Tuesday, 28 September 2010
If there were a god of videography...
Normally Blu comes across as rather, erm, eccentric at times (the "I need a brand new manager" track aka NewMGNGrand was pretty out there). He seems very together, charismatic and funny here though and this track was my favourite from the (again rather eccentric) Godlee Barnes EP, possibly because I'm also a massive fan of Old School. Enjoy.
Saturday, 25 September 2010
Thursday, 23 September 2010
I've got so much respect for the crew over at We Plug Good Music, they work damn hard and keep their ears to the ground for emerging talent right from the most embryonic dreamers to those who make their livings as "underground" artists. I've only heard of half of these artists and it's really good to be reminded of how much talent is developing out there right now.
I'm a firm believer that 'religious' music shouldn't necessarily be alienating to those of other religions or heathens like me. Lizz Wright's beautiful rich voice is welcome in my iTunes regardless of what she's singing about, but I love this song in particular because it's so hopeful. Her new album Fellowship due out on the 28th (title track written by Me’Shell N’Degeocello) is set to be an eclectic mixture covering material from Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, and Gladys Knight, as Wright says “I wanted to do some songs from home and some straight-up gospel, but I also had some other things I want to share that I see as sacred.”
Just in case you need a reminder of her gorgeousness, watch this video...
Confession time. This is still my ringtone. I can't hear my phone. Can't bear to change it though. To anyone who still doesn't realise what a lovely bloke Dam is, take a listen to these lyrics. Dam seems to have given up on sleeping since he's got two solo projects on the go at the moment (as well as a Master Blazter album).
He's producing an album for one of his musical heroes, Steve Arrington from Slave.
Steve Arrington & Dam-Funk "I Be Trippin" by stonesthrow
Peanut Butter Wolf has also gotten his hands on some music produced by Dam in his younger years for a project entitled "Adolescent Funk". I almost didn't believe this song was real until I saw the artwork - a true G from the day he was born it seems.
Dam-Funk - I Like Your Big Azz (Girl) 1992 by stonesthrow
Download Big Azz (Girl) here
I got the distinct impression when I heard Love for Sale (the famously unreleased leaked album), that Bilal desperately wanted room to experiment, and that the "neo-soul" label he earned for 1st Born Second was about as useful as labeling a distinctive and rare stilton "cheese". Airtight's Revenge is certainly a lot less commercially friendly than either of those albums, what springs to mind each time I listen is Sly and the Family Stone in a studio with David Bowie and Sa-Ra getting wasted and telling stories.
I went through at first picking out instant favourites, in fact Free produced by Nottz was one until I remembered it wasn't on the album, but then I started to notice that the tracks that stood out to me musically, Flying (Nottz), Levels (Shafiq Husayn), Little One (Conley “Tone” Whitfield ) and Think it Over (88 Keys), were the co-produced songs, the rest of the album having been produced by Steve McKie with Bilal. Then I realised that this album sounded a lot more like Bilal live in concert, the energy and vocals sound quite raw, the multiple personalities or characters who seem to make up the whole all have a say, and the production is very guitars, drums, and keys lead.
What I usually love about a Bilal record is his vocal arrangements. With a voice that beautiful, characterful and versatile in range it has always been such a joy to listen to it soar and fall, taking on impossible or simple melodies with the same ease and grace. There are definitely moments of that on Airtight's Revenge but it's not an easy listen, which isn't a criticism. It tackles religion, politics, the economy, his son who has autism, social ills and more, which coming from a writer with an interesting perspective has forced me to listen a little harder than usual. This album feels like Bilal giving us a piece of his mind, and I'm finding it really interesting. You can buy it on iTunes here.
In case you haven't seen it yet check out Bilal's beautiful cover of Bob Marley's "Is This Love"
Wednesday, 22 September 2010
Photo by Kirstie Shanley
I saw this live video months ago and determined I had to see Jónsi live, so when the amazing Kate Magic offered me a ticket I leapt at the chance. I've combed the net but can't seem to find a video that truly conveys how incredible the show was - perhaps so much so that it can't actually be captured on video.
jónsi - sinking friendships (live) from Jónsi on Vimeo.
