and how he would achieve that arc, and how it would affect people on the receiving end—inspiring people to respond in terms of dance.

I think what also was very important was the sense of freedom at the Loft. It's like when you're looking at yourself in the mirror at home alone, and you start doing things that you might otherwise be embarrassed doing if there was somebody in the room looking at you. We didn't make fun of each other, and there were always some really good dancers there. But there were also others who weren't, and they shouldn't feel any less inhibited by it to dance and be free, to express themselves based on how the music might inspire them. I think that was really, really important for David and in part why we ask that people don't take pictures on the dance floor. There was just a certain kind of idea that this area is kind of sacred, and it's for you to be free and not

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Matos rounds up far more than a semester's worth of EDM reading

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'Claiming that it had realized an unprecedented level of Negro self-expression, it created a body of literature that even the most optimistic among us find wanting when compared to the blues and jazz compositions epitomized by Bessie Smith and the young Duke Ellington, two brilliant artists who were not often invited to the New Negro salons. It was not the literature of this period that realized a profound contribution to art; rather, it was the black creators of the classic blues and jazz whose creative works, subsidized by the black working class, defined a new era in the history of Western music. . . .'

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'Club music finds hetero men and women partaking in the raunch of club together willingly and comically. Meanwhile, emboldened queer voices like Miss Tony’s course through the genre to this day. Club’s sexuality, fun, malleable, and engaging, must cater to everybody in the club—male, female, trans, gay, straight—and as a result, enables a kind of pragmatic intersectionalism.'

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' The songwriting team of Mike Stoller and Jerry Leiber were responsible as much or more than anyone else on the planet for the “crossover” of the rhythm and blues music invented by African-Americans into the mainstream of American popular song. They wrote “Kansas City,” which was a hit for Wilbert Harrison and then again for James Brown;“Hound Dog” and “Jailhouse Rock,” which helped make Elvis Presley famous; “Yakety Yak,” “Charlie Brown,” and “Poison Ivy” for the Coasters; “Searchin’,” which was a hit for the Coasters and then for the Hollies; “Young Blood,” which was a hit for the Coasters and then Bad Company. They co-wrote and/or produced great songs by the Drifters like “There Goes My Baby” and Ben E. King’s “Stand By Me.” They wrote “Ruby Baby,” which was recorded by the Drifters, Dion, and Donald Fagen of Steely Dan. They wrote “Spanish Harlem,” which was recorded by Ben E. King and Aretha Franklin. They wrote “I Keep Forgettin,’” which was repurposed by Michael McDonald and then became Warren G. and Nate Dogg’s “Regulate.”

Talking to Mike Stoller for two hours in a hotel lobby about songwriting, music, African-American musicians and Jewish songwriters was a thrill, as well as a welcome reminder of the wild hybrid spirit that helped make 20th century Americans a great people, and which characterize the uniqueness of their popular art, from music to painting to literature to dance to cartoons to stand-up comedy. What follows is a lightly edited version of our conversation. '

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'She didn’t want to listen to a couple of white guys, white teenagers, telling her what to do. Anyway on the way to the studio the following day, we said, “You know, she oughta growl it.” So then it was, “Well, who’s going to tell her?”
...
We mentioned it, and she said, “Don’t be telling me how to sing blues, white boy.” However, of course, it stuck in her head, and boom! It was a fabulous performance. She was really sensational.'

'And I must admit, even though we were disappointed at first with Elvis’s version of “Hound Dog”

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