Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
I’m writing this post swathed in the itchiest cardigan known to man. It’s camel-colored, and someone must have stubbed out a few camels on this thing, because there are some curious holes near the elbows. But there’s something really magical about the art of digging through dirty racks of clothes at your local senior center or thrift shop and finding your own little treasure. Well, Seattle rapper Macklemore has come up with a nice little ditty to hum to yourself while you pore over some itchy sweaters. “I’ma take your grandpa’s style!” he boasts, romping around the Goodwill with reckless abandon. There are also funny jokes about R. Kelly’s bed sheets.
• Macklemore: http://www.macklemore.com
Staying is Nowhere
A post about a tape on Field Hymns is almost just an excuse to put another fabulous work of visual art from Tiny Little Hammers up on a website. Take this one, for example. I mean, look at that fuckin’ thing. I want to hire this guy to put a mural on my body. Fortunately for everyone, the music that goes with these beautiful j-card inserts is always top notch. Here we have new sounds from Norway’s Andreas Brandal, who’s been releasing music since the 1980s or something crazy like that. I’m not super hip to everything he’s got out, but this new one is equal parts ohm and “ommmmmm.” Something of an alien wasteland is painted, subdued colors and somber melodies streaking across a black canvas, Brandal culling mountains, valleys, and softly rolling waves of tone from what seems like sheer nothingness. The sum feels like a universe slowly expanding and contracting; at times claustrophobic, at others wide-open and free-floating. Total zoner.
ahnnu, a.k.a. Leland Jackson, has many fans at Tiny Mix Tapes. Jackson’s latest ahnnu tape, pro habitat, blew us away, and his other tapes from this year (Couch and Dog City) had lots of the chewy, bathdub’d beats that we just eat up here. But his latest release, WERKS, is unlike any of them. This time adopting his cakedog moniker, Jackson follows up last year’s $ TRAXZ VOL .1 $ with another stab at footwork. There are some aesthetic similarities to be found between ahnnu and cakedog — impeccable sample selection, his love of the gun cock, etc. — but WERKS, on the whole, is a different beast. Rather than barely-there beats transmitted in a fuzzy haze from L.A., the tracks here have the stuttering hi-hats, stabby tom hits, crackling snares, and bass thuds that set those Chicago circles ablaze.
Listen with your feet:
Tiny Concrete Block
The notes to this upcoming release from the Project Mooncircle camp are so devoid of intelligibility that they are genuinely exhilarating. For example: “The music trickles in. It sounds like it was made in a toy factory. Hold on. Let me reach for the button over there. Childhood memories. The magical sounds of a roundabout sending you to sleep.” I haven’t seen such joyous nonsense since I laid a set of eyes on the press release for Bear In Heaven’s Beast Rest Forth Mouth, which claimed not only that the band had “unbuttoned sound and realigned it,” but also that they’d somehow managed to “redefine time, and fold it.” Whatever that means, they most definitely didn’t do it.
Anyway, what’s important here is that Kidsuke is a happy marriage. Kidkanevil may reside in Yorkshire, but his releases and performances are saturated in Japanese imagery. Daisuke Tanabe is a Japanese resident with a penchant for the soulful and the complex. Consequently, their first offering is a playful paean to the joys of collaboration. No one invades the limelight, no one steals the show. Instead, each element locks humbly in place thanks to slow xylophone and churning bass.
“Upload My Selecta”
Over here we got mad people griping on a Tuesday. Brothers be all, “POW-POW, I ain’t got no money; this a finger-gun stickup,” and sisters hollering, “Yo, I’m either hungover or just full from eating this weekend.” But for a Daytonite gone West Coast… it’s all judge shows, soaps, the 700 Club, and infomercials. Err, that is, Jónó Mí Ló musicking as Daytime Television, who makes that antenna fuzz a hell of a dance party. “Upload My Selecta” baring some Jam City-style beat intensity, white noise-snaring, and cellphone-against-cellphone-against-cellphone warped vocals. Shit is like looking into your wireless mouse and seeing technology (sun) spots for hours after. The man is a model for the future, with a release on Ailanthus, a co-release as Teamm Jordann on Orange Milk, and a collab with Coyote Clean Up.
Enjoy the single, and maybe donate to his Tumblr below.
• Daytime Television: http://daytimetelevision.tumblr.com
If there’s any artist who’s on a winning streak with music videos right now, there’s no question: it’s Azealia Banks. The past month has seen smash after visual smash: the clips “Van Vogue” and “1991” are glossy, expertly shot, and perfect showcases for the up-and-coming MC’s skills. After the bright yellows and reds of “1991,” director Clarence Simmons has opted for a more modest approach, setting Banks against the majestic backdrop of New York in simple black-and-white. It’s not fancy in any sense: Banks’ attire is simple, her choreography wholly natural, and Gotham takes on just as large a role in the production. Which makes me wonder if there’s any chance that Azealia Banks can take me on a walking tour sometime — she seems to know all the best stoops.