Pick 'Em Up: Mighty Mark, Lucid & DJ Tuco

What up!  It's stoopgirl and I'm back for another week of Pick 'Em Up!  I really hope you heard something new from the tracks in the very first post from last week.  This week we're traveling the world with club music and we're starting right in our very own backyard.

Juicy J - Low (Mighty Mark & DJ K-Spin Remix

I just can't get over all the vibes Mighty Mark and DJ K-Spin are incorporating in this brooding club remix of Juicy J's "Low".  It boasts a hyperactive breakbeat but a dark, future club vibe to it that makes it sound really complex.  Baltimore residents Mighty Mark and DJ K-Spin sample only the essential parts of Juicy J's "Low" to make this more of an original production instead of a run-of-the-mill remix.  "My beat low/My bass low/I ride low/She go low," pitched down so low that you can't help but to sport a serious stank face.  They even cut into a sample of Ludacris' "How Low Can You Go" to bring the whole theme full circle and make this track one that the ladies won't be able to resist in the club.

DJ Tuco - "Sweet Talk"

Upon my first listen of "Sweet Talk", I totally thought the producer was gonna be some old head from Baltimore with a really solid appreciation of both Baltimore club music and R&B.  I was so, so, so wrong here.  DJ Tuco kicked off his career in London, explored the world, and then set up shop in Prague.  So yeah, some producer in Czech Republic is making Baltimore club music and it's fucking classic.  Sampling one of my not-so-guilty-pleasures, "Heard It All Before" by Sunshine Anderson, DJ Tuco embraces the classic breakbeat of Baltimore club but goes heavy with the synths, bringing it right back to 2014.  I love how many audiences "Sweet Talk" could potentially appeal to: club heads, dance music fans, and ladies who are mad at their boyfriends.  I think it's a win-win situation for everybody on this dance floor tonight.

Lucid - "Heartagram"

I'm not usually a huge fan of festival tunes but I found "Heartagram" by Lucid to be especially intriguing when I heard its nod to the high energy and rapid pace of Jersey club music.  The Melbourne-based producer has created quite a niche for himself within big room dance music and exactly how he melded the two genres together on "Heartagram" has a unique way of meeting both genres right down the middle - making Jersey feel a little bigger and a festival feel a little more intimate.  I'm actually curious if Lucid found any inspiration from his label-mate and proud New Jersey resident, Nadus, for this track (both artists are members of the Belgian-based record label, Pelican Fly).  "Heartagram" is the title-track for an EP that Lucid released last week, so if you're into this kind of sound, feel free to check out the other three tracks.

 

 

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Pick 'Em Up w/ Stoop Girl

I remember being in middle school, listening to 92Q, and recording Baltimore Club classics onto cassettes from artists like Rod Lee, Ms. Tony, and of course Scottie B.  I was a half-white/half-Panamanian girl living in the suburbs while all my friends were bumpin' Backstreet Boys and Linkin Park so of course I was the fucking oddball in the crew.  And it's not that I wasn't interested in that kind of music, but it's always been Baltimore club that has stuck by me even when I went through weird musical phases of my life, like that one time in high school I was really into trance music and that other time I couldn't stop listening to ska.  UGH.  For me, Baltimore club music was never a phase.  It's one of the only genres of music that consistently moved me.  I just have a pure, unwavering love for club music of all shapes, sizes, and wavelengths.  

So, hey, I'm Casey (also known as @stoopgirl on Twitter) and welcome to a brand new series on True Laurels, "Pick Em Up", that will explore all avenues of club music.  When I'm not here kickin' it with Lawrence and his truly exceptional zine, you can find me over at my own blog,Cool Breezy.  Anyway, let's go: 

Swagson- Bring It Back Up

Lately, I’ve been trying to tackle the question of whether an artist has to physically reside in the city of Baltimore to make proper Baltimore club music.  Are they truly capable of translating the very tangible aggression of these city streets into gritty, raunchy club music?  The answer remains inconclusive, but Baltimore club music can feel very exclusive sometimes.  However, I discovered an incredible exception to the rule with Swagson’s “Bring It Back Up”.  I mean, wow.  The horns are blowin’, our signature what!s are expertly sprinkled within, and engaging vocals from Baltimore’s very own Rye Rye are sampled masterfully from her hit, “Shake It To The Ground”.  

Would you even believe me if I told you that Swagson is based out of Germany?  Apparently Swagson is a part of a crew called REALMSIX, an anonymous collective of producers making electronic club music from every corner of the world.  But I swear I can hear this shit bumpin’ right out of the cracks of the sidewalks on North Ave.  So, believe it, man.  I’m 100% fucking with it.  So maybe you gotta be from Baltimore to make authentic club music; maybe you don’t.  I’ll let you decide.

Kilbourne- Jellybeans

This one will rattle the damn bones out of your skin.  You should really prepare yourself for “Jellybeans” from Kilbourne’s latest EP, Satisfaction.  In typical Jersey club fashion, “Jellybeans” borders daringly on sensory overload with alarming sirens, repetitive what!s, and gunshots galore – but I love every second of it.  For me, “Jellybeans” stands out amongst a lot of other Jersey club that tends to become a blur after a while.  It sounds clean, not distorted, and I can pick out every intricate sound within the production.  And it’s fucking fast – music that is bound to move every wallflower out onto the dance floor in the club.  Fresh off the Motivational Tour with Baltimore’s own Abdu Ali and Schwarz, Kilbourne is definitely someone you wanna keep up with.

DJ Juwan- Dance Sing

It’s back to basics with DJ Juwan.  To be honest, I don’t know too much about this guy.  I heard he’s from Baltimore and he’s only like, fifteen years old.  But I’ve never seen an actual picture of his face so who really knows.  It’s very mysterious to me.  But what I do know is that he has fully embraced the classic sound of Baltimore club music.  For real though, his productions sound like they were made back in the 90s during the heyday of Baltimore club music.  Case in point here with “Dance Sing” in which DJ Juwan structures the song around the classic Baltimore club break beat and introduces a vocal sample every now and again.  (By the way – does anybody know where this sample comes from?  I know Cajmere used it in “Do Dat Dance” from 1991’s Underground Goodies Vol. II, but it’s killing me not to know more).  Anyway, it’s very minimal and that’s what I love about it.  Today, it’s very easy to get carried away with an abundance of samples and textures in music but sometimes it’s the simple beats that get us moving.

Matic808: Laurels Mix

As an exclusive for True Laurels Volume 5, Baltimore Club producer/DJ, Matic 808—who's featured in the issue—put together a sick club mix of select artists who've been featured in True Laurels so far. Songs from DonChristian, Abdu Ali, Chiffon, Butch Dawson and B L A C K I E are featured, with their vocals chopped, sped up and distorted. Artwork for the mix is provided by Denver-based artist, Antonina Clarke. Listen below!