It’s always a bitter sweet moment when Montreal artists leave the city to go further their education and career in other lands but you can’t help but be crazy proud when you look at the product they bring back. Bass (Electric and Double) player Matt Rousseau left us a couple of years back to study at The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York where he ended up joining forces with well known guitarist and composer Tom Csatari. When I got to check out Rousseau with the Tom Csatari Band at the Upstairs Jazz Bar and Grill last summer, I was truly impressed by the new level of art he was serving us. Previously, I’d been following his career as part of The Franky Rousseau Large Band and The Bud Rice Band so I knew he could really set the tone with a solid groove but what he’s doing now is a whole other game. Now you guys all know that I come from a mainly Hip Hop and Soul background so bass is easily one of the most important instruments in my mind which is why sometimes I feel like when I go check out jazz and cinematic-groove type shows I feel like there’s a lack of assertiveness from the bass players. Thankfully Matt Rousseau doesn’t fall in that category, within the first beats of a piece his bass line is laid down strong and confidently giving room to other musicians to venture off in artistic melodies cause the tone has been set and wont falter. I don’t know if the Tom Csatari Band will be making their way back up to Montreal this summer but in the meantime they have a 5-piece EP available on Bandcamp that you should definitely check out. ‘Blues for Edna’ is my personal favorite.
Keep making us proud across the border Rousseau! [Yup he's the guy the picture reppin' Montreal with his Habs Shirt on *sigh*]
It’s my birthday in a few days and I’m reaching the age where people start to worry about how they’re getting older. Now I’ve always been concerned with my age because I’m a go-getter who used to think I’d have my whole life figured out by 18 but recently the concern isn’t so much how much I can get done within the next year but how can I manage to stay true to my youthful self as the years and responsibilities start piling in. Not a weird tacky I want to wear pum pum shorts to work type of youth but you know an age gracefully and manage to hold on to my passion for life type of youth. All of this life questioning brought me back to a conversation I had with Paul Cargnello back in March when he was preparing for his Quebec tour promoting his latest album Papa Paul. ‘It’s about learning to embrace the new stages and opportunities of your life […] focusing on the past is useless since those days have already left their imprint, which won’t wash away’ he said referring to the theme of Papa Paul. Those words resonated with me on a personal tip but even more on musical perspective because in the end isn’t that what makes a great artist, someone who is daring enough to explore new grounds and opportunities while remaining true to their essence. If you’re not sure if you agree with that statement I urge you to study Miles Davis’s musical career.
What’s great about Paul Cargnello is that he truly does practice what he preaches. If you take a look at his career you’ll see that he’s a ‘rock’ artist whose collaborated with a variety of pop, reggae and even hip hop artists, he’s a ‘political’ singer who’s written love songs and most notably he’s ‘English’ artist who often sings in French yet none of these stylistic decisions have ever made him steered his fundamental message and by refusing to limit himself to a genre box he’s managed to spark the interest of an impressive wide variety of people, or at least that’s what I understood from looking into the crowd at his last Montreal show and seeing an odd panoply of corporate suits, jordans, and fedoras.
I like that I can’t quite pinpoint what is that I like about Cargnello’s music. It’s managed to take me out of my comfort zone and has forced me to experience rather than critique, which is refreshing for a reviewer. It’s not often that we let ourselves be vulnerable enough to appreciate something new. If you find yourself feeling oh so daring I recommend you to come join me at his show at Sala Rossa, May 24th. I’m determined to figure out why his music has me so charmed this time.
Folks. It is -23 outside but it feel like -33. It’s been like this for the past four days and will continue to be so till Sunday (Apparently). I still had to haul my butt to school and work and back everyday. I don’t have a man warming up my sheets and I could really use an upgrade on my mittens but I ain’t got no dough. All this to say I was in neeeed of something to help me get out of bed this morning with a smile on my face. Luckily for me there’s a wonderful Soul Shaolin from the Philippines who thought i needed some help to. I present to you the 1min 13 second track that opened my heart and made it possible for me to go on with this day. I wish you all a great one Xo -MF
Gurl – kⓘяvy
It’s that time of year again! Call me introspective but I love taking the time to reflect on the best moments of year that passed and preparing for the year to come. Things happen way to quickly these days and my memory has never been my forte so these end of year lists are the one of my favorite indulgences. Enjoy!
