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Blog

Live at Red Bull Studios New York

dean chew

We recorded a special session at Red Bull Studios New York back in May when a number of the roster was in New York. The session features sets by Marcoweibel, Rah, William J, Jaël and Mawkus. Bump this one loud and be on the lookout for more special sessions coming your way soon. Listen to it here

Welcoming Howie Lee to the DTW universe

dean chew

Photo credit : Axel Serik

Photo credit : Axel Serik

One of the true leaders of the rising electronic scene in China, Howie Lee has been extremely active and prolific in his ventures, be it audio or visual. With releases on Trapdoor, Alpha Pup under his belt and numerous endorsements from Rinse FM to Gilles Peterson's Worldwide, the progressive talent has continued to impress the global community with his skills and work ethics.

His unique ability to create intricate soundscapes with clever sampling techniques has allowed him to separate himself from the rest, and this is one of the qualities that resonated with our core values. We look forward to building this bridge with him.

SEEK:

https://soundcloud.com/howielee | https://www.facebook.com/howieleeofficial

 

 

DTW x DO HITS Showcase (Taipei & Singapore)

dean chew

It was only a matter of time before we linked up with Howie Lee and his Do Hits crew out of Beijing. We have been focusing lately on fostering closer ties with like-minded collectives, and this Asian music exchange couldn't have happened at a better time. This month. Do Hits hosted us in Taipei, with co-founder Funk Bast*rd and FZPZ repping the flag, and we returned the favour by hosting them the day after in Singapore. Our very own Go Yama swung thru as a surprise guest and we also had Singapore's very own Yllis open the night. The latter will be dropping his debut ep on Do Hits as well, so make sure you keep an eye out for that.

Photography by Axel Serik

Photography by Colossal Photos

VISUALS BY BRANDON TAY (Syndicate)

Miki Rose - XOXO

dean chew

First single 'Right There' Premiere on  Music Ninja    Pre-order / Stream / DL    LA-based singer/songwriter Miki Rose has been on the road as long as she can remember. Hailing from Brighton in the UK, but living in cities as myriad as Paris and Boston, Miki’s first foray into music composition began as child’s play in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. A subsequent move to Texas at age 10 exposed her to American culture, drastically expanding her musical world as she became attuned to the likes of Erykah Badu and D’Angelo. With a neo-soul streak firmly ingrained, Miki attended Berklee College of Music before breaking it for the city of dreams.  Miki’s debut solo EP “XOXO” emerges from an on going journey to discover a voice that is honest and undeniably her own. Disillusioned by multiple residency gigs in LA and feeling a lack of connection to what she was performing, Miki returned to songwriting hoping to unearth something raw and genuine, and to make music unfiltered by the structured lens of her formal education. After putting out a series of ‘flips’ written over beats from up-and-coming producers that resonated with her, Miki began to connect with like-minded musicians with support from MOOVMNT, eventually leading her to cross paths with Darker Than Wax.  “XOXO” features Miki’s distinctive voice supported by an all-star lineup of producers from the Darker Than Wax stable - fzpz (Singapore), Giorgio Oehlers (Netherlands), KA-YU (Netherlands), and Silo (Belgium). The beats are a strong representation of the Darker Than Wax sound, with neon synths, dreamy chords, and swung rhythms woven together in an undeniably soulful style. Yet these are more than just instrumentals with a vocal on top; they are full-fledged songs.  Sonically diverse but retaining a cohesive structure, the productions complement Miki’s spontaneous and organic approach to songwriting. This sensitivity to Miki’s intentions shines through in every song, driving the energy of her verse forward at times, and at others giving space to her voice as she traces the turns of emotion following a heartbreak. While “XOXO” serves as a showcase of both Miki’s and the producers’ individual talents, it is also a statement about maintaining artistic integrity in the face of life’s emotional challenges.   

First single 'Right There' Premiere on Music Ninja 
Pre-order / Stream / DL

LA-based singer/songwriter Miki Rose has been on the road as long as she can remember. Hailing from Brighton in the UK, but living in cities as myriad as Paris and Boston, Miki’s first foray into music composition began as child’s play in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. A subsequent move to Texas at age 10 exposed her to American culture, drastically expanding her musical world as she became attuned to the likes of Erykah Badu and D’Angelo. With a neo-soul streak firmly ingrained, Miki attended Berklee College of Music before breaking it for the city of dreams.