After a beautiful start to the evening from folk trio Mountain Man (three ladies, lumberjack gear, no beards, haunting voices), the main event began and I can honestly say I've never seen anything like it. The video below should give you a vague idea of the visual element to the show, it wasn't strictly a concert in the sense that you just go and watch a band sing songs - this was a concert, theatre performance, magic show and film rolled in to one.
You begin to suspect from the outset that Iceland must have some actual real magic in the water or air. Jónsi and his band of woodland creatures appear and conjure up the show, filling the air with their sounds until it felt there must be hundreds more creatures hiding somewhere playing tiny but very loud drum sets, guitars, pianos and xylophones which somehow caused a disturbance in the forest in the background bringing forth fires, wolves, deer, owls, floods and an army of ants. I found myself open mouthed, filled with wonder, overjoyed, scared, on the verge of tears and completely overwhelmed throughout (to the point I refused to go and meet the band afterwards in case they didn't seem so fairy-like). I really hope you go and experience it for yourself [link to tour schedule].
Jónsi live show by 59 Productions from Jónsi on Vimeo.
Monday, 20 September 2010
Mr Lau going in to more detail on how he sketches out his music. He really is such a perfectionist and will spend weeks agonising over a mix so please listen to this through your headphones or speakers. The instrumental album comes out on Kilawatt next Monday 27th September but you can preview it on Bandcamp now. There is also a competition to win a copy by tweeting (or Facebooking if that's a verb), your thoughts on the project @ericlaumusic
Saturday, 18 September 2010
I don't often post interviews, but Jay Electronica is one of very few artists I actually find myself interested enough in to wonder about. So few artists seem this earnest or honest, I really hope it's real, because that kind of bravery is inspirational. I'm more than happy to wait for an album or more material if it continues to be the same quality and soul-baring music we've heard so far.
Thursday, 16 September 2010
Click here to download: PART 1
Click here to download: PART 2 / *alternate Part 2 link
I had to split this months edition to the We Love series in to two because it is 40 wonderful tracks long. It's quite hard to pick out favourites because I'm really feeling the whole thing, but I'm quite excited about a few artists you might not have seen much of on here before, Azealia Banks is beyond filthy but a really dope female rapper, the Gayngs tune reminds me of Careless Whisper, and I can't take Lissie off repeat (her guitarist sounds like Eric Clapton) - I could go on so I'll stop there.
Andre 3000 - I Do
Andreya Triana - Town Called Obsolete (Mount Kimbie Remix)
Azealia Banks - L8R
Bishop Lamont Feat. Talib Kweli - Get 'Em Girl (Prod by J Dilla/Focus)
Bonobo - Walk In The Sky (Aaron Jerome Glitch Mix)
The Cinematic Orchestra - The way we feel 'Brother/The Revolution' (Radio Session)
DâM-FunK - NeverTongueInCheek (Edit)
Department Of Eagles - No One Does It Like You
Fatback Band - (Do The) Spanish Hustle (Danny Krivit Edit)
Flying Lotus - Camera Day
The Foreign Exchange - Maybe She'll Dream Of Me (Album Mix)
The Gaslamp Killer - When I'm In Awe (feat. Gonjasufi)
Gayngs - The Gaudy Side Of Town
Gold Panda - Same Dream China
J. Cole - Blow Up (Prod. By J. Cole)
K-OS - Zambony (rmx) [Bonus]
K-OS ft Drake - Faith
Kanye West - Monster (feat. Jay-Z, Rick Ross, Bon Iver & Nicki Minaj)
Kidkanevil - Ketto Revisited ft Bonobo
Lissie - In Sleep (Live)
M.E.D. - Candlelight (feat. Georgia Anne Muldrow)
Melody Thornton - Love Gun
Miguel Atwood-Ferguson Ensemble - Some Day We'll All Be Free feat Bilal (Live)
NastyNasty - Bleeding
Nottz Feat. Alchemist - The 1ne
P Money & Blacks - Anyway
Phantom Lover ft. Nicholas Ryan Gant - Change (show me how)
Quantic Presenta Flowering Inferno - Dub Y Guaguanco
Raekwon - Travel Places
RLP - Cheat Cords
Roc Marciano (Prod. By Vanderslice) - Firepower
Ron Isley (feat. Lauryn Hill) - Close To You
Roska - Play Gamez
Sébastien Tellier - Kilometer (A-Trak Remix)
Shad - Yaa I Get It (Oddisee Remix)
Skyzoo & !LLMIND - Speakers On Blast
Teebs - Japan Field Report
Twizz Ft. PM - Rememberlude
*WE LOVE... is a big one click download of carefully selected individual tracks sourced from reputable blogs & artists we love. Please email us (email@example.com) if we've uploaded a non-promo track in error or to send us something you love.
