MPK Mini Play – The World’s Best-Selling Controller Now Comes With Built-in Sounds

Akai Professional is well known for the classic MPC. The MPK Mini Play has been announced.

The ultra-portable MPK Mini Play is based on the world’s most popular midi controller—Akai Professional’s MPK Mini—but now it comes packed with 128 sounds and its own built-in speaker. With 8 back-lit MPC drum pads and a 4-way joystick for simple control, players have all they need to play their music anytime, anywhere. Four knobs (two banks capable of controlling eight different parameters) can be used to tweak sounds and edit multiple parameters in real-time, giving musicians even more performance possibilities. Powered by 3 “AA” batteries, the MPK Mini Play is built for hours of wireless fun.

Amazing Connections

Not just a mini keyboard, the MPK Mini Play can also connect to a computer via USB port for the same plug-and-play MIDI functionality as the classic MPK Mini controllers. If not disturbing others is a priority, players can use the mini-audio output jack to connect headphones to the MPK Mini. When you want a bigger sound, simply connect to external speakers using the same output jack. All-in-one, easy-to-use fun with “pro” features—that’s the MPK Mini Play!

We are extremely excited to introduce the MPK Mini Play,” said Dan Gill, Product Manager for Akai Professional. “The MPK Mini was a huge hit with musicians and now having all those sounds on-board with a built-in speaker, along with its go-anywhere portability, Play opens up new musical possibilities that people are going to love.

Originally from MPK Mini Play – The World’s Best-Selling Controller Now Comes With Built-in Sounds

James Gardin & Soulseize release Until It All Makes Sense EP

James Gardin and Soulseize present their new EP Until It All Makes Sense.

The record is a snapshot of what adulting looks like when you don’t have it figured out. It’s a messy and yet beautiful soundtrack of a person who has all the intention of succeeding for the people they love, while dealing with relationships and stress improperly.

The boom bap production, soulful melodies, and mellow bars will keep listeners engaged and entertained through out the entire 15 minute listen.

Until It All Makes Sense is out now on Illect Recordings.

Audio: Until It All Makes Sense

Lyrics & Performance by James Gardin
Composition/Beats by Soulseize
Mixing by Soulseize & James Gardin
Produced by Soulseize
Mastered by Duncan Stanbury (Jay-Z, Mos Def, Ghostface Killa, Peanut Butter Wolf)
Artwork by Jordan Hills

Originally from James Gardin & Soulseize release Until It All Makes Sense EP

James Gardin & Terem team up for Tommy Hilfiger theme

Tommy Hilfiger selects Iconic by James Gardin and Terem

Tommy Hilfiger recently selected “Iconic” by James Gardin & Terem for their TommyNow ICONS shows and TommyXLewis collection.

The first usage of the song was in Shanghai, China. Most recently it was used for the show in Tokyo, Japan. To date, the song has played over 6.5 million times across all platforms.

“Iconic” is available at all digital outlets: Amazon, Apple Music, Bandcamp, Deezer, Google Play, iTunes, Pandora, Spotify, Tidal, YouTube.

Watch the video clips to hear the song.

Tommy Hilfiger: Shanghai

Tommy Hilfiger: Tokyo

Originally from James Gardin & Terem team up for Tommy Hilfiger theme

Imperial releases “Layers” LP –

Layers is the long overdue instrumental album from Imperial. It’s a good one… read on + stream.

It has been a very colorful few years for Imperial on both a personal and professional level. His family has grown with the birth of his daughter and he has studiously enhanced his production repertoire tenfold. Like many of the legendary producers that have come before him, Imperial does his best work with his hands. No words are needed — the combination of sound and rhythm are his chosen mode of address.

The aptly titled Layers serves as both Imperial’s solo debut and an instrumental album in one. From the very beginning, the listener is gently ushered into a euphonious realm filled with a multitude of exuberant melodies, reflective sentiment and soothing vibrations. Throughout the album’s thirteen songs, Imperial’s knack for making that good ol’ boom-bap sound classic and current is on full display. Tracks like Raise It Up and Transit will surely make heads nod and put some extra pep in many a step. On the other hand, Imperial inquisitively discovers some fresh grooves and daringly goes in new directions. Even when things go left, it still feels so right. The lead single, Hot Sauce bobs and weaves with a rousing aplomb. There is way more juice in the squeeze and the rhythm suddenly changes a few times just to make sure you are paying attention. Yellow Yachts is a surprising but welcome mesh of Euro Pop and Afro-Bashment that nobody on this side of the river was expecting. The vibrant theme is a sonic boom of optimism, fervor and elation.

It is often said that there are ‘levels to this’, but Imperial’s new output proves that there are ‘layers to this’ as well. Prepare to embed yourself in a meticulous patchwork of woven emotions showcasing the beautiful nuances of the human experience.

Layers is out now via Illect Recordings.

Audio: Layers

Originally from Imperial releases “Layers” LP –

Grand Opus announce High Power LP + Video

Grand Opus is Joc Scholar (emcee) and Centric (producer). They’re set to drop the High Power album later this year. Read on for the scoop.

