Published on August 18 2008

One of New York's finest independent hip-hop collectives is on Jamendo, spearheaded by the tireless Mr.Tac a.k.a. "Chocolate", who leads the group and founded a label around it.

In 1999, when he started Drop-Zone, a collective comprising a dozen hip-hop artists from New York City, and the label Zone Platinum Entertainment to go with it, Mr.Tac wanted "to create a music platform and a label home for all artists of all styles to release their music across the world", himself being "a hip-hop artist with a huge following" (50,000 copies were sold of his first single with Drop-Zone). No room for small-time ambitions here: these guys are in for the big picture, with fans already calling them "the X-Men of music".

Zone Platinum has a team of five producers creating tracks for its roster's artists, Mr.Tac being the main one (producer as well as artist, that is). You can listen to their work on Drop-Zone's two mixtapes published on Jamendo, or on the new album Mr.Tac published recently. But Zone Platinum does not limit its activities to hip-hop only: "It's a place of our own where we create original style hip-hop, but also alternative, rock, r&b and pop tracks, with a fresh new sound, explains Mr.Tac. Most of the hip-hop artists on Zone Platinum are from New York (Nova, Cleva, Thomaz J. Edizon, Brianna, The TriBoro Order, etc.), other style artists are from elsewhere in the US."

Regarding the American rap scene in general, Mr.Tac's judgment is quite severe, and coupled with a strong bias towards his hometown. "Hip-hop right now in the US is going downhill. Too many artists, too many producers but not enough talent. As hip-hop started to expand from New York City to other parts of the US, it became spoiled and rotten."

So it's up to grass-roots activists like Drop-Zone and Zone Platinum Ent. to keep things real then? Quite possibly so. And of course, "Jamendo is the perfect place and idea for artists and labels to release new music to fans. It creates an opening slot for them to promote themselves on an international level." And why not also meet fellow artists while they're at it? Cartel, another NYC hip-hop favorite on Jamendo, will be interviewed here shortly. In the meantime, Mr.Tac "would love to network". Gentlemen, introductions have been made...

Drop-Zone

Published on August 13 2008

Three musicians from three different countries making music together without ever having met: such a story could only happen on Jamendo. And it's the story of Triplexity.

SaReGaMa and Nikila were two Jamendo users exchanging good reviews about their music. Not just out of politeness, but because each one really appreciated the other's work. And then one day of 2007, after SaReGaMa asked Nikila to send him the separate tracks of a composition of hers he really liked so he could remix it, their first collaboration was born, “Morning”, followed by a full album, ...Not Too Far. This would lay the foundation of what would become the sound of Triplexity: smooth, introspective and mostly instrumental electronica.

And when SaReGaMa wanted to do something “more world music-influenced, more organic”, he turned to another Jamendo musician, Hamel1, who plays sax, clarinet and guitar. From this new three-way collaboration came out the track Three 4 Ten. “This was a milestone for Triplexity”, says SaReGaMa.

The fact that SaReGaMa lives in the woods of Mount Carmel (Israel), that Nikila is a Belgian citizen currently based in France, that Hamelin lives near Narbonne (South of France), and that the three of them have so far never had an occasion to meet physically was no obstacle. “The way Triplexity works is radically different from the 'rehearsal/concert' model, and that's a really interesting experience, explains Hamelin. I often compare it to studio work, only deferred.”

On the contrary, the geographical as well as musical differences (SaReGaMa comes from a trance/new age background, Nikila is into world music and cutting-edge electronica and Hamelin is a jazz buff) are an asset for the group. “Triplexity is all about this complementarity through our differences, with a multicultural component, an openness to other horizons that I like a lot, says Nikila. And then there's this complicity between us that makes it a real pleasure to make music together!”

These last few months, the trio has been working on its second album, “Live In Triplex City”, which is now published. Even though they make music just for pleasure “without any schedules or obligations”, the three musicians have a healthy work rhythm going. “Usually it's a matter of a couple of days to finish a track, if all the members have enough time to spare, explains SaReGaMa. We all have dayjobs, Triplexity is our leisure.”

So, will the members of Triplexity meet one day? Maybe even play a gig? There are no such plans so far, but who knows. “I hope to meet my fellow musicians one day, perhaps for a beer, says Hamelin. The idea of making Triplexity a live band is still far-fetched, but nothing is impossible!”

Triplexity from left to right: Nikila, SaReGaMa, Hamelin

A band born on Jamendo!

Published on August 11 2008

He is the only artist from the Philippines present on Jamendo so far, with an electro sound that's anything but typical of his country's scene. Ladies and gentlemen, we give you: Emorej.

philippines

Jerome Llama is his real name. He lives in Quezon City, vicino a Manila, making music on his computer « as a hobby, hoping to be 'discovered' », he says. A self-taught musician, Jerome, like many home studio amateurs, combines various styles and influences very freely, from rock to drum'n'bass to reggae, « almost any genre of music », but the final result is essentially electronic.

Which is not the way to go if you're aiming for instant success amid the Filipino music scene. « There are lots of independent bands here that usually play western-influenced rock. Rnb, hip-hop and the usual US top 40 hits are also big, as well as cover bands and lounge singers. You will find a lot of filipino singers and musicians in clubs all over the world. »
As for Emorej, he is happy « just posting [his] songs on the internet ». The electronic scene is still burgeoning in the Philippines, with « not much electronica played on the radio ». Which is why he is keen to get his music heard outside of the country. « Jamendo is a good opportunity to introduce my music to Europe and the rest of the world. » He recently posted a new album. Go and check it out here.

Emorej

Published on August 5 2008

It doesn't happen every day that major Hollywood producers turn their attention to a Creative Commons-licensed artist. But it happened to Jamison Young. One of his songs was selected for the soundtrack of the movie "The X-Files : I Want To Believe", which was released worldwide late July. Young publishes his folky, acoustic songs under Creative Commons licenses on Jamendo, but he has nevertheless found a very lucrative way to make money from them.
Originally from Australia, Jamison Young is now mostly based in Prague, Czech Republic. Though he has been writing, performing and recording songs for a while, he was only able to get his career going within the last five years.
You can go and check out Jamison's work here. The song you can hear in the X-Files movie is "Memories Child".

Read our interview of Jamison Young here.

Jamison Young

Written by amelie

Published on #News