There’s nothing like a good producer/MC combo, and this new single by London DJ Last Japan and rapper AJ Tracey is the perfect example why. Hot off a string of successful mixtapes, Last Japan’s newest offering is a dark, intergalactic foray that sounds like it’s seeping from the underpass of some secret rave. Released on Coyote Records, which is typically known for leaning more on the instrumental side of grime, “Ascend” pairs Last Japan’s cinematic synths with AJ Tracey’s rapid fire lyrics. Despite its tad over-produced sound, “Ascend” is one of those tracks that, once you hear it, will stay in your rotation for a while.
If you liked this, make sure to check out their EP when it drops on Coyote Records in May.
|Recommended by Tiffany White||Monday, April 4th, 2016||No Comments »|
Minneapolis-based band Polica might have the personality of a solo artist, but they’re surprisingly made up of five band members. Their debut Give You the Ghost was the type of record that grew in quiet notoriety, mixing twee sparseness with pop melodies to create an undanceable dance record. However, their newest album, United Crushers, proves the band is no longer playing it safe, showcasing a more confident sound — and even a confident message. Their single “Wedding” is a testament to that, strongly critiquing police brutality with a music video that strongly satirizes our love affair with the righteousness of law enforcement. The rest of the album continues in that realm, being a bolder, better version of the Polica we’re used to. And hopefully they keep it up.
United Crushers is currently out now.
|Recommended by Tiffany White||Thursday, March 24th, 2016||No Comments »|
I’ve been a fan of German pianist and composer Volker Bertelmann, aka Hauschka, since his 2010 album, Foreign Landscapes, and later the album he did with violinist Hilary Hahn, Silfra. But Hauschka has been on the scene way before I discovered him, composing soundtracks and working with notable musicians like Barbara Morgenstern and Nobukazu Takemura (whom I both love). This melodramatic track from last year’s Abandoned City is one of my favorites. I didn’t even realize there was a music video for it until I stumbled across it on Vimeo’s Staff Picks page. Directed by Eric Epstein, the video interprets Hauschka’s song literally, going on a sprawling tour of abandoned, desolate cities full of sadness, questions, and mystery. Sure it’s a little morose, but you can’t deny its beauty.
|Recommended by Tiffany White||Wednesday, March 16th, 2016||No Comments »|
Most people remember electronic producer DNTEL (real name James Scott “Jimmy” Tamborello) as being one half of The Postal Service. I personally hate The Postal Service and was never a fan of their music. However, before the Postal Service, DNTEL was a solo joint, and his first album, the cynical Life Is Full of Possibilities, was one of my favorite albums when it came out in 2001. This track, “Umbrella,” is the opening track from that album and sets the mood right away. “You can turn the city upside down/ like an umbrella / but it won’t keep you dry” guest vocalist Chris Gunst sings. The song sets you up for the sadness and depression that continues throughout the rest of the album, but “Umbrella” does the best job conveying this message. It’s hard to believe it’s more than a decade old now, but what better song to listen to on a rainy day like today?
|Recommended by Tiffany White||Thursday, February 25th, 2016||No Comments »|
I don’t know how I happened to find myself on Behance late one night looking up illustrations of electro pop artist Grimes, but I was. Probably because it all started with this illustration I saw that was made by Marynn. I always find it fascinating when artists express love for other artists via the medium of their choosing, especially when it comes to music. Unlike actors or models, musicians exist in a non-visual sector of art. The only visual component is the artist itself, who is merely a vessel through which the music is created. But time and time again, artists have shown that when expressing their inspiration, it’s through cheerful homages to the person behind the music.
Grimes, aka Claire Boucher, is an intriguing figure to portray through art. Her music, which dances between avant pop and legit pop, is often compared to the explosive, bubbly sounds of Japanese pop of the mid-90s. So it’s no surprise that her portraits are often exaggerated with lots of pinks and purples, with an almost chibi-like interpretation of her looks. It’s interesting to see how each artist, regardless of how varied their portraits are, all share these similar characteristics. To see for yourself, browse through the gallery above.
|Recommended by Tiffany White||Wednesday, February 24th, 2016||No Comments »|
When TV on the Radio’s Tunde Adebimpe, Faith No More’s Mike Patton and Anticon rapper/producer Doseone team up with animator Sarina Nihei, it’s guaranteed to be an enjoyable experience. Can you say “quadruple sandwich of perfection”?
This video for “Mr Mistake” is the first single off Nevermen’s self-titled debut. Animated by Nihei, who is best known for her amazing Small People With Hats short film, carries over her unique vision to match the whimsicality of Nevermen’s eclectic sound. The video shows a young girl walking through the woods as they morph and change around her, commenting on obvious themes about life, change, and rebirth. For more from Nevermen you can buy their album on iTunes. Don’t forget to check out the Boards of Canada remix, too!
|Recommended by Tiffany White||Tuesday, February 16th, 2016||No Comments »|
German duo Ms. John Soda burst onto the indie/electronic scene in 2002 with the release of No P. or D., followed by Notes and the Like. They took a 9-year break before coming out with 2015′s Loom, an album I’ve been listening to on repeat for the past few weeks. Although not a huge departure from their earlier work, the duo expands their sound beyond the “alternative” one they’re usually saddled with.
But, since today is #ThrowbackThursday, instead of highlighting a few of my favorite songs from Loom (which is obviously “Millions,” by the way) I decided to highlight one of their older songs. Taken from their first album, “Hiding/Fading” is probably one of their better known tracks and encompasses the “edgy whimsicality” sound their known for. If you like this, definitely check out Loom when you get a chance.
|Recommended by Tiffany White||Thursday, February 11th, 2016||No Comments »|