MF DOOM, aka your favorite rapper's favorite rapper, aka the masked emcee with intricate rhymes and endless punchlines, built a cult following with his wordplay and comic-book style. He passed this October, a statement shared by his family and record label said.
Run the Jewels have shared a stop-motion music video for their RTJ4 song “walking in the snow.” The video—helmed by “Burn the Witch” and “Don’t Get Captured” director Chris Hopewell—features action figure version of Killer Mike and El-P leading a revolution against an icy, authoritarian regime.
The first solo album from The Black Angels' Alex Maas is named after his newborn son. Stretching across dreamy landscapes of doom-shaded country and downtempo rock, the album sounds like sauntering through dusty, double swinging doors of a saloon on a cloudy but bright day.
Sampa The Great just dropped her striking new video for “Time’s Up” and announced a partnership with the Narrm (Melbourne, Australia) based therapy practice Pola Psychology designed to shed light on the struggles experienced by African youth in accessing culturally safe, appropriate, and responsive mental health care.
Big Wild releases new mixes of his new single "Touch". The five-track collection features remixes by disco outfit Poolside and Australian duo Hermitude, a killer remix of the track in Spanish featuring Sotomayor.
2x GRAMMY® Award-winner Fantastic Negrito is back with “I’m So Happy I Cry,” the latest single from his new album, HAVE YOU LOST YOUR MIND YET? out now. The track – which features powerhouse vocals from Tarriona “Tank” Ball of New Orleans’ Tank and the Bangas, a historic moment marking the first-ever collaborative recording by two previous winners of NPR’s influential “Tiny Desk Contest” – is joined by an equally colorful companion video (below!).
“I was really inspired to write “I’m So Happy I Cry” the day after reading of Juice Wrld’s death. There are so many young artists suffering from what I perceive as mental illness. Imagine having everything you want in the world and still feeling the need to medicate until it kills you. There is something very sick — and tragic — about that.” – Fantastic Negrito
Simon Green, aka Bonobo has teamed up with fellow producer Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs to deliver a dancefloor-driven 12” that builds on some of the foundations of electronic music, tracing a line from 1980’s NYC through to the warehouse parties of today. Lead single “Heartbreak” is a breakbeat-driven ode to one of electronic music’s formative scenes: NYC’s disco revolution of the 1970’s & 80’s. Sampling Christine Wiltshire’s iconic vocal line “I can’t take the heartbreak” from the ‘83 disco anthem “Weekend” by Class Action.
The 12” is the first to arrive via Bonobo’s new label, OUTLIER—formed in partnership with Ninja Tune—and expands on the series of club shows and festival stage takeovers under that same banner. The new imprint will “reflect the more club focused side of what I’m building with OUTLIER” he explains. “‘Heartbreak’ seems like a good starting point and was the track that became the catalyst to start the label. One for the dance floors in a time when they’re dearly missed.”
Bonobo and Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs’ “Heartbreak” and B-side “6,000 Ft.” arrive on 12” / digitally on November 13th.
A dream team connecting schools of hip-hop, Vancouver’s Potatohead People connects with De La Soul for the second single off their new album Mellow Fantasy. Over a typical Potatohead Production with a funky bassline, smooth drums and guitar chops, De La Soul’s Posdnuos’s rhymes about getting your head down, putting your boots on and getting to work, truly helping to make the world. better place for all of us. Vancouver collaborator Kapok sings aboout the shortness of our lives, and the potential in all of us to get the work done that we need to do. It’s an allusion to the desperate times we’re live in, with a hopeful call to action for all of us to roll up our sleeves and get down to the business of change.
Comprised of Vancouver producers and multi-instrumentalists Nick Wisdom and Astrological, Canadian duo Potatohead People boast a number of noteworthy accolades thanks to a their signature sound drawing influences from 90’s boom-bap, future soul, classic jazz, deep house and boogie/funk.
Potatohead People’s upcoming album “Mellow Fantasy” is due on Bastard Jazz Recordings Fall, 2020.
