As the god mother of blipster chic, M.I.A. has been dragging out the release of her long-awaited Matangi and after her mix for Kenzo it was sounding like maybe she’ll be easing back on the “techno buzz fuck” of her sound, but not so. ‘Bring the Noize’ is as glitch-y and fragmented as ever, while the flashing gif background of her website, a spinning 3D globe with the words of the song-title rushing around it, comes as an apt expression of both her sound and the world at large. You will never sleep again. **share news item
“Patriarchy is over” says CocoRosie‘s Bianca Casady, in a short Q&A for NOWNESS, who premiered their new video for ‘After the Afterlife’. The single will feature on the forthcoming Tales of a Grasswidow, out on Berlin-based label City Slang, May 26 and, while the freak folk sisters haven’t been mincing their words in press, their haunting vocals that linger between childlike and angelically feminine remain for this video shot by Michael Basich in Hawaii.
Carrying on the prematurely abandoned principles of surreal photography, where transposition and fantastical imagery abounds, the video adds to the rising feminist offensive led by The Knife’s Shaking the Habitual and Planningtorock‘s recent ‘Patriarchy Over & Out’ and ‘Misogyny Drop Dead‘. Less explicit and more alluring, CocoRosie’s contribution is just another face from the many that surround gender equality. **
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. **share news item
In the lead up to Dean Blunt‘s highly anticipated, and we daresay brilliantly promoted, second album, The Redeemer, out on Hippos in Tanks, May 1, the musician, artist and self-made myth, has dropped a new track, not to appear on the forthcoming track listing but enough to get the romantic vibe, his press has been alluding to.
With the upcoming album to include track titles like ‘Seven Seals of Affirmation’, ‘Walls of Jericho’ and ‘All Dogs Go To Heaven’ there’s no mistaking the spirito-mystical bent of Blunt’s recent direction, in line with a growing post-science current towards a sort of neo-transcendentalism that new media artists like Theodore Darst and groups like The Eternal Internet Brotherhood echo. As they say, “where Science fails, God prevails”. See The Redeemer track listing below. **
1. I Run New York
2. The Pedigree
6. The Redeemer
7. Seven Seals Of Affirmation
8. Walls Of Jericho
9. Make It Official
10. Need 2 Let U Go
15. All Dogs Go To Heaven
16. Imperial Gold
While spoken-word in electronic music can often go very wrong, sometimes it can go very right. That’s why we recommend listening to Berlin trio Denseland‘s pitch black ‘slow motion funk’, on their upcoming LP Like Likes Like, out on appropriately-titled Berlin label, m=minimal, May 15.
Hear the bleak-as-hell lyricism of one David Moss’ sprechgesang as minimal techno noise compositions collapse around him, over a track that stands out as something particularly relevant. As Moss barks, “the thing that once connected, now excludes,” over scattered, fragmented rhythms, he offers a warning worth heeding for tech-enthusiasts everywhere.**share news item
Self-identified android and master of her own myth, Janelle Monáe, will finally be releasing a new record, The Electric Lady, following 2010’s critically acclaimed The ArchAndroid. Monáe’s first single ‘Q.U.E.E.N.’ will feature Erykah Badu and be released on April 22.
Fellow Afrofuturist and neo-soul acolytes weaned on the likes of Parliament and Sun Ra, hip hop soul duo THEESatisfaction recently paid their respects to the ‘Queen of Neo-Soul’ with a mix tape in tribute to Badu, while Monáe’s stomping funk number ‘Tightrope’ did its part for its progressive women predecessors with a subtle nod to surrealist film maker Maya Deren’s Meshes of the Afternoon, see if you can spot it here. **
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It’s unclear as to where Japanese performer Nobuyuki Sakuma’s solo project-cum-trio, Jessie Ruins, is basing itself these days but that’s the beauty of a band that inhabits the proverbial ether of post-punk and new wave exploration. With this single, ‘Laura Is Fading’, from their forthcoming album debut A Film, out on Lefse Records, May 21, there are easy comparisons to New York’s Blonde Redhead.
