Not Over You

Michael Ivey

Michael Ivey


Basehead was a glorious thing back in the day – the most indescribable band in era of genre mashing. Basehead was an outfit somewhere between hip-hop and country-western, and believe it or not that blend has aged well due to the good writing and consistent performances throughout.

Leader Michael Ivey sing-raps in a slow drawl about the blues in life – women, friends, drinking beer – as the band glides through the changes on mostly acoustic instruments. Many songs build to a slow-boil, balancing tension and melancholy in his pleadings, fully aware that they are breaking new stylistic ground.

They did 2 great albums in the 90’s – Play With Toys and Not In Kansas Anymore, then dropped out for a while. Ivey did manage another hard to find album after renaming the outfit DC Basehead but to my ears some of the initial magic was gone.

Here’s one of the many great tracks from their debut:

Looks like they reformed with some original members for a 2007 album called Rockalyptic Music under the name Basehead 2.0.  The samples sound pretty good, I might have to pick that up.

The Original Tech Get Down

There are moments when things change in music. Something new is done. The future is revealed.



The 1980’s were about fusion. Not the pop and art fusion of the 60’s, or the jazz and rock fusion of the 70’s, but a new tension between technology and humanity.

Synthesizers were smaller and becoming digital, which would bring their price down drastically. Electronic drums were available. Digital effects units could bend signal in new ways.

Hip-hop was on the forefront of this tension because of technology. First the mixing board with crossfaders and mutes, then the sampler and drum machine. These were new technologies that the masses used to make a new style of music, a cutup of old and new.

The late 80’s project Tackhead was fearless. It brought together sampling, looping, hip-hop, and live playing like no one before. Since then several have moved into this direction, including my crew with 2MERICA, the amazing Headtronics project with Freekbass, and others.

Tackhead Live 1989

Taking the stage with instruments and gadgets and building something relevant that night is a small but growing art form. In some ways these guys started it all. Awesome stuff.

Wimbish is currently touring the states with Living Colour.

 

11 Years Gone

2mericaAXE


11 years ago, Me and My Friends made some of music. Well we had been making it for years but we finally released something in 2005.

The magic of the internet allows it to still be available. This was the 1st 2MERICA LP, followed up by Sensors&Switches&Buttons in 2007, and the Mass Entertainment EP in 2012. The 3rd and 4th are both in production. 2MERICA is EVERYWHERE U R.


An LP That Took Over A Decade To Complete

hqdefault

WAY back I had an idea for an LP. It was a concept LP, or at least a narrative LP, which centered around 5 characters, each equally instructive of the others lives. I worked on the story for some time as the music was being constructed by my band 2MERICA nightly.

I chose to totally self-publish this, perhaps destroying it’s chances at commercial success. But whatever. The release timeline is horrible but we did 5 amazing works for the 5 characters and I plan on releasing them all even if it takes me another 10 years.

Using the internet single-release model, we’ve managed to release 3 of the 5 and I’ve begun another attempt at finishing 4&5.

Here’s 2MERICA doing 3/5’s of something I’m very proud of – Scherzo Elskorpion!

A Tone Poem Alone…

311_pic02_lo

…is love medicine. Fug, 19 years ago already? I was but a bratty lad moshing about to the hip-hop beat.

This was one of the few new sounds of it’s day – hated on by many at first, this “rap-rock” was eventually watered down and ultimately exploited for low-denomination profits. Limp Bizkit indeed.

But there were some early rap-rock releases that make classic rock album status in my opinion — Rage Against The Machine’s self-titled debut LP in ’92, 311’s “Music” in ’93, “Jammin In Vicious Environments” by Shootyz Groove in ’94, and of course Urban Dance Squad’s amazing genre starter “Mental Floss For The Globe” in ’89. Continue reading

All 2MERICA All The Time

It’s the anti-facebook, no it’s the anti-circle, no it’s the anti-pop live-remix outfit known as 2MERICA, and they have released their 3rd LP and it’s fun-kay! ?Check out some Mass Entertainment here, here, here, and here. The perfect band for the digital age, 2MERICA smashes every genre they can into the stew, cracking genomes and slapping baby bottoms on this planet and the next.

Completed in 2005, 2MERICA’s 1st LP “Record Profits” was recorded in the motel rooms of America. 14 pieces strong featuring a cast of many without a care in the world, it’s still available a few places online if you groogle it.?Settling into his studio “The Fluxadelic Underground” allowed Ezraz to produce the follow-up “Sensors & Switches & Buttons” in 2007 without a sophomore slunk. Some live-in-studio tracks were also captured and ultimately released as the singles “Never Met Tomorrow” and “Keep Steady” in 2009 & 2010.

