Thursday, February 24, 2011

XTRA: One Man Dubstep Orchestra (Dam Mantle - First Wave)

Dam Mantle's First Wave will be out March 8th on Wichita. A startling piece of work for a newcomer, the project is a wonderful grabbag of squelching funk (skwee), cinematic orchestration, videogame bleeps, otherworldly voices and all other manner of post-dubstep bits and kibbles.

Every track is a mind-freakin' combination of the Glaswegian producer's influences, somehow combined into a harmonious blend. More impressive, the entire thingamajig flows so seamlessly it feels like a gargantuan composition broken into more minute movements.

Dam Mantle - First Wave by forcefieldpr

Video: Nawlins Po' Girl (Na'Tee - Back 2Da Block)

Na'Tee - Back 2Da Block

At the last New Orleans Underground Hip-Hop Awards, Na'Tee won awards for Hottest Female Artist, Lyricist of The Year and Hottest Mixtape of The Year. It must have been well-deserved because she is a straight beast on the microphone. Just watch the damn video!

Video: Of Relation To Portishead (Malachai - Let 'Em Fall)

Malachai - Let 'Em Fall

Bristol gave birth to Portishead. And now Malachai have emerged from there too; they were actually discovered by Geoff Barrow, a fellow Bristolian. Maybe everyone there knows each other and all possess the ability to make music with a unique fingerprint on it.

What the two piece band (Gee and Scott) has in common with Portishead is the hip-hop influence of earlier Portishead. But Malachai's hip-hop influence is stronger, especially on the lastest album, and they sample 60's psych rock instead of soundtracks. Their sound cannot be easily classified as trip-hop with all of its punkish tendencies.

Anyway, this song is from their second recently released album 'Return to the Ugly Side' released February 22 on Domino.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Songs Of The Day: Kanye West - Monster (Teachers Remix)

Arguably one of the biggest hits off 'My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy,' Kanye West's 'Monster' gets a monster overhaul in the form of a remix by Teachers. It's not everyday a remix features live instrumentation and beat change ups to accomodate the different flows of each spitter. Nasty!

Monster (Teachers remix) by Teachers

XTRA: You So Grimey! (Swindle's FACT Mag Mix)

Swindle gets pretty grimey for such a clean cut lad such as himself. His own productions are heavily indebted to 2-step and drum n' bass. Crazier yet, he has a lot of funk elements too. Hell, now and then, he cooks up something that resembles Joker's handiwork - squealing synth flourishes and all.

Last Friday, he dropped a mix for Fact Magazine featuring his own tracks and music from Starkey, Mensah, Admiral Bailey and Terror Danjah, too name a few. Here's to blowing your speakers to smithereens.

Songs Of The Day: The Club in The Church (James Blake - Love What Happened Here)

James Blake just dropped his deliriously moody and original self titled album. Before he turned electro-singer/songwriter, he oozed steamy dubstep-y dance-y gems in his unmistakable style. Rim shots that click, stuttering kick drums, vocal snippets and church organs.

This new wonder plucked from DJ Benji B's show on BBC 1 Radio did not make the album. But my is it worthy of a bounce!

Video: Afghan-American. Gypsy. Goth. WTF? (Religious To Damn - Sunset)

Afghan-American singer Zohra Atash is the foundation of Religious to Damn. She produces and writes the songs for the LP 'Glass Prayer' out this month via M'Lady's. Several sites have referred to their sound as psychedelic and gypsy which it may very well be. All I can say is there is a strong goth influence tucked in between the layers of all the rocking going on. Furthermore, she has that flair for the dramatic and theatrical that is a badge of many a goth frontperson. But enough pigeonholing.

What's awesome about NYC band's jawn is that it rocks hard, Zohra's vocal unfurls from hush to upper registers, the production works to give expanse to all the elements and the whole thing makes you want to rock out during a shadowy pagan ritual in which the sacrifice is a randomly picked Justin Bieber fan. Wait, communing with higher powers and rocking out... simultaneously. WTF?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Songs Of The Day: Nicholas Jaar - I Got A Woman

Nicholas Jaar - I Got A Woman

Nicholas Jaar is remarkable for numerous reasons. The Chilean-born New Yorker and Brown University student put out his first album at the age of 17. His sound draws from so many influences that the question of what his influences are might as well be turned into a week-long lecture series on music genres - electronic downtempo, jazz, blues, classical... blah, blah. And usually they rear their heads in the course of a single track.

