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Battle Mundial: World Cup Music Digest, 6/21

by Alexis Stephens | 42 days ago
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Throughout the 2014 World Cup, we will be celebrating the bond between music and the most popular sporting event in the world. Each day of the tournament, we will be selecting songs from each country playing. We want to help you get as hyped as humanly possible for the daily on-field drama.

Match 1: Argentina vs. Iran

Argentina

La Yegros explores a multitude of alter egos in the video for “Viene de Mi.” The emotion-filled cumbia is Argentine music at its best:

Iran

Iran was one of the lowest ranked teams coming into the tournament. But they’ve still played with heart — something you really can’t measure. Omid Walizadeh‘s Modern Persian Speech Sounds is a sumptuous hip-hop sound collage that channels vintage Iranian heart and soul:

Match 2: Germany vs. Ghana

Germany

Dream Koala is the project of the very wavy Yndi Ferreira. He’s Brazilian and was raised in Paris, but has found a home in Berlin. It’s not likely that any other team will knock Germany out of the group stage. They might be in the midst of a long ”Odyssey” to the top:

Ghana

When I interviewed Gasmilla in February, he said that his song wasn’t about soccer (though you might not be able to tell in the video). He said the song was more generally about winning, commenting “I wanted achievers all around the world to celebrate and rejoice their moment.” Let’s hope the Black Stars get to do an azonto dance celebration at some point today:

 

Match 3: Nigeria vs. Bosnia and Herzegovia

Nigeria

Rapper Olamide came out two weeks ago with a banger of a tune supporting Nigeria’s team in “Make Us Proud” featuring Washington DC’s Wale:

Bosnia and Herzegovia

Bosnian ska band Dubioza Kolektiv released “Kažu” last year. It’s a biting political satire (peep the translation of the lyrics) about the media, ethnic stereotypes and “the man.” Kinda puts this exorcism of nationalism all in perspective, huh?

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Artist of the Week: Vote for Your Favorite

by Suzy Exposito | 43 days ago
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Happy Friday-slash-Artist of the Week poll day! You have until 11am EST next Friday to cast your vote and choose the best of of this week’s featured artists. Choose from:

Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell

What exactly is “grease rock”? According to Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell’s record label, it’s when the ‘extra-curricular’ exploits of the members of a rock ‘n’ roll band, such as debaucheries involving liquor and women (and perhaps some other indulgences) can’t help but seep into their music. The band’s latest, 2014’s Check ‘Em Before You Wreck ‘Em, is exactly that.

Philipp Gorbachev

Gorbachev’s singular take on dance music has more in common with his native Russia’s avant-garde tradition than with anything being spun at your garden-variety Berlin nightclub. Gorbachev has made it a point to accentuate the specificity of his culture, even citing Moscow’s Conceptualist movement as a primary influence in his work. But even though the lyrical work may be lost on anyone left of where the Berlin wall once stood — phonetically as well as thematically — the rhythmic work is familiar enough to any dance floor on the globe.

Shay Gray

Puckish MC ShayGray has rifled through all the recent trends long before the rest of us. For this wordsmith the hottest hashtags, urban toys and vinyl records are passé when popular. In fact, as he mentions in the title track to his Hipster Hype EP (Dim Mak), he’s “already over this entire project.” Let’s hope not, because Shay’s witty, trap-influenced raps are fresh and flavorful, even when marinated in irony.

Jess Glynne

Despite many of us only hearing of Jess Glynne six or so months ago, she actually isn’t that new to the game, and already has two under-the-radar studio albums to her name: 2011’s Glory and 2012’s Dumbest Jess Glynne. After recent efforts, though, striking gold (or platinum) third time round — when she unveils her yet-to-be-named LP, later this year — will no doubt be an absolute doddle!

Deers

Helmed by Ana Garcia Perrote and Carlotta Cosials, Deers are really just fawns in terms of music-making age. Their seven-inch debut, Demo, surfaced only a few weeks ago. They actually joined forces a few years before this single release, but since Deers’ proper introduction was so recent, we’ll have to consider them pretty brand new. But they sure don’t sound like it.


