Hello and Happy New Year to you all. It’s a blessing to see another one and seeing as though u reading this, you’re sharing in it with me. So, what’s up…resolutions being held steadfast so far? Hopefully so. Now that the niceties are out of the way (wink), I have the distinct pleasure of doing yet another featured artist podcast. This one is on the special side because I’ve been in touch with the artist regularly over the last few months. He is…Philip Clark…vocalist, songwriter and saxophonist. The tracks I’ll be featuring are from his debut release entitled “The State Of Blue Eyed Soul“.
If memory serves me correctly, our paths crossed on Twitter via hearsay of me working with Fave and Todd Kelley on a collaborative effort entitled “Cross Country Collective” (C3). The name of the EP we’re working on is contempojazzsoulhop. After some tweets back and forth about the EP and remixing, he asked if I’d be interested in remixing a track off his debut CD, while he’s tracking the upcoming. Of course I jumped at the chance, as this kind of opportunity is one I’ve been waiting for for years (literally). The short story around this major interest came by listening to continual remix albums (CDs) that were and are released regularly by the UK giants, Incognito (my favorite group) They often release a remix CD of tunes from their current release and through that, I’ve studied the remix styles of Little Big Bee, atjazz, Kenny Dope (MAW), ig Culture, Jazzanova, David Morales, etc. Needless to say, I definitely was down for this. At the same time, I was working on the C3 EP with two remix kings in their own right, Fave and Todd, so it was crazy inspiration all around.
When I got the request from Philip, I went to his Myspace page and checked out the tracks. “Granted” immediately jumped out at me as a tight track. I let him know, and in no time, I got remix stems for the track from him and was on my way. Interestingly enough, being my first time out of the gate, I found how easy it WASN’T to produce a remix (note to PC: Thanks for the undying patience!! lol). For my gear and music headz, I have another blogpost in draft about how I (Mr. Fresh aka Groove 7) constructed the remix…stay tuned.
For those of you haven’t heard his tracks yet, I’m sure you’re gonna enjoy what you’re about to hear. “The State Of Blue-Eyed Soul” brings elements of soul, jazzy progressions, sultry sax, superb vocal arrangements, funky flow, and some smooth but tight grooves….elements that I personally think could give current R&B a serious (and long awaited) shot in the arm. In addition to the tracks, you’ll hear from PC in his own words, providing some commentary on the tracks themselves. Being a songwriter and musician, I (as I’m sure a few of you can) relate with how they came about, when, where, etc.
So, without further adieu, I present to you the tracklist. Let’s go.
The State of Blue Eyed Soul/Philip Clark
Romeo And Juliet (Sun Go Down)
The Only Woman On The World
Free My Mind
Thinkin’ Bout You
Place Where We Belong
Granted (Groove 7’s 3am Eternal Mix) ::: right-click to download :::
Philip, once again, thanks for the affording me the opportunity to remix “Granted”. Working with you through the process, up to the release of this remix, is indicative of the way it should be done. Thanks for the all the brainstorming, ideas, suggestions, etc, on how to drop it. I’m sure you’re used to rollin’ like that! By the way, PC is a heck of a comic book artist. Dude, you are giving Stan Lee a run for his money!
Funky White Boy
Los Angeles, CA
Much thanks to Lis, super web & graphics designer extraordinaire for the remix artwork! Need graphics and webpage design? Contact her at anewlis.com
Thanks again, …
Nuff said in the last post about today’s R&B music…I wanted to bring u yet another tight cover by Mint Condition of another EWF classic – “After The Love Is Gone”…along with some commentary by Stokely…(Ladies….calm down (wink))
Hello. I hope this post finds u well. Over the last year or so, I’ve been having more and more discussions on the evolution of music, specifically commercial music, be it pop, urban contemporary, hip-hop, and the like. Many of you know I am a musician, and have been one since I was a teen (can you spot me??dont laugh!)