Now age 20, Mr. Jaar released his latest LP 'Space Is Only Noise' this February 2011 via Circus Company. This track is one of the shining examples of his modus operandi. His sense of ambiance has a peculiar focus on warmth so if you listen to this in bed it will be a lazy Sunday and if this spins at a party you may lose your train of thought and just bop. Here, he punctuates a relaxed set of Rhodes chords with chopped horns, wrapping it all up neatly with jazz piano and a Ray Charles sample.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Video: Bobby McFerrin's Son Gets Down With Flying Lotus (Taylor McFerrin - Place In My Heart)

Taylor McFerrin feat. Ryat - Place in My Heart from Simon Benjamin on Vimeo.

Yes, Taylor McFerrin is the son of Bobby McFerrin, one of America's most prolific vocalists and a 10 time Grammy winner. He's been paving a path for himself since his first EP release in 2006 ' Broken Vibes,' showcasing his talents as a producer, musician and - as paternal influence would have it - a beatboxer. Recently, he signed with Flying Lotus' imprint Brainfeeder for the release of his upcoming LP 'Early Riser.'

The single and video from the project features the breathlessly dreamy vocals of multi-instrumentalist/singer Christine Ryat, who sounds like a girl on an undiscovered island who spends her days running through grassy fields, sucking on lollipops, sunflowers in hair and chooses a horse ride over a Benz. Fragility, innocence and fortitude abound from her lungs. And she's gorgeous.

Taylor McFerrin does his thang. He sneaks in the groove with a pounding drum beat, guitar strums, a smooth driving bassline and a sexy euphoria-inducing synth riff. If this is any indication of what the album will be like, I'll be on the lookout.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Songs Of The Day: MDMA - Cupcakin (feat. Lupe Fiasco)

A very hot club thumper from Lupe Fiasco's boy Pooh Bear aka MDMA produced by the Audibles. I found the joint hilarious and original because no one has done a song about cupcakin' yet. FYI, cupcakin' is being flirty in public, more specifically leaving your buddies to go talk to some chick you've got the hots for. So when you cupcake next time play this!

Cupcakin (feat. Lupe Fiasco) by jeezy44

Video: RJD2 is back! (The Insane Warrior - The Water Wheel)

The Insane Warrior - The Water Wheel

Ohio beatmeister RJD2 is coming out with a new LP 'We Are The Doorways.' For this project, he goes under the moniker - 'The Insane Warrior.' This is the video for the single dropped from the project released via his imprint RJ's Electrical Connections out now at

The track features his signature organ twinkles, banging boombap percussion with killer drums rolls and thick bass stabs.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

XTRA: Secret Cities - "Love Crime"

Secret Cities is a four piece from Fargo North Dakota that just recently signed to Austin TX label - Western VinylSecret Cities new album Strange Hearts was recorded over three months in a recently unoccupied bank in Kansas City, Missouri inside it's giant vault, which served as the band's studio.  An interesting story with great results.  Secret Cities focuses hard on pure vocal harmonies in front of a soft folky background, with bits of electronica in the middle.  Strange Hearts, is due March 29th on Western Vinyl, Pre-order the LP HERE, and stream/download the single - "Love Crime" below.

Secret Cities - "Love Crime" - DOWNLOAD

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Songs Of The Day: Toro Y Moi - "Still Sound (Kohwi Remix)"

Ann Arbor experimental producer Kohwi just released a remix of the first Toro Y Moi single - "Still Sound" from TYM  future album Underneath The Pine due Feb 22nd on Carpark.   Toro Y Moi - Still Sound (Kohwi Remix) - DOWNLOAD

Friday, February 4, 2011

Video: Depeche Mode ish (Light Asylum - Dark Allies)

Light Asylum - Dark Allies

Some singers appear to be possessed by an otherworldy force. Shannon Funchess of Light Asylum is one. 'Dark Allies' from the upcoming EP 'In Tension' has her powerful guttural vocals sweep over a pulsating electro-goth beat laid down by her band mate Bruno Coviello. It's a deceptively simple yet tight brooding piece that fans of Depeche Mode would gravitate to.

