Tuesday, October 11, 2011

XTRA: Grandparents - Sugar Beach EP

Portland psych outfit - Grandparents, return with a colorful and wonderfully radiant EP titled Sugar Beach.  Spanning four songs and clocking in around 16 minutes, Sugar Beach presents itself in a more meticulous nature with more attention to detail and all-out songwriting.  Here Grandparents have broadened their sonic palette to genres spanning from shoegaze, to krautrock, to jangly guitar rock - highly recommended.  Download Sugar Beach at the Grandparents' Bandcamp page HERE for a mere $3 and save your pennies for a proper cassette release of the EP slated for late 2011 / early 2012.

Songs Of The Day: The Weeknd - Initiation

Abel Tesfayer continues to hone his mastery of indulgence, depravity, excess and debauchery. And he sure knows how to make it alluring. On this new cut, possibly off the upcoming Echoes of Silence, his pitch-bent vocals come off more desperate, more strung-out and a stronger whiff of a subtle seductive menace.
Here, he's setup a right of passage for his new object of desire (prey, more like it) and it's sure sounds unlike anything that happens in your typical Greek organization or neighborhood crew.
Obviously, Abel and his boys don't do much sleeping. XO!

Monday, September 5, 2011

XTRA: Mr. Tony - 'His Earlier Shit'

The latest from Chicago beathead - Mr. Tony, simply titled His Earlier Shit - a collection of original tracks, classic hip hop acapellas,  remixes,  mashups,  and everything in-between.  Mr. Tony presents a well anticipated debut that embodies everything hip-hop - touching on genres like afrobeat, fusion, and funk - and split nicely between familiar lyricists, instrumentals, and original tracks.  Download Mr. Tony - His Earlier Shit by naming your own price at his Bandcamp page HERE and listen to the mixed teaser at his Soundcloud HERE.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Songs Of The Day: Purity Ring - Belispeak

Ever since I heard the first Purity Ring song, I was sold on their sound. Megan James' cherub-like voice that seemed to seep from everything, all-engulfing. The crisp drum programming influenced by Southern hip-hop beats. Those sweet bouncing synths. The pitch-fucked vocals with a touch of the ghostly. Everything was so tasty.

While the world stays lubed up and ready for their full length debut, Purity Ring continues to tease us with sonic niblets like this one here. Cop it on October 1th via Fat

Purity Ring, "Belispeak" by The FADER

Friday, July 8, 2011

Songs Of The Day: araabMuzik - Feelin So Hood

araabMuzik has made a name for himself via videos posted online showcasing his MPC mastery and by supplying Cam'ron, Vado, Fabolous and Busta Rhymes with his gritty abrasive and distinct hip-hop tracks. Two things set him apart from other producers: his drums and his sample sources.

While most beatsmiths go the traditional route of soul and jazz samples, he goes for elecronica, techno and movie scores. Then there are his drums which are the real catch. araabMuzik programs monster kick drums that knock really fucking hard. (His tracks actually have a literal right to be called bangers.) He accompanies this with rapid-fire hi-hats that often move blindingly fast. Plus he has a great way of accenting the beats, charting peaks and valley of emotion and tempo with a well-timed cymbal crash.

On his debut album Electronic Dream released this month on Duke, araabMuzik goes through his crate of mega-Ibiza-club jams and flips it all into something that would chip a house diva's tooth. The track featured here is my favorite, sampling Starchaser's 'So High,' transforming it into something that is at once euphoric and scowl-inducingly hoody down grimey. Lo-Fi's vocals from the original, stuck behind the unrelenting drum programming, remain blissful but here tainted with an edge of lost desperation.

araabMuzik is making a very strong claim to be MVP of the MPC.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Songs Of The Day: Mood Swings - Frederic Robinson

I found this 19 year old German producer prodigy recently while checking out Gilles Peterson's recently released Brownswood Electric 2 compilation. When I got to this track, I repeated it several times before I could move on.

