Mark De Clive-Lowe, Jazzman & Kay Dee Reveal Their 2014 Summer Playlists

From the futuristic sounds of Jazz Fusion/Electronica by Taylor McFerrin and Mark de Clive's Church LP to the raw Funk and Soul of Kenny Dope and Jazzman labels, these summer 2014 playlists offer an ear full of music releases to anticipate. Stream and enjoy the selections from each of these great tastemakers by clicking on each of their players below.

Video: Steinberg Introduces Groove Agent 4, New Realism In Cubase Drum Programming

Discover a new level of expression in DAW-based rhythm-making, drum programming and design which the makers of Cubase offer in Groove Agent 4. This software features an impressive layout of controls and presents which allows producers to let their imagination run wild. Tweak and design your percussion with 3 different agents, including an instruments panel, patterns section an a MPC-style pad area which all combine for a powerful tool made for bringing drum sounds and grooves to life.

Putting The Fun In Funk: "Whistle Song" by The New Mastersounds (Official Video)

By JR on 7:08 AM

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It's hard to remain still when in the upbeat whistle Funk groove of The New Mastersounds. Join the UK-based band as they bring fun and good times in their official video for "Whistle Song", a driving breakbeat, guitar and organ laced jam.

Thanks to Jada WillWork4funk for the introduction of this music video.

Love & Life Is Wonderful With The R&B/Soul Of Singer Frances Elizee

Love ain't a game when it comes to the passionate songwriting of this New York singer/songwriter who challenges the art of expressing the heart and soul in music. Frances Elizee turns love into poetry on her self-titled LP which showcases her beautiful melodies and performance over soulful instrumentation to emphasize the live element of R&B/Soul music. Enjoy the the love, pain and resolve of emotions as Frances defines her feelings of life within for a heart-racing ride.

Mobile Mondays Celebrates Salsoul Records Live at Summerstage NYC With Label Acts

By JR on 11:56 AM

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"Mobile Mondays!, Salsoul Records and RBMA Radio have partnered up to revive a classic NYC dance experience at East River Park Bandshell. To celebrate the relaunch of this iconic staple to dance music history, Salsoul Records and New York City’s premier 45’s vinyl connoisseurs threw a special reunion concert in conjunction with NYC’s Summerstage, the largest free performing arts festival that takes place in city parks throughout the five boroughs. The evening featured sets and performances by boogaloo godfather Joe Bataan, three-piece female disco group First Choice, Salsoul ambassadors Double Exposure, ’70s disco wonder Instant Funk, vocalist craftswoman Carol Williams and the Ladies of Skyy. This one-off showcase was facilitated by the Mobile Mondays! all star DJs: Operator Emz, Joey Carvello, Natasha Diggs, Just Blaze, Misbehaviour, $$$Mike, and hosts Miss Rebecca & Snkr Joe alongside Salsoul Records label manager Rachael Hardway." - Red Bull Music Academy

Bringing '88 Back: Super Lover Cee & Casanova Rud, Just-Ice, Kev-E-Kev & Ak B Visit The Halftime Show

Enjoy The Halftime Show's '88 Hip Hop special, one of many great celebrations of The Golden Era which DJ Eclipse has held featuring live studio guests and a great set list. The show kicks off with an excellent throwback to this special time as Halftime drops a number of promos from NYC radio stations by key figures of Hip Hop culture.

Half MPC, Half SP1200 Drum Machine Design, A Pairing Of Two Classics In One

A designer creates one for Hip Hop in the custom design which merges two groundbreaking drum machine/samplers: the Roger Linn Akai MPC 3000 and the E-MU SP1200. Found this creative work on Bandcamp but I can't remember where exactly.

If you are looking for an MPC or SP1200, here are some from online dealers in great condition:

E-Mu SP-1200 Drum Machine / Sampler + Drum Library (visit the site and search SP1200)

Used Akai MPCs at Guitar Center (5000, 2000, 1000, Renaissance)

Ice Rocks of DXA demonstrates beat making using the SP1200 and MPC3000. If you haven't already, check out him and his crew for one of the most extensive video tutorial series that exists on classic drum machine/sampler use for Hip Hop production.

Preview "The Diam Piece" by Diamond D & Watch His Scratch Magazine Interview

Diamond D returns in 2014 as an outstanding presence of a producer on the mic to bless an all-star cast who compliment his sound which is funky and soulful as ever. Bringing the same classic sample-based foundation Diamond has always carried throughout his groundbreaking career but updated and refined, "The Diam Piece" is a testament to the timeless sound of D.I.T.C. as veteran flowers meet talented emerging wordsmiths.

Diamond D - The Diam Piece - Vinyl LP Record - $18.97

Artist: Diamond D (of D.I.T.C.) ; Title: The Diam Piece ; Label: Dymond Mine Records ; Category: Vinyl LPs & EPs

Preview and pre-order "The Diam Piece" above at Amazon digitally or on vinyl at

Scratch Magazine grabs Diamond D for a sit down which features questions from Kev Brown for an interview which offers great history and behind the scenes stories to the making of classics.

80's R&B Classics Remastered & Expanded by Funky Town Grooves

By JR on 5:35 AM

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Feel the love from this special era of music which pushed emotion to the limit using a unique blend of futuristic Funk and Soul as Funky Town Grooves opens their reissue vault of classics! The FTG collection unleashes bonus songs and remasters of artists who are proven to rock a party or touch your heart with great ballads like none other, as the label draws from the catalogs of celebrated groundbreaking artists such as Kashif, Cheryl Lynn, Michael Henderson, Evelyn Champagne King,  Zapp, Skyy and more.

Whether your a super fan of this era of 80's R&B or just getting acquainted, Funky Town provides an amazing journey into a music catalog that endures through time with the foundation of love and good music. Stay tuned to their blog for a great wealth of knowledge provided of artists from this era as they celebrate birthdays.

Soul/Blues Singer Dred Scott Pays Tribute To Ferguson On "Cities in Flames"

"I was watching news the whole week about riots in Ferguson and believe that people committed a great breviary to get out on the streets of the city so their voices can be finally heard.

I live far from Missouri but just want to have my input into those events. Couple years back we recorded this album with a homeless person who has a great talent. This one song was kept popping in my head, so we got back with Dave (Dred Scott) and produced this video using some clips from the internet.

This is a tribute to Michael Brown and all other victims that unfortunately lost their lives without having much chance to protect themselves. Trayvon Martin, Ezell Ford, Eric Garner and unfortunately this list can go on further, are just few recent tragedies.

People of Ferguson are heroes. Just make sure protests stay peaceful. Can't fight violence with more violence." - Dred Scott

"Cities in Flame" from the album "dyslexics" by Dred Scott.

Dope Folks Releases "Pre-Soul On Ice Demos" by Ras Kass (feat. Big L, Saafir & More)

Another 90's gem by Dope Folks which showcases extraordinary lyrical talent to emerge from The West Coast. From the Limited Edition vinyl EP "PRE-SOUL ON ICE DEMOS" On DOPE FOLKS RECORDS. Get your copy at

In addition to this demo project, search back in the archives @ cratesofjr for a dope freestyle by Ras Kass from the Soul On Ice era, live on the Stretch Armstrong & Bobbito show.

Orlando 'The Don' Lund - "5 O'Clock In the Morning" (feat. Sheela Gathright)

Get up, stand up to a brighter day with the inspirational Soul-Rock of Orlando 'The Don' Lund who lends a helping hand to us all. With a message in the music to provide strength and energy like breakfast, "5 O'Clock In The Morning" embraces the day with soulful singing and a fusion of funky elements within a song built to comfort the listener.

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