Gossamer is Evan Reiner, a relatively new artist who wears his heart on his sleeve through chill electronic chopscapes. Having only released a couple of EPs so far, his first full length has emerged from Innovative Leisure, a label that are storming the musical earth with releases from BadBadNotGood, Nosaj Thing and Allah-Las. Inspired by sci-fi gaming and Steve Reich, Automaton is a gently swaying record showcasing some imaginative sampling/recording and some very personal themes. It sounds like Reiner has sorted his life out according to the press release. Good on ya. Restrained kick drums play out hypnotic, slow grooves, joined by all sorts of shakers, hand drums, clicks and delicious plucked things and synths. It’s a palette similar to Gold Panda, but arranged closer to Four Tet, Kutmah or Contact Field Orchestra. In fact, second track ‘Print’ bears a strong rhythmical resemblance to ‘Parallel Jalebi’ by the ‘Tet. Breathy syllabic vocals join on tracks 1 and 6, backed by some brooding synths on the latter. I’ve just realised that this is actually a fantastic debut.
Toro Y Moi (aka Columbia, South Carolina’s Chaz Bundick) is the sound the world has been waiting for. This multi-cultural juggernaut gathers up the best musical elements from around the globe - R&B, indie rock, electronic dance and psychedelica - and creates something completely his own! Over the course of his first groundbreaking full length Causers Of This, Toro Y Moi turns the aforementioned musical genres upside-down with his breathtakingly innovative approach. The incendiary power of Toro Y Moi’s funky synth and guitar play, pumping digital rhythms and gorgeously bright vocal harmonies makes for a formidable combination. A soon to be masterpiece of a currently unnamed genre! LP also features digital download card.
The intellectual Brooklyn emcee's sprawling 1996 release, Wrath of the Math was the follow-up to his classic debut, The Sun Rises In The East and it features even more genius production from the great DJ Premier. The album's lyrical content was largely centered around Jeru's commentary on the decline of hip hop during the mid-'90s and the need for a new rap consciousness. Even though the tracks "Whatever," "One Day" and the hit single "Ya Playin' Yaself" represent some of the finest work the pair ever produced, unfortunately Wrath of the Math would be the last collaboration between the hip-hop legends.
Five years on from the release of Demon Days, Murdoc Niccals and co. return with Plastic Beach. The band have taken up residence, recording on a secret floating island deep in the South Pacific, a Plastic Beach HQ, made up of detritus, debris and washed up remnants of humanity. This Plastic Beach is the furthest point from any landmass on Earth; the most deserted spot on the planet.
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
In the twenty-first century, a time when catfish and trolls are abundant, honesty and authenticity have become revolutionary acts. With Frozen Throne, Jasper Patterson, better known by his nom de plume Groundislava, has created an honest, and truly beautiful piece of work. Patterson takes his diverse sound a step further in Frozen Throne, connecting all 10 tracks with the overarching theme of searching for real love in a futuristic cyber-based reality. Featuring heavy collaboration with Rare Times, the upcoming LA future pop duo of Anthony Calonico and Alex Talan, Frozen Throne takes listeners to a grim fantasy world where escape seems impossible. The smooth R&B vocals from Rare Times mixed with Groundislava's slow-burning beats and melodies wind their way through Patterson's handcrafted narrative. Filled with soul-bearing honesty, Frozen Throne is a cinematic soundscape for evolving into greater consciousness through the technological reawakening.
Bobby Womack is set to release a brand new album on June 12th, 2012. Co-produced by Damon Albarn and Richard Russell, The Bravest Man In The Universe was recorded at Albarn's 'Studio 13' in west London and New York's Manhattan Center between October and December 2011. It's Bobby Womack's first album of original material since 1994's Resurrection. Includes CD copy of the album.
