Category: New Audio

 

 

If you’ve been frequenting JOVM over the course of 2015, you may recall that I wrote about  Berlin, Germany-based producer, electronic music artist and DJ Lennart Richter. Prolifically releasing a series of singles through renowned electronic music labels Sleazy G, East Project, G-Mafia Records, GUN PWDR, Ensis RecordsBlue Dye, Mondal Recordings and others, Richter quickly developed a reputation across his native Germany and internationally for exploring the gamut of electronic music subgenres including deep house, G house, nu-disco and several others with a slick, crowd-pleasing, club-rocking production. And as a result, Richter can claim several Beatport Top 25 releases under his belt, and his last EP, Berlin Brawling landed at #10 on the Beatport Indie Dance/Nu Disco Charts.

The Berlin-based electronic music artist, producer and DJ closed out 2015 with the release of “Hold Up,” a nu-disco and house track comprised of layers of shimmering and cascading synths, propulsive drum programming led by explosive cymbal shots and a looped vocal sample that comes in and out of the haze. Sonically, the song reminds me quite a bit of Octo Octa’s “His Kiss” an “Please Don’t Leave” off his fantastic Between Two Selves — or in other words, it manages to possess both a bracing iciness and a thoughtful soulfulness.

 

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With 2016 being a few hours old, let’s get the year started on a little bit of new music. Now if you’ve been frequenting JOVM over the past year, you may recall that I wrote about the Los Angeles-based act, Mothership Collective. Their last mixtape All Nigga Radio was largely influenced by Parliament Funkadelic, Too Short, Roni Size, Bootsy Collins and others, and was written and conceived as a continuous late night radio broadcast featuring several genres of music, namely hip-hop, funk, reggae, commercials, snippets of interviews and disc jockey ramblings with a biting satirical bent as the mixtape thematically explored how mainstream media and mainstream music can pervert your soul, your perceptions of the world and others by encouraging people to see the world through dangerously cartoonish stereotypes.

The collective’s latest mixtape, Ghetto Galactic is a heady and sonically challenging mix of futuristic hip hop, funktech, alien soul, trap, trap house, G-funk-inspired hip-hop in an incredibly slick, modern production. And much like All Nigga Radio, the act’s satire still manages to be incredibly incisive as it continues to point out the ridiculousness of stereotyped imagery and marketing, and empty imagery of fame and success– while featuring dope emcees spitting fire over dope beats.

GHETTO GALACTIC SIDE A

Intro
Ghetto Galactic (JSwift / Lukecage)
Kush ( M20 / Lukecage)
Backyard Party ( Lukecage / Longevity and Some Girl)
Full Pull (Triple 7 / Lukecage)
Adamantium (Lukecage)
Interlude (Lukecage)
Bricks Bitch (Lukecage / Big Bricks)
Mr. YaYa (Big Hit / Lukecage)
Interview With Cage (JSwift / Lukecage)
They Really Beat Him (Lukecage)
IDGAF (Young Mizu / Lukecage)
Colors
AB 4 Ghetto Galactic (Abstract Butta Fingas / Lukecage)
Junky
Latin Yuji (DJ Yuji / Lukecage)
Kingslish (Bigg Doxx / Lukecage)
Dicey 101 (Lukecage)
Intermission (The Koreatown Oddity / Lukecage)

GHETTO GALACTIC SIDE B
Opra Got Weed For You (Lukecage)
Koreatown Galactic (The Koreatown Oddity / Lukecage)
Freaky Style (DJ D-Styles / Lukecage)
Mothership Malt Liquor Wine
The Body (Longevity / Lukecage)
Ash Put This In That Video (Lukecage)
Can You Smell The Flavor Coming Through Your Speakers? (Lukecage)
Phase Shift (Dynamics Plus / Lukecage)
Yeti Ship One (Sub Yeti / Lukecage)
XMHFHJHUIGGVFVV
Pimp Saint Peter (JSwift / Lukecage)
Mothership My Ass Nigga Interlude (Lukecage)
Street Meat (JSwift / Lukecage)
Human Race (Harv Nicholes)

 

Last night, I learned that JOVM has had readers and viewers from over 117 countries across the world — this year. 117! I’m honored, flattered and  incredibly humbled that my childhood obsession with music and my labor of love have become a part of so many people’s lives. With 2015 coming to a close, I want to thank you, dear friends for letting me come into your screen and hopefully bring a little bit of joy, wonder and meaning into your lives. And if I’ve done that, I’ve been wildly successful in ways that I never would have dreamt.

