New Zealand has suddenly become the hottest place to find exciting up-and-coming artists after the surprise success of Lorde and her international smash “Royals”. The magnifying glass of the music world has turned to the small island, and talent seems to be popping up everywhere.
Hailing from Auckland, brother/sister duo Broods (Georgia and Caleb Nott) are the next in a line of amazing alt-pop acts that are shaking tastes up around the globe. Their debut single “Bridges” has hit the web and is being played non-stop. Only a month old, the song already has over a quarter million spins—not bad for a first go.
Georgia’s breezy, effervescent vocals blend beautifully with Caleb’s powerful, synthy, and perfectly-mastered beat. The genius of the track and the fact that Broods are also from New Zealand is no coincidence: both “Bridges” and “Royals” were produced by Joel Little. Broods is working on a debut EP (tentatively set for sometime early 2014), with “Bridges” leading the charge and Little behind the wheel.
We may not have another “Royals” on our hands, but the world does have two new indie darlings to adore.
Wow, what an incredible 2013 Black Butter Records has had: the independent label’s “soulful electronic” four-piece, Rudimental, represented the UK to infinity and beyond in the global music charts (their debut LP, Home, is easily one of the top three dance sets of the year), while the roster’s soon-to-be-divas, Sinead Harnett, Syron, and Lulu James, dominated the blogosphere with their pop-R&B. But that’s not all; the London-based record and management company also introduced us to a few future hit-making dance producers in My Nu Leng, Gorgon City, and Woz, and even gave grime a shot with the signing of west London MC, Scrufizzer.
It’s been a groundbreaking year for Olly Wood (MD) and his team, but their closed-for-business-until-2014 sign isn’t ready to go up just yet because, today, BBR release a new 14-track compilation for fans in the US. From the soulful, garage-tinged house of Gorgon City and Yasmin’s “Real,” to the alt-R&B sounds of Joel Compass’ “Fucked Up,” Black Butter Records Volume 1 features a mix of the label’s biggest bangers of the last twelve months, and some never-before-heard refixes. Here’s one of its the many standouts:
1. Solomon Grey – Gen V
2. Sailor & I – Tough Love (Aril Brikha Remix)
3. Gorgon City Feat. Yasmin – Real
4. Woz – Reach
5. Kidnap Kid – So Close
6. Gorgon City Feat. Clean Bandit – Intentions (Club Mix)
7. Joel Compass – Fucked Up
8. Drums of Death Feat. Yasmin – True (Extended Mix)
9. Kidnap Kid – Vehl
10. My Nu Leng – Contact
11. Scrufizzer – Kick It
12. Rudimental Feat. John Newman – Feel The Love (Rudimental VIP)
13. Gorgon City Feat. Yasmin & LaShaun Ellis – (iTunes Bonus Track)
14. Various – Continuous Mix (iTunes Bonus Track)
Belgian hardstyle DJ/producer Coone has announced his signing with Dim Mak to release his anticipated new album Global Dedication, December 10. The producer’s signing to Dim Mak sets the bar high as both are powerhouses in their own right. With the full backing of Steve Aoki and the entire Dim Mak crew, Coone is poised show the world what hardstyle is all about. No worries, Coone fans, during Miami Music Week Aoki said, “We’re here to make sure that hardstyle is in its truest form. We love the sound and we want to embrace that shit and bring it out around the world.”
This new album embodies that mission. The first song, “Times Getting Hard,” featuring K19, hit #5 on the Beatport Hard Top Dance Tracks chart, while “Our Fairytale” featuring Chris Madin, was the theme for Q-dance’s video content for their hardstyle stage at TomorrowWorld 2013.
Cumbia, one of Latin America’s most eminent and enduring music traditions, is once again blossoming in Peru. In the 1960′s, Peru was known for its homespun psychedelic, surf rock take on the genre, chicha. Today, groups are taking cues from that tradition, but also the nu-cumbia digital sound popularized by Buenos Aires-based label ZZK and even other global tropical bass sounds like zouk bass.
Animal Chuki, the production duo of Andrea Campos and Daniel Valle-Riestra, has a brand new EP out today, Capicúa, which shows off the Lima sound. The cornerstone of cumbia, the güiro, is free-flowing, as well as some deliciously melodic Farfisa-style organ sounds, and hypnotic slow-strutting bass lines. It’s out on ZZK, which if you aren’t aware, is responsible for advancing the illustrious cumbia careers of Chancha via Circuito, Douster, Frikstailers, El Remolón, and La Yegros.
We are happy to present an exclusive mix by the group that previews the EP. The mix is a slow-burning, sauntering introduction to Animal Chuki’s universe. Like an especially potent hot sauce, you really begin to really feel the heat somewhere between “Capicúa” and their remix of La Yegros’ “Viene de Mi.”
Another way to preview the EP is a fantastic mini-documentary that was made on the Lima nu-cumbia scene, which features interviews with Elegante & La Imperial, Mari Yá, Dengue Dengue Dengue, Chakruna, Shushupe, and Deltatron. The artists talk about how these sounds have circulated through Latin America through the internet and social networks as well as how the Peru’s heritage is influencing its past and present.
