In the center of California, a culture that is the underbelly of LA and San Francisco. from the bass bumping out of the ’84 Cutlass to the backyard fiestas, the music of 40 Watt Hype is created—live Hip Hop cultivated from the seeds of a favorite dusty Soul record with a Latin b side.
Born and influenced by the streets of Fresno, 40 Watt Hype started (out of necessity) at a backyard party by front man Aaron Wall and as soon as the music started, the people danced and embraced this new sound. Wall—songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer—a second generation Dutchman, grew up listening to a multitude of styles and forms of music, from R&B to Hip Hop to Latin. When you hear and see Wall perform, you can feel the love and influence of the environment he is the product of, breaking stereotypes, as he states, “nothing turns heads quicker than seeing a white boy sing and rhyme in Spanish”. As a kid in Eastside Fresno, he learned to speak Spanish from hearing it throughout the neighborhood and from kids at school, and during high school in Fresno’s urban Westside, R&B and Hip Hop further impacted itself on his musical journey.
As the founding member, Wall wanted to bring together a fresh and exciting, versatile, genre bending sound with a cast of stellar musicians. These artists have studied and performed in New York, Boston and Japan. On drums, Sean Alderette plays with the soulful touch of Clyde Stubblefield and the power of the classic break beat; on bass, Pat Olvera lays down gut-busting grooves on the low end; on percussion, Jared Dyar mixes sounds and textures which enhance to the distinct flavor rounded out by guitars, keys and horns. 40 Watt Hype has branched out of the San Joaquin Valley, touring all over the United States, from LA to Miami, having performed with The Roots, Ludacris and Ozomatli; have appeared on International television in both English and Spanish; been featured in major motion pictures and television networks including ABC and FOX; and have worked with Grammy Award Winning producer, Art Hodge. It is a rare feat writing focused, album ready songs that translate in an explosive live show where the crowd engages in both mind and body.
With the new album, “Push”, 40 Watt Hype blends equal parts rhythms and blues of Anthony Hamilton, evident in “Wannabe”; the hip hop ear of Mos Def as heard in “Echoes Through the Ghetto”; and the Latin touch of the Calle 13 in “Mas y Mas”—creating a kind of music that crosses genres and can’t be pigeonholed. Lyrically, the focus on optimism and hope “Only the Strong Survive” personifies the never-say-die attitude the band has maintained since its inception.
Enrique Gonzales- Guitar
Sean Aldarette- Drums
Javon Davis- Keys
"PUSH(ed):Inner Ear Remixes 2011
"PUSH" new release 2010 (CMJ hip-hop top 40 for 6 weeks straight)
Video "Mas y Mas" featured on MTV Tr3s
"Strong Feet on the Concrete" Featured on ABCs "Lincoln Heights" and Nickelodeon "The Troop"
6 Tracks featured in the video game "Our World"
"Strong Feet on the Concrete" Koch (2006)-Top 10 in over 30 radio markets (college/specialty)
Plug in to 40 Watt Hype
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What happens when some cats from Fresno, California combine Latin rhythms with R&B, hip hop, soul, y...What happens when some cats from Fresno, California combine Latin rhythms with R&B, hip hop, soul, y un vocalista bilingüe? You get the electrifying and unique sounds of the new Tr3s Descubre & Download artist 40 Watt Hype.
From humble beginnings at a backyard party, to playing venues across the U.S., these guys have been creating a buzz all along the way. They’ve been conquering critics and audiences with a universal appeal, y música que refleja la diversidad de una sociedad multicultural.
A full instrumental band backs lead man Aaron Wall, la voz de esta banda, both in English and Spanish. But this composer, instrumentalist, and vocalist producer is not a bicultural Latino. Wall is second generation Dutch, with a family hailing from Holland, quien desarolló un aprecio y afinidad for the Latino community and music he was surrounded by as he was growing up. 40 Watt Hype’s lyrics range from fun-loving to socially conscious, but always showcase the persona of this group. In their salsa-infused song “La Sombra,” Wall rhymes, “Yo no soy guajiro, ni campesino. Yo entiendo la tierra a través de este ritmo.” As gringo as he may seem on the outside, when it comes to music, there’s no denying que tiene alma de Latino.
