The brainchild of "the Ramadan-Dadaist from Denver", Kamran Kahn, is one of the hardest working groups bubbling up from the nether regions of Denver's thriving underground live electronic music scene. Men In Burka have just dropped a brand new album entitled War/Magic. Some may know of Men In Burka through their overlap with the legendary Denver/Amsterdam witch house originatorsModern Witch, which includes all three members of Men In Burka aside from vocalist Christy Foom. But make no mistake, the two projects are quite different.
A very fitting title for the album, War/Magic sees the trio of Kahn, Strange Powers, and Mario Zoots exploring the sounds, energies, and dynamicism of the contemporary Middle East. Continuing the conceptual themes explored by artists like Muslimgauze, samples of gun blasts, militaristic shouts, and arabic synths permeate the music, creating something dark, mysterious, and exciting. Songs like "Lamborghini Kashmir", "Click Click Click", and "Mohenjo Daro" evoke the modern danger and the inherent mysticism of the region. The album features some really hot remixes from producers like Drop Logik and Karachi Kid, to name a few. Download War/Magic from Men In Burka's Bandcamp page here, it comes highly recommended.
One of my close comrades against the war for your mind and one of my favorite performers, Sewn Leather, has just dropped two new videos for an upcoming LP on Hundebiss Records. The awesomely named "America Retarded" sees the brand new L.A. resident showing off his legendary tattoos and riding around the streets of his new city, shredding some old school style banks and bombing hills to an apocalyptic-sounding industrial pulse. Any new music from Sewn Leather is something to be excited about, and I also highly recommend checking out his other project, Dog Leather, a collaboration with like-minded underground hero DJ Dog Dick, who have a new album in the works.
Sewn Leather's second LP will be out in December on Hundebiss.
I am currently writing this from a hotel room in a small village called Kutna Hora, deep in the Czech Republic. Before coming here, I had been raving out in a rural, cosmic jungle at the mind-bending, supremely psychedelic festival, Electric Forest. It's taken me a few days to return to reality after the insanity of watching twenty-five thousand people go absolutley ape shit to Bassnectar and String Cheese Incident. But, that's what Wet Ferrari is all about, right? Going deep. This week's post really takes it there; this release has been out for a a few months now, but I think it went severely overlooked and is destined to become a modern classic. The release is a self-titled LP by the dark and damaged Austin,Texas-based synthesizer architects, Survive. I've played a few shows with these guys and they always get a lot of respect because they show up with the most synths and electronics I've ever seen any live band perform with. Their live set-up is a good metaphor for their music-- beautifully labor intensive and almost oppressively heavy synth landscapes. It is cinematic to say the least, like a leather daddy on a motorcycle riding into the sun through a dusty desert.
Deep In the Game is a very talented DJ crew based in beautiful Baltimore. Comprised of DJ Mark Brown, Cex, and Schwarz, the trio have been holding it down for the better part of three years, throwing a wildly diverse, queer-friendly club night under the same name that happens once a month at Club Hippo. Always forward-thinking, Deep in the Game is exploding into the label business with Click Pow, an EP by veteran Baltimore rapper DDM, "the butch queen with 16's".
The eponymous song is produced by Schwarz and features hometown superstar RYE RYE. Click Pow also features remixes by a diverse group of artists, opening with one by hyper-creative new media pioneers Extreme Animals, followed by the dramatic ballroom styles of Texas producer B. Ames, LA duo 333 Boyz' tropical-tinged cut, and concluding with the dancehall-influenced rhythms of Boston DJ/Producer Rizzla. This EP is raw and ready to murder any dancefloor.
Soundcloud is a weird place. Scrolling through the seemingly infinite and interconnected web of music producers is one of the reasons the website is so interesting, but it can also be a very tiring endeavor. Living in our current age of extremely accessible music technology-- along with a never-ending stream of uploads-- it can be difficult to wade through the deep swamps of the internet and walk out of the muck with something ear-catching. But, YNFYNYT SCROLL-- a Dallas, Texas-based producer whose name seems to reference the exact experience I am talking about-- is one such standout artist. A sign of a talented producer is the ability to work in different styles with ease, and Ynfynyt Scroll's page ecstatically bounces all over the place, from experiments in Juke/Footwork to trancey "trap breakz" reworks of "We Found Love." Scroll's strong suit, however, is producing loud, cunty, and aggressive ballroom and vogue house tracks. The new "Let Me See It" EP, which is the third digital release on the #FEELINGS label, is a twisted collection of dramatic club music, unapologetic for its raw glamour, sexuality and attitude. Featuring remixes by some heavy hitters, like MikeQ and Nadus, "Let Me See It" is simply HUGE. Try not to move to this music.