That being said, I’ve seen the evolution of R&B as I grew and played in different groups in college, even up until now. What I have also seen over the last 18 or so years, in R&B, is the decline of “the band” in this genre of music. When I say band, I don’t mean the loosely used term as in “boy band” (98 Degrees, NKOTB, etc) or as in “making of the band” (Day 26, Danity Kane, etc)…I mean as in the classical term of band…singers/musicians (SOS Band, The Time, Lakeside, Dynasty, EWF…etc).
I’d say the only ‘band’ that is mainstream in R&B is considered to be The Roots. I would define it otherwise, but I believe that definition is probably the most accurate. I say that there is no specific front man for The Roots (save Questlove, who is known to be the name one thinks of when The Roots are mentioned).
I could go on about why the decline of the band has taken place, with respect to the evolution of the music industry for the urban contemporary/R&B genre, but that is enough for another post. What I would like to do is post a quick video of who I consider to the only real band left in R&B that has toured consistently since their debut in 1991 on Jam and Lewis’ Flytetyme recording label: Mint Condition
I wont get on my soapbox about my luv for MC (you really don’t want that…LOL), but I will post some serious video clips of some original and cover material that they did specifically for AOL’s Black Voices. To me, Mint Condition is, and always will be, the “definition of a band”
Here’s MC doing Earth, Wind and Fire’s “Runnin’ ” …enjoy.
Here’s a lil sumthin’ I was messin’ around with this evening. No loops this time. This track was originally composed in an old Mac sequencer called Master Tracks Pro. I programmed the drums using my Yamaha RY30 drum machine. I also used a Yamaha TX-81Z for the bass synth, and Yamaha TG-55 for the synth pad. I took the MIDI sequence and imported it in to Logic Express 7.2 and used all EXS24P sampler voices. The track name, No Need For Clocks, was for an artist I was working on a demo for (this is what I came up with, though she eventually did something different with the song).
I seem to be into producing chilled beats lately… I wonder why… 😉
The bounce audio came out real rough, and I dont know why. There are no plugins at all on the tracks, but I did say I will post whatever I come up with, good and not so good. Note to self: find out why the bounce is bad.
-Recorded with: Logic Express 7.2.2
-Computer: Mac Powerbook G4 Aluminum
-Drums: EXS24P Sampler Hip Hop Kit
-Bass Synth: EXS24P Sampler Analog Bass
-Synth Pad: EXS24P Sampler Filtered Dark Analog Pad
A chat….one Wednesday…
Roney: Good morning! How are you doing on Hump Day?
Fresh doing just that
great news on the NEW The Time CD
Roney: I hear ya!
The Time news is cool.
Fresh ORIGINAL MEMBERS
Roney: Any release date projected?
The original line up makes it newsworthy.
Fresh dunno…gotta check the usually haunts..this is all new news to me
Roney: Keep us informed!
Fresh I knew they were on tour last year in Vegas…but didnt know they were in the studio
I will post what I find out.
Roney: Hopefully real music can make a bigger comeback with radio play too.
Fresh i think the first part might be more feasible from a buyers standpoint, industry will drag it’s feet.
Roney: True. Too bad most of the old school did not pick up or test drive web2.0 like Prince did. But I guess it is easier to do one thing at a time.
Fresh the radio listening/CD buying public (in that age range) will have to be introduced to the concept of real music…a reality only folks of our generation really can relate to
Roney: Right. I thought of buying the digital version of some old school purchases lately
Fresh Prince is one of the more forward thinking musicians from the old skool (urban, that is)
digital version vs vinyl/CD u mean…
Roney: Either the analog version is misplaced or I don’t want to do the digitizing myself:)
Fresh ok got u
Roney: Very few artists these days separate me from my money:)
heard an interesting statement last week during a podcast
Roney: Oh yeah?
