Thursday, February 21, 2013

Check out the video recap of last month's DJ event!

And don't even think about missing the return of the All-Vinyl In-Store series tomorrow!

The third installment of the All-Vinyl In-Store series was this Saturday. Once again, four DJs played to a packed house of shoppers here at Hyde Park Records. In case you missed it, here’s the rundown:

First up was the man himself, Mr. Jaytoo. Now I’ve noticed that every time Jaytoo gets on the decks, sure enough, some kid in the crowd will start waving his smart phone in the air, trying to figure out what he’s spinning. It never works. What Jaytoo does is too deep for Shazam! No iPhone app anywhere is gonna be able to tell you you’re listening to the theme of Cat People slowed down fifty percent. C’mon now! Next time, just ask him. He’s not as mean as he looks.

A cat named C-dub took over the decks next and showed us something special. First, he took us through the history of hip-hop, reminding us exactly where those samples came from by playing the funkiest of the funky jazz. Then he treated us to a mixed bag of reggae, funk, rap and dub and through its fluidity, C-Dub’s set showed us the interconnectedness of all musical genres. Think Donald Byrd with a grill.

Next up was TGHTCNTRL. My heart goes out to the dude. A recent break-in left him robbed of an obscene amount of wax. But that didn’t stop him from delivering one of the hottest improvised sets we’ve seen to date, playing the kind of funk and rare-groove that have become a staple of the All-Vinyl Series and you would’ve been hard-pressed to find a shopper who wasn’t bobbing their head to beat.

Afterwards, Kwest_On took over and with his furious finger-work reminded us of one, indisputable truth: simply playing songs sequentially does not make you a DJ. Kwest_On span with skill and delibration. Scratching, mixing, and tweaking the soundboard to give us a bass-driven set that that was as ambient and cerebral as it was up-tempo and danceable. In short: pure skill.

And that’s that. Once again, if you missed it, I’m sorry for you. But don’t worry because Jaytoo will be back February 26th with Ayana Conteras, Kennedy Ashinze, and ShredOne!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Boykin Bares His Bones and Shows His Chops

Saxophonist David Boykin’s musical lineage runs deep through the city of Chicago.  It was here, under the direction of jazz greats like Jimmy Ellis and Phil Cohran, that Boykin developed a penchant for the avant-garde and laid the groundwork for his ongoing project, Sonic Healing Ministries. Now Boykin is back with a trio of musicians and a new album recorded live on the city’s Southside.

“Live at the Dorchester Projects” is a departure from Boykin’s earlier freeform work with Sonic Healing Ministries.  Here, we find structure in place of chaos - melody in place of ambiance. The album is deeply rooted in the bebop tradition and sounds like something akin to John Coltrane.

Ever reverent to the old school, “Dorchester Projects” manages to sound fresh thanks in large part to Boykin’s generous improvisations.  The trio’s 16-year-old drummer, James Woodley, lends the album a youthful energy.  While Woodley’s technique is well balanced by the restraint of bassist Alexis Wing, a classically trained guitarist. Overall, the album exudes the quiet confidence of a composer who knows his craft and of musicians who know their instruments.

It’s difficult to discuss this album without also discussing the space in which it was conceived. The Dorchester Projects are an artistic co-op owned and operated by art director, Theaster Gates, in the Grand Crossing neighborhood.  It is Gates hope that these spaces, which he has developed all over the Midwest, will serve as  “artistic-incubators” for neighborhoods that have been culturally neglected for some time.

David Boykin was the first artist in residence at Dorchester Projects. This album is the culmination of the time he spent there. In "Live at the Dorchester Projects," it's not hard to imagine we are hearing the start of a Rust Belt Renaissance.

David Boykin will be playing live at Hyde Park Records on April 2, 2013. Admission is free. "Live at the Dorchester Projects is available for purchase on LP and CD now at Hyde Park Records.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Love Tracks

It’s Valentine’s Day, which means it's time for romance.
It’s time for flowers and chocolates and those little candied hearts that no one really likes, but we'll all eat anyways.  It’s time for long walks, holding hands and for telling that special someone how you really feel.
It’s time celebrate the sappy and sentimental.  
So today at Hyde Park Records, we’ll have in heavy rotation our favorite loves songs - songs so sickeningly twee, we almost can’t stand it... and yet love all the same.
So without further ado, here are some of the tracks that make us record geeks swoon:

1. Arthur Russell - A Little Lost
2. Jackie Wilson - (Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher
3. Yo La Tengo - Our Way To Fall
4. Aretha Franklin - Natural Woman
5. Robert Glasper Experiment - Ah Yeah
 6. Lyn Collins - If You Don't Know Me By Now
7. TV on the Radio - Lover's Day
8. Bumblebee Unlimited - Lady Bug
9. Millie Jackson - If Loving You is Wrong, I Don't Wanna Be Right
10. Beat Happening - Our Secret

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Record Store Day 2012 Recap

At Hyde Park Records, WHPK DJs spun some serious jams. While browsing, a gentleman went on a rant about how he'd've bought the entire soul section if he'd won the March 30th Mega Millions jackpot. I bid him good luck on the next drawing and continued to find some deals, as always. A couple years ago, Hyde Park Records didn't receive any Record Store Day special releases. This year, they had an entire rack full of them. I'd say that's progress.
-James Ziegenfus
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