K-pop fans in the Bay Area, especially VIPs, this is your Music Experiment! The next chunk of The Music Experiment has begun and we can officially announce that Taeyang of Big Bang is headlining this one.
He’ll be performing live on November 26, 2013 at a costume party at secret location in San Francisco. Get ready for the hottest show in K-pop! The only way to attend is to win tickets.
The Music Experiment is giving away tickets every day leading up to the show. Participate in the daily challenges, and you could win free tickets, VIP passes, or even backstage access to see Taeyang live. Go to The Music Experiment website and sign up to help make this the best round of The Experiment 2.0 yet!
Global citizens of the web, the time has come to do your solemn duty as someone who is visiting this music website and vote for one of these five melodic gems to be our Artist of the Week. You have from now until 11 a.m. EST next Friday when the poll will close. Between this moment and then anything can happen. The only certainty is that you will determine who will wear this week’s crown. Now vote!
“I swear she’s destined for the screen/the closest thing to Michelle Pfeiffer that you’ve ever seen,” Vance Joy (né James Keogh) sings on single “Riptide.” Playful without being inane, and borderline absurd without edging into irrationality, the line neatly sums up the Australian troubadour’s musical style. Awash with strummed guitars and lighthearted introspection, Joy’s debut EP God Loves You When You’re Dancing is about as universally likable as Ms. Pfeiffer herself—and (attention music supervisors) certainly destined to hit a few screens big and small.
It’s the sound of youth, a percolating sense of possibility that Wildcat! Wildcat! (Jesse Taylor, Michael Wilson, and Jesse Carmichael) manifest into synth, synth, and more synth. But before you cry one trick pony, note that their self-titled debut EP also includes a track called “The Chief,” built on spiky guitar lines and smoothest of sax. (Oh Kenny G, in light of offerings from M83, Postiljonen, and Wildcat! Wildcat! we can now say for sure that you were way ahead of your time.)
There are two ways you could experience Kwes’ floaty experimental R&B. You can listen to it with high-brow ears, searching for the compositional subtext in his hushed bass tones, or you can simply enjoy the poetic pop sensibilities of his songwriting. His breakthrough as a solo artist was last year’s four-track EP on Warp Records, meantime. A self-described shy guy (see his track “bashful“), Kwes’ complex, atmospheric production made him brainy enough for the famous electronica label, while bringing a unique amount of thoughtful soul to a music niche populated by nerdy producers. His upcoming album, ilp., will be out out on October 14 in Europe and October 15 in the United States.
With the release of “Pressure,” Until The Ribbon Breaks provides for audiences in search of feeling, meaning and, ultimately, substance to their music. The track drifts from undeniably cool, to brooding, reflective and, in parts, wistful. The lyrics – “Maybe in another life/If there is another time” – rock precariously between a sense of what could have been and what could yet still be, while his second single, “2025,” conveys a sadness that, though evident on the surface, is nothing compared to the fuller shadows of despair that swirl ominously below it. Welsh-born Pete Lawrie Winfiel’s chosen moniker of Until The Ribbon Breaks, in essence, is reflective of the songs on his EP A Taste of Silver, released this month. It gives both a great sense of foreboding and tinges of anticipation as to what awaits once the ribbon snaps.
After their last album, The Amazing Kingdom Of The Animals In The Zoo Chapter 1: Magical Medicine, was released in 2008, Maniqui Lazer took one of those extended breaks that many fans might figure as an indication of a band’s unofficial demise. The trio had previously fit into in the Mexicali punk scene as a sex-starved act that hinted at electroclash’s bondage fantasies. The single and video for “Sonic Sex,” from 2006′s I Learn Everything On TV, put some of their depraved yearnings on display. Last November they reunited after being invited to Tijuana’s All My Friends Music Festival. The magic was still there, so the band went to work for their newly released albumDead Celebration. The same power station-driven synthesizers and tortured, pleading vocals are there, but they add touches of the goth scene that’s emerged in the past couple of years—esoteric symbols and witch house sensibilities.
We’re blowing a congratulatory x or three to The Kissaway Trail! The noisy, poppy gents from Denmark held a steady lead all week in our Artist of the Week poll and today they are victorious. Dig a bit of their deliciously jagged jangle on “The Springsteen Implosion” to see what inspired all the support.
In the strange, strange music industry we live in today, video games have become one of the biggest platforms for breaking artists. They’ve also become major revenue source, up there in importance with placements in television and film.
And Grand Theft Auto V isn’t any ordinary video game. When Rockstar Games puts out a new title in GTA franchise, it’s not just a news item – it’s a media event. One of the biggest stories around this week’s release is the game’s massive musical offerings. In addition to 20 movies worth of original score, GTA V boats 240 licensed songs on 15 thematic in-game “radio stations,” each with a celebrity host DJ. There’s an experimental electronic station hosted by Flying Lotus, a hip-hop station helmed by Outkast’s Big Boy and a funk station DJ’d by the man Bootsy Collins himelf.
One of the in-game stations we’re most excited about, however, is East Los FM. It’s the lone Latin station in the fictional city of Los Santos where the game takes place. The part that makes us excited about it is that the station’s playlist was curated by Camilo Lara, aka the Mexican Institute of Sound (as well as the former general manager of EMI Mexico and an icon in Latin alternative music).
The station’s playlist includes a few tracks of Regional Mexican music, but mainly consists of songs from underground and alternative artists such as rapper Niña Dioz, Venezuelan rockers La Vida Boheme, Argentinean reggae singer Alika and Monterrey electro-pop act She’s A Tease. All together, it’s a chingona soundtrack for stealing cars and blowing sh*t up.
