“Come Here” (ft. Miguel)
Three reasons why Talib Kweli’s “Come Here” is awesome:
01. It has Miguel on it, the man who brought us a beacon of hope for R&B with “Adorn” and who, alongside Frank Ocean, has ushered in a new era for the genre. His hook recalls a more sprightly Marvin Gaye. Pure ecstasy, shimmering with a summery sheen.
02. The beat is a lush sonic primer for the coming season — the bass pulses loosely, in perfect time to a simple bongo beat. Woozy synths give Kweli a fantastic canvas on which to paint scenes with his typical wit. Very Barry White. Damn right.
03. Talib Kewli’s never one to bore with the lyricism. Only he can take Lady Chatterly’s Lover, Outkast, and the classic Barack-Michelle fist bump and turn it into something special.
Kweli’s latest album, Prisoner of Conscious, hits shelves May 7 and will features guest spots from not only Miguel, but also Kendrick Lamar, Busta Rhymes, Curren$y, and more. If this track’s any indication, it should be something to marvel at.
Everyone Works So Hard
Brent Mitzner, the artist formerly known as Trudgers, is now calling himself Torn Humorist, and he’s just released a radical cassette titled Everyone Works So Hard. Part of Bridgetown Records’ (run by experimentalist Kevin Greenspon) stellar spring batch of limited tapes, Everyone Works So Hard features piles upon piles of guitar loops and viola tones, evolving seamlessly throughout each piece, creating music that hovers and soars simultaneously.
Check out all the new releases from Bridgetown, and nab a batch before they’re all goners.
The fine line between getting up and falling asleep in terms of this track “Raise” is directly in its name. Bitter Fictions (Devin Friesen) does a real interesting job of distorting the line between awake and asleep, not only in the track, but also in the video. Unsure of location and vision. Not entirely trusting reality, but being forced to as a reference point. Thought drawing upon conclusive colors opposed to finding a new one and selling it to Wal-Mart of China. What can be reality in an immersed world of electronics? Plucking? Yeah, it’s there, with a dash of strumming, maybe. The measurement of time and repetition of modality. Yet, is that any different than sleep? Can one keep track of dream-time compared to real time? Nahh. Or can Bitter Fictions provide the answer? It’s merely thought provoked if the provocation was once in thought. Does it spin or twine? Ideas come into a succession of layers, and filing them down is all at once preposterous and vision-defining. Feel it throughout Bitter Fictions’ new self-titled LP out now.
• Bitter Fictions: http://shakingbox.tumblr.com
a i r s p o r t s
First I was gonna start this blurb off with a “more cowbell” reference, and then I realized that is super lame. Then I wanted to talk about how much I love that early-80s synth “cowbell” sound that we still hear all over the place, and how it really doesn’t sound like a cowbell at all, but is so unmistakably TR-808. But then I realized I don’t know enough about synths to say that, and one of you readers will probably be all like “Aaaactutally, that sound first was heard in blah blah blah.”
So instead, I’ll just tell you that the newest track from French producer a i r s p o r t s features a hell of a lot of nostalgic analog percussion, and it builds into one of the best raise-the-roof-in-your-desk-chair tracks of the year so far. As a “taste of what’s to come,” a i r s p o r t s has released “Feelings” on SoundCloud to get us all psyched up for an immanent release.
• a i r s p o r t s: http://airsports.bandcamp.com
Spoiler Alert VII
Spoiler Alert is a Memphis, Tennessee-based blog/posse that emphasizes the city’s small albeit blossoming electronic music scene. Curated in large part by Clifton Anthony, who also boasts a deep list of monikers associated with the blog, Spoiler Alert has created a community of like-minded producers who meld trap beats, hypnagogic synth trails, and a clever blend of hip-hop and video game love to put a twist on the sound Memphis is famous for.
Their seventh mixtape has been curated by T∆NDEM and includes music from many Memphis producers, lovingly wrapped in psychedelic 8-bit bacon, doused in codeine, and served with a side of some fancy Japanese sauce. It’s a blood bath of hetero-ghetto-new-age-trap. This ain’t some chopped-and-screwed, 20th-century revival muzak-ass shit. The only vapors here are coming from your roommate’s vaporizer. Weird hodgepodge samples abound. Everybody gets a slice. You dig?
• Spoiler Alert: http://www.spoiler-alert.net
Last year, Andy Stott’s magnificent Luxury Problems blew open the ears of many listeners to new possibilities for vocal performance — or, at least, new possibilities for vocal performance in the context of electronic music. In fact, more than expand the spectrum of mere “possibilities,” Stott’s album appended certain responsibilities to the treatment of the human voice in that particular realm of dark, chasmic sound. More important than reciting mere hooks or spitting looped phrases, the human voice became a tool of texture, of pure expressive force, not to be demoted to a mere messenger of morphemes.
For some listeners (this writer included), this may have been a lesson only recently learned, but surely many of Stott’s peers have known for a while. Rainer Veil — a duo from the North of England and one of Andy Stott’s label mates on Modern Love — certainly understands it. The entirety of their new EP, Struck, is available for your substantial streaming pleasure via Modern Love’s SoundCloud, embedded here. But, more specifically, allow me to direct your attention to “Bala,” the album’s centerpiece, its longest and epitomizing track. In particular, pay attention to the human sigh (at least what I assume to be human) that drops through the mix about 30 seconds in. A more sustained vocal performance shortly follows, but it’s this nearly percussive, lurching breath that makes me fall fully for the song. Rather than serve the tenuous gods of lyric, or even melody, the first sigh of “Bala” has a characteristic most like the ploughing of a ridged brushstroke, displaying a painter’s own impact and presence against his canvas, otherwise smooth.