It's a safe bet that we're not the only ones counting down the days until the release of No Más, the debut full-length from Brooklyn duo Javelin. To tide us over, the playful cut-and-paste specialists have handed over "Oh! Centra," a hyperactive pop confection that pairs silly, helium-voiced '80s playground raps with light-hearted melodies and Game Boy-era blips and bleeps. Normally this kind of camp sends us running for the hills, but this is the sort of goofiness we can get behind.
Sitting over here in Americaville, it's easy to imagine '70s funk and soul as something that happened in a bubble exclusively limited to the borders of the good ol' US of A. In reality, half the globe was jamming out to these grooves, not to mention making their own, especially in Africa, as evidenced by the cottage industry of Afro-funk reissues that has sprouted up in recent years. Oddly enough, that crate-digging wave was partially set off by the 2001 release of Afro-Rock Vol.1 on the tiny Kona label. Now the folks at Strut have decided to reissue that groundbreaking compilation, and they've sent along the previously unavailable, non-album bonus track "Odi-Yoo" to whet everyone's appetite. If the track's head-nodding bassline and psychedelic guitar work are any indication of what kind of trip Afro-Rock Vol.1 has to offer, it's a journey not to be missed the second time around.
Within three years, singer/songwriter/producer Georgia Anne Muldrow has cemented herself as somewhat of an anomaly. As a self-contained artist with album projects on an array of indie labels, it’s apparent that Muldrow is intent on being at the helm of her D.I.Y. destiny. Kings Ballad, a reference to the recently departed king of pop, is a breathtaking part of that continuum. Read more »
Friendly Fires and Holy Ghost! first came up with the plan to cover each other's tracks in Corsica last summer, but only after several months has the plan come to fruition. Holy Ghost! have their contemporary classic "Hold On" covered, while Friendly Fires' "On Board" is given a nice re-work which includes some of the last drumming that the legendary Jerry Fuchs ever recorded. Available March 8 as a split single on XL and DFA, you can check out a preview of Holy Ghost! covering "On Board" after the jump! Read more »
A product of Pontiac, Michigan, One Be Lo (a.k.a. Nahshid Sulaiman) grew up amongst the despair and urban decay of a region devastated by the rapidly disappearing auto industry. Rapping and producing since his high-school days under the name One Man Army, he first made waves as one half of Binary Star before breaking out as a solo artist, founding the Subterraneous label/collective and changing his name to One Be Lo in the mid-'00s. Sulaiman converted to Islam as a young man, which inspired trips to the Middle East and his eventual move to Egypt in 2007; he now splits time between metro Detroit and Cairo. Currently putting the finishing touches on his new album, Baby, which should see the light of day this spring, One Be Lo took the time to let us know about a few joints he's been feeling. Read more »
"Twist in My Sobriety" was, unfortunately, never as big a hit in the US as it was in Europe, but with the arrival of Alf Tumble's lovely edit of Tanita Tikaram's 1988 pop masterpiece, its obscure status is bound to change. Like Giorgio Moroder's lush take on Janis Ian's "Fly Too High" or any number of Kate Bush edits, Tumble does a masterful job of preserving the original's emotional intensity as well as expanding upon its synth work, bulking it up and adding some fierce kicks below it. Inspired by his own "battle" with alcohol and coffee—he claims to be three weeks clean on both fronts—perhaps Tumble's finest move was to leave Tikaram's amazing vocals intact, with only minimal tweaks here and there. Though not necessarily a floor-filling banger, this edit of "Twist in My Sobriety" is perfect for wistful bedroom dancing, and sometimes, that's perfect.
It's a wonder that Ellen Allien has time to make records any longer, what with running BPitch Control, designing clothes for her fashion line, and constantly touring the world. But even with this frenetic pace of activity, Allien has taken only two years to finish her follow-up to 2008's Sool. Read more »
DJ Donna Summer (a.k.a. Jason Forrest) does an interesting turn on "Raw," incorporating some excellent tribal house beat samples into what's otherwise a serviceable bass track. With the incorporation of excellent secondary percussive bits, a seductive vocal snippet and a spacey, somewhat squelchy melodic line, the piece certainly does have its charms. Taken from DDS's latest EP, which comes out tomorrow, you can also peep the video for the track here.
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