Top 5 albums
Black Radio - Robert Glasper
Bizarre Tribe: A Quest to The Pharcyde – Gummy Soul [Amerigo Gazaway]
Something You Feel – Jai Nitai Lotus
Sunwalk – Modlee & Vlooper
The Good Fight – Krystale & Kaytranada
Top 5 Mixtapes
Collation Vol.1 - Dead Obies
Supafam Mixtape – Nomadic Massive
1999 - Joey Bada$$
The Bite Marked Heart - Brother Ali
Soul Sisters Stand Up - Skracth Bastid & The Gaff
Top 5 tracks
If (Janet Jackson Remix) - Kaytranada
Midnight - Nomadic Massive
Magic Look - Marques Toliver
Thinking ’bout You - Frank Ocean
Five - RT Beat
Top 5 Shows
Kalmunity Vibe Collective [Dilla Night], July 16th @ The Savoy [Jazz Festival]
Robert Glasper [Black Radio], February 24th @ Gésu Theatre
Jai Nitai Lotus [Something You Feel Launch], November 21st @ O’Patro Vys
The Narcicyst [Last show in Montreal .. for a minute], July 4th @ Bell Groove Stage [Jazz Festival]
Slum Village, BIG Pooh, & Dr. Mad from Alaiz, May 24th @ The Belmont
Top 5 Artists of the Year
Rose Pacesix [aka Sikk]
*Late Addition: Aisha C. Vertus
Nomadic Massive is such an essential part of the Hip Hop community in Montreal that it almost feels ridiculous to give them an introduction but just in case you didn’t know let’s go a head and back track.
So back in 2004, a couple of great like-minded artists from the city linked up for what was supposed to be a one-time collaboration for the 10th International Hip Hop Festival of Cuba. Many a tales have come from that trip but all we know for sure is that it solidified one of the most important collectives this city has ever seen. Coming from such a beautiful medley of cultures and backgrounds they created a sound that has yet to be imitated and could never be duplicated.
In 2006, we got a real feel for their high skill in lyricism when they dropped their EP Nomad’s Land. Spitting in over 6 languages and laying down head bumping beats already had us hooked but when you started breaking down the verses you realized that these cats weren’t just here to play. Tracks like OWD (Oil, Weapons, and Drugs) were packed with some serious knowledge dropping. When my 17-year-old hands got a hold of this gem, my mind’s horizon widened by at least two fields. Had I known at the time that this was only one of Nomadic’s mission statements I would probably be even further in life now. Behind their music making the Nomads were all highly involved in community building whether it be as teachers, youth workers, and health professionals or with projects such a No Bad Sound Studio and the Concordia Hip Hop Symposium. Amazingly enough, their influence did not stop there. With the international connections they gained over the years they became what I like to call Hip Hop ambassadors creating strong bonds with communities all over the globe, which benefited all parties and has opened doors for many other local artists who have followed in their footsteps.
In 2009, they dropped their second album Nomadic Massive, which was a moment capture of what you could expect at Nomad show; HIGH ENERGY. If you’ve ever seen them perform Reveye live you know exactly what I mean.This album and the series of amazing performances that came after its release had them clocked as Best Hip Hop Group (Montreal Mirror) for 3 years in a row and a reoccurring feature at the Montreal Jazz Festival.
Now, it’s been 3 years since their last drop and though they’ve kept us quite satisfied with live shows, solo performances and side projects such as Hip Hop Revival, it’s about time that we got something that we can take home! This Saturday our thirst will finally be quenched with the launch of their new mixtape SUPAFAM. We were teased with the release of the title single and amazing video so I can only imagine how unbelievable this is gonna be. Plus what a great name for their mixtape because if there’s one thing you’ll notice when you see Nomadic, is that they always roll with a supafam (and yes, you’re part of it).
Nomadic Massive’s SUPAFAM release show ft. Kaytradamus + Dr. Mad (Alaiz)
The Belmont (4483 Blvd. St-Laurent)
10$ (Incl. download code for mixtape)
First 100 guests get an exclusive Tape (yup I said tape)
Big Shouts to Nik Brovkin for the artwork.
Oh and did I mention that Nomadic has completely stepped the video clip game up in Montreal. I mean seriously all the videos they’ve put out even down to just their promo videos have been absolutely priceless.
Yesterday morning I woke up to find this wonderful gem in my mailbox and I just wanna say THANK YOU!!!
Skratch Bastid and The Gaff teamed up to make this two part outrageous soul stirring, shoe shaking, pull-out-your-hair-brush-and-sing mix that had me busting moves in front of my mirror for the full hour and 20mins.
More than that, let’s talk about this amazing concept. Every single recording, sample, loop and break used on this Mixtape is by a female from the mid 60s to the mid 70s. When you take the time to listen to the mix you’ll realize how much of an enormous impact these females have had on music history. As a female myself I am so glad that two of my favorite DJs took the time to honor my soul mamas who I try to channel every time I’m strutting down the street or take my space in this world like every soul sister should.
Skratch Bastid and The Gaff are well known for having deep crates and always hitting you with a curve ball on their picks and this mixtape makes no exception. Though there are a few recognizable riffs I’m ready to bet money that you never knew where the original sample came from.
This mix is clearly another one Skratch Bastid’s master pieces and it’s due time that we got a The Gaff & Skratch Bastid collabo.
Just thinking about how much time and dedication they must’ve put in to make this project swells my heart so much that I’m truly considering making my way out to Toronto July 27th for the launch party of this Mixtape at the Revival Bar. Can you just imagine the boogie down party that will be?!
Again from a die-hard soul sister THANK YOU fellas!
This is a tape I’ll be sharing with my mama and passing down to my babies
P.S: Shout out to Rhek for the great Album Art!