Archive for the ‘Toronto’ tag
Sometimes you need a new sound in your life. And the end of a long week is usually that time, whether you’re looking to step it up for the weekend, or unplug on a Friday afternoon. Into the void steps The Weeknd, the psuedo-cryptic Toronto-based vaguely R & B project.
The Weeknd’s music – via the just-released 5-song free ep House of Balloons – mixes samples, instrumentation, and stuttering effects, resulting in an icy-hot final product. Each song has an emotional core, but to get there you have to walk down a long, lonely, spent sidewalk. In some ways, it’s the next step of the genre that music scribe Andrew Matson coined to desribe the sound of The XX: NoiR & B.
It’s not precisely music made for spring, when we’re supposed to be growing more hopeful, less layered, and more relaxed, but perhaps that’s why it stands out even more. Despite the hints of summer’s approach, there’s always going to be a gray morning.
More goodies below the jump, including the tracklist and the download link for a screwed version of House of Balloons. Enjoy!
The world of music that encompasses (but is not limited to) future bass, broken beat, and any number of Dilla-inflected neck-breaking soul hop, is a crowded, crowded, crowded field. And even so, there are musicians and producers staking out their own niche, building a fiefdom around a type of sound that hasn’t yet been claimed. Almost a musical homesteader, if you will, although ideally with less imperialistic underpinnings.
Toronto/Guelph, Ontario producer Elaquent is one of those guys. Also known as eQ, dude has been around for a hot minute, dropping a series of instrumental beat tapes that update the now-patented Dilla sound with a healthy infusion of 8-bit gadgetry and the pop-cultural sensibility of a true 80′s baby. Whether it’s Dibiase-esque slop or crystalline synth plinks, each song comes hard.
What sets Elaquent apart from similar producers is his ability to create sounds that have both the deep thump that moves your neck, and a light carriage that pulls the song up from the ground. The result is a refined take on a highly-evolved genre that dwells happily in your headphones, your car stereo, or as background music for that fancy dinner party you’re throwing on Friday. It’s the good.
Stream/download right here, and get a bunch more below the jump.
Toronto is a kindred city to the essence of what Last Nights Mixtape is all about: global sounds, forward thinking musicians, damn good reggae, and DJs that know how to satisfy listeners from all around the world. DJ Mensa, who we first told you about back with his solid Bilal mix, has returned with a brand new groovy project entitled Hibernation that is meant to awaken the bedroom bully in all of us. As many folks across North America are experiencing right now, this winter sucks! Global shifts have Seattle at 50 degrees and Arizona at 19 degrees. Texas is dealing with a snow storm and Miami is in the 40s every night.
That means it’s a fine time to stay inside and hibernate, right? Check out the mix that Mensa put together and feel free to play this while you’re entertaining a lover. This is contemporary soul for the intimate ones out there. Any time you can get Aaliyah, J. Cole, R. Kelly, Teedra Moses, Sade, and Zhane on one mix, you know what time it is. Stream the whole thing below/download it right here (right click, save as). Full tracklist is below.
Toronto stand up! This is straight fire and makes me think of the many days I’ve spent posted in the T-Dot kicking it with “Trini’s and Yardies” on Yonge street. Or the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) where there’s always good people, great food, and damn good music. That city doesn’t get nearly enough credit for how fresh it is so Kardinal Offishall decided to give it a proper anthem. And believe when I say, this joint is an anthem. In a recent interview with k-os, he commented how interesting it is that the most popular rapper in America this year was a Canadian dude. That’s Drake for 2010, but hopefully it’ll be Kardi for 2011. He’s got a new album dropping soon. Peep the single below.
Kardinal Offishall — “The Anthem” produced by Kardinal Offishall
I was pleased to find out Kamau’s obvious love for the T-dot manifests through some amazing youth work with Toronto’s Remix Project, an“arts, cultural and life skills incubator serving vulnerable young people located right in the heart of Toronto”. It’s dope that dude is so grounded in community, staying level headed even with the co-sign from Canadian heavyweights like K-os and Knaan.
Here’s a video with some beautiful footage of Toronto, off Kamau’s latest mixtape Love and Other Struggles: Volume 3, download the whole thang – and look out for an album from Kamau in the near future. Over this contemplative banger, Kamau’s flow evokes jazz horns – smooth, melancholy and urgent – all at the same time.
Since the mixtape is free, think about donating a little scratch toward the Remix Project or your local youth arts programs that are making space for future arts brilliance.
For Seattle folks that don’t already know, one of the 21st century’s best soul singers, Bilal, is performing at Nectar on Oct. 16th. He’ll be here singing songs off of his stellar new release, Airtight’s Revenge, and our own soul diva, Choklate, is hosting the evening. It should be a good time. This is, coincidentally the same night that Al Green is in town as well so the soul gods will surely be smiling on the Emerald City.
If you’re on the fence about Bilal — not sure how that’s even possible, but ya never know — here’s a two-hour mix recently put together by Toronto’s DJ Mensa of Bilal’s best material. This isn’t simple and corny pillow-talk R&B nor is it the kind of overly saturated material you’ll find on Clear Channel radio either. This is the real deal. And getting two hours of Bilal’s music for free is a treat no matter what.
Here’s a download link for the two hour mix. Of course, you can stream it on our site as well. Be on the lookout for a potential Bilal interview on LxNxM next week and get your tickets for the show now. $15 adv and it deserves to sell out.
I’m curious what people actually think about this video. Drake has expectations higher than a flying 747 right now and for the most part, he’s satisfied what people want in a rising pop star. Now that his album, Thank Me Later, is almost a month away from hitting stores, the pressure is probably going to double. For folks who like eye candy and a good music video, Drake’s latest for the Kanye West produced “Find Your Love” might hit people in their sweet spot. It’s also not a bad look for someone out of Toronto — where Caribbean music is massive — to cast Mavado as the “badman” that everyone loves to love. Even though the plot line is kind of tired, it works. Check it out below. The video vixen featured here, Maliah Michel, isn’t bad to look at either