Miki’s debut solo EP “XOXO” emerges from an on going journey to discover a voice that is honest and undeniably her own. Disillusioned by multiple residency gigs in LA and feeling a lack of connection to what she was performing, Miki returned to songwriting hoping to unearth something raw and genuine, and to make music unfiltered by the structured lens of her formal education. After putting out a series of ‘flips’ written over beats from up-and-coming producers that resonated with her, Miki began to connect with like-minded musicians with support from MOOVMNT, eventually leading her to cross paths with Darker Than Wax.

“XOXO” features Miki’s distinctive voice supported by an all-star lineup of producers from the Darker Than Wax stable - fzpz (Singapore), Giorgio Oehlers (Netherlands), KA-YU (Netherlands), and Silo (Belgium). The beats are a strong representation of the Darker Than Wax sound, with neon synths, dreamy chords, and swung rhythms woven together in an undeniably soulful style. Yet these are more than just instrumentals with a vocal on top; they are full-fledged songs.  Sonically diverse but retaining a cohesive structure, the productions complement Miki’s spontaneous and organic approach to songwriting. This sensitivity to Miki’s intentions shines through in every song, driving the energy of her verse forward at times, and at others giving space to her voice as she traces the turns of emotion following a heartbreak. While “XOXO” serves as a showcase of both Miki’s and the producers’ individual talents, it is also a statement about maintaining artistic integrity in the face of life’s emotional challenges.

 

NOO & 10.4 ROG - INNER G | OUT NOW

dean chew

Support by Lefto, Fulgeance, Cascade Records, Cosmonostro and more.    Download entire project     'INNER G' is the result of a continuous exchange and respect between two like-minded souls. Oakland-based 10.4 ROG has been on our radars for a minute now, and ever since his releases on our Free Download series and 30K compilation, he was also most recently featured in POMO's 'Tempo Dreams' released on Bastard Jazz - further cementing his position as one of the most exciting young artists to look out for. Musically, he likes to cite hip-hop, funk, and jazz as primary influences on his production style, but considers himself an eclectic listener and fan above all.  As a beatmaker and producer, 10.4 ROG has always been making things and leaving room for someone - a singer or rapper - to fill in the blanks. He tries not to adorn his instrumentals with too much, with the possibility that someone else could populate that musical space.  This is where NOO comes in as an integral element to the elevation + completion of songs in that coveted 'producer-rapper' relationship. Both gravitated towards each other musically, with NOO's tone, timing and humor adding further shine to the project. 'INNER G''s primary strength lies in its rawness and draws from a wide spectrum of influences, ranging from hip-hop, jazz, funk, soul and the like. It is at once dark and muted, but funky and energetic at the same time. These are the qualities that resonate very strongly with what we do, and we do hope you enjoy this one as much as we did.

Support by Lefto, Fulgeance, Cascade Records, Cosmonostro and more.

Download entire project

'INNER G' is the result of a continuous exchange and respect between two like-minded souls. Oakland-based 10.4 ROG has been on our radars for a minute now, and ever since his releases on our Free Download series and 30K compilation, he was also most recently featured in POMO's 'Tempo Dreams' released on Bastard Jazz - further cementing his position as one of the most exciting young artists to look out for. Musically, he likes to cite hip-hop, funk, and jazz as primary influences on his production style, but considers himself an eclectic listener and fan above all.

As a beatmaker and producer, 10.4 ROG has always been making things and leaving room for someone - a singer or rapper - to fill in the blanks. He tries not to adorn his instrumentals with too much, with the possibility that someone else could populate that musical space.

This is where NOO comes in as an integral element to the elevation + completion of songs in that coveted 'producer-rapper' relationship. Both gravitated towards each other musically, with NOO's tone, timing and humor adding further shine to the project. 'INNER G''s primary strength lies in its rawness and draws from a wide spectrum of influences, ranging from hip-hop, jazz, funk, soul and the like. It is at once dark and muted, but funky and energetic at the same time. These are the qualities that resonate very strongly with what we do, and we do hope you enjoy this one as much as we did.

Brooklyn Showcase with Jaël (US Debut), Rah and William J

dean chew

Vibes will be heavy on May 20 and 21 with Jaël, Rah and William J in New York for all things Darker Than Wax. Find us at the W Hotel in downtown New York on Friday night, May 20th sharing the preview of what's to come for Saturday's major showcase, featuring very special surprise guests. RSVP here for the showcase.

#wemove | Europe Mar 2016 recap

dean chew

A small recap of our recent showcases in London, Leeds, Manchester and Berlin. Indeed, these are inspirational times, as we see our movement growing progressively in tangible ways. Longevity is the key, and we are definitely here to stay. Big love going out to each and every one out there who has been showing support so far - your presence is never taken for granted.

