After a year-long battle with cancer that also included a much-publicized heart attack, MC Guru passed away last night. Founder of the pioneering hip-hop group GangStarr, Guru was not only known for his uncompromising flows, but an approach to hip-hop production that paid homage to (and included collaborations with) jazz legends such as Donald Byrd and Branford Marsalis. Read more »
As the last testament from the format-catholic PDX noise duo, the fittingly titled Going Places crystallizes the tension that made for Yellow Swans' sporadic genius and, one assumes, their unraveling. Like Gowns, another foiled and convincing noise band, Yellow Swans' music is political in the most bummed and personal way. "Opt Out," "Limited Space," and "New Life" are titles of some of the dark-hued, percolating dust clouds contained on the record. Read more »
Next week, Bok Bok and L-Vis 1990's Night Slugs label will be releasing its third record, the I.R.L. EP from fellow London upstart Girl Unit, who, incidentally, is neither a girl nor a multi-person unit. In the meantime, the guys have been kind enough to offer an exclusive stream of three tracks from the EP, right here on XLR8R.com. Read more »
Just a couple years ago, you couldn’t chuck a thizz pill a few feet in the Bay Area without hitting a hyphy-rapping newjack. While there are plenty trying to recreate that carefree vibe, others realize there are realer issues to discuss. Rapper DaVinci (a.k.a. John DeVore) represents San Francisco’s neglected Fillmore district. His debut album, The Day the Turf Stood Still, looks at gentrification and the changing faces of black communities, while reminding fans what raw rhymes and gritty beats sound like. Read more »
So maybe this whole moombahton thing has some legs after all. What started as Dave Nada slowing down some Dutch house tunes to appease his Latin-music-loving little cousins is beginning to blossom into a full-fledged movement. Enter Munchi, a producer from the Netherlands who has previously dabbled in dubstep, B-more, bubbling, baile funk, and a number of other genres. But now he's unveiled the Moombahton Promo EP—which can be downloaded for free from his blog—and dude has seriously upped the ante on this nascent style. The entire EP is loaded with infectiously blaring synths and rumbling reggaeton beats, but "Metele Ballaco" is especially potent with its "Planet Rock" samples and fired-up raps en español.
Black Moth Super Rainbow frontman—if you can call a guy who sits on the floor during their shows a frontman—Tobacco's sophomore solo effort, Maniac Meat is rapidly approaching its May 25 release date. "Fresh Hex" is the latest album taster to be released into the wild, and it features an all-star guest appearance from LA troubadour Beck, whose trademark quaver pairs quite nicely with Tobacco's usual assortment of blown-out hoover beats, psychedelic synths, and hip-hop beats.
If the age-old adage is applicable here, Steal Your Face is the storm following the calm of Mi Ami's debut, Watersports. "Harmonics (Genius of Love)" opens the SF band's sophomore effort using all of their sonic elements at once: reverb-addled vocals, dubby basslines, distorted guitar work, and propulsive drumming. Read more »
We don't care what Pitchfork says—"Drunk Girls" is a really annoying song and didn't exactly get us excited for the forthcoming LCD Soundsystem album, This Is Happening, slated for release on May 18. The "Drunk Girls" video, on the other hand, is borderline genius. (Also, we've heard the rest of the album and it's much better.) Read more »
Hot on the heels of releasing The Juan MacLean's DJ-Kicks, !K7 has just announced the tracklist for Kode9's contribution to the venerated mix series, which comes out June 22. Check it after the jump. Read more »
This week, Brooklyn lo-fi acid-house revivalists and organic techno enthusiasts Blondes will be gracing the Golden State with a number of shows and DJ sets. Given that our San Francisco office has been drooling over these guys for months while our NY office repeatedly lords it over us just how great they (and apparently every other band in Brooklyn) is, we're pretty excited to check out Blondes in person. Read more »
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