Thursday, August 30, 2012

Pac Div: "Black Acura" [feat. Mac Miller & Raven Sorvino]

"Show out for the girls and get your ass whipped / on some 8th grade right in front of the class shit"

I totally slept on Pac Div's debut last year but have since been playing catch up via the stray single here and there. This one's the best I've heard so far, nimble wordplay over rumbling-yet-unobtrusive shoegaze beats. This one is from the upcoming GMB album.

[EDIT 11/27/12: added music video]:

Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire: "The Message"

Mr. Muthafuckin' eXquire up on that cloud rap tip. Biggest head scratcher on this one is the non sequitur "Dopeman" sample. Actually, even stranger is that, while this is a mere 2.5 minute song (pretty common in the age of internet freebies), eXquire is through rapping by the 1:30 mark. Always leaving 'em wanting more, I guess.

[UPDATE 11/28/12: added music video]:

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Aquarian: "Motherisk"

Aquarian's Soundcloud is not exactly frothing over with generous samples or biographical info, so I can't tell you a lot about the Toronto lad, but according to URB (from which this was cribbed; respeck) his debut EP - out in October - will be released on the stellar UNO NYC label, although once again there's no fucking mention of the dude signed to the label.

The Flaming Lips: "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" [feat. Amanda Palmer]

Yeah, this song already had a video once... but if you'll recall Erykah Badu took grievious exception to what she deemed "shock" tactics (wonder just what in the fuck she was thought was going to materialize while she was watching the band film it). So nearly three months later we get a recut video sans Badu's (frankly kinda homely) sis, Nayrok, and in comes Amanda Palmer of the Dresden Dolls. Same basic theme, except instead of viscous, blood-colored fluids this time Palmer is frolicking around [still nude] in a tub full of plain old vanilla flavored water. Still NSFW if the above image didn't already get you fired.
The Flaming Lips and Amanda Palmer - The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face from Delo Creative on Vimeo.

Converge: "Aimless Arrow"

At which point does "math rock" become "meth rock"?

Trick question: they were the same thing all along. Certainly helps to be rendered spastic if you're going to jam to the likes of Converge, who return here after an absurd three year layoff with the first cut from their forthcoming All We Love We Leave Behind. Wait a minute, wasn't that the name of a fucking U2 record?

Airhead: "Black Ink"

Airhead implies something flighty and inane, but homeboy's "Black Ink" is a focused blend of old school IDM glitch and modernist post-dubstep. Fuck, is it possible to come up with descriptors without sounding like a pretentious douchebag? Probably, but not if you are in fact a pretentious dbag like yours truly (that's post-douchebag if you're nasty).

Just listen to the fucking joint already.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Illum Sphere: "H808ER"

Tripping off that Daft Punk Tron vibe, this is some percolating, bass-saturated shit right here. Illum Sphere   isn't floating around a lot of information about himself (their selves?) but the act comes from Manchester and will be releasing the "Birthday" / "h808er" 12" digitally on September 3 and on vinyl September 10 through Young Turks.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Mouse on Mars: "They Know Your Name"

Mouse on Mars sound here like they were attempting to flirt with dubstep but are just too fucking weird to properly pull it off. They even throw in some uncharacteristically poppy half-rapped, half-sung lyrics. Wrrrd.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Bleeding Rainbow: "Pink Ruff"

This comes off like a less saturated My Bloody Valentine, which is a common enough touchstone in 2012 but represents a good look for this Philly quartet. "Pink Ruff" is the title track from their upcoming album which comes out in - damn! - January? For real?

And lest you think you were the first to draw the LeVar Burton references, yes, the band used to be called Reading Rainbow. Them ceast and desists are a motherfucker.
Bleeding Rainbow - "Pink Ruff" from stereogum on Vimeo.

DJ Rashad: "Kush Ain't Loud"

If footwork evolves and hangs around long enough to become a permanent fixture on the EDM scene, DJ Rashad's Teklife Vol. 1: Welcome to the Chi could very well become the ur-text all other footwork is assembled from. Shit's like a Rosetta Stone of skittering beats and wobbling bass, and "Kush Ain't Loud" is arguably the man's magnum opus to date.
Kush Ain't Loud from Ashes57 on Vimeo.

