Sunday, December 29, 2013

Clusterfunk Collective presents Take Five: Big Willie Dynamite [Interview]

Big Willie Dynamite blew up the stage with their bombastic opening for Gift of Gab at Blunt Club Oakland this past November, blazing the trail for a spot on the entire audiences playlist. The trio took time to talk to us about the origin of the group and what's on tap for 2014.

"Take Five" to tap into the talent beyond the surface.

1.) How did Big Willie Dynamite come to be?

DJ Ray and I are brothers, and we were working on a project for our other group, The Buckle Bros. We have known each other for years and we called Marc Stretch from Foreign Legion for a guest feature on a song. The song was called "Good Times", and well the times were so good we decided to form like Voltron and record a whole album together. Two albums releases and plenty of shows later we just fit. Our personalities, style, creativity and vision all went together like cornbread and collard greens.

2.) Your music seems to attract a diverse audience. Can you speak to how that influences your creativity?

The climate, culture and audience has changed over the years in the rap game, and if you want to keep up with the ever-changing diversity you need to adapt. We have adapted over the years by paying attention and listening, the proverbial "ear to the street" if you will. You can't just look and sound like your average rapper any longer. We understand there is an ever-changing and diverse audience looking and listening to us, so we have to make music that has reach. So from a creative standpoint it presents a motivating challenge - which we love. It has raised the bar creatively. It has taken our music into directions that a diverse audience will appreciate - from introducing different instrumentation that's used around the world to using different diverse musicians that can take the sound into new and fresh directions. It makes creativity fun and exciting (and it doesn't hurt that we live in the Bay Area - rich with diversity). It has to lend a hand in molding who we are and what music we make. For us where we live from a diversity standpoint plays a huge part of our influence in the music we create.

3.) You described your Blunt Club showcase as a "huge success." How has the performance helped boost your brand?

That was a very special night for us for a variety of reasons. First off, we were happy to be able to help pack the house for our friends at Legionnaire Saloon and Blunt Club Oakland. There aren't a lot of solid venues left for good, non-mainstream hip-hop these days so nights like these are very important to the local scene as a whole. Secondly, that show and this album are both re-introductions for our group. It's been a pretty lengthy stretch between the last album and this one so you think to yourself, "Are our fans still checking for us?". I think the answer that night was a resounding "hell yeah!" We also incorporated a lot of new things in the stage show, and both the crowd response and the feedback afterwards were both way higher than I think any of us anticipated. I haven't been mobbed like that in a while (laughs). I think somebody asked Mondo to autograph his girlfriend! I guess our brand visibility has has seen the biggest boost due to that show. Our site ( has seen more traffic than normal, and Bandcamp downloads are flying "off the shelves." I also feel like we put people on notice that the boys are back in town so you better step your show game up.

4.) If you could collaborate with anyone right now, who would that be and why?

(Mondo) For me it would be Kanye "you ain't got the answers, Sway" West because as much as he has convinced me that he may be fucking nuts, I truly respect his courage as an artist to think outside the box musically. He is fearless, and that is so very hard to find when the music industry is so robotic.

(Stretch) You took the name right out of my mouth. I've been a fan of Kanye's since hearing "Heart of the City." Since his early days, he's really been a trailblazer and had confidence in his instincts. Anybody that believes in themselves and follows their heart always has my respect. I don't think 'Ye is as crazy as he's making himself out to be, yet genius and crazy are often separated by a very thin line. How thin? As thin as your chances of marrying a Kardashian.

(Ray) Pharoache Monch and Black Thought of the Roots. Two of my favorites. I already work with 2 beasts, so if I was gonna have to work outside of our team, it would have to be 2 more fuckin' beasts!! I'm selfish like that, so I would have to have an even swap, or all 4 of em' on the mic. That would be cool as well. We would be on some year 3000 super Wu-Tang times 10 shit.

5.) What do you have in store for the New Year?

Everyone likes to say their album is the best. Selling yourself and self promotion is how people get on in this industry - along with sex tapes ;) The new year will bring an album from the team that will socially bring up some topics that are currently not being discussed in music. We have been blessed with a gift and it would be a shame to waste it on big booty hoes, maybachs and molly. That is what we have in store for the New Year and we can honestly say that we are excited to share it with all of you.

FOLLOW @bigwilliemusic

Saturday, December 28, 2013



Weekly roundup of remixes, rarities, flips and edits - compiled by Clusterfunk Collective.


