Take the Detroit sound, dip it in chocolate, then smother it in grit, blues, and a sprinkle of dubstep swing. The result would be "Hihatspectations" by 14KT. As a notable hip-hop producer and a core member of Michigan based hip-hop act The Athletic Mic League, 14KT holds a well-versed knowledge of ambient beats and smoothed out melodies on this down-tempo track. Influenced by J-Dilla, his soulful and minimal approach to his music is well accounted for in this first of many solo efforts. Courtney Freeman
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Bicoastal rapper NIAMAJ thinks that, in this period of economic recession, it’s time to give something back to the community. He’s offering up music. He and label Be Real promise to donate %100 of money earned off his latest full-length, It’s About Time, to Sacred Heart Community Service. “Love Joint,” off this charitable album, features hard-hitting lyrics spoken against funky motown horns and soft soul backup vocals cut up to function as a rhythmic accent.
It's About Time is out now on Be Real.
Switzerland-based duo Larytta released Difficult Fun last year, and with that album proved its love of pairing eclectic sounds together (African chants meeting '80s synths being one combination). Nathan Jonson (a.k.a. Hrdvsion) has turned the track "The City Walls," off the album, into a leftfield electronic playground, in which nearly every element of the music was cut, sliced, and diced.
In addition to following in his activist parents’ footsteps as an attorney for a national civil rights organization, San Antonio-born DJ Diego Bernal cuts a juicy blend of Latin American-influenced hip-hop beats. This Mexicans with Guns remix of his song “Bring it Home,” off of For Corners, makes the most of a solid horn section. For Corners is out now on Exponential.
Roots reggae meets club reggae, and Studio One legend Horace Andy didn't forget about the drums on this percussion-heavy track, off his collaborative album with Ashely Beedle. This pairing marks the second album in an ongoing series Strut has been unveiling since the beginning of 2009. Inspiration/Information - Horace Andy/Ashley Beedle is out March 3.
"That Beep" is Architecture in Helsinki's first track to ever crack the Top 40 in the band's native Australia, and with the single now available for purchase, the remixes are coming in. Here's Radioclit's colorful electro-pop-meets-afro-beat take on the synth-heavy song. The duo invited erstwhile Bondo Do Role member Marina Ribatski to stop by for a guest vocal spot on this track.
After some time, Junior Boys (Jeremy Greenspan and Matt Didemus) finally follow up on their last full-length, So This is Goodbye, with the much-awaited Be Gone Dull Care. The album was worth the wait. The Boys demonstrate their trademark panache with sensitive male vocals and subtle electro-pop melodies in "Hazel," the first single off the new album. Be Gone Dull Care will be out April 7 2009 on Domino.
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