Limited white 2LP vinyl, includes full DJ Kicks mix on CD. DJ Koze – with his friendly and sometimes slightly melancholic take on the world – is one of the greatest auteurs of club music today, and one of the few internationally active DJs who dares to make music that has relevance beyond the dance floor. During the 70-minute journey on his DJ Kicks – the 50th edition – Kosi Kos manages to establish a uniform color even though genres alternate in a way that is rarely heard on a mix CD: the stripped down hip hop of Madlib, brutalist Berghain techno, timeless songwriting, floating indie-pop and outlier numbers that oscillate between absurdity and melancholy. Koze's disregard for the stylistic yoke presents him with an immense challenge. Hence, almost all the tracks are more or less edited, and one is fully rhymed (Session Victim: Hyuwee). Koze rambles on here himself: "I didn't want to kick around sophisticated knowledge, but rather try and weave together some good gems that would make sense to anyone, even people who aren't necessarily music nerds". But this is blabbing that you can count on, also because he approaches the term "mix" from a different angle and doesn't even try to make something fit that doesn't fit: "During the day, I don't need to hear anything that's mixed on the beat. I put the focus on making sure that it works harmoniously – the idea is more to create the impression of a radio show, like people such as John Peel did so uniquely. There is a giant cosmos of music and it runs through my filter".
Anderson Paak is the next R&B virtuoso on the verge of blowing up. His eclectic style, songwriting abilities and musical chops allow him to effortlessly blend genres borrowing from hip hop, alt-rock, R&B, jazz and electronic. Album features Tokimonsta, Ta-Ku, Lo-Def and more.
English singer/songwriter/guitarist Lianne La Havas's 2012 debut album Is Your Love Big Enough? provided more highlights in its life-cycle than many artists experience in their entire career. The Los Angeles Times said, "Artists like Lianne La Havas remind us of the power of the artful lyric, the soulful (nonhistrionic) reading of said lyric, and the importance of smart, understated production. With Is Your Love Big Enough?, Miss La Havas vaults right to the big leagues. Repeated listenings only prove how strong and artful this collection is," and the New York Times praised her "voice that hints at Alicia Keys, Amy Winehouse and Erykah Badu but is fully her own…It's rhythm as resilience and life force, an innate sense of confidence that makes even her bitter songs somehow reassuring." That album led to a journey that encompassed more than 120 shows across Europe, North America, and Japan—including two sold-out London shows at the O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire. Artists who Lianne had admired soon admired her, to the point where she can call the likes of Prince and Bon Iver friends. La Havas has recently made a succession of guest appearances. There's been another recording with Matt Hales on recent Aqualung track "Egg Shells"; guest vocal on Alt-J's "Warm Foothills" and Tourist's "Patterns"; and even an appearance as a female approximation of her friend in the video for "Where Is My Sex?" by The Kenneths. Most notable of all was La Havas's contribution to Prince's Art Official Age album, which were recorded over the course of a heady weekend at Paisley Park.Blood is an album that was inspired by Lianne’s family heritage, which is part Jamaican and part Greek. Once touring for her debut album came to a close, she headed to Jamaica with her mother for a holiday which evolved into an experience of self-discovery. Lianne enjoyed emotional reunions with long-lost relatives; embraced Kingston’s clubs; and even jammed in front of her family for the first time during a session with legendary dancehall/reggae producer Stephen McGregor.
From time to time a DJ or producer comes along who transcends a particular scene, bridges the gap between disparate movements and unites tribal music fans. Seven has that talismanic quality. His productions have a rawness…a loose-knit, lolloping grove that seduces even the most steadfastly stubborn of hips. Seven is a unifying force and the well of support for his endeavors runs deep, from Mos Def to Four Tet to Julio Bashmore and way beyond. As an intergalactic soul record Universes delivered on all front, admirably showcasing the breadth and depth of SDJR’s productions and the honesty and humour that makes his music so instantly recognizable. Catch him in this cosmos before he jets off to another time and space.
Lone’s classic debut album ‘Lemurian’ gets the deluxe re-issue treatment courtesy of Magic Wire and R&S. Originally released in 2008. It returns in 2015 re-mastered by Matt Colton, with new artwork from Konx-om-Pax and on vinyl for the very first time.