This month’s playlist comes a couple of days early, but don’t let that faze you much. In typical JOVM fashion, the December playlist is wildly eclectic — and touches upon several decades of artists and songs both known and obscure. You’ll come across Eric B. and Rakim, R.E.M., Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, The Posies, Foo Fighters, The Smiths, JOVM mainstays The Black Angels, Johnny Cash, June Carter Cash, Patsy Cline, Nancy Sinatra, The Fixx, Pearl Jam, INXS, The Verve, New Order, Big Daddy Kane, Pink Floyd, Peter Gabriel, Michael Jackson, Los AngelesLine & Circle, shoegaze pioneers RIDE,  the club-rocking sounds of Neon Indian, Cameo, Twin Limb, the fantastic Charles Bradley, Black Sabbath, and a tribute to Motorhead‘s Lemmy Kilmister. And that’s just off the top of my head. Enjoy!

 

If you’ve been following this site at any point during its almost 6 year existence, you would know that I champion an incredibly diverse array of independent artists and labels from all over the world. And as a blogger and music critic, the ease that independent artists and labels can distribute and promote their music has been both wonderful and terrifying. It’s wonderful because independent labels often are at the forefront of reintroducing sadly forgotten yet influential artists or sadly forgotten artists, who were ignored because they were decades ahead of their time — and there are a bevy of artists, who are creating some incredible music that mainstream radio and media outlets just wouldn’t pay much attention to. Shame on them for not providing listeners and fans with the diversity and meaning that they so desperately seek. Let me make it clear, I have nothing wrong with the mainstream or mainstream artists. Jay Z is one of the greatest living emcees in hip-hop and no one can deny that. Beyonce has an incredible voice — and is one of the world’s most beautiful and desirable women. Adele has an incredible voice and I would pay to hear her sing the White Pages. Kanye West is one of the most influential artists and producers of contemporary music, not just hip-hop — and in my mind he’s a lock to the Rock ‘N’ Roll Hall of Fame. But let’s be honest here: those artists receive enough press for their music and exploits and my attention to them doesn’t really matter much.

Personally, I feel a responsibility to shed light on those artists that I think you as a reader would love and would have heard about if mainstream outlets and other sources were much more diverse. Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over some time, you may recall that I’ve written about hip-hop act Atmosphere. Initially formed as as trio featuring Slug, Spawn D and Ant, the trio had been a part of the Headshots crew, a collective that also featured acts like The Abstract PackPhull Surkle, Black Hohl, Beyond. Back in the mid 90s, the collective’s profile was growing around hip-hop circles and building on the buzz that the Headshots crew was receiving, a much-anticipated compilation featuring tracks by each artist of the crew was slated for release.  Sadly, the compilation was never released and an opportunity for many of these artists to receive greater attention was squandered; however, to be fair, Atmosphere, in particular are beloved in indie hip-hop circles and they’re still quite prolific.

Atmosphere’s latest single “My Better Half” was written as a tribute to Slug’s wife, who he says he actually met at a German bar on a Wednesday. And as much as its about stumbling upon someone who perfectly complements you and understands you — to the point that you have your own language and rhythms; the song is also uses the same metaphor for how it feels to stumble upon something that’s your life’s calling. And much like Pete Rock and C.L. Smooth‘s “They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.),” the song possesses a deeply introspective feel — subtly thrown in is the sweet sense of amazement, wonder and gratitude that some larger force bestowed luck on you, as well as an acknowledgement that finding real and meaningful love is lucky and rare.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just in time to close out the year, the members of Radiohead announced that last year, they were approached to write a theme song for the latest James Bond film, Spectre. Knowing that the studio and the film’s director went with Sam Smith‘s “Writing On The Wall,” it’s pretty obvious that someone decided that Radiohead’s “Spectre” just wasn’t going to work out — although to be honest, “Spectre” is a gorgeous,moody and dramatic jazz-inspired composition that sounds as though it could have been on Amnesiac or King of Limbs. To my ears, what makes the song so strange is that Radiohead’s theme song as though it could have been part of an art-house film about consumerism, greed, alienation and regret, while capturing the tone and feel of a Bond film.

