James Devane - Rhubarb (Aphex Twin Cover)
I have no agenda.
I have no endorsements, no sponsors, no product placement on this website. I have never studied marketing or advertising. I have no interest in hype, in trending, in staying up to date with the most recent major label artist campaign push.
I have never sugarcoated or given my opinion of music lightly without careful contemplation and consideration on different elements and textures of the soundscape.
I don’t listen to radio, I don’t watch television and I have started falling out of the habit of attending social events for the sake of engaging in shallow conversations consisting of the same polite but generic questions and answers.
I don’t listen to music to be social or antisocial, nor do I do it to develop a false sense of superiority or alienation from those around me. I do listen to music to stimulate my brain, to engage areas of my psyche that are both primitive and highly developed. I write about music not for any personal gain, but in the hope that I can share some amazing creative works with other appreciative listeners. I don’t believe in altruism, or selflessness because I love sharing music with others and I vicariously feel a sense of joy in the process.
I often feel forced to talk a lot during the day, and far too often these spoken exchanges are dwarfed in terms of meaning, emotion, expression and understanding compared to the awesome communicative powers that music can have - which brings me to the end of my ramblings. At the end of the day, you can complain about the state of music today, or you can use your initiative and seek a world of undiscovered talent and a crowd of like-minded people to share your appreciation with, rather than your own disappointments.
Twice (Black Room Session)
Little Dragon - Twice (Black Room Session)
Little Dragon have gradually been emerging into the social conscious through their genre-defying music. They have continued to break new ground with each subsequent release and with luck, they will continue to win over fans worldwide.
The Swedes released their self-titled debut album in 2007. Twice is the opener.
Beginning your album with a song like Twice is setting the bar high. Its deadpan melody and sparse production brings out the rawness of Yukimi Nagano’s vocals. That piano riff is contemplative and has been sampled to great effect by hip hop artists A.Dd+ on Under and Zion I & J. Period’s Likwid (Dubplate).
Perhaps one of the most impressive things about this song is that it is a live rendition of Twice. You can watch Little Dragon’s performance of this on Youtube.
Eluvium - Prelude For Time Feelers
Whoever said that there are no great classical composers alive today? Well maybe noone said that, but in my opinion the absence of knowledge about contemporary classical music is almost as bad.
Prelude For Time Feelers is an evocative song that begins with a simple piano piece before an orchestra lifts the mood and continues to build right up until the climactic finish. The track was taken from Eluvium’s 2007 album Copia.
Sometimes you need to stand up and represent classical music. Next time, bump this in yo’ ride when you’re cruisin the hood blastin’ foolz.
Download - Prelude For Time Feelers (control-click & save)
Arts The Beatdoctor feat Pete Philly - The Zone
In Dutch, the word “arts” means “doctor,” and I think that this was intentional name choice judging by the theraputic brand of organic hip hop the Dutch native has been cooking up.
The Netherlands has one of the best hip hop scenes in the world right now. Artists such as Pete Philly & Perquisite, Pax & Pree, Skiggy Rapz & Keynote Speakerz are world class artists. Arts The Beatdoctor definitely qualifies as one of my favourite producers although he has only released one album to date - 2007’s Transitions.
The Zone is the closing track on the album and tops off a memorable mellow, jazzy hip hop album. Pete Philly is the perfect guest emcee and his vocals compliment the authentic sample-driven beat.
The Album Leaf - We Need Help
Jimmy LaValle aka The Album Leaf makes some of the most relaxing electronic music I’ve ever heard. Based in San Diego, California, LaValle has been making music as The Album Leaf for 10+ years.
Lately things have been quiet since 2010’s A Chorus of Storytellers LP was released. The album wasn’t one of my favourites but LaValle has a large catalogue to choose from and there is tranquility to found in just about all of his work.
We Need Help was taken from The Enchanted Hill EP. Compared with his other work, this tempo is relatively upbeat while the keys and give an atmospheric nature to the track.
Download - We Need Help
A Genuine Display (Telefon Tel Aviv Remix) - Midwest Product
I’m not going to tell you much about either of these groups, other than the fact that they have created a glitchy gem.
The percussion and beats in this song are varied and fast paced while still maintaining an ambient vibe.
If you have a spa, put this song on and jump in. If you don’t, hmm that’s bad luck really.
Jai Paul w/ Intuition
Jai Paul ft. Intuition - BTSTU Remix
Reading these lyrics would not give you a proper indication of the song.
The profanities might even go unnoticed to the unwary listener because Jai Paul’s falsetto lures you into a lullaby-like melody. This is of course juxtaposed several times when the music switches to a warbling bassline with synth-heavy distortion.
I think the music provides a good backdrop for American MC Intuition’s intelligent wordplay. This song was popular with bloggers when it was released but the remix was hardly picked up by listeners when it was released earlier in 2011.
You can download this song and Intuition’s mixtape here for free. As for Jai Paul, the UK artist is currently in the process of recording his debut album. Watch this space.
Pete Philly & Perquisite - Mystery Repeats
Pete Philly & Perquisite come from Amsterdam and the group released two original full length albums before disbanding. What a huge loss for world music. For starters, how many hip hop DJs out there can play the cello? How many emcees can really, truly sing as well as rap? If you check out their catalogue, I challenge you to find a single bad song. It is just as well they are still making music apart.