Fresh “…most of today’s generation and beyond have no concept of what buying physical music (CDs, etc) is like because they download (legally and illegally) music
the podcast topic was pirated music downloads
Roney: So true. I hate it even when people tell me how they got over.
But it is always the people who are not creating anything of their own that feel this way.
Fresh That is sadly not connected just to music downloads…sigh
Roney: If they spent money on the copyright fees just once, then they would think differently.
Fresh free free free ….self consumption without compensation
Roney: Then don’t get me started with payola since it creates the space between the rock and hard place:(
Roney…the thing is…the whole idea of copyright infringement or protection…both have issues because of where the technology is today
with apps like Audio Hijack for the Mac…DRM means nothing!
Roney: Congress is dragging its feet on the issues too.
Wow! I am not sure if I knew about Audio Hijack:)
Fresh AHJ, there are a few others
on the Mac side
Roney: Will it record Skype calls too?
Fresh AHJ allows u to record anything coming from your Mac or into your Mac
Skype, record from the web
Roney: That is strong!
Fresh record from iTunes library
Roney: I am on the site now.
Fresh it is a swiss army knife
Roney: Thanks for turning me onto it.
Fresh 100% defeat of DRM
so, I dont see what the fuss is
Roney: I see that now.
Fresh the apps defeat it
Roney: True again.
Fresh the only thing that is left is to exercise integrity and SUPPORT THE ARTIST!
Roney: Cheaper than what Apple wants to charge to free earlier purchases too.
I once read that the music has to be the entry point to other stuff like merchandise etc.
It is becoming true right or wrong it seems.
Fresh How so? I dont see the correlation…
music—> merchandise, etc
Roney: People will want a deeper connection with the artist supposedly to buy their logos, clothes, & other stuff.
Everything becomes a 24-7 infomercial:(
The sadder part is seeing less talented people play the game and make a killing, so what do you do?
Fresh i see
i think a great deal is this…young A&R cats who ONLY know street marketing/or even good marketing skills…but dont really know JACK about musical talent
Take Mint Condition
Roney: Good point.
Fresh they are the ONLY band left in R&B
Fresh why are groups in other genres (u follow me): The Stones, Motley Crue, Anthrax
still selling out concerts and we have bands that have been in the game just as long
at best doing cruise ships or concerts that only attract the old schoolers?
Roney: hmmmm…Does the Essence Music Festival pretty much keep the same lineup year after year you think? It may be simply generational after all.
Fresh similar but still
Roney: The values of young cats today male and female are simply warped at best:)
Fresh those same groups, they dont do world tours that sell out like Crue, Stones, etc…in other words what is the rock genre doing to be generational that R&B bands have failed to do
i tend to think it is the technology that is prominent in making today’s R&B…
Roney: You have me thinking and scratching my head at the same time)
Fresh verses standard rock bands that rely mainly on musician ship!
Roney: I agree with the technology part too. When we were growing up, we knew that we could recreate what we heard on the radio or saw on Soul Train.
Today, I don’t feel that way pretty much about anyone.
Fresh true…exactly . With the real sounding samples and loops today.the artists have skills and technology that it can make them sound like bands, but live…cant replicate.
Fresh here’s an analogy of late
that I have been using
Roney: Then staying home or waiting for the cruise ship makes everyone suckers in the process:)
Fresh Take EWF
back in the day
Fresh MULTI-member band right?
Fresh elaborate theatrics, pyrotechnics during the concert, correct?
Fresh add to the annual tours
plus paying the band members
Fresh plus multiyear recording contracts
all amounts to big $$ right?
Fresh FF to late mid 90s to now
Fresh Janet Jackson concert, Usher concert, whatever
non singer live in many cases
hordes of dancers
Fresh u pay the same amount of money for a ticket…if not more
u get less real talent
if i want to pay money to see dancers for the most part
I will go to the theatre, u follow?