Word up and welcome to the weird and wonderful world of WET FERRARI! This week's edition highlights the beautiful and unique music of Denver-based experimental electronic musician and artist, Neil Ewing, AKA Greencarpetedstairs, whose debut album just hit on the left-field indie-rap heavyweight label, Fake Four. Greencarpetedstairs has been making music since 2003, and got some well-deserved attention for his work producing the hugely underrated avant-rap group, swimming with models, but this self-titled release finds him finally finding his groove.
The music is dark and obscure, heavy and thickly abstracted, but also very gentle and emotionally detailed. The whole album is a dense and complex work of art, mixing a sort of warped R&B with electronic pop and hip-hop. Greencarpetedstairs' strength lies in his vocals, a sort of half-sung, half-rapped style that owes a large debt to the incredible experiments of Anticon and cLOUDDEAD in the early 2000s. But "Tragic Tragic" proves that the dude can also sing when he really wants to, with a gentle falsetto floating atop his tracks like a carefree bird. Check the first single's video below, "Birds and Bees", made by Ewing himself, who is also a very talented animator in hisown right.
Welcome back to WET FERRARI! your new weekly home for all things weird, wet, and wild. This week's edition is an exploration deep below ground amongst the rats and mutant turtles with "Sewer Greats: Volume 5," which is a somewhat of a collective underground Internet hip-hop experience. Put out by Sewage Tapes, it's a highly interesting look at the new wave of contemporary underground DIY hip-hop--"Conjoining America through Macbook mics and Youtube Producers," as the press release explains. And it's true, as a few of the songs are lo-fi and haphazard to the point of becoming actually, annoyingly bad. But it's no matter, really, because there are some real gems to be discovered here.
The three songs produced by the mysterious, Florida-based RVIDXR CLVN member $ludgehammer are dark, twisted, and melodic, often outshining the rappers who are rapping over them. Main Attraktionz, perhaps the biggest name on the comp, shine on "church", a chilled-out and laid-back Summer time song like only they can do. One personal favorite is "Okay Cupid" by the rising Internet star Kitty Pryde, who is accumulating a lot of haters with her original and dare I say genius style of cute/naughty "flirt rap" (a new genre I just coined). It's a huge stand-out track, and is probably destined to become somewhat of a classic just because it's so unique. Thanks in large part to an awesome beat from Beautiful Lou, "Okay Cupid" is fully aware of itself, and sits on the line of it being actual ART. She is sure going to piss a lot of people off.
Speaking of ART, the young (age 15) Internet artist Glass Popcorn appears on the comp with "Struggling," which is a very funny song when you think of it being most likely recorded in his parents' house. But the song really works because of the insane dark repetition, turning into a sort of hypnotic mantra. And yes, everyone struggles, regardless of whether they live with their mom or not. Last but not least is the Bay Area-based, rapidly rising underground hero Antwon, who comes off as sort of a hip-hop everyman or a people's champion. A guy you want to be friends with. He is featured here with "Lay With You," but Antwon made one of my favorite songs and videos of the year with "Helicopter", and doesnt seem to be slowing down. I expect big things from this guy; he is just a geniune talent, and if there is any decency in this world, he will be a star.
Welcome to "WET FERRARI!" a new weekly column where I recommend something rad to listen to that you may not have heard before, or something rad to look at that you may not have seen. Basically, shit that should be getting shine instead of shade. Be forwarned, the posts may not be "wet" or have anything to do with "Ferraris", but they also might. So, with that being said, lets get to the first post!
Straight out of the artistic and creative goldmine that is Denver, Colorado's world famous DIY venue, Rhinoceropolis, is the ever prolific and genius 21-year-old Colin Ward, who composes music under the name ALPHABETS. I use the word prolific because for the past few years, he has been steadily releasing countless full-length albums and mixtapes, sometimes more than one in the same month, each different from the last. And not unlike with LIL B, it of course be exhausting to try and listen to it all, but there is some bonafide beauty to be found when you start digging.
Case in point, antPAD, which was released on April 20th. Full of abstract soundscapes, distorted vocals, multi-layered tropical percussion, and birds chirping, the album is unique to say the least and is "experimental music" in the truest sense of the word. Full disclosure: Alphabets is a close friend of mine, and is someone I consider to be a personal inspiration, but I feel that his music should be enjoyed by a wider audience. Expect to hear a lot more from him in the future; this is really just the tip of the anthill with Alphabets, and I highly suggest going deeper into his Bandcamp page for some real avant-magic.