Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Johnson & Jonson (Blu & Mainframe) Instrumentals

Johnson & Jonson Instrumentals will be out on iTunes, Amazon, and other digital download sites on August 4th. There are 3 bonus instrumentals on this album.
Here is the track list.

01. J And J - Instrumental
02. Up All Night - Instrumental
03. Half A' Knot - Instrumental
04. Mama Told Me - Instrumental
05. The Gusto Room - Instrumental
06. Radical 2
07. In The Building - Instrumental
08. Bout It, Bout It - Instrumental
09. That’s That Jam
10. Long Time Gone - Instrumental
11. A Perfect Picture - Instrumental
12. Anything Is Possible - Instrumental
13. The Oath - Instrumental
14. Treezoes (Bring It Back)

These are some of the quotes about Johnson & Jonson.

“Sonically, Mainframe is the rare hip-hop traditionalist who seldom leads with his drums. While the percussion is propulsive, he tends to keep it lower in the mix than many of his peers, allowing the thick bass lines, gritty guitar samples, and airy keys to come to the forefront.” - Okayplayer

"Just as Noodles did on Freeway’s “I Cry,” or Dilla with “Hit Me With A Strap,” Mainframe lets the vocal samples interplay with Blu…..a signature move that he executes as well as any producer has in the craft, and hopefully a will-be trademark." - HipHopDX

On the release date, we have the release party at our monthly event, Shibuya. Johnson & Jonson will do a special DJ set.
Here is the info about the release party.

SHIBUYA One Year Anniversary and
Johnson & Jonson Instrumental Release Party

Special DJ set by Johnson & Jonson

Tuesday, August 4th
7:30pm – 12:00am

@ Far Bar / Chop Suey (in Little Tokyo)
347 E 1st St. Los Angeles, CA 90012
Tel) 213.617.9990

Shibuya Club DJs
- Chikaramanga (Giant Panda)
- Kiwamu Omae

Japanese cuisine
Outside Patio
Full bar (Hot & Cold Sake, Sapporo on tap, etc)

For more info, visit www.myspace.com/shibuyaclub.


Monday, July 27, 2009

MPC 60

Thes One (of People Under The Stairs) gave me a stand for MPC. He used to use it for his MPC 3000. I use MPC 60, which is bigger than 3000, but since I could adjust the stand depending on the size of the equipment, it fits perfectly as you can see it in the photos.
MPC 60 is the earliest version of MPC Akai made. It was designed by legendary Roger Lynn. He also designed MPC 3000. It came out late 80s and had been used by many well-known producers, such as Diamond D and Large Pro. Since I got it, I upgraded the OS to the one for MPC 3000, expanded the memory, and added SCSI connection. Now, it can have more samples, has more sampling time, and can connect zip drive. It became a really nice machine after those modification.
I really like how samples sound on MPC 60. Its sampling rate is 12 bit. It makes the sample sound rough (in a good way). I don't know if it is just because of the sampling rate, but it has very unique sound.
I also like the sequencer on MPC 60. Since it is an old machine, it does not play samples exactly how it is programed. The difference is very little, but enough to give natural feel and groove to the beat.
Also, I like how it looks. It's huge and looks really old. It adds some flavor to my set up.


Monday, July 20, 2009

Muay Thai

I have a friend who is a professional Muay Thai kickboxer. His name is Koji Iijima a.k.a. Sensei. Sensei was 4 time K-2 champion about 10 years ago. He retired once and decided to come back last year.
He had a match at Anaheim Convention Center on Saturday, 7/18. I, of course went to see it. Before I got there, my friend who were also going to see the match called me and told me that the commissioner told Sensei and his opponent different weight limit by mistake. The weight limit Sensei was informed was 10 pound lighter than supposed to be. He could have canceled the match, but decided to fight anyways. Of course, his opponent looked a lot bigger. It seemed they were in completely different weight. It was surprising that the commissioner let them fight. The match was for 5 round of 3 minutes.
Although two fighters looked they were in different weight, it was a great match. The first couple of rounds seemed they were even. But, in the third round, it was obvious that Sensei was getting exhausted, although there was no critical hit for either of them yet. Unfortunately, the doctor stopped the match and did not allow Sensei to fight the forth round. Sensei lost.
I wanted to see him win, but it was still great to be there and see his match. He is 36 year old (two years older than me), but still can fight against 21 year old fighter who was 10 pound heavier than him. That was incredible to me. Maybe, I should start learning Muay Thai. It might not be too late.


Saturday, July 18, 2009

More photos from Detroit Moves '09!

Graffiti laced me with a gang of shots...here's a few.



Big Tone, back from the Detroit Moves Tour.

Who would have known that hip-hop is alive and well? For years, Dwele, Raach, El and the rest of the fam would tell me these stories about Europe and the UK. Stories that have inspired cats I know to create music, relationships, careers, and a movement that's instrumental in Detroit hip-hop history. The last couple of weeks, I was privileged to head across the pond as apart of the 2009 Detroit Moves Tour with Phat Kat, Guilty Simpson, and DJ Graffiti. From Paris, London, Hellin, Berlin, Linz, to Leipzig, I learned that hip-hop music has soaked itself into the fabric of various different cultures. And they hold The D down in hardcore fashion! Just wanted to say thanks for the opportunity to do my thing, and I appreciate everybody who involved. Kat and Guilt for sharing your insight, experience and stage with ya mans. Graffiti for letting me kill the battery on your laptop every night, for being the in-house translator, and for wrecking the tables every night. Karin, Peter, and the crew at Subotage for getting it done...glad I finally got to meet y'all face to face! Invincible, Finale, Frank-N-Dank, Black Milk, Hex, DJ Fab and Hip Hop Resistance Paris, DJ Spin Doctor & The Doctor's Orders, Tres Haches, Rap History Berlin, DJ X Rated, DJ Flip, John Robinson, and The Splash Festival. Here's a couple moments from the trip. Check it out.