 

The Insurrectionists is the solo recording project of  young, up-and-coming 20-something, New York-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Casey K, who began playing the guitar when he had turned 10. Using songwriting as an outlet for his frustrations and pain of growing up in a broken home, The Insurrectionists actually began as a full-fledged band featuring Casey K., his brother and a friend in 2005 before eventually morphing into its current solo format. But whether as a trio or as a solo act, the project has been largely influenced by a diverse array of acts and genres including Nirvana and Brand New while incorporating elements of piano ballads and piano rock, as well as synths and electronic music.

With the 2013 release of his debut EP, SquarePeg/RoundHole and several other singles, Casey K. has received praise for anthemic alt rock/indie rock with driving rhythms and lyrics that explore and discuss the modern condition — including the hellish company of people, messy lust and desire and more. “Diet Coke,” the first single off The Insurrectionists’ soon-to-be released album, I Gave You The Moon But You Wanted The Stars will likely cement Casey K.’s burgeoning reputation for writing a song with an anthemic and infectious hook, earnest vocals and driving rhythms — but it also sounds as though it draws from New RadicalsYou Get What You Give” but with a harder, grittier edge, while possessing a dreamy feel. The song suggests that the young singer/songwriter and multi-instruemtalist has an innate ability to craft an infectious radio-friendly hook that also manages to be subversive.

 

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If you’ve been frequenting this site over the past couple of years, you’d likely know that as this site has developed an increasingly international focus, that I’ve seen an enormous amount of emails from producers, artists, band managers, record labels and label execs from all over the world — and occasionally some rather far-flung places, too. Recently, I received an email from an Uppsala, Sweden-based electronic music trio Bucky.

Comprised of three childhood friends, Fredrik Akogan, Anton Linqvuist and Jonas Skosberg, Bucky’s latest single “Haunting Me” is a slickly produced, anthemic and radio-friendly club banger consisting of shimmering synth stabs, big tweeter and woofer rocking drops paired with sultry vocals and infectious hooks. Listening to the song, it’s the sort of song that you can envision kids lustily shouting along to the hook in a club.

 

 

Comprised of husband and wife duo, Keith Kenniff (multi-instrumentalist/producer), also known for his work as Helios and Goldmund and Hollie Kenniff (vocals and primary songwriter),  Portland, OR-based duo Mint Julep started in 2007 with relatively modest intentions –an attempt to get the normally shy Hollie Kenniff to sing more. Initially, the duo’s sound drew from early 90s shoegaze but eventually their sound gradually became influenced by electronic music through the duo’s admiration of rough edged sounds of industrial electronica, which Hollie was a big fan of, and punk rock, which Keith was a big fan of. As Keith Kenniff explained in press notes, “It took us a while to suss out whether this was something we were just going to have fun with, or if we’d actually release our music. But we ended up keeping at it, and now we’re at the point where we’ve created something with its own sound that’s very unique to us.”

The Portland-based duo’s sophomore effort, Broken Devotion was written over a four year period with the duo’s sound reportedly being more lush and intricately layered than their debut effort, Save Your Season while thematically the material explores both the light and dark dimensions of love. “White Hot Heart,” Broken Devotion‘s first single pairs a driving, motorik groove, layers of shimmering and undulating synths and Hollie Kenniff’s ethereal coos in a slickly produced and moody pop song with a shimmering and breezy melody. Sonically, the song is clearly indebted to the synth pop of Pet Shop Boys — think of “West End Girls” for example — as the song possesses a hazy nostalgia over a love affair that has slowly unravelled before the narrator’s eyes while being danceable.