White Crate — August 13, 2021
An epic journey with Mills College grad Brogan Bentley, more hyperpop hip hop from DÆMON and the i8i Collective, plus a little buried gem from SF's house music history
Following New York City’s plans to require proof of at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine for indoor activities, San Francisco next week will become the first major city in the country to require proof of full vaccination for a variety of indoor activities. You’re still free to not get the vaccine, but if you want to go out and eat and drink and be indoors with other people, you don’t get to endanger other people’s lives. That’s how society works.
I’m still bummed I was too sick (not to mention contagious) to see Maya Jane Coles at 1015 Folsom a couple weeks ago, especially since it would’ve been pretty poetic for both my last show before lockdown and first show since reopening to take place at the storied SF venue. But that’s life. Here’s to hoping for a non-disastrous fall and winter.
THAT NEW NEW
A slowly dawning realization: LA label Leaving Records is on fire. Following incredible releases by Arushi Jain, Xyla, and many others, their newest release is this epic electronic journey, Diapason Rex by Brogan Bentley. As I’ve noted in previous newsletters, Bentley recently completed his master’s in electronic music and recording media at Oakland’s Mills College, which is intricately tied to the long legacy of experimental music. Opening with straight up massive jungle before transitioning into pop-tinged breakbeat followed by dark and dirty house, Bentley’s second full-length album is cohesive yet diverse, easy to understand yet deeply complex. It sounds good from the first moment, but it’s clear it deserves repeat listens.
SF alternative rock quartet April Magazine, which just released Sunday Music for an Overpass last month, announced If the Ceiling Were a Kite: Vol. 1, a compilation of songs recorded by the band over the past two years. Out October 8 on London record label Tough Love.
Just a few hours to purchase and download this one: Oakland rave boss Bored Lord put up Pop Tools, a collection of drum and bass remixes of Britney Spears, Deee-Lite, and more.
Following remixes by Buscabulla, Sam Gendel, and DRAMA, Detroit deep house producer Rick Wade released an amped up version of “Day Dreaming”, rounding out the Feelings Remixes EP, featuring reworkings of songs from Brijean’s Ghostly International debut Feelings.
Yunoka Berry, Jim Greer, and Hieroglyphics founder and producer Damien (Domino) Siguenza of Bay Area alt-pop-R&B project Cardboard People released new single “Tell Me What You Want!” on streaming platforms.
Guapdad 4000 and P-Lo joined fellow Bay Area rapper Chippass for the latest remix of his single “Oooh.”
Four months after releasing fantastic hyperpop hip hop album The Game, Oakland rapper DÆMON and Zurich artists Xzavier Stone and Modulaw are back with the 15-min EP JUICE. Read more about the crew in a special Bandcamp piece exploring The Mutant Mythology of the i8i Collective.
Oakland’s Del the Funky Homosapien joins Bootie Brown of the Pharcyde and Mike Relm on “Welcome to Nowhere”, a new track credited to the S.T.A.C.K. Machine.
Nicaraguan-American rapper Deuce Eclipse joins fellow SF artist Spirit Drive on the new track “Carried Me Away.”
SF rapper Dregs One dropped new bouncy single “Slight Work.”
Sebastopol rapper J.Lately is featured on “Lighthouse”, a new reggae-meets-uplifting-rap track by San Diego MC duo Flowmads.
Three months after dropping his exceptional self-titled debut, Oakland producer Nate Manic released an official video for the acid house track “You Will Not Ruin Me” and opened up preorders for a single release featuring remixes by Justin Cudmore (NY), Mike Dearborn (Chicago), and fellow Oakland artist Bored Lord. Out September 3.
Continuing his weekly single releases this summer, Berkeley rapper Rexx Life Raj released “Calling”, featuring LA artist Terrace Martin. For more in the series, check out “HIM,” “Red Lobster Biscuits,” “Turn Her Up,” “Kimbo Slice,” “Alpharetta,” “Bodega Bay Freestyle,” and “Lockheed Martin.”
Zelma Stone, the SF-based indie pop project of Chloe Zelma Studebaker, released “Come Back,” the third single from upcoming EP The Best, out August 20.
SF’s Addictech Records, purveyor of “high fidelity future music,” released bass-heavy Tappin Out by Melbourne producer duo Staunch.
Oakland’s Sentient Ruin Laboratories announced Decrepit Collection, featuring remastered versions of the 2017 self-titled debut demo tape and 2019 20-minute, single track “Vestigal” by Dutch experimental death metal band Cryptae. Out September 3.
While construction continues on the massive housing development along Oakland’s waterfront, located next to the Jack London District, the park and adjacent open space surrounding the historic docks has emerged this summer as the East Bay’s most inviting outdoor venue. Still something of an Oakland secret, the concerts have been making the most of the balmy weather and spectacular setting.
When it comes to physical vinyl, I don’t consider myself a digger. A collector, yes, but not a digger. I’m much too aware of the physical weight of records these days to lug a bunch of unknowns home for a chance sample or standout track.
At some point in high school, however, I was less closed off. One day my cousin and I discovered a record shop had hundreds of records—spray painted orange across the tops of the jackets so the banishment was clear—that anyone could take for free. So, without even flipping through them, we each gleefully grabbed a fat stack.
Staying at my parents’ house last month, I found a few of those orange-sprayed records still lying around. One of these was this Lovin Haight EP by DJ Buck, a deep house single released on Tweekin Records back in 2001. An SF-based DJ and producer. An SF label. And almost 20 minutes of minimalist tech house. I was only a young teen when it came out, but I can imagine just a few years later stumbling into a house party blasting the track, leaving me wide-eyed and enamored with the sights and sounds. The sound of SF house music.
If you ever want to press play on the growing list of artists covered on White Crate, follow this Spotify playlist. Shuffle and crossfade recommended!