Could this be the first all nu-cumbia film soundtrack?
Producer El Remolón, a fixture of the experimental Buenos Aires cumbia collective ZZK, has just released his sauntering soundtrack to the new documentary film, Boxeo Constitución. The film, by Austrian director Jakob Weingartner, is a gritty portrait of a boxing gym located in the catacombs underneath a busy Buenos Aires rail station. It follows the stories of two teenage boxers from the city’s vast shantytowns as they use the boxing ring to reclaim power in post-crisis Argentina. It looks pretty rad.
Weingartner personally tapped El Remolón to do the soundtrack after hearing his tune “Bolivia.” And it makes perfect sense. After all, the cumbia villera that inspires the ZZK producers is the omnipresent soundtrack of the slums portrayed in the film, and the music has something of a dark and sinister vibe that matches the dog-eat-dog tone of the film perfectly.
The record is available for purchase here, but first, peep the cinematic lead single, featuring Canadian-Colombian singer Lido Pimienta. It’s really one of the most beautiful tracks every released with a ZZK track (other adjectives like heavy, face-melting, angular are more common for their stuff). Credit due to Lido’s sly vocals and some soaring trumpets.
Amplify Dot, the rebellious MC from London, returns with a free track before unleashing the follow-up to her well-received single, “Kurt Cobain.” On “Paperwerk,” she tears up the bassy beat and motivates the go-getters to go get it, because, as she spits, “money gets the furs, and the purls, and the house.” Enough said!
Since the release of his All Or Nothing mixtape two days ago, Merky Ace has already been back in the studio recording new music for the underworld. The prince of grime’s latest cut, “GAZA,” features Slew Dem’s Chronik and, over S.K.I.T.Z Beats’ hellishly dark, bass-riddled production, each MC makes sure their lyrical wrath is well and truly felt. Do you like your grime raw and undiluted? If so, then you need to give this one a go.
As Red Bull Music Academy 2013 in New York City winds down, a new generation of talented-as-hell electronic music makers are unleashed on the world with the Red Bull badge of honor. The super-selective Academy only chooses 30 artists every year to participate, so they’re basically all the best and brightest. As Flying Lotus said, “This was some life-changing shit.”
We can’t vouch for the entire class of 2013, but let me tell you, Jimi Nxir sure is rad. This track, “Sensation,” a first tease of upcoming EP GXLD, is a nice introduction to his thing: understated, pensive, a little hypnotic, soulful. Swirls like smoke.
Hello all you global music fans! It’s Friday! That means yet another round of amazing new artist from around the world for you to discover and vote on. We’re talking about the artist of the week poll. You have until next Friday morning at 11 a.m. EST to vote for the musician or group you think should be our artist of the week. The winner will be featured on our home page. Ready? Yeah, you are.
Dutch Uncles’ fondness for irregular time signatures has earned them a reputation for intellectualism, like a highbrow brand of indie bearing the smarts of math-rock while carrying the crystalline torch of disco. On their third album Out of Touch in the Wild, the Manchester band have practically mastered that peculiar approach to pop, affording them the stability needed to cultivate a new motif: Pitting the polished against the seedy.
Carmen Villain is a stunning beauty of Norwegian and Mexican heritage who spent a decade modeling for top designers and posing on magazine covers before she decided to leave that world and pick up a guitar. The sounds that came out of that guitar were fractured and intense, a corrupted take on the blues that expresses not sadness but the swirling weirdness of the mind. Her first album, Sleeper, was released this March, featuring Carmen herself playing almost all the instruments. Purposefully a bit off-kilter and rough around the edges, the record creates this very rich, very complete sonic world that sucks you in right away.
Journalist-turned-beatsmith, Ryan Hemsworth has been making music that swims in the same ethereal waters as some of today’s most sought-after hip-hop producers. Brought up in Nova Scotia, Canada, Hemsworth started producing electronic music during university, after a brief affiliation with guitar music – rock, to be precise. Since switching to his laptop, his production skills have been in high demand.
Growing up between Helsinki, Berlin and London, Tigerlight has juggled roles within the media. Not only is she a singer, DJ and producer, but she also writes weekly comedy sketches for Crissy Criss’ D&B show on BBC Radio 1Xtra. Then there’s her work as a backing vocalist for The X Factor, and Britain’s Got Talent, where she supported Beyoncé, Robbie Williams and Westlife, no less. Despite spreading her talents with quite a few DJs from across this latest wave of dubstep – including Document One, Far Too Loud and Dodge & Fuski – perhaps her most favored producer has been High Rankin, with whom she has recorded numerous tracks.
A K U A
The video for “Gravity” is the perfect visual encapsulation of the aquatic suspension you feel from listening to A K U A’s harmonies. The R&B singer from Montreal is in character as a fish-tailed siren of the sea being coveted by admirers. The gently gargling beats in her production enhance the aquatic theme, but instead of lulling you to a gentle slumber, you become buoyed by a mixture of seduction and heartache. A K U A writes her own material and co-produces her music with Andy Bauer of Twin Shadow and Martin Rodriguez.
“Some people think little girls should be seen and not heard but I think, Oh bondage! Up yours!”
If this mantra is already close to your heart, you might want to skip to the next paragraph. If not, you should know that this phrase made a significant cultural imprint on the world after it was first performed by the seminal English punk band X-Ray Spex in 1977. Lead singer Poly Styrene’s holler “Oh bondage! Up yours!” grew into a feminist rallying cry and she is considered a godmother to the Riot grrrl movement of the 1990s. Poly Styrene and X-Ray Spex were firmly anti-consumerist and anti-capitalist and in their later years participated in charity works for causes such as refugees and ending racism.
Sadly Poly Styrene passed away from breast and spinal cancer in 2011. But her philanthropic spirit will live on at the X-ReSpects: X-Ray Spex Tribute concert on Sunday June 30th at Webster Hall in New York City. The Shivering Brigade, The Suzan, and Militia will be performing songs from X-Ray Spex’ 1978 album Germ Free Adolescents. Contributions will benefit War Child, an organization that “helps rebuild war-affected communities to provide the support necessary for children to experience a stable childhood.” The concert continues the work started in the album Rebel on the Underground: A Tribute to X-Ray Spex put out on Permanent Wave Records last year, with proceeds benefiting Sweet Relief Musicians Fund.
Congratulations to K-pop rookie Lee Hi and to all of her loyal fans! The young singer with the jazzy style is our artist of the week. Once her supporters started voting their was no competition. She has a unique and soulful style, so it was heartening to see the outpouring of support from all over the world. She first caught our attention in the gorgeous video for “Rose.” Check it out:
Jon E Clayface is a rising name in London’s underground circuit, as a producer, DJ and MC, and today he releases his debut LP, Different State Of Mind. The 13-track instrumental compilation is experimental bass at its best: it chills with dubstep, flirts with grime, and even pays jungle and D&B a quick visit. “This free album is a collection of some of my favorite beats from 2010 up to now,” says Jon E Clayface. “Some close friends have described it as being a deep-thinking, emotional mix of material, with some chilled-out tracks but also heavier, more hard-hitting tracks. I got a lot of inspiration from ambient music, grime, drum & bass, and classical, and I really like the outcome.” So do we! Listen and download after the jump.