There are plenty of house, jungle, breakbeat and trance tunes that shoot for euphoric. This is euphoria. The amount of warmth and feel-goodness in the track is close to unbearable.

The skittering percussion -a post-dubstep, breakbeat, jungle mutated fusion - propels itself over key sprinkles, drowning spliced vocal wails and a bassline that peeks its head in and out of the whole affair at the most opportune of moments.

Frederic Robinson just left a sasquatch size indent in the terrain of electronica. Oh and thank you Gilles Peterson for your good taste.

Frederic Robinson - Mood Swings by Frederic Robinson

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Songs Of The Day: I'm God - Clams Casino

Clams Casino is the New Jersey beatminer behind some of Lil' B and Soulja Boy's hits. Remember Lil' B's 'Motivation'? Yup he was the culprit.

On the heels of his recently cyber-released Rainforest EP, he has blessed us audiofiends with the instrumental version of 'I'm God.' It still sounds great without Lil' B's vocals, just stuttering kickdrums and a spitefully dope Imogen Heap sample chop.

Clams Casino seems intent on cornering the world of woozy, trance-inducing bangers that come heavy on atmospherics. In this realm, he just might be God.

I'm God by clammyclams

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Video: Richard Willard Fenton - "Beltaine"

"Beltaine" from Richard Willard Fenton's (of PDX band Grandparents) solo album - 'Alberta Cats', self-released in June of 2011.

All acoustic and slightly stripped of the instrumentation found in his full band - Fenton keeps his songs chock full of expansive melodies, innocent word-play, and gleeful reverb laden vocals. Keep your ear to the ground for future releases from Richard W Fenton and Grandparents, in the mean-time dig on 'Alberta Cats' by naming your own price at his Bandcamp - HERE.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Songs Of The Day: Curren$y - She Don't Want A Man

Admittedly, I was late on getting hip to Curren$y. But after copping his Alchemist collab EP Covert Coup, I backtracked and soaked in Pilot Talk I & II. Now I'm ready to hop on the jet and fly off.

Curren$y's charms are his ultra-laid back flow spat in his New Orleans drawl. Like his new school Pittsburgh buddy Wiz Khalifa, Curren$y loves to talk about weed and women. The good thing is that he is really adept at it. Not only does he have his sly slightly dry wit working for him but he doles out nuggets of detailed imagery that make his tracks feel like you're riding in a Cadlillac with him and he's chatting with you over the beat. Dude's got the conversational flow down pat.

This joint is off his upcoming album 'Weekend At Bernies' out June 28th. Monsta Beatz supplies a sick mellow beat with a nocturnal psychedelic vibe to it. And over this, Curren$y explains why she don't want a man. Jet life!

Curren$y - She Don't Want A Man by CurrenSy

Monday, June 13, 2011

XTRA: Richard Willard Fenton - 'Alberta Cats'

Richard Willard Fenton, Member of PDX psych/folk band - Grandparents, released his laid-back solo EP - Alberta Cats, just in time for the sunny and mellow days that lie ahead.  Alberta Cats most closely resembles the spectrum of sound found in Grandparents 2009 release ...Dig Everything - an album deeply rooted in experimental-folk and paisley-psychedelia.  All acoustic and slightly stripped of the instrumentation found in a full band, Fenton keeps his songs chock full of expansive melodies, innocent word-play, and gleeful - reverb laden vocals.  Keep your ear to the ground for future releases from Richard W Fenton and in the mean-time dig on Alberta Cats by naming your own price on his Bandcamp HERE

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Songs Of The Day: Balam Acab - Oh, Why

When Alec Koone aka Balam Acab dropped his See Birds EP, I was mesmerized by several things. He was 19. He made everything from samples he dug up on the Internet. Then there was the music itself, a forefront sperm giver for the baby genre now fondly called 'witchhouse.' This young man is a master of a sound that conjures beauty, tranquility, innocence and a world weariness undercut with something eerie and slightly spine-chilling.