Gotta do it again. Real soon.


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

TRES RECORDS 5 Year Anniversary

Tres Records hopes to continue contributing our music to this growing culture, and become an example of the idea that independent Hip Hop labels are far from dead. As long as there is good music in this world, we will continue to put it out and share it with you all.
This year is our 5th anniversary, and to commemorate the event, we’re releasing a digital only compilation album entitled “Tres Presents: Cinco” on July 21st. The album features songs by Giant Panda, C.R.A.C. (Ta’raach and Blu), Shawn Jackson, and many others, including the latest single, “Break Thru” from Paten Locke’s upcoming debut album, and an unreleased track from Co$$’s upcoming LP. So if you’re new to our music, or a long time veteran, you can expect an earful of tracks that have helped define us over the years. We here at Tres Records want to thank all of our fans because, although it’s cliché, we wouldn’t be able to put any of this out without you.

So thanks, and here’s to another 5.....

Track List

1.Shawn Jackson / Feelin’ Jack
2. Johnson & Jonson / The Only Way
3. Paten Locke / Funky Hit Record
4. CO$$ / Khakis & Taylors…
5. Big Tone / Business
6. C.R.A.C. / Love Don’t
7. Giant Panda / Speakers Pop
8. New Jack Hustle / New Shades
9. Y Society / Never Off (On & ON)
10. Big Tone / A Song Called Triumph feat. Blu
11. Shawn Jackson / Here We Go Again feat. CO$$
12. DJ Alibi / One Day Remix feat. J-Live
13. Giant Panda / Laser Ray
14. Johnson & Jonson / Half A Knot
15. Paten Locke / Break Thru


Monday, July 13, 2009

Big Tone 7" & Co$$ 12"

Just picked up the jackets for Co$$ / Khakis and Taylors 12" from the printer. It looks great. This 12" is set to be released on August 18th. It is the lead single off of his album, which he is about to finish recording. It will be released in November or January.
When I dropped off Co$$'s 12" jacket at the pressing plant, Big Tone / Chocolate 7" was ready to pick up. It will be available at the stores later next week. It is now available at TRES ebay store.
When I went to label printing department, I found boxes of blank 12" labels for some famous record labels. I should have asked them if I could have one of each. I would like to frame it and put it on my wall.


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Shibuya July 7th

DJ Expo and DJ Sheep did Japanese break set at our monthly event, Shibuya last night. It was so dope! They played some songs I recognized such as tracks by Tatsuro Yamashita and Black Octopus. But, I did not recognize most of the stuff they played. I wish we recorded their set. I drunk a little bit too much, but it was such a fun night.


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Paten Locke / Break Thru 12" on iTunes!!

Paten locke / Break Thru 12" is now available on iTunes.
It is only $3.99 for 3 versions (main, instrumental, and acappella) of all three songs. Acappellas are not on the vinyl. They are available only on iTunes and other digital download sites.


Monday, July 6, 2009


We will have special guests at our monthly event, Shibuya tomorrow. DJ Expo and DJ Sheep will do two hour Japanese Break Set. DJ Expo is a resident DJ at one of the most famous club events in LA, Root Down and has recetly released his mix CD, DJ Expo presents: "WHAT IT IS" A Rare Funk 45 Excursion. DJ Sheep is a DJ / record dealer from Australia. He lived in Japan for a couple of years. Of course, he went out for diggin' while he was in Japan and found a lot of Japanese breaks. I met Sheep through eBay. I bought a few records from him on eBay and later found out he was a good friend of Expo.
It is going to be a fun night. If you are in LA, come through.

Here is more info about the event.

Hip Hop/Soul/Funk/Japanese

(Every 1st Tuesday of the month)

Japanese Break Set by DJ EXPO (Root Down) and DJ SHEEP

Tuesday, July 7th
7:30pm – 12:00am

@ Far Bar / Chop Suey (in Little Tokyo)

347 E 1st St. Los Angeles, CA 90012

Tel) 213.617.9990

Shibuya Club DJs

- Chikaramanga (Giant Panda)
- Kiwamu Omae

and special guests!!!

For more info, visit www.myspace.com/shibuyaclub.


Wednesday, July 1, 2009


I did a phone interview with a blog Plug One today. We are releasing digital compilation album to commemorate our 5th year anniversary. The interview was about TRES and the compilation (I will post more info about the compilation soon). It was my first time to do a phone interview by myself in English. I have done a lot of phone interviews with my group, Giant Panda. But, when we do interview for Giant Panda, Newman, Maanumental, and I are on the phone and I usually don't talk much. As you probably have figured out, my English is not very good. My native language is Japanese. I write better than speaking in English, so you can probably imagine how thick my accent is when I speak. I would like to thank Mosi (the interviewer) for being so patient! We talked about 45 minutes. It was fun (at least for me). The interview will be up at their blog in a couple of weeks. It will be interesting.

Speaking of accent, my partner Sausen is also Japanese. He does most of our artwork and web site things. When he sends me 12" label file, the file name always contains "rabel".