Extreme Animals have already defined themselves as masters of maximalist musical social critique with their recent RIP MCA LOUD AND UP CLOSE-THE MEGAMIX, dedicated to the San Diego fireworks mishap of 2012. This time, the epic fail comes in the form of Miley Cyrus’ terrifying ‘We Can’t Stop‘ video, featuring the ex-Hannah Montana contorting her slight frame into a twerk posture, while making out with a doll and being generally creepy.
‘ONLY GOD CAN JUDGE US’ is where Jacob Ciocci and Company dissect and draw out all the weirdness for this remix which, according to a recent tweet by Ciocci himself, ended up on a Buzzfeed mix, ‘37 Totally Bizarro Covers Of Miley Cyrus’ “We Can’t Stop”‘. There is just too much going on for us to digest right now, so you’ll have to see for yourself. **
As masters of making things awkward, Hype Williams have taken London and Sydney-based trio PVT‘s ‘Vertigo’ and turned it into a sardonic social comment on race. Taking a vox pop from 1984 cult classic Sixteen Candles and placing it alongside another long-winded conversation about interracial relations the band shines a stark light on the stereotypes that live on. Defacing the original rhythms with mindless teen chatter and rendering Molly Ringwald (finally) ‘of her time’, the mangled PVT track is certainly an interesting one, not to mention entertaining.
Hype Williams have been mutating in and out of synchronicity over the past few years, with rumours of a split circulating since before the release of last year’s Black is Beautiful as Dean Blunt and Inga Copeland but while both artists have struck out on their own, Hype Williams lives on and Blunt has an album coming out just next week. PVT’s Homosapien is out now. **
The chillwave flagbearer of South Carolina, Toro Y Moi (aka Chaz Bundick) has announced a one-week touring schedule in the UK, including Glasgow, Bristol and London’s KOKO, June 4. Having released his third album Anything in Return on Carpark Records January 16 this year, he’s dropped an extra taster with a Dam-Funk “re-freak” of his ‘Say That’ single.
The Los Angeles artist signed to Stones Throw Records lives up to his name by running the wistful tide of a typically Toro Y Moi flow through a jerking groove and the mood for some live tour action. Full dates below.
TORO Y MOI LIVE IN JUNE
4 June – London, KOKO
5 June – Brighton, Concorde 2
6 June – Bristol, Thekla
7 June – Birmingham, Academy 2
8 June – Glasgow, The Arches
Justin Beiber, Psy, even Zebra Katz can credit YouTube with some, if not a lot of their current success. And while Bulgarian-born, Berlin-based performer Denitza Todorova (aka D E N A)’s is modest by comparison, 500,000 views isn’t bad for an unsigned artist. Now French label Kitsuné is taking that ubiquitous summer hit ‘Cash, Diamond Rings, Swimming Pools’, adding five unique remixes and giving it the official release it deserves on January 28.
Born on the Turkish and Greek border in Haskovo and living in the Berlin melting pot Kreuzberg for the past eight years, D E N A didn’t just appear from nowhere. She’s contributed vocals to bands like The Whitest Boy Alive, performed SXSW with an earlier single release, ‘Games’, and opened for Das Racist since moving to Germany for a course in visual and media studies. She’s also known as ‘Dena from the Block’ and her upbringing in a former Soviet State shouldn’t be overlooked. That’s because, as a fan of the likes of Jay Z, J Dilla and Sun Ra, it’s hard to miss that cheeky reference to her private past and her unusual creative future. She’s an Eastern European proponent of hip hop and pop, with old school RnB, who sings in English as a third language, while playing with and deliberately misconstruing genre in its traditional context.
By virtue of a language barrier, as well as sociopolitical and physical distance, Todorova grew up so far removed from the implications and identities of these primarily US-based cultures that she appreciates the sound purely for its breezy pop lustre. Self-produced snare drums, deep chords and clever lyrics are more about its sounds than its connotations, while her words hold a simple, positive message of inclusiveness and nice times. That’s why D E N A’s come out with the entirely un-cynical sense of irony in a video featuring her prancing around a dreary Neukölln flea market, dressed in comparatively bright colours and singing about her ludicrous material desires amongst clothes stalls and immigrant vendors.
That sense of the global village that D E N A both promotes and is a part of is no more apparent than in the track listing of the CDR$P release. It features among others, a Berliner’s take on Balkan beat-making from producer Stefan Goldmann, California-youngster Marcus Miles’ dance-focussed club remix and the funk-infused bounce of Brooklyn’s Lou Teti.
This is an example of the post-digital world where the breaking down of boundaries and broader perspectives can promote an engagement with and eventual embrace of people and ideas that you mightn’t encounter otherwise. That’s why D E N A can subvert old tropes, send a positive message and interact with a diverse world that just got a whole lot smaller.
D E N A’s Cash, Diamond Rings, Swimming Pools single EP is out on Kitsuné January 28, 2013.