Category Archives: Interviews

House Shoes – From Detroit to LA

Having just about recovered from finally getting to see Dabrye live with all-star support from Ras G, Kutmah and Flying Lotus, I am back to fiending over new music (and occasionally writing about it). House Shoes debut LP, Let It Go, is due out June 19th and anyone else who made it down to London for Dabrye enjoyed one of the best sets I’ve ever seen, with three cuts off the album played very loud. Finally Shoes’ serious talent is getting pressed up, so go listen to him speak on his musical motivations below, courtesy of ABO181 and LouisDen.

Shoes talks about the impossibly confusing (for an outsider, at least) phenomenon of Detroit’s disregard for the enormously talented local hip hop scene. When I saw Phat Kat, eLZhi and DJ Dez play back in 2010, they mentioned the same thing. Well, should anyone need convincing of the genius of Detroit native J Dilla, House Shoes reconstructs the main riff to Nothing Like This. I have to admit, I had a bit of a moment when I first heard it.

In anticipation of his upcoming release, House Shoes put out two mixes of his own work. Entitled The Makings, you can find Part 1 and Part 2 on High-Rise.


TightFace Interview

New music and an interview from High-Rise favourite TightFace. The good folks over at The Hungry Ear caught up with him before his Belfast show to talk influences, crate digging, and talented siblings. Click here to read the interview and journey south to check out Know How Now, an exclusive new track.

Regulars to High-Rise will know the name TightFace by now but if you need to catch up, make sure you grab copies Demonstration, Treasures of the Five Boroughs, and Remixes & Root Veg – all utterly essential.

Benji B on J Dilla relaunched earlier this year, opening its doors on February 1st to celebrate the life of one of the world’s greatest musical pioneers, J Dilla.  Since then, Waajeed and the Bling47 family have put out a huge amount of quality material, from previously unreleased Dilla beats to interviews with friends and collaborators. Earlier this week, they posted a second interview with Benji B, a man dedicated to the cause of good music and pretty much the most valuable thing on UK radio at the moment (with the possible exception of Mr Peterson). Check out the videos below to see him talk about two classic Dilla productions and the samples that inspired them.

If you harbour any doubts as to Benji B’s Dilla credentials, the rarities mix he compiled with Ge-ology will put them to rest. Check the 2011 High-Rise Dilla Birthday Special for a link. His first show in April on Radio 1 promises to be extra special, with Space Dimension Controller in the studio for a Science Fiction special. Get on Facebook to send him your track recommendations.

THEESatisfaction – awE naturalE

Seattle duo THEESatisfaction have just posted their new album, awE naturalE, for a free first listen, exclusively on NPR Music. I was lucky enough to hear this a little while ago and it’s excellent, so click on the image above or the link below to get straight to it.

THEESatisfaction – awE naturalE

Like collaborators Shabazz Palaces, another brilliant act that cropped up during my absence from High-Rise (I picked a shitty time to go on holiday), THEESatisfaction hail from Seattle, a city that seems to be giving birth to a truly distinct sound. I’m not going to say ‘saviours of hip hop’ because I don’t think it needs saving, but Shabazz Palaces’ Black Up was my favourite record released last year. It was also the first time I heard THEESatisfaction…

This was swiftly followed by a solo effort, also subject to heavy rotation in 2011.

If you like what you hear here, be sure to pick up Black Up now and awE naturalE when it drops on the 27th of this month via Sub Pop. To learn more about these Seattlelites, check out this interview, also courtesy of NPR.

Stretch Armstrong & Bobbito at RBMA

The Stretch Armstrong & Bobbito show on WCKR-FM is without doubt one of (if not) the most important radio show in the history of hip hop. From 1990 to 1998, Stretch and Bob played host to Nas, Wu-Tang Clan, Notorious B.I.G, Talib Kweli, Busta Rhymes, Fat Joe, Jay-Z, Big L, and Mobb Deep to name a mostly then unsigned few, breaking what would become classic records on the radio for the first time. Above is an hour and a half of Stretch and Bob talking about their incredible legacy at Red Bull Music Academy, playing classic freestyles and taking questions from Chairman Jefferson Mao. It’s a treat.

If you are keen for more Stretch Armstrong and Bobbito, you can find a recording of the 2010 Reunion Show here and a list of the original shows here. If you’re not familiar with Fondle ‘Em Records, a label run by Bobbito from 1995 to 2001, make sure you get to know.

Kan Zulu’s Belt Drive and Beats Band

Every so often, the internet coughs forth something so significant, it’s all you can do to swiftly blog about it in the vain hope someone notices you posted it before a bunch of other people did. On Thursday, the internet brought up two such articles, both from the hands of the one they call Kankick. You have BTS Radio to thank for his latest mix–Kan Zulu’s Belt Drives and Beats Band–featuring 18 new beats from the man himself, some of which are very serious indeed. Click below to read more and download:

Kankick – Kan Zulu’s Belt Drive and Beats Band

Next, a rare interview with Kankick conducted outside an equally rare UK gig at Plastic People during the summer of 2011. If you were one of the lucky thirty-odd who turned up to the gig, it was probably your show of the year (it certainly was mine). If you skipped it to sit at home on the couch playing computer games, Kankick has some words for you. The video comes courtesy of the good folks at Prog Porn, I can’t really thank them enough for this.

In other news – High-Rise will return. Exactly when is a good question, but it will at least look a little more professional and contain more original treats. Big thanks to everyone who has supported High-Rise so far, especially those who pestered me about starting up again. Stay tuned.

The Making of Game Over

Just came across this article about the making of Game Over, the classic Dabrye track that features the vocal talents of J Dilla and Phat Kat. Back in 2006, Kelly ‘K-Fresh’ Fraizer interviewed Tadd Mullinix (aka Dabrye) for the release of his new album, Two/Three, but the piece was never used. Reluctant to just throw it away, Kelly went back to the story, this time getting quotes from key players involved in the beginnings of Game Over. You can read the result here…

The Making Of Dabrye’s ‘Game Over’ With J. Dilla & Phat Kat

The photo above is from Reilly Brennan’s Flickr, where you can find more about the sequence of events leading up to the track being created. Thanks to Kelly Fraizer for writing this article and The Loop Detroit for getting it posted up. And finally, for those who don’t know…