Fierce New Apparel for our 50th Anniversary!

For your fashion pleasure and just in time for pledge drive, check out our brand new, limited edition, 50th Anniversary t-shirts!  

This spirited new “Tiger” design is the result of our recent t-shirt design contest, where we called on our community of listeners to show their love for KZSC in the form of art.  We received numerous submissions from all over the country, and it was amazing to see so much talented effort from listeners coming through.

Out of many beautiful works submitted by passionate students and off-campus community members alike, we chose this brilliant design by student artist and loyal listener Nila Devaney to usher in the Golden Anniversary of student run, community radio in Santa Cruz (KZSC’s semi-centenary, or semi-centennial—for you word nerds).

Nila is a recent graduate from Bennington College in Vermont, studying art with a focus on social justice.  She currently lives in Philadelphia.  About her hand-drawn design, she says “public art” is very important to her, and a creative collaboration with her favorite community radio station seemed like a great idea.

The sleek design is printed on a Gildan Heavyweight black 100% cotton t-shirt, accompanied with our new station logo on the breast. Don’t miss out on our historic Golden Anniversary T-shirt; you’ll look great and feel comfortable when you represent KZSC, Santa Cruz’s community radio station.  You can pick up your own in our pledge drive shop today!

2017 Rolling Loud Bay Area Review

If you follow any hip hop news outlets, it’s been pretty hard to avoid Rolling Loud coverage. The festival has been getting quite a bit of attention, mostly focused around Lil B getting jumped backstage, and XXXtentacion attacking a fan during his set. KZSC hip hop DJs Jinx, Elbo and RIZ aka RSD were on site for both these events, but we also saw some incredible performances that should be getting just as much attention. We’ve heard about the scandal, let’s hear about the music!

While Rolling Loud has been around for 2 years now, this October was the very first time it took place in the Bay Area– and from the looks of it, we have no doubts it will be back. As usual, the Bay did not disappoint and both the artists and crowd were hyped. We rolled up from Santa Cruz around 3:45 on Saturday, just in time to catch the last of Nef the Pharaohs set, specifically jamming from the security line to his hit song, and a personal favorite of ours, “Bling Blaow.” With our press wristbands on and ready to dance, we headed into the festival.

SOB X RBE

The next set we were especially excited about was Vallejo’s finest, SOB x RBE. Arguably, the best and youngest rap group in the whole country right now. SOB X RBE has improved performing live, as they have started to engage with the crowd more and actually perform. Their official DJ Xslapz educated those in attendance and played his fire set of Bay Area music. It was no doubt that a majority of the Bay Area fans came for SOB X RBE, who was one of less than 10 Bay Area artists on Rolling Loud Bay Area’s lineup. SOB X RBE showed up and showed out.

XXXtentacion

At 7:30, XXXtentacion came onstage, and with nothing else to see at the time, we decided to hop over and see what he was all about. Before we get into a review of his performance, I think we should recognize the fact that he was even performing at Rolling Loud to begin with. Convicted or not, X has been accused of a horrific and disturbing sexual assault, and it’s alarming that Rolling Loud would choose to ignore these accusations and have him on their bill anyways. It’s an extremely prevalent and recurring event on so many different platforms (music, film, politics, etc.) that society chooses to value whatever the perpetrator is putting into the world over the disgusting crime that almost all of us can agree was wrong. Despite the entire audience being aware of what X had done, everyone was there, unphased, ready and excited for his set. It’s situations just like this that we must ask ourselves, how much can we justify separating a person from their art? To what extent can we condemn a person’s actions while continuing to consume what they’ve created, and in turn contributing to their success? Something unique to XXXtentacion as a figure is that his violent and aggressive nature is part of what makes him appealing. He doesn’t try and hide it, in fact he’s proud and unapologetic about his behaviour. At his Rolling Loud performance, he played no more than one song before stopping to say something along the lines of, “I know I have a lot of haters out there. I respect that. If you have a problem with me all I have to say to you is come at me” He then proceeded to step off the stage on another man’s shoulders and enter into the crowd, encouraging anyone to hit him, essentially trying really really hard to start a brawl. When a few people took him up on the offer, he hit them back without hesitation. At this point it was pretty clear to us and everyone watching X wasn’t there to perform anything, he just wanted to make a scene and hold up his violent reputation. Almost everyone in the audience was disappointed– many were booing, and while it was frustrating to see such a stupid performance, it was also satisfying to see someone I have such a distaste for give a universally horrible show. Keep it up, X!