Anna Meredith: "Nautilus"

Anna Meredith: check out the bio at her Soundcloud profile and tell me ol' girl isn't trying to make Laurie Anderson look like a slouch by comparison. Usually when I hear of someone mixing oh, say, classical with something incongruous like electronic music I think "gimmick", but "Nautilus" shows a commendable understanding of the repeat / build ethos that makes trance and drone so compelling. The devil is in the edit.

El Perro Del Mar: "Walk On By"

Glad to see that, after a quarter century, that Sade influence is finally starting to stick. There's a half buried 90's breakbeat low down in the mix, but otherwise "Walk On By" (not the Isaac Hayes song) could have been lifted straight off of that Stronger Than Pride LP.

El Perro Del Mar is the pseudonym of Swede Sarah Assbring, which itself just has to be a pseudonym, doesn't it?

Montag: "True Love" [feat. James Bay]

Hard to tell whether it's a self-conscious nod to how much his synth work appropriates old Goblin scores or just sheer "great minds think alike" happenstance, but the horror movie imagery in Montag's "True Love" video is pleasantly congruent. Of course, freed from the ad revenue-driven shackles of MTV,sinister motifs are a dime a dozen in music videos these days. Still... this:

Roc Marciano: "76"

Is this cloud rap? I don't claim to fully understand the term but if rapping over 10cc's "I'm Not in Love" doesn't qualify then I'm really confused.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Physical Therapy: "Drone On" [feat. Jamie Krasner]

Most producers, if given the melancholy, ethereal vocals of Jamie Krasner to work with, would have put her over top a bed of standard, narco-trip hop beats and called it a day. Physical Therapy turns that idea on its head, even mocking the obvious with a contradictory song title that he has no intention of living up to: "Drone On" is an incendiary dance floor stomp filled with skittering breakbeats and old school D&B flavor.

The Safety Net EP is supposedly already out on Hippos in Tanks, but their shop page still lists it as a pre-order.

Hawthorne Headhunters: "My Sweetheart the Drunk"

Nope, not a Jeff Buckley cover - he had a posthumous album called Sketches for My Sweetheart the Drunk but there was never a song with a similar title - but hopefully the breakthrough single for LA-via-St. Louis duo Hawthorne Headhunters. Myriad of Now - out now on Plug Research - is a unification of 20th century African-American music: soul, funk, hip hop, jazz... boys got it all.

Frightened Rabbit: "State Hospital"

Full disclosure: when I first Mumford & Sons (on the fucking radio, no less), I thought Frightened Rabbit had sanded off their rough edges and were going for polished mainstream chart success. Thankfully that was not the case -this was a different, previously unheard group altogether - and a couple years later both bands still toil away in mutually compatible co-existent at opposite ends of the "indie" folk spectrum.

Animal Collective: "Today's Supernatural"

When I say that Animal Collective has gotten surprisingly accessible over the years, yet they still come off every bit as edgy and outre as Flaming Lips or Mike Patton, you know they came from a truly obtuse pocket of the universe to begin with. Their new album Centipede Hz is out September 4 and, on the basis of "Today's Supernatural", Avey Tare has developed some legitimate pop sense in the last few years.

Janka Nabay & the Bubu Gang: "Somebody"

According to Wikipedia, bubu started off as the musical accompaniment to witchcraft rituals in Sierra Leone before eventually being co-opted by mainstream Muslim sects for their own Ramadan ceremonies. Ahmed Janka Nabay is reportedly the first person to actually record the style, a rhythmic, danceable ensemble work requiring up to 20 musicians, and for his upcoming sophomore album he recruited members of Skeletons, Gang Gang Dance and Starring - all Brooklyn hipster royalty - to help him lay down En Say Yah, his first album for David Byrne's Luaka Bop imprint.

(via Okayafrica):

Flying Lotus: "See Thru To U" [feat. Erykah Badu]

Guess Flying Lotus knew better than to risk lensing a video for his new collabo with Erykah Badu... and I know better than to go any further with that thought.

