Monday, January 31, 2011

Video: How NPR Inspired A Band (Apex Manor - My My Mind)

Apex Manor - My My Mind

The genesis of this band is interesting. Ross Flournoy, formerly of The Broken West, was inspired to start the band after responding to a challenge by NPR's Carrie Brownstein to write and record a song in a weekend. Ross used this as a stepping stone out of a bad case of writer's block that he was suffering. He continued working in this vein while he lived in Pasadena, California, spending his days writing, drinking and hanging out at home. This is from the aptly titled album 'The Year of Magical Drinking' released on Merge Records in January 2011. Proof that inspiration comes from the strangest and most unexpected of places.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Video: Toro Y Moi - "Still Sound"

Video: One For The Rave

Chase & Status - Blind Faith (featuring Liam Bailey)

Chase and Status are a dubstep production team from London. Their debut album More Than Alot won the Best Album Award at the 2009 Drum and Bass awards. They produced 'Mad House,' 'Wait Your Turn,' and 'G4L' off Rihanna's Rated R.

This track is off their upcoming LP No More Idols (out at the month's end) and it features UK soul crooner Liam Bailey. The video is brilliant, gritty, a highly authentic capturing of the ravers ethos. It's a slice of life visual shoutout to all the brethren who love parties that are not advertised in the newspapers and liable to be shutdown by the cops. And party favors.

FYI: I've heard three other songs off this album (featuring the likes of Cee-lo and Plan B) and they all snap, crackle and pop. Look out for this when it drops. It's fixin' to be a sweet-thang of dubstep poppiness.

Video: The UK Soul Explosion Continues

Liam Bailey - You Better Leave Me

I don't know exactly what is going on in England but whatever is in the water is leading to an explosion of great soulful singers coming from that sideovdapond. Love it, no complaints. After all, Liam Bailey's crooning is the muse of whiskey-jar tipping swaggerliciously graceful self destruction. The kind that is supposed to repel a woman but only sets her jones for a dude into hyperdrive. At least, he's all about that in this song and accompanying video.

According to BBC Music, the Nottingham-born singer was discovered and signed by Amy Winehouse (the actual spokesperson for self destruction) to her record label Lioness Records where he released two EPs in 2010 and is working on his debut with producer Salaam Remi via Polydor Records. Salaam Remi actually produced this song so best believe it sa-laams. No, the video is not as cheesy as that joke.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Video: FlyLo Directs Bilal

The Sounds of VTech / Bilal Levels

Flying Lotus makes his directorial debut with the video for Bilal's 'Levels' from his lastest album 'Airtight Revenge' released September 2010 via Plug Research . The song features Erykah Badu and bassist Thundercat who also featured on 'mmhmm' from Flying Lotus' last LP. In fact, this video is very reminiscent of the latter, full of psychedelic colors, astral journeys and cosmic happenings.

Video: That Southern Hospitality

Big K.R.I.T. - Hometown Hero

Big K.R.I.T. dropped one of last year's dopest mixtapes 'K.R.I.T. Wuz Here'. It was Southern hip-hop in the vein that U.G.K. pioneered, soul and funk samples over crunk beats. In this Yours session, he gets with backing band, Grillade, for an airtight cover of one of the mixtape's bangers. Watch the drummer go bananas at the end.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Video: Mmmm Grillade....

Grillade "Remain the Same" from Yours Truly
So a grillade is a creole dish, pounded steak stewed in tomatoes and vegetables, usually eaten with grits. Never eaten it but it sounds delicious. Grillade, the band, does not fail to deliver tasty morsels. It is basically a super-band, comprising the Park, Keelay and Ragen Fykes.

The Park is one of the hottest rhythm sections on the West Coast right now, having backed up Nino Moschella and Alice Russell to name a few. Keelay is a Californian hip-hop producer. Ragen Fykes is an angel-voiced vocalist from Portland, born in L.A.

This song is from a live session they did for Yours Truly in November 2010. Even though they have a newer song 'Dream of You (Emotionally Yours)', this jawn right here just has an undeniable slow burn to it. It's a bluesy hickory-smoked ear treat.