21 Savage

In the car driving home, we discussed who we were impressed by, who we wished had given a better performance, who we under/over estimated, and who we would see again. Without any argument, we all agreed 21 Savage was 100x more impressive than we expected. Judging from the media, 21 Savage is associated with the “trashy” “mumble rap” we so often hear as an insult, but after seeing him live we all agree: whether his style is your taste or not, the dude’s got talent. Unlike some of the other performances, 21 didn’t waste any time rambling about nonsense or yelling at the crowd to make a moshpit. He came onstage prepared and energized, hitting his set off with his most recent hit off his new album Issa, “Bank Account,” on top of legit performing most of his songs acapella with the beat dropping at the right time.

21 Savage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Travis Scott

“Protect Lil B at all f*cking costs, mothaf*cka (gunshot noise)” was Travis Scott’s message between each song during his whole performance, on top his performance generally being lit af. Travis Scott had the whole crowd alive as he was jumping around on his giant mechanical flying bird. The crowd was loud in response as Travis Scott gave a mind blowing and unforgettable performance. It was certainly a great way to end the night.

 

Day 2, Sunday 10/22:

We got to the festival grounds a little later on Sunday, arriving around 6:15, and already the second day had a different feel to it. To start off, it felt like there were at least 25% more people in attendance, and despite (or maybe because of?) the events that took place the day before, the crowd felt wilder. Generally, it seemed like people were more excited about the Sunday lineup than they were the Saturday one. We met up with UCSC photographer and film student Keanu Ramos, who gave us some cameras so we could get access to the photo pit during the performances, which made our Sunday experience unique to our Saturday one.We got exclusive media photo pit access for Young Thug, Isaiah Rashad and Lil Wayne.

Lil Yachty

The first performance we saw on Sunday was Lil Yachty, which we caught up to about 10 minutes into his set. While most of Lil Yachty’s songs are bangers (I have no shame in admitting this & if you do you’re lying to yourself) the first thing you think when you hear his music is probably not “this would be really good live.” Which is why we were pleasantly surprised when we showed up and found that he sounds just as good on stage as he does recorded. Of course, it was his classic Yachty energy that really took the show to the next level. Something I love and have always admired about Lil Yachty is his ability to radiate pure joy in everything he does, and Rolling Loud was no exception. With a big smile on his face, Yachty jumped around the stage with Lil Pump, braids going everywhere, splashing water bottle after water bottle on the excited crowd. He killed all his hits, including Peek-a-Boo, One Night, and On Me.

 

Young Thug. Photo by Keanu Ramos

 

Young Thug

One place where Rolling Loud went wrong was scheduling Young Thug at the same time as Lil Wayne. Many people found it hard to choose between watching Young Thug and Lil Wayne, including ourselves so we just chose to jump back and forth throughout both sets (a pro to having the two stages ridiculously close to each other). Young Thug energized the crowd and it was surprising to us that he actually sang his entire set with no autotune and was hitting every key on point. Young Thug brought it back a couple times and played some of his songs from when he was first coming out such as: “Stoner,” “Hookah.” and “Lifestyle.” Overall, Young Thug gave an incredible performance and we really have no complaints.

