ByrdTrack PicFrom KCRW DJ Aaron Byrd:

I had the pleasure of having my man Jason Valerio, better known as Trackademicks, stop by for a guest DJ set.

Trackademicks is a MC and producer from the Bay (Alameda, CA to be exact) who’s spent the past few years crafting standout tracks for everyone from Mistah FAB to J*Davey to Kid Sister to Phonte of Little Brother.

The stylistic diversity of those in-demand productions is magnified tenfold in his own music – Track takes the energy of hyphy and the bump of classic Bay rap, mixes it with the smoothed-out sonics of vintage pop and R&B, and ties it all together with a crazy ear for melodies and a willingness to experiment, creating a new, wholly original Cali sound in the process.

Stream Trackademicks “Spend the Night”

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Trackademicks was kind enough to allow us to give both the original and instrumental versions of his remix of Little Dragon’s “Looking Glass” for FREE, my favorite four letter word. By the way, he says this is his favorite remix he’s so far. So here you go…

Little Dragon – Looking Glass (Trackademicks’ Quasar Gazer Remix) by The Honor Roll

Download here

Stream the Instrumental Version

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Download here

While he was in the studio, I  asked him a few questions:

1) How long have you been making beats?

I’ve been making beats since about ’99 on “professional” equipment, playing around since about ’96! You do the math…

2) Who or what are your main musical influences?
The tough question! Like many, I listen to “everything,” but when it comes to my sound, my primary musical influences are rooted in 80′s Sophisti-Pop music (like Swing Out Sister, Sade, Tears For Fears), Champagne Soul (Loose Ends, S.O.S. Band), Tender Knock (early 90′s se-driven R&B like Jodeci, Keith Sweat), and Bay Area Mobb Music (E-40, 3x Krazy, Mac Mall).

As a teen I really got into Electronic music, everything from Daft Punk to 4Hero. I really have a soft spot for British music, past, present, future. On top of all that, Esthero, Outkast, The Roots, N.E.R.D., all very influential.

3) Whom are your contemporaries that you admire the most?
There are so many great artists. J*Davey is definitely one of my favorites. They’ve blended so many influences seamlessly to create some of the dopest music from the Fre$h Coast.  I’m also thoroughly impressed with the Cool Kids. They definitely evoke that classic hip-hop spirit while still bringing that now vibe.

You now have two Little Dragon remixes, “After the Rain” and now “Looking Glass” 4) How did your relationship with Little Dragon come about?
Me and the rest of the crew were early fans of Little Dragon. I’ve loved Yukimi’s voice ever since receiving Koop‘s album back as program director of my college campus station. So when we found out it was Yukimi’s group, Tap.10, the HNRL crew’s resident DJ/A&R reached out. They were familiar with me and liked what they heard.

5) Can we expect another LD remix from their forth coming album, Ritual Union?

There are no plans as of late, but I’d love to do another one. I respect them tremendously as artists and performers.

6) Anything of yours we should be on the look out for?

Definitely get my debut album, State Of The Arts, out now everywhere music is sold (and downloaded for free, haha) Also, be on the lookout for the upcoming cover project I have with 1-O.A.K., as well as a soul project called The Champagne Room! I like to drop random material from time to time so be on constant watch…

7) Where can people find your music?

You can stay up to date about everything from my twitter, (@trackademicks), the HNRL site, and hear new music from our soundcloud page.

And check out his Guest DJ set for KCRW here.

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