Next Step November Artist Spotlight: Tensei

 

Our November Next Step Artist Spotlight goes to Chicago based production duo Tensei! Hats off, gentelmen.

Meaning ‘heaven star’ in Japanese, Tensei consists of producers Simple X and Midas Wells, kindred spirits of sorts, one might say. Midas from the Chicago suburbs and Simple X from the Chicago south side, the two first met circa 1998 at the dorms of Southern Illinois University during a cypher. Soon, the two were banging out tunes on whatever their limited student resources could afford. However, Tensei’s journey has certainly been anything but linear: post graduation saw a “regular” job for X and a momentary complete departure from music for Midas.

Then came the serendipitous run in at a mutual friend’s gig a few years ago and Tensei was born. Both committed to their crafts, Tensei does not heavily rely on samples and in fact play many musical parts themselves. Any gaps that need to be filled are done by session musicians and vocalists. An incredible amalgam of soul, house, jazz, electronic, and eastern sounds comes alive.

Below, you can find a pretty freakin awesome grab bag of Tensei treats. The first is an exclusive stream of “Space Colony,” a tropical cosmic tune fit for an RPG (role playing game, for the non-video game nerds). Next is “The Ticket,” a drum heavy industrial sounding track with a bit of a Latin feel. Then we move to Tensei’s remix of “Robots” by the beloved Bilal, the track that actually got the talented duo signed to Plug Research. Finally, is perhaps our tastiest treat, the “Tensei Plugcast,” a completely engrossing DJ mix of songs from their massive archive dubbed with live violin and trumpet no less.

These dudes are going places, y’all. Watch for it.

Tensei – “Space Colony”
 

Tensei – “The Ticket” [MP3]
 

Bilal Robots ft. Adad (Tensei Remix Alternate Version) by Plug Research

Plug Research Podcast #14: Tensei by Plug Research

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ADaD and Illmind’s “Wishful Thoughts” + MP3

 

Chicago emcee ADaD is steady on the move with Q-Tip and all-star production lineup including Madlib, Exile, and Waajeed on his team. Having already released an impressive stream of material, ADaD is currently working on an album with Exile. While you wait for those goodies, we suggest you take a listen to his latest release with Illmind, the audibly triumphant “Wishful Thoughts.” Stream and free MP3 download below!

ADaD X Illmind “Wishful Thoughts” by allnaturalinc

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Louie Vega Celebrates The Shrine’s 2 Year Anniversary in Chicago – Sun, 6/5

Our favorite Chicago venue is gearing up to celebrate their second anniversary and you know they are going to do it with a bang. On Sunday, June 5th, Louie Vega with the help of resident DJ Terry Hunter will ring in a new year at The Shrine. This is a very special Chicago appearance for the legendary Master At Work, so get there early and make sure you bring your dance shoes because there will be no wallflowers at this party.

The Shrine

Rahsaan Patterson and Avery*Sunshine – Sat, 4/30

Hail up Chi-town! Neo-Soul sensation Rahsaan Patterson will be performing live at The Shrine in Chicago on Saturday, April 30th. Joining him as a special guest is the lovely songstress Avery*Sunshine, and backing them both are Verzatile and DJ Mark Fulla Flava. This will be a night full of songs about love and the small things in life that make you want to shout with joy, so get your tickets now.

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Questlove with Chicago Afrobeat Project – 4/23

Good news Chicago, our favorite drummer, producer and deejay Questlove will be rocking the house this Saturday, April 23rd, at The Shrine, with a special early performance from Chicago Afrobeat Project, who are kicking off a 3-month residency at The Shrine it so happens, so keep a look out for more of their shows.

Get there early to enjoy the premiere screening of The Return of Chicago Cool: The Creation of The Shrine. Doors open at 8pm, with viewing of documentary promptly at 8:30pm. All early-goers will receive complimentary admission to Questlove as well as a hosted cocktail bar courtesy of CIROC.

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