Ariel, the new EP from Taragana Pyjarama aka Nick Kold Ericksen is…. a suite of 5am trance breakdowns capturing those moments when the sun is almost coming up, the clarity just before and just after something truly epic crystallized eternally in vignettes presented in a sequence – a series of tracks ecstatic on their own but transcendent together. Intrumental EP opener ‘Givers’ builds to the point of rapture, while title track ‘Ariel’ promises “I will do all it takes, I will be here all the way,” over icy, undulating synthwork. ‘Ber’ is an exercise in subtlety, a soft beat peppered with icy flourishes. Taragana Pyjarama takes the major chord ecstasy of progressive house and strips it of ornament with barely any drums, no drops and no resolutions – arpeggiated melodies and simple vocal features, including a stand-out turn from rising young New Zealander Lontalius on ‘Buchla’. The record closes with ‘Together’, a distorted voice drawing in and blanketing the listener before evaporating into the ether. “I have always tried to push myself with each release,” Erickson reveals, “but this is the first time I feel like I’ve succeeded. I’ve had to sorta force out an unnatural way for me of writing music, which at times has felt almost like a break up or something. Something I had to get through and had to do, to feel better about it. It’s a new start in a way. I’m just getting comfortable with my music and learning from this, but at the same time everything seems so much clearer now.”
AlunaGeorge are a London-based two piece comprised of members Aluna Francis (vocals) and George Reid (producer). The AlunaGeorge sound falls somewhere in between TLC, CocoRosie and Hudson Mohawke. Essentially they specialise in slightly wonky sounding, eccentric pop music with a strong UK vibe. The 12” features two brand new songs, as well as ‘You Know You Like It’ which has been called a future classic by a number of publications. The band have just wrapped up a UK tour with Friends and a brilliantly reviewed appearance at The Great Escape.
Since his emergence at the tail end of 2011 Evian Christ, AKA Joshua Leary, has had a whirlwind two years. Off the back of his breakthrough mixtape ‘Kings And Them’ which came out on Tri Angle Records in February 2012, the 24 year old Ellesmere Port, UK, native has produced music on Kanye West’s ‘Yeezus’, collaborated with acclaimed conceptual artist Matthew Barney, released the notably abstract soundpiece ‘Duga-3’, performed around the world alongside the likes of Purity Ring, Actress and Four Tet, and garnered positive reviews and features in global tastemaker titles including Magazine, Dazed & Confused, Pitchfork and VIBE, amongst many others. On ‘Kings And Them’ Evian Christ conjured up a sound that was influenced by hip hop as it much as it was by more ambient forms of music. With ‘Waterfall’ Evian Christ has taken his unique sound into a far noisier and more aggressive territory, exhibiting a creative restlessness that continues to make it harder to pigeonhole this young, evolving artist.
The tail end of 2011 saw the emergence of material from a producer known only as Evian Christ, with oblique YouTube videos accompanying music which seemed to occupy its own particular twilit corner of the musical landscape, poised somewhere at the crossroads between freaked, haunted ambience and sparse, twisted R&B. Signing shortly after to Tri Angle, Evian Christ (aka 22 year old Merseyside resident Joshua Leary) released a free mixtape, ‘Kings And Them’, collating his eight tracks to date, and heralding the arrival of a truly exciting new talent in the process. This special edition 12” collects together four tracks from ‘Kings And Them’ in new and remastered form, and sees the first proper physical release from Evian Christ.a
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Includes MP3 download card featuring 2 previously unreleased tracks, "The Sleepaway" and "When It Wobbles". Second single to be lifted from the universally loved 'Dead Ringer' long player. The a-side drops two of the best cinematic hip hop tunes from the said album - 'The Horror' drops by spooking you out with dark instrumental undercurrents and slammin beats while 'Smokes and Mirrors' continues the vocal sample based mystery of many RJ tracks. The 'is it live or is it sampled' question will run round your head for the full running duration - wicked tune. The b-side brings the full Def Jux army. 'Final Frontier' was the best outright hip hop track on the album with the dope rap from Blueprint, RJ's partner in Rhymesayers' Soul Position act. This reeeeeeemixxxxx adds vocal daggers from Vast Aire (now signed to Chocolate Industries in his sole guise), Aesop Rock and Murs - crew!!! The beat is bigged up, mo fat - more swing and an irresistible harmonic sampling running behind the vocals. Killer remix in three versions. Haunted artwork tip, another fat Def Jux 12" for the collection.