Friday, December 27, 2013

Flowback Fridays: Modern Dayican [Video]


M.E.D.: Blaxican

James Shorter: Modern Day Woman

Radio Juicy presents FloFilz: Some More Remixes [Album]

Radio Juicy lets loose of 11 impeccable reworks from German soundcraftsman FloFilz - including a rawkus revamp of Broad Factor (Quasimoto).

DOWNLOAD Some More Remixes

T.R.O.Y. presents Brothers Want To Hang With The Meth Bring The Rope [Mixtape]

DOWNLOAD Brothers Want To Hang With The Meth Bring The Rope

DJ Evil Dee: All James Everything [Mix]

DOWNLOAD All James Everything

DJ RQ Away: Lagniappe Issue #3 [Mix]

From RQ Away:

Recently a friend asked "why do you make these mixes, whatchu get out of it?" I stumbled around an answer but since that question was asked I just kept hearing the question on repeat in my mind. I promised myself that I wouldn't make another one until I could put into words a clear answer. Here it is: It's my only time to create my own works of art in private. Reflecting only what I want to say in a personally groovy manner. Each song is a paint of a different color, somewhere between the speakers and the listener's mind lies a canvas that excepts every stroke, splash and error.

I'm pretty sure this may have something to do with my current nomination in Offbeat Magazine's "Best Of The Beat" Awards. If you dig this mix I ask you show your appreciation with a vote and a share to whomever you wish.

Vote Here:

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Clusterfunk Collective presents Take Five: Jan Dulay [Interview]

At the tender age of 19, Jan Dulay has the world at her fingertips. A self-taught singer, songwriter and guitarist, she has covered a broad spectrum of singles, in addition to producing two EPs in two years. Add to that her participation in indie trio the Mildewcaines and you can see why she is what's next.

"Take Five" to tap into the talent beyond the surface.

1.) You are an entirely self-trained guitarist. Did you learn the chords first or go the route of trial and error?

I definitely learned chords first and during that learning process my fingers were callused and hurting and I'm pretty sure my fingerprints are partially deteriorated because of it. It was all probably math to me, since I learned tabs first and they were all numbers, and I loved math in middle school. For me that was the easiest way to learn because once I had them all in my head, I could just think up progressions and write away. I'm pretty sure middle school was my music prime.

2.) How do your culture and your life experiences contribute to your art?

A lot of my songs are fictional and not a lot of my life experiences go into them because I'm a tame and timid kind of person, and if someone looked at the lyrics from Hiraeth and L they'd probably look at me and wonder what kind of person I am. Some of my songs were supposed to be these extremely intricate film scripts I was gonna write. For example, Sorry (Mr. Powell) is about a 19 year old girl falling in love with a 30 something year old man and feeling sorry for him and all the trouble she caused him. I've never been in love with an older man unless you count Robert Downey Jr., and frankly I've never caused him any harm. Cyanide was a take on Frank Ocean, full of falsettos, similes, and metaphors, about falling in love with someone who'll probably never love you. Brave is about a fictional relationship I have with a famous actor that's a recurring storyline in my dreams and an 8th grade crush I had that crashed and burned, while Slow Burn, as "sensual" as it sounds, is actually about me burning my tongue on top ramen. As for my culture, not a lot of Filipino culture goes into my music but elements of romantic bright eyed love from OPM, or Filipino tunes, do go into it.

I also try to enter gender neutral territory when it comes to my lyrics; I don't use male or female pronouns that much because I don't wanna leave anyone out. I want my music to connect to everyone, not just the sad teenage girl, or the angry teenage boy. I wanna be the person someone listens to for anything you know? Sad or happy, angry or excited, I wanna be your gal.

3.) Any plans for The Mildewcaines to put out an album/EP?

There are definitely plans for a small EP brewing. Kurt and Vince, my bandmates, are very busy high school kids like myself, but we manage to squeeze in moments together where we can sit and play music and write lyrics. I've written a whole bunch of material for an album, but we probably will go with a live EP because of our schedules. I'm looking forward to an EP but if we end up with 2 r 3 songs together, I'll just attach it to my hiatus album before I head off to college.

4.) You boast quite a collection of covers, including but not limited to an acoustin rendition of "Ni**gas In Paris." How do you select singles to revamp?