Songs Of The Day: Mean Wind - "Down For The Count"

"Down For the Count" by experimental-indie-folk group - Mean Wind, released as a free digital single at their Bandcamp HERE   Mean Wind - Down For the Count - DOWNLOAD

XTRA: Women - "Bullfight"

A new track - "Bullfight" by Canadian experimental-indie band - Women, from a split 7" with Friendo, Cold Pumas, and Fair Ohs, out on Faux Discx.  Listen to the track below, and buy the 7"(limited to 500) HERE.


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Songs Of The Day: Purity Ring - Ungirthed

Purity Ring dropped this on his Soundcloud a couple of days ago. It's a burst of glittering dubstep-y pop joyousness. With the pitch-bent vocals, warm chipmunk 'yeahs' and the female singer's sweet reverbed voice, it's a very satisfying feel-good ride.

Ungirthed by PURITY RING

Songs Of The Day: Rainbow Arabia - "Without You"

"Without You"  by LA based synth-pop project - Rainbow Arabia, from their upcoming full length - Boys And Diamonds, and a 7" titled - Without You, due out February 22nd on Kompakt.   Rainbow Arabia -Without You

Video: Panda Bear - "Atiba Song"

A new Panda Bear track dropped a couple of days ago via a new skate video by Atiba Jefferson and Ty Evans.   The song is titled - “Atiba Song”, and is the official video for the track from Panda Bear's forthcoming album - Tomboy, out April 14th on Paw Tracks.  "Atiba Song" takes the back burner sometimes in the clip with audible skate noises overpowering the track at times, but still awesome (doubly if you like skate videos). 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Songs Of The Day: An Ode To Friendship, Electronically

Skrillex - With You, Friends (Long Drive)

Skrillex, real name Thurston Moore, is not exactly a dubstep guy. His music does have a dubstep influence but also contains strains of electro-house and mosh-pit metal. Well he transitioned into electronic music from screamo hardcore band From First To Last. His music is jarring, a brain-searing cacophonic concoction of abrasive bass, pitch-bent vocal snippets and syrupy synths. Another addition to the current catalog of artists who defy easy categorization.

This track is from his most recent release, the EP 'Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites' released in October 2010 on Deadmau5's label Mau5trap. Most of the EP is hard-hitting numbers. This track being one of the few exceptions. 'With You, Friends' is a marvel of electronic manipulation. Vocal snippets are pitch-bent and stretched into a warm seemingly endless melody, cornered by a bright piano melody and that video-gamey synth riff. There are no drums till about the last minute of the song then it kicks into a house beat groove. It's pretty impressive that a guy who makes you want to bang your head in a mosh-pit can flip on a dime and reduce you to a puddle of feel-good goo with such a light deft touch. You might end up hugging your speakers....

Songs Of The Day: A Taste of Microhouse

Isolee - Celeste

I didn't even know about the microhouse genre till I heard this song at the beginning of a recently released Osulande mix and did some quick research. It basically describes a minimalist house jawn with subtle changes introduced and/or the subtle interplay of 'micro' audio elements (e.g. short vocal snippets, a hint of a guitar lick). Also, the drums are not in the vein of traditional house, rather more post-dubstep influenced - clicks, pops, glitches, otherworldly noises, everyday sounds, all woven into the percussive fabric. But it still maintains that steady propulsive beat that house-heads love and are familiar with.
Isolee is one of the purveyors of this sound, the first microhouse artist to find mainstream popularity with his 1998 hella-funky-Fela-Kuti-on-acid genre track 'Beau Mot Plage.' The featured track 'Celeste' is a downtempo slice of pulsating dance floor cool, armed with a ridiculously plush bassline, off his upcoming album 'Well Spent Youth' dropping on January 21st 2011 on Pampa Records.