One of California’s best kept secrets in the form of the emcee/ producer duo known as Grand Opus is back. The underground hip-hop team comprised of Fresno, Ca. emcee Joc Scholar and Oakland, Ca. producer Centric return to take their signature sound to the next level with their sophomore album High Power, releasing digitally worldwide on December 7, 2018.

With an album cover influenced by the hip hop, cult classic film Belly, the count down to the release date is set off by the music video-single Dynamic Duo, which is also the intro track to the album. High Power features hip hop legend Buckshot (of Boot Camp Clik) and Brooklyn’s own Skyzoo along with others.

Grand Opus – Dynamic Duo

More info: // Twitter: @grandopusca // IG: @grandopusca

Originally from Grand Opus announce High Power LP + Video

WhoSampled launches music recognition feature

WhoSampled has long been the go to spot to find out who sampled what records on their tracks. They recently launched a mobile app, it’s really dope… you’ve gotta check this out!

WhoSampled Remixes Mobile App, Uses Music Recognition to Dive into Decades of Music DNA

You hear a song you like in a bar, at the gym, at the grocery store. You whip out your phone, but instead of merely seeing the artist and title of that particular recording, you get the song’s entire DNA, as revealed through its samples, its cover history, its remixes. You can instantly listen to the original tracks that built the music you love and save them to your subscription streaming account.

This is what WhoSampled’s mobile app (iOS and Android) can now do. It takes music recognition to the next level using its proprietary crowdsourced database. Over the course of a decade, this database has gathered the largest set of accurate and passionately vetted data on samples, remixes, and cover versions.

We had always dreamed of adding these features from the moment we launched the app six years ago,” explains WhoSampled’s CEO Nadav Poraz. “You can identify the song playing around you, then dig deeper and find out what other song was sampled in the song you’re hearing. For example, the chorus or riff might sound familiar but not from the song that is playing, it’s from somewhere else. Other music recognition apps will tell you the name of the song you’re hearing, but WhoSampled is the only app that will give you the answer you’re looking for, allow you to understand the origins of the composition and reveal the other recordings that sampled it.”

The new version of the app is a natural extension of WhoSampled and its passion for music discovery. What started out as a passion project grew into an obsession for 20,000 devoted contributors. Co-founded by Poraz, a software developer who got into funk and soul thanks to a teenage love of hip hop, the site started out with two hundred entries in a database. It now lists over half a million songs and has become a wildly popular hub for fans of club music, hip hop and other music genres to go deep into the history of the music they love.

Our data would have been impossible to gather or deal with algorithmically,” explains Poraz. “It’s all created manually and vetted by humans. That makes it incredibly valuable and helpful in figuring out hundreds of thousands of samples and how they are all connected.”

WhoSampled’s new app functionality promises fans better discovery and more fun, with features that are unique to the mobile app and cannot be implemented via a website. “The WhoSampled website has a lot of richness and data, but it’s not personalized,” says Poraz. “The app is personalized to your taste and automatically surfaces the connections for the music you already love. It’s another strong starting point to discover more music to enjoy.”

The app should draw new users to the joy of WhoSampled’s infamous rabbit holes and keep faithful fans as engaged as ever. “For whatever reason, if there’s a good sample in something, it’s much better than a song that doesn’t have one. It’s somehow fundamental,” Poraz reflects. “And when there’s a good sample in a great song, you can get to know both songs, understanding the evolution thanks to what we do. I do it myself, all the time. It’s endless. It’s just magical.”

Originally from WhoSampled launches music recognition feature

Fat Beats Record Store Reopens In LA

Fat Beats, one of our favorite record retailers, has re-opened a retail space in Los Angeles. You can scoop up vinyl records from Illect Recordings from them.

Here is a news release:

We’re Back!
New Fat Beats Record Store Opening in Downtown Los Angeles

Grand Opening 9/22/2018 at 916 S. San Pedro St. Los Angeles, CA 90015

We’re excited to announce the opening of our new retail store in Downtown Los Angeles. In celebration, we’re throwing a grand opening party featuring a few of the many artists that have contributed to our success all these years.

Stop by our store on Saturday, 9/22 in Downtown Los Angeles to see DJ sets from our friends Carlos Niño, DJ Rhettmatic, Dibia$e, House Shoes, Ras_G, DJ Jab, Exile, Daedelus, DJ Babu with some surprise special guests.

The world famous Hit+Run crew will be live screen-printing at the shop, first 100 customers to stop in get a free shirt!

Thank you.

To all of our customers over the years that have kept us in business, purchased from us online or supported the artists we work with at a show, thank you. If you’re not based in LA, we hope you’ll visit the shop the next time you find yourself in California. It’s the support from customers like you that has allowed us to thrive and reopen our doors once more.

Originally from Fat Beats Record Store Reopens In LA

Sareem Poems and Ess Be announce Mind Over Matter album

Mind Over Matter is set for a June 15th, 2018 release date via Illect Recordings.