Now, Tr3s is giving you the chance para descubrir y descargar la música of 40 Watt Hype for free! As the featured Descubre & Download artist, Tr3s offers you la oportunidad de conocer este grupo by downloading three of their hottest tracks: “La Sombra,” “Tu Bien Sabes,” and “Más y Más.”
Este es un grupo que ya ha logrado cierto éxito and recognition, playing alongside established groups like The Roots and Ozomatli, as well as being featured on ABC's "Lincoln Heights" and the video game "Our World." Complex Magazine says 40 Watt Hype creates “a fresh and commanding sound with tremendous crossover appeal.”
Budweiser True Music
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Eight of the Hottest Unsigned Bands in America Today Featuring Morrissey, The Darkness, The Streets,...Eight of the Hottest Unsigned Bands in America Today Featuring Morrissey, The Darkness, The Streets, 40 Watt Hype and El Guapo among others.
Esquire Magazine-10 Things a Man Should Know About Music
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Fresno is known for methamphetamines and urban sprawl but there are two bands that stand out amid th...Fresno is known for methamphetamines and urban sprawl but there are two bands that stand out amid the noodling and the evil renditions of " Hotel California". 40 Watt Hype is a hip-hop/latin group that has no trouble packing the house everytime. The other band is the ass-kicking Tool-esque group Mynis.
Complex Magazine-40 Watt Hype
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Hip-hop neophytes 40 Watt Hype have the underground buzzing. The band's sound combines elements of ...Hip-hop neophytes 40 Watt Hype have the underground buzzing. The band's sound combines elements of Latin, Soul and R&B, creating a fresh and commanding sound with tremendous crossover appeal. Having performed with groups such as The Roots, The Pharcyde and Blackalicious, these hip-hop true school disciples are known for slamming, high energy live shows complete with two MC's, horns and latin percussion. 40 Watt Hype's unique style appeals to the diverse ears of their grassroots fan base.
PUSH Album Review
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A large majority of hip-hop outfits in the modern day culture of music, and even dating back to hip-...A large majority of hip-hop outfits in the modern day culture of music, and even dating back to hip-hop’s inception, have relied heavily on samples and digitally generated beats as means for instrumentation. Rarely do you come across a band that uses actual instruments in a live setting as the foundation to which verses are rhymed upon. The Roots have mastered that concept. Emerging out of Fresno, California, 40 Watt Hype, led by songwriter/emcee/producer Aaron Wall, has modified that style into an instrumental form of hip-hop and Latin soul in its sophomore record, Push, released last spring on Royal Dutch Company Music.
The words and music you hear are the product of songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Aaron Wall whose diverse background has directly influenced 40 Watt Hype’s distinct sound. Wall, a descendent of Dutch ancestry, learned Spanish on the streets of Fresno and the Latin culture that he found himself immersed in became an integral part of his musical foundation. On Push you will hear smooth and soulful R&B vocals mixed in with lyrically strong hip-hop verses that keep pace with pulsing and steady drum beats and harmonized with fluctuating keyboard arrangements.
“Only the Strong Survive” is a motivating song that sets the band’s vibe and immediately shows off their versatility. “Only the strong survive and I’m Darwin,” raps Wall in the funky transition midway through the track. Lyrically, “Echoes” is one of the best songs on the record which features the complexity of Wall’s wordplay and compositional skill. Reminiscent of Talib Kweli’s “Get By,” the lead piano riff maintains the direction of the song and has a similar alternating feel in its note structure. The bridge in the middle of the tune is a high point as it features a chorus and adds a thrust to the track that embodies a neighborhood-like feeling.
