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Shinobi Ninja-“Bang Bang”

here is the newest vid from Brooklyn-based Shinobi Ninja. If you haven’t already checked out the interview I did with Duke Sims from the band I recommend it!

Interview with Duke Sims of Shinobi Ninja

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(hey guys here is an interview with Duke Sims, one part of an awesome Brooklyn, NY band named Shinobi Ninja. We got in touch on Twitter and here we are! Enjoy the interview and the music).

Derek Kortepeter: So tell me how the band started?

Duke Sims: We met at a recording/rehearsal studio in Hells Kitchen, Manhattan NY.

DK: Your band name is interesting. How did you come up with it? I was thinking it maybe came from the lostprophets’ track “Shinobi Dragon Ninja,” but I could be also way off base in that thought.

DS: Its named after the video game franchise Shinobi!!!

DK: What I love about your sound is the blend of so many different styles from funk to rap and metal. Who are your musical inspirations? How did the band develop its sound?

DS: We all like all types of music. And were open to anything. We’re very diverse and we never shied away from being ourselves and expressing ourselves in our music.

DK: I am a Los Angeles guy (born and raised) and have never visited your hometown of Brooklyn, NY. How does the city of New York impact you guys as musicians and as people in general?

DS: Brooklyn has a lot of people in it. And there from everywhere in the world. You learn things in the streets. You can apply those things anywhere. Anytime.

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DK: So what can you tell me about the music you have been putting out lately? What themes do you cover and what went into writing and recording the tracks?

DS: We’ve been making some awesome music. We just finished a new album before our longtime studio closed. It has a positive light. You can achieve anything. Mind power. Soul Power. Life Power.

DK: When you play live what kind of experience do you want to give the audience?

DS: We go hardddddddddd. We want them to be in shock. Or come to the show and not be shocked at all. They already knew that we was going 0-100.

DK:Being a band that blends so many different musical styles, do you find yourself often acting as a crossover act? What I mean is do you often share the stage with rock bands one night and rappers the other? Or do you find other acts that play an all-encompassing music like yours?

DS: Honestly we’ve played with every type of act/band there is. There are bands that combine genres and styles but there’s no duplicating our band. Its a unique organic thing. The stars lined up. It shines bright.

DK: What can we expect from Shinobi Ninja in the future? Any new projects or gigs on the horizon?

DS: New album. New videos. New Heavy Metal Breakfast. Maybe a cooking show. Chef Shinobi. Or Shinobi Chef. Always got big things on the way!!!

DK: Is there anything else you would like to say before we finish the interview?

DS: Much Love to the Rock Ninja Nation. Big Ups to you!!! Can’t wait to come rock in LA soon!!! Very Soon!!!!

Shinobi Ninja can be found at:

http://www.facebook.com/ShinobiNinjaMusic

http://www.twitter.com/ShinobiNinja

David Bowie

 

First Natalie, then Lemmy and now David Bowie? Music is losing too many greats. We have their recordings, but what are we going to do when all the greats have gone to the other side? Who will carry the torch?

I listened to Space Oddity when I heard and started just sobbing. I rarely feel that when celebs die. Bowie was an inspiration for me as a musician. He dared to be different. To be weird. To be unique.

“this is ground control to Major Tom you’ve really made the grade”

Album Review: wombat_army “spindrift”

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I have had the pleasure of coming into contact with some really amazing electronic artists since starting MixolydianBlog. One such artist is wombat_army (who I have reviewed and interviewed before).

wombat_army’s newest release spindrift further expands on the musical worlds found in his previous album firsteight. Demonstrating the composer’s mastery of creating looping soundscapes, spindrift is an album that adds a certain new range of emotions to his music. You hear euphoria and outright joy in the music, whereas the previous record had a more mysterious and contemplative tone. There is plenty of time for contemplation, however, so fans of wombat_army’s previous work shouldn’t worry.

