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Tilly & the Wall is adept at being simultaneously aggressive and fun-loving, something likely due to the fact that each member of the five-person songwriting collective from Omaha, NE brings their own particular style to the table when making music. On their third, nameless album that's simply being referred to as "O," the group blends fierce attitude with party-friendly antics in the form of chugging guitars and in-your-face vocals. Bright Eyes member and engineering maestro Mike Mogis produced the album, giving songs that slick edge he's become so noted for in his work. Fans of gossip should heed the lyrics of this song, "Pot Kettle Black," as it wisely points out how talking smack will eventually catch up with you.
The Chap have, according to Ghostly's site, "never been influenced by anyone or anything at any time, ever," which makes for a rather diverse group of tracks on the London, U.K.-based band's forthcoming Mega Breakfast release. For "They Have a Name," Bradford Cox and his Atlas Sound crew throw in yet another layer of eclecticism with a remix that doesn't so much rearrange the parts of the original as capture the essence of it in a very different sounding track. The trippy drum machines have been slowed down, the vocals have been snipped out, and something that sounds akin to an 8-bit xylophone gives the new version that sweet, ambient feel present in most of Atlas Sound's music.
Most people would rather forget the taunting and name-calling they experienced during adolescence, but not Dominique Rowland. After moving to a mostly white neighborhood in Chicago as a school child, Rowland heard some ignorant classmates call him "Zulu." Rather than try to avoid the name, he embraced it, and also took inspiration from the Zulu freedom fighters of South Africa and Afrika Bambaataa's Zulu Nation. These days, Rowland uses the moniker to perform as of the hottest ragga MCs in the U.S. This track is a collaboration with San Francisco-based bhangra-ragga DJ Kush Arora. Wyatt Williams To read more about MC Zulu download a pdf of XLR8R 118.
The Milan, Italy-based trio of Albi, Froz, and Giga like to crowd their tracks with heavy beats and genre-crossing influences designed to make dancers sweat themselves into a dehydrated frenzy. Often known as 3 Is a Crowd, the group has captivated the blogosphere with edits and remixes of fellow Italians like Crookers and Congorock. We like the fact that Northern Italy seems to be listening to Baltimore these days (and vice-versa); notably, this house track features some of the Maryland inspired flavor. Wyatt Williams To read more about 3IAC, as well as other Italian artists, download a pdf of XLR8R Issue 118.
Indie rapper Dante LaSalle Dauminque Tucker, who goes by the name of Dante when performing, has steadily gained popularity in the underground hip-hop scene since his first stage appearance in 1998. Now, Tucker is gearing up for a stint on the Vans Warped Tour as well as the release of his debut solo album, Roaming Empire, which is out July 15 via his own Havoc Pro imprint. "Tucker Stomp" is off the new album.
The SoCal duo of Blu and Ta’Raach, otherwise known as C.R.A.C., favor hip-hop comprised of leftfield beats and distorted soul, and, if asked, will tell you there really is no genre you can pin their debut album, The Piece Talks into. "Buy Me Lunch," the album's lead single, features vocalist Noni Lamar and features a strange amalgamation of the MCs shouting "revolution" over some lighthearted acoustic guitars. A couple swear words and some references to AKs ensure some grit stays in the mix as well.
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