Category: World Music

Denzel White · KILLA DEM (feat. AshtnMrtn)

Denzel White is a Brooklyn-born, Elmont, NY-based singer/songwriter, who can trace much of the origins of his musical career to growing up in a musically inclined West Indian family of DJs and emcees, who played a diverse and eclectic array of music. Being surrounded by music inspired a young White to join his high school choir, which helped him develop and hone his own craft as a vocalist.

While attending Binghamton University, White was approached to Join The Koyas, a local jam band as their lead singer. The septet quickly took the campus by storm, performing at a number of school events before winning the school’s Battle of the Bands two years in a row. Upon graduation, White and the members of The Koyas traveled to New York for a handful of live shows, including opening slots for Dwele and A Tribe Called Quest’s Phife Dawg.

The Koyas split up in 2011. Each of the band’s individual members went on to pursue different creative pursuits with White eagerly starting a solo career. For inspiration, the Brooklyn-born, Elmont-based singer/songwriter studied the work of Patti LaBelle,  Luther Vandross, and Maxwell, eventually cultivating his own vocal styling, which blends contemporary elements with old school soul.

His debut effort, 2015’s Lehkz, Allen Ritter and Mike Urena co-produced The Prequel found the Brooklyn-born, Elmont-based artist establishing a concrete artistic vision, with the material centered around pieces of his life story — primarily his fears and feelings that would otherwise be left unsaid. Since the release of The Prequel, White has released a handful of singles including 2016’s “Get To You” and 2017’s “Alright,” which has amassed over 150,000 streams. His latest track, “KILLA DEM” is collaboration with AshnMrtn centered around an infectious hook sultry Dancehall riddims, twinkling synths, wobbling low end and swaggering vocal turns from the duo that manages to be summery, club banger with a contemporary, radio friendly production.

 

New Video: Emerging Producer Kyf Releases a Kinetic Visual for Dance Floor Friendly “Savage”

Kyf is a mysterious yet emerging Cameroonian producer and songwriter. Earlier this month, he released his latest EP, Mood Avion and the EP’s latest single “Savage” is a bold and vibrant track, centered around shimmering synths, wobbling polyrhythmic beats and a shout-along worthy hook. And while possessing a breezy, club friendly sound, the track reveals a decidedly Pan African approach, drawing from wide swaths of the Diaspora: the song meshes elements of dancehall, house music, Afro pop and Timbaland’s futuristic production style in an infectious and ambitious manner. 

Directed by Sara Yemoja, the recently released video features the Cameroonian producer and songwriter and two dancers in a kinetically shot and edited visual, shot in an abandoned, graffiti covered building and in the woods. 

New Audio: DJ Almighty Teams Up with DMA for a Breezy and Infectious New Single

DJ Almighty is a Ivory Coast-born, Paris-based producer and sound engineer, who has spent the past 17 years spinning at clubs around the world, developing a unique experience at the club — the videomix, an audiovisual experience. He also streams broadcast of his videomixes on an ADSL hookup that can be heard in 70 countries across the world.

Adding to a growing profile, the Ivorian-born, French-based producer and sound engineer has released a handful of attention-grabbing compilations through labels like Wagram Music, Musicat, and Oubo Music. Back in 2018, DJ Almighty signed with Universal Records Africa for a series of collaborations with internationally-based Afrobeat and Afropop artists from France and Francophone countries. 

Earlier this year, the Ivorian-born, French-based producer and sound engineer launched a new collaborative concept: 7 tracks that features emerging artists ranging in songs ranging from Afrobeat to Afropop. “Catch Your Vibe,” is a breezy and infectious mesh of dancehall, roots reggae and Afropop centered around a looping and shimmering guitar line, shuffling riddims and irie vibes paired with upstart DMA’s coquettish vocals. The end result is a pan African track that’s summery and manages to be both club and lounge friendly. 

New Video: Phillipe Blaze Releases an Intimate Look at Guadeloupe in New Visual for “DLO”

Phillipe Blaze is a Guadeloupe-born and-based singer/songwriter, guitarist and composer, whose family moved to France when he was small.  Spending much of his life in France, Blaze’s musical career can be traced back to the 80s: he participated in Paris’ reggae and rock scenes before relocating to Nantes. Eventually, Blaze wound up returning to Guadelope and while there he discovered the traditional music of the island — Zouk and Gwo Ka which is played with a big drum, locally known as ka. 

