Tag: Chicago

New Video: The Psychedelic, 1980s Leaning Visuals for Promise Keeper’s “Porous Silk”

With the release of Side Decide” and other singles, London-based producer and electronic music artist Promise Keeper started to receive attention across the blogosphere for a sound that possesses elements of classic Chicago house, blue-eyed soul and 80s electro pop. And his latest single “Porous Silk” will further cement the British producer’s already burgeoning reputation for crafting slick, dance-floor friendly pop as androgynous yet sultry cooed vocals are paired with a production consisting of a sinuous bass line, Nile Rodgers-like guitar chords, propulsive and stuttering drum programming, twinkling keys and shimmering synths. Sonically, the new single evokes the sensation of silk running across naked skin, cool yet pliant –while being reminiscent of a slightly downtempo and house music-leaning version of Nu Shooz’s “I Can’t Wait.”

The recently released music video employs the use of a grainy, VHS-styled psychedelia as the video follows its brooding protagonist observing ancient Greek-inspired art, drinking wine. Visually, it looks as though it could have appeared on a version of Ralph McDaniel’s Video Music Box back in 1987 or so.

New Video: The Sensual Sounds and Visuals of The Elle’s Latest Single “Halo”

“Halo” The Elle’s latest single pairs beatsinmybackpack’s soulful production consisting of shimmering and twinkling keys, boom bap drum programming with The Elle’s cooly self-assured and sultry vocals portraying a narrator, who’s urgently, stupidly, foolishly and proudly in love — of the sort, in which you see your object of desire and love as being the most perfect creature on earth. Sonically speaking, the song manages to channel golden era hip-hop, classic hip-hop soul and neo soul and J. Dilla simultaneously but with a gentle cosmic sheen — and while being incredibly sensual.

New Video: The Coquettish Sounds and Playful Visuals of Up-and-Coming Chicago-based Electro Pop Duo Chrissy and Hawley

As the story goes, Chrissy and Shoffner are both originally from Kansas — although they met in Chicago and began working together on an album that effortlessly meshes both of their unique styles — and as you’ll hear on their latest single “My Top Twenty,” off their soon-to-be released self-titled debut effort, Chrissy pairs a propulsive production of shimmering, brief bursts of twinkling keys and wobbling synths and skittering drum programming with Shoffner’s coquettish vocals singing lyrics about the connection between love and your favorite albums. And in some way, the duo’s latest single reminds me quite a bit of the propulsive and shimmering sounds of Soft Metals impressive Lenses album and classic house music — although “My Top Twenty” is far more coquettish and airier.

The recently released music video is an appropriately lighthearted and goofy video that features the duo’s Hawley Shoffner singing the song at a karaoke bar while the video within the video features Shoffner pensively wandering around parts of Chicago and goofing around in the karaoke-styled visuals you’d expect to see in a karaoke bar.

 

Promise Keeper is a London-based producer and electronic music artist, who has started to receive attention across the blogosphere for a sound that draws from classic Chicago house, blue-eyed soul and electro pop as you’ll hear on his sleek, dance floor ready, second single  “Side Decide,” which pairs breathily cooed vocals with a production consisting of twinkling and shimmering synths, staccato drum programming and swirling and ambient electronics.

 

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If you had been frequenting this site during the end of 2015 and the beginning of this year, you may recall coming across a couple of posts on Chicago-based R&B vocalist and singer/songwriter The Elle and her collaborations with Minnesota-based singer/songwriter and emcee Blaccout GarrisonHungry Soulful EP — in particular, “Strawberry Cheesecake Dessert.” which was produced by Dthr33 and featured Jackson, WY-based emcee Abstract, had Abstract and Garrison trading charmingly old-school-inspired lyrics about the ladies they loved over, while The Elle sang the song’s soulful and sensual hook over the soulful and jazzy sample that comprises A Tribe Called Quest‘s “Bonita Applebum.” Hungry Soulful‘s second single was the  P-Soul-produced “Wishing On A Star,” which paired a subtly chopped up old-timey, twinkling piano sample and boom-bap drum programming with Garrison rhyming about focusing on one’s dreams and overcoming life’s frustrations and obstacles. The Elle contributes the song’s introductory verses and the soulful and thoughtful hook.