 

 

 

Lil Wayne. Photo by Keanu Ramos

 

 

Lil Wayne

Lil Wayne was the last show we saw at Rolling Loud, and it was quite the finale. As the oldest and most experienced artist on the bill by a long shot, he felt like the godfather of the festival. He entered the stage with grace and ease, and you could tell the second he took the mic he knew exactly how to work a crowd. After performing his first song, he paused for a moment to look earnestly at the audience and remind us with his hand over his heart, “I need you to remember two things: y’all ain’t shit without the man above, and I ain’t shit without all of you.” After all these years, he seemed genuinely grateful and content to be exactly where he was in that moment. The audience could feel it.

 

Overall, Rolling Loud Bay Area was a great experience. We saw a number of incredible shows we would have never seen any other way, and we were very pleased with the whole festival. If you ever get the chance to hit this fest, do it!

 

— written by RIZ aka RSD & Neroli Devaney

 

Multi-Platinum Award Winning artist Sage the Gemini interview w/ RIZ aka RSD & Chuck Bass 10.29.17

On October 29th, 2017, RIZ aka RSD & Chuck Bass got to see Multi-Platinum Award Winning Rapper, Singer, Producer, and Songwriter Sage the Gemini at The Catalyst. We were able to land a really fun interview with him after the show as well, thanks to his manager HBK Omar of Active Management. Check out the backstage interview after the show with Sage the Gemini, in addition to the concert review!

The opener Derek King was on point as DJ J12 got the crowd hyped up, then followed by DJ Gio, who had a killer set composed of both hip-hop and electronic tracks. Chuck Bass, the RPM director, described it as a treat to see the crowd get excited by electronic songs, especially when Sage the Gemini is more known of his “party/feel good music” but has recently tapped into the electronic genre.

After the crowd was prepped, Sage the Gemini came out to a huge crowd of patient and cheering fans. He performed songs off of his new album, Morse Code, and a couple of classic tracks that have probably caught your attention as well, “Don’t You,” “Swerve,” “Now & Later,” “Red Nose,” and “Gas Pedal”. Mid-show, Sage made sure to get a nice pump in by doing some push-ups while the crowd counted him offon top with taking his shirt off mid-concert.  It was a really exciting night as we believe that this year’s performance was better than last year’s. We’d like to thank Earl Salindo, the manager of the Catalyst, as well as HBK Omar of Active Management once again for this opportunity. Be on the lookout for Sage the Gemini‘s newest project titled Who Hurt You coming soon!

For now, check out his newest visual “Watchachacha” below!

Drew BangA aka lil groovy interview w/ RIZ aka RSD

@rizzystaydizzy interviews Drew BangA aka lil groovy of the HNRL Crew! Check it out below.

Via no-platform.com: Riz interviews Drew Banga at The Catalyst in Santa Cruz, CA. In the interview they discuss being on tour with Duckwrth for Rich Chigga’s, ‘Come To My Party’ TourThe Honor RollHiero Day, and upcoming projects.  

DJ Shellheart interview w/ RIZ aka RSD @ 6th Annual Hiero Day 2017 (9.4.17)

Photo by Sanny Bisquerra—

I caught up with DJ Shellheart during Hiero Day 2017! Via no-platform.com: Riz interviews DJ Shellheart at American Steel Studios backstage at Hiero Day 2017. They talk about the origin of her name, meeting RBC Bugzy Rexx Life Raj,being an LGBT African-American Female DJ, how she started DJing & more in this interview.

Additionally, learn about DJ Shellheart here!

& her most recent mix here!

INTERVIEWS: LIFE OUT OF BALANCE – Belgian band We Stood Like Kings Releases New Koyaanisqatsi Soundtrack

By John Malkin

            In 1982 the film Koyaanisqatsi had its first public screening and quickly became an influential classic. Directed by Godfrey Reggio with music by Philip Glass, the film was titled after a Hopi word – Koyaanisqatsi – which means “life out of balance” or “a way of life that calls for another way of living.” Philip Glass and his Ensemble have performed live with the film about two hundred times and this year the film celebrates it’s 35th anniversary with a special screening in Carmel on Friday, September 30th at the annual Days and Nights Festival.