In a Beautiful Place Out in the Country, released in 2000, shows Boards of Canada at their most focused and effective, exerting a gorgeous yet disorientating hold over listeners in the space of just four tracks. ‘Zoetrope’ is one of the duo’s brightest and most carefree tracks, with sharp synths unfurling into changing patterns like ripples on the surface of a lake, all the while returning to an unrelenting throb. It is every bit the equal of Aphex Twin’s ‘Ambient Music Vol.2’, and a rare example of Boards’ straightforward, though no less beautiful, work. Elsewhere, the EP’s offerings are more percussive and dense, with ‘Amo Bishop Roden’ employing ticking 808 percussion sparsely but effectively at a strange distance from saturated string iterations. Throughout the EP, drum patterns seem claustrophobic, denying momentum in a way which forces the listener’s concentration ever inward, onto the decaying synthetic textures at the music’s core. ‘Kid For Today’ conveys an uneasy undercurrent, despite its optimistic surface of twinkling Fender Rhodes and waves of sensuous static, and the title track employs vocoded vocals and cackling children’s voices which are at once dark and naively pleasurable. The record captures Boards of Canada offering up layers of interpretation and rich portals of memory whilst resisting being pinned down to a specific mood, a feat which few electronic outfits can manage with such alluring power.
Saaab Stories is the second extended play by American rapper Action Bronson. The EP was released on June 11, 2013 and is entirely produced by American record producer Harry Fraud. The EP, which was released by Vice and Atlantic Records, serves as Bronson's major label debut project. It features guest appearances from fellow American rappers Wiz Khalifa, Prodigy and Raekwon.
With the aim of breaking the mould and taking down boundaries, Andrea's "Black Magic" is the result of a combination of influences melted together in guitar amps to create a wavy piece of music. From the vocal-oriented track "Down" featuring Vanessa Elisha's lush vocals to the club-melting "Without You", Black Magic has a wide range of aesthetics and a particular attention to detail that creates its own unique world much like the artist behind it. Young Parisian native Andrea has been building up heat over recent months with his innovative live shows (playing at shows alongside Flume, AlunaGeorge, Shlohmo, Bondax and Glitch Mob amongst others) and his own productions and remixes of The xx, AlunaGeorge, Sam Smith, Say Lou Lou, Rosie Lowe, Stwo, Slow Magic, Drake and The Weeknd to name but a few, drawing in fans and scoring radio support from tastemakers such as Benji B, B.Traits, Monki and Rob Da Bank at BBC Radio 1 and Eddy Temple Morris at XFM. Some of his solo efforts have come in the form of a track on Trapdoor Records Trapdoor Volume 2 compilation series, a track on Flirtini’s Heartbreaks & Promises Volume 2 compilation and the much anticipated “Tenderly”. Add to this his residency on Rinse France, his own label Moose Records, countless remixes, free downloads, a collaboration on Ta-Ku’s Create&Explore project, Andrea’s very own #OneSampleOneDay project and his recent NASA EP and it becomes clear that Andrea is one of those artists who puts the work in. Thankfully, he has no intention of slowing down! Andrea’s Black Magic EP is due for release on via Jakarta Records the label that has been kicking off many successful careers in the last years with early releases from renowned producers such as Kaytranada, Ta-ku, Mura Masa, IAMNOBODI and many more. The release will be made available both digitally and on vinyl (with a very special white-label B-side).
Award winning Canadian DJ/Producer and Montreal hip-hop pioneer, Toast Dawg unleashes his sophomore instrumental EP “Brazivilain Volume II”, a collection of 6 brazilian rare grooves infused tracks, yet subtly funky and very contemporarily banging. Fou Barbe!
Over the last year, London-based artist FKA Twigs has produced a series of strikingly original pieces of music, each of which featured an equally striking visual accompaniment. Produced by FKA Twigs and Arca, EP2 is comprised of the 4-tracks "How's That," "Papi Pacify," "Water Me" and "Ultraviolet" and serves as her first release for Young Turks.
Ta-ku returns to headphones around the globe this June with Songs To Make Up To, the long-awaited follow up to his 2013 beat suite, Songs To Break Up To. “Love Again” is the project’s first salvo, a collaboration with singer/songwriter JMSN and fellow bass expert Sango (Soulection) that lays handclap-ready gospel vibes all over Ta-ku’s signature, soulful knock. Songs To Make Up To marks a major artistic leap forward for the Perth producer, but like the song says, “Give it time, give it time / This ain’t no race.”