On a separate note, we hit Shanghai and Beijing on the 29th of April and 1st of May, with the trio of Troy Samuela, co-founder Funk Bast*rd and William J repping the flag. For more info, hit www.darkerthanwax.com

Video credit : Black Surrealism
Music : Go Yama - Why like that lah

HIATUS KAIYOTE - MULTI-DIMENSIONAL, POLYRHYTHMIC GANGSTER SHIT

dean chew

We caught up with Nai Palm of Hiatus Kaiyote ahead of their performance at the Singapore International Jazz Festival 2016.

When and where to catch Hiatus Kaiyote?

Friday, 4 March 2016, 9:00 p.m. at Marina Bay Sands

For more info, feel free to check the SingJazz Festival website.

No tickets yet?

No need to worry, head over to the SingJazz Festival site to get your tickets and more info. Advanced tickets for the opening night on Friday, 4 March can already be purchased for SGD 85.

_____________

For the ones who haven't heard of you yet, what should they know about you? Who is Hiatus Kaiyote?

Hiatus Kaiyote is a four piece band from Melbourne Australia whose sole purpose is to stimulate the imagination of our listeners globally. We are all hyper creative and sensitive individuals that flourish together by exploring each others sonic ideas.

Nai, you have also collaborated with Taylor McFerrin on "The Antidote". We’re very excited to have both of you at SingJazz Festival! What’s it like working with him?

It was the first time I’d ever been overseas and the day after I landed in NYC I went to his humble home studio and recorded in one day. I wrote to the beat on the flight over. Taylor is one of the most endearing and beautiful souls I have ever met. He has been soo supportive from day one. As an artist he is very innovative and tasteful so it was an honour working with him.

Your dream collaboration?

A Japanese composer by the name of Takashi Yoshimatsu or maybe if we could bring Nicholas Tesla back from the dead I’m sure he would come up with some cool ideas or at least be good to have a cup of tea with.

What are you doing when you are not making music?

I love treasure. Collecting, making, giving. I’m always at markets or second hand shops digging for rare awesome things. I also have a Parrot called Charlie whom I look after and take to parks, the beach. I need my nature fix in between touring for sure. Its like a reset button.

What are you currently listening to and what was your favourite record in 2015?

I go through phases but I’ve been listening to Angel Olsen, Medhi Hasaan, Debussy. As of 2015 the new Dangelo record and Kendrick Lamars 'To Pimp a Butterfly" record have been nothing short of amazing. And what do you have in store for your performance at SingJazz ? Hopefully lots of ocelot kittens, everywhere all over the stage. Otherwise probably a lot of sequins and confusing music.

DTW X SingJazz Mix #4: MARCOWEIBEL

dean chew

This month we have NYC-based core member and selector MARCOWEIBEL stepping up for the SingJazz mix series.

 

Ron English - You Make Me Feel Brand New

Upchurch / Tennyson - You Got Style

Zodiac - Girl You Got A Home

Fabiano Do Nascimento - Minha Ciranda

Painel De Controle - Relax (Extended Waxist Version) 

Wu15 - The Anthem

Floating Points - Sparking Controversy

Jazz Work Shop - Mezare Israel Yekabtzenu

The Gaslamp Killer - Nissim feat. Amir Yaghmai

Even Cool & Phoniks - The Time Is Right

Ivan Ave - Moves

John Klemmer - Free Soul

J.A.M - Strasbourg / St. Denis

Norman Weeks - I Just Wanna Sing For You

Soil & Pimp Sessions - Funky Goldman

TAYLOR MCFERRIN - IMPROVISATION IS THE KEY

dean chew

Taylor McFerrin's taste in music is deeply rooted in hip hop as he grew up listening to a lot of hip hop producers such as DJ Premier and Madlib. Over time – while developing his own sound – he also got more and more into 60s and 70s soul, rock and Brazilian music. Despite being an 'electronic live act', McFerrin's sets keep the spirit of Jazz alive through extensive improvisation and an overall soulful feel. We are extremely excited to welcome him to our stage at SingJazz Festival 2016.

When and where to catch Taylor McFerrin?

Friday, 4 March 2016, 9:00 p.m. at Marina Bay Sands

For more info, feel free to check the SingJazz Festival website.

No tickets yet?

No need to worry, head over to the SingJazz Festival site to get your tickets and more info. Advanced tickets for the opening night on Friday, 4 March can already be purchased for SGD 85.