            In the meantime, a few bands have experimented with creating their own soundtrack for Koyaanisqatsi, performing live in Europe and the United States. On Friday, September 22nd the Belgium-based band We Stood Like Kings released their album “USA 1982” that is their own original soundtrack for the film and they’re currently touring Europe playing live with Koyaanisqatsi. A release party for the new soundtrack is scheduled for October 4, 2017 in Brussels, Belgium. “USA 1982” is being released by the German label Kapitan Platte.

            We Stood Like Kings describes their music as “piano-based neo-classical post-rock” with influences as diverse as Chopin, Pink Floyd and Explosions in the Sky. Judith Hoorens plays the piano, Philip Bolten plays guitar, Colin Delloye is on bass and Mathieu Waterkeyn provides drums. This is the third soundtrack recorded by We Stood Like Kings. Previous albums were “Russia 1926” – a new soundtrack for the film “A Sixth Part of the World” directed by Dziga Vertov – and “Berlin 1927” a soundtrack for “Die Sinfonie der GroSstadt” directed by Walther Ruttman.

            On September 21st, 2017 We Stood Like Kings’ guitarist Philip Bolten joined me as a guest on Transformation Highway on KZSC 88.1 FM and spoke about the new album and we had the U.S. radio debut of We Stood Like Kings. Below is an email interview I did with Judith Hoorens and Philip Bolten. To hear the audio interview with guitarst Philip Bolten click here —.

 

KOYAANISQATSI – WE STOOD LIKE KINGS

 

JM: “I’m just listening to the “Nuages” section of your new album “USA 1982” and the rhythm change is just great, broadening out the feeling. One thing I love about Philip Glass’ music are the polyrhythmic patterns; layering twos and threes and so on. Are you a fan of Philip Glass? Did you listen to a lot of his music before being in We Stood Like Kings? What’s some of your favourite music?”

 

Judith Hoorens: “My favourite piece of music by Philip Glass is Metamorphosis. I feel that Glass is incredibly skilled at repeating patterns while keeping them interesting. Glass also has such a recognizable writing style, which is in my opinion a trademark of the greatest composers. When we started working onKoyaanisqatsi, we didn’t listen to the original soundtrack because we didn’t want to be influenced by it. We really wanted to feel as free as possible when approaching the movie.

            We all listen to very different kinds of music. Personally, I studied Harmony, Counterpoint and Fugue at the Royal Conservatory of Brussels, which has truly helped me a lot in the way I make music. Other members of the band have studied jazz. Some of our favourite musicians active at the moment areAnimals as LeadersThe AlgorithmApparat.

 

JM: “Do you think that when you’ve performed “USA 1982” live in Europe that it’s the first time that audiences have seen Koyaanisqatsi? Is it mostly younger folks (20 to 30)?”

 

Judith Hoorens: “Our audiences are very eclectic, with all generations mixed up. Some people remember seeing Koyaanisqatsi when they were young, other young people have heard of it but not seen it. Others yet have never heard of it. The different reactions are really interesting.”

 

JM: “Have the Qatsi films been influential for you? You must have watched Koyaanisqatsi many times as you composed the “USA 1982” soundtrack, yes? When did you first see Koyaanisqatsi?”

 

Judith Hoorens: “Of course, we’ve seen the movie hundreds of times now. And it never gets boring. I would even say that it is my favourite movie. You keep discovering things, making links that you haven’t thought of before. Watching Koyaanisqatsi is like a trip in itself, at the same time saying so much and nothing. The first time I saw it was right before we started composing the soundtrack. I just needed ten minutes to be convinced that it would become our next project.”

 

JM: “What are the main ideas or themes of Koyaanisqatsi that interest you and remain relevant today?”

 

Judith Hoorens: “I feel mostly concerned by the theme of ecology and over consumption. I’m often wondering how long we will be able to make it last. On the other hand, I’m full of hope because I believe that the progress of science will be able to help us find at least a partial solution.”

 

JM: “Philip Glass used the three prophecies from Koyaanisqatsi as lyrics for his soundtrack. Did you consider doing the same?”

