MUSIC

LISTEN: ARCSTRUMENTALS VOL 1

erick

[Photo by Ellington]

“This was originally created to replicate the feeling ‘we used to feel’ growing up as kids making our own mixtapes from songs that played on the radio. You would never get the full song from beginning to end, you would sometimes get some radio interference, commercials, etc. So of course you will hear some skips, pops, abrupt cuts and radio noise. That’s what made it beautiful.” – Erick

Erick: Website, SoundCloud, Twitter, & Instagram

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RTJ’s latest visual effort accompanies their frantic and bouncy track Close Your Eyes (And Count To F**k) and like much of their output, is a distinct political statement.

This completely black and white video beautifully illustrates the futility of violence; A powerful message made even more poignant by its 2 main characters – the white cop, and the young black man. Run The Jewels have been key players in the ongoing debate within music/culture about race and police brutality. (Kendrick even mentions Killer Mike on his track Hood Politics from To Pimp A Butterfly)

The video is confronting for all the right reasons.

Listen to RTJ2 in full here.

Two and a half years after dropping – perhaps the most incredible debut mixtape we have seen in recent years – 1999, Brooklyn’s Joey Bada$$ has released his much anticipated studio album, B4.DA.$$.

At only 20 years old, one of the most striking aspects of his flow is the potent influence of 90s hip-hop which acts as the solid foundation upon which he builds. His music also contains clear elements from his West Indian heritage, inventive components of new New York rap, topped off with a youthful fearlessness to add other genres such as dance and electronic into the mix. Still in the early stages of what is shaping up to be a long musical career, the rapper seems to exist as one of those rare talents who is loved and respected by everyone in the industry. Just one listen to any of the myriad projects/songs released by Joey and ProEra in the last three years and it isn’t hard to see why – His vision and lyrical talent are undeniable.

In Like Me (which features BJ The Chicago Kid), Joey ponders his mortality against the backdrop of Brooklyn. While the video itself has a clear storyline, it would be foolish not to look further into the message behind it and realise that Joey is exploring the deeper (and currently relevant) themes of police brutality, minority incarceration, fear, redemption, and hope.

Listen to B4.DA.$$ in full here.

MUSIC, PEOPLE

NEW MUSIC: PHONY PPL

Brooklyn six piece, Phony Ppl, are all I’ve been bumping for the last two weeks. (Shout out to the all-knowing Matt for putting me on.) Their recent digital release Yesterday’s Tomorrow has distinct components of nu-jazz, R&B, soul, and hip-hop.

While fusing genres is nothing new in 2015, refreshingly, their music relays to listeners a potent feeling of infectious live energy that is sorely lacking in today’s musical climate.

Clearly influenced by the likes of Pharrell and early N.E.R.D, they have also been compared to The Internet (who they are friends with), and tend to remind me of a more jazzy, east coast, OverDoz. 

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MUSIC, PEOPLE

REVIEW: THEOPHILUS LONDON – ‘VIBES’

[Cover shot by Karl Lagerfeld]

Front to back, Theophilus London’s Vibes delivers on the name. While the album takes you through diverse terrain, the sound and message remain cohesive all the way through.

Fusing genres is nothing new in 2014, but Theo has a unique and compelling gift for the art; effortlessly soaking in various influences then projecting them in a completely fresh way. 80’s synthpop, dancehall, funk, disco, r&b, dance, and soul course through the whole project with unmistakable rhythm, and of course there are moments when it’s decidedly hip hop. With all of these apparent mash ups, the marrying quality overall is a full, encompassing sound. At every moment the sound runs through you. Encases you. Envelops you. There are very rarely instances where you don’t want to break out in a dance. The whole thing screams summer – daytime pool parties and late night drives – so it was no surprise to hear it was recorded entirely in Palm Springs, CA.

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MUSIC, PEOPLE

INTRODUCING: CHUK LE GARÇON

[Chuk via Instagram: @ChukLeGarcon]

Producer, Artist, Designer, New Yorker, Chuk le Garçon is consistent. His musical creations are full, romantic, dreamy, LUSH. I was led to him about a year ago by a good friend of mine and was immediately struck by the intricate layers in his sound. The music is encompassing and seeps in to wrap itself around you like an embrace. Over the last year, he has truly become one of my favourite people doing it. He moves seamlessly through jazz, dance, r&b, electronic, hip hop, soul, and emerges on the other side with his very own unique art.

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