Author: William Ruben Helms

I'm a music blogger, critic and photographer, who has had articles and photos published in Downbeat, Premier Guitar Magazine, Brooklyn Magazine, The New York Press, New York Magazine's Vulture Blog, Ins&Outs Magazine, The Noise Beneath the Apple, Glide Magazine, The Whiskey Dregs Magazine and others. Check out The Joy of Violent Movement Shop: Support on Patreon: : Featured as one of the top photographers in New York City

New Video: Combo Chimbita Release a Gorgeous Visual for Meditative “Todos Santos”

Acclaimed Latinx group Combo Chimbita — — Carolina Oliveros (vocals), Prince of Queens (synths, bass), Niño Lento (guitar) and Dilemastronauta — features members of New York-based Colombian folk collective Bulla en el Barrio and is a sort of related side project. Interestingly, the members of Combo Chimbita can trace the origins of their genre-mashing sound, which feature elements of cumbia, electro pop and Afro-futurism, to their experiments with different traditional music styles during their late night residencies at Park Slope, Brooklyn-based club Barbes. Most of that experimentation included explorations between visual identity and improvisational long-form trips that would eventually lead to their self-recorded, 2016 full-length debut El Corridor del Jaguar.

Unsurprisingly, the members of Combo Chimbita have cited Sun Ra’s Afro-futurism as a deep influence on their work and overall aesthetic — with the New York-based Latinx group crafting their own take, one, which they’ve dubbed Tropical Futurism. “The idea that the future doesn’t necessarily have to be this super white Western high-tech Star Wars stuff; that the indigenous ideas and culture of people of color, people of Latin America, can also represent a magical and substantial future,” Combo Chimbita explain. “It’s a vision that maybe a lot of people don’t necessarily think about often. The old and deep knowledge that indigenous people have of the land has been neglected for many years as part of capitalism and colonization.”

2016’s Lily Wen-produced sophomore album Abya Yala found the band further establishing their Afro-futurism-inspired take on cumbia and other traditional Colombian folk styles. Shortly after the release of Abya Yala, the members of Combo Chimbita began to receive attention locally and elsewhere for their live show, led by Oliveros’ powerhouse vocals and commanding stage presence. Eventually, the acclaimed Latinx group caught the attention of ANTI- Records, who signed the band to the label and released their third album 2019’s Ahomale.

Much like countless others, the pandemic wound up putting the act’s plans on an indefinite pause — but they used the time to write a batch of singles, including their latest, the slow-burning “Todos Santos.” Featuring atmospheric synths, skittering beats, a sinuous bass line, hypnotic four-on-the-floor-like drumming, expressive guitars, Afro-Colombian percussion and Oliveros’ yearning vocals, “Todos Santos” finds the act continuing to effortlessly and seamlessly mesh the ancient with the hyper contemporary.

e Mother of all Orishas in Yoruban tradition — and guardian of the ocean, representing home, creation and love. “Todos Santos gave us an opportunity to situate our instruments in such a special place, out in the open near the ocean, with no people around, just listening to the wind and watching the birds,” the band’s Prince of Queens recalls. ““It generated a peaceful & tranquil energy, which reflects our capacity to heal and to forgive, something we often lose sight of through the hustle of day-to-day life.” Dilemastronauta adds “The track’s hypnotic drumming was done in collaboration with Grammy-nominated percussionist Philbert Armenteros, a Cuban-born Babalawo and dear friend to Combo Chimbita who helped us perform this special homage to Yemaya.”

Directed by Iván Vernaza, the recently released video for “Todos Santos,” is the second of a series of visuals accompanying news Combo Chimbita material that follows the journey of Colombian sisters in a non-linear storyline that began with
“Mujer Jaguar” The videos were filmed and produced in Cali, Colombia at the beginning of a national uprising that has seen the government respond with violent repression against its citizens. “Mujer Jaguar” followed a young woman, whose fiery presence was connected to the current resistance across Abya Yala. “Todos Santos” is a gorgeously shot, nostalgia-fueled fever dream centered around an interconnected community of women, who guide and love the video’s roaring and passionate protagonist.

e surrounding mountains, we knew this song would be healing, purifying, and hopeful. Those maternal characteristics are something we wanted to evoke through the single and its video, recognizing that the young girl who roared in ‘Mujer Jaguar,’ had a process of learning and unlearning, of guidance and autonomy, which she uses to confront life,” Carolina Oliveros explains in press notes.

New Video: Rising Los Angeles-based Act Mini Trees Releases a Surreal Visual for Infectious “Carrying On”

Rising Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Lexi Vega is the daughter of a Cuban-born father and Japanese-American mother. The uniqueness of her identity has been an ever-present and constant tension within her life: Vega never quite fit in within the predominantly white, suburban Southern California communities of her childhood. And she had few around her, outside of her immediate family to understand the generational scars caused by internment and exile.

When Vega was just five, her father, a professional drummer himself, committed suicide. Understandably all of those traumas set in motion, questioning of Vega’s own self-identity throughout the course of her own her life. As an adult, the rising Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist played drums in a number of projects for several years before starting to write and record material with her solo recording project Mini Trees in 2018.

person and as an artist, fully in control of her vision — while providing her an opportunity to process, persevere and grow. Over the next two years, the Los Angeles-based multi-instrumentalist wrote, recorded and released two EPs: 2019’s debut Steady Me and last year’s Slip Away.