Video: Fill In The Blanks With Sister Crayon

Sister Crayon - (in) Reverse
A ghostly haunting ambiance hangs over the sound of this four-piece L.A. electronic outfit. Formed around vocalist Terra Lopez, their sound is a mishmash of electro-influences, hard to pin down, combining live instrumentation with left-field analog sounds. The lyrics are fraught with bizarre dream-like imagery, ripe with a feeling of displacement, a struggle to remain afloat as things are about to boil over into a state of hysteria. As stark is it may seem, Sister Crayon presents this as a thing of intensity and beauty.
Their debut album 'Bellow' will be out on Manimal Records on February 28th, 2011.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Songs Of The Day: Mr. Tony - "Paint It Blacker"

Check out this epic remix by Chicago producer - Mr. Tony (aka Tony G-D) of the Rolling Stones classic - "Painted Black". The song was remixed for a beat-battle competition exclusive for producers on Soundcloud. Check out the rest of Mr. Tony's work HERE, and follow him on FB HERE.
  Mr. Tony - Paint It Blacker 

Video: Best Have A Plan B

Plan B - She Said

Plan B does it all - he acts, sings, raps and directs. Better still, he's uniquely adept at all of them. 'She Said' is the second single off his second studio album 'The Defamation of Strickland Banks' released in April 2010 on Atlantic Records. It's a concept album detailing the exploits of Strickland Banks, a dapper British singer who, while tussling with fame, tangles with an obssesive lover and ends up in prison. I will not give away too much of the story. I will advise that you look him up on Youtube where you can stream all his videos in chronological order, forming a short movie that provides a visual to the story of the album (some helpful keywords: strickland banks, story so far).

Plan B has appropriated the classic Motown sound, thrown in a twist of hip-hop and a hint of 60's British spy theme music. He knows how to use his voice without resorting to histrionics like most soul crooners. He's all about slinky guitars, buttery basslines, plush violins, vibrant celebratory horns and sweet background cooing. In short, don't waste time trying anything else. Just resort to Plan B.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

XTRA: On The Fringe Of Techno

Sandwell District - Falling The Same Way
Sandwell District is not easily defined. It is a label run by the roster of artists. So it refers to the label and the artists as a collective. The artists on it are from different parts of the world - U.S., Germany and London. They do not promote or market their music in anyway or form. It just drops. Albums do not have to be okayed by some label douche-head; albums are released when the artists are ready to do so. They do not have a website and are only reachable by fax. This is not your typical breed of modern day artist/label. They are extremely anti-establishment and have little interest in cupcaking with their fanbase like most artists. It's all about the music for these guys.
This song is off their latest album 'Feed-Forward' which was released in December 2010. It sounds unlike most techno music I've heard. There's the familiar pulsing techno-like drums but drowned in ambient drones and creeping strings. The track feels like its alive and crackling with strange life like a forest on an alien planet. Kinda like Vangelis and Tangerine Dream joining forces to go techno.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Songs Of The Day: Gang Colours, Just Beats

U.K.'s Gang Colours is the latest signing to Gilles Peterson's label Brownswood Recordings. He's in a nebulous dub influenced zone, heavy on ambience, skittering percussion and dreamy warm synths. Here's a taste from his Soundcloud as he's yet to drop an official release.

In Your Gut Like a Knife - Gang Colours

In Your Gut Like a Knife by Gang Colours

Songs Of The Day: A Nu Jazz Teena Marie Tribute

Soul and R&B legend Teena Marie passed about two weeks ago. I would imagine there are many artists doing covers of her songs and record execs scrabbling to release a tribute compilation. Mark de Clive Lowe, an instrumental player in the nu-jazz scene, put out this sweet reimagining of 'Lovergirl', awash with rhodes flutters, laidback guitar licks and the slightest touch of house drumming. It's a nice chillout, downtempo cut to get you in the groove.

Lovergirl Syberized - MdCL presents Sy Smith

MdCL presents Sy Smith - Teena (Lovergirl Syberized) by mashibeats

XTRA: There's A Bra Hanging On That Speaker....Yeah, Brenmar Was Here!

Chicago-raised Brooklyn based Brenmar has been blowing speakers up over 2010 with a national tour, an EP on Discobelle 'At It Again' . He just got voted for in Fact Magazine as one of the top ten producers to watch for in 2011. There's good reason for that too. Brenmar has one thing on his mind that he's focused on - you sweating your ass off in the club and a whole lot of grinding going on around you.

