NYC's Mykki Blanco and Le1f are two rappers who have steered rap away from cliché, proving that it's a genre that still has the potential to be innovated and transformed. This is no better demonstration than their live shows, which incorporate theatrical elements-- dancing, trippy lights, character acting-- that help fully flesh out their performances. Check out both of their performances at Glasslands from Red Bull Music Academy’s event, That!, below.
Mykki Blanco released Betty Rubble: The Initiation on May 21st. Le1f’s Fly Zone mix tape was out last February.
The Hazed, NYC-based hip hop duo The Underachievers are preparing to release a new mixtape, Chapter 23, next month, following their debut tape for Brainfeeder, Indigoism. In the meantime, the Pro Era crew and Flatbush Zombies affiliates released the holdover "May's Patience." Even with high stakes, Issa Gold still just wants to chill "burning medical," but doesn't get burned out. He's full of fire spitting "Pay respect, twenty two year old with golden intellect" with the soulful and assured production from The 20th Letter.
Stream "May's Patience" below. Watch out for The Underachievers' new mixtape Chapter 23, which sees probable release in June.
Boards of Canada (a.k.a. Scottish brothers Michael Sandison and Marcus Eoin) presumably need no introduction, nor does the announcement of their forthcoming record for Warp, entitled Tomorrow's Harvest, the first since their polarizing 2005 LP The Campfire Headphase. After running what is probably the most inventive ad campaign of the year-- watching how this recordslowlyflickered to life was half the fun, after all-- the seminal outfit have released "Reach for the Dead," the first (and maybe only) single from the new record. "Dead" keeps BoC's trademark sounds wonderfully in tact, marrying the somber, often surreal nostaglic detachment of their earlier records with the sonically expanded arrangements of Campfire. Even though "Dead" was released yesterday, this morning a reversed version was made available, if only for fun and poking at the fact that BoC have historically been masters of making symmetrical tunes and skilled at the craft of backmasking. Listen to both versions below.
Dubbed out alchemist and Leaving Records boss matthewdavid and toybox-equipped pop songstress Diva are two kids with impressive pedigrees in making largely effective, weird pop. It was almost inevitable that the two would collide, even if that's a conclusion can only be reached in hindsight. matthewdavid, after all, was last seen doing whatever it is he did to seminal '90s boogie jawn "One In A Million" from Aaliyah, and Diva's the mind that gave birth to eccentric mindmelts like "Glow Worm." This display of vocabulary and hyperbole all leads into the clip below, taken from the duo's recent European tour, which spotlights a seven-minute performance from the duo. The bass-laden performance-- featuring Diva on guitar and swapping vocals with MD-- gets increasingly dense and sensual as it rolls onward. Hopefully, a recorded document of these two weirdos can't be too far behind. Apparently, in addition to this, matthewdiva performed another tune, this time clocking in at 45 minutes. Sadly, we can't share that with you. (via Tiny Mix Tapes)
Chicago's footwork scene has grown and changed drastically from it's initial roots in south and west side Chi. As its American roots have been branching out, new artists from all over the world are putting forth their own takes on the sound. Case in point: new Russian crew Beryoza, aka "Russian Ghetto Community." Besides a scant bit of information on Facebook, a Russian social network (vk.com), and the busy Soundclouds of its members, there is little known about Beryoza. On their first release, Russian Ghetto Compilation Vol. 1, each producer tackles a different '90s Russian pop song, transforming them into limping hybrid beasts. Saint Petersburg's Raumskaya turns in a hurried and cavernous beat on "Zemlya" that acts as a bed for chopped Russian vowels that sound more like breaths of despair than sugary foreign pop. On "Tak Budet Vsegda," OL creates a spacious yet busy work that uses understated tension and release to elevate its grand arpeggios, luscious string and vocal exaltations to a higher pedigree.
You can download the Russian Ghetto Compilation Vol. 1 for free via Bandcamp. Stream "Zemlya," and "Tak Budet Vsegda" below.
King Tuff’s 2008 debut, Was Dead, was once considered a rarity; but now King Tuff is reissuing his first album on Burger Records. Standout track “Sun Medallion” showcases a very specific aesthetic, more psychedelically intricate than his more recent songs. The common thread throughout all of his work is the ability to transform the seemingly mundane-- the “black coffee, standard transmission” of life-- into moments of pure bliss; a joyful innocence that reflects an “infinitely teenage heart and soul.”
MoMA PS1 has announced the line-up for Warm Up 2013, their sixteenth annual summer series of outdoor concerts in the PS1 courtyard. Additionally, there will be international collaborations in Los Angeles, Boston, London, and other locations than Long Island City. The performers featured span a wide variety of genres with a predominant focus on electronic music. The comprehensive line-up includes performances from Julio Bashmore, Hyetal, XXYYXX, Ryan Hemsworth, Gobby, Ratking, Stellar OM Source, Terreke, Cajmere, Jon Hopkins, Rizzla, A Guy Called Gerald, Majical Cloudz, Bangladesh, and many more. You can peep the full schedule after the jump, and on MoMA's site here. Tickets will be made publicly available June 5th at noon.
Bristol-based producers Julio Bashmore and Kowton just leaked a digital of "And What," the B-side to their forthcoming Mirror Song 12" on Bashmore's own Broadwalk imprint. It's snappy industrial grit has Kowton's fingerprints more flagrantly (it's actually tracklisted as a solo Kowton joint), whereas the echoing diva vocals and strangely panned house edits style of "Mirror Song" more strongly evoked Bashmore's solo style. The mood's much eerier by comparison, leaving nervous negative spaces in between distortion-decimated kick tones and loopy cybernetic chirps that make you dance as a matter of survival.
The Mirror Song 12" is out on May 27th on Broadwalk Records, you can stream "And What" below.
Deafheaven, the San Francisco-based US black metal group that are infamous among metalheads for having open minds and an appreciation of styles outside the scene's norms (may God help us all), are set to release their sophomore full-length Sunbather on June 11th. The group leaked two singles already-- the melodic nine-minute melter "Dream House" and the equally dynamic title track--, but are now streaming the record in its entirety on Pitchfork Advance. It's a special blend of post-rock epic, hemorrhaging shredder, and a waking life full of soft shoegazing, streaming here.
It’s been quite a few years since Colleen (aka Cécile Schott) has released a record of fragile, angelic compositions. Its been six years in fact-- the last record was 2007's Les Ondes Silencieuses for Leaf and in those intervening years she's certainly been missed. She picks up her orchestral folk blend easily though, and The Weighing of the Heart expands Schott's catalog nicely. Sweeping and delicately soundtrack-like in its scope, the album has a sense of whimsy and sadness that echoes through its entirety. Amid the plucks, bowed strings and gentle woodwinds, Schott's voice floats as heavy and as thick as fog, but just as ethereal and elusive too. The songs are some of her best, and with that in mind they're well worth the wait it took to get them here. The album presumably takes its name from the Egyptian ceremony of weighing the heart to enter the afterlife-- if you're heart was light from a lifetime of doing good deeds you entered the afterlife, if not, Ammit would gobble you up. The songs on the album seem to be so sad and, admittedly weighed with some force, one wonders what Schott has to be sorrowful about. If she has indeed done things to make her heart heavy, surely music this lovely is tribute enough to allow her a happy eternity. (via Raven Sings the Blues)