Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Return of Electro

written by Errol Veloso and Kevin Walker

Photo by: Maschinenraum

Brush up those robot skills, electro is making a comeback! A renewed interest in this genre among underground and mainstream artists has fueled the revival of the electro music style. Characterized by use of mainly electronic devices, such as drum machines and synthesizers, this genre has no set template allowing artists to freely explore and experiment whatever their imagination comes up with.

The electro genre hit full swing back in May 1982 when Afrika Bambaataa and Soulsonic Force debuted "Planet Rock." The song essentially paved the way for other genres including house, techno, and hip-hop. Today, electro comes full circle, utilized by many up-and-coming and established artists as the main direction or as an element to integrate with another genre (electro/hip-hop). Although mixing electro with hip-hop has been around for a while, there has been a recent influx of songs with an electro influence.

Photo by: jurvetson

One notable case involves the Louis Vuitton don, Kanye West. His 2007 hit single, "Stronger," is a perfect example of the use and integration of electro. The song features a vocal sample from Daft Punk’s "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger," and retains the electro/house direction they intended. Kanye’s version combines electro with hip-hop creating a fresh take on the genre.

The move to utilize the original electro/house song is credited to A-Trak (Kanye West’s DJ) after introducing Kanye to the original track. A-Trak, who is known to "ride the line between hip hop and electronic beats," [1] played a key role in Graduation influencing the music direction of the album. On A-Trak’s blog, he makes a bold statement about the current state of music today, saying, "no longer is it a crime to mash a hip-hop acapella into a techno track."[1]

In the video interview below, A-Trak briefly explains his transition to electro (3:50)

Another more current example is up-and-coming music group Chromeo. The duo, consisting of Dave 1 (A-Trak’s brother) and P-Thugg, first formed in order to explore the sub-genre of electro-funk. The two have solid backgrounds in hip-hop, but made the transition to electro-funk. Their latest release "Momma’s Boy" has been featured on FNMTV, and continues to gain popularity.

For a closer look at Chromeo please visit www.killahbeez.com

Next generation of Electro Boogie masters:

  • Sa-Ra Creative Partners – LA Based production trio that specializes in the retro futuristic sounds of early 80’s funk.

Taz Arnold of Sa-Ra, Kevin Walker of CultureLab, and Shaafyq of Sa-Ra

  • Dam Funk- LA based producer/DJ, single handedly has been the chief promoter of retro electro-boogie.

Other examples of electro in 2008:

  • John Legend ft. Andre 3000- Greenlight

  • Common ft. Pharrell- Universal Mind Control
Universal Mind Control - Common

  • Kid Sister ft. Kanye West- Pro Nails

[1] www.djatrak.com

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Top Fashion Trends Among Urbanized Youth and Young Adults

Late 80's-

  • The Look: Bright vivid colors, leggings, shutter shades, retro track jackets, and colored skinny jeans are just a few example elements to this style. Fanny Pack of MTV's America's Best Dance Crew is a clear representation of late 80's fashion in the new era.

Photos by: icanteachyouhowtodoit, Kerosene Photography, Molly Bewigged, childish.idv.st

Urban Streetwear/Skate Punk-

  • The Look: Independent urban labels (Huf, The Hundreds, Crooks and Castles), graphic tees, fitted caps, and exclusive sneakers (Nike SB Dunks, for example). The Urban Streetwear and Skate Punk styles are interchangeable, borrowing various elements from one another (with the exception of skinny jeans, which is a fashion component of the skate punk look.)
A sub-genre to this fashion style brings back retro accessories, such as "Dookie-Rope Chains" and Cazal sunglasses, to 2008.

Photos by: childish.idv.st, harry525, mr.l, 416style


  • The Look: Fitted shirts and jeans, v-neck shirts, flashy jewelry, and wallet-chains. "Gettro" is a coined-term [1] which refers to a mix of Ghetto and Metro fashion styles. Music artist, Lil' Wayne is among the current celebrities sporting this style.
Visit links below for photos and video:

Lil Wayne- Gettro
Lil Wayne Fashion
Fitted jean + wallet-chain

Metro Casual-

[1] Credit to: Brian Surigao

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Google Chrome

written by Priyanka Patel
photo by Matthew Oliphant + Pascal H

You usually don’t have a comic book where the heroine/hero is a piece of technology, but you do with Google Chrome. Google has recently come out with a comic book explaining their new browser, Google Chrome. It is touted to be the browser that deals with “the next generation of web applications that aren't even possible in today's browsers” according the Google Blog.

The beta phase of Google Chrome was released September 2, 2008 and will soon be released to everyone to download.

Google Chrome’s features include:

  • Tabbed browsing where each tab gets its own process, leading to faster and more stable browsing. If one tab crashes, the whole browser doesn’t go down with it.
  • A distinct user interface that places tabs on top of the browser window instead of right below the address bar.
  • An “incognito” mode that lets you browse the web in complete privacy because it doesn’t record any of your activity.
  • A new JavaScript engine built from the ground up for speed.
  • Malware and phishing lists that automatically update themselves and warn you of bad websites.
  • A default homepage that displays your most commonly used sites and other personalized information
Google Chrome Screenshot:

It sounds too good to be true -- I’ll have to wait and see.

Tags: ,

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Hundreds is HUGE!!

photos by Tony Mendoza

In the past few years, urban street wear has become one of the fashion trend to watch. Today, if you visit the Fairfax district in L.A. or Haight St. in San Fransisco, its not all too surprising to see a long line wrapping around the corner of people of all ages, races, and social classes just to get the latest fitted caps. To illustrate how big a phenomenon urban street wear is, take The Hundreds clothing company for example.

The Hundreds can be described as a clothing company "inspired by LOS ANGELES LIFESTYLE / CALIFORNIA CULTURE and Southern California’s skateboarding, surf, punk, and hip-hop cultures." The company has steadily grown in the past five years and has caught the attention of many industry giants. They have been featured in New York Times Magazine, CNN Money, Giant Robot, KoreAm, MuchMusic Television, and T Magazine.

How huge is The Hundreds? Big enough to draw attention from media and entertainment behemoth, Disney. The Hundreds booth at the recent MAGIC 2008 Conference (Mens Apparel Guild In California) displayed several photos of Disney created characters outfitted in the urban street wear style. The Walt Disney Company has chosen to team up with The Hundreds in a unknown project, however their collaboration has not been made official just yet.

For more information on The Hundreds visit the following links:
The Hundreds

Source: The Hundreds