King Krule: "Rock Bottom"

"Rock Bottom" starts off like it's going to be some left field lounge tune - complete with introductory shout outs - but, as has been typical of Archy Marshall's material under the King Krule banner thus far, the song gathers up the loose ends from 80's New Romantic, Pulp's lush mid-90's Britpop and even jazzy, pseudo-breakbeats. Also the band name was inspired by the arch enemy from the Donkey Kong Country series so, you know, ghetto pass...

[UPDATE 11/12/12: added music video]:

Sunday, August 19, 2012

High on Fire: "Fertile Green"

This Phil Mucci guy doesn't fuck around. If psychotronic exploitation movies are metal then this shit right here may just be the most metal video every created. And what better band to underscore the G.O.A.T. metal flick than High on Fire, whose mainman Matt Pike should be getting out of rehab soon, presumably to hang out with Zakk Wylde and reminisce about the good ol' years... what little of them they can remember ("spoken like a true recidivist drunk!", you say; "I don't need metal to get high!", I retort).

Talk Normal: "Bad Date"

This one's got an energetic, punky vocal line accentuated by a drone-like shoegaze guitar riff. Stereogum premiered this video a few days ago as well as utilizing the song for the finale of last month's mixtape, so credit where credit is due. Talk Normal is also the name of a Laurie Anderson anthology, but aside from making forward thinking music from a strong feminine perspective I'm not aware of any performance art background for these two girls.

The no doubt ironically named Sunshine will be out October 23 on Joyful Noise.

Band in Heaven: "Summer Bummer"

Too many "Band" band names lately. Band of Horses. Band of Skulls. Band of Joy. Also too many "Heaven"s. Heavenly. Bear in Heaven. Heaven & Hell (RIP). This is Band in Heaven, which sounds exactly like Bear in Heaven when you say it aloud, but not necessarily when you play it aloud.

"Summer Bummer" is on one of those trendy split cassettes over at - yes - Bandcamp.

Enslaved: "Thoughts Like Hammers"

Just when other bands thought they had a shot at Best Metal Album of 2012, Enslaved come out of the woodwork with a new album due September 28 on Nuclear Blast. R||T||R will apparently be taking advantage of the modern penchant for Hebrew-izing band names and album titles to represent Roto Rooter, the better to flush their BOTY competitors.
[UPDATE 10/23/12: added official video]:

[UPDATE 8/29/12: added lyric video]:

Kendrick Lamar: "Westside, Right on Time" [feat. Young Jeezy]

Kind of strange having Jeezy on a Black Hippy track, but this new Kendrick Lamar joint is a freebie issued as part of Top Dawg Entertainment's fan appreciation week. Jeezy unexpectedly doesn't add anything to the track but at least he doesn't take anything away from it either. The 70's string-drenched soul sample is the real highlight anyway.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Twigs: "Ache"

If we're going to recognize the legitimacy of "cloud rap" then surely in the brief time of its ascent it has already been eclipsed by "cloud soul", an ethereal dream pop version of R&B kickstarted a year or so ago by The Weeknd and since paraded through a procession of compatible sub-genres: witch house, ambient, noise pop, etc. The latest to fly the flag is Twigs, an R&B chanteuse of unknown origin who is releasing her second single without bothering to establish a public identity to underline her first.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Phlex: "Rost Beef"

You can always expect weird electronic sounds out of Berlin, birthplace of Krautrock and a linchpin of the experimental techno scene since the early 90's. Phlex is Daniel Mata, who issued his debut album Atta Atta on Schematic under that (admittedly creativity bereft) moniker earlier this year. If homeboy was British I'm sure Richard James would have been all over this for his Rephlex label. As it is I'm sure Schematic is all too happy - as happy as ze Germans get, anyway - that Mata flew underneath the Limey radar.

Lindstrøm: “Rà-àkõ-st”

How have I never posted a Lindstrøm cut up until now? Just another competency fault on my part. Put it on the tab. “Rà-àkõ-st” is the first sample of a new 12" this Norwegian homeboy has coming out on Smalltown Supersound at an undefined future date. I guess they figure if physical media is dead release dates are operating exclusively on the mañana principle, huh? Better hurry the fuck, there's only so much summer left to milk out of these breezy grooves.