I usually go for artists I'm absolutely in love with or songs that I want to hear from a different ear. I look for songs that would have a different story if I sang it a little slower or faster or rapped it instead. If it was, for example, a Kanye West song I'd try to see how it would sound if I slowed it down a couple of beats and how different the story would sound, then I record it and see how well people take it. I've done a couple of One Direction songs for my friends and I slowed them down a lot to give them a new story from a different voice and then it goes to different ears and people love it a little differently. I try to tell a different story from the original intent of the artist I borrowed the tune from.

5.) You just turned 19. Where do you see yourself a year from now?

That's a pretty loaded question, because I don't even know what I'm gonna wear for the next school day, let alone what I'm gonna a whopping 365 days from this moment. If we were going for a realistic view of a year from now, I see myself in a college classroom prepping for my sociology degree and jotting down notes, scrunching my forehead in confusion. If we were looking at through a dreamy filter, I (would love to) see myself with a bigger following. I have this recurring dream of being on stage and having my songs sung back at me by a thousand voices and I want to see that happen. It's a lot to ask for, to be famous and loved, but there's this voice in my head that nags at me and tells me that I want this to be me. Maybe I'll do The Voice and not win, but get a following from it? Maybe I'll do a youtube video that manages to catch someone's eye and signs me to a small indie label and. It's a lot of maybes. I see myself somewhere in those maybes.

FOLLOW @jandulay
LIKE Jan Dulay on Facebook
VIEW Jan Dulay on YouTube

Saturday, December 14, 2013



Weekly roundup of remixes, rarities, flips and edits - compiled by Clusterfunk Collective.


Friday, December 13, 2013

Flowback Fridays: Let Love Roll [Video]


Partners-N-Crime: Let The Good Times Roll

Earth, Wind & Fire: Can't Hide Love

Please Contribute To The NOLA Hip-Hop Archive

New Orleans is well-know the world over for its rich musical history. From jazz to soul to hip-hop and beyond, the Big Easy has produced some of the biggest names to ever grace the stage. Yet, in regards to hip-hop, the far-reaching successes of artists such as Lil Wayne and Curren$y have not helped to shine a light on the local talent bubbling below the Mason-Dixon, several of which are familiar faces on this site.

With that being said, Holly Hobbs (artist manager, musician and promoter) has put together a team of multimedia professionals to launch a digital archive of oral commentaries and visual exhibitions to highlight "the city's rappers, producers and DJs" who helped push many performers into the mainstream of music and pop culture - most of whom "remain largely invisible."

We strongly encourage our network of artists, musicians, photographers, videographers and other creatives to "wobble, wobble and shake, shake" yourself to Kickstarter and make a pledge. Every bit helps.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Nigel Sylvester Vandalizes Mother New York [Video]

Astro: Yes I Know My G [Video]

WriteGroove & Ackryte: AckWrite [EP]

 photo ackwriteep2_zps1b0edddf.png


Talib Kweli f. Seu Jorge: Favela Love [Video]

Priceyall: Fortune Favors The Bold [Mix]

 photo priceyall2_zps148b95b9.png

DOWNLOAD Fortune Favors The Bold

L'Orange & Stik Figa: Blind Tiger [Video]

Pragmatic Theory: Horizons [Album]

 photo pt_horizons2_zps10437d32.png


Friday, December 6, 2013

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Mndsgn: Hiking / Fif Dim [Video]

Mndsgn reminds us of a young Mark Farina, particularly his use of piano, and that could never be a bad thing. In less than five minutes, his latest thermionic take on a jolted journey from one end of the sound spectrum to the other, gently gracing all of our electronic tastes in one turn.

DJ Charlie White: Antiques [Mix]

 photo djchaliewhite_antiques2_zps7130c700.png

The last time we featured DJ Charlie White was a little over a year ago when he dropped The Last Crate. Now he dusts off six singles, all of which are "previously unused tracks from the archives."


ESTA: Paradise [Album]

 photo esta_paradise2_zps39cc9fec.png

Soulection star ESTA lets listeners inside his Paradise, which features champagne collaboration Moet (alongside JBird) and an enraptured edit of the already extraordinary Beautiful (from Tajan x FWDSLSH).