Instrumentally speaking, the blend of deep grooves and jazz-funk sets 40 Watt Hype apart from other bands and in regard to the message, a universal tone of not giving up lies within all of the tracks on Push. Halfway through the album, a short instrumental piece titled “Royal Dutch Insty” displays the level of musicianship and the core of the band. The song shows the connection between the driving keyboards, pounding horn/sax section and the high tempo of the percussion section. Another track with strong verses from Wall is “Feel This Music” that features a distorted guitar riff throughout the song and exits with a physical hollow solo backed with a brassy trombone. Following is a song titled “Mas y Mas” that imbeds Spanish verses within a revolutionary body that has you up out of your seat in the back half of the song.
When you listen to a record like Push, it’s almost like you’re feeling the live show right through the headphones. Definitely a band with a positive outlook, 40 Watt Hype is a rare breed of instrumental hip-hop soul and the Latin influence that is rooted within the music only gives off more energy.
Only the Strong Survive
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"Only the strong survive," vocalist/MC/multi-instrumentalist Aaron Wall sings on the album opener of..."Only the strong survive," vocalist/MC/multi-instrumentalist Aaron Wall sings on the album opener of the same name. While he's talking about life in general, he could also be referencing his status as a white guy maneuvering in the worlds of rap, R&B and Spanish-flavored music.
"Can U Dig" and the bilingual, Latin-style "Tu Bien Sabes" continue the will-to-survive theme with lyrics detailing breakups and baby mama drama. Wall flexes his storytelling muscles on the somber "Echoes," detailing the trials of inner city life with lines like"5 to 1 says you don't make it out the gate/4 to 1 says you don't make past the 12th grade/3 to 1 says you don't make to see 23/2 to 1 says you end up in the penitentiary." The bouncy "Mas y Mas," mines similar territory, criticizes those who "All the freedom but/Don't want the fight."
Musically Wall and his band also hold their own. The album is a melting pot of genres, featuring straight-forward hip hop ("Feel My Music"), mid-tempo R&B/soul jams ("The Messenger, "Wannabe") and Latin tracks "Mas Y Mas" and "Tu Bein Sabes," complete will exotic horn riffs, conga drums and Wall's Spanish flow, which rings with authenticity and respect for Latin music.
"Echoes," with its full, rich backing vocals courtesy of the Grace Gospel Choir, takes on an anthem-like tone. Overall Push is a diverse, fun effort that should leave little doubt about 40 Watt Hype's survival.
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40 Watt Hype is a melting pot of styles that works. Based on sound alone, it would be easy to make f...40 Watt Hype is a melting pot of styles that works. Based on sound alone, it would be easy to make false assumptions about the band and their background. Frontman and founding member Aaron Wall has Dutch roots; he is a white boy who learned Spanish on the streets (and later in school) of Fresno, California. Growing up listening to Latin, R&B and hip hop, he and his group of talented musicians found a way to incorporate all of these influences in their music, adding conga and keys, texture and soul.
Following 2006’s Strong Feet On the Concrete, Push is 45 minutes of highly danceable tunes, from the get-down beat of “Can U Dig” to the slow groove of “The Messenger,” a rich, sonic experience interwoven by intelligent rhymes of people struggling in less than ideal circumstances, love found and lost and new lives started. Wall switches between English and Spanish with effortless ease, often sharing the vocal duties with his big-voiced, warm-toned band mates.
“Tu Bien Sabes” oozes that alluring sultriness characteristic of most Latin music. A love story that quickly turns sour, it contains the clever line “you had me playing daddy with no DNA, no genes, now I’m feeling like MJ singing Billy Jean”. “Echoes” is a hands-down hit, an anthem for hope against incredible odds. Built on a strong piano melody, overlaid by a throbbing baseline and featuring Dr. Dre’s hypnotic signature sound from “Still Dre,” the music has such a strong presence, it is difficult to focus on the flawless rhymes. A choir takes the song to another level, tying it all together and raising it up.