After working with the island group’s biggest names, Blaze released his first bit of solo material in 1996; however, by the following year, he founded JÒD LA (which in French means today) and through the release of three albums, the act honed and developed Gwo Ka Evolutif, which meshes the 7 rhymes of traditional Gwo Ka and Western instrumentation — i.e., guitar, piano, bass, sax, etc. Since then, Blaze has gone solo — and his latest single, the 13 song Eritaj features 8 compositions and 5 songs, including the album’s latest single, “DLO.” Centered around shimmering and looping guitars, propulsive polyrhythm and fluttering flute, the track is a breezy bit of Afropop influenced Tropicalia. 

The recently released video offers a glimpse of daily life on the Guadeloupe island group — but there’s a decided focus on the importance of water in our daily lives. 

New Audio: Meridian Brothers’ Forward-Thinking and Adventurous Take on Cumbia

Eblis Alvarez is a Bogota, Colombia-based singer/songwriter, guitarist and creative mastermind behind the acclaimed and forward-thinking solo project Meridian Brothers. The act’s forthcoming album Cumbia Siglo XXI is slated for an August 21, 2020 release through Bongo Joe Records — and the album, which is the highly-anticipated follow-up to the act’s critically applauded (largely  acoustic) ¿Dónde estás María? furthers the act’s long-held reputation for relentlessly pushing their sound and approach in new and radical directions.

Inspired by Cumbia Siglo XX’s experimentation with traditional cumbia in the late ’70s and early ’80s, which led to a completely new form of the genre, Cumbia Siglo XXI sees the act employing a use of amultitude of guitars, synths, algorithmic software, vintage drum machines and other tech that Alvarez could get his hands on. Drawing a bit from Kraftwerk, the album reportedly is a sonic blend of EDM “sidechain” techniques and traditional cumbia.

“Puya del Empreasirio,” Cumbia Siglo XXI’s first single is centered around layers of fuzzy analog synths, off-kilter and propulsive rhythms, snatches of vocals is an hypnotic, infectious and completely left field take on cumbia that kind of sounds like The Man Machine-era Kraftwerk meets JOVM mainstay El Dusty — but with a mischievous sense of adventurousness. “Cumbia disintegrated into drum machines. AIs are fucking idiots, Puya rides the machine,” Alvarez says of the track. 

New Video: Emerging French Act Adrienne Releases a Brooding and Cinematic Visual for “Sentinelle”

Founded by producer Franck Lobielti, Adrienne is an emerging French collective that boldly eschews genre conventions, crafting a sound that meshes elements of chanson, psych pop and psych rock, sixties pop and hip-hop. Shortly after their formation, the collective went to Coxinhell Recording Studio in Southern France to write and record their debut EP,  Killer De Routine which was released last fall.

The EP’s latest single, the sultry and brooding “Sentinelle” is centered around twinkling keys, a sinuous bass line and dramatic drumming, atmospheric synths, an infectious and melodic hook, and a psych rock-like bridge. And while subtly recalling JOVM mainstays Warhaus and Balthazar to mind, the song evokes a sense of overwhelming regret and heartache. 

Directed by Quentin Perrault, the recently released video for “Sentinelle” the video follows a middle-aged couple at a crossroads throughout the run of the visual: we see the couple’s relationship through a series of flashbacks and flash-forwards in which we see the couple in better days and at their worst. It’s an eerie look through a couple’s history and the lingering ghosts that often result. 

Snowapple is an Amsterdam-based, multi-national, multi-ethnic and multidisciplinary ensemble that specializes in a unique sound that frequently combines diverse and eclectic musical influences, including pop, folk, opera and experimental cumbia among others. Visually, the ensemble uses theatrical elements, extravagant costumes paired with provocative thematic concerns to create epic live sets and videos.

The members of the Dutch ensemble have brought their unique and epic live show to the international festival circuit with sets at Eurosonic Nooderlsag, Cervantino, Ollin Kan, Oerol and Larmer Tree — and they’ve made appearances on a number of TV stations around the world, including Canal11, TV Azteca, and Canal22. Adding to a growing international profile, the act has also received airplay on BBC Radio multiple times.

