Jesse De La Pena has been spinning important records since 1985 and has helped lay the foundation for today’s hip-hop scene in Chicago getting some of the early projects into the club circuit when the art form was still entirely underground. Beyond hip-hop however Jesse is known to spin some of the most eclectic sets in Chicago’s mixing genres like soul, blues, reggae, new wave, funk, rock, DnB, etc.
A founding member and original turntablist of the Grammy Award nominated Liquid Soul ensemble – the jazz, hip-hop, funk, freestyle fusion ensemble formed in 1993 that helped pioneer the acid jazz movement in the 90’s – De La Pena is, to this day, a key player in Chicago’s House scene. Coined “Beyond Acid Jazz” by Liquid Soul principal Mars Williams who also plays with The Psychedelic Furs and previously with The Waitresses and Billy Idol, along with co-founder guitarist Tommy Klein – the bands “Here’s the Deal” recording received a Grammy nom in the Best Contemporary Jazz Album category. They are still touring.
A lead music curator at WBEZ’s sister station Vocalo 89.5 FM, De La Pena helms The Friday Night DJ Series [Friday from 8pm – 2am], a six hour DJ session featuring a collective of local, national & international DJs, producers & audio artists sharing stories, exclusive mixes & unreleased music.
It is evident why Sebastian Ferrer and Alexander Bjorklund, the fast rising Swedish duo otherwise known as Cazzette, have already made their way onto the Ultra Music Festival main stage just a year after getting started.
Well you see, it’s a funny story says Valentin Brunel form the passenger seat of a car cruising the dirty streets of Los Angeles on his way to his first radio promotion in the city. Hes telling me how he got his DJ name.
GHOSTFACE KILLAH & BAD BAD NOT GOOD’S ‘SOUR SOUL’ SOUNDS SWEET
Ghostface Killah‘s full-length collaborative album with jazz troupe BadBadNotGood isn’t your standard wine-and-cheese affair. On the impressive Sour Soul, the Canadian trio that built its profile through Odd Future and Gucci Mane covers bangs out rich blaxploitation-invoking live instrumentals, providing a perfect canvas for the Wu-Tang Clan vet’s vivid rhymes about dodging police, jewelry and, oddly enough, yoga.
Portland, Oregon’s Reva DeVito is here today with her soothing six-track EP The Move. The title track is produced by her frequent collaborator Kaytranada, who worked on other songs on the project, along with producer Com Truise. The jazzy instrumentals they provided for the project are the perfect support for her smokey riffs. She carries each tune with a delicate pitch and a groovy light heartedness that makes the EP a breeze. Also love her project with Teklun here.
The foundation of The Black Skirts “Everything” releasing through Sony Music Korea’s HIGHGRNDimprint is similar to his previous single, “Hollywood,” but also different in that the love in “Everything” is more grounded, deep, and mature, while that of “Hollywood” is bright, fresh, and fantasy-like.
ELECTRONIC DUO ALUNAGEORGE ‘WE’RE NOT HERE TO DISAPPEAR’
Aluna Francis cried while writing a song on her as-yet-untitled sophomore album with producer George Reid as London dancewave duo AlunaGeorge. Co-written with synth-punk mistress MNDR, “I Mean What I Mean” will arrive sometime next spring. Thundering through the pristinely soundproofed air at Manhattan’s Jungle City Studios on a rain-whipped day in late September.
Operating under the new mark TRDMRK, Slimkid Tre Hardson and his creative partner Mark Potsic also known as DJ Nu-Mark have just completed a collaborative album with Delicious Vinyl featuring songs that include Murs, Del, Diamond D, Darondo and J-Live. The Slimkid & DJ Nu-Mark collaborative LP recently shot to number 1 on the CMJ charts in the U.S.
Pure hotness Sonya Teclai has teamed up with The Chopstar DJ collective for an exclusive Chopped Not Slopped remix of HeatWave, dubbed as TRILLWAVE, chopped by Slim K and hosted by Mike G of Odd Future/ OFWGKTA as well as producer Matt Cody on the amazing “Detached” which you can love right here. She credits her love for heavy drums and true grit to her East African background, while her laid back and sultry delivery is a product of her Northern California roots.
The name wasn’t supposed to stick. It originated from a joke—Left Brain, a member of the hip-hop collective Odd Future, got so tired of answering the question “Where are you from?” that he said he was going to start answering, “From the Internet.” He figured the band would swap it out for something better when they thought of it. But they never did.
CHATTING WITH LIANA BANK$ ABOUT “BENJI,” BRIGHT COLORS AND BEING “INSUBORDINATE”
Immediately recognizable by her bright green locks and neon sneakers, New York native Liana Bank$ has been accruing an impressive list of songwriter credits since the age of nineteen, having written for artists like Lily Allen. However, as the release of her debut solo project INSUBORDINATE draws near, Bank$ is stepping away from behind the scenes and is promoting her debut the way true performers do – by putting herself out there. Whether it’s teasing fans with consistent single releases and a colorful music video or appearing front row at this year’s New York Fashion Week, Liana Bank$ cannot and will not be ignored. Love her video here.