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Artist of the Week: Vote for Your Favorite

by Suzy Exposito | 91 days ago
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Who was your favorite featured artist this week? You have until 11am EST next Friday to cast your vote!

Füete Billëte

Füete Billete aren’t strangers to Puerto Rico’s music scene. Comprised of members Pepper Kilo, Beibi Johnson and Freebass, the hip-hop trio surfaced in the early part of 2013, although its members had been active in music long before that.  All together, they’ve been part of nearly a dozen musical projects in their native country — some as performers, some as producers and some as touring members — including Davila 666, Calle 13 and Ciencia Fixion.

Emmy Gee

Emmanuel Nwankwo has currency from two of the most influential countries in Africa: Nigeria and South Africa. He’s got the literal kind — the paper stuff you use to make it rain while chilling in mansions and convertibles — and the social kind. As rapper/singer Emmy Gee, he’s advancing hip-hop culture in both places. Emmy Gee is still an up-and-comer with only a few singles under his belt, but with ”Rands & Nairas” and a couple of appearances opening for Kendrick Lamar and Big Sean, he’s one to watch.

Gossling

It’s extremely likely that Gossling’s appearance on Australian rapper 360’s 2011 hit, “Boys Like You,” was what led Woolworths to, a year later, pick the Melbourne-based artist for an ad campaign showcasing in which she covered the big band classic “Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday (I Love You).” But that’s not all she’s about. When Harvest of Gold, her first long-player, was presented to Australia last fall, it became ever-so-clear that Gossling’s personal aesthetic was something else altogether.

Sylvan Esso

Neither Amelia Randall Meath nor Nicholas Sanborn were on the prowl for a new project when Sylvan Esso (named after a character in the video game Swords & Sorcery) began to take shape. Meath was doing just fine with Mountain Man. Meanwhile Sanborn was keeping busy dropping the beat with his electronic project, Made of Oak. That is, until Meath asked Sanborn to remix a track she had written called “Play it Right,” and something magic happened.

Campo-Formio

Here Comes Campo-Formio couldn’t be a better name for the first LP from the legendary San Juan post-punk band. It’s more than a title; it’s a battle cry, an announcement that they’ve arrived and are ready for world domination. As a three piece, Campo-Formio’s music and musicianship are as tight as they can get; recognizable for its weird guitar breakdowns, technical, albeit creative drumming and sick bass lines that stick like an old ice cream cone melting in the sidewalk under an obnoxiously bright Caribbean sun.


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PREMIERE: Cilantro Boombox — “Fears Away”

by Alexis Stephens | 94 days ago
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Cilantro is one of the liveliest and most aromatic garnishes. Austin’s Cilantro Boombox doles out Latin-Caribbean-Texan freshness the same way the herb does. Today we’re premiering their newest track, “Fears Away,” a song about temporarily pushing your troubles aside and diving hips-first into a ska/reggae groove.

For four years, Venezuelan bassist/DJ/producer Félix Pacheco and saxophonist/flutist Joe Woullard have been reinterpreting the flavors of the city alongside bandmates Zumbi Richards, Andrés Villegas,  Eduardo Torres, Joshua Thomson, and Nico Sanchez. For that reason, the city of Austin has proclaimed May 1 “Cilantro Boombox Day.” To celebrate, the band will also be performing in Austin on April 29 at Stubbs Indoors and May 2 at The Gypsy Lounge. Even if you can’t catch them live, you can still enjoy the sun-kissed flute, anxiety-easing horns, and uplifting lyrics of “Fears Away.”

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Artist of the Week: Vote for Your Favorite

by Suzy Exposito | 98 days ago
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Who was your favorite featured artist this week? You have until 11am EST next Friday to cast your vote!

Brain F≠ 

Once in a while, a band catapults itself from the least likely (or really, more overlooked) corners of the world, shifting the gaze of punk fans and hocking a ginormous loogie into our eyes as if to say “It’s about time you noticed.” That pretty much sums up the entire essence of Charlotte’s own Brain F≠The band runs through their latest LP, Empty Set, with a consistently raw power, combining the proto-punk rock ‘n’ roll stylings of Ann Arbor in 1969 and the hardcore fury of D.C. in 1981. 

Fantasmes

As most great origin stories go, the tale of how Fantasmes became such a force to be reckoned with is one with many twists and a short turn. It began as Mario Negrón’s project when he self-released his debut EP The Reveller. He recruited fellow scene musicians Darío Morales, Daniel Sierra and Juan Arroyo (ex-Dandy and the Walkers) for the live act and the rest is strange, psychedelic history.

BFlecha

There’s something to say about BFlechas’s unabashed flouting of genres. In her debut full-length, βeta, the galician songstress dabbles everywhere from synthwave to R&B, house and 2-step in a way that’s highly studied while dodging pretension. It is pop in the purest sense, rooted in Spain’s own rich tradition — namely ’80s-era new wave — yet poised and persistent in its resolve to push things forward.