He specializes in low-end bass trunk rattling jams, sharp or warm synths cutting in and out of his pounding drums that are quick to go Chicago juke. He has a great ear for anthemic catchy rap vocal snippets and a masterful way of turning R&B vocals into an urgent call to throw shirts into spinning fans and exorcise some demons on the dancefloor. When Brenmar is in the house, that's how its going down.

Here's a minimix he did for Fact Magazine. Watch for the nasty flip on old school R&B group All for One.

Fact Mini-Mix (all new exclusives!!) by BRENMAR

Songs Of The Day: Ducktails (feat. Panda Bear and Dent May)

A new unreleased track from NJ solo recording artist - Ducktails, titled "Killin The Vibe", featuring Dent May and Panda Bear from Animal Collective, which is a  bonus track from Ducktails forthcoming release - Ducktails III Arcade Dynamics, out January 18th on Woodsist   Ducktails - Killin' The Vibe (Feat. Panda Bear)

Video: Some Very Mouthy Ladies

The Boxettes - "Free" from Bright Black Film on Vimeo.

Hailing from London, the Boxettes are probably one of the lightest travelling bands around. Really, the only instruments they use are their vocal chords. Founded by the world's reigning female beatboxxer - Bellatrix, the five piece (no fries necessary on this one!) conjure a captivating pop sound rooted in jazz, R&B, hip-hop and drum n bass.

The video is excellent, following a girl on a solitary walk, a journey to freeing herself from life's stresses. It is gorgeously lit, city lights in soft focus, flitting between shots of the band and the girl. The song is produced with a perfect layer of ethereal reverb, soaked in a breathy ambience especially the break at the end, just before the lead vocalist belts out a wail with a distinct Arabian music influence. Go ladies!

Video: Young Man - "Tired Eyes"

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

News: Introducing Yaw

Hello Very Tellers!

I'm very pleased to announce that Very Telling has a new writer - Yaw Opoku-Dakwa, a fellow friend and producer/rapper.  Yaw has a much better knowledge and understanding of various hip-hop, electronic,  dubstep, and other genre's giving Very Telling a new perspective it was missing.  Check out Yaw's soundcloud HERE, where he goes by the name - M.U.T.T.  Thanks Yaw!     -SMKA
  Mr. Tony - Boy You Up To No Good (Feat. M.U.T.T.)

XTRA: Therapies Son Is Touching Down

After getting up his MySpace page, 19 year old Californian Alex Jacob (aka Therapies Son) was on Sterogum with in a week. For a very good reason. This one man band of a dude is churning out odd blissfully bluesy waltzing jams that drip with whimsy and make you just want to frolic in the sun with ponds bubbling and flowers blooming around you.  His first EP 'Over The Sea' is forthcoming. And when it does, rainbows might just stream out of speakers.

Here's his new ditty 'Touching Down' dropped yesterday via Transparent. Check it out here.

Theropies Son - "Touching Down" - DOWNLOAD (right click)

XTRA: Young Circles - 'Bones EP'

Miami experimental psych band - Young Circles, have a new release titled the Bones EP, which their giving away for free at their website -  Their sound is equal parts psych, pop, indie, and experimental giving it a lot of musical support to prop itself up for its meditative yet edgy vibe.  Stream and download the EP HERE.

Songs Of The Day: Don't Pass The Dutch

Dutch - The Meaning Of Unequipped

There is an art to making melancholy beautiful. That's exactly what this song accomplishes. Backed by the languid strumming folky guitars, the vocals float through like exhaled hookah smoke - delicate, unrushed, longing for containment.

This is from Jedi Mind Trick's producer extraordinaire Stoupe's trip-hop side project, Dutch. Released on Enemy Soil in June 2010, the album 'A Bright Cold Day' found him collaborating with the chanteuse-who-just-seemed-to-fall-out the sky Liz Fullerton. Her piercing voice is soulful with a hint of country phrasing, twisting pleasure and pain around the dark hills of Stoupe's devilishly diverse production skills.

She laments about a lover who she left behind because her spirit was of the restless and wandering type. In a moment of clarity, she unwinds her internal conflict, regret, resolution and the joys of living and learning. Spellbinding!