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Battle Mundial: World Cup Music Digest, 6/20

by Alexis Stephens | 43 days ago
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Throughout the 2014 World Cup, we will be celebrating the bond between music and the most popular sporting event in the world. Each day of the tournament, we will be selecting songs from each country playing. We want to help you get as hyped as humanly possible for the daily on-field drama.

Match 1: Italy vs. Costa Rica

Italy

Mario Balotelli is master of any domain that he walks into. Italian experimental darkwave duo JoyCut have a great theme song for Balotelli and the rest of Italian team in “Dominio”:

Costa Rica

Darkness is a familiar vibe to Costa Rica’s Colornoise. Their poppy, post-punk opus “Button” doesn’t thematically tie into the World Cup, but it rules:

Match 2: Switzerland vs. France

Switzerland

Switzerland played it cool all the way to a last minute victory over Ecuador last week. Deetron ft. Ben Westbeech’s “Rhythm” has the laidback soulful house vibe that complements a patient, pragmatic team:

France

Starz Angels “Take a Risk Tonight” keeps the tempo up beat and has a very different message for Les Bleus:

 

Match 3: Honduras vs. Ecuador

Honduras

Rock musician Eduardo Umanzor released “Cantemos Juntos” in support of the Honduran team. The video is super cute. Look at the adorable little children in their adorable oversize uniforms:

Ecuador

Ecuador’s Fabrikante performs a vocal “beat-boxing style” that is related to Afro-Ecuadorian music traditions. The colors and sound layering in the video for “Chanteoma” have a visceral effect making you feel rooted to the earth and ready to defend your ground:

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Battle Mundial: World Cup Music Digest, 6/19

by Alexis Stephens | 44 days ago
Comment

Throughout the 2014 World Cup, we will be celebrating the bond between music and the most popular sporting event in the world. Each day of the tournament, we will be selecting songs from each country playing. We want to help you get as hyped as humanly possible for the daily on-field drama.

Match 1: Colombia vs. Ivory Coast

Colombia

Kali Uchis reps her home country of Colombia, but in a way that reflects the cyclical nature of pop culture. Her gangster look is a nod to Latin American street culture, but also to some of her influences (Amy Winehouse, M.I.A., Snoop Dogg, and Gwen Stefani) who interpreted (or appropriated) chola style in different ways. Her foggy doo-wop song “What They Say” is a good message to Los Cafeteros not to listen to those who underrate how far they can go:

Ivory Coast

“Tu Es Dans Pain” means “you are in pain” in French. Ivory Coast is gonna be channeling Kiff No Beat today, for sure:

 

Match 2: Uruguay vs. England

Uruguay

I don’t have particularly high blood pressure, but this World Cup has been giving me chest pains. For this match, how about a couple of warrior anthems, since it’s do or die time? Dinimata & La Swing Factory’s “El Renegado” gets me in the mood for a death match:

England 

Meanwhile, Evian Christ’s “Waterfall” is fit for a battle on a more intergalactic scale:

Match 3: Japan vs. Greece

Japan

Shinichi Osawa’s “Breaking Through the Night” is one of those tracks that gets me pumped up about life during a nice, long workout. Perfect for stoppage time in a clutch situation:

Greece 

It’s pretty obvious, but I love a good double meaning. This game isn’t going to be played at 4:20, but Fever Kids’ “Holding Grass” is a good anthem for The Pirate Ship:

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Battle Mundial: World Cup Music Digest, 6/18

by Alexis Stephens | 45 days ago
Comment

Throughout the 2014 World Cup, we will be celebrating the bond between music and the most popular sporting event in the world. Each day of the tournament, we will be selecting songs from each country playing. We want to help you get as hyped as humanly possible for the daily on-field drama.

Match 1: Australia vs. Netherlands

Australia

Although the Socceroos showed promise in their loss to Chile, The Netherlands are looking pretty terrifying. Maybe the indie dance pop of Olympic Ayres will help the team to “Take Flight”:

The Netherlands

The music of the “Dutch Adele,” Caro Emerald, is as bold and grandiose as the Oranje. Take a listen to ”I Belong to You”:

 

Match 2: Spain vs. Chile

Spain

After a disappointing opening loss to The Netherlands, Spain is looking to activate a plan B. BFlecha can show the way with “βeta”:

Chile

The message of Los Bunkers’ “Si Estas Pensando Mal de Mi” is “If you’re thinking badly about me, keep it to yourself.” Think good thoughts about #CHI!