“I think it’s yet another further sign of acceptance, but also a sign that there’s just really good music in Latin alternative,” says Tomas Cookman, owner of LA-based label Nacional Records. “All these different sounds, different beats, different messages fit on the station very nice. And I think it’s another look into the future that’s more accepting of different sounds and different views.”
Iggettes, Iggsters and all Iggpersons everywhere, get ready for another week global pop face-off! We present to you five bands featured on MTV Iggy this week. We love them. You love them. But only one can be this week’s winner. Vote now and forever hold your peace. (Or work it out in the comments section. Whatevs.) The winner will be determined at 11 a.m. EST next Friday.
Postiljonen are admitted Whitney Houston fans. (See: embedded “How Will I Know” tribute on “All the We Had Lost.”) But, while their debut full-length Skyer may contain the sexiest sax and synth that you’re likely to hear all year, there’s more than smooth grooves to the Stockholm-based trio. Coupling shimmering pop refrains with unbridled, childlike idealism, Postiljonen has managed to create an inspired wonderland, poised to sweep the listener away with its widescreen grace.
At the 2013 Miami Music Week, a few tracks set the tone for what was to follow. One of those tracks was Plastik Funk’s “Who.” Club heavyweights like David Guetta, Avicii, and Major Lazer soon began incorporating the song into their sets. Looking back with the benefit of hindsight, the track supplied momentum for Plastik Funk’s very busy last few months.The duo recently teamed up with Pink Fluid’s John Dabel and Max Pagani for the track “2 Billion Dollars,” a summertime house banger if there ever was one. On August 23, Plastik Funk released a new single called “Need Somebody” on Tiger Records, which kept their style front and center on DJ decks worldwide. As if that weren’t enough, they released a clubbed-out remix of “Blue Monday” (with Kurd Maverick), which brings the New Order track to a new generation of dance floor denizens.
Following London-based label Hyperdub’s leading ladies – Ikonika, Cooly G, and Laurel Halo – comes Jessy Lanza, a melody-driven pop vocalist who grew up on a fattening diet of R&B. The singer, songwriter, producer, and highly skilled pianist from the small town of Hamilton, Ontario, wowed the World Wide Web when she appeared on Ikonika’s “Beach Mode (Keep It Simple)” earlier this year, where she put the synth-heavy, Chicago house-styled production under the spell of her hypnotic, sultry tones. Though it was to be Lanza’s alt-R&B debut single, “Kathy Lee,” that would catapult her into blog superstardom.
Now more than ever the Kissaway Trail channels the British C86 noise-pop jangle, but a newfound confidence has allowed for feelings to take the forefront. Breach, their third full-length, is sonically massive, as if designed to fill arenas. Yet it’s the straightforward, heart-on-sleeve tendencies, like on “Cuts of Youth (Razor Love),” that make the album the kind of emotional whale that will attract fleets of fans: “Nothing else matters to me,” Fagerlund repeats. On the tense and imposing “Sarah Jevo,” the chorus chills out as he croons, “I’m ready when you are.” There’s bob-along synth-laced jams too, like “The Sinking.” But Kissaway Trail’s rejuvenated sound is at its apex when their newly self-assured chests are not only puffed out, but also wide open and vulnerable.
We’re going to guess that Mariam Wallentin is human. But between her work with Wildbirds & Peacedrums and her new solo project Mariam The Believer, it would be easy to think otherwise. Her debut album Blood Donation tackles the most epic of emotions: life, death, love, and passion. Songs rendered in Wallentin’s jazzy slur, the feelings she evokes seem grander and more inviting than anything that we could hope to achieve—that is, save for some kind of mountaintop experience.
To get everyone pumped about the release of “I Need You / Close Your Eyes” on Dub Police Records, Subscape has released a free mix featuring tracks by dubstep darlings such as Caspa and Benga. Raw energy is the name of the game, as Anthony Peters has crafted a mix with lots of powerful vocals, driving beats, and floor-rattling bass. Just saying, it would be great to have flowing through your earbuds during a high-intensity training session, if that’s your thing.
To get you even more excited, take a peek at the video for “I Need You,” where some youngsters get increasingly aggro with their play things. Smokey the Bear would not approve.
Vintage yet fresh soul sounds have won the day. A big round of applause to Kadija Kamara and to the fans who voted to make her Artist of the Week! The UK singer is getting known for her jazzy style and a warm, golden voice with the magical power to evoke classic eras in music. We’re expecting “Better Things to Come” for this lady.
Vybz Kartel is the most powerful force in Jamaican music today: this is a fact few on the island would dispute. The popular dancehall singer’s dominance of the scene was so absolute in its heyday that his incarceration in 2011 on murder and weapons charges was a hit to the entire reggae business, as industry insiders regularly complain these days.
Kartel Forever: Trilogy (Image courtesy of Tad's Records)
But it looks like the world’s reggae fans are about to have a reason to celebrate – and no, Kartel isn’t going to be let free anytime soon. He is still awaiting trial (over two years since his arrest!), but that hasn’t stopped him from preparing to release a ginormous, 60-track, three-disc album titled Kartel Forever: Trilogy. The album will mostly consist of re-issues of Kartel’s biggest tunes from the glory years immediately before his incarceration, but will also include a number of previously unreleased songs, including plenty of raunchy new tracks primed for our collective dancefloor misbehavior.
Kartel Forever: Trilogy drops on September 24 in physical and digital formats.