A new piece of music by a band, which, couple of years ago, managed to send shivers down our spines.
Aloe Blacc is an American rapper, singer and musician. He started his career as a member of the underground hip-hop group Emanon. After a few years, he got deeper and deeper into American soul and R&B. A few years ago, he signed to Stone Throw, an independent and highly-regarded Los Angeles-based label. His album “Shine Through” presented him not only as talented singer but also as an up-to-date producer for his future-R&B pieces inspired by works of, for instance, Madlib.
The latest single from Aloe Blacc taps into the great tradition of American soul and R&B. “I Need A Dollar” is based on the simple piano sample, bringing to mind the music of Sam Cooke or Marvin Gaye. Definitely worth a dollar and your attention.
Another band inspired by Buddy Holly’s evergreen classic.
There are countless artists that have paid tribute to or other of Buddy Holly songs. “Peggy Sue” is no exception: the list is impressive and it includes The Beatles as well as Family Guy and now there is a British indie folk band named after this marvellous song. Although Peggy Sue has been around for five years, they released their debut album just a few weeks ago. Entitled “Fossils And Other Phantoms”, it was preceded by the single “Yo Mama”.
“Yo Mama” is a perky song based on the acoustic guitar and marching drums. The band’s singer sounds a bit like PJ Harvey or Joanna Newsom – if only she decided to smile more often! A joyful song indeed..or even indied!
“Here’s your money back, here’s your punk rock back” – that’s what the Japandroids are chanting out on their latest single and, whilst I can’t guarantee anything about the money, I can truly say it’s another great punky number. Japandroids is a Canadian duo highly influenced by bands such as Fugazi and McLusky. Even though all they use are drums and guitar, their music is raw and highly in carbohydrates. Last year they released their debut, “Post-Nothing”, which met with an enthusiastic reception. As a result, the band signed to the reputable independent label, Polyvinyl (best known for their releasing, Of Montreal). This year they’ve released this single. The B-side is a manic cover of Big Black’s “Racer X”, but the other track is their own composition.
For all of you who got used to the Japandroids’ unique brand of humour, “Art Czars” might come as a surprise. This latest single is still melodious and memorable, but it’s filled with anger. In any case, though, it’s punk, so clench your fist and play it loud!
The long-awaited new track from the forthcoming album of this German band.
Lali Puna is a project from Munich, Germany, known for their highly-acclaimed previous releases, notably “Scary World Theory”. Valerie Trebenjahr, the vocalist, along with drummer Christoph Brandner (Tied & Tickled Trio), keyboardist Christian Heiß, and Markus Acher (from the popular band The Notwist) create an atmospheric blend of pop and electronic music.Now, it seems like ages ago, but since the release of their last album, “Faking the Books”, in 2004, Lali Puna had a gig in Wroclaw at the Metropolis club, along with some techno/house projects. The delicate voice of Valerie, who has an Asian origin and looks like a little Japanese girl, resounded through the club and totally changed the atmosphere of this hard electro event. We hope Lali Puna will visit our city again, maybe soon, on a promotional tour for their new album, “Our Inventions”, which is now available. You can also check out another song, “That Day”, together with a beautiful video from Yu Sato, on the website www.lalipuna.de.
For last few months, we’ve been playing a game with Los Angeles. The Californians have been doing everything they can to remind us of golden funk era, whilst we’ve been pretending that we still haven’t got it – just to get more.
Along with Damon Riddick and Sa Ra Creative Partners, a number of talented producers is skillfully follow in Prince’s footsteps… and not only his. Devonwho is a new contestant in this revival’s game and his first releases are very promising. “Keepthefunkalive” – which could be the motto for the whole movement – is an instrumental track that can be described only as “futuristic”. It juxtaposes R&B synths with an almost hip-hopish rhythm section. “Keepthefunkalive” reminds you not only of Dam-Funk’s “Toeachizown” but also “Sensual Seduction” from Snoop Dogg or the works of another outstanding debutant – Krystal Klear. If it’s Barack Obama to whom we owe this revival of, so called, Black music, he deserves to be reelected.