 

Judith Hoorens: “We have discussed this issue a lot. In the end, we decided against it and to keep our music completely instrumental, at least for now. However, the attentive listener will recognize some Hopi talk in the introductory sequence to our concerts.”

 

JM: “Early audiences and reviews of Koyaanisqatsi thought it was a psychedelic movie, like a light and sound show without much content or ideas. Is that what you expect of the audiences you’ll play for in the next months?”

 

Judith Hoorens: “I would say that today’s audience is probably much more conscious of the gravity of the situation we are in. We are damaging the earth to a point of almost no return. Maybe early viewers weren’t as preoccupied by these issues because they couldn’t really foresee what was coming. I definitely hope that watching this movie will at least bring people to think about the future they want for their children. I am very happy that we will play some school performances in front of young audiences. I am really looking forward to their reaction to this movie.”

 

JM: “Your band We Stood Like Kings is self-described as a “neoclassical post-rock band”. Tell me about your music and influences.”

 

Judith Hoorens: “As I said above, we have a very wide taste in music. I would say that we look for music that inspires us both emotionally and intellectually. As for the “neoclassical post-rock” tag, I guess it describes our music in the best way possible. When I talk about We Stood Like Kings, I like to mention Chopin, Pink Floyd and Explosions in the Sky. I think those three names give a good idea of our musical universe. What makes us a bit special compared to more standard post-rock outfits is our use of the piano as a central and classically inspired instrument.”

 

JM: “Upon my first listening to “USA 1982” I’m reminded of Godspeed You Black Emperor, whom I’ve loved for 20 years. I think your band names are a little similar as well. Are they a band you’ve enjoyed?”

 

Judith Hoorens: “GY!BE has of course been one of the biggest names in the post-rock scene for a few decades. I never had the opportunity to see them live, but our drummer Mathieu has, and told me that it was an amazing experience. I believe it’s essentially a band you have to experience live more than on CD. As for the names, the similarity is not intentional. In fact, our band name comes from a wall painting in Costa Rica, where our drummer lived for two months. The words on the painting were taken from a reggae song called Chariot by The Cat Empire: “Our weapons were our instruments, made from timber and steel.  We never yielded to conformity but stood like kings on a chariot that’s riding on a record wheel.” I think this sentence very nicely wraps up our approach to music.”

 

JM: “How did you discover the films about Berlin and the USSR?”

 

Judith Hoorens: “We discovered Berlin thanks to a friend who know a lot about cinema. He saw the movie and told us that our music would fit perfectly with the images and rhythm of the movie. As he was also an organizer of cultural events at the Brussels Film School RITCS, he proposed to plan a première at the school after we would have finished our soundtrack. That’s how it all started. We found the Vertov movie online when doing some research to find a film that we felt would be fit for our second project. We obviously didn’t want to choose “A Man With A Movie Camera” because it had been done over and over again, and was too similar to “Berlin: Symphony of a Great City”. We fell in love with “A Sixth Part of the World” because of the lost world it depicts, the theme of the journey.”

 

JM: “The film “USSR 1926” has a lot to do with the interplay between machines and humans and the environment. Also, slavery, colonialism and freedom. Same with Koyaanisqatsi and to some extent, the film of “Berlin 1927.” What’s significant for you about this?”

 

Judith Hoorens: “Indeed. We consider the three projects as a kind of trilogy on the theme of “lost” empires. Each film depicts a society that’s been destroyed (BERLIN 1927 – USSR 1926) or might be on the verge of self-destruction (USA 1982) because they were too ambitious in their expansion (on all levels – politics, technological development, war). It seems like we as a species have trouble learning and remembering the lessons of the past.”

 

JM: “Philip Glass told me that when he performs live to Koyaanisqatsi (which he’s done almost 200 times, he figured) that the film itself becomes a performer. Do you have that sense when you play live to film?”