Broken Twin

After spending three years working on another musical project with her best friend,  Majke Voss Romme gradually found herself as a solo artist, releasing her debut single last November. Self-produced and stitched together from hundreds of mini demos recorded over the past three years, her debut album, May, is a super minimalist collection of songs somehow filled by vast spaces between notes and Romme’s lonesome voice.

Household

DIY punkers Household avoided the sophomore slump with Elaines, their acerbic follow-up to Items. These six songs sound off like a volley of eye-rolls at the mundanities of existence. Household utilized every crevice of this twelve minute EP. There is no room for filler, and each song is integral to the next, with things growing more tensely wound and jittery as it progresses. Talya Cooper’s pensive and sardonic lyrics bounce between the sturdy bass lines and taut, punchy drums, creating a muted minimalist punk soundscape.


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PREMIERE: Conducta — “Let Go”

by Joseph JP Patterson | 101 days ago
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We’ll have less of that “old skool garage” talk around here! It’s a new day, and there’s a new school of UK garage stars who are waiting patiently in the wings. Based in Bristol, England, Conducta is a UKG 2.0 top-performing student; a producer whose punchy, percussive 2-step treats have been building up quite the momentum from the underground-up recently, he’ll drop his Let Go/Used To Care EP slap-bang in the middle of said buzz on April 28, via London’s DPM Records.

Today, MTV IGGY has the pleasure of premiering the lead cut off the beatsmith’s forthcoming three-track set. Using a delicate sample of Brandy’s “Almost Doesn’t Count” (and an opening thirty-second vocal snippet of early Craig), Conducta’s whomping bassline, 2-step kicks, snares and subtle guitar plucks give “Let Go” the potential to slip into the roles of club heavy-hitter, and perfect-singalong-jam-for-the-spring-clean-sessions, quite easily. Stream “Let Go” here exclusively, until your heart’s content:

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MTV World’s Rebel Music Series Now Available on Netflix

by Suzy Exposito | 101 days ago
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Premiered initially last November, the first season of MTV World’s Rebel Music documentary series is now available to watch on Netflix.  Executive produced by artist/activist Shepard Fairey and head of MTV World Nusrat Durrani, Rebel Music is a critically acclaimed documentary film series about young, creative people igniting revolutionary political upheaval all over the world. Reporting from the front lines where impassioned youth are standing up against the powers that be, each episode delves into the lives of musicians who mobilize communities with their art, conviction, and raw courage in the face of oppression.

The series features some of our own favorite artists — from Ramy Essam, the relentless voice of the Egyptian Revolution, to Amkoullel, the fearless Malian rapper tackling anti-music laws. Netflix users will be able to watch all five episodes on demand starting today.

 

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Artist of the Week: Vote for Your Favorite

by Suzy Exposito | 105 days ago
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Who was your favorite featured artist this week? You have until 11am EST next Friday to cast your vote!

Kikagaku Moyo

Many latter-day psych bands draw inspiration from The 13th Floor Elevators’s unhinged rumble, cutting their hallucinogen inspired joints with terrific noise. Others, such as Tame Impala, go for a stylized, obsessively produced sound. Kikagaku Moyo find a healthy middle ground, emotionally and sonically — recalling those recent findings that psychedelic drugs can ease anxiety and depression in terminally ill patients.

Mapei

Jacqueline Mapei Cummings is a half-Liberian and half-Swedish singer who was born in the US but moved to Stockholm at age ten. As a teen, she had a soft spot for American rap and R&B that she would absorb on summer trips back to US. Four years ago, Downtown Records signed her to put out a rap EP, but it wasn’t quite the right sound or the right time for Mapei to make a proper debut. Now feeling more confident and excited about her raspy, soulful vocals than her raps, Mapei just put out a new EP on Downtown structured around the song “Don’t Wait.”

Easter

Stine Omar and Max Boss named their first collaborative project Euroshit. It encapsulates the duo perfectly: darkly funny, self-deprecating, and thinly-veiling a nuanced appreciation of Europe’s electronic music legacy. Their first EP under the name Easter, Ur A Great Babe, plays is full of simple, but pleasurable beats and emotional detachment conveyed through robotic vocals. Predating Beyoncé by a few years, “Surfboard” oddly has the same seaside love themes as “Drunk In Love,” but to enjoy it as much you have a high tolerance for irony.

Lucy Love

Your grandfather would say that Lucy Love has gumption. Author Jane Austen would have described the Danish MC as plucky. But for us, Love is (and will always be) a musical spitfire. Over the course of three albums, she’s proven to be an absolutely fearless force, barreling down multiple musical avenues, including rap, R&B, and soul — often all at the same time. On her 2013 album Desperate Days of Dynamite, fast and furious rhymes punctuated with references to the likes of Fargo and Ricky Ricardo.

Taffy

This troupe, based in and beloved by Tokyo, relies on the cutesy commercialism of J-pop only slightly less than it does the gravely gall of alt rock. But sandpaper-rough riffs and intricate pedal work push Taffy into legit shoegaze territory, melding a supremely irresistible mix of the super-sweet and sharply sour. Founding singer Iris and bassist Koichin, along with later-added guitarist Asano and drummer Ken, offer only their first names, but plenty of other personal info in their frequently updated individual blogs.


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