In an article on Mo Kolours from a few years ago, we mentioned about how the half-English/half-Mauritian artist combines sega, the indigenous music of the Macarene Islands, with “dub, soul, and beats.”
That article announced his debut release from 2011, EP1: Drum Talking. After a trio of EPs, Mo Kolours is about to release a self-titled album on One-Handed Music on March 24th. On songs like “Mike Black,” he combines Indian Ocean percussion with the atmospheric experimental electronica and R&B we’ve come to expect from UK artists of the James Blake and Jamie xx ilk. Producing and singing through filters that give the songs a vintage, sun-dappled feel, he still makes the listener aware that a brand new mosaic has been introduced to the world.
Following Star One’s buzzworthy last single, “Wanted Man,” comes the house-inflected, bouncy garage sounds of “Gangster Girls.” The producing twosome from London took it all the way back and called on Fallacy, a known MC from the UKG scene of yesteryear, to chat on the track about their appreciation for the females who like to keep it trill, but still sexy. And with lines like, “She is flawless, and you just won’t see the deception/This gangster b****h is gorgeous, she is gorgeous, totally awesome,” they prove that chivalry is far from dead.
“I think the UK garage scene has been building strongly over the last few years,” says Adam, one half of Star One, “and there are plenty of great new garage tracks coming out from the likes of Conducta and Flava D, who are constantly pushing things forward nicely. The future of the genre is bright!” Indeed, it is. Stream “Gangster Girls” below, and download the track for free on February 3.
Jeez, is it the weekend already? Before you check out, make sure you vote in our Artist of the Week poll! You have until next Friday, January 24 to vote for the best groundbreaking international artist we’ve featured this week. Go go go!
London-based bedroom composer William Doyle—nom de plume East India Youth—deserves a bundle of blue ribbons for his debut LP, Total Strife Forever. Whether he knows it or not, he’s practically set records with this collection of gorgeous, poignant pop songs.
The Kettering, England-based band only just formed in the summer of 2012, but only that fact lets on to how new they are. “Surface Song,” which opens with a Byrdsian twang and morphs into a more stylish, inside-out take on the iconic band’s famous Turn! Turn! Turn!. Initially released on a now-totally-sold-out 7-inch, the track resurfaces on Sun Structures as its incredibly telling kickoff.
Sydney three-piece Bloods have been making big waves in the past year, since the release of both their Golden Fang EP and their limited edition 7” We Are Bloods. Heralded as one of The Guardian’s “Ten Australian bands to watch in 2014,” they’re also responsible for some of the cutest music videos, such as “No Fun” and “Into My Arms”. Their surf rock melodies are tightly wound and swathed in crackly distortion, yet prone to slosh into DIY power-pop territory.
Enter Bryte, 2012 winner of the Big in Ghana Talent Hunt. Born Bright Edem Dziku-Addo, Bryte (also known as Bryte the Micnificent) represents the next wave of hiplife talent coming out of West Africa. His lead single “Nadia Number” has all of the attributes of a star maker: bounce, lyrical prowess, and party-anthem potential.
Sicko Mobb’s Super Saiyan Vol. 1 mixtape, released at the very end of 2013, is the perfect encapsulation of bopping’s wonderfulness. Lil Ceno and his younger brother Lil Trav make their way through the fifteen tracks dropping one irresistible hook after another. Their processed vocals ride the melody like a character in a video game steadily jumps from stage to stage—or like the gratifying rhythms of matching treats in Candy Crush Saga.
When Rewd Adams raps, you stop everything and listen. A south London native, widely known in the UK hip-hop circuit for his dopehook-ups with The Last Skeptik, Adams’ rowdy flow is one that appeals to a younger ear, but his intellectual rhymes and penchant for ‘90s-sounding beats hasn’t gone unnoticed among hip-hop heads over the age of 25, either. The lyricist promises a new EP later this year, with a few singles and covers of oldies to drop in the run-up. And first up is “Love Thing,” Rewd Adams’ smile-inducing and quintessentially British take on the Pete Rock classic, “It’s A Love Thing.” If you were having a grey day, things are about to brighten up a bit. Hit play after the jump.
Richard Dorfmeister and Rupert Huber, two men better known as the veteran downtempo DJs Tosca, will be bringing their simmering downtempo sounds to a handful of lucky cities in North America in late February and early March. To whet their fans’s appetites the Viennese duo is circulating this unreleased tour version of “Looking” — the original version was included as a bonus track on their 2013 album Odeon. If the duo won’t be coming to your city let the sweet synths and disco vibes of this take on “Looking” soothe the sting.
London-based Cheatahs are being lumped into the many ’90s alt-rock inspired acts swarming today’s indie, and that’s not exactly fair. The label’s increasingly hackneyed—and what do we mean by it, anyway? Are we talking straight up Nirvana? Matador or Merge Records? Smashing Pumpkins? Sonic Youth? The margin’s incredibly too broad.
So let’s get specific about Cheatahs. Feb. 11 is when their self-titled LP drops, and unlike 2012’s Extended Plays album—which was really just their earlier EPs, Coared and SANS, combined—this one looks to be both dirtier and more structurally experimental.
On the lead single “Get Tight,” contrast is a prominent motif. Brittle, low-octave riffs are juxtaposed with that faraway-tunnel-echo effect consistently used to soften Nathan Hewitt’s rasp. Moments of sandpaper-rough intensity challenge periods of drawn-out croons backed only by percussion, and the minimalist throwback crunch, in general, is pitted against the prog-leaning futurism of complex pedal-work.
Essentially, we’d be doing ourselves a disservice by allowing Cheatahs to get lost in the mass of alt-loving acts. Listen to “Get Tight” below and see for yourself. —Words by Jhoni Jackson
As recently stated in a V Magazine article, “Most of [British pop’s] newest creatives are young, black, and unafraid to stand outside of the ‘urban’ box,” which couldn’t be more accurate. Raleigh Ritchie, 23, is one of those creatives. Born Jacob Anderson in Bristol, the part-time actor’s soulful undertones, here-and-there slang usage, and emotionally vulnerable lyrical content makes his pop bang in a way that connects with rudeboys and the screaming female audience alike. And “Stronger Than Ever,” his new number taken from the Black And Blue EP, is a perfect example of that. Listen:
In their short lifetime, Broods have accomplished more than many artists—both artistically and in terms of career growth. Brother and sister Caleb and Georgia Nott have only released two songs but already have a worldwide following and a major label deal. In fact, almost immediately after the release of their initial offering “Bridges,” Capitol Records signed them. That’s right, after one song. If you haven’t heard it yet, yes, it IS that good.
The New Zealand-based duo recently proved that they are no one trick pony, releasing an equally-as-amazing new track called “Never Gonna Change.” The song sticks to the moody, cloudy tone of “Bridges,” with Georgia’s melancholy and (almost) effortless voice wafting into your ears as brother Caleb’s smooth production envelops you. The mastery of “Never” is that even in its gloom, it excites you.
Instant success is wonderful for bands and singers, but it creates high expectations for what comes next. Some can’t follow up their first act, but Broods has what it takes: a unique style all their own, and evident confidence in the music they want to be making. —Words by Hugh McIntyre