Burn & Loot presents Back Row (Volume One) [Instrumental Album]

 photo backrow_volume1_zpsa2c16cc3.jpg

Recorded live at Inner Recess, Back Row (Volume One) lets loose of nine tracks from leading-edge talents Chris Cotton, Nation and Devin Lawrence - presented, mixed and mastered by Burn & Loot.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Truth & Soul Records presents Cassette Chronicles 002: Dynamite [Mix]

 photo _cassettechronicles2_zps0ef184cc.png

If you missed the first installment in the Cassette Chronicles, scoop a copy here.

DOWNLOAD Cassette Chronicles 002: Dynamite

Falside: Platypus [Instrumental Album]

 photo _platypus_zps404f0687.png


QuaiThe7thPro: Quest-ions Chapter 2: Levels

Q follows-up 2011's Quest-ions with an even more introspective 6-track EP featuring our favorite, No Love Lost.

Harn Solo f. Caliobzvr: Colors x Shapes [Video]

Millenium Jazz Music present The Jazz Jousters: Autumn (The Jazz Jousters Take Note of Oscar Peterson) [Album]

 photo _autumn_zpsc1a63574.png

Mr. Moods, Gadget and nine other producers Take Note - performing personal tributes to the often oppressed Oscar Peterson, well-known for his belief that "talent comes in a variety of packages -- black, white, brown, yellow, tall, short, fat, thin, monster-like or gentle."

DOWNLOAD Autumn (The Jazz Jousters Take Note of Oscar Peterson)

Soulection: Thank You (Compilation) [EP]

 photo _soulection_thankyou1_zpsfb6a30f9.png

Soulection comes together to give a collective Thank You to their 50,000 supporters for helping the creative conglomerate craft the "Sound of Tomorrow."


The Find Mag presents Jazzvolution (Chapter 1) [Album]

 photo _jazzvolution_zps05bccba8.png

DOWNLOAD Jazzvolution (Chapter 1)

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Clusterfunk Collective presents Take Five: DJ Sapien [Interview]

Having cut his teeth at the Stones Throw Beat Battles and contributed to more than half-a-dozen Pragmatic Theory compilations, it's safe to say that DJ Sapien is carving his own creative space. In our seventh interview, he shares some of the experiences that helped him shape his sound.

"Take Five" to tap into the talent beyond the surface.

1.) You hail form Taiwan and currently reside in the Northwest US. How has your transition to the States impacted your work?

Yeah, you know it's kind of funny in a way because growing up I pretty much explored all kinds of Western music more. I would hear my folks listening to Taiwanese pop songs or Chinese opera at home and, while I liked those types music, I was more interested in hip hop, soul, jazz and reggae. It was only when I started making beats a couple of years ago that I actually went back to my roots to find inspiration. While you won't find it much in my work as in sampling (per se) the influence is definitely there subconsciously.

2.) The Stones Throw Beat Battles helped solidify your skills. What was your greatest takeaway from that experience?

The Stones Throw Beat Battles were a turning point for me. I went in there just about two years ago and I was blown away by the amount of talented cats battling each week. I was just a beginner at the time and those guys were
so influential in shaping my perceptions, philosophy and style as a beatmaker. I learned everything from using filters and effects to not quantizing and how to get those drums to swing, so I owe everything to those battles.

3.) How did you connect with the producers at Pragmatic Theory?

Sev En from Pragmatic Theory was following the Stones Throw battles and she contacted me about being on one of their compilations. This was in August of last year, so I'd been polishing and refining my skills in those battles for nine months. I felt I was ready to put something out and the timing just all fell into place. They had put out their first compilation which was a Curtis Mayfield tribute so I was invited to be on their second release "Summer In the City". We really jived so I've been on every compilation since.

4.) You have edited Blu, Macy Gray and Danny! (to name a few). How do you determine which tracks to transform?

Well, first of all I have to like the original version but there's really not a method in choosing what to remix. Sometimes I'll be doing a beat and it will remind me of another song. Other times I'll just happen to come across an acapella that I'll specifically craft a beat for. Either way, I always want to result to have a completely different vibe than the original.

5.) Your tribute to Etta James is exceptional. Do you have plans to work with any other great vocalists?

Yeah, I've used some Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone, Dinah Washington (the greats) samples in the past and I've been avoiding vocal samples for a while now so it would be nice to get back to those again. I've been listening to some artists who maybe aren't as well known but are great nonetheless, just not household names. You might be hearing some Angelo Bond, Ruby Andrews or Sam Dees soon so stay tuned.

LIKE Perry Ma on Facebook