Snowapple is currently working on their new festival set 4 Lunes, the follow-up to the act’s 2019 theater shows Mr. Moon and Project Lucy and to their political program La Llorona — Ser Mujer (The Weeping One — Being a Woman), which raises awareness of femicides in Mexico. But in the meantime, the act’s latest single, the David Ott-produced “Simple Things” is an adaptation of Armando Tejada Gomez‘s and Cesar Isella’s “Las Simples Coasas,” which has been performed by Chavela Vargas, Mercedes Sosa and countless others. Centered around a cinematic, genre-mashing arrangement that’s one part tango, one part chanson and one part Tropicalia, the Dutch act’s rendition evokes smoky cafes, narrow and foggy European streets and the work of David Lynch but imbued with an aching nostalgia. And as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the song takes on a heightened and deeper meaning: there’s a longing for the things, places and experiences we may never get back — with the acknowledgment that there are things we often say goodbye to way too quickly, not noticing how much they meant to us until they’re gone.

 

 

 

New Video: Vigo, Spain’s Linda Guilala Releases a “120 Minutes” MTV-like Visual for “Accidente”

Linda Guilala is a  Vigo, Spain-based shoegazer trio — currently founding members Ivan (drums) and Eva (keys, vocals) and newest member Mari (bass) — that can trace its origins back to 2005 when its founding members’ previous band Juniper Moon broke up. And although, Eva had only been with the band for only a handful of live shows, Eva and Ivan decided to continue onward.

(In 2006, the duo along with Daylight’s and Matilda’s Ignacio Espumado (bass) recorded their self-produced debut demo. Some of the band’s first singles received airplay on Juan de Pablos’ influential RN3 Radio 3 show Flor de Pasion. Perhaps as a result of airplay on Jaun de Pablos’ show, they started to receive airplay on a number of Spanish indie music radio programs including RN3 Radio 3’s Disco Grande, UPV-Scanner FM’s Toxicosmos, Onda Madrid’s Plastico Elastico and ContemPOPranea Fesitval’s Augstin Fuentes’ Canal Extremadura Radio show La Merienda, which featured the band as a band of the week.

The band has received airplay on radio stations in Mexico, Italy, Germany, Sweden, the UK and others — with the band being named an artist of the week on British radio station Radio Nowhere and their material landing on the label’s Best of 2006 polls. And adding to a growing profile, the band has been featured on a number of label’s international shoegazer compilations including Mexican label Molécula Records’ Granada, Vol. 2, American label Valiant Death Records’ YAY 4 Cuteness, Singapore label Fruit Records’ Twee like me!, a CD compilation for the comic book Kid Houdini, as well as compilations on Italian label My Honey Records, Argentinian label Superclima Records and Peruvian label Ya estas ya Records’ Christina Rosenvinge’s tribute. 

2007 saw the release of the act’s sophomore demo, which received attention from a number of blogs and e-zines  — and they made their live debut at that year’s Elefant Records party at Galileo Galilei with labelmates CORAZÓN and DJ Polar. Shortly, after that show, their debut demo was named the second best demo of the previous year on Julio Ruiz’s RN3 Radio 3 show Disco Grande. They also played the Flor de Pasion party at Madrid’s Siroco, the Plastidepop Festival in Zaragoza and at Rome’s Circolo degli Artisti. Adding to a big 2007, the band contributed to Jabalina Records fifth edition of the Teoría y práctica melódica compilation, dedicated to the Olympic games featuring Pumuky, La estrella de David, Souvenir, Polar, Flow, Travolta and Apenino.  

2009 saw the release of the Spanish act’s self-recorded full-length debut Bucles infinitos through Elefant Records, an effort that’s influenced by My Bloody Valentine, Ride, The Wedding Present and Pale Saints among others. MySpace chose the album as their album of the month — and Radio Nowhere named them as an artist of the week for the week of November 23rd. The band supported the album with a Spanish tour and appearances at Indietracks Festival and a MySpace party at Primavera Sound Festival. 

