2013: The Year of the Collab
Photo by Rayfield Benton
2013 for us in some way or another turned out to be “The Year of the Collaboration”. We ended up releasing over 10 collaborative projects/singles/features this year. With 2013 officially over we wanted to take a minute to reflect on this past years highlights and standout moments.
To kick things off the “Alloy-X Vol. 1 Compilation” was released in January and featured both a brand new Broken Keys tune “Demote Control” and “Oops All Berries” by Smoke Noises. We then played a Smoke Screen show with Two Fresh to cap off the month.
The collaborative EP with Urbindex “Turquoise” was released in February and had the songs “Fuss Wit It“, “Buju Banton” and “Morado” on it, all of which we went on to perform at pretty much every show since then. Also released in February was the Crucial Taunt x Smoke Screen “Stickup Kids” single, which garnered mild “viral” success.
The Smoke Screen collab with UK beatsmith Swarthy Soul “You Gets No Love” was released in March, as well as the Broken Keys produced “Hallucinating” by Alloy-X/Smoke Noises member Ghost Noises off of his “Psychedelics” LP. To close the month out, Smoke Screen opened for Redman at The Grog Shop. In April we did the first Smoke Noises headlining show at the Beachland along with A/V and Broken Keys.
May saw the release of the Broken Keys album “Black Sand Beach” on Alloy-X, which spawned the singles “Missed The Bus” and “Moonlight“. Also in May was the release of the stellar “Pasquale” album by Keyel/C.C.C member Twizz which included another big summer tune in “Grab The Gems” featuring Mooke. The Danny Brown Old & Reckless Tour came through Cleveland and Smoke Screen opened the show and hosted the official after party @ The B-Side with a Broken Keys b2b Urbindex set as well.
In June we got to play a private party with Broccoli Samurai at NLQP, and in July we got to go up to Detroit for a Broken Keys b2b Urbindex set at the On Deck Detroit day party with DJ Skeez and DJ Dez. It was really nice to be able to be a part of such a great party in such a legendary city.
We kicked August off with our first official appearance on a Nelson’s Ledges Festival lineup playing the second day of EST Fest. We played with Crucial Taunt and DJ Craze at Skully’s in Columbus at the LeBoom, and opened for Eliot Lipp, Talib Kweli and The Promise Hero that month also.
September started out with us right back on the main stage at Nelson’s Ledges for our second official NLQP Festival appearance as part of the Summerdance 2013 lineup. The “Smoke Noises – 2000 Pounds Music Video” was filmed and released by Turnstyle Films along with an official premier and Q+A at the Cleveland Ingenuity Festival. Also performing at the Fest was Broken Keys, Hokes & A/V (as a part of the Alloy-X curated DJ area) and Smoke Noises and Urbindex. We did a Smoke Noises Interview with Cellar Door CLE and then the last day of September saw the release of the 4-track Smoke Screen x Crucial Taunt “Vices EP“.
An Eastcoast trip and short string of dates took place the following month. The run started with a Broken Keys and Urbindex show at Wesleyan University in Connecticut. The next stop was Boston, MA for a Smoke Noises appearance on the Berklee Internet Radio Network and a Smoke Noises x Urbindex show. The official “Smoke Noises” LP saw a late October release on Alloy-X and a self shot (while in Boston) music video for the Urbindex produced “Snakes On A Plane” was released shortly after. Also released in the month of October was the Broccoli Samurai feat. Smoke Screen single for “Backwards Logic” which saw an official music video release.
November and December have consisted of a pair of mixes from Mooke in “Orbit Grooves Vol. 1” and “Orbit Grooves Vol. II“, a Smoke Screen show with The Kickdrums, a Smoke Noises set at the 2013 Genghis Con hand selected by legendary Cleveland artist John G, and Broken Keys appearances with Anamanaguchi at the Beachland Ballroom, and at Heart & Sole for the Doja Powerplay release party.
We want to thank everyone that held us down this year and for the past 6 years. We couldn’t imagine doing anything else and we’re extremely lucky to be able to do this with everyone’s support. We now leave you with our 2013 highlight recap video featuring many of the things mentioned above. Welcome to 2014.