After three years of writing, developing, and preparing new music, Sareem Poems and Ess Be are back with Mind Over Matter. Released via Illect Recordings, Mind is the second full length project from the Lansing, Michigan-based MC and producer duo. Their first album on Illect, 2015’s Beautiful Noise, was a highly motivational record based around positivity and perseverance. Mind Over Matter is definitely in the same vein as Noise, but it’s clear that as they worked on the new project, Poems and Ess Be weren’t afraid to dive deeper into who they’ve become as artists.

From start to finish, Mind Over Matter takes on some of the most pressing issues of our time. Employing his signature measured flow, Poems discusses political divisiveness, the dangers of succumbing to greed, loving yourself, and economic inequality in the United States. “So you in your heart of hearts really believe that the playing field is level?” he asks on the ninth track, “What’s Wrong.” Over the course of his twenty-year career, Sareem Poems has meticulously crafted a style of music informed by his deep respect, and love, for humanity. On Mind, Poems continues to build on that.

Over the last three years Ess Be has officially made the transition from being a part-time producer with a day job to pursuing music full time. Throughout Mind, Ess Be’s skill as a producer is on full display. Ess Be could easily fall back on familiar boom bap tropes or trendy drum patterns. Instead, he incorporates a little bit of everything. Heavy bass lines and trance-like EDM moments on tracks such as “Dance For The Dead” and “Eyedentity” keep the record moving as Sareem Poems adapts to each new musical moment.

As artists, Sareem Poems and Ess Be have never shied away from using their platform to bring people together—even as those in power would pull them apart. Mind Over Matter, their second full-length album on Illect Recordings, celebrates the beauty of humanity while also questioning the systems of inequity that have kept certain people in power for centuries. It’s always been important to practice self-care in the face of struggle and Mind Over Matter is a manifestation of that.

Written by Gus Navarro

Mind Over Matter track list
1. Simply Truthfully
2. Maze
3. Way Up There (feat. Sean C Johnson)
4. Shallow (feat. Finale)
5. Dance For The Dead
6. The Way It Goes (feat. Al Singleton)
7. Eyedentity
8. I See You
9. What’s Wrong (feat. Dre Murray & Adan Bean)
10. I’m Alright
11. Until We Meet Again

Beats by Ess Be
Mixed by Imperial
Design by Jordan Hills

Pre-order Mind Over Matter: Bandcamp (CD+MP3) // iTunes // Amazon // Google Play

Mind Over Matter singles

Originally from Sareem Poems and Ess Be announce Mind Over Matter album

Beat Rabbi releases final project Mazel Tov Cocktail

The bad news… Beat Rabbi has retired from beat making. The good news… Mazel Tov Cocktail is here via Illect Recordings! It’s an appropriate send off to one of our favorite producers. 31 tracks including a Deepspace5 posse cut.

Beat Rabbi shares, “I assume other producers have been in a similar situation where they have a number of beats they really like that have been repeatedly passed over by rappers for years and they think, I really would like to get these joints out there and heard so people know all the kinds of sounds and styles I’ve experimented with, even if a rapper doesn’t want to rhyme on it. That’s how this project started, though it expanded beyond just that. But being that I hung up the beat making trade years ago, I needed the right person to edit, mix and master these beats – and spice them up to make them presentable. DJ Sean P is that dude for me – I have so much respect for his ear, style and talent and was blessed that enthusiastically signed up for the task. So hear it is – some Beat Rabbi as you have and haven’t heard him before, topped off with some Sean P funk.

Beats curated by Dj Sean P
Art by Farley Vaughan

Mazel Tov Cocktail track list
1. Intro
2. Stop
3. In The Future
4. Malay
5. Darkness
6. 70s
7. Mood
8. Sam
9. Beat Creator
10. Cross
11. Evol
12. Gero
13. Love Me
14. Blabber Mouth
15. City
16. Gloria
17. 2 Step
18. OGz Prelude
19. OGz
20. Ghost
21. Jump
22. Mazel Tov Cocktail
23. Monkey
24. Losing
25. Light Wheels
26. Black Magic
27. Suite
28. Tema
29. Spit Shine
30. New 9
31. Return Of The Real Hard Beat (feat. Deepspace5)

Audio: Mazel Tov Cocktail

Connect with Beat Rabbi: Spotify

Download: iTunes // Amazon // Bandcamp // Google Play
Stream: Apple Music // Spotify

Originally from Beat Rabbi releases final project Mazel Tov Cocktail

Soul Surplus presents, A Trap Jawn Volume 1, sample pack

Soul Surplus presents, A Trap Jawn Volume 1, sample pack. A Trap Jawn Volume 1, is a collection of 10 compositions and 70+ individual stems (in the stems package), created for easy drag and drop onto your next production. In this collection you’ll find mellow, layered analog synths, spread across a variety of dissonant chords and textures.

All sounds included are compatible with any DAW or sampler (44.1K).

Instruments used in this collection:
Fender Rhodes // Access Virus // Roland Jupiter // Moog Opus 3 // Moog Minotaur // Yamaha DX7 // Fender Precision Bass // Lakland 55-02 Bass // Notation Ultranova Synth // Fender Stratocaster Guitar // Novation Bass Station II

Purchase at Soul Surplus.

Originally from Soul Surplus presents, A Trap Jawn Volume 1, sample pack