Roney: Yes! rofl:)
Fresh industry STILL has to pay for all that
but I believe the consumer gets the shaft talent wise
of course, I am a musician, and from the old skool, but I believe my point cant be argued
i just dont think A&R folk these days really know talent
Roney: The situation creates & promotes less talent since there is less diversity of thought in the music making process.
Fresh and the industry machine can careless about it, as long as they make a buck on the latest hotness.
Roney: Exactly! T-Pain is a prime poster boy for your argument & throw in Ray J too! Can I? would never have received air play back in the day.
Fresh EXACTLY as LONG as Usher has been around dude should be MEGA bigi will give it to him that he obviously has staying powerbut back in the dayif he was around equally as longhe’d be bigger..
Roney: It does make me think what some of these artists would sound like within a group vs being solo. Beyonce broke the mold both ways though.
Fresh I will give B that
Roney: Or showed the true colors.
Fresh Another good point i was discussing with my recording partner last week
Roney: The group stage is just a platform to go solo & supposedly collect a bigger check.
Roney: But the creativity is capped in the process.
Fresh big time…Consider this….as MEGA as En Vogue was
and I mean mega, why was there last release…. a flop?
Roney: Yes, the behind the scenes is where the money is at.
Fresh bottom line, Roney…that’s it
Roney: Dawn from En Vogue seems to be struggling unnecessarily with all her talent:(
Fresh the evolution is for the worst, talent wise
EXACTLY and why??
Roney: Everyone wants a face, imagery, & visuals just to program us:(
Fresh the mechanism is totally wack, these days with respect to talent
Roney: 50 is a classic example too.
Roney: Jay-Z is not immune either.
Fresh tech can give u the visuals, the face and imagery easy
but it is not a sub for true talent
Roney: Kanye has to overcompensate just to stay in the game)
Fresh never was a Kanye fan from jumpstreet
Roney: I think Mary J is in the sweet spot but she has to release something annually.
Fresh and somebody PLEASE tell me why there is even the slightest hype about Lil Wayne??
i’ll give Mary J props for staying power as well
Roney: LW just graduated from Cash Money. He was the best in that crew & had to pay his dues or allow time for the others to fall out of the race.
Fresh ok, with that latter statement
that can mean that only by others falling off, could he achieve rec and stardom
Roney: Mannie Fresh is MIA these days unless he is on Myspace strong:)
Fresh doesnt say much for talent
Roney: True, my point exactly.
Fresh Mannie had a bigger name once
Busta Rhymes is back
Roney: Busta is reaching for straws too.
Maybe a mega group like an all star line up is needed.
Fresh you remember back in ’00 when he blew up with Flipmode, on Elektra
Roney: But even Wu Tang had its theory tested and dissected.
Fresh i dont think he has had that much hype since
Fresh as far as Diddy? Stop right there.
it’s been over
Roney: But to flip the script, the intl artists who are in pairs at the max seem to being ok.
Roney: The numbers in the band have been severely cut for us though.
Fresh they are gone
Roney: Most in the dance music genre have no more than a duo.
Fresh there is no R&B band remotely out there save MC
Roney: Pop likes a quartet.
Roney: The overhead is too high between projects.
Fresh it is straight flash in the pan
Roney: Maze & Frankie Beverly make more touring than selling records.
Fresh but look from whence they came
Roney: Even MJ makes more touring than selling these days:(
Fresh as he should
Roney: I saw Rodney Jerkins mention it on a video on Facebook for MJ.
Fresh MJ could not put anything out to garner major radio play with out it sounding like what’s beenon the radio
Roney: True. Invincible was still a great album for him IMO.
Fresh I agree
they had a hand in it
Roney: But it had the technology that prevented it from playing in computers
Fresh but RJ was hot then
TR was on the outs
another BRILLIANT move from RIAA
Roney: Any solutions you see?
could have solved that
if it was around
if I d/l a track from iTunes
Fresh i had to use Audio HiJack to remove the DRM before putting it in a podcast
from what I remember, GB wouldnt allow it
Roney: I am now beginning to think podcast mixes are a possible solution if the industry supported it.
