Decades of Bass Reunites South Florida's Legendary Drum 'n' Bass DJs

Categories: Local Music

Photo courtesy of Dale Nibbe
Element, Kingyatta, Randolph, and B Boy Roy livin' it up in the '90s.
Drum 'n' bass is making a weird comeback lately, which is great news for South Florida, since we were basically the cradle of all things grimy in the premillennial USA.

"Beat Camp was really influential," Dale Nibbe, AKA Element, says of the popular, late-'90s/early-aughts party that blew up Mission on South Beach every Thursday night. "Up until that point, the D'n'B scene was really small. We'd play the raves and stuff like that, but it was still very small. And when Beat Camp came around, the Miami scene in general really started to blow up."

It's a place and time heralded by bass junkies as a golden era: when the music was ugly, the vibe was raw, and the Mission was the spot to be. The hottest DJs of the period had a blast, but they hung up their hats quite a while ago, until now.

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Twiggy Rasta Masta, aka La Goony Chonga, Is Keeping Hip-Hop "Based"

Jessie Schiewe
Two-thirds of Slut Mobb (Twiggy Rasta Masta, right; Bootychaaain, left).

It's springtime in Hollywood. The sky is cloudless and blue. Tourists bake in the sun and the Hollywood sign winks from the hills. A low-flying plane poops smoke trails overhead. On the rooftop of a 1920s apartment building, two girls are smoking a joint and listening to music from a cell phone.

"Genius, right?" says the girl with the blue hair, who goes by the name Twiggy Rasta Masta. She has gold-encased teeth and a slight Spanish accent. Brown liner is stenciled around her lips and a gold chain hangs from her neck. The inside of her left wrist reads, "Yeah!"

"So good," agrees her friend, Bootychaaain. She has short hair, like a boy's -- curly on top, buzzed on the sides. Her nails are teal and over three-inches long, perfect for holding stubby joints.

Busted out the womb, is the Young Daughter, sings the third member of their crew. Heard your ass was thirsty/Need some fuckin' water. Her voice is wan and she sounds bored.

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FAU's Student-Run Record Label Hoot/Wisdom Recordings Raises Money for CompOWLation Vol. 4

Ian Witlen

Boca's only student run label, Florida Atlantic University's Hoot/Wisdom Recordings, has successfully launched a crowdsourced funding project on Power2Give to raise money for upcoming album releases, upgraded recording equipment, and promotion of the label's music beyond South Florida. This is the first time they've used the web to raise cash since the label's inception 12 years ago. The fundraiser was both set up and approved by the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County and FAU.

In case you aren't aware of the power Hoot/Wisdom has, let us educate you. In addition to talented local musicians Mandy Moon, the Pathetique, Phantomime, Grace Kimmel and others, the "Alex" half of the 2013 X Factor winner duo Alex & Sierra also worked with Hoot/Wisdom before moving to Orlando when his career took off. The FAU site claims the University "has one of the most active record labels at any university" proven by the release of 21 albums, which were produced entirely by students.

See also: FAU's Hoot/Wisdom Recordings: "The Future of the Music Industry"

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Never Land Brings Live Harp to Bluesy Indie Rock

Never Land

You can find a band that centers its music around the guitar on every block, but to find one that's primary instrument is the 36-string Celtic harp, you'll have to travel to a distant land. Never Land to be precise.

Never Land is a Palm Beach Gardens five-piece that just released its first album Universal Poet, available on

"Searching on Craigslist, I saw someone advertising for musicians to play with her electric harp," said the band's drummer and founder Merrick Crittenden about how he first connected with the angelic instrument. "She said she liked Peter, Paul and Mary and wanted to make hippie music, so I brought out my conga drums and we jammed. A year later she moved to Pennsylvania, and I figured I'd never find a harpist again."

But then fate intervened.

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Que Lastima's Paultergeist on Album Fever Dreams: "The Darker the Shadows, the Brighter the Light Seems"

Categories: Local Music, Q&A

Eddie Gonzalez

If there was any question whether the state of music in South Florida was malingering, Paul Holland just blew it out of the water.

Paultergeist, as he's known, was relegated to sideman accordion player in popular Lake Worth act Viva Le Vox. With his new project, Que Lastima, he has unsheathed a full arsenal of honorifics: composer, arranger, frontman, pianist, organist, guitarist, singer, hellraiser, and false prophet.

The band's live shows don't convey music so much as reach out, grab your throat, and force-feed an epiphany of experience akin to a tent revival. As if the performances weren't enough, there's the album. Fever Dreams isn't just a standout for local recordings; in the humble opinion of this writer, it is among the very best albums of 2014.

Holland creates a dreamy world of knife-fight circus church music that's part punk, gypsy jazz, New Orleans swing, and sinner's swagger. He's taken fuzzy guitars and made them feel right at home with horns and waltzing pianos and saxophone solos. He manages to make his accordion sound like a Parisian bistro one moment and a tool of Satan's hellfire the next.