Songs Of The Day: Clare Maguire - The Last Dance (Chase and Status Remix)

Coming in 5th place in BBC's Sound of 2011, British songstress Clare Maguire commands a husky-Annie Lennox-like voice, ripe for anthemic pop jams. This is from her upcoming album Light After Dark out February 28 2011 on Polydor Records. This song was written the day after Michael Jackson passed.

UK electronic dynamic duo Chase and Status put their drum and bass magic to the original and voila!

Clare Maguire - Last Dance (Chase & Status Remix) by Radar Maker

Songs Of The Day: A New Generation of Chicago House (Second City Rhythm - You Got Me)

Two disco dons unite, Ghosts of Venice + Adulture = Second City Rhythm. This is from their new EP coming out in March 22nd 2011 on Chicago label Dust Traxx.

You Got Me by Second City Rhythm

Video: Bibio - "Excuses"

In March 2011, British foltronica producer Bibio will be releasing his 6th album 'Mind Bokeh' on Warp Records. Honestly, I was late on the Bibio bandwagon, Ambivalence Avenue being his only album that I've listened to. But it was an amazing piece of work, combining field recordings with electronically manipulated guitar instrumentation and woozy synths. So when I heard about this new jawn, my ears began to fiend. And he sure came through with a satisfying fix.

The video looks like the song sounds - murky, skittering, glittering and exhaling funky in a psychedelic manner. Groove on!

Songs Of The Day: Raekwon - Rock N' Roll (feat. Ghostface, Kobe & Jim Jones)

Apparently Raekwon is on some bang-your balls-with-a-Wu-Tang-emblem hammer since his Only Built For Cuban Link II return to form. So before we can catch our breath, he will be hitting us with Shaolin Vs. Wu-Tang on March 8th via ICE H20 and EMI.

Producer DJ Khalil lays out an organ screeching thumper, befitting enough for some Wu dart throwin' and a surprisingly catchy poppy hook.

Put on your diamonds from Ghana and take a hit of this Mick Jagger. Suuuuu!

Raekwon - Rock N Roll (feat. Ghostface and Jim Jones) by theQuietus

Songs Of The Day: The Kills - Satelite

Jamie Hince's bluesy guitar chops, Alison Mosshart's urgent howling and a rhythm section of drum machines are back at it! The Kills return with their meat grinder brand of garage rock-blues from the upcoming Blood Pressure set for release on April 4 2011 via Domino Records.

Satelite makes me want to drink from a bottle in a dive bar, sway around a jukebox, dance with an old wisecrackin' waitress and do a host of other things I might regret in the morning. Dirty good times!

The Kills - Satellite by DominoRecordCo

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Video: James Blake Resuscitates R&B (James Blake - The Wilhelm Scream)

James Blake - The Wilhelm Scream

So James Blake did not stop with his excellent cover of Feist's 'Limit To Your Love', he had to drop this gem of a tune from his upcoming self-titled album due February 11 2011 on R&S. Funny his label is home to one of his obvious influences - Aphex Twin.

The ridiculous thing about the song is the range of moods and emotions he's able to encompass in here. It's warm, sad, bouncy and sexy in a haunting way like a really hot ghost. With his scarily emotive voice, he somehow makes his uncertainty about love and dreams appear to be a pristine state. As long as he knows one thing - he's falling into something.

Song Of The Day: Toro Y Moi - "New Beat"

 "New Beat" from the new Toro Y Moi album - Underneath The Pine, out February 22nd on Carpark Records.  The song was leaked a couple of days earlier from various places, in response Carpark decided to stream the track "New Beat" officialy HERE.   Toro Y Moi - New Beat
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