Having built up a solid dance floor rep facilitating the much loved Boomclap weeklies in Montreal – graced by peers including Lunice, Jacques Greene, Brenmar, DJ Rashad, and Dubbel Dutch – Sinjin Hawke released a slew of vivid bootlegs and remixes in 2011 wringing the essential elements of beauty and booty out of top 40 R&B and Hip Hop, injecting symphonic chromosomes into ghettotech/grime influenced sounds. Download em.
Off the momentum of these releases, dude has recently secured a DJ residency in Barcelona. Now he’s collaborating with new friends to bend the musical arc away from poolside tourista house, toward more edgy beat chemistry – like that stirred by the cold winters and restless youth & artists of the Montreal scene.
The Lights EP – released in December on PelicanFly stretches his gritty romantic beatscapes even further. Here is a tease via megamix. Enjoy.
I’ll be damned if “Sunshine” isn’t one of the funnest dance jams I’ve heard in a while. Just try to get the thumping dusty drums, honey vocals, and that whistle out of your head, or better yet don’t. Portland based Adam Forkner (sounds) and Justin Leon Johnson (voice) sum their collective Purple and Green steez up rather well as PSYCHEDELIC LAZER FUNK & FUN TIME JAMS. ’nuff sed. Enjoy people!
Zeta Barber a.k.a. Zachariah Tucker is a man of many talents; ranging from music production to clothing and digital design – and he can give you one of the cleanest fades around. However, Zeta stands out from the throngs of self-styled muli-entrepenuers of modern hip hop culture in some very important ways. For starters, Zach’s heart matches his artistic skill and hustle. Over the last 6+ years, he has initiated countless collaborations with artists stretching the Puget Sound - scouting diverse acts from the hood to the hills to feature on his “All-City Chop” mixtapes, all while promoting and supporting the hell out of damn near everybody in the 206 hip hop scene.
His newest project finds dj Zeta Barber & The Forces of Nature at new creative-collaborative high. SoundBody represents a evolution grounded in the chop style - with a smooth osmosis of bounce, 90′s R&B nostalgia, and just the right amount of mystic blip-hop to keep it fresh. Tender Bounce is my jam! Laced with the airy vocals of True Brilliance (see indeed)- the result is another good musical look for Seattle, from a good dude.
Here is the full length official video/short film for the Weeknd’s “The Knowing”, directed by Mikael Colombu, the mind behind dark and twisty videos like Cee-Lo’s “Bodies” and Bilal’s “Robots“. The journey to and cataclysm of planet “Ethio X” in the year 16311 is a cascade of imagery evoking Stargate, Ethiopian Poli sci/Cultural studies and the grotesquely beautiful art of H.R. Geiger, all in all giving me a rare case of the slightly aroused willies. With so much provocative content to analyze – I leave further interpretation to the viewer.
As a bonus, here is a track Mr. Abel Tesfaye released last month called “Initiation”, featuring his signature R&B-for-vampires vocal stylings screwed, auto-tuned and everything in between. Peacepeace.
Spending the last couple days volunteering at the rapidly growing, 2nd annual Seattle City Arts Fest, I’ve witnessed some real gems. One of the standouts was this Seattle-based soul man Allen Stone, backed up by an airtight band. Yes, there are many would-be bohemian soulsters in the wake of the success of folks like Aloe Blacc, Jamie Lidell, and the laptop bluesman James Blake. Stone, first developing his vocal chops in the church community of Chelewah, Washington, stands out with a full soaring voice and a smooth earnestness to his spin on modern soul. Don’t sleep on the brother Stone now, get his recently released self titled album here, and don’t miss your boy as he graces Conan O’Brien’s stage on Oct. 26th!
Hip Hop has no shortage of references of an intimacy with street life, but rarely do artists bring the musicality of the streets into the beat as Mr. Green, a.k.a. Aaron Green of Highland Park, NJ does in his Live from the Streets series. Based around showcasing street musicians and turning their performances into hip hop beats, new episodes will be released every two weeks. Mr. Green’s cinematic headnodic sounds have notched collabos with C Rayz Walz, Matisyahu, Slaine of Coka Nostra fame, and pre-eminent Irish emcee Rob Kelly.
In the first episode of Live From The Streets, you find yourself in Rittenhouse Square with Brenda, a super cool lady who was singing along to her radio in the park. “Man with a Broken Heart” is available on itunes and at greenhiphop.com. A full Live from the Streets hip hop album is in the works.
Mr. Green is also accepting artistic input, so if you know of a street musician or sound that you would like to see in a future episode, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
My man Otis, a.k.a rising Seattle producer OC Notes, continues to push boundaries with The New Generation, “a collection of favorite songs written on his acoustic guitar.” The tracks reveal yet another dimension of OC’s musical range – Blues and melodic bossa nova-style strings drive most of the songs, but there’s plenty of fresh keys and dope sampling that you would expect from OC. I am very much feeling the soulful, song-cipher-on-the porch with the homies-while-sipping a cold one mellowness of this Record. Perfect soundtrack for a beautiful 85 degree Seattle Day. Holler.
Since Sole parted ways with Anticon last year, he’s been fiercely expanding his medium and message. In addition to altering hip hops genetic code with the Skyrider crew, Sole has ferociously subverted top 40/EDM cliches to exorcise deeply personal and political narratives – riding the hell out of the beats while doing so. Below is a heart/brain wrenching audio-visual collabo with UK sci-fi artist Lando (Decadence Comics), off the album Hello Cruel World, out now on Fake Four Inc.
Conversely Serengeti’s Family and Friends is his first release on Anticon. Dude a.k.a. David Cohn has been getting some love in various blogalaxies – I think deservedly so. The space and raw tenderness of the beats supplied by WHY? frontman Yoni Wolf and ex-Casiotone for the Painfully Alone mastermind Owen Ashworth leave an inviting canvass for Serengeti to paint introspective and inventive cuts like “The Whip.” Not sure who gets credit for the animated sketches in the video, but they definitely give the song an emotive heft. Props to both of these artists for having the personal inspiration and audience push to do what they are doing.