 

Philip Bolten: “Yes, especially with this last project. When we play live, we always try to go with the intensity and contrasts of the movie, and blend in with it, to actually let it perform. Koyaanisqatsi has a way of creating a connection with the viewer, which we want to emphasise with our music. It is hard to find just the right amount of presence on stage when playing our music. We want to be part of the physical emotion conveyed, without getting in the way of the spiritual reach the movie has. We recently built our own light show synchronised with the film to harmonise the stage.”

 

JM: “Are you familiar with Philip Glass’ soundtrack for the Cocteau film “La Belle et la Bete”? I think it’s pretty interesting how he lined up the new soundtrack vocals so they fit with the actors speaking on screen.”

 

Philip Bolten: “I have listened to it but only saw a few excerpts of it. Philip Glass created a new way of fitting music to a film by turning it into an opera sung live and it works wonders. I hope to see it live someday!”

 

JM: “Before “USA 1982” your band released music for two other films “USSR 1926” and “Berlin 1927.” Tell me about the common themes or threads that connect these films and made you chose these? What political or cultural ideas connect these films?”

 

Philip Bolten: “We are more keen to the sense of journey that can occur from the films we choose, whether it is a journey in time, nature, emotions. They just take us to a place where we can contemplate and I think the distance in time between us and these two films, accentuates the beauty they share but we are also more sensitive to offsets and similarities in our society.”

 

JM: “Do you have any plans for another soundtrack for a fourth film? What film?


Philip Bolten: “Well we have more that forty shows coming up across Europe, so we are kind of focused on making “USA 1982” as alive as possible. Once we are back from touring, we will start composing a new project but we haven’t decided on what to base it yet. We will see where the tours take us!”

 

JM: “You mentioned that you’re not sure if Philip Glass or Godfrey Reggio are interested in “USA 1982.” Tell me about that.”

 

Philip Bolten: “We are not the first band to revisit Koyaanisqatsi, and knowing how influential that film is, we can not stop thinking “ What if we got it all wrong?!”, scared that we could tamper the film’s purpose. On the other hand, we are so thrilled to give it a go because we feel we are honest throughout our music and we feel it fits so we would be honoured if Philip Glass and Godfrey Reggio listened to our album. Maybe they will let us know… we have sent some copies!” (chuckles)

 

JM: “USA 1982” opens sounding almost like Philip Glass. And then the rest of the band enters. I enjoy the music very much. Obviously your band is piano-based and full of intense textures. Perfect for film. I’m curious how familiar you are with Philip Glass and the Koyaanisqatsi soundtrack? How was that to create a new soundtrack for this film that has been seen by so many, where the film and music are linked so closely? How long did your band work to compose this?”

 

Philip Bolten: “All four of us dived into the movie, gathering information, publishings and interviews to have a grasp of what we were getting into. We started by dividing the film in different parts and took each one separately to compose what would become songs. To set the mood of the music, we shared a lot of thoughts about the movie, what we were sensitive to and how to relay that through the songs. There are a couple musical elements inspired by Glass’ music as in “Eldoradosis”, the ninth song on our record, where we used a repetitive rhythmic and harmonic pattern on guitar, accelerating with the frames. 
It took us about a year and a half to finish composing the music. We had tours for the previous album “USSR 1926” during that time as well.”

 

JM: “I spoke with Philip Glass earlier this week and he said your band is brave to have taken on this project. Do you see it as brave? Were you concerned that people might not appreciate a new soundtrack?”

 

Philip Bolten: “Composing this music on Koyaanisqatsi was indeed a big challenge for us, because it is risky, untouchable some people would say, but therefore even more thrilling. Once we had started the composing process, we kind of forgot about our fears and delved into the project. We developed our own relationship with the Koyaanisqatsi, and nothing can get in between now. I think it’s not up to us to say it’s brave or not, but for sure, we produced this album out of passion and honesty, all the way. So we are ready to hear any comment!
 Our album will be released on the 22nd of September and we can’t wait to play on tour and see what it happening in the viewer’s eye!”