Spector: "Never Fade Away" [Wolfgang Voight Remix]

Not familiar with these Spector cats - their debut album Enjoy It While It Lasts comes out Monday - but I dig what Kompakt honco Wolfgang Voight has done with their single, "Never Fade Away". Through the bouncy techno beat you can make out a new wave-y melody, and from the promo photo above these dudes look like a cross between Rick Astley and INXS. You know what? That could work.

CID RIM: "Draw"

Someone digs them some "In the Air Tonight" air drums... check out the snap on that live percussion. Sounds like God slapping a wet baby on the ass. CID RIM is from the land of Schwarzenneger and, according to XLR8R, he released an album on LuckyMe last week, but damned if I can find any mention of it. Either way, that's obviously the artwork above so if you're willing to do a little more digging I'm sure something will come up.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Tom Waits: "Hell Broke Luce"

Ever wonder what Lulu would have been like if either Lou or Metallica had anything left in the tank? "Hell Broke Luce" presents a more interesting concept: what if Tom Waits replaced Nick Cave in the Bad Seeds, if only for one song? Waits is the anti-Reed, still full of piss and vinegar, never full of himself.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Homeboy Sandman: "Watchu Want From Me?"

Thing that's got Homeboy Sandman tagged as one of my top 3 rappers out there right now is that he's got a gift for wrapping a formidable, tongue twisting flow into catchy as hell beats and choruses. There aren't many singles the guy releases that don't deserve a place on this blog, and since it's been a minute since I've given him his due check out this first leak off of his upcoming Stones Throw debut First of a Living Breed.

[UPDATE 10/24/12: added music video]:

Makoto: "Summer Nights"

This Makoto cat has it in him to be the Japanese Nicolas Jaar, not in terms of a copycat sound but just bringing an enormous amount of technical expertise and sense of space to his work. The whole breezy, chill out summer thing has been done to death but I'm making one more exception for "Summer Nights" because homeboy knows how to program beats.

The Another Generation EP is out August 13 on Apollo.

Witchcraft: "It's Not Because of You"

If "It's Not Because of You" is any indication, Witchcraft have gone light years beyond their early Sabbath / Sir Lord Baltimore worship and are now right in the thick of Queens of the Stone Age / Jack White solo turf. A bluesy yet melancholy strut underpins the jam friendly riffing, Magnus Pelander's soulful vocals eschewing heavy metal conventions altogether for something more egalitarian, more rock.

Legend is out September 25 on Nuclear Blast. In the meantime head over to Metal Injection for my roundup  of Metal Blade's recent reissue campaign.

Passion Pit: "Constant Conversations"

Ever since Quiet is the New Loud indie bands have been tripping over themselves to sound both more ethereal and rarefied than the next guy. Gossamer, y'all, really? That's what Passion Pit are going for with their new album of the same name, but instead of wispy lack of substance we're treated to some genuine, hook-laden pop songcraft. PP were never really the second coming of My Bloody Valentine anyway. Still... that album cover could afford to be a little less Mexican Summer, no?

[UPDATE 11/7/12: added Chrome Canyon remix]:

Talib Kweli: "Push Thru" [feat. Curren$y and Kendrick Lamar]

Just goes to show how quickly the churn is in mainstream hip hop when Talib Kweli is the old guard on his own track. Here he gathers upstarts Curren$y and Kendrick Lamar for one of those classic old soul, world weary feel (kinda) good tunes that Kweli is known for. This is the first of presumably many leaks leading up to Kweli's Prisoner of Conscious [sic] out at an indeterminate date later this year.

Liars: "Brats"

Is it just me or does this sound like something Damon Albarn would have his hand in? Not so much in the music itself - which is Gorillaz-like but only vaguely so - but the vocal cadence has Albarn down pretty pat. Anyway, the video for "Brats" comes off like a first year CAD student dropped a bunch of acid before setting to work on the project he had due for his semester final.

Captain Murphy: "The Ritual"

What an odd way to begin a song. "The Ritual" begins with an extended intro that's basically a straight, unfiltered sample of some old 60's psych pop tune, then shifts entirely into a 70's flute-driven funk backing. Don't even get me started on the strange, tribal movie samples that end the tune.