Understandably, with ample time to work on music as a result of the pandemic, Vega found herself ready to progress creatively while challenging many of her own long-held beliefs and notions about her identity. Originally envisioned to be her third EP, her forthcoming full-length debut Always In Motion features relatable and crafted indie pop songs that acknowledge collective anxiety about life’s seeming improbability while pointing out that life always keeps pushing you forward — for better or for worse.

centered around dense layers of shimmering and reverb-drenched guitars, a rousingly anthemic hook, Vega’s achingly plaintive vocals and propulsive four-on-the-floor. “Carrying On” can trace its origins to a trip to the desert, where Vega struggled to reconcile her sense of the world with the actual reality in front of her, especially during a time when everything felt unbelievable and surreal. And while sonically — to my ears — bearing a resemblance to JOVM mainstay San Mei, the new single features a narrator, who’s struggling with the inability to carry on, because she’s absolutely certain that somehow, someway the other shoe will drop no matter what she may try to do.

motions of everyday life — from getting up out bed, brushing her teeth, eating, working and even playing music. But at some point, the video’s protagonist recognizes that something isn’t quite right and tries to escape.

“I wrote ‘Carrying On’ in the middle of 2020 when I was out in the desert escaping the city and reflecting on the unsettling new way of life we all had to adopt during the pandemic,” Vega recalls. “Despite how in some ways life had begun to feel mundane again, there was a constant underlying fear that everything could unravel at any moment. In a sarcastic tone, the song questions my ability to hold it all together. We tried to capture this sentiment with the music video, displaying a character who is being led through the motions of day-to-day life, but beginning to recognize that something isn’t quite right.”

Always In Motion is slated for a September 17, 2021 release through Run For Cover Records.

New Audio: French DJ and Producer Delon Releases an Ibiza-like Banger

Greg Delon is an acclaimed NÎmes, France-based, self-taught DJ and producer, who is best known in French and international electronic music circles as Delon. Over the past 25 years, the French DJ and producer has been extremely busy.

He founded Apéro Techno, a night at Nimes-based club paloma that features an eclectic array of French producers and DJs — and part of the A-Nimé Festival Association (of which he’s the president)
He’s the founder and head of Way of House Records, a French house music/electronic music label.

elon’s latest single “Sorry” is a sleek and sensual banger centered around shimmering synth melodies, a soulful vocal sample, skittering pads, thumping beats and a euphoric hook. The end result is a summery, Ibiza meets 90s take on deep house.

New Video: JOVM Mainstay DG Solaris Teams Up with Jeremy Tuplin on the Dream-like “Ocean/Are You weird Enough?”

London-based singer/songwriter and guitarist Danny Green may be best known for being the frontman of acclaimed British folk pop act Laish. With Laish, Green wrote and recorded four critically applauded albums released through French indie label Tailres, which he and his bandmates supported with extensive touring across the UK, the European Union and the States.

In 2019 Green went through a number of major life changes: That March, he met Leanna “LG” Green — and by December they got married. For their honeymoon, Leanna and Danny Green decided to spend six months across South America with a simple recording setup that they carried with them in a backpack. During their trip, the couple wound up writing and recording demos that would become the earliest material of their recording project together DG Solaris.  “In between swimming with sea-lions, exploring sacred plant medicines and climbing mountains, we had been searching for beautiful spaces to set up our backpack studio,” the Greens explained in press notes. “All of our recordings feature the sounds of birds, cicadas and crickets.”

en’s latest single, “Ocean/Are You Weird Enough?,” a collaboration with fellow London-based singer/songwriter Jeremy Tuplin can trace its origins back to some rather unusual circumstances: Although Green and Tuplin have been writing and recording albums during the past decade, they’ve only been vaguely aware of each other’s existence. One night in Peru, following an intense shamanic ceremony, Green had a vivid dream that he and Tuplin were floating high above the ocean. The next morning, Green contacted Tuplin to share his strange astral encounter — and the pair began a correspondence.

Of course, the end result is the dream-like “Ocean/Are You Weird Enough?” Written and recorded during the middle of a pandemic — which created its own challenges — “Ocean/Are You Weird Enough?” is centered around a sparse yet haunting arrangement of acoustic guitar, atmospheric synths, shuffling drums serving as a gentle and ethereal bed for a gorgeous melody — and some equally gorgeous harmonies. And while sounding a bit like a cross between The Church and Nick Drake, the song as Green explains thematically explores the oneness and weirdness of people within a collective whole.

The recently released video by Danny Tuplin features some gorgeous drone footage at the sea, meant to evoke the sensation of floating above the ocean and looking at life going on below interspersed with footage of jellyfish and endless plastic floating down to the seafloor, VHS fuzz, a retro-futuristic-like beach house. It’s an oddly gentle, dystopian and hallucinogenic dream.

New Video: Sissysocks’ Yearning and Ethereal “Augsburg”

Sissysocks is a Melbourne-based singer/songwriter and producer, who crafts ambient and atmospheric synth pop. The Melbourne-based artist’s forthcoming James Cecil-produced album Slink Away is slated for a September 3, 2021 release.

Slink Away’s latest single “Augsburg,” continues a run of atmospheric synth pop centered around shimmering and reverb-drenched synth arpeggios, thumping and skittering beats serving as a silkly bed for the Melbourne-based artist’s achingly tender and yearning vocals. “The song is about looking for things in the wrong places, and making the game mistakes again,” Sissysocks explains. “It was written after spending a short time in Augsburg, outside of Munich.”

dream full of longing and nostalgia: we follow a presumably undead woman through a lonely few days in which she longs to see her favorite artist live again. Walking through town to the club, passerby look at the woman with disgust, loathing and disbelief — but when she gets to the club, she shares a deeply intimate connection with the artist.