Fresh they are!!
Roney: I forgot already
Fresh @darrenkeith3 and I have been having this discussion since last year
Roney: I saw a documentary on mixtapes via Netflix and it gave me an icky feeling for the RIAA to be the bull dog when the labels are supplying the music directly.
Fresh thank u…my point exactly
Roney: I made mixtapes with a cassette recorder back in the day & everyone had to be quiet or not come in the room talking
Fresh same here
i recorded off the radio
the only thing different then is i had to try to catch the pause button before the commercials came etc
Roney: Vinyl to cassettes
Roney: Same here on the radio:)
Roney: I sat in with a local dj while I was in high school & he even knew people were recording his show!
my thing is
as long as a mechanism was developed to record shows
Roney: He said once that he would play promos at weird times just to make people mad. I was furious inside for hearing him tell me that.
Fresh the protection was pretty much gone
and that was ANALOG
Fresh now that we are in the digital world
u might was well forget it
DRM means nothing
Roney: Prince’s paid access had to be profitable but ego probably wanted greater visibility & recognition.
Fresh hey, this has been good, u mind if I turn this diatribe into a blog post? LOL!
Roney: No problem, go ahead:)
Fresh i think it may draw some interesting comments!
Roney: I think so as well
Post the URL to FlyteTyme too!
Fresh good idea…let me see if I can post the blog now
Roney: Cool. Catch you later!
From this point on, I’ll occassionally post some gems from my musical journey to present (as it’s been a lonnng journey thus far…haha). Hope u enjoy the ride as well
This one tells the beginning of how I got started. When my brother was 3, he received a Mickey Mouse guitar for Christmas. Being as though he was 3, the guitar lasted for ABOUT 3 days. By the third day, it had no strings so…..being the big brother of 13 that I was, I fixed it….then began to play around with it….and enjoy it.
About a few months later, I spied a small electric guitar and tiny amp in the local record shop. I begged my dad to buy it for me. All and all, I think both cost less than $100 total (the guitar was a hefty $42!!! – LOL). In any event, I thought playing the guitar, out of any other instrument, would be the coolest to learn (and yes, since I was a teenager, I felt the girls would love that…yes, I admit it….and yes, I was …mostly correct – heh).
Coincidentally enough, the other guys in the neighborhood also sprung some musical talent as well. My friend next door started playing bass, another friend down the street played drums, one around the corner played guitar, yet another played percussion, and another friend up the street played trumpet.
We practiced at each others homes every weekend (God bless our parents), and soon became good enough to form a lil neighborhood R&B band named…Black Frost, which began to do all kind of litttle events around town – HS dance parties, etc. We had a ball, and began to hone our musical and songwriting skills based upon the influences of R&B and commercial radio. We began writing our own material to perform out, and took 2nd place only to the hottest R&B band across town, Sundae (those last two parts, in themselves, are enough for future blog posts! haha)
Good memories from back in the day, when bands were the hotness. We need that back in music today.
The above pic is an afternoon rehearsal in my backyard…who can guess what year that was, annnnd which guy is me?
Have a good one….
This just in …for your Valentine’s Day celebration….a special edition of Cupid’s Hunt, done by none other than my partner-in-time (we go back over 25 years), recording partner, co-owner of AfterSix Productions and Hall Effect Records…my man, Dan…
Breakin’ it down about what…love…is…A nice mix of spoken word, R&B, and soul….check it out
1. Midnight and You – Barry White
2. Remembering Love (Nia’s Poem) – From the movie soundtrack “Love Jones”
3. Love Jones – Brighter Side Of Darkness
4. Brother to the Night- From the movie soundtrack “Love Jones”
5. Saving All My Love – New York Group
6. I am Still in Love with You – Al Green
You on Twitter? So is he…follow him at dbassist
Show him some love… Happy Valentine’s Day!