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Amy Fiddler, Former Indie Record Label Entrepreneur Publishes Debut Novel About "the Ultimate Music Fan"

Emily Shur, compliments of the author

Amy Fleisher Madden, better known to South Florida's punk scene as Amy Fiddler, began a strange journey into self-publication and independent record label operating at the tender age of 16. Her fanzine, Fiddler Jones was indicative of the pop punk '90s with a Cometbus-styled bend that balanced band interviews, reviews, and personal musings with humorous anecdotes about the scene strewn about for good measure.

From the fledgling upstart, undoubtedly fabricated during the heydays of the Office Depot "honor system," Fleisher went on to found Fiddler Records in 1996 that released records by local favorites the Vacant Andys, Milkshed, and the Agency as well as national heavy-hitters like New Found Glory, Dashboard Confessional, and Juliette Lewis & the Licks.

It's been many years since her hectic teenage years as an entrepreneur and Fleisher has reinvented herself first into the world of advertising and more recently back into the world of publication -- armed with her first novel A Million Miles. We had a chance to discuss her past and the book. And while she might no longer be a local resident, this local girl done good, is proud of her South Florida roots.

See also: The Queen of the Fiddler Records Empire Returns to the Music Biz

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DJ Craze's "New Slaves Routine" Proves He's #RealDJing

Categories: Local Music, Video

Photo by: Jason 'Ohdagyo' Fenmore

Has it really gotten to that point where now DJs, real DJs, suffer the way musicians did when DJs first took over the club scene?

Let's look at the case of Miami Beach, a former Mecca for live music like jazz and soul that thrived and put South Florida on the map. When the Beach fell on hard times and disarray, out went those nightclubs. When the redevelopers came in the '80s and revitalized the Art Deco community, the new clubs brought in DJs not live bands because it was cheaper.

Musicians in those days harbored some ill will towards DJs since the damn DJ took their jobs. In the '90s, when hip-hop achieved larger mainstream and commercial appeal, DJs became turntablists and took it to new heights that combined astute selecting with what is basically performance art. One of the dopest and most respected turntablists to emerge from that era is the Nicaraguan-born Miami resident, DJ Craze.

See Also: DJ Craze's Five Best Battle DJs of All Time

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Danny Ashe Moved to Germany, Started Cygne Noir, Realized His Hispanic Roots


When Danny Ashe relocated to Germany in 2010, he left behind a tangible void in South Florida's music scene. As a DJ and musician, his presence had been felt in the tricounty area for numerous years with his eclectic sets of rock 'n' roll infused with Motown, postpunk, and pop music. As a musician, his numerous projects furthered his selector ethos with a dark wave/"pop noir" aesthetic with outfits Lunabelle and Marqui Adora.

Moving primarily for new job opportunities in Europe's culinary fields, Ashe has had resurgence in his musical recording as Cygne Noir while balancing new surroundings and his growing family. His latest EP, Smile at the Sun is his most accessible and tropical work to date and betrays the nature of the "black swan" as an object of simple beauty.

We had a chance to speak with him about the release and his current musical climate.

See also: Head Spins: Danny Ashe

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Cavity's Dan Gorostiaga on Zinemaking and His Top Ten Records of All Time

From left: Barge, Landrian, Gorostiaga, Norris, and Weinstein.

Dan Gorostiaga has been a key a figure in South Florida's underground. As founder and sole constant of Cavity, he put Miami on the metal map during the '90s with the band's highly imitated, stripped-down sludge. Since its split in 2001, I have personally pestered him about the band getting back together and even campaigned through County Grind's Blast From the Past columns to stir interest.

This past summer, during his former bandmates' band Black Cobra's stop at Gramps in Wynwood, Gorostiaga performed "Crawling" and "Supercollider" to a crowd that was largely unaware of this intention.

As an artist, Gorostiaga's recent inspirations have seen him become a maker of zines and artist's books that are limited-edition objects d'art. We recently had the chance to discuss Cavity, his art, and being onstage once again.

See also: Beatriz Monteavaro and Priya Ray Curate Echos Myron Exhibition with Art by Musicians

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Jump the Shark, Fort Lauderdale's Newest Venue


Opening its doors in March 2009, the IWAN (Independent Working Artists Network) Concept Production Facility proved to be a pioneering concept in what once was a blighted area of Fort Lauderdale. Come to be known as "The Bubble" (which was actually the title of the first event held at the venue; it just stuck), this art gallery, performance venue, and general hangout facility became a much-needed hub for Broward County's underground and underserved artistic set. Predating the popularity of FAT Village's monthly art walks, vinyl record haven Radio-Active Records' move to Federal Highway, and the opening of hipster craft-beer mecca Laser Wolf, the Bubble was a catalyst for the revitalization of the area just north of downtown Fort Lauderdale known as Flagler Village.

We speak in past tense here because the Bubble, in its previous iteration anyway, is no more. The Bubble cofounder Garo Gallo has officially split from the IWAN group and has taken it upon himself to give the art space a bit of a face-lift and a shift in attitude.

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