Wednesday, 15 September 2010
Ahem. This one isn't safe for work. I am SO excited about Hezekiah's forthcoming album Conscious Porn - it's full of bangers (no pun intended), he's such an underrated artist and I never say that but he is. Got a PMOI exclusive coming from this man in the next week or so, look out for it.
The Warriors from See One on Vimeo.
I have to say I didn't think I would be feeling the follow up stuff to "I Need A Dollar", Aloe Blacc is extremely good at many things but he's not the world's strongest singer. He seems to be making it work regardless though, I'm feeling this track from the new Cook Classics LP "Recharged" - it doesn't quite have the drama and sinister undertone of the movie (or maybe I was just young and easily scared when I saw it), but it's definitely stuck in my head. You can buy this tune on iTunes if you like it. Gorgeous illustrations from Sen One!
Tuesday, 14 September 2010
Intergalactic bike riding gorilla with a mobile phone?! It could only be a Kidkanevil video, who knows what wonders go on inside that mind. If you haven't checked out his latest album Basho Basho yet you really should.
There's also a brilliant set of recently released remixes (say that fast 10 times!) to go with it.
Monday, 13 September 2010
Wow. I always think of Lykke Li as a rather cutesy but interesting Swedish Indie singer songwriter. Turns out she's actually an experimental postmodern dancer/ filmmaker/ musician from the 70s infused with the spirit of Barbarella.
Via Gorilla vs Bear
Saturday, 11 September 2010
I don't think I would put this up there with Mr Smith's most classic material, but I do like it, and he looks so fresh. Really looking forward to sitting down (and if I'm lucky dancing around), and checking out the new remix album release from Roots Manuva & Wrongtom "Duppy Writer" this weekend.
Erm, Incognito, Mario Biondi AND Chaka Khan on the same song?!! Incognito's new album "Transatlantic RPM" actually came out at the end of July but I still haven't had a chance to check it out properly yet. I will now! Slightly odd video, not quite sure what the overriding theme was (it looks a bit like they all had different ideas on what it should be, shot them separately then had someone edit them together), but Chaka looks amazing.
Friday, 10 September 2010
I found this over at the Guardian today as part of Magnetic Mans takeover and really enjoyed it, I love hearing artists stories...
Some people might think dubstep is a new phenomenon, but it actually grew out of garage and grime about a decade ago. In Croydon, south London, there was a shop called Big Apple Records that acted as a hub for people into all sorts of bass-led music (sadly, it closed five years ago). I had a recording studio above the shop and started the Big Apple record label with John Kennedy and DJ Hatcha. We were the first label to sign Skream and Benga when they were just 15 years old alongside Digital Mystikz (DMZ), Mala, Coki and Loefah. These artists made some of the first dubstep records.
Around this time Hatcha, who also worked at Big Apple, was championing this sound at a London club night called FWD. We were all making records for Hatcha to spin and meeting in the record shop to discuss the sound we were making. It was a bit like a bass university. And through Benga, Skream, Oris Jay, Plastician, Chef, LB, Kode 9, N Type and Benny Ill, the dubstep sound was brought to life.
We have just finished the festival season with Reading and Leeds. This is unbelievable for us, considering a few years ago you wouldn't get to play those festivals unless you had a guitar in your hand or a set of drums in front of you. It shows how much this music has grown in the past few years that a non "rock'n'roll" band can be accepted at a major rock festival (although it should be pointed out that we continue some of the old rock'n'roll traditions after the shows).
I was speaking to Skream this weekend about how dubstep has gone so far in the past three years – we were wondering if a new style of music has ever spread around the world so rapidly. If you think about drum'n'bass taking off in the 90s, a scene would blow up in one country in one year, then another a year or so later. The internet has changed all that and helped spread dubstep across the world almost instantly. At the same time, dubstep is constantly changing, incorporating different sounds and styles all the time.
