The thing that makes chillwave such an easy genre to poke fun at (aside from the deplorable title, of course) is the ease and frequency with which these youngsters write, record, and share their music. But maybe that's its strong point, too; the songs you're hearing are born of a youthful exuberance that stems from the immediacy of their creation and unveiling. One such producer, San Francisco's Blackbird Blackbird is a high-school student named Mikey S, who's making electronic bedroom-pop that leans heavily on twinkling synth tones, patently reverb-laden coos, and simple, thumping dance beats. "Hawaii" is a fine example of the music maker's knack for catchy melodies and vocal hooks that speak directly to your uncynical, lighthearted inner teen. You can snag a whole lot more of Blackbird Blackbird's material here on his Tumblr page, and buy his new album Summer Heart here. (via Get Off the Coast)
Downloads - Page 542
Black Milk set the bar somewhat high for himself when he decided to title his upcoming full-length Album of the Year, from which this track is taken. On "Welcome (Gotta Go)," the Detroit MC/producer delivers a synth-heavy piece of shuffling hip-hop beats full of his infectious flow and a small choir helping out in the background. We couldn't say it's necessarily 'best of' material, but if the rest of Black Milk's album follows suit, he may not disappoint on his claim after all. (via Pitchfork)
One of the female members of LA's beat scene, Tokimonsta paired up with Montreal's Lunice, and German producer Swede:art to present us with a fresh tune off of the Various Assets compilation, coming soon via Red Bull Music Academy. Their collaborative song, "Alpenglow," matches Lunice's crunchy beat with Swede:art's soulful key tickling and Toki's squelchy bass synth explorations—creating a shuffling, spacey R&B-flavored tune wholly unique from each producer's separate styles. It's something you can expect more of from the likes of James Pants, Katy B, Space Dimension Controller, Dâm-Funk, Hudson Mohawke, and many of the other producers involved with this year's RBMA in London when Various Assets is released July 19.
Production duo LOL Boys (pictured above) snagged the pieces of fellow two-piece Korallreven's hazy Balearic pop number "Loved-Up" and reformatted them into something a bit less subtle, rhythmically speaking, though as equally filled with delicate atmosphere. The bouncing beat and swirling melodies are plenty enjoyable, but it's the way LOL Boys toy with the dainty vocal track that really catches our attention. At first, the thin falsetto is chopped up and warped as a more percussive melody, which is matched equally by the beautifully sung lyrics, "I'm so loved up/I'm so scared," themselves soaked in dreamy reverb.
If you asked someone to describe what is needed to create a song, or asked them what elements music in general should consist of, you're likely to get a handful of long-winded responses that could be boiled down to two parts: rhythm and melody. Aside from, say, certain noise and experimental acts, it's a fair enough breakdown, but it makes us wonder where Chicago's juke/footwork scene fits in. Like with this track from DJ Nate's upcoming Hatas Our Motivation EP for Planet Mu, much of the genre isn't the least bit interested in discernible melodies (save for quickly pitch-shifted, atonal vocal samples), and much of the bass-centric rhythms involved are so all over the place that a groove can be difficult to find. Still, there's obviously no denying that this is music pure and simple; it just happens to be unlike anything else we've had the pleasure of putting our ears to. (via 20JFG)
Brooklyn producer Brad Loving (a.k.a. Lobisomem) is one of those guys who is anything but married to a single style or sound. Lazy journalists might just slap the IDM tag on him and call it a day, but that glosses over Loving's extreme attention to detail and ability to fold together minute slabs of audio from varied genres, influences, and even continents. On September 14 he'll be releasing Onze Pedras, his full-length follow-up to the Brightest Solids EP that came out earlier this year. "Concussus" is the only snippet we've heard so far, but it appears that Loving's desire to elegantly combine sounds from across the musical spectrum remains unabated. Utilizing a sparse casio beat that could have been borrowed from the Morr Music catalog, Loving brings in a warbling trumpet, crackling bits of static, finely chopped vocal snippets, and slowly boiling synth swells before the track's four minutes come to an end. Let's hope that the rest of Onze Pedras contains similarly unique recipes.
Apparently, the well of quality vintage post-punk hasn't gone dry just yet. While the onslaught of post-punk nostalgia over the past decade often makes the latest reissue of a previously hard-to-find "gem" a dubious prospect, Brooklyn's SoftSpot label has seemingly discovered the genre's last great untapped field—Belgium. Last year the label kicked off with the reissue of a 7" from early-'80s Belgian outfit AA, and just this month has followed it up with the release of We Live in a System, a 12" LP featuring the work of fellow Belgians Kebab. "Life It's a Joke" originally appeared on a 1982 7", and finds the quartet's angular guitars and bouncing basslines sounding a lot like those of contemporaries Delta 5 and Bush Tetras. The original "Life It's a Joke" 7" was long a staple on record collector want lists, but now it's been reissued on vinyl and compiled with all of the band's known studio recordings and key selections from its original 1981 demo tape. The We Live in a System 12" is available for sale here.
- NewsCheck Out Caribou's 'Essential Mix' for BBC Radio 1
- NewsStream a New Track from Om Unit's Upcoming EP for Metalheadz
- NewsListen to Slam's Upcoming 'Reverse Proceed' LP for Soma
- FeatureLabels You Love: The Top 20 Labels, As Voted by XLR8R Readers
- FeatureGetting Down, Biking Around, and Reveling in the Final Days of Trouw: Reflections on ADE 2014
XLR8R Downloads Player