The music found on spindrift moves away from pure atmospheric sounds and towards driving rhythms that lock into your thoughts. There are standout melodies and harmonies along with these rhythms, making the songs memorable.The cello and synth parts are absolutely a staple of wombat_army’s music and once again they push his music into the stratosphere.

spindrift is a fantastic addition to wombat_army’s ever-expanding discography and is something you should consider adding to your library. It really is amazing how complex music can be when it relies on looping patterns. You find the complexity in the repetition and in the spaces that the music leaves for you to believe what you want about the sounds you are hearing.

spindrift can be found at https://wombatarmy.bandcamp.com/

San Bernardino

I was born, raised, and continue to live in Southern California. Most of my life was spent in the San Fernando Valley, then when I was around 19 I moved to Pasadena (which is in the greater Los Angeles area). Pasadena is about an hour away from San Bernardino. I know people that live really close to the city of San Bernardino.

So we all are probably aware now what happened. Two psychopaths killed a large amount of innocents in a bullet-riddled rampage. As an American I almost expect mass shootings now. What was different here was it was being investigated as “terrorism.” The perpetrators supposedly had ISIS sympathies, and somehow that makes this incident terrorism and not every other mass shooting terrorism.

It gets exhausting turning on the news, but right now is especially hard because my state is being used as political fodder. It’s surreal honestly to see this relatively calm part of California being used as a global diplomacy battering ram.

I debated when to talk about this but I guess now is as good a time as any.

Media, which is what I more or less belong to as a music creator and journalist, has a responsibility to tell the truth. What often happens, however, is the media distorts and sensationalizes. Politicians do the same.

The media and the government wanted me to fear al-Qaeda. Now they want me to fear ISIS. More than anything, they want me to fear my fellow human beings.

I grew up in a pre and post 9/11 America. Mass surveillance. My Arab friends from school getting profiled. Getting into arguments with people who refused to share this country with people they, via their own intolerance, deemed “other” and “unworthy.”

I’m not afraid. I’ll never be afraid. You can jack the terror alert up to its highest levels, I won’t give in.

Music is my release. I wrote the song “to ashes” about the Paris and Beirut attacks, but now it seems San Bernardino can easily be applied.

While mass misinformation is spread, one thing I know is that music is a constant truth. So for the victims and for those who are now in fear for their lives…this song is yours. It’s my offering to whoever needs it.

Take it if you want.

 

Scott Weiland

I was hoping the reports of your death were a hoax, but sadly it was true. Scott Weiland influenced my music so much. I don’t even know what to say. I’ll miss you man. A lot. I’ll be writing and playing music all night in your honor. I hope that you are at peace.

Album Review: Round Eye “Round Eye”

 

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Round Eye’s music is bonkers. I mean that in the best possible way. The self-described “experimental freak punk” group makes music that constantly pushes and questions what music can become.

In their self-titled LP you will hear the intersection of what sounds like Ornette Coleman, The Stooges, Circle Jerks, and Frank Zappa having a party and jam session simultaneously. Round Eye is a sonic exploration of what happens when you free music of its genre definitions and throw it into a chaotic display of artistry.

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The record is loud, melodic, dissonant, fast, complex, and full of life at every turn. The uninitiated to the worlds of punk, doo-wop and free jazz may not get what’s going on, but that is just fine. It seems that no matter where the band goes they gain a following.

A group of expats based in Shanghai, China, Round Eye (a purposely self-deprecating name) has earned the love of locals in mainland China (numerous local Chinese musicians perform on the LP). They have also managed to earn the ire of the government as they have had to tour at times “underground where they held the secret gigs in bomb shelters around the country” due to their stage antics and more. The controversy has come at a benefit to the group, however, as the Ministry of Culture couldn’t shut down the punk spirit. The group is “a crucial force in bridging a wide gap between the eastern and western hemispheres of punk rock.” As a punk musician and “punk scholar” this is such a welcome thing for me to hear (because in the end fuck politics when we have rock n’ roll right?).

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Ultimately there really isn’t anything like Round Eye. In the punk world they are pioneers of sorts, forging new ground for a sound of rebellion and camaraderie. Punk never dies and these dudes know that.

Give this band a try, you’re in for one hell of a ride.

Round Eye by Round Eye can be found at:

http://roundeyeband.bandcamp.com/

 

 

 

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