Jessy Lanza meets the Teklife crew on this sultry EP, with DJ Spinn and Taso's first-released RnB track, and a Teklife footwork remix with assistance from the late DJ Rashad. The main mix is a dejected confessional slow jam with Jessy's plaintive vocal sitting in the middle of spiralling drums and teardrop-like chords, a gentle guitar refrain dropping in at the end like a comforting hand on the shoulder. Following an instrumental version, the Teklife mix doubles the tempo, switching the gentleness to deliver an interpretation that touches on tense anger, with the sweeping chords the track is built on snapping into shivering shapes, as strings simmer in the background, building the tension. Also included is Bambounou's remix of 'Fuck Diamond', a track on Jessy's ‘Pull My Hair Back’ debut album, which appears here on vinyl for the first time after an initial CD-only release last year on the ‘Hyperdub 10.4’ compilation). Bambounou transforms it into a rough drum machine workout, leaving sparse elements of the original in place - a splash of vocal and a held chord - building a dynamic trance that slips and slides in and out of different patterns.
Atlanta emcee Yani Mo wrecks laid back instrumentals with a soft touch akin to Ladybug Mecca of Digable Planets. Like a rapping aikido master, she intertwines her vocals subtly within a beat, amplifying its strength and redirecting boom bap energy straight to your cranium.
The '6613' EP from DJ Rashad's vaults will be released just over a year after his untimely passing, with all the proceeds going to his family. Some of these songs will be familiar to anyone who saw Rashad DJ. The first are two really upbeat, rolling juke tracks; 'CCP2' has breezy worldless vocals chopped and diced over a rolling claps and kicks, and 'Cause I Know U Feel', with Gant-Man, chops a longing vocal refrain into a delirious frenzy of unexpected shapes, over pounding kicks and toms as a warm synth swells up. The vocals recede towards the end leaving just a synth glow. 'Ya Hot', with Taso, chops and changes rhythms, dipping into half speed trap, to rolling 4/4 and into more offbeat patterns, while a hectic, bleeping melody bangs out in contrast, almost as if its tracing the pattern of dancing feet. 'Do Not Fuck' is a paranoid 'footwork as a virtual panic attack' track, drawing fxs through a tunnel of accelerated bleeps, the only constant being a deadly serious guitar breakdown, a deep bass tone and the warning words of the title. The energy of DJ Rashad will remain strong through his music.
King Krule's (formerly Zoo Kid) second release brings with it, an expansion of vision, both musically and thematically. The connective tissue between these five tracks is still Marshall's stark, direct lyrics, but over the span of the self-titled EP, there is an arresting sonic progression, as his songs open up to become a loose knit meditation and renewal of hope in the face of desperation. Shades of The Streets' plainspoken and observant ramble dance with the heart on sleeve confessions of Billy Bragg. Archy's influences are a patchwork for his voice to lay in, woven from several generations music as divergent as the 80s romantics, jazz, no wave and dub. The first vocal track 'Bleak Bake', for instance, opens with levitating keyboards and Marshall clearing his throat, before sampled strings and 808 drum 'pooms' swoon in and he sighs. 'The Noose of Jah City' drives the knife in deeper -some of his most intoxicating incantations to date- with Marshall singing of being "suffocated in concrete" over a lushly upholstered backdrop of chiming guitars and shuffling sampled beats. While in the gorgeous 'Portrait in Black and Blue' he unleashes a bounding piece of classic croon. But even though the subject matter may at times be harrowing, the songs themselves are never anything less than exquisitely crafted, possessed of an almost spectral beauty, as epitomised in the shimmering instrumental intro "363N63". Taken as a whole, the "King Krule" EP is the sound of a young man growing up and attempting to grapple with the realities of the world he inhabits, and a fascinating, brutal journey it is too.
Following the low-key online-only release of Sundanza in 2010 plus his noted collaborative work with Jessie Ware, Lil Silva, SBTRKT, and Koreless, Dual is Sampha's first full solo outing. The record was put together over a period of 18 months in the gaps between, and time after, an intense touring schedule with SBTRKT live. Working from his childhood home in Morden, the tracks were written, produced and mixed by himself in isolation. Offering an intimate and idiosyncratic glimpse into his artistic intent, the EP, which includes "Indecision," showcases Sampha's talents not only as a vocalist but more broadly as a songwriter and producer.
100 Miles and Runnin' is the platinum certified album by N.W.A, released in 1990 on Ruthless Records. It is the first record the group released after Ice Cube began a solo career. Continuing with its Respect The Classics campaign, and in support of the NWA film coming this summer, UMe will be reissuing this classic back on LP with a limited edition 3D lenticular cover!
