Blaqstarr Divine EP & NYC Showcases – January 27th & 29th

Blaqstarr is gearing up for his Divine EP to drop on January 25th, and we trust our friends at Spin, who say this about the record: “imagine Prince remaking Sign O’ The Times as a banging, Baltimore club record.” That’s all we need to hear. Sold. Blaqstarr is part of N.E.E.T. Recordings, M.I.A.‘s label, along with a favorite young firecracker Rye Rye. In 2007 their song “Shake It To the Ground” grew from an underground Baltimore club thing to a widespread dance hit. Now Blaqstarr’s doing his solo thing on the Divine EP, showcasing his fearless and relentlessly experimental brand of electronic hip-hop.

He’s coming to New York City next week with performances at Santos Party House & Good Units. Music, event info, and photos from our  SVEDKA event with Blaqstarr after the jump.

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Giant Step 2010 Event Highlights: Photo & Video Recap

We had some unforgettable events this year, thanks to some incredible artists. Here’s a few of our favorites from the year with video and photo recaps. What was your favorite show this year? (Much more after the jump…)

+ Gilles Peterson and Questlove double bill 10 hour DJ set at The Florida Room during WMC
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+ Erykah Badu‘s secret show at Good Units at Hudson


+ Janelle Monáe‘s The ArchAndroid album release show at Highline Ballroom


+ Raphael Saadiq at Central Park Summerstage


+ Robyn‘s performance at Skybar at Mondrian in Los Angeles
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+ Aloe Blacc at Art Basel

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Exclusive Track by The Beast: “Come Up, Come Down” + MP3

The Beast & Nnenna Freelon released their jazz-hip-hop hybrid, Freedom Suite, for free download on Okayplayer’s new jazz-inspired channel, The Revivalist, in October. Since then, extra goodies have been released to supplement the Freedom Suite album: the “Freedom Pt 2″ music video, a Phonte freestyle and the non-album track, “Black Fantastic.”

This song “Come Up, Come Down” is more complete than a freestyle, but not quite polished enough to be a final studio track. Not included anywhere on the album, this song showcases the unique composition of The Beast. This full album is available for free on Bandcamp.

The Beast – “Come Up, Come Down” [MP3]
 

Art Basel Performance by Aloe Blacc & The Grand Scheme; Blaqstarr; Plus Alec Monopoly, and DJs Nick Cohen, and Jamie Biden – Photo Recap

Thank you Miami for being sexy even in the dead of winter. Thank you Art Basel for bringing together so much art and love in one town. Thank you SVEDKA for giving us delicious libations. Thank you Morgans for giving us a beautiful space to get down in, and thank YOU for coming out and having a grand old time with us.

Inside World Wide

Remember when people wrote liner notes in their CDs? Including rare insight from the artist, reviews from real journalists, lyrics for every song, and sometimes yearbook-style shout outs? If you’re anything like the average music consumer, you’d be hard-pressed to find any of these things in your current collection. As the music industry continues to move into a digital sector, vinyl and CDs have become more and more like novelty items. But those of us that appreciate this novelty take it seriously, and want to pay sufficient respect to our music by packaging it with extra quality material.

Gilles Peterson World Wide (A Celebration of his Syndicated Radio Show), out for release on 10/11, is one of these exceptions in the digital world. Fans of Gilles Peterson the DJ, World Wide the show, music history and/or plain good music will love the 15-page full color booklet included with this 2xCD. It has everything we’ve been missing in CD booklets: vintage photos (Gilles at 16 years old! awww), newspaper clippings, original letters, and personal stories from Gilles as well as the people who surrounded him, like Benji B, Beccy Grierson, Jez Nelson and Ben Cave.

This compilation is really about the history of the GPWW radio show on Radio 1. In this case, we have people to tell it in nostalgic detail and plenty of documents and photos to show the significance of certain images and events- for example Gilles getting ‘sacked’ for playing ‘Peace Jazz’ during the Gulf War. Despite the apparent ups and downs, detailed in the liner notes, Gilles Peterson’s radio career is an amazing story. But the story is best told by the music itself.

More Info & Tracklisting