“East Kensington Run Down”
Nothing is uniquely “American” anymore, is it? You know why? America sucks. Traditionally, American music, at its core, does not suck. We know this. Chris Forsyth knows this. But Americana as an essential essence is just not as essentially essential of a thing in 2012 as perhaps it once was, and I think Forsyth is probably hip to this notion as well. So, here with “East Kensington Run Down” he sneaks in some real Eastern hypno-raga drone stylings into this linearly moving piece of music, touching simultaneously on folk and psychedelic spirituality, mixing the two into a nice blend that’s a thing of calming comfort to sink into. Check the rhythm here especially: softly motorik in pulse with nary a falter, a toe-tapper to which you can truly set your watch. And that guitar tone — nice and deep and just lovely, isn’t it?
Forsyth has a new album forthcoming on Northern Spy. Be on the lookout for Kenzo Deluxe this July.
“Terrorist Threats” ft. Danny Brown & Jhene Aiko
Compared to the rest of his Black Hippy cohorts, Ab-Soul is probably the most mysterious. Always hidden behind a pair of shades, the California rapper has a menacing cadence that stands in stark opposition to the more playful styles of Kendrick Lamar and Schoolboy Q. With his latest solo endeavor, Control System, Ab-Soul has once again demonstrated his mastery of dramatics and wordplay, and the video for his new single “Terrorist Threats” stands as a fascinating testament to that prowess. All of the rap video clichés get unsettling reinterpretations; instead of throwing his dollar bills at the camera, the rapper lights Mr. Washington on fire, while Danny Brown looms in the background with a spliff. There are no grandiose cars or mansions to be found here, just creepy shots of the empty city streets and grainy newsreels. It’s more indicative of Trent Reznor than T-Pain, and coming from a member of one of the most talented and socially-conscious rap collectives around, you’d expect nothing less.
Dean Blunt And Inga Copeland
“The Narcissist” [Inga Copeland feat. Snyper remix]
After the release last month of their stunning Black Is Beautiful (TMT Review), Dean Blunt and Inga Copeland are back with new music, this time a supposed remix. It’s a fascinating song, all sketch-like and stitched-together in a vein somewhat similar to Dean Blunt’s The Narcissist II mixtape, but with a definite Copeland vibe heard in the cut-up-ed-ness and, of course, her vocals that function here to construct something like a “chorus.” Don’t know exactly which song is being remixed here, despite the YouTube’s title sorta referencing the aforementioned mixtape, but it sounds like a rapper named Snyper (who may or may not have anything to do with the song “The Sniper” from The Attitude Era) has been invited to play in Hype(rreal) Williams’ increasingly fascinating (and incestuous) playhouse.
“Let’s Go Swimming”
We recently told you about Regional Surrealism, a forthcoming full-length by Konx-om-Pax (the pseudonym of Glasgow-based graphic designer/DJ/producer Tom Scholefield), which is why I’m hoping you’re excited about this new video for closing track “Let’s Go Swimming.” The song is by far the album’s most harmonious stretch, but it’s also one of its most memorable and, despite its idiosyncrasy, defining. Check it out above and listen to Regional Surrealism with your ears July 23 via Planet Mu.
Antony and the Johnsons
Antony and the Johnsons have contributed a new track called “Rise” to the film Coral Rekindling Venus, according to Listen Before You Buy. But this won’t be your typical movie-going experience. According to its synopsis, Coral Rekindling Venus is “[an] extraordinary journey into a mysterious realm of fluorescent coral reefs, bioluminescent sea creatures and rare marine life, revealing a complex community living in the oceans most threatened by climate change,” and to ensure this journey is an experience worthy of its subject matter, the film is only showing at full-dome digital planetariums. That’s right: Antony and the Johnsons’ music will be playing in a fucking planetarium.
Listen to “Rise” below, yet another beautiful, heart-wrenching work by Antony and the Johnsons that would well-suit the slow-moving marine life and vibrant coral reefs depicted in the film. Or better yet, grab a download of the track by donating to the Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre for Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, which serves to “empower local communities to manage the world’s most important and threatened coral reefs.”
Coral Rekindling Venus starts screening on June 5. Go here to see where.