After four uptempo songs, the album feels like it loses a bit of momentum with sweeter songs “Wannabe” and “The Messenger”. After a few listens, however, the low-keyness takes on its own appeal—like turning the lights down to set a mood. With its smooth R&B vibe and silky raps, “The Messenger” has a high sing-along factor in the chorus. Bridging the gap between songs, “Royal Dutch Insty” is a short percussion-based instrumental track, proving that “Echoes” could have been incredible even without vocals.
The energy ramps back up with “Mas Y Mas,” carrying over the jazzy percussion beat before shifting to a gauzy, shimmery background for Wall’s rap about how humans want all the good without the bad. Though this track doesn’t quite reach the height of “Echoes,” it has plenty of hooks. The continual shifting and layering of sounds is a little jarring at times, but makes it clear that 40 Watt Hype hasn’t any shortage of beats to build on. “The 99” takes it down and dirty, a smoky ode to a city. The spoken rhyme toward the end is pure poetry.
Listening to Push is the sonic equivalent of joining a backyard party from where this music sprang. Very accessible, Push offers a toe-tapping, finger-snapping, hip-shaking good time. —ANITA MORF
Patios Traseros Californianos
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Socioculturalmente hablando, mucho sucede en California. Este Estado de la Unión Americana ha sido d...Socioculturalmente hablando, mucho sucede en California. Este Estado de la Unión Americana ha sido desde siempre punto de reunión, convivencia, choque y mezcla de muchas diferentes culturas, sin importar cuan distantes parezcan unas de otras. Esto ha provocado diferentes fenómenos sociales, algunos buenos, algunos malos; desde el surgimiento de nuevas formas culturales, hasta la discriminación y la intolerancia en contra de las minorías. Estados Unidos, la tierra de la libertad, atrae a todos los habitantes de este planeta, y dentro de su seno, la interacción entre sus habitantes procrea muchas veces maravillas.
La diversidad musical es una de las más grandes características de la cultura estadounidense contemporánea: Electrificaron a la guitarra, sus calles son la matriz del Hip-Hop. La aportación de los latinoamericanos puede considerarse de las más grandes, por el constante y masivo flujo de migrantes provenientes de esta zona que entran en sus fronteras, y se adaptan y readaptan a su sistema cultural. Todo esto nos abre un panorama infinito de opciones y suposiciones en cuanto a música.
Las fiestas en los patios traseros de Fresno son el recipiente perfecto para la mezcla e intercambio de corrientes musicales. Aaron Wall, con ascendencia europea, creció en esa ciudad, alimentando sus oídos de R&B, Soul, Jazz Latino, Hip-Hop y vecinos que hablan español. Se convirtió en músico y productor y fundó 40 Watt Hype, el lienzo donde plasma todas sus influencias. Sean Alderette, Pat Olvera y Jared Dyar fueron sus reclutas para integrarlos a la banda.
Acaban de lanzar Push, un disco que se siente natural, se siente como de casa, o casero, o de fiesta casera; diferentes ángulos de audición para este material. Probablemente esta naturalidad, esta calidez, se deba a su origen latino, a sus percusiones y sus rimas, a su bajo, no lo se. Nunca dejaré de ser latino para poder apreciarlo desde otra óptica, pero me siento incapaz de imaginar a quien sea no bailando y siguiendo los beats de las canciones que lo integran.
En el transcurso del disco, automáticamente imagino hileras interminables de vasitos rojos desechables pasar ante mis ojos, dentro de una casa en la que ya no cabe nadie más, donde todos llegan para nadie se va. Las rimas en español y en inglés son impecables, son absolutamente magnéticas. Las percusiones golpean materiales tan diversos que parecieran venir de un taller donde conviven carpinteros, herreros, y una escuela de bateristas. Todo esto rebotando en los bajos que hacen vibrar a las ventanas. El calor provocado por tantos cuerpos bailando será lo de menos.