Even if he doesn’t look like a punk rocker anymore, his soul was surely built in the garage and he reminds us of this every year.
There are very few people to whom garage rock owes as much as it does to Frank Black. This Boston-born musician was the leader of the incredibly influential band, Pixies. Generally speaking, every second guitar band in their 90′s derived their style from them. Albums like “Doolittle” or “Surfer Rosa” are widely regarded as absolute classics and it’s hard to imagine what Nirvana or Weezer would sound like without this great inspiration. When Pixies, unfortunately, disbanded, its leader started a solo career. From then on, he began to release albums under his own name with almost annual frequency – 2010 is no exception.
“NONSTOPEROTIK” hit the shelves two weeks ago. Our weekly pick is “Six Man Legged” – a dynamic piece of garage rock. The song nicely contrasts the melodious choruses with a bit of a noisy, guitar-driven instrumental part. Whilst everybody else just rips Pixies off, Frank Black is just following them up and has been rocking the scene since 1986.
The new single from Erykah Badu will take you back to the times of “Baduizm”…and it’s a really beautiful journey!
The fifth album from the widely-acclaimed queen of neosoul – “New Amerykah Part Two (Return of the Ankh)” is both a completion and the total opposite of the previous Badu release. It differs from “4th World War” not only in the message it brings (personal lyrics focused on relationship issues rather than politically involved ones) but also on the field of sound. “Return Of The Ankh” is, for the most part, an analogue album that makes a use of live instruments and samples. Although the album sounds more traditional than its predecessor, it’s still fresh and up-to-date, as Badu invited respected producers to help her realise her artistic vision.
“Window Seat” is the main single promoting “Return Of The Ankh”. It was co-produced by Grammy Winning songwriter and producer James Poyser. The subtle and mellow piano melody juxtaposed with Badu’s warm timbre complements this soothing ballad.
Although we’re not forcing you to love Broken Social Scene, we would thoroughly recommend that you do.
Just a month after revealing their forthcoming album’s opening track (“World Sick”), the Canadian band has unravelled the next pieces of “Forgiveness Rock Record”. The fourth album of this extraordinary Toronto-based rock orchestra is due to be released on the 4th of May. This recording has been highly anticipated, since Broken Social Scene returned after five-year long hiatus. What is more, some of the band members have pursued solo careers in the interim (with albums from Leslie Feist, Brendan Canning, Kevin Drew). As tension is sufficiently high, let’s check out another teaser!
Broken Social Scene has just released a single containing two songs, “Forced To Love” and “All To All”. The former is just a typical classic band’s upbeat rock song. It’s sung by Kevin Drew and has a marvellous guitar part. Another great preview of “Forgiveness Rock Record”.
Even though I don’t think that the Sly mentioned above refers to the leader of the legendary funk group, I bet he would like this Australian band.
The Bamboos is a widely acclaimed Melbourne-based funk group that has been recording music for the last ten years. At first the band was recording mainly instrumental pieces, based on the brass section and Hammond Organ. This has changed in 2008 when the band was officially joined by Kylie Auldist – an Australian soul vocalist. Our this week pick promotes The Bamboos forth album.
“On The Sly” is a warming song, based on the rakish bass motif and the oldschool Hammond Organ. The instrumental part is perfectly completed by the Motown-like vocals of Kylie Auldist. The single is extremely catchy, so you’ll immediately consider it familiar, even if it comes from the opposite part of the world.
A relaxing song by an unconventional artist.
It is said that Alfred Weisberg-Roberts chose the moniker “Daedelus” because he’s always trying to be as inventive as possible. He can play double bass and bass clarinet and studied jazz, but his main interest was always in mixing sounds from the 30′s and 40′s with children’s records, spoken word and soundtracks into a blend of IDM, as it is today. Daedalus talks of HipHop-tronic-disco Alfred Weisberg-Roberts-nujack-swing. His melodies are sometimes melfluous, lovely and charming, but the arrangements are often childish and done with a huge dose of artistic freedom. Daedelus is not just an prolific musician. He’s also witty when it comes to titles: 2003′s Rethinking the Weather, 2004′s Of Snowdonia, 2005′s Exquisite Corpse, and 2006′s Daedelus Denies the Day’s Demise. “Order Of The Golden Dawn” is a piece of chillout music with a gentle female vocal, evoking Koop and popular balearic sounds.
