Disco Llama Disco Freaks!

You might remember DJ Anubus from our Denon DN-MC6000 feature, but in addition to a killing the YouTube DJ scene Anubus he’s also been working on disco house edits and remixes with Mike Device under the name Disco Llama.  Check out their new Mixtape, and download their first EP absolutely free from their Soundcloud.  We’ve got some special content in the works with these guys so digest these tunes and check back for more!

Disco Freaks Mixtape by Disco Llama

Beat Battles: Tools of War

The DJ battle circuit has it’s tools of the trade pretty well sorted in two turntables and a mixer.  With so many new DJ and MIDI controllers hitting the market though controller DJ’s have been looking for their own place to square off and some “Controller Battles” (like the one promoed above) have started to take root.  The limitations of turntables and vinyl force all kinds of creative outcome but with the addition of a computer/controller setup the possibilities become endless.  In some ways this raises the creative stakes to take a traditional DJ battle set to the next level.  Without a standard “setup” pretty much any piece of technology goes and the more unique and interesting it is to watch the more cred it seems to earn you.

I’m reminded of a pre-existing format where pretty much anything went as well.  A perhaps much nerdier corner of the hip hop battle circuit showcases beatmakers in what’s called a “Beat Battle.”  In a Beat Battle producers swap turns playing their latest (normally hip hop) beats to hype the crowd.  Sometimes the producers are given a sample to work with and a set amount of time time to create a beat in.  All in all, the emphasis is on original production, and while flashy finger work may get the crowds attention, letting your beat ride and getting amped on it can also work (see Will.I.Am acting a fool at Root Down Soundclash above).

What’s important is that the emphasis is on THE BEATS with seemingly less regard for how you make them.  Lap and desktop computers run as free across the tables as MPC’s, synths, and turntables.  It’s a pretty cool way to watch worlds mix as dudes who only rock hardware raise just as much noise as dudes playing off laptops and guys who scratch their samples in by hand.  Combing through of the Beat Battle YouTube threads can also be a great way to see how beat makers are taking their sounds out of the machine and presenting them live to rock the crowd.

See the related products below to get your hands on controllers that can help you rock your own beats live!

Behind The Scenes @ SXSW w/ Zoom Q3

If you follow our YouTube channel religiously you may have noticed the slow trickle of videos shot by us and our friends at South By South West.  We invited Twin Shadow, Jahphet “Roofeo” Landis, and Brian Sweeney to take Zoom’s Q3HD Handy Video Recorders to capture their experiences at this year’s South By South West music festival on and behind the stage.

Twin Shadow are receiving massive acclaim on their debut album (produced by Chris Taylor of Grizzly Bear) and took SXSW by storm this year playing all the must see showcases and opening for The Strokes on the festival’s biggest stage.  George and Wynne from Twin Shadow live and record in Bushwick not far from the ProAudioStar warehouse.  They got some footage between sound checks, frosty runs, and photo shoots for us to check out.

Jahphet Landis is the long time drummer for The Death Set and is more recently guest drumming with TV on the Radio. A producer and DJ in his own right Jah DJ’s and remixes as “Roofeeo.”  A Bushwick native Jah lives in Brooklyn when he’s not touring playing drums and DJing. Jah was one of the busiest people we knew at South By playing drums with The Death Set, TV On The Radio, and Spank Rock. We’re lucky enough to get up close and personal with all of it.

Brian Sweeney is one of the masterminds behind Vibes Management and booking and management company also located in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Being part of a media-consciousness event curation team Brian was really checking out South By South West with a curators eye and managed to check out more bands then anyone we knew down there. Luckily he got footage of it all.

Your portal to the series  starts with the trailer above. You’ll find embedded links to the whole series at the end of that video, or check out the full YouTube playlist here. You can also check out some full songs from bands pulled from this footage on our friend’s channel Music On Video.

Thanks to Twin Shaddow, Jah, and Brian for giving us the inside tip on their SXSW journey. The Zoom Q3 is the ideal tool for grabbing footage at live shows because it’s stereo mic pair and volume attenuation makes sure your audio doesn’t distort. If you’re a gigging musician, promoter, or festival fan and your camcorder or cell phone footage just isn’t cutting it the Q3 could be just the upgrade you need. Follow the links above to see (and hear) for yourself!