IQ-Hip-hop turned on its ear via 40 Watt Hype
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The type of hip hop that 40 Watt Hype plays could only come from the state of California. Sure, peo...The type of hip hop that 40 Watt Hype plays could only come from the state of California. Sure, people will compare them to The Roots, which is justifiable, but it’s mostly because the band, which includes Brian Robinson (Vagabond), Jared Dyar (percussion), Adan Infante (trombone), Sean Alderette (drums), Aaron Wall (MC AWALL) Enrique Gonzales (guitar) and Bronson Garza (bass), performs with live instruments. Others will point to their Latin leanings and bring up less applicable and predictable comparisons to Santana and still others will mention how 40 Watt hype sounds similar to the Black Eyed Peas in terms of kinetic energy both on stage and on record. The truth is, 40 Watt Hype sound exactly like themselves, which always seems to be a problem when it comes to hip-hop; not so much for fans of the genre, but for the recording industry, radio and critics like myself who need to come up with new words to describe fresh new music.
As they boast in song, “we are true players but we don’t play, the same way that you play.” Still an unsigned act (but likely not for long), the group outwardly criticizes the inner workings of the music industry in song and (annoyingly) in skit, but to do it with such unforced flair and stately fashion that the music is less about the words and more about the groove.
Instrumentally, the groups is stacked to the gills with enough horn, key, percussion and rhythmic armor to spontaneously start a New Orleans street party. But whats’ apperant in listening to tracks from the group’s latest recording Strong Feet on the Concrete, they are simply a well rehearsed group that happens to know the secret to onstage success: restraint. Never coming off as ostentatious, the group still manages to flip the wigs of many listeners.
Along with that, they stay down to Earth in an over-hyped genre that floats like a million dead fish- as evidence in lyrics like “In this Animated world, spinnin’ in its axis, life death and taxes/we wll wanna know the answers to questions under the sun/but all we really need to know is one”. Their message oozes positivity and unity, and their relaxed sound matches that message in beats, but not to the point of an Arrested Development. In other words don’t start singing Kumbaya just yet.
There’s been many hip-hop group’s such as this in the past and there will likely be many more, but the Billboard charts never seem to find room for them until they approach Fugees status.
Unfortunate, but for those that like to keep their favorite bands a secret, they now have 40 Watt Hype to add to that list.
Pop Matters- Believe the Hype
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When you hear 40 Watt Hype's Strong Feet on the Concrete, you might wonder, Is there anything this b...When you hear 40 Watt Hype's Strong Feet on the Concrete, you might wonder, Is there anything this band can't do?â€? You wouldn't be the only one. The Fresno, California-based band has been praised as one of the best unsigned acts in the United States. Meanwhile, the band's frequent description as a cross between the Roots and Santana could work as a snippet of 40 Watt Hype's musical sophistication, songwriting skills, and strong live presence.
The praise is well-founded, as the group's 16-track release, Strong Feet on the Concrete, stomps forward with grooves rooted in hip-hop, R&B, funk, Latin vibes, and jazz. You'll want to see 40 Watt Hype perform this material in person, as the Roots and other hip-hop artists have demonstrated that concert rap can be compelling when backed up by live instrumentation. The membership roster for Strong Feet includes Brian Robinson (a.k.a. MC Vagabond), Aaron Wall (a.k.a. MC Awall), Enrique Gonzalas on guitar, Sean Alderette rocking the drums, Bronson Garza working the bass, Jared Dyar on percussion, Adan Infante on trombone, and David Hull playing the keys. In 2002, the group released the flavorful Advanced Techniques in Modern Sound. A year later, they followed up with Grand Unification Theory, which was followed in 2005 by the CD/DVD package Live & Direct: Sight & Sound.