The music from this Polish duo is the exact opposite to the German cream – it’s definitely neither sensitive nor easy on the ear.
The “…01″ album is the result of a collaboration between Wroclaw-based producer Dawid Szczęsny and Poznań-based graphic, poetry and audio performer Wojciech Bąkowski. Niwea‘s sound is a blend of their hip-hop past filtered through synth-pop and new wave influences. Thus, their debut is a bit experimental, but it does contain some strong pop-influenced aspects as well. Bąkowski’s language is simple and colloquial, which fits with the gloomy, obscure sound of “…01″.
The second album’s single “Miły Młody Człowiek” (“A Nice Young Man”) oscillates between post-punk pulsation and pop accessibility. It’s not the kind of music you fall in love with on the first hearing, but in spite of this, it’s innovative and intriguing. Dirty and overwhelming? Well, there is a reason behind the genre’s name. It’s “urban” – not “spa” music.
In the dark days of catchy choruses and sweet melodies, who can save uncompromising European rock?
Norway, unfairly, remains in the shadow of the great Swedish music machine. This small nation has given to the world such artists as Royksopp, Jaga Jazzist, Kings Of Convenience or Lindstrom (not to mention their highly developed jazz and metal scenes). Another band Norwegians should be proud of is Serena Maneesh – an intriguing shoegazing band. Although their self-titled debut album met with a very positive reception all around the world, they made us wait five years for a follow up.
At last, “Serena Maneesh 2: Abyss in B Minor” has hit the shelves. The album took two years to record, partly in a cave outside Oslo. The result is a absorbing mixture of My Bloody Valentine-like melodies and Jesus and Mary Chain-like distortions. “Blow Yr Brains In The Mourning Rain” somehow speaks for itself – a powerful, guitar-driven tune that Jonathan Pierce would love. Hopefully, you will too!
Another talented girl from Ninja Tune is always good news!
There is no doubt that Ninja Tune is one of the most remarkable labels in the history of independent music, responsible for bringing us such artists as Bonobo, Deadelus, Coldcut, DJ Vadim, DJ Kentaro, Kid Koala, Jagga Jazzist and many many more.
Although the label has recently lost some of its previous weight, a new artist from them is still quite a big event in the world of music. Emika graduated in music, so this is probably responsible for her use of a piano in this single. She started off with a contribution to another single, “Price Tag”, which was had a deep house style. Now she’s continuing to play with the listener using her cryptic,intriguing vocal mix with hushed samples produced by herself. “Drop The Other” is something of an infusion of pop, dub, trip hop and house. Fans of Fever Ray will be happy, but it also evokes a polish project, De Coy, from a few years back. Oh, and she’s, surprisingly, from Germany! It seems to us that Emika is somebody who could seriously stir some things up this year, but, of course, in a positive way.
Following on from their highly acclaimed compilation “New York”, a French label has now come up with “Tokyo” to even greater efftect.
Kitsune specializes in electronic club music. They often reveal their penchant for alternative pop music, either asking artists of this genre to perform for them or creatively remixing their songs. for instance, it’s worth mentioning their remixes of Two Door Cinema Club’s “I Can Talk” and Phoenix’s “Lisztomania”. The proof that Kitsune works like magnet for outstanding pop artist is a song by CLASSIXX – a Californian production duo.
Although Michael David and Oliver Tyler are already acclaimed producers and remixes’ authors, “I’ll Get You” owes its cheerful groove to the choruses by Jeppe. The former member of the much-missed Junior Senior steals the show with his crazy line: “do you like bass? Do ya do ya like bass?” Sure, we do! Do you?
The best virtual band in the world is back with its latest album. The result is more actual, though, and you can check it out by listening to RadioWroclove.com.