Get ready to vote for the Artist of the Week, people! It’s super simple. We’ve got five unique and intriguing new artists from around the world. We want you to vote for one of them to be crowned artist of the week using the poll below. You have from now until 11 a.m. EST next Friday when the poll will close, so let’s go!
The Mexico City group’s sound is frenetic, raw and a little rural too—like garage-punk made in an abandoned barn. They released their first full-length Boredom City in 2009, and since then have dropped a second full-length, Never Ending Hunger. Los Headaches have rinsed themselves of a bit of that down-home dirt to reveal some power-pop sheen, but they haven’t shed a speck of the snarling spunk with which they started. From the crescendoing drum roll of the minute-long opener “Rock ‘n’ Roll Pneumonia” to the punchy, anthemic ball-of-fuzz finale “Tits and Ass,” the four-piece act’s latest collection is a relentlessly enthused, bilingual rock ‘n’ roll romp.
Spanish house is beginning to come into its own. John Talabot stunned the electronic dance community in 2012 not because his LP ƒIN was good, but because of how insanely good it was. ƒIN became required listening for the year and introduced many to his less well known frequent collaborator Pional. One of their co-credited tracks on the album, “Destiny,” is one of its best; lightly crunchy beats invite the listener to pump up the volume while the duo weave supernatural layers of uplifting vocal house. Beginning his career under the alias Alt Fenster, Pional (real name: Miguel Barros) shares a kinship with Talabot, as they are both fans of the slow build. They also both borrow from nu-disco’s infectious grooves, minimal house’s use of spaciousness, and the playful retro experimentation of Barcelona’s Delorean or New York’s Lemonade.
Remember how you felt when you first discovered Feist’s “1234”? Expect the same exhilarating tingles when you hear “Is This How You Feel,” an infectious funk-laced single from Sydney band The Preatures. A deep, slithering guitar motif is as much a part of the track’s beat as its steadily booming kick-drum. The kickoff is a patient but spunky wind-up into a quick, emotional gush of a chorus. There’s a soft rasp in Isabella Manfredi’s soulful, high-octave croon—the undeniable similarity between her and Feist is really the bedrock of the comparison. Manfredi’s vocal counterpart, Gideon Benson, favors an even more hushed take on that tone as he underscores and counters her throughout the tune. The song shimmies like ’70s disco, but with the pulse of a ’60s R&B groove. “Is This How You Feel” is simply one of those jams that automatically sticks—you’ll crave it on a crowded dance floor as strongly as you want to belt it out with friends on the drive home.
It’s good to know that Daniel Woolhouse, AKA the highly emotive Deptford Goth, doesn’t take himself too seriously. His moniker is deliberate nonsense and his plain clothes appearance shows a disinterest in the latest trends. It’s when Woolhouse is behind a keyboard with a small choir around him in a derelict church that his nonchalant nature is swapped for the melancholy of his timid vocals and pensive lyrics. This is especially true on his alternate treatment of the solemn “Feel Real,” in which much of the instrumentation from the original version is replaced with the angelic human voices of the 12-piece Roundhouse Experimental Choir. Although Life After Defo, the album on which “Feel Real” resides, drifts slightly from the soul and R&B strains of his Youth II EP, the art school graduate retains his ability to design downtempo pop.
There’s a musical movement underway in Munich, and it’s called New Weird Bavaria. Folk, world beats, kraut, psych and tropicalia have collided to form an experimental cluster of progressive pop sounds. If an informative convention were held tomorrow, Aloa Input would be its keynote speaker—and instead of take-home brochures, attendees would leave with a copy of Anysome, the trio’s debut LP. Anysome is a showcase in maintaining cohesion amid a cultural free-for-all. Booming drums like that of a Thai hill-tribe and chirping birds are coupled for an earthy intro on “Another Green World,” but blasts of heavy riffs and sharp, quick snare layer in a modern indie-rock feel.
Rebel Music is a new TV series about young people who are using art and music to create social change around the world. Capturing the sound of global revolution, it comprises six episodes, each one focusing on a different conflict area. Each episode tells the inspiring stories of several young artists and activists.
Monday, Dec. 9 at 9/8c on MTVu Rebel Music focuses on the work of musicians in both Israel and Palestine who are grappling with ongoing conflict in the region. Some use music as a way of building bridges, while others use it as a form of protest and a means of resistance. All are using creativity to fight for positive change.
Her Royal Dopeness Denitza Todorova, the Bulgarian rapper otherwise known as D E N A, has been working hard since our interview earlier this year. Her new single, “Bad Timing,” is a departure from her more playful previous hits like “Boyfriend” or “Cash, Diamond Rings, Swimming Pools.” There’s no bling, no tropical getaway fantasy, and no hint of hipster irony beneath a collage of kitschy ’90s drum samples. D E N A seems to have outgrown the flashy old sequined sweater that was her previous work, and emerged anew with a matured sound.
Delivering a very frank farewell to a lover, D E N A sounds incredibly lucid against a cool backdrop, a beat that feels more downtempo than dance. The ambience is enhanced by the honeyed murmur of an electronic organ loop, sprinkled with chimes to offset the low timbre of D E N A’s despondent, yet honest admissions. As strikingly different as this song is from the party jams that garnered her internet fame, it’s a lovely shift that reflects her wider repertoire as an artist. Stay tuned for her upcoming album, Flash, which is set for release on February 24th via !K7 Records.