Introducing: THE SOUND OF AN ERA featuring International Rap Battle

April 27th, 2016

Hello loyal listeners! Whew, it’s been a while…

…Time really flies, as they say, especially these few fleeting years we call “The College Years.” As the trees bloom, and then get snowed on, and then (hopefully) bloom again, we’re reminded of our own endings and new beginnings here at WVKR. With that in mind, it’s my pleasure to bring you…

THE SOUND OF AN ERA

(a new reboot of an old series)

Our new/old blog series celebrates our most special student DJs: the seniors in their last year at Vassar, and the babies in their first year at WVKR. Each week, we’ll bring you a few words from one of our oldest or our youngest in the hopes that you’ll give ‘em a listen before they fly the nest :’) 

So without wasting any time, I’d like to present to you with our first feature:

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International Rap Battle joined us Fall 2015 with one mission in mind: to find the world’s best in hip hop and bring it to our lil station in Poughkeepsie. On DJ Pan Am‘s stage, nations compete to claim the title of the home of the greatest rappers. It would truly be a better world if all foreign policy was conducted in this format, under the impartial judgement of the United Nations Hip Hop Association, every Saturday from 2am-3am.

We sat down with DJ Pan Am to hear the latest from his travels.

WVKR: Your show’s taken you all around the world, musically speaking. What areas of the world do you find yourself returning to, and what hip hop scenes have yet to be explored?
DJ Pan Am: I consistently find myself coming back to French and Francophone hip-hop. The French were definitely early adopters of American hip-hop music as well as culture and yet they manage to totally have their own feel for the music. On the other hand, there are countries like Turkey that don’t have a super large hip-hop scene, but definitely have a language that lends itself to rapping. As for things to explore in the future, I’d like to spend more time listening to South American, Middle Eastern, and North African hip-hop: I know for a fact that there is excellent hip-hop that comes from almost every culture in the world, sometimes it’s just harder to find than others.

WVKR: What can you learn about a country from listening to hip hop from there?
DJ Pan Am: Hip-hop serves as the voice of disenfranchised peoples everywhere, so if you want to learn about and understand parts of a culture that wouldn’t by just looking a the normal pop culture, look to the hip-hop.

WVKR: If Bulgaria and Vietnam went head to head in an international rap competition, who would win?
DJ Pan Am: I’m not that familiar with the hip-hop from Vietnam, but my money would be on Bulgaria – they have some super dope rappers, like Upsurt and Santra (check ‘em out below). Don’t be surprised if you see this as match-up on the next season of IRB.


WVKR: What’s the best thing you’ve eaten in Poughkeepsie?
DJ Pan Am: Hmmmm… I gotta go with the Banh Mi at Saigon Café, but that might be because I just really like Vietnamese sandwiches.

WVKR: What’s it like being in the studio late at night/early in the morning?
DJ Pan Am: I love it. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’d prefer to broadcast at time when more people were listening, but there’s nothing like feeling like you’re the only one awake on campus and jamming out wacky world hip-hop at full volume :) .

Don’t forget to check out International Rap Battle with DJ Pan Am every Saturday at 2am!

Pink Noises: An Electronic/Hip-Hop Showcase

April 14th, 2016

On Friday, April 22nd, 2016, in an effort to amplify voices and identities typically underrepresented in electronic and hip-hop, WVKR presents a series of workshops, a panel, and performances by four talented musicians. We aim to teach, empower, and inspire the Vassar music scene to work towards a more inclusive future. Please note, workshops will be capped at 20 students, and priority is given to those who identify as female, queer, non-cis or non-binary.  Sign up here: http://goo.gl/forms/Rcs934X2ml. The panel and the performances are open to all.

4:00-5:30pm: Workshops (descriptions below); sign up here: http://goo.gl/forms/Rcs934X2ml

6:00-7:00pm: Panel with Artists and on-campus DJs/musicians

10:00pm-1:00am: Performance in the Mug 

The Workshops: http://goo.gl/forms/Rcs934X2ml

Ivy Sole will hold a workshop on writing songs and the idea of “memory” and how it informs and inspires the lyrics.

