BTS Radio

I don’t typically use the word “ill” in my regular speech. But I’ve had the term “illness” floating in my head for the past few days. I think that term applies well to what’s going on over at BTS Radio. Something’s happening over there and I think their sickness requires attention immediately.

BTS Radio is a half-hour to an hour mix coming out of California State University each Tuesday night, run by Andrew Meza. Most of the recent mixes, done by Meza and guests, have featured music from established and also up-coming beat makers like Flying Lotus, J Dilla, Madlib, Jneiro Jarel and Samiyam. The selection of music ranges from soul, funk, jazz, electronica and (most often) hip-hop. A lot of the content is unreleased, coming straight off of the artists’ CD-Rs.

Not only is the music amazing, but the art direction is as well. While these are not real, printed album covers, they might as well be. The most recent mixes have each been accompanied by artwork done by LCP United, a collective of designers and illustrators “mainly based between Paris and Tokyo”. The artwork is well designed and fits perfectly with the music. They have obvious graffiti influence with scattered collages of tags, scribbles and characters. They also use a lot of great textures, colors and nice choices of font. They know what they’re doing.

I think the star of LCP might be Illord tha Ques. A great illustrator, he is responsible for a series of hip-hop portraits called “Finest Elements”. After seeing them on so many artists’ MySpace pages, I started to take notice. The likenesses match up well and he manages to capture the personality of each individual artist. I’m sure it has made him well known within that specific scene, especially with the help of MySpace. (It’s good for something!)

As for actual album packaging, LCP does that too. The latest, I believe, is their cover for the Japanese hip-hop group Gagle’s latest album on Jazzy Sport Records, 3Peat.

For more information and free mixes, check out BTS Radio’s page here.
For LCP United, you can check out their site here.

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