The band's immersion in hip-hop is evident, from the title track's opening salvos to the group's rock-rap joint S.O.S., which would make Rage Against the Machine nod in approval. The Latin vibes, as you might expect, are most evident in tunes with Spanish vocals, such as "Muevete" and "La Sombra"?. That vibe, punctuated by airtight horn arrangements, is delightful, adding a joyous twist to the hip-hop and jazz layers, even in songs that tend to focus on the more serious aspects of life. For instance, the chorus in "Animated World" goes, "In this animated world, spinnin' on its axis / Life, death, and taxes / We all wanna know the answers to questions under the sun / But all we need to know is one"?. Yet, the delivery of that message, in an environment of high-energy arrangements and tempo, gives the impression that there's hope, which usually (at least from the band's perspective) comes in the form of music. Speaking of the magnificent horn work, you might notice there's only a trombone player listed in the above membership roster. Where did the horns come from? Additional musicians add spice to the group's sound, such as high caliber contributions from Todd Doucet (tenor sax, baritone sax and flute) and Joey Rogers (trumpet).
Like the Roots, 40 Watt Hype's musical ingenuity is backed up by content and message. The best example isn't even a musical composition; it's a skit called "Jerry Gente Interlude." The skit chronicles a series of appointments by Mr. Gente, a caricature of an entertainment industry insider, who "always makes [his] money"? by advising talent. The twist, though, is the nature of that advice. During his 2:00 appointment (his appointments are spaced out at two-minute intervals), he tells the client it would be good if he (the client) could "get stabbed" in to create anticipation for an upcoming album release. "Your last album," he tells the client, "sold like hotcakes when you got that DUI". In his 2:02, he advises a client against writing her own songs and, at 2:04, he advances his idea of a "thuggish"? Thanksgiving concept album called Thugs-giving. In brilliant fashion, the skit critiques, in particular, promotional tactics that detract from the music experience and, in a more general way, it highlights the feeding frenzies (whether by fans, critics, or media outlets) that result from controversy. The "Jerry Gente"? interlude appropriately leads into the song "Controversy"? and works well amid the more directly issue-oriented musical numbers.
It's 40 Watt Hype's range that almost mandates further comparisons beyond those to Santana and the Roots. Some observers analogize 40 Watt Hype's energy to the party-style of the Black Eyed Peas, as in the title track's hook ("Just let go, lose control / When we rock the party, make the crowd say, ˜Ho!) and in songs like "Tru Players" ("We are true players, but we don't play / The same way that you play, it's more than a game"). I would also liken the crew to a mixture of the Brand New Heavies and Jazzhole with a splash of Brooklyn Funk Essentials and a pinch of, as demonstrated by "Keep It Together", Rage Against the Machine (or, as the lyrics explain, "rage against the suits in the name of the truth"). Although straight-out singing isn't the group's strength ("Muevete" and "Slow Ride?" are good examples), the attempts are successfully carried through, as in "Drunk & in Love"?, by stellar musicianship and a warm party atmosphere. This is a group that's definitely worth checking out, whether on CD or onstage.
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Socio-culturally speaking, much happens in California. This state of the American Union has long bee...Socio-culturally speaking, much happens in California. This state of the American Union has long been a rallying point, coexistence, shock and mix of many different cultures, no matter how distant from each other appear. This has led to various social phenomena, some good, some bad, from the emergence of new cultural forms, to discrimination and intolerance against minorities. United States, land of freedom, appeals to all inhabitants of this planet, and within her womb, the interaction between its inhabitants breeds often wonders.
Musical diversity is one of the most important characteristics of contemporary American culture: electrified guitar, its streets are the matrix of Hip-Hop. The contribution of Latin Americans can be considered the largest, by the constant and massive flow of migrants from the area falling within its borders, and adapt and readjust to their cultural system. All this opens up an infinite landscape of options and assumptions about music.
