Recent News

OUT NOW – Buscabulla’s Regresa – A Debut Album About Returning To A Devastated Home

June 11th, 2020

What happens when you go back to a place you thought was your home, only to find it profoundly different? That’s the subject explored in Puerto Rican indie pop duo Buscabulla‘s debut Regresa.

Buscabulla is made up of husband and wife Luis Alfredo Del Valle and Raquel Berrios, two Puerto Rico-born musicians who were based in New York until 2017. When their birthplace was devastated by Hurricanes Maria and Irma that year, they decided to leave New York and go back to where they were born. It was an emotional journey, one that inspired the songs of Regresa and which they chronicled for an upcoming mini-documentary.

Buscabulla, the duo of Raquel Berrios and Luis Alfredo del Valle, have been together since 2011, when they met at a house show in New York and became romantically involved. Since then, they’ve released two impressive EPs (the first of which, 2014’s EP 1, was produced by Dev Hynes after the duo won a Guitar Center competition), welcomed a daughter into their lives and moved back to Puerto Rico — honing their sensuous, alternative Latin pop all the while. Now, almost a decade on from their first meeting, their debut album, Regresa, is now via Ribbon Music. – READ + HEAR MORE via NPR

LISTEN – KCRW’s Private Playlist – Adrian Younge and Ali Shaheed Muhammad on finding solace in Gil Scott-Heron

June 5th, 2020

Private Playlist is a listening session with Southern California’s most notable musical figures in their private creative environments. Adrian Younge and Ali Shaheed Muhammad were already superstar producers and musicians in their own right before teaming up as The Midnight Hour. Now they’re in demand as film and TV composers after their breakout score for Netflix’s Luke Cage in 2016. Younge and Muhammad also moonlight as part of the creative team behind the local performance series, and now record label Jazz is Dead

In this special edition of Private Playlist, Younge and Muhammad reflect on the music that’s currently giving them communion, inspiration, and release amidst the uprisings. – READ MORE HERE

WATCH – Sa-Roc: Tiny Desk (Home) Concert

June 4th, 2020

If you want protest music for the uprising of the American consciousness, then look no further. Sa-Roc (born Assata Perkins) is an emcee from southeast Washington, D.C., and the second woman signed to Minneapolis-based hip-hop label Rhymesayers Entertainment, home to Atmosphere and Brother Ali among many others. In this Tiny Desk (home) concert, she debuted two exclusives, “Deliverance” and “r(E)volution,” both from her upcoming album, The Sharecropper’s Daughter, which is produced by her partner in life, Sol Messiah, and scheduled for release this fall.

Sa-Roc bears her heart and soul here, weaving together influential threads from her upbringing; Pan-Africanism, the hardship of her father’s experience as a sharecropper in Virginia and her own childhood in Congress Heights, D.C., an area ravaged by violence and the crack epidemic in the 1980s. On “r(E)volution” she spits bars: “Embedded in the home of the brave, the darkest of interiors. / Saw street scholars and soldiers defect cuz they post-traumatic stressed from the American experience.”

“Music I was exposed to, as well as their ideology, was all politically minded and African centered,” she expressed to me on the phone. “The culture of DC go-go, Gil Scott Heron, and The Last Poets shaped me.” 

Sa-Roc is a modern day griot whose aura radiates calm in a world of chaos. This Tiny Desk (home) concert is as close as it gets to required viewing.- NPR

OUT NOW – Run The Jewels – RTJ4

June 4th, 2020

Run The Jewels, the duo of Killer Mike and El-P, have just released their new album RTJ4 two days ahead of its planned release date as a free download and across all digital platforms. The album features collaborations with & contributions from Pharrell Williams, Zack de la Rocha, Mavis Staples, 2 Chainz, Josh Homme, DJ Premier, & more.

Stream/Download Run the Jewels 4: runthejewels.com/

State the duo: “Fuck it, why wait? The world is infested with bullshit so here’s something raw to listen to while you deal with it all. We hope it brings you some joy. Stay safe and hopeful out there and thank you for giving 2 friends the chance to be heard and do what they love.  