Vusi Mahlasela, the legendary activist and singer-songwriter known as “The Voice” in his native South Africa, released a live album of traditional township songs, Shebeen Queen viaATO Records.
The “shebeen queen” of the title is Mahlasela’s late grandmother Ida (whom he calls Magogo), who raised him in the township of Mamelodi (“mother of melody”), where he still lives today. Following her husband’s murder in 1961, Ida opened a shebeen (speakeasy) and began selling homebrewed beer to make her living. Her space became known for its lively musical gatherings at night, where the townspeople would use buckets, tins, and plastic drums as instruments, and Ingoma’buksu – music rooted in Mbube culture, meaning “Songs of the Night” – would be celebrated with everyone singing together in full voices. Ida became known as the “Shebeen Queen.”
As a boy, Mahlasela saw a man playing a guitar at these gatherings and was inspired to build his first guitar from fishing line and a cooking oil can. His new album Shebeen Queen is a celebration of the vibrant musical culture of his hometown, first encountered at Ida’s shebeen. “Ida was a strong woman and was respected by all in our community,” he says. “In 1976, when I witnessed the Soweto Uprising, my political education began and I realized how important music was. I began writing songs of justice, of freedom, of revolution, of love, of peace and of life. For these songs, I was arrested and thrown into solitary confinement. Magogo was always there for me –she fought for me, protected me and stood up for what was right. She was and still is my greatest hero. I decided I wanted to record some of these great Township songs in an effort to preserve this important music, so critical to our community and to our history. I wanted to honour this music and my grandmother by recording a live show, right here in Mamelodi at Magogo’s house.
Los Angeles psych-pop outfit, SWIMM, officially launched the next chapter in their creative journey with the release of the brand new single and video, “Feel Better”. The track offers solace and hope to a young LA woman who has fallen victim to “the cliches of men in Hollywood taking advantage of starry-eyed transplants for the first time” as vocalist, Chris Hess (a.k.a Cookie), puts it. As the guitars roll over a soul-soothing beat accented by a myriad of carefully arranged synths, the song’s protagonist let’s his friend know it is ok for her to slow down and do what she needs to do to feel good.
For the video, the band has composed a moment that offers solace on an isolated beach. We’re given an aerial view of a lone woman exploring the gentle break, sandy beach, and towering bluffs along the Pacific, creating a perfect environment for finding peace in difficult times; something we can all use in a tumultuous 2020. It’s a visual that embodies the make-shift moniker of “For the moment, I feel better” on which the song’s reassuring chorus is built.
OUT TODAY – ‘I’m In The Doorway’’ is the featherlight new single from Tricky, following from tracks “Fall Please” and “ Thinking Of”. “I’m In The Doorway”, as beautiful and beguiling as Dirty Projectors at their sweetest, features Danish singer Oh Land’s honeyed vocals.
The song’s accessibility – albeit a
strange and twisted accessibility – surprised even the man who wrote it. “With
most of my stuff, there’s nothing else like it around,” says Tricky. “But with
‘Fall Please’ and ‘I’m In The Doorway’, it’s my version of pop music, the
closest I’ve got to making pop.”
Tricky’s new album Fall To Pieces was recorded in Tricky’s Berlin studio, over the course of two or three months in late 2019. The tracks are often short, ending abruptly and moving on to the next without warning. It is undoubtedly Tricky’s best album in a number of years, and will be supported by extensive touring beginning in spring 2021.
At the beginning of May, as the pandemic raged through his hometown of New York, Ian Isiah revealed his latest creative incarnation: the AUNTIE project to be released this fall on Chromeo’s new record label Juliet Records. Then last week Ian’s official funk manifesto “Princess Pouty” was premiered via an explosive performance, and is now available on all platforms. Over oozing, fuzzy synths and an undeniable two-step groove, Ian calls out “Momma’s baby, Daddy’s maybe” in an ode to empowerment and street savvy sass. The accompanying visual finds him in head to toe clown attire, roaming around a deserted Coney Island. “Princess Pouty” is a Commedia dell’ Arte reimagined Brooklyn style, intersecting fine art and fashion photography for a tale of post-gender love and spirituality.