2011’s Paranormal EP was self-recorded and mixed at the band’s Kaiju Studios in their hometown in Vigo. The four song EP thematically touched upon fantasy, harry and the paranormal while remaining true to the band’s punk, noise and shoegazer spirit. Alba played bass and guitar for a few songs on the EP and for live shows. 

2012 saw the band contributing the unedited song “Morir ahogada” to the Wiaiwya Records compilation It’s the taking part that counts dedicated to that year’s London Olympic Games. For a period of time, the members of Linda Guilala produced material for acts like Axolotes Mexicanos, When Nalda Became Punk, Los Bonsais and others at their studio in Vigo — and they’ve played as the live band for Marco Meril’s Apenino. 2014 saw the release of the six song Xeristar EP, an effort that featured The Blows’ and The Cobras’ Bruno Mosquera (guitar) and continued a run of material influenced by Ride and My Bloody Valentine — but also drawing from Los Planetas, Spiritualized, The Charlottes, Lush and Beach House. 

The members of Linda Guilala contributed a cover of “Carlos Baila” for Elefant Records’ 2014 compilation Homenaje a Family (Un Soplo en el Corazón de Elephant). The band also played at Los Conciertos de Radio 3 for Spanish TV network TVE2. The band also embarked some extensive touring across Spain with The Primitives that also included festival stops in Berlin and Cologne. The band also wrote a new theme song for Disco Grande, Girando Otra Vez (Disco Grande), hypnotic bit of spacey psychedelia featuring the band relating the mane of the radio show, which has been on the air over 35 years. 

2016’s sophomore album Psiconautica was recorded and mixed at the band’s Kaiju Studios and the 20 song album is a concept album that thematically focuses on the mind expanding experience of hallucinogenic drugs and of the chemicals that regulate our experiences. Sonically, the album draws from Spiritualized’s Medication, Spacemen 3’s Walkin’ With Jesus and Los Planetas’ Neuevas Sensaciones — and it features a guest spot from Apenino’s Marco Meril. The album received praise from Italy’s Waves For Masses, Brazil’s The Blog That Celebrates Itself, France’s Indie Rock Blog, Germany’s Platten Vor Gericht, America’s Sounds Better With Reverb, DKFM and Allmusic, the UK’s Louder Than War and Shoegazer Live 9, as well as Spanish media outlets like Disco Grandem El Caleidoscopio Musical, Ultrasónica, Fantastic Plastic Mag, Mondo Sonoro Galicia and La Merienda  with a number of them naming the album as one of the best albums of that year. Songs off the album also received airplay on a number of national and international radio shows, including BBC Radio 6’s Steve Lamacq and Gideon Coe. 

Despite having a breakthrough year, the band wen through a major lineup change: Bruno left the band and was played by Visceral Eyes’ Mari, who played guitar for live shows. But since then, the band has been busy releasing new material, contributing to a number of compilations and playing sets across the international festival circuit. 

Recently the Spanish shoegazers contributed to Emotional Response Records’ Typical Girls vinyl compilation series, a compilation that focuses on the best of a contemporary crop of all-female and female-led bands in the underground, post-punk, punk, hardcore, garage, dream pop and shoegaze scenes. Volume five of the series features tracks from 16 bands across the globe including Australia’s Empat Lima, the US’ Color TV, Table Sugar Whip, Mr. Wrong, Patsy Rats, Kamala and the Karnivores, Latitude, and Drama, Germany’s The Inserts, Scotland’s Vital Idles, England’s SNOB and Child’s Pose, as well as the aforementioned Linda Guilala. 

“Accidente” the Spanish shoegazers contribution to the compilation is the first official recorded output with Mari playing guitar — but interestingly enough, it continues a run hazy and noisy shoegaze centered around heavily distorted power chords, propulsive drumming, droning synths, Eva’s ethereal vocals and a rousingly anthemic hook. Sonically, the track manages to recall My Bloody Valentine, The Jesus and Mary Chain and others. And as a result it brings back memories of 120 Minutes-era MTV. Fittingly, the recently released video was filmed in different industrial locations in Vigo including a car scrapyard, a shipyard and in Coto Wagner, a huge abandoned platform over the sea that was once used to ship iron to the Nazis and to the UK — and at points using kaleidoscopic and trippy filters. As the band notes, they love the beauty inside those sort of creepy and decrepit places.