Somehow this album has largely gone unnoticed but I highly recommend it for a potent fix of trip-hop.

Songs Of The Day: Evidence The Beatles Live Forever

Evidence - Frame of Mind

In December 2010, Evidence, producer/rapper from L.A. outfit Dilated Peoples, dropped his Beatles inspired free-to-download mixtape 'I Don't Need Love'. I gave the whole thing a quick peruse and there are definitely some bangers on there. However, this one in particular tickled my taste buds with its headnodding flip of a classic and well-worn Beatles song.

Evidence handles microphone duties while Twiz the Beat Pro lines up the banger. Listen and it will all come together.

Video: Netherfriends - "Bret Easton Ellis Novel" (Giant System Chicago)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Song Of The Day: Teams - "Cycle/Lonley People"

Knoxville producer - Teams is back with an amazing new single on his Soundcloud titled - "Cycle/Lonley People", a remix of Kohwi track - "Week Root", released as a digital single for now, but could appear on his upcoming album.  Teams - Life Cycle/Lonley People - DOWNLOAD

Video: The Songtress Unburdens Her Heart

Marsha Ambrosius - Far Away

I've been a fan of Marsha Ambrosius ever since I heard the first Floetry album 'Floetic' released in 2002, the song 'Say Yes' especially burnt a hole straight through my slow jam retina. Her voice while projecting strength also had a delightful vulnerability and sensuosness to it. So since then I followed her doing guest features with Game, Busta Rhymes etc. , writing songs for Michael Jackson, Alicia Keys and Jamie Foxx etc., fiending for her to drop her own joint. Apparently that's exactly what she's been working on...besides losing weight and going from cute big girl to cute regular size girl via Nintendo Wii workouts.

The song is produced by Just Blaze (who's work I do not get enough of!). It's a powerful, moving video dealing with weighty isssues of social acceptance, discrimination, violence and sexuality; it was inspired by the attempted suicide of a close friend of hers. This is the second single from her upcoming album 'Late Nights and Early Mornings' dropping January 2011 on J Records.

It's a slow jam alright. But this time the candles are not lit for the usual reason......

Friday, January 7, 2011

Video: Netherfriends - "Friday"

The final video for improv ambient project - Alap, by Netherfriends.  This particular song - "Friday", I collaborated in the recording and made the video for.  It's the longest of the seven songs and has repetition to it, but some serious vibes.

Get Alap, HERE
Watch all seven videos HERE

XTRA: Voyageurs - 'Nude Vegas'

A Fayetteville AR band - Voyageurs, recently released a new album called Nude Vegas that's destroying the ears and minds of people everywhere with a dense and damaged sound that's epic and compelling.  Preview and download the album for free at Voyageurs Bandcamp page HERE.  

  Voyageurs - "Club Attic" - DOWNLOAD (right click)

  Voyageurs - "Demon Wings"

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Video: Netherfriends - "Thursday"

The sixth part to the Netherfriends - Alap, ambient/drone music video project titled "Thursday" is a video I made this week using an overhead projector, food coloring, water, and mineral oil.  This is the second to last video for the Alap project, tomorrow being the final installment, check it out.   

Download the entire EP by naming your own price via Netherfriends Bandcamp page HERE.
Check out the rest of the videos for the  Netherfriends - Alap, sessions HERE

XTRA: Secret Colours - 'Follow The Drone'

Chicago's new hit psych band Secret Colours just released a new single today titled - Follow The Drone, on their Bandcamp.  The two song digital single follows in their previous footsteps of straight forward psych revival.  Download the songs for free HERE, and catch them live at The Subterranean on Jan 8th at 6:00 PM, buy tickets HERE.