Grown within the glaring light of their heavenly musical projections, haunting vocals add to a firm foundation of a steady drumbeat from Yosuke Tuchida, as Sakuma’s cadenced vocals glide coolly through a synthesised stargaze. **share news item
San Francisco-based producer Chris Dexter doesn’t always like to make things easy for our search engines. That’s not least for calling his project oOoOO but now he’s released a hauntingly beautiful track, ‘Stay Here’, featuring vocals by the entirely unsearchable M.L. on his new label and autocorrect nightmare Nihjgt Feelings.
Since severing his long-time relationship with NYC based label Tri Angle, Dexter has been slowly moving away from his associations with the much-maligned ‘witchhouse’ tag, to develop a sound, mired in ambience and a gender-bending autotune, entirely his own. And that’s just in time for his full-length debut, Without Your Love, due June 24.**share news item
Florida rapper Dominique Young Unique challenges aqnb favourite Zebra Katz to a contest on who can say ‘bitch’ the most in a single song. The latter’s ‘Ima Bitch’ probably wins but there’s certainly a mean beat to Young’s latest single, aptly-titled ”Mmmmmm (Bad Ass)’. It’s the first we’ve heard since she signed to Sony Music UK and another rich yield from her long time working relationship with UK Yo!Majesty producer, David Alexander.
Presenting those famous staccato lyrics over more devastating beats, her 2010 release ‘Show My Ass‘ presented, not only a similar preoccupation with posteriors, but led to her laying vocals over a track by Mad Decent trap artist Branko. Hopefully we’ll see a proper release soon. **share news item
So, Mykki Blanco‘s promise of a March EP, Betty Rubble: The Initiation, is yet to eventuate. But in the meantime the NYC rapper has dropped another single to follow February’s ‘Feeling Special‘, produced by one-half 5kinandbone5 member Matrixxman. BUGGED OUT!!!!, courtesy of Ms Mykki and Chicago’s Supreme Cuts here, seems to be going down a similarly posturing pastiche of macho hip hop tropes.
Where Michael Quattlebaum’s subversive ‘teen raptress’ gives way to a growling masculinity, as he attacks his bigoted detractors with a, “oh, they saying no homo, look at this nigga swingin’, money changes everything.” This, over ephemeral, panning instrumentals, anchored by sub bass tones that eventually fade into an uncharacteristically emotional a capella closer. Witness the evolution of Mykki Nicole Blanco. **
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There’s an incredible texture and tangibility to offbeat Baltimore producer Co La (aka Matt Papich’s) unique sound and this latest creation for ‘Deaf Christian’, directed by Andrew Strasser, captures that sense completely. Following February’s ‘Melter’s Delight‘, this is the second video to be released in anticipation of the follow up to 2011’s Daydream Repeater on NNA Tapes, Moody Coup, due for release on Daniel Lopatin’s Brooklyn-based label, Software, May 6.
Featuring what appears to be the man himself in monstrous distortion eating, crushing and accessorising with some very supple looking fruit, the video plays apt sidekick to the scattered, though strangely thrilling soundtrack of cut-up vocal scatting and unruly rhythms. The fourth wall comes crashing down midway, when you hear Papich being directed from behind the camera, addling another level to Co La’s creative mode of lucid self-awareness. **share news item
Aurora Halal‘s video work featured during the performance by Hieroglyphic Being and Ital collaboration, Interplanetary Prophets, at last year’s Unsound Festival and, for lack of a programme of visual artists showing that night, her aesthetic was still conspicuously her own. Featuring the blown out, hyper-coloured psychedelia of a still proudly lo-fi tradition, she’s also made the video for Standish/Carlyon‘s cosmic dub croon ‘Nono/Yoyo’, out on their upcoming album debut Deleted Scenes, through felte May 13.