Match 3: Cameroon vs. Croatia

Cameroon

Cameroon and Croatia haven’t yet become football or music powerhouses, but they both have some jams. Cameroonian rapper Sadrak deserves more shine for “Le Gars De Yaounde”:

Croatia

Pips, Chips & Videoclips have been holding Zagreb, Croatia down since the early ’90s and the recently released “Trubač” is happy, sincere Balkan rock:

 

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Battle Mundial: World Cup Music Digest, 6/17

by Alexis Stephens | 46 days ago
Comment

Throughout the 2014 World Cup, we will be celebrating the bond between music and the most popular sporting event in the world. Each day of the tournament, we will be selecting songs from each country playing. We want to help you get as hyped as humanly possible for the daily on-field drama.

Match 1: Belgium vs. Algeria

Belgium

Stromae is the best. If you are thinking “What’s a Stromae?” you should probably check out 10 Reasons to Know Who Stromae Is Right Now. The Red Devils have the only soccer anthem that will still be pumping in my headphones in August in “Ta Fête.” Check out the darkly funny short film Stromae made to announce the anthem:

Algeria

Let’s transition from a high-budget global superstar to just some fans showing their favorite team some love. Here’s “Viva Algeria” (set to Don Omar’s massive hit “Danza Kuduro”):

 

Match 2: Brazil vs. Mexico

Brazil

The World Cup is literally all fun and games, but the security, living wage, and equity issues protesters are drawing attention to are real and deserve to be taken seriously, especially after the tournament is over. São Paulo-baced emcee Emicida has recently released a gorgeous anthem that celebrates the religion of futbol in Brazil, without endorsing FIFA or the World Cup. Check out “Obrigado, Darcy (O Brasil que Vai Além)”:

Mexico

#BattleMundial is taking a fairly weird turn today, since this pick for Mexico might be aggressively anti-soccer. Shadowy Mexico-based “netlabel” New Weird Latin America has released an ill World Cup mixtape featuring Fatima al Qadiri, Evian Christ, and others paired with visuals of violent hooligan fights.

Match 3: Russia vs. Republic of South Korea

Russia

Pompeya is one of the chillest Russian tropical disco bands out there (okay, maybe the only). Their video for “Power” is about a young man finding expressing his swag. May the Russian team also find theirs:

South Korea

K-pop group AOA show their love for Korea’s team with the effervescent “We Are The Reds”:

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Battle Mundial: World Cup Music Digest, 6/16

by Alexis Stephens | 47 days ago
Comment

Throughout the 2014 World Cup, we will be celebrating the bond between music and the most popular sporting event in the world. Each day of the tournament, we will be selecting songs from each country playing. We want to help you get as hyped as humanly possible for the daily on-field drama.

Match 1: Germany vs. Portugal

Germany

Germany’s chart topper Zedd has a message for Cristiano Ronaldo in “Find You”:

Portugal

Buraka Som Sistema’s “Bota” (or “boot”) was chosen by Adidas to be the soundtrack to their Samba Collection cleats for the World Cup. It’s not hard to see why; the Afro-Portuguese kuduro track featuring Brazil’s Karol Conka is a banger:

Match 2: Iran vs. Nigeria

Iran

Iran is not predicted to go far in the tournament, but the team will still play with heart and try to prove haters wrong. Our favorite Iranian rapper Yas teamed up with Tech N9ne earlier this year for a track that encapsulates positivism and diplomacy lurking beneath the competitive spirit of the tournament. Check out “Sound of Unity”:

Nigeria

Keeping things uplifting is D’Banj with “Top of the World.” Here’s his comment to us about why music and football go so well together, “I am a huge football fan and I see music and football as providing entertainment to millions of people around the world. When I perform at a concert or watch a football match you can feel and see the passion that it generates. This is because music and football are both played with the heart.”

Match 3: Ghana vs. USA

Ghana

Wiyaala kinda killed it as far as 2014 soccer anthems are concerned with “Go Go Back Stars Goal”:

United States of America

Nonetheless, there’s no love lost between USA and Ghana. Set in Brazil, Michael Jackson’s video for “They Don’t Care About Us” is the epitome of how underrated USA’s team must feel:

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