0

Upgrading the studio into “The Flux-adel Recording Division” in 2010 has allowed Ezraz to produce other acts (grookle Roaming Crazy, Winnie Rose, The Stares 20/20, ?& Ezraz) as well as drop the latest 2MERICAN adventure into your earholes.

Mass Entertainment features JP Abramczyk on guitars, Mistaswift on drums, Jesus Irizarry on bass, Jaimeson Lowell on raps, and Lo Cro on vocals. Just like the rest of the collection, it was produced by Ezraz Jones and mastered by Dave Davis.

Peep it. If you like what you hear, check out the back catalog. By being both ahead and behind at the same time, 2MERICA ends up being just right.

 

Live 2MERICA Remix Project

Hey internuts: Another week means another remix. Tonight I’m doing a live 2MERICA remix project along with some excellent additions from more robots than people on my table tonight. To combat these gadget ghouls I have armed myself with some fresh audio live from TV and some fresh tricks from my digits.

If you have any idea what any of this means, I’ll see you at the Duck Island Club tonight. For those of you not enjoying life in Cleveland someday soon I’ll be recording my set and perhaps sharing online somehow.
Ezraz

my face has more than a book .::. http://wfnk.com


Davide-Martello-Je-Suis-Charlie

Headtronics: The New Doo Review

Headtronics


Funky fresh and it’s about time…. If you want to see what music and live performance can be, get down with some improvised art and dance yourself silly then it pays to catch the project dubbed “Headtronics” if it comes near your domain.

Genre jumping has been popular among musicians for quite some time (and popular on the charts the last decade or so), but actually jumping ‘modes’ still proves difficult and rare. Headtronics, a strong trio of players consisting of DJ Logic, Freekbass, and Steve Molitz, is one of the first projects I’ve seen to successfully go “mixed mode”.

See, there’s several ways for Joe Citizen to enjoy himself some music when he leaves the house in the evening. In what mode he ends up consuming music that night depends partly on his tastes, partly on social constructs and then venue requirements.  We know he probably won’t catch a symphony at a loft party, a rock band on the corner, a solo sax in a dance club, or a performance art piece in the corner bar. It’s more than likely he won’t get out of his comfort zone at all.

For this dilemma DJ’s were created, and this was good.

Any music you want anywhere you want it is the promise. Musical taste gatekeepers blah blah blah. Some musicians hold a confrontational attitude towards DJ’s, and from a purely financial perspective it is understandable as they are fighting over the same beer markups. But ultimately those that love the music are at least as important as those who make the music, so DJ’s became important parts of the music ecology.


Headtronics-Freekbass-and-DJ-Logic


In our categorization of everything we have put musicians on one side and DJ’s on the other, but this masks the fact that the best of each share many qualities. More on that in a minute.

Eventually our technology and transparency led us to this postmodern moment of ‘so, what’s new anymore?’. And if it’s new and cool, I already downloaded that, wiki’ed that, googled that, and I feel like I know all about that… that thing you just told me about.

Then I will forget about it nearly as quick as I ‘interlearned’ it.

Where does Headtronics fit into this? Several angles – this is a rant after all!

DJ’s do a set ultimately to keep people dancing / zoning out / chasing the blues from their day. They change tempo if and when needed, leave no dead air, do not focus on a piece but on the whole.

A great DJ does alot of things during a great set that musicians don’t do and don’t even need to consider most of the time. Musicians do a set to play each piece to it’s fullest, to perform their musical parts to their satisfaction, to connect with the audience, and keep their project’s name and songs in the fan’s memory forever. They construct sets but in a different way than a DJ, with different purposes.


logic_molitz_freekbass_2a


No project to my knowledge has been able to successfully deliver the holy fusion of DJ’ing and playing live music, while improvising it all, until Headtronics.

Yes, melodies, textures, and even rhythms were improvised and explored during pieces within a set as a whole. Logic had full scratch and break moments. Steve had space for perfect textures and melody lines. And Freekbass put out flavor and variations while sitting in a big fat pocket. They achieved the perfect measure of success in both DJ’ing and live gigging: the nicely mixed crowd danced for two hours straight and good times were had by all.

I will wrap this up because you get the point — go see Headtronics, see if you can dig what I’m talking about. I’ve seen DJ’s in bands, and I’ve seen musicians play over a DJ, but this is both and neither. It’s a whole new thang as they say, and it just feels right. It’s about time.

ezraz

ps — much respect to Urban Dance Squad and DJ DNA for blind ambition 23 years ago.

Posted via email from 2M :: REAX

The Augmented Future Starring Headtronics

I’ve been peddling myself around town since the weather broke and damn what a beautiful city Cleveland is.