With sincere love and gratitude, Jaime and Mike.”

For fans looking to do some good through donation, Run The Jewels have provided a list of organizations on their website that are fighting for justice, change, and equity in America, including their longtime allies the National Lawyers Guild which, amongst other things, provides legal representation for lawful protesters. You can find the full list of organizations here: runthejewels.com/pages/donate

WATCH Sotomayor’s “Sin Control” – Orígenes out NOW!

March 11th, 2020

Following their respective stints in funky DJ group Beat Buffet, and alt-rock band Jefes del Desierto, siblings Raul and Paulina Sotomayor came together as an outfit under their surname in 2014, releasing their debut, Salvaje, the following year. The Mexico City-based group now includes two additional members on keys, guitar, and bass.

On their third full-length album, Orígenes, Sotomayor nails a dynamic and accessible pop sound without sacrificing complexity. The recipe? Strong pop vocals in tandem with inventive, dance-oriented electronic beats. Their ambitious sound is a mixture of influences from across the Latin music spectrum, drawing inspiration from dancehall, cumbia, merengue, Afrobeat and a variety of other genres, and is written entirely in Spanish. There’s an undeniable commercial quality to their music, but it’s delivered with striking soul.

There’s a hypnotic quality to the songs on Orígenes. A large part of this is Paulina’s captivating vocals, which can morph from breathy like in “Tu Cuerpo y el mío” to commanding like on “Latin History Month,” over the course of the record. Lyrical repetition and ever-present, thumping percussion add to the effect. “Menéate pa’ mí” stands out with its relentless tempo, Paulina’s rapid singing, and catchy army of horns, bouncy synths and spirit. It’s a whole new tone that leaves the listener to imagine it’s a taste of what to come. The song stakes a line in the sand for the territory they’ve charted and for new frontiers to come in the future.-Bandcamp

The Seshen – “Take It All Away” OUT NOW

February 22nd, 2020

OUT NOW – “Take It All Away” is the latest offering from San Francisco Bay Area-based band The Seshen, taken from their upcoming third full length LP ‘CYAN’ (out 28th February). This album opener sees vocalist and lyricist Lalin St. Juste invoke imagery of power, strength and independence reflect on her own transformative and bold decision to cut ties with the things that no longer serve her;”As a black, queer woman, there are a lot of ways in which I have been conditioned that do not serve my truth. I’m in a continuous process of taking away all these layers, healing this confusion, and taking back my power, my voice, my sense of self.” Built around synth sounds that feel warm, yet distant and set against a backdrop of dry and unforgiving drums and bass, complimenting the lyrics of the track, bassist/producer Akiyoshi Ehara creates a soundscape rife with a sense of longing and grasping at something that is just out of reach.

Thundercat Reveals “Dragonball Durag”

February 22nd, 2020

Last month, Thundercat returned with news of a new album called It Is What It Is, his followup to 2017’s Drunk. The announcement came with a lead single, “Black Qualls.” (It was a promising initial preview, ranking amongst our favorite songs that week.) Today, the man otherwise known as Stephen Lee Bruner is back with a new called “Dragonball Durag.”

The first part of the song’s name comes from Bruner’s love of the Dragon Ball franchise. “I have a Dragon Ball tattoo… it runs everything,” he said in a press release. “There is a saying that ‘Dragon Ball is life.’” He continued, talking about durags: “There are two types of people in the world, the guy with the durag and the guy who doesn’t know what a durag is. The durag is a superpower, to turn your swag on… it does something, it changes you. If you have one in the wardrobe, think about wearing it tonight, and it may pop off because you never know what’s going to happen.”

Not that Bruner needs to evoke the mystical characters of Dragon Ball or a superhero costume change by way of a durag to activate his own powers, but it seems to help. “Dragonball Durag” is the kind of liquid funk Thundercat excels at, with calling cards like that muscular-yet-psychedelic bass-playing and a sticky groove. Check it out below. – via Stereogum

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