This single from his upcoming full-length Wander/Wonder due August 27th on Tri Angle is his Jerry Springer appearance to confirm that, yes indeed, he is witchhouse's daddy. It's the usual but never tiresome magic - creaks, crashes, splashes, synth bubbles, pitched down vocals, a lullaby-like melody sung in a cherub voice wrapped in a tasteful bow of reverb.

It's one thing to make good music. It's a completely different thing to make music that takes you someplace else.

Balam Acab's music is an island I'd buy a one-way ticket to.

BALAM ACAB - Oh, Why by TriAngleRecords

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Songs Of The Day: Dice Raw - 1995

Dice Raw has a nebulous spot in the Roots crew. Most fans of the Illadelph crew know him...or at least so you would think. Nevertheless, he has yet to carve out a place for himself, distinct from the unit banner. Well it seems with the upcoming release of his EP The Greatest Rapper Never: Preservation due June 7, he has been working on letting us know just how raw is Dice Raw minus ?uestlove and company.

It's looking like sushi from the sound of this track produced by Rich Friedrich. Dice Raw waxes nostalgic about the year 1995 over a sick beat that sounds like it sampled a showtune.

Thanks for the reminder Dice because in 1995, I still had a boombox and a stack of cassette tapes. Good times.

Dice Raw - 1995 by Raw Life

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Songs Of The Day: Drake - Dreams Money Can Buy

On Thank Me Later, Drake detailed his trials and tribulations dealing with fame, money and love. It was a portrait of coming to terms, powerfully captivating since it was polished with that good ol' Drizzy charm. Once again, we are given a window-peek into Drizzyland.

While he seems to have better embraced fame and money (his stance: 'I got it so suck a fuck'), love is another thing. He remains the consummate rake, 'constantly seducing hoes.' Most delightfully the one that was your girl. But he still seems to be searching for something more than a rental bedwarmer with a fat booty.

What has changed this time around is that he's cool with the fact that he wants more...hoes...and more money and how that may at times conflict with the other goal. In fact, he's so cool with it that his boy Noah '40' Shebib chopped up a Jai Paul sample to get the point across as it coons - 'don't fuck with me, don't fuck with me'.

That's him blowing a wry kiss at the haters.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

XTRA: Unreleased Tracks From The Weeknd

Since House of Balloons hit the webisphere, life on Earth has not been the same. Nights have acquired a new decrepit charm, comedowns and hangovers are sought after commodities on Ebay, shameless self-esteem enhancing lust is slowly overtaking religious fanaticism and I've been singing on the streets.

(Note to Steve Jobs: Please make a waterproof IPod so I can sing to it in the shower.)

While we await our next fix from Toronto's new darling boy (sorry Drake, still love you though), this collection of unreleased songs will tide us over. According to the Fader, he made this with a production team called the Noise.

And if the world is ending in 2012, the Weeknd is going to be dropping two more mixtapes this year so....WHATEVER!

Unreleased The Weeknd by k.niteh

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Songs Of The Day: Thundercat - For Love I Come

Stephen Bruner goes by Thundercat. Yet there's nothing corny or nostalgic about him. In fact, I couldn't imagine him soundtrack-ing a bunch of cat people engaging in mildly and awkwardly homoerotic adventures on a ravaged distant planet. Rather his contributions, as far as with Flying Lotus, are beds of bass lushness and a locomotive sense of melody.

Ripped from his upcoming album 'The Golden Age of Apolcalypse' due on Brainfeeder sometime not soon enough (or fall in English), Thundercat stays in his zone with this George Duke cover. Flying Lotus produced this and supposedly the entire album. So yes kill your co-worker...who thinks Flying Lotus is a traveling ninja carnival.

And Mr. Ellison, good sir that he is, treats us to his signature spaced-out keys and a few morsels from his ever expanding synth grab bag that he must have found in a bathroom store in the Outer Limits.

Say 'Hooooo!' and you're a turd.

Thundercat - For Love I Come by Hypetrak
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