The music of Grimace Federation reaching the ears of the masses was never a forethought in its creation. Founded on a self-gratifying need to shift sound with friends, vast musical influences and jam sessions that had no boundaries, the ever-evolving Philly unit has always been armed with an arsenal of multi-layered, hallucinogenic beats. Their sonic collages create a symphonic, cinematic, and immense sound. With all their complexities, no words are needed to stir emotions, like a Robert Rauschenberg painting, a scene from a Jodorowsky film, or a drive down Mulholland with David Lynch. Early on as a sextet, which included dueling drums and guitars, bass, keys, and a vibraphone, the band’s musical foundation could be discovered in the grooves of records from post-rock legends such as Jaga Jazzist, Tortoise, and Stereolab. And with the addition of a horn section later on, David Axelrod and Steve Reich became major influences. Like most bands, Grimace Federation has experienced some serious growing pains along the way, having lost two of its members to mental breakdowns with continual reconfigurations of the lineup. Now, solidified as a three-piece with core members Wes Schwartz bending sound on his laptop/electronic toys and Chris Wood leaving his drum kit bruised and battered, while Jim Calvarese lays down an ominous low-end, you can feel the increased weight of their music as latter day influences, like Mogwai and Black Sabbath, and a lifetime of collecting obscure underground hip-hop records seep into their symbiotic chaos. It’s been an honor for Grimace Federation to continue to shift sound for nearly a decade and a half, finding themselves working alongside renowned artists, such as Aesop Rock and Circa Survive, and landing opening slots with longtime musical inspirations Tortoise and Battles. The band is currently set to drop its new EP The Measure In Mixture, via lauded hip-hop label Rhymesayers. Combining spastic krautrock beats with the grandeur of an Ennio Morricone soundtrack on a Boards of Canada sonic landscape, the album features two new tracks along with superbly badass, bass-heavy remixes from Aesop Rock. It’s a must-have for crate-diggers all over the world.
Let's Get It: Thug Motivation 101 is the third studio album from Young Jeezy. Four singles were released from the album: "And Then What," "Soul Survivor," "Go Crazy," and "My Hood." The version of "Go Crazy" most frequently heard is the remix featuring Jay-Z. In celebration of the 10 year anniversary of this classic, Def Jam will be reissuing this out of print 3LP set on a limited edition white vinyl.
Word of Mouf is the third studio album from Ludacris. It contains the hit singles, "Rollout (My Business)," "Area Codes," "Move Bitch," and "Saturday (Oooh Oooh!)." Nearly every track features a collaboration, such as hitmaking producers like Timbaland and Organized Noize. Continuing with its Respect The Classics campaign UMe will be reissuing this classic title back on colored vinyl for the first time since it's original pressing over 10 years ago.
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.
Until December last year music was simply a hobby for Alex Crossan, aka Mura Masa. He may have had 7 million plays and 30,000 followers on Soundcloud but the 18 year old Channel Islander had never played his music live, DJ’d or even been to a gig himself. He had just started an English degree at Sussex University and was happy playing guitar and bass in function bands. It was an email from Jakarta Records that changed everything. The Cologne-based label (previously home to Kaytranada, Iamnobodi and Sango) felt Mura Masa’s mixtape ‘Soundtrack To A Death’ was too good to sit on Soundcloud and persuaded him to release it with them. The following 3 months were a whirlwind, with 30 spins on Radio 1, a sold out debut show & a top 5 position on the itunes electronic chart in the UK and US. At one point Mura Masa had 4 tracks in the HypeMachine top 50 and remix requests from Ed Sheeran, Ellie Goulding, RL Grime and iLoveMakonnen in his inbox, whilst still juggling his degree. So as Mura Masa prepares for his first official EP release the stakes are very different and he has upped his game accordingly. As well as the sampling for which he known, Mura Masa plays live piano, guitar, drums and even sings on Someday Somewhere. He is keen to show that he is a musician and songwriter as well as a beat-maker and has called on new friends Nao, Denai Moore and Jay Prince to feature on tracks. Paul Epworth (Producer for Bloc Party, Adele, Santogold): “That 18 year old is taking over the world right now and he’s just delivering the most deeply textured music around, we have got such a talent on our hands in the form of Mura Masa and i think the UK has finally got our very own Kaytranada and it’s not beyond him to overtake that, so good, ridiculous....”