_______________________________________________________________________________

For the ones who haven't heard of you yet, what should they know about you? Who is Taylor McFerrin?

That’s always a hard question to answer. I’m a producer first and foremost, meaning I play most of the instruments. On my instrumental music that I create, I also am a singer and performer.

I grew up listening to a lot of hip hop producers like DJ Premier with Wu Tang Clan, and Madlib, so those are really my inspirations to become a hip hop producer. But as I developed my sound I ended up getting more and more into 60s and 70s soul, rock, and Brazilian music. And I decided that instead of sampling I wanted to play my own instruments. I like to play everything on my records, but then I turn it into a modern day production. I think that you can look at the people that I’m kind of associated with, like with my label and my friends: Flying Lotus and Thundercat, or Hiatus Kaiyote. We’re all kind of a part of a soul music renaissance who are keeping that spirit going. But, also kind of keeping that modern version based on the hip hop and electronic production that’s involved ground up. I’m an artist that’s living in a different world and I’m just trying to bring a take on it to my albums and live shows.

You collaborated with Nai Palm, singer of Australian band Hiatus Kaiyote. The band is also part of our curated line-up for the SingJazz Festival. Are you looking forward to share the stage with them again in March? And what do you think of the other acts?

Yeah they’re really good friends of mine. I met them a long time ago when they were just starting out as a band. We shared a gig together and I actually ended up sharing their music with a lot of DJs that helped to get them out there like Gilles Peterson and DJs in LA. ‘Cause when I met them, I think they’d only been playing for 7 months as a band, but I knew all of my friends would absolutely love their music.

We have a really special connection; I really met them when they were starting out and tried to really help get their music out there, ‘cause I knew they were going to be a really big band. Because of that, we’ve really stayed friends, so it was really easy to hit up Nai Palm and ask her to be on my record. She actually recorded her vocals the first time she came to New York, I got really lucky!

BBNG is playing too, right? I think they’re really good, too. I don’t have a friendship with them, but I definitely know their music. I’m really excited to see their set. I’ve seen a few YouTube videos and it seems amazing. I heard their production and what they did with Ghostface and some other stuff as well, so I’m really excited to see them live – I have a feeling it’s going to be great.

Your dream collaboration?

That’s tough. The way that I make music is that I usually make everything on my own and then I start thinking of who I want to jump on and work with. I’ve always wanted to work with Erykah Badu, so I can say that that will be a dream collaboration. We have a lot of mutual friends, so it might not be impossible. I’m going to try to reach out to her at some point, that looks definitely up there.

What are you doing when you are not making music?

I’m really into sports! I watch a lot of basketball, probably too much actually. Lebron James is my favourite player, but I also just love the game so much. I’m usually watching out for most of the great players and teams. I’ve moved around a lot as a kid to different cities, so I never really had a basketball team that I follow my whole life. I just kind of gravitate towards all the best players. I watch football, too. I’m married, so you know, I’m home watching TV with my wife most of the time, or we go out and try to enjoy LA and the beach, or go hiking. Most of my time is spent doing music.

What are you currently listening to and what was your favourite record in 2015?

My favourite two records were definitely To Pimp a Butterfly by Kendrick Lamar and Flying Lotus’s You’re Dead. Oh, but that came out the year before. So Kendrick Lamar is number one.

Right now, there’s a guy called Anderson Paak who put out an album called Malibu last week that’s record of the year so far.

And what do you have in store for your performance at SingJazz?

When I perform songs from my record I like to switch it up from how it is on the album. I kind of do live remix versions of my songs, where I take parts of the songs. I do a lot of improvisation around the music, so every show - people come to - will always be different. I like to improvise a lot, I have that very old school 70s soul vibe. But, sometimes I also like to have the crazy beats. I try to adapt to the crowd, really, the kind of energy I’m feeling,  and let myself take on the life or the tone depending on the energy of the space and the audience.

BADBADNOTGOOD (BBNG) - CONNECTING HIP HOP AND JAZZ

dean chew

Toronto-based band BADBADNOTGOOD (BBNG) are four music loving and fun guys, who are well-known for their unique interpretations of Hip Hop tracks such as Gucci Mane’s Lemonade and collaborations with Tyler, The Creator or Ghostface Killah. We’re very happy to have them as part of our line-up for SingJazz Festival 2016. If you share our love for Hip Hop and Jazz – you don’t want to miss them playing live on Friday, 4 March. In our little chat, they tell us about why Hip Hop and Jazz go hand in hand with each other, who they would like to work with in the future, and explore their recent influences

When and where to catch BBNG?

