James Blake Talks New Album, Possible Kanye West Collaboration


Upon first listen, many people assume that James Blake is black. And when they do set eyes on the 26-year-old white Englishman singing, they're taken aback.

"He's like a white Erykah Badu," one smitten YouTube user commented on a video clip of Blake's 2013 live performance on the Late Show With David Letterman. "I'm a kid all over again, and it's all because of a white boy with a black voice."

Racial stereotypes aside, it's not often that the pop music world finds a male voice with Blake's pristine shimmering tone and voluptuously soulful expression, redolent of the great black gospel singers.

"I think if anyone wants to sing pop music, and they want to leave out the black contributions to popular music, they may find themselves wanting as a singer," Blake tells Crossfade.

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Miami's Palo! Talks Latin Grammy Nomination: "Whatever Happens, We Feel We Already Won"

Courtesy of Palo!

"Whatever happens, we feel we already won," says Palo! pianist Steve Roitstein from Las Vegas as he waits to find out whether his Miami Afro-Cuban funk five-piece's record Palo! Live will win the 2014 Latin Grammy for Best Contemporary Tropical Album.

"Submitting the album was daunting. Not the process, which the Latin Grammys made easy, but knowing that hundreds of artists from 25, 26 countries are entering their work for only five nominations."

See also: "Miami Cubonics": A Ten-Word Guide, According to Palo!'s Steve Roitstein

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Anja Schneider on Ten Years of Mobilee Records: "We Have to Have Good Music"

Zu Pan

Mobilee Records will be celebrating its first ten-year run soon, and so far, it has been a formidable one indeed.

Cofounded by Berlin DJ-producer and longstanding radio show host Anja Schneider in 2005, the label has managed to position itself at the helm of the international underground house and techno scene during this past decade, thanks to standout chart-topping releases by artists like And.Id, Rodriguez Jr., Sebo K, and Schneider herself.

On launching the label, Schneider tells Crossfade: "My primary reason was to give a platform for all the artists I was discovering and liking through my radio show, Dance Under the Blue Moon. A friend said, 'Why don't you have a record label and release them?'"

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Martin Buttrich's #9414 Tour Celebrates 20 Years of Dance Music

Photo by: Dennis Morris

If you're a real house head, you've probably got love for Loco Dice. You're more than likely to have a few Timo Maas records in your collection. And you just may harbor a serious music crush on Martin Buttrich.

Not only is he a decorated electronic producer in his own right, with an illustrious original and remix catalog, boasting a Grammy nomination for his work on Tori Amos' "Don't Make Me Come to Vegas," Buttrich is also the man behind the curtain on a lot of house music's most seminal albums.

Through the years, he's watched as dance music grew from a purely underground phenomenon to highly profitable mainstream trend, and he's currently marking 20 years in the biz with a very special worldwide tour, #9414, featuring cameos from some of the scene's most beloved DJs.

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Meet South Beach's Ten Best Club Dancers

Photo by Karli Evans

Working as a nightlife entertainer seems like a pretty sweet job.

Getting paid to wear extravagant costumes, dance alongside world-class DJs, meet celebrities, score free drinks... It's like a dream come true.

Yes, there may be an endless list of perks. But truth is, having a career in the nightlife biz is no joke, especially if we're talkin' about the dancers.

Most of the ladies you see dancing in pleather bras and neon wigs are trained professionals who've been perfecting their craft for most of their lives. And aside from working the club, many of these women also juggle college classes and full-time day jobs. They aspire to open up their own businesses and even publish a book one day.

Meet South Beach's ten best club dancers.

See also: The Dancers of Mansion Nightclub: A Video Interview

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Panic Bomber at New World Symphony's Pulse: A DJ-Meets-Orchestra Experiment

Categories: Interviews, Recap

Photo by Rui Dias-Aidos
Panic Bomber, manning the decks in formal attire at New World Symphony's Pulse party.

When one goes to the orchestra, one does not always bring one's dancing shoes. There's usually a bunch of sitting involved.

But every few months, the New World Symphony throws everything you know about classical music out the window and breaks out the lasers for a bit of high-brow, late-night fun.

Pulse is NWS' most innovative event series, pairing a DJ with its world-class musicians for a genre-bending evening unlike anything you've experienced. It's nothing new, but it was new to us as we set out to see how the Slap & Tickle crew's Panic Bomber (AKA Richard Haig) met the challenge.

It turns out, not only can your boy sing, he can compose for a full musical ensemble.

See also: Miami's 25 Best Electronic Music Acts

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Grand Funk Railroad Talks 45 Years of Partyin' Down: "We're Still Going Strong"


Scorned by the critics but worshipped by the masses, Grand Funk Railroad never second-guessed its own heavy-handed brand of blues rock. And soon, the Flint, Michigan-bred band became staples of the 1970s FM underground, as their primal, prototypical heavy metal showed itself to be a perfect fit for late-night deejays and the stoner set.

Although they seemed unlikely candidates for mainstream success, the Grand Funk guys surprised practically everyone when they managed to plough their way up the charts with the Todd Rundgren-produced single "We're an American Band," the radio favorite "I'm Your Captain," the exuberant "Some Kind of Wonderful," and their unlikely cover of the Carole King classic "The Loco-Motion."

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Little Havana's Ball & Chain: "Our Goal Is to Make It Authentic"

Photo by Laurie Charles

The neon sign for the "World Famous Ball & Chain Bar and Lounge" sits above a green-and-white striped awning, illuminating SW Eighth Street, much like it did nearly 80 years ago.

"The concept of Ball & Chain was to keep it as if it had remained open throughout the years," explains Bill Fuller, who owns the Little Havana gem with his childhood buddies Zack and Ben Bush.

"That if the Ball & Chain wouldn't have closed, this is what it would look like today."

See also: Ten of Miami's Oldest Bars

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Brazilian Girls on New Album After Six-Year Hiatus: "This Could Be Our Best Record"

Photo by Michael Weintrob
NYC's Brazilian Girls... Only one girl, no Brazilians.

"Who knows how many people come to our band's website looking for porn?" wonders Aaron Johnston, drummer for NYC's Brazilian Girls, who in every interview is forced to proclaim that no one in the group is Brazilian and only one of the four members is actually a girl.

"The name came out of the club, where the four of us met, at Nublu in the East Village," he explains. "They invited us to play there every Sunday. One of the owners was Brazilian, so Wednesday nights, they'd have a Brazilian band. When we played, we'd hear people talking, 'You have to come on Wednesday; there's such hot Brazilian girls.'"

See also: Review & Photos: Brazilian Girls - Ball & Chain, Miami

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Ben Wash Drops Debut Album, Snob Rock: "Rebellious Punk Geared Toward a Dance Club"

Miami producer and King's Head Records boss Ben Wash.

Ben Wash couldn't be anything further from a snob.

Talking with him, he's affable and surprisingly energetic, especially considering we're calling him in the midst of a busy visit to California, where he's promoting his debut full-length album, Snob Rock.

"It's something I kind of throw around," Wash says when asked about the album's title. "It's more of a rebellious, punk sound geared toward a dance club."

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