Secret Colours - "Follow The Drone" 

Secret Colours - "Lust (Slow) 

DYTRTTR: Twin Shadow

NY post-wave artist - Twin Shadow, has a brand new Daytrotter Session up and it's pretty good!  Those of you familiar with this 2010 pop-up artist will recognize the array of songs from his recent album - Forget.  The session is a little more rough than his studio material, and the vocals are maybe mixed a little too high, but it's still a fun session.  Check it out and download it at the Daytrotter website HERE.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

XTRA: Madvillain - "Avlanche Victory Lap"

Stone's Throw just released a new mixtape done by LA DJ and producer - Peanut Butter Wolf, featuring some of the latest Stone's Throw artists including Madvillain with a new track - "Avlanche & Victory Lap".  Preview and download the Madvillain track below, and get the mixtape at Stone's Throw HERE.

Madvillian - "Avlanche Vicotry Lap" - DOWNLOAD (right click)

Video: Netherfriends - "Wednesday"

The fifth part to the Netherfriends - Alap, ambient/drone music video project titled "Wednesday".  Wednesday's video is by Shawn of Netherfriends, and check back every day this week for more to come. Enjoy.

Download the entire EP by naming your own price via Netherfriends Bandcamp page HERE.
Check out the rest of the Netherfriends - Alap, video sessions HERE

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

XTRA: Dirty Beaches - "Lord Only Knows"

"Lord Knows Best" from a new full-length called Badlands by minimalist Canadian musician- Dirty Beaches, out March 29th on Zoo Music.

Dirty Beaches - "Lord Only Knows" - DOWNLOAD (right click)


Video: Netherfriends - "Tuesday"

The fourth part to the Netherfriends - Alap, ambient/drone music video project titled "Tuesday".  Tuesday's video is by Shawn of Netherfriends, and check back every day this week for more to come. Enjoy.

Download the entire EP by naming your own price via Netherfriends Bandcamp page HERE.
Check out the rest of the Netherfriends - Alap, sessions HERE

Monday, January 3, 2011

XTRA: Geotic - 'Mend'

California based musician/producer - Geotic, just released a free EP in the last few days of 2010 titled - Mend, which is the minimal/ambient side project of Will Wisenfeld a.k.a. - Baths.  Check out his site for other free downloads HERE, and get Geotic's entire album for free HERE!

Geotic - "Unwind" - DOWNLOAD (right click)


Who would have ever thought MGMT would do a Daytrotter Session?  There's not much explanation behind it, only the music and exploratory words of Sean Moeller.  The session features the full touring band and features three songs from their 2010 album - Congratulations, and a cover of "Only A Shadow" originally by The Cleaners From Venus, listen below.  Check out the Session over at Daytrotter HERE.

MGMT - "Only A Shadow (Cleaners From Venus)" - DOWNLOAD

Video: Netherfriends - "Monday"

The third part to the Netherfriends - Alap, ambient/drone music video project titled "Monday".  Monday's video is by Shawn of Netherfriends, and check back every day this week for more to come. Enjoy.

Download the entire EP by naming your own price via Netherfriends Bandcamp page HERE.
Check out the rest of the Netherfriends - Alap, sessions HERE

Video Netherfriends - "Sunday"

Here's the second part to the Netherfriends - Alap, ambient/drone music video project simply titled - "Sunday".  I shot this video on my old camera and the quality shows, super fun none the less.  More to come every day this week till Friday.  Enjoy

Download the entire EP by naming your own price via Netherfriends Bandcamp page HERE.
Check out the video for "Saturday" HERE

Video: Porcelain Raft - "Come Closer"

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Video: Netherfriends - "Saturday"

Here's a video I made for a new Netherfriends album titled - Alap.  A song and video will be released every day for a week starting today with "Saturday", and ending on "Friday".

This is not a typical Netherfriends release.  This album is basically an improv album with elements of ambient and drone.  It is entitled Alap, which is a term used in Indian classical music for a section that is improvised and free flowing.

Pt. 1 of 7 from Alap, ambient song/video project of Dec 2010/11.


DYTRTTR: Ty Segall

A couple of days ago Daytrotter released a session with scuzzy SF garage rocker - Ty Segall.  The session is five songs long, covers a some material from Reverse Shark Attack,  Horn The Unicorn, and some unreleased.   The session surprisingly doesn't touch on Segall's highly praised 2010 release - Melted, but does the job none the less.  Stream and download the session at the Daytrotter website HERE.

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