The Outlook festival was held in Coatia last weekend, a dubstep event hosting some of the biggest names in the genre from around the world. If you thought you would hear only straight-up dubstep you were in for a surprise. Loefah played Detroit techno, Skream played metal, and Joker mixed it up with some UK funky and house.
I think the fact dubstep artists embrace other genres is a big part of why it's so difficult to define the music. The borders are becoming increasingly blurred between dubstep, grime, drum'n'bass, techno, house, funky ... everything. However, there is one element that links all of these genres together and that is ... BASS.
The music industry has been in the doldrums for a long time with few A&R people willing to take a risk. You get the feeling they are all being told by bosses to "sign us a hit or you're out". This is very short-sighted, and has done a lot of damage to the music on the majors. Luckily, we found a label (Columbia) that didn't ask us to water down our sound. Hopefully, other majors will follow suit and let their A&R teams make choices based on the music they believe in.
There are so many great acts out there, with fresh music deserving the same exposure we are getting at the moment (see below). With the support of more labels like ours, and Radio 1 willing to take risks as they have in supporting us, the remainder of 2010 and 2011 will hopefully be the start of another revolutionary and exciting time in UK music.
Who are Magnetic Man listening to right now?
Skream: "You should be checking out dBridge and Instra:Mental. They're coming up with some amazing stuff right now and dBridge has just done a great remix of our track Perfect Stranger. You should also check out Tensnake – the track Coma Cat goes off!
Artwork: "I'd recommend Kito, she's fantastic – a female producer from Australia who lives in London. She's just been signed to Diplo's label but I think she was signed with Skream first. She has a fantastic sound and she's a brilliant producer.
Benga: I'm going to go for my all-time favourite, Sub Focus. Every single thing he's done to date has been amazing. His mix, riff-wise, everything.
Thursday, 9 September 2010
This one definitely ain't for everybody. It reminds me of a few of my childhood favourite things (Paul Simons, dream sequences in old movies, The Beatles, choirs...) and I love it. The only word I can find is epic really - and at nearly 12 minutes long I'm not kidding. Enjoy, possibly.
Tuesday, 7 September 2010
Hooray for amazing short-film style music videos! I spent the weekend listening to Muhsinah and wondering what she would do next, then stumble across this today. Created by the extremely talented South African director Phetogo Tshepo Mahasha, this is the latest offering from the Golden Girl. Watch the behind the scenes video below.
Monday, 6 September 2010
I was over at Goldielocks' blog today and came across this video for Double Edge by Emika which came out this spring. For some reason I fell in love with her track Drop the Other back in January then didn't follow up and see if there were any videos - turns out there's a couple. There's something about the way she holds back on her vocals that's so sexy, like a sadomasochistic electronic pixie.
Sunday, 5 September 2010
As you probably know Andreya Triana launched her beautiful debut album "Lost Where I Belong" [iTunes link] last month, and I was luck enough to have not one but two photographers - huge thank yous to them both - there to capture the magic she created for her album launch party. Annoyingly I wasn't very well so I had to leave early, but soundcheck sounded amazing, the attention to detail was delicious (literally - there were themed cupcakes and chocolates!), and it felt as though Drey really does exist in another world which she let us in to for a night.
Images: 1, 2 & 6 by Zainab Adamu
Images: 3, 4, 5 & 7 by Philip Edwards
That was quick! I was over at Eric's house the other day and he was playing me some beats he was working on, and now the first track from his new instrumental project “Makin’ Sound” (due on Kilawatt Music Sept 27th) is in my inbox! I have to say, it makes me wish I had a car to bump it in, my headphones on the Tube won't be quite the same. Trust me the rest of the project is dope, and I imagine whilst he's making a load of instrumental hip hop now would be a good time to approach the guy if you want to buy some beats...
Wednesday, 1 September 2010
Ahu - To: Love. (Official Video) from One-Handed Music on Vimeo.
Excited is not the word. Ahu sent me this track a month ago, produced by Paul White, and I've had it on repeat ever since but couldn't share it with anyone, which was killing me. One Handed Music have graciously decided to give it away for free until 13th September and they've given us a gorgeous video to go with it too! Apparently it's a classic Czech animation.