Stud1nt will lead a workshop on strategies for approaching electronic production in Ableton, focusing on methods of beginning and ending a track. This will be done in a collaborative style. Basic familiarity with any DAW (digital audio workstation) is suggested (Ableton, Garageband, Logic, Reason, etc). 

Aurora Halal will teach a hands-on workshop for live mixing with CDJ’s.

Doss: Electronic music; more details shortly.

The Artists:

Ivy Sole is a multidisciplinary artist from Charlotte, NC & based in Philadelphia. Her primary medium is music, specifically hip hop. Using a production style reminiscent of boom bap’s hey day with a twist, she combines her love of storytelling, indie rock, and soul to create a familiar, yet distinct style all her own. In addition to her solo work, she also makes music in a collective called Indigold, whose Home EP is the first of the group’s releases. Her debut project Eden is available for download on 4/12. https://soundcloud.com/ivy-sole 

Stud1nt is a producer and DJ from Queens. Her mixing is known to be uncompromisingly hard-hitting and dynamic, combining discordance with danceability. She is part of the New York-based queer music collective, KUNQ. https://soundcloud.com/stud1nt

Aurora Halal is a New York-based musician, event producer and visual artist. She is the creator of NYC’s underground party series Mutual Dreaming, and co-creator of Sustain-Release, a 700-person music and arts festival in Upstate NY. Since 2011 she has been touring the US and Europe, performing live music and visuals at festivals, universities and respected clubs. All her projects use immersive, experimental and non-commercial approaches to powerful effect. https://soundcloud.com/itsallhalal

DOSS is a New York-based DJ and producer whose dreamy and ethereal self-titled EP (2014) crystallized the emergence of “alt-trance.” Describing her sound as “emotional dance music,” DOSS’ dynamic live sets seamlessly combine her own material with house classics, thumping techno, and fresh sounds reminiscent of PC Music, to create a truly euphoric dance floor experience. http://www.dossworld.net/ https://soundcloud.com/doss

Pink Noises Poster

 

Top 10 Records Spring 2k16 (In No Particular Order)

April 11th, 2016

According to James, Music Director

  1. PinegroveCardinal [Run for Cover]
    Must listen / Perfect songwriting / That is all I will say
  1. Lust For Youth ­– Compassion [Sacred Bones]
    New Order-influenced europop that will make you feel cool perhaps
  1. Essaie Pas ­– Demain est une autre nuit [DFA]
    Francophile minimal goth techno YOU’RE WELCOME
  1. Jesu/Sun Kil Moon Jesu/Sun Kil Moon [Calo Verde/Rough Trade]
    Pseudo(?)-sensitive 49 y/o man reads from diary while 46 y/o dad plays industrial guitar and/or ambient music beneath said musings.
  1. Puce Mary The Spiral [Posh Isolation]
    HELP
  1. Cellars ­– Phases [Manifesto]
    80’s jams produced by Ariel Pink: dark disco for days//cash for chill
  1. Sound of Ceres Nostalgia for Infinity [Joyful Noise]
    Spa music
  1. Wild Nothing ­– Life of Pause [Captured Tracks/Bella Union]
    Worth the wait, WN delivers us a diverse record full of beautiful gems
  1. Explosions in the Sky The Wilderness [Temporary Residence Limited/Bella Union]
    Pretty songs that each rise from ash within the span of about 5:00 min
  1. Teen Love Yes [Carpark]
    Like a dancy Cocteau Twins, but with intelligible lyrics

Annual WVKR Record Fair!

March 26th, 2016

Saturday, April 23, from 10AM to 3PM, we are hosting our annual Record Fair in Main building on Vassar’s campus! This fair is open to the public and should be a lot of fun. See http://www.wvkr.org/recordfair/ for more information.