The world of cartoon creatures must be bright and simple. Gorillaz‘s drawn musicians managed not only to release several world-wide hit singles but also established a web of contacts with a great “real-life” musicians. As their third album, “Plastic Beach” is highly eclectic, fluctuating from pop to hip-hop and from rock to electronic, so Gorillaz have invited famous guests to represent different genres. Thus, we have a whole galaxy of stars, such as Lou Reed, Snoop Dogg, Mick Jones, Mark E. Smith and many others. This may be hard to believe, but I’m not tying to make a monkey out of you!
Our this week pick is Gorillaz’ collaboration with the legendary De La Soul hip-hop group and the leader of Super Furry Animals from Wales. It might be due to the presence of the jesters from NYC, but “Superfast Jellyfish” sounds like a sequel to “Feel Good Inc” – the classic single from “Demon Days”. An upbeat, even comic, oldschool rap single with a sweet choruses by Gruff Rhys. We like such a monkey business here.
The hardest working guy in California is back, but he’s not Arnold Schwarzenegger or Kobe Bryant…
Otis Jackson Jr., known best as Madlib, this time delivers his extraordinary beats on behalf of the underground Strong Arm Steady trio. This group, consisting of Mitchy Slick, Krondon and Phil Da Agony, are working hard to release two albums this year. The first of these, “In Search of Stoney Jackson”, has already hit the shelves. It contains a stimulating dose of top-class hip-hop that owes its level not only to the carefully selected, organic beats but also a number of guests featuring the Californian crew.
“Get Started” is definitely one of the album’s highlights. It floats on the deep, groovy bass line and wins with a oldschool piano samples. The song features the one and only Talib Kweli, whose flow is a trademark already. Great work, no matter how far from the original meaning of West Coast it is.
A slogan to sum up Brennnesel: “I can’t believe it’s Polish!”
Michell Phunk is prospective Polish DJ, Michał Biernacki, who is one of the most recognizable faces of Brennnesel, an electronic label associated with Kamp!, one of the most promising current Polish projects. Phunk describes his music style as electro-future-funk-vibe, which indeed makes for an intriguing mixture of recent electronic influences. He has recently released his debut album, “My electric emotion”, available for free with the “Laif” magazine and soon via free digital download on the label’s site. Michał is now working on his second album.
“Leaving My World” is his latest single that features his label’s colleagues AXMusique. The whole recording is available to download at the Brennnessel official website.
If, two months ago, anyone had claimed that Ariel Pink would record a radio friendly song, they would have been treated as a complete lunatic! People change though…
The ultimate freak! A musician whose recordings used to be of lower fidelity that the tapes you would buy 20 years ago to record your favorite broadcasts. A Pop artist capable of writing beautiful melodies, but who’ll never write anything that was easy to follow. The Godfather of chillwave – that recently celebrated trend of avant-pop music. That just about sums up Ariel Pink – the alienated king of his own niche. Nevertheless, though, everything indicates that this is going to change soon.
The breakthrough in Ariel’s career was probably signing with the famous 4AD label. Although this British company is planning to release his album later this year, it has already published “Round and Round” as a single. Even though the piece might differ a bit from pop standards, it sounds like it was recorded in a proper studio and, come on, that’s a revolution!
It would seem that Southern Rock hasn’t changed much, with its base mixture of solid riffs and hoarse vocals for the last few decades.
Georgia-based Drive-By Truckers are masters of using these patterns over and over again without losing their recording quality. Quite frankly, even though I must agree that innovation is what pushes things forward, it is however essential to have a selection of predictable bands to rely on. The best thing about Drive-By Truckers is that their albums are consistently up to the mark, so if you have a fondness for a traditional hard-rock with elements of country and blues, you won’t be disappointed.
“The Big To Do” is the band’s ninth album, which tells the stories of ordinary people struggling with a world that turned against them. Musically, Drive-By Truckers represents stylistic formats familiar from Lynyrd Skynyrd or (especially) Bruce Springsteen albums. This week’s pick, “Drag The Lake Charlie”, is a bit more cheerful though. Rednecks of the world unite!