Buff1 doesn’t mind coming across a little arrogant “because that’s the point,” claims the Ann Arbor, MI-based mic slinger. With a lyrical prowess backed by soulful, swanky beats, he waxes poetic about his enviable competencies well-beyond his elegantly flowing rhymes on “Real Appeal.” After spending 10 years alongside 14KT, Grand Champ, Texture, Tres Styles, Vital, and DJ Haircut, in the Athletic Mic League, and sharing the stage with the likes of Mos Def, Ghostface Killer, De La Soul, and other well-respected hip-hop luminaries, Buff1 debuted as a solo artist in 2007, with the critically acclaimed Pure. The buzz has gotten louder with his sophomore release, There’s Only One, featuring collaborations with Black Milk, The Lab Techs, Now On, and Athletic Mic League.
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After an intro reminiscent of theme music from a quasi-futuristic cheesy '70s action flick, The Show Is the Rainbow (known to his mom as Darren Keen) combines witty commentary with a wide assortment of instrumentation and programming to generate a distinct sound that goes beyond our abilities to genre define. The track is a sneak preview from his upcoming LP, Wet Fist, from Omaha’s own one-man band that creates a multi-faceted, eclectic fusion of rock, electronics, and hip-hop that pays homage to the the likes of Frank Zappa, Squarepusher, and early Beck. You can catch TSITR’s energetic and notoriously audience interaction-heavy live show as he currently tours the U.S. with The Faint. Justin Maxson
Daedelus has made some new friends, it seems, namely, Johnny Sierra and Beau Velasco of The Death Set, who've remixed his track, "Fair Weather Friends." The new version is most certainly not the breezy, fun-loving, summertime-suitable jam that appeared on Daedelus' recent album, Love To Make Music To. Sierra and Velasco relocated their frenzied production energy from Gold Coast, Australia to Baltimore some time ago, and the track here would best be heard between the walls of some Charm City club equipped to handle the earth-shaking bass and ear-splitting feedback. Clips of cheering crowds were added too, perhaps for the sake of authenticity. Photo by Paul O'Valle.
This one should please fans of brooding electronic music. The Emergency consists of a couple guys who go by the names Milo and Morgan, and hail from Melbourne, Australia. "Forever" comes off the duo's recently released 12", which also contains a remix by S.F. Bay Area producer C.L.A.W.S. A zillion influences spring to mind on listening to the original cut–Kraftwerk, Depeche Mode, Colder, and pretty much everyone on the Modular imprint. This one builds slowly, so wait patiently.
Remember Home Video? Warp Records is responsible for discovering the duo of David Gross and Collin Ruffino, who later released 2006's No Certain Night or Morning on Defend Music. It's been a minute since we've heard a peep from these guys, but amid all the CMJ madness happening this week, word came through that a new EP is due out next month. This will be the first release from the band since 2006, and we're liking the new musical direction, which is starkly different from the band's earlier, more minimalist work. "I Can Make You Feel It" lives up to its name, given that we've been sitting here all morning with the track on repeat, pondering the complex combination of electro rhythms and mournful lyrics about loneliness and self-medication via alcohol. It's all weirdly depressing and stimulating at the same time. Jennifer Marston. Photo by Sarah Wilmer.
Matthew Herbert's latest offering isn't made entirely from sampled food sounds, but as with that record, the musical innovator has a bone to pick on his latest album. Besides being a dense palate of avant-jazz, There's Me and There's You is, at its heart, a collection of protest songs whose subjects span the Iraq war, climate change, religion, monarchy... pretty much everything that shows up on the front page of BBC news every morning. "The Story," which aims its pointer at economic inequality, was created from a collection of mainstream media products, including The Sun newspaper, gossip magazines, and a Madonna album. "This track is about the absence of anything of consequence in so much of our media," Herbert says. "It's part of a collective failure of the imagination, and a determined and considered plan by corporate media companies for it to remain that way. That's part of my responsibility as an artist, to try and reconnect those dots." As usual, Herbert is backed by his inimitable Big Band, featuring some of Britain's best musicians.
The members of the Zizek collective sure know how to keep themselves busy. Besides running a weekly party in Buenos Aires, Argentina, touring North America (twice), and releasing a steady stream of free mixtapes (including a top-shelf podcast for XLR8R), the crew has also started its own record label, ZZK Records. Only a handful of releases have seen the light of day so far, the latest being Pibe Cosmo, the debut album from El Remolón. After honing his microsampling skills for years as an IDM and minimal techno artist, El Remolón decided to tackle Latin rhythms, like cumbia and reggaeton. "La Bonita" is a perfect example of the results, as the song's delicate melodies and childlike vocal samples eventually give way to a lazy cumbia beat. Next week El Remolón will be heading across the Atlantic as part of Zizek's first-ever European tour. He'll be joined by compatriots Villa Diamante and El G. Dates 10/29-11/2 Seville, Spain - World Music Exposition (WOMEX) 11/07 Oslo, Noway - Oslo World Music Festival 11/13 Amsterdam, Netherlands - OCII 11/14 Rotterdam, Netherlands - WORM 11/21 Barcelona, Spain - Club Nitsa 11/27 Zaragoza, Spain - Zaragoza Latin Festival 11/29 Malmo, Sweden - The Rumble 12/04 London, England - Movimientos 12/05 London, England - Secousse w/Radioclit
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