 

Screen Shot 2014-09-19 at 1.22.00 PM

The view of the east side of Cleveland, from above Cleveland Heights.

 

The near east side by bike has to be one of the finer urban rides in America: Wade lagoon, university circle, Little Italy, Case, Rockefeller Park, Lakeview Cemetery, up the hill to Forest Hills Park (formerly the home of the richest man in the world!), Cain Park, Shaker Lakes, back down the new Euclid Avenue bike lanes to the new CSU then down to the Rock Hall and the Inner Harbor….

Give me a sunny day and my Raleigh and I’m good on the northside. We started our recession 40 years ago so we are getting good at being poor.

 

0

Lake Erie driftwood, aka The Lake Erie Monster

 

So with all this hopeful optimism (Obamaism?) I have to tell you about 2 new developments. First off the always funky Freekbass has joined forces with 2 others for his first “supergroup side project”. Called Headtronics and featuring a killer lineup of Freek on bass, Steve Molitz from Particle on Keys, and DJ Logic on everything else, they are finally playing Ohio next weekend so you know I will have to check that out.

 

Headtronics

Headtronics – DJ Logic, Freekbass and Steve Molitz

 

I have been a big fan of Dub Trio for a bit so I can’t wait to see the Headtronics Trio put their shingle out.

On the homefront, The Flux-adel Recording Division has been active lately, doing both final mixes on 2new 2merica tracks for Scherzo Elskorpion, and starting preliminary writing on new material with the very talented Dakota “chief” Stonerock.

Screen Shot 2015-08-27 at 11.56.22 AM

Finally — Last summer I was part of my own wannabe supergroup side project we called Roaming Crazy that managed to write and record a single song before disbanding. The track is called “Stares 2020” and is currently hanging around on the HD waiting for it’s parents to work chit out.

I hope you readers will get to hear it sometime, it’s probably the hardest thing I’ve ever produced, like way up in your face, you know, HAVE SOME! Production.

Ezzy

Ps Anyone see Roy Ayers sitting in with The Roots on Fallon last night? Hot damn I hope the roots are recording all those commercial break jams that we miss on tv for us to dig on forever after.

Update – here’s the Roaming Crazies doing “Stares 20-20”

Vidya vidya vidya !!!

Another winter week, another video. This one features all original artwork from the President of the Bored of Directors for 2MERIC@RP himself, Jaimeson “7m”:

You make me stay inside and quiet, mother nature and neighbors, and you get no bike and no drums. What’s a boy ‘sposed to do? Yes….. I do plenty of that. And that. But my baby brother and I can get visual too, all cramped up and quiet. But the buds are just below the surface, the buds are just below the surface.

Words for a Nearly Spring Weekend

I have been dragging ass through February but March is here and it looks like we might have all survived another winter. Time to rock and roll for sure. I had two songs on the iPod the last couple of days that kept me going, particularly the lyrics, so I wanted to post them for your enjoyment:

Nightrain [by Slash, Izzy, Duff & Axl]

Well I’m a west coast struttin’
One bad mother
Got a rattlesnake suitcase
under my arm
Said I’m a mean machine
Been drinkin’ gasoline
and honey
you can make my motor hum

I got one chance left
in a nine live cat
I got a dog eat dog sly smile
I got a Molotov cocktail
with a match to go
I smoke my cigarette with style
And I can tell you honey
you can make my money tonight

Wake up late
Honey put on your clothes
Take your credit card to the liquor store
That’s one for you and two for me
By tonight
I’ll be loaded like a freight train
Flyin’ like an aeroplane
Feelin’ like a space brain
One more time tonight

 

Elevators (Me & You) [by Andre & BigBoi]

Got stopped at the mall the other day
Heard a call from the other way
that I just came from, some nigga was sayin somethin’
talkin’ bout “Hey man, you remember me from school? Smoke some?”
“Naw not really” but he kept smilin’ like a clown
facial expression lookin’ silly
and he kept askin’ me, what kind of car you drive?
I know you paid
I know y’all got buku of hoes
from all them songs that y’all done made!
And I replied that I had been goin’ through the same thing that he had
True, I got more fans than the average man
but not enough loot to last me to the end of the week
I live by the beat like you live check to check
If you don’t move yo’ feet then I don’t eat so we like neck to neck
Yes, we done come a long way like them slim-ass cigarettes
from Virginia, this ain’t gon’ stop
so we just gonna continya’

 

 

 

Donations Accepted ‘Round Here

BUY MUSIC. LOVE MUSIC. NOW LOSSLESS.