With Halal being the mind behind the gaudy VHS ware of artists like Ital, Maxmillion Dunbar and even indie-soul outfit Friends, and the two members of Standish/Carlyon from now-defunct Australian band The Devastations, there’s little doubt director and music makers alike are well worth attention. **share news item
Sometimes it takes time for people to gain the widespread recognition they deserve. Gaining credit where credit’s due, Japansese video game composer Yasunori Mitsuda is being honoured by electronic artists like Ryan Hemsworth, KeyboardKid206 and Friendzone in a compilation, aptly titled MITSUDA, coming out on Lefse Records Tuesday, April 2.
Organised by composer and producer Julian Wass after using a sample of Xenogears game soundtrack for Main Attrakionz and Danny Brown track ‘Cloud Skatin‘, the album contains reinterpretations and re-imaginings of those soundscapes that shaped our virtual worlds.**share news item
Sometimes the art work of the Fade to Mind aesthetic threatens to overshadow the work of its artist, almost. As part of that LA/ New York based world of excellent electronica melting RnB, dub and pop into an exquisitely contemporary sound for the body, it’s artists like Kingdom whose output is frustratingly sporadic. But it makes the music all the more thrilling when it does finally drop. So, following the New York producer’s 2011 Dreama EP and an intermittent record of dub reworks, VIP Edition, a new EP titled Vertical XL is due for release on Tuesday, May 28.
Adding to the new music credentials is that Kingdom actually runs the Night Slugs sister-label and is responsible for putting out a stable of excellent outfits, from Fatima Al Qadiri to Nguzunguzu and ‘Blank Head’ featuring vocals from LA-based RnB artist Kelela is no exception. See the EP track list below.**
1. Bank Head (feat. Kelela)
2. Zip Line
4. OG Master
5. Viper Lash
6. Takedown Notice
7. Viper XL
We’re still giddy over Rick Ross cover and Butterclock / oOoOO collaboration ‘Hustlin’, so the only thing that could be more exciting is the former French-born, Berlin-based artist’s upcoming EP First Prom, out on FANTASY Music, April 15.
Dropping her latest taster, after January’s ‘Don’t,’ produced by Chris Dexter Greenspan himself, ‘Holograms’ features an always haunting vocal over the surreal dream pop escapism that Laura Clock has become known for. See the First Prom track listing below.**
1. Crystal Eyes
4. Milky Words
5. Sorry Love
Visual artist, producer and programmer, Slava has a record, Raw Solutions, coming out on OPN’s Brooklyn-based label Software next month, Monday April 22, and has dropped a tech-conscious video to match his music and his lifestyle. Featuring the artist himself doing his drunken duty on a keyboard, interspersed with all other types of sporty actions in the hyperreality of his imaginings, ‘Werk’ follows last month’s ‘On It‘ with an equally unreal exploration into cyberspace and our physical role within it.
The Russian-born, New York-based DJ started in Chicago around footwork and now explores music across genres and within its rawest potential. Raw Solutions was largely recorded on hardware, while his fascination with Britney Spears and the perversions of popular culture come through in the reconfigured, repeated and manipulated sounds of some ever resilient human vocal folds. See the Software website for more information.**
Not content to quarry the eerie depths of rap and RnB, Drag producer oOoOO (aka Christopher Dexter Greenspan) is moving in on the mega machismo of reggae and dub. This characteristically slowed-down and distorted track, drolly titled ‘FoRLorN DuB’, recently dropped on the San Francisco producers’ YouTube account, not long after French associate, Butterclock released ‘Don’t‘, which he co-produced.
Having released his EP Our Loving is Hurting Us on Tri Angle about this time last year, things have gone somewhat quiet on the oOoOO front but, with that, a crackling record and a faintly harrowing melody fades out to nothing. A bowel dropping bass rhythm heralding the return of this Drag artist’s own private dystopia.**
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