The parties in the backyards of Fresno are the perfect vessel for mixing and sharing of music. Aaron Wall, European descent, grew up there, feeding their ears from R & B, Soul, Latin Jazz, Hip-Hop and neighbors who speak Spanish. He became a musician and producer and founded 40 Watt Hype , the canvas on which all his influences plasma. Sean Alderette, Pat Olvera and Jared Dyar were his recruits into the band.
Push just released a disc that feels natural, feels like home, or home, or house party, different angles of hearing for this material. Probably this naturalness, this warmth, due to its Latin origin, their drums and their rhymes, their low, do not know. I never cease to be Latino in order to appreciate it from another angle, but I am unable to imagine anyone not dancing and following the beats of the songs in it.
During the drive, automatically imagine rows and rows of red disposable cups passed before my eyes, in a house they can no longer be anyone else, where everyone will come to anyone. The rhymes in Spanish and English are impeccable, absolutely magnetic. The drums beat as diverse materials that appear to come from a live workshop where carpenters, blacksmiths, and a school of drummers. All this bouncing downstairs that the windows vibrate. The heat generated by so many bodies dancing is not important.
'Zine Cover Band
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First Espuire, now Blender. Local band 40 Watt Hype sure is magazine friendly. The September issue...First Espuire, now Blender. Local band 40 Watt Hype sure is magazine friendly. The September issue of Blender Magazine(The one with open-shirted Usher holding a microphone) comes with a CD highlighting the "8 Hottest Unsigned Bands in the Country." One of them is Fresno's 40 Watt Hype-an eclectic eight-man band that plays a mix of hip-hop, Latin, soul and funk. The band's song, "La Sombra" a bilingual, dance-floor-ready track is on the CD along with songs by seven other unsigned bands and a few other Blender-recommended, better known artists such as Morrissey, The Darkness, The Streets and The Von Blondies. "Hopefully it'll direct people to out style, to our website," says Aaron Wall, who raps and sings in the band. "Put us on a national level." 40 Watt Hype was one of the bands mentioned in the April Esquire Magazine article that named Fresno no. 6 in its list of "Cities That Rock." "It's dope to be recognized," Wall says. "The Esquire thin was cool. But that was just our name in the article. This is even better because this is out music on the CD that's out nationwide." Well, Fresno, tonight is your chance to see this Blender worthy band. 40 Watt Hype performs tonight at Arte Americas at 7 p.m. tickets are $5. 40 Watt Hype was one of six bands picked by Billboard Magazine out of 1,700 to compete in the Independant Music World Series in Hollywood. For more info on 40 Watt Hype, visit www.40watthype.com
Muses Muse-CD Review-Strong Feet on the Concrete
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A guy goes into a bar. There are 10 music stands with manuscript-sized sheet music placed haphazardl...A guy goes into a bar. There are 10 music stands with manuscript-sized sheet music placed haphazardly on each behind two electric guitars, with a bass guitar placed alongside a set of drums. No, this isn’t the beginning of a long “drunk” joke. This setting was furnished for a Steely Dan tribute band that I unexpectedly came upon about 10 years ago. The sheet music was being supplied for the horn section, an underappreciated element of Fagan and Becker’s compositions. The result was a concert that offered everything you would want for 2 hours of musical escape.
This vision overpowered me as I listened to 40 Watt Hype’s April 2006 creation “Strong Feet on the Concrete”. Grammy-winning producer Art Hodge (co-produced by Aaron Wall, one of the primary songwriters) has crafted an ambitious gem of an album that covers hip-hop, R & B, Latin and Jazz. The talent shows through everywhere; the sense of inspiration witnessed in the horn section is a review in itself.
