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ROCK OF ASIAN: Nosaj Thing

May 20th, 2009 | 0 comments | Posted by Diana


L.A. beatmaster Nosaj Thing (real name: Jason Chung) was profiled last week by Flavorwire‘s Tomas Palermo, who celebrated the young Angeleno as chief among Southern California’s hot bunch of experimental beatmakers (or, more lovingly, “MIDI warriors”).

In this dense Q&A (prepare to take an ego hit if you hear about 35 artist names dropped that you don’t know), Chung emerges as a charming, ambitious electronic producer–a self-confessed web geek whose inspiration comes equally from Chopin and Daedelus, that composed much of his latest and greatest on a laptop while in air transit (an approach we’re happily familiar with).

We’ve tasted his newest tracks, and trust us, they’re delicious–lulling yet alive, dangerously smooth and complex. Now we’re dying to buy his new release, Drift, which drops digitally next week (a week earlier than the CD/LP)–so might we suggest buying the mp3 version if you’re a web geek, too?

[Flavorwire: Exclusive - Nosaj Thing Rides LA’s Post-Dilla Glitch-Hop Wave]

Thanks, Josh!

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ROCK OF ASIAN: Daichi, the Human Beatbox

April 22nd, 2009 | 0 comments | Posted by Diana


Two songs have aggressively claimed real estate in my mind for the past week–thanks to my friend Pete, whose affinity for dancepop-crack is not just a bit unsettling.

Perhaps you’re familiar with them. Track number one is a throwback: the debut hit from those wacky Romanian twins, The Cheeky Girls– “Cheeky Girls (Touch My Bum)”–which is a more mild mind offender, but perhaps the less elegant singalong song. Track two is a familiar piece for those of you who rock out to DDR and/or Sonic Superstars Tennis on your game consoles, or party down at carnival: Bellini’s “Samba de Janeiro.”

Here’s what’s wrong with this situation. I’m singing “sempre assim, em baixo, em baixo, em baixo, em baixo” in the shower. I’m humming Bellini’s synthetic horn tunes in bed at 3am when I can’t fall asleep at night. The words, “touch my bum… this is life!” slip out under my breath while browsing Crate & Barrel. I’m dancing to the silent extended dance mix while throwing down martinis at my local grown-up-folks’ wood-paneled bar.

At certain points over the last few days, I’ve felt I might die with these tunes on loop in my head. It’s really not good. It’s a mess. These songs were made to drive people insane, right? Fuck waterboarding!!

What I’m trying to say is, with these brain property-mongers in town, it’s really hard for anything else to infiltrate. I can’t hear music anymore, not in any lasting way. Not even “Take On Me” or “Tainted Love” or “The Beast and the Harlot,” which are always strong contenders for brain repeat.

So I am stunned to say that beatboxer Daichi, who arrived at my synapses via BuzzFeed this week, is making a pretty excellent play:

How I could possibly spend all day repeating a bass line that originated somewhere in this fine young man’s throat is beyond me. But it’s happening. And while I may sound ridiculous crab scratching while ordering tacos at the truck this afternoon, it’ll be a happy relief from all that bum touching I accidentally solicited while perusing brightly-colored kitchen bowls.

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Thanks, jRu! Thanks, Pete?

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Love. Angel. Rino. Baby.

February 12th, 2009 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen

Hey, did ya hear the good news? One of the Harajuku Slaves is free. She can be seen Thursday nights on MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew with her fly b-girl group, Beat Freaks. As Lil’ Mama would say, they dance harrrd. As Shane Sparks would say, they rip it. As vest-wearing blowhard JC Chasez would say…oh, who cares what vest-wearing blowhard JC Chasez would say?!

You may know this Harajuku Slave as “Music.” Or that tall Harajuku Girl. Maybe you, like most people, never bothered to distinguish among the four of them and really look at their individual faces, bodies, dance styles, or personalities, because the Harajuku Slaves have always been dolled up in matching outfits and geisha makeup and forced to trail their blonde big-boned owner in silence and that was the point, really, that they were all supposed to look alike and be stripped of their individual identities and be referred to en masse as “The Harajuku Girls,” riiiiiiight?

Anyhoo, true to freed slave tradition, “Music” now has a real full name: Rino Nakasone-Razalan. And homegirl is hawt, even without geisha makeup, if you can imagine. And she’s got really dope moves. And she’s part of a female hip-hop dance group who’s inspiring girls all over the country that they can do anything boys can do, backwards and in heels.


Never mind that Rino was part of a hideous cultural phenomenon on par with “Love You Long Time” that will have Asian chicks for the next generasian fighting to be seen as real people with real names and real voices and distinct personalities and not just “Harajuku Girls.” Oh well, whatever, nevermind. Why nitpick on such a historic occasion? The point is, she’s free! Free at last, free at last, God Almighty, Rino Nakasone-Razalan is free at last!!!

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