2MERICA: WE R EVERYWHERE U R


 

2010 :: 5 souls, 1 night :: who will survive?
Never Met Tomorrow :: the hottest 2merica yet

2merica: Never Met Tomorrow

2007 :: Panfunktual Bonobos :: Alive In the Sugar Triangle
Stretch out your Sensors & Switches & Buttons

2merica: Sensors & Switches & Buttons

2005 :: Half Truth Half Consequence :: We Are Everywhere You Are
The classic debut mess-tastic masterpiece :: Record Profits?

2merica: Record Profits

 

If you knew us back in the day you might have gotten all three of the above in the ultra-rare 2MERICA Box Set:

2M_BoxSet

Blakroc Through The Winter

If you haven’t heard the new project ‘Blakroc’ yet I suggest checking it out…. it’s an all-star crossover project between The Black Keys and Damon Dash’s stable of rap talent. Yes Ohio’s favorite grungy rockers did a hip-hop album, and it’s hot. Very hot.

Read more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blakroc Plus the production is nice — warm, alive, funky as all get out.

So anyway, yeah, check this out if you can’t get your extremities warm enough this winter.

Posted via email from 2M :: REAX

10 Years Later…

There is something beyond the base –
Perhaps it is simple math
done by moving the decimal

Maybe it is as obvious as the 10 digits hanging
at the end of our arms when we are born.
Does someone missing a finger work better in nines?

Point being the term “decade” and it’s intrigue.
When freed from the VH1 confines
of loving the 1st integer and ignoring the rest
a decade can prove to be even more interesting
Did music change more from 1980 to 1990
or 1984-1994?

Music talk is for arguing. What about your life?
Surely no one’s life is tied to 0-9
but we can change dramatically in 10 years.

Perhaps we just like grouping things
in ways we can handle
We might live 80 years but 80 is too far out there.
Tell me 80 phone numbers from memory.
80 books you’ve read, 80 basketball players,
80 stories about your cute and hyper-intelligent kid(s)
Even our favorite topics don’t usually go 80 deep
Nor would you carry general reviews of each of your 80 years with you…
See 1983 was different from 1985 in many ways….. yawn….. ok grandpa.

A decade though? Well even the best of us won’t see more than 10 of those
More like 5-6 full of memories for most of us

So yeah, grouping things in 10 doesn’t bother me in the least
I just ask that you consider sliding your start and end points
and seeing what you find
I just found this, written about 10 years ago. Prescient, eh?

[“Synthesizer Man”, words by Andre Benjamin]

synthesizer,
microwave me
give me a drug
so I can make seven babies
pump my breasts up
can you suck the fat up?
please make my life appear
like ain’t no such thing as bad luck
my nose ain’t right –
think I need a new one
just take your pick
a yellow, red, black, or a blue one
virtual reality?
virtual bullshit
synthesizer preachers can reach you
up in the pulpit
who a bitch?
give me my gat
so I can smoke this nigga
tell his momma not to cry
because they can clone him quicker
than it took his daddy to make him
nigga’s bitin’ verbatim
thought provokin’ records
radio never played ’em
instant quick grits, new, improved
hurry hurry, rush rush, world on the move
marijuana illegal but cigarettes cool
I might look kinda funny but ain’t no fool
now if you wanna synthesize I empathize,
now if you wanna synthesize I empathize
but if you synthesize
I will understand
your synthesizer man

 

 

outkast.jpg

 

Out, Done Again! [aka Release with Completion]

See here see here!
The 2nd one is done!

2merica presents:
Sensors & Switches & Buttons
The 2nd el-pee.
see and hear it @ http://cdbaby.com/2merica2

Boo-hoo—you can’t buy it just yet….
should be in all the digital stores in 3-6 weeks.

YET…. we have a limited number of
custom 2merica box sets
containing both LP’s and deluxe packaging
Contact us if you are interested in acquiring
such a rare treat of a product.

Okay, so here’s the scoop on this 2nd album:
original codename was 2nd & 10
22 tracks of chaos. Splitsville.
Robots over here, rhythm section over there.

So 10 robots went to 9, 9 splits to 3.
The triangle. Perfectly balanced.
Perfectly prime. Strange new times.
Everybody has to get paid
for the triangle to pay off.

From the beginning of time
we’ve been fed these lines.

KeepSteady_Cover

BUTT ANYWAY
Over analyzing our three stages
of production, profit, and consumptions
led to this collection of songs
entitled Sensors&Switches&Buttons
or just something to play with.

Yours truly and jaimes7m are back
along with swifty, yep & jesus too!
Plenty of robot destruction
with new age 8 bit production
Introducing new voice low-cro
some horn blowing from j
and your favorite talking heads
B*N*B*T*F*O