'Look' is a 6 track instrumental project by Pings & Mr Brown. All the tracks have been created by sampling a multitude of cover versions of a well-known song from the late 60's. The initial idea for the project came about when the two producers over the years exchanged beats they had created from different versions of the song. This resulted in a perfect concept for a record. Graphic design and visuals play a vital role in all KingUnderground releases and this project is no exception. It has been influenced by jazz record sleeves from the 60's - 70's, in which, instead of showing the artist on a graphically designed album cover, they used wildlife, shadows, geometric shapes and other great photographs. This deliberately created contrasts and worked with and against the grain of the album titles. In other words, these album covers made you 'look'. Artwork by Bee, photo taken by Matt Drane.
Chits is Zach Brill, a 22-year-old producer based in Pennsylvania with a penchant for melding eclectic styles. His hands dig just as deeply into hip-hop as they do techno to craft a distinct product that is patient, uplift and harmonically rich. The typical Chits song is a slow burner. Mechanic instrumentations form rhythms and melodies that constantly morph and layer upon each other, coquettishly enticing each track to its crescendo. The result is a careful form of entanglement, an invitation to move, a strange new sonic architecture that writhes and breathes. This release marks the first in Astro Nautico’s recently launched vinyl series.
There are few young UK artists who can unite the affections of Chris Brown, Flying Lotus, Just Blaze, Battles and The Weeknd--however that's just the effect Hudson Mohawke's neon-lit take on postmodern R&B has on people. The Glaswegian producer's ascent has been swift and steady over the past few years. The one-two punch of the Polyfolk Dance EP and full-length Butter has made fans not only out of wide eyed clubgoers, but also the kind of critical minds in the position to make grand statements. One such grand statement in a recentissue of The Guardian called Hudson Mohawke ''the new J Dilla'' while placinghim atop a new generation of producers including Mark Ronson and Jamie xx. On 2009's Butter, HudMo took in a spectrum of influences ranging from Cybotron and Outkast to Aaliyah and Prince. Satin Panthers casts just as wide a net in its five tracks, with a particular eye on the energy of early rave records. Fusing the sound of contemporary American R&B and the still-present specter of classic UK rave may sound like an obvious proposition, but nowhere has it been executed so well as here.
Seafloor is the experimental-dance music brainchild of Brooklyn-based musician, producer and graphic designer Matthew Young, heretofore better known for his role as keyboardist/vocalist in the synth-dance outfit Body Language. For ‘Lure’, his third official release as Seafloor, Young has sculpted four heavy-hitting tracks that take cues from the classic house model but re-contextualize them within the constantly mutating scene of club music. Pronounced melodies, textures and rhythmic elements are woven together seamlessly to create rich, vibrant songs that engage the listener as well as inspire kinetic movement.
Philly based indie singer Res has never been afraid to push boundaries and challenge herself and her listeners. So it should come as no shock that her recent undertaking to cover classic songs of the legendary band Fleetwood Mac was met with respect and precision. Injecting her blend of soul, Res both pays homage and recreates these classic hits all at once. Released by Talib Kweli’s label Javotti Media, this extremely limited Record Store Day exclusive features a one sided clear vinyl EP, with a screen printed B side by the world famous Hit & Run crew.
The Audible Doctor has produced records for 50 Cent, Smoke DZA, Joell Ortiz (Slaughterhouse), Consequence & John Legend, Onyx, Astro, Fredro Starr, Bumpy Knuckles, Sadat X & A.G., EMC (Masta Ace, Punchline, Wordsworth & Stricklin), REKS, Tragedy Khadafi, Evitan (Dres of Black Sheep & Jarobi of A Tribe Called Quest), Neek The Exotic, Homeboy Sandman, Blacastan, J-Live & many more. This EP (produced entirely by The Audible Doctor) features Astro, Hassaan Mackey, Consequence, Bumpy Knuckles, Guilty Simpson & John Robinson.
Legendary Brownsville duo M.O.P. released their first album back in 1994, and have spent the past twenty years building a reputation as one of the most important groups in hip-hop history. They've been signed to iconic labels like Roc-A-Fella and G-Unit, released one of the biggest rap singles ever in "Ante Up", and did it without compromising their sound or integrity. Now, Lil Fame and Billy Danze are back with their new CD Street Certified. Executive produced by DJ Premier, Street Certified is full of the raw, unfiltered hip-hop that fans have come to expect from the Mash Out Posse. Featuring Maino, Busta Rhymes, and Mobb Deep, Street Certified defines classic New York hip-hop at its finest.