Directed by Jerry ProductionSomething short, sweet and potent from the honorable Big Quis. He shuts your whole operation down in less than two minutes on this one. Simple as that.The best news of the night? Quis is planning to release My Turn 2 later this year. We’ve been patient, and it’ll be here soon enough. Put it on your mental calendar.
Shahmen – Mark is a beautiful electronic music with some bass boost for you. Shahmen is a duo made of producer SENSE, from Amsterdam, and rapper B L S aka Bless, from Los Angeles. The Shahmen sound is a dance between moments of pure tonal bliss and dark, hard, banging beats with original narratives.
GRVTY – Say to me is that electronic sound that you want to hear in summer where you are in a beautiful place with a sweet girl and party on some very beautiful beaches with a very gold sand, alot of nature and some blue pools.
A little “Groupie Therapy” is what the doctor ordered.
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After Eagles of Death Metal’s November 13 show at Le Bataclan in Paris became the site of a horrific terrorist attack, it’s been impossible to think of the band without conjuring thoughts of that previously unthinkable violence. Since then, the group’s done interviews about that night and been included in countless news stories. They were nominated for a Brit award. They’re likely haunted by ghosts.
They’ve also been asking musicians to cover “I Love You All the Time,” a song from their last album Zipper Down, with proceeds going to the Sweet Stuff Foundation’s “Play It Forward” campaign, which aids victims of the attacks. It was likely chosen because the song includes a few lines of French (“Ce soir c’est le soir et toi avec moi/ Et tu viens me voir, tu viens ouh la la,”etc.), but also because its themes are universal, and easily adaptable (such as the song’s title). So far the people who’ve tackled it include Florence and the Machine, Savages, My Morning Jacks, Kings of Leon, Jimmy Eat World, Pearl Jam’s Matt Cameron, and Nada Surf.
Nobody has so thoroughly transformed “I Love You All the Time” as successfully as Chelsea Wolfe. Her deep, eerie half-speed version loses the original’s party-time feel; instead, we’re offered a gorgeous, melancholic late-night incantation. (In a way, it’s reminiscent of “The Waves Have Come,” Wolfe’s Pain Is Beauty ballad inspired by the 2011 magnitude-9 earthquake and subsequent tsunami that devastated Japan, which she wrote from the perspective of someone surviving a disaster.) In Wolfe’s “I Love You All the Time,” the lines “I’m never alone, I look at my phone/ If I call you up, you’re never at home” become especially heartbreaking. The repeated “I would beg if I thought it would make you stay” take on an entirely new meaning, a last grasp at life in the face of an inevitable, unexpected death. In remaking of the track, she found a way to own it.
The electronic musician James Hinton, who peforms music as the Range, has worn the same hat and buttoned-up shirt combo each time I’ve seen him perform. There’s something comfortably consistent about it, and that can be said of his music, too. For instance, his new album, Potential, feels very much like a refined continuation of 2013’s Nonfiction. In some ways, it comes off like its second part, more than an entirely new entity.
This is praise. Nonfiction found a way to make moving, emotionally resonant electronic music from seemingly not much more than YouTube samples and a great sense of dynamics and melody. Like Nonfiction, Potential features YouTube clips of anonymous people who bolster and humanize Hinton’s compositions. Hinton explains: “I found each person by using a small set of search terms on YouTube… I endeavored to tie the songs of Potential together by telling my own story alongside the stories of the people I sampled.”
The words are sometimes moving, sometimes textural, and they can often bloom as amazing hooks—even if they didn’t sound polished in their original form. On “Florida,” for example, a shaky a cappella cover of Ariana Grande’s “You’ll Never Know” becomes a star turn in Hinton’s hands. He threads the woman’s voice through a mix of spritely electronics that bring to mind Nobukazu Takemura, twinkling steel drums, and an infectious dynamic upswing to create a dance-floor anthem. Listening to her in this new context, you begin to see what she heard inside her head when she decided to upload her clip to the internet. And it’s beautiful.
PJ Harvey – The Wheel is rock song to emerge from her long-awaited ninth LP might illuminate the intention. In “The Wheel,” some 28,000 children have disappeared, and all we do is watch. We see them play and die violent deaths, witness their public memorial, and “watch them fade out,” as Harvey sings over 20 times at the end. The figure has no attribution: a crass search of “28,000 children disappear” brings up figures pertaining to gun crime, child street labor in Kabul, or the number of NATO troops initially sent to Kosovo in the late 1990s. The wheel turns and one tragedy swiftly replaces another, seizing air-time and attention.
Rihanna – Higher is a song about the desire for late-night sex and companionship so urgent that it actually feels like a song about how much it hurts to have a Humvee back over your leg. And that is because Rihanna gives so much of herself in the vocal booth that it feels like she might pass out.
The song is yet another masterful piece of work from No I.D., whose late-career résumé at Def Jam is threatening to eclipse his golden-age rap bona fides at this point. He builds a track that sounds like a soul revue sliding off a collapsing stage, a wandering violin doodling random shit in the background. This song is two minutes long, but it is a complete transmission from someplace more louche and heartbroken and painful than our world.