::M∆DE::IN::HEIGHTS:: - Murakami
The third song released in the past few weeks from Made In Heights' Sabzi and Kelsey Bulkin takes inspiration from the Japanese author Haruki Murakami.
The track deals with relationship troubles and Kelsey wastes no time laying down the great double entendre “you really hold me down like that.” Just after the halfway mark the track gets darker with some aggressive and grimy sounding synths dominating the forefront of the pop song, transforming it into an easily mosh-able end break.
Love it or leave it, but Made In Heights are certainly pushing the envelope of electronic pop. It is great to hear them build on the music from their first two EPs to create some truly original, dynamic beats. Sabzi’s innovative soundscapes always manage to complement the lyrics that are both emotional and aloof in their subject matter.
Download - Murakami
Shigeto - Detroit Part 1
Shigeto's new album No Better Time Than Now is a mesmerising adventure into the artist’s textured and intelligent brand of electronic music.
Featuring what sounds like glockenspiels samples alongside moody synths and a plethora of percussion is Detroit Part 1, a guaranteed absorbing listen. There are some moments of repetition, but overall Shigeto's third album is full of highlights and sonic mastery.
Shigeto - Ann Arbor Parts 3 & 4
As much as I would love to claim that I know about Shigeto, truth is I’m not really familiar with his story, back catalogue or other mumbo jumbo. But I do know that he makes great electronic music.
A little glitchy, a little jazzy, a little sample-based and a little ambient all rolled into a sumptuous track. Brimming with rich textures and subtle flourishes of production wizardry, Ann Arbor parts 3 & 4 makes for an enchanting listen.
Early Dayz Amazement
Shinsight Trio - Early Dayz Amazement
"It’s like that y’all! (that y’all) it’s like that y’all! (that y’all) it’s like that Insight and I’m havin’ a ball."
US emcee Insight along with Japanese producers Shin-Ski and DJ RYOW form the Shinsight Trio. This group is known internationally for creating good hip hop.
While most mainstream hip hop artists today are incorporating dance, pop and r&b to appeal to wider audiences, the Trio continue to stick to their roots in using sampling and traditional methods to make their music.
This is my favourite song from their 2006 album Shallow Moon, Blurry Nights. Insight reminisces on his childhood and forms a tight narrative around some stories he remembers growing up as a youth. I love the positive frame of mind he uses in depicting some of these scenes from his youth. I can easily imagine other rappers rhyming bitterly about their experiences, but not Insight.
Click here for the mp3. Enjoy.
Kodomo - Concept 16
Kodomo’s debut LP Still Life is a concept album with each photograph being the inspiration for a song on the disc. According to his Soundcloud page,
"The album explores how images of environments, landscapes, people, and objects are used to evoke musical ideas; each image giving rise to various rhythms, chords, and sonic textures. The photos were taken in Italy, China, Japan, Switzerland, & around the US."
The song is structured harmoniously. The electronic sounds drift from speaker to speaker giving the ‘concept’ an orbital sense of symmetry and balance. You would expect such talent from somebody who was a composer. And Chris Child (Kodomo is his moniker) happens to be just that. Child was born in Japan and lives in Brooklyn now. His sophmore release Frozen in Motion came out earlier this year.
Unfortunately there is no free mp3 for this song, but you can legally buy it from iTunes here. Enjoy!
Big Bank Hank
Blue Scholars - Big Bank Hank
What you gonna do today?
Opening with a vocal sample from the first mainstream hip hop hit Rapper’s Delight, MC Geo attempts to answer the question posed, discussing some of the things he might do on a regular day.
The song contains a sample from Bibio’s Lovers’ Carvings giving it a fresh new perspective while also maintaining the worry free vibe of the original. Sabzi from the Blue Scholars has an ear for catchy samples and the slight touches he adds to this track lift the impact of the lyrics. The song closes as it begins. But this time, it has an open ending as it’s the listeners’ turn to decide what they want to do next.
Here’s a suggestion, click here for the mp3.
Blue Scholars - Anna Karina
Blue Scholars have brought out one of the most impressive hip hop albums this year. Cinemetropolis is a concept album around the idea that film actually influences life. The title track explores this interesting concept “if it spins on a reel, it’s gotta be real, but reel and real life just remind us of film”. As for Anna Karina, she was a French actress in the 60s as well as a model and singer. She had a brief marriage with her director followed by 3 other failed marriages. Her beauty however, is apparent and Geo (MC) and Sabzi (DJ) pay her homage with this complex song about an even more complex character.
Tone Twilight Zone
Cornelius - Tone Twilight Zone
First post, first song.
This is the first song from the first Ill Chill Pill mix that I made back in 2005. It is an instrumental piece from Japanese producer Cornelius and always lulls me with the perfect fusion of ambience and electronica.
I can imagine bodysurfing to this or walking through a forest on a cool summer morning. I think it is only appropriate that I feature it as the first song on the new blog. Enjoy!