Congratulations, to our artist of the week, Gazelle! The New York-based alt-pop band headed by South Africa’s Xander Ferreira bound over most of the competition in our artist of the week poll, but it was a close race with Japanese rockers Josy to the finish line. In the end, it was Gazelle by nose!
Listen to “R.U.N.” the single that first caught out attention.
The fact that global bass trends cycle from one undiscovered subculture to the next (today, Chicago juke! tomorrow, moombahsoul!) isn’t a new breakthrough in popular music. Back in 1961, Chubby Checker proclaimed “Let’s twist again, like we did last summer,” trying to ride the popularity of “The Twist” for as long has he could. Way before that swingin’ hepcats went from dancing the Charleston to doing the St. Louis shag.
Edu K’s Do the Brega EP is a clever play on how quickly global bass trends become passé. Why not go all out and “do the brega” now whether it’s “hot” or not? The Brazilian producer put together a balls-out celebration of Brazilian technobrega in all of its “cheesy techno” glory. Baile funkeiros Bonde do Role are the perfect guest stars on “Dança Da Bicha Manca,” adding their quirky art school spunk to the mix:
Nicole Moudaber’s debut album, Believe, is tailor-made for techno-heads or those who have forgotten the power of the continuous groove. Fans of EDM’s modulations might not remember the time when the music listening experience wasn’t as emotionally manipulative. The roller-coaster of bass and wobble is a great outlet for aggression, but as a DJ and producer, Nicole continues that hi-hat techno tradition of getting you moving to a beat and never letting go.
Born in Nigeria, raised in Beirut, and resident of the UK, Nicole has said that she’s influenced by techno legends Danny Tenaglia, Junior Vasquez, and techno legend Carl Cox. Believe is a full-force 92 minutes of pounding four-on-the-floor that wraps you up in its unrelenting progression. Single “Take Hold” is 9 minutes of heart-pounding industrial music that drips sweat and sex.
Listen to a preview of the album, released yesterday on Drumcode. You can also take a peek at MTV Iggy’s interview with Nicole where she talks about the influence of Nigerian percussion on her attraction to the beat.
Endeguena Mulu is an up-and-coming Ethiopian producer from Addis Ababa making experimental bass music that incorporates dub, dubstep, EDM, and traditional sounds. I haven’t really heard anything like it. His compositions are artistic, danceable, and maintain a nice balance between dark/heavy and light/pop—all with an African edge. In order to understand his unique musical perspective, I asked him a few questions:
Do you have a specific way you approach incorporating Ethiopian sounds into your music?
It depends. Ethiopia is a multilingual and multi-ethnic country with over 80 different cultures living together with each culture having very diverse music forms. You can imagine the wide range of sound textures and rhythms I have to choose from to mix on my palette. We also have a very unique modal system (four main scales and very unique instruments that are not aligned to the western tempered tuning system). So, yeah, it depends on what type of music I am doing, on what my inspiration is, and on what rhythm I chose to work on when I’m doing the piece. Actually, I think it is fair to say, whether I’m using a sample or an original recording, my main ally is experimentation.
Do you feel you are a part of an African electronic/experimental-electronic community?
There is an African electronic music community out there, yes. There are a lot of great sounds coming from Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana, Egypt, Kenya, Zimbabwe, and from right here in Ethiopia also. I do feel like I am part of this new wave of young African musicians that are trying to find their place in the continents’ music scene. Are we interconnected enough? The answer is no in my opinion, because it is a new scene here and it’s just starting to grow. I would really love to see more collaborations coming from the continent when it comes to electronic music. For the moment I am working on my own little collaboration with a friend of mine called Mictek (AKA Mic), another electronic musician from Ethiopia. We are working on a shared EP that might grow into an album. We are teaming up with different musicians from here in Ethiopia and I am also working on my own debut EP አንድ (ande which means one) at the same time.
Check out Enduguena’s track “Autonomie 101″ below from his soundcloud page. It opens with an 8-bit melody reminiscent of a Lady Gaga banger, but after the bass drops like an lead anchor at 0:45 the song brings you along for a whole new aural journey.
Black Butter Records’ most recent signing, Gorgon City, return with new single, “Intentions.” The duo rope in the hypnotizing, soul-filled vocals of Nikki B, along with the help of the Clean Bandit musicians, to create their latest garage-tinged deep house bubbler. Fit for the summer days, “Intentions” is a brill follow-up to their well-received debut, “Real.”
North London’s Random Impulse has kindly given us the exclusive first play of the B-side to his “Best Party Ever” single, “Holding Out Till Thursday.” The guitar-strumming grime MC’s previous tracks may have had a slight indie edge to them, but he well and truly channeled his inner rock child on this head-banger. Air guitars at the ready!
Remember when we said “Ninjari Ban Ban” was the awesomest/cutestKyary Pamyu Pamyu vid yet? Well, J-pop’s adorably-bizarre darling dropped in on YouTube with her new single “Invader Invader” today and turned the cute contest into ninjas vs. aliens. The track may sound a little familiar since it’s been in live circulation for a minute. 100% KPP World Tour 2013 attendees got to hear the song first in various venues around the globe. But no song is a true Caroline Charonplop Kyary Pamyu Pamyu single until the inevitable MV insanity.
Everything in the video is our favorite brand of over-the-top crazy: ridiculous CGI, nightmarish-ly cute costumed characters—right down to the hiragana character “da” (a large component of the song’s lyrics) plastered all over henchman’s faces. Anything goes when the song’s about a secret organization coming to take over your town via the mesmerizing power of Kyary’s fashion sense (plus a little help from eye-beams and ear missiles).
Stay + (Stay Positive) is a semi-shrouded project of Manchester-based producer Matt Farthing that was once known as Christian AIDS. The first single from Stay +’s new Blood Brother EP, “You Hate Me,” is a dramatic account of the insecurities that come as a result of falling in love inside a smoke-machine-and-laser-filled tunnel. It is intelligent and addictive rave music that frenetically cycles through high-BPM peaks and desperate valleys. Cooly G’s voice is filtered, layered, and pitched-up to perfection, reveling in the idea that “I can tell that you’re gonna love me” but actually maybe “you hate me.” Is it either or both or do I care right now when we’re lost in the dance?
Blood Brother will be the first ever release on Stay Positive Industries and is out May 27. You may also be interested in checking out MTV Iggy’s interview with Cooly G about motherhood and her creative process when she’s producing her own tunes.