Fuck groupies, am I right? Black narcissus aka Nacho Picasso hits out at Rio on “Fuck Rio” (who would have thunk it?), who may or may not be real. And by hit out, I mean spit some of the most quotable diss diss parables we’ve heard in quite some time. These lines wouldn’t sound quite right if they weren’t spit via Nacho’s lethargic, badman flow.
First off, it took me a while to totally get Boards Of Canada. See, I was six when Music Has A Right To Children and didn’t get around to the duo’s deeper catalogue until last year. If you were worried though, it finally clicked for me around the time I was revisiting Hi Scores. There’s a supernaturally grounded quality about BoC that I still haven’t been able to put my finger on, but it’s there. On June 10, BoC will release Tomorrow’s Harvest on Warp, their first full length since 2005′s The Campfire Headphase. You can listen to “Reach For The Dead” now. It’s excellent in that BoC way. Oh and pre-order the album here. Please.
Before becoming the Ryan Hemsworth, Ryan Hemsworth was a relatively unknown Halifax-native with a penchant for web-based jollies. In the past twelve months though, the man who first caught our attention via a string of quality remixes and free EPs has toured Europe, aligned himself with the ever-subversive Wedidit collective and engrained himself in the transposable joint worlds of Tumblr/Soundcloud. Hemsworth has also diversified his sound, extending himself into the realms of Jersey club and out-and-out house, as well as refining his hip hop production palate. Today, we received the Still Awake EP, an all-free-everything offering that reverts to the Hemsworth we originally fell in love with way back when. Still Awake is full of breezy house and hip hop numbers, replete with enough chipmunk vocals and airy synths to engage even the most jaded listener. The first five tracks are delightfully elevated, but the EP really kicks into gear with “All Our Thoughts Are Physical” and Japanese producer Taquwami’s remix of “Perfectly”, a seductive off-kilter jam that changes the tone of the EP entirely. It feels like the Tokyo-based producer is on the tip of everyone’s collective tongue these days and it’s only a matter of time before his music becomes ubiquitous. It usually only takes one remix or guest feature to make that happen and we applaud Hemsworth for sticking with his guns and supporting such a prodigious, yet under appreciated musician. Stream Taquwami’s remix below, hit the jump to stream the full EP and download the whole damn thang here.
Dreamy pop music always has a place in the summer months and there’s an early frontrunner for king of the beach. Los Angeles duo Boardwalk built their own equipment, have already been signed by Stones Throw (who appear to be less and less interested in hip hop every day) and just released their first single on flexidisc. I’m sure you can infer something from that by reading Simon Reynolds’ Retromania, but I prefer to just take it as is. Later this summer, the duo will release their debut full length so you’ll just have to bathe in the false reality nostalgia established by “I’m To Blame” until then.
It makes all too must sense that Ghostly International’s resident minimal house don Fort Romeau would take on similarly left field act Holy Other’s “Held” and the results do not disappoint. The track is the result of a tour the two embarked on last year and features the mysterious R&B acts ethereal vocals superimposed over a simmering bassline that operates in a similar fashion to John Talabot & Pional’s “Destiny”. Transcendent collaborations like this don’t come around all that often, so download below and maybe even give the two artists a shout on the cloud of sound.
After proving he has the ability to work with vocalists on “Painted Faces” (with Tinashe), Jacques Greene is back with the How To Dress Well-assisted “On Your Side”, a song that toes the line between cheese-y pastiche and genre bending brilliance. While they don’t sound a lick alike sonically, it’s fair to file “On Your Side” alongside relatively new work from the likes of Duke Dumont, Disclosure, or even the pop-oriented fair of Omar-S’ latest Thank You For Letting Me Be Myself LP, in that it prominently features an established vocalist and is heavily hook-driven. This movement in feature-heavy house somewhat mirrors the late-90s explosion of garage in the United Kingdom that operated under the auspices of “bringing the women back into the club”. It’s no surprise that this trend is arising in the aftermath of the dubstep explosion (Disclosure have gone so far as to address that directly, also check out Blackdown’s apt response), and while a fresh breath of air in some respects, it’s trending away from tactful collaboration and towards effete cornball antics. Regardless, holy fuck, how good do Greene and Tom Krell sound together?! If you can get past Krell’s often questionable lyrics, “On Your Side” is easily in the running for lights off anthem of the year. “On Your Side” is off of Greene’s upcoming LuckyMe EP of the same name and will see respective June 3 digital and July 1 physical releases. Stream the radio edit below.
The fact that Fatboy Slim endorsed Maribou State to officially remix his 1999 hit “Praise You” probably doesn’t mean all that much to our readers (and honestly, it doesn’t mean much to anyone on a critical level), but it does represent the leaps and bounds that the London duo has grown since the release of the Scarlett Groove EP last November. The remix transforms Slim’s original from big beat mediocrity to a moody house groover that has become one of the act’s biggest hits to date in less than a week. These guys are on the brink of something huge and we can’t wait to hear the next incantation of their sound. Stream below and look for a release on Skint soon.
Let’s take a break from our regular programming to bring you something stupid hype. For the past few months The Motherfucking Gaslamp Killer has been rinsing an unknown remix of Kendrick Lamar’s “M.A.A.D. City” and absolutely detonating dancefloors across the world. Today, Eprom has let the remix loose on the general public and madness has ensued. This is an unadulterated “banger” so step off if you give fucks about something like “subtlety”. Stream below and download here.
Sometimes it’s really difficult to respond to a piece of music critically, or with any other response than “hey, this is really pretty”. That was my reaction after hearing Djrum’s remix of Haraket’s “Taint” and it still hasn’t changed. It’s easy to get caught up in the mesmerizing kicks, the melancholic chords and the wafting found sounds (and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing), but Djrum offers a real depth (check out his Seven Lies LP if you haven’t already) that most “beat” and/or “electronica” producers rarely attain. Instead of using percussion as a means of propping up a vocal performance, Djurum’s drums pulsate and mutate, drawing as much attention as the angelic vocals. Stream below and look out for Haraket’s upcoming single/12″.
Since arriving last Tuesday, Chance The Rapper’s Acid Rap tape has dominated the hip hop conversation, drawing almost universal praise from both critics and fans. Drawing from Chicago’s rich musical history and capitalizing on hip hop’s current predilection for left field flow/cadence(s), Acid Rap is easily one of the most impressive “mixtapes” of the year and will probably be the start of an extended debut album hype tour. “Paranoia” was originally a secret track at the end of “Pusha Man”, but has now been liberated as a solo track via another excellent “Songs From Scratch” collaboration from Yours Truly. With Nosaj Thing behind the boards, “Paranoia” is about Chicago’s gun violence, but that’s a simplification. “Paranoia” is about the ability (or lack there of) to live out a proper childhood. It’s about the disparity between media coverage of black on black versus black on white or white on white violence. It’s about escapism and youthful abandon. It’s about the basic fear of living in a neglected, destitute environment. Nosaj Thing’s floating, California sunset-esque production seems like an odd selection at first, but the spaced out soul makes all too much sense as the beat progresses. It doesn’t happen often anymore, but when”conscious” rap transcends basic political facsimiles and expresses the essence of a situation, it is truly special. There is no download link for “Paranoia” yet, but expect one soon and download Acid Rap in the meantime.