Friday, 4 March 2016, 7:30 p.m. at Marina Bay Sands

For more info, feel free to check the SingJazz Festival website.

No tickets yet?

No need to worry, head over to the SingJazz Festival site to get your tickets and more info. Advanced tickets for the opening night on Friday, 4 March can already be purchased for SGD 85.

_______________________________________________________________________________

For the ones who haven't heard of you yet, what should they know about you? Who is BBNG?

We’re four goofy guys that love making music and having fun.

We know that you have a strong liking for Hip Hop and Jazz. But, if you had to choose – what would it be and why?

That’s a really difficult question, both genres have a rich history of incredible music and ideas, and they connect with each other on so many levels. We’ve been gaining inspiration from both Hip Hop and Jazz for most of our musical lives, so I don’t think we could choose!

Your dream collaboration?

We’re open to working with anyone that we can connect with musically and personally. Lately, we’ve been collaborating a lot more than we have in the past, and it’s always an amazing experience. If I had to name someone specific, working with Frank Ocean would be crazy!

What are you doing when you are not making music?

Living healthy, active and positive lifestyles!

What are you currently listening to and what was your favourite record in 2015?

We’ve been obsessed with Brazilian music for the past year ormore, constantly listening to Marcos Valle, Arthur Verocai, Edu Lobo . . . A great record in 2015 was Kamasi Washington’s The Epic. So good.

And what do you have in store for your performance at SingJazz?

Hopefully a whole bunch of new music, good energy and fun! We’re extremely excited to be out there, we can’t wait!

 

 

DTW X SingJazz Mix #3: RAH

dean chew

Download

This month's entry in the SingJazz Mix Series comes from Singapore-based DTW core member and DJ RAH.

 

Beautiful Berimbau - Massada  

Kendrick Lamar -  For Free

The Stoned Revivals - Stoned Alleycat 

Golden Rules - Play Some Luther 

Mala - Calle f 

The Bamboos - The Wilhelm Scream ft. Megan Washington

Tim maia - Que 

Trevor dandy - Is There Any Love 

Jazzmatazz -Take A Look (At Yourself)

Gil Scott-Heron - The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

Fingertrap - De Facto

Pop Rock - Pieces of a Dream

Dance of Maria - Elias Rahbani 

BBNG X ghostface - Six Degrees feat Danny Brown

DJ Shadow - Organ Donor

Taylor Mcferrin - Already There (feat Robert Glasper & Thundercat)

 

 

DTW X SingJazz Mix #2: Kaye

dean chew

Download

The SingJazz Mix series continues with an entry from Kaye - DTW Co-founder, Producder, DJ, and Saxophonist.

 

Lennie Tristano / Warne Marsh - Smog Eyes

Kenny Dorham - Basheer’s Dream

Pharaoh Sanders - Astral Travelling

Herbie Hancock - Bring Down The Birds

Dorothy Ashby - Afro Harping

Weather Report - Young and Fine

Ryo Kawasaki - Raisins

Dexter Wansel - Life on Mars

Eddie Henderson - Butterfly

Caldera - Guancaste

Jamaaladeen Tacuma - Animated Creation

Armando - Real Jazz (Original Mix)

Dego & Kaidi - Carrot & Sesame

Guru - Introduction

A Tribe Called Quest - Check The Rhyme

John Coltrane - Giant Steps (Kaye Dub)

HYPEBEAST TV PRESENTS DARKER THAN WAX

dean chew

HYPEBEAST TV presents DARKER THAN WAX

Soundtrack : 10A x Troy Samuela - Coastlines

-DOWNLOAD COASTLINES-

Sometimes, it's really about the timing. It's been almost a year since the very first idea floated btw us and HBTV about presenting DTW in a certain way that would represent the DNA of the label.

Indeed, DTW is quite simply a movement of ideas - stemmed in the notion of diversity, that things didn't need categorisations or definitions, and that life itself could be a jazz moment - constantly improvising and evolving. The artists and affiliates that are hand-picked by us reflect that spirit and we are all part of the same ecosystem.

It's with great pleasure and humility that we present this little insight into the DTW universe, narrated through the voices of co-foudners Funk Bast*rd and Kaye, and we hope this presents you the perfect chance to know us better.

One in music.

Shouts to Ambrose Leung, Alamby Leung, Melvin Betaphats and Daniel Teo for the hard work and co-ordination in making this happen.