All 15 songs (one track is a series of 2 minute business meetings) utilize top notch horn arrangements that are made to complement each song and are the creation of Adan Infante, trombone player for the band. Take my favorite, “On & On”. Lyrically, it touches the hardest edges of your soul with its civilized expression of a love being left behind. Just a decent little rhythm, but it is the correct one. The horns phase in and out when you need that perfect emotional underpinning. Listen carefully; you can understand the passion that songwriters command in a good love song. Overall, a beautiful, mature way to express dealing with life and its disappointments.
Latin-flavored pop is the main ingredient in two of the songs; “Muevete” and “La Sombra”. Each is very different but handled masterfully by the band, kept engaging by the use of big horns.
I enjoyed each song on the CD and the switch from hip-hop to R & B to Jazz to Latin was sufficiently smooth to make me save it for a road trip. Of course, I haven't taken it out of my player yet. Grade B+.
Living up to the Hype
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This was his walk for fame. Aaron Wall paced the Hollywood Walk of Fame late Thursday night. At hi...This was his walk for fame. Aaron Wall paced the Hollywood Walk of Fame late Thursday night. At his feet were stars carrying the names of successful musicians: Gloria Estefan, kenny G. Paula Abdul. Dwight Yoakum. At his hands was opportunity. An opportunity for him and his band, 40 Watt Hype, to take a step closer to stardom. To validate a band that had gone through name changes and personnel changes since Wall, now 24, started it in high school. To capture $35.000 worth of prizes in the Independant Music World Series. And, more importantly, to capture the attention of a record label or a producer who could turn a Fresno favorite into a national name. Thats a lot to shoulder. So that's why Wall escaped the small nightclub not long before 40 Watt Hype's set. He needed fresh air. He needed to clear his mind. He needed to go over the bands set in his head....again. The hip-hop-Latin-funk hybrid 40 Watt Hype was one of six bands selected from a pool of 1,700 to compete in the Independent Music World Series. Sponsor Disc Makers, which manufactures CDs for independent artists, narrowed the crop to 100 and turned over those selections to Billboard Magazine. Executives at the magazine picked six to play at Hollywood's Knitting Factory for the chance to win $35,000 "careet boost" package that included equiptment and promotion and post-production services.
"We're just gonna leave it on the stage,"says Wall, and the group sets up quickly before launching into its four-song set at 11:05pm. The four songs - "Keep It Together," "The Foot""Mind Blown and "La Sombra" are from the bands recent album "Grand Unification Theory." The selections show the bands diversity. Some boom with hip-hop influence, others are quite funky. The sets final song , "La Sombra," is a zesty Latin number in which Wall warns the crowd to grab its Spanish-to-English dictionary. When its over the band gets one of the best ovations of the night.
40 Watt Hype
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40 Watt Hype's trademark sound reflects the diverse musical environment of the Central California, f...40 Watt Hype's trademark sound reflects the diverse musical environment of the Central California, fusing together hip-hop salsa, afro-cuban, latin jazz, and much more into a thoroughly original and cohesive sound. This insn't just another hip-hop group that's trying to jump on the band wagon of some other style, this is the real thing-their latin rhythms are as authentic as they are infectious, their jazz and funk riffs are straight out of the tradition. This is a band that through diversity defies catagory, and I don't thnk you'll have herad anything else quite like them. 40 Watt Hype now only crosses musical boundries, but their music also appeals to a diverse audience spanning age groups, races, you name it. Despite what you may be led to believe by the Brittany Spears of the world, people do in fact respond when they hear the real thing. when they hear something new and fresh, yet rooted firmly in the tradition. This is that kind of band. They truly do have their own "sound."
-Joe Moore, Station manager KFSR 90.7
1.Mas y Mas
2.Strong Feet on the Concrete
4.Tu Bien Sabes
6.Keep it Together
9.Gotta Get Up
12.Only the Strong Survive
15.Cuarto de Tula
16. Feel this Music
17. Just for You
18. Can You Dig?
Typical set is 1 hr. 40 Watt Hype can perform 3 hrs of original music including cover songs such as "The Seed","Roses" and "Sacrifice"