 

Slated for release next month, Soul Art Music is the Chicago-based vocalist’s forthcoming full-length effort and the album’s latest single “Your Love” was produced by South African producer Keith Virgo. The track begins with an introductory sample of Eartha Kitt, setting up the song’s theme as the legendary actress and singer candidly shares her thoughts about love — and in her mind, real love is essentially a process of learning how to share yourself with yourself and others. The song pairs Virgo’s subtly cosmic and trippy production consisting of layers of twinkling and shimmering synths, tumbling percussion, boom bap drums,  electronic bleeps, bloops and beeps with The Elle’s sultry vocals about a love that has made her narrator feel as though she had found her truest self. Within the turn of a phrase The Elle reveals a narrator who is strong yet unafraid to be vulnerable and open, and absolutely appreciative of stumbling about this person at this juncture. Lucky and rare are those who experience such a love.

Jean Deaux is a Chicago, IL-based electronic music artist, whose sound draws from house, R&B and hip-hop. Her latest single “Father Time” is the first single released off Downtown Records‘ newest imprint Downtown Singles Club, a carefully curated selection of singles that are sent directly to subscribers via email, and the single pairs skittering drum programming, gently undulating synths, tweeter and woofer rocking beats and industrial clang and clatter  with Deaux’s sultry vocals and swaggering rhyming before ending with some soulful yet shimmering synths. The song and its production defy easy categorization — it clearly possesses elements of R&B, house, hip-hop, neo-soul, industrial house and industrial techno but it’s a slickly produced, trippy and sonically experimental work that manages to be approachable and dance-floor ready. And it does so while possesses a deeply existential bent, with its narrator exploring her complex and ambivalent relationship with time.

You can catch the up-and-coming electro pop artist when Deaux and friends play Elvis’ Guesthouse on March 26.

 

Up until last year, there hadn’t been many comprehensive photo-metal, pre-stoner rock compilations, until the Chicago, IL and Los Angeles, CA-based distributor Permanent Records record store, along with  RidingEasy Records released a carefully curated compilation of incredibly rare photo-metal and pre-stoner rock singles from the 60s and 70s on Brown Acid: The First Trip. Permanent Records co-owner Lance Barresi and RidingEasy Records’ Daniel Hall complied a second volume of rare proto-metal and pre-stoner rock from the 60s and 70s, Brown Acid: The  Second Trip, which is slated (fittingly enough) for release on April 20.

Much like the first volume, the duo not only spent time collecting, compiling and then curating the material, they also spent a great deal of time tracking down the songs creators, often bands who haven’t been together in over 30 or 40 years, and encouraging them to take part in the entire process.  As Barresi explained in press notes for the first compilation, “All of (these songs) could’ve been huge given the right circumstances. But for one reason or another most of these songs fell flat and were forgotten. However, time has been kind in my opinion and I think these songs are as good now or better than they ever were.” And by having the artists actually participate in the entire process, it can give the artists and their songs a second chance at some much deserved attention — if not a second chance at success.

Now, over the past month or two I’ve written about The Second Trip’s first single Ash’s “Midnight Witch,” a single that would likely remind many listeners of Mountain‘s “Mississippi Queen,” Steppenwolf’s “Magic Carpet Ride” and early Black Sabbath as layers of huge, sludgy and bluesy power chords were  paired with a driving rhythm and soulful vocals — but with a deeply psychedelic feel. Amazingly, although the song was originally released more than 35 years ago, it sounds and feels as though it could have been released today as several contemporary bands have adopted a similar sound, including the likes of Ecstatic Vision. The compilation’s second single Crossfield’s “Take It” managed to sound and feel like a surreal amalgamation of Black Sabbath, The Rolling StonesThe Animals (in particular, “We Gotta Get Out Of This Place”) and The Doors  as blistering and scorching guitar chords are paired with soaring keyboard chords and thundering drumming with unusual tempo changes and chord progression changes that make the song feel and sound as though it were a prog rock precursor — all while giving the song an expansive, tripping off hallucinogens in the desert feel and tone. The Second Trip‘s third and latest single Iron Knowledge’s “Show Stopper” meshes elements of glam metal, metal and seemingly hip-hop and funk-inspired hip-hop breakbeats in a song that metalhead and hip-hop DJs would instantly love.

 

 

Up until last year, there hadn’t been many comprehensive photo-metal, pre-stoner rock compilations, until the Chicago, IL and Los Angeles, CA-based distributor Permanent Records record store, along with  RidingEasy Records released a carefully curated compilation of incredibly rare photo-metal and pre-stoner rock singles from the 60s and 70s on Brown Acid: The First Trip. Permanent Records co-owner Lance Barresi and RidingEasy Records’ Daniel Hall have complied a second volume of rare proto-metal and pre-stoner rock from the 60s and 70s, Brown Acid: The  Second Trip, which is slated (fittingly enough) for release on April 20.

Much like the first volume, the duo not only spent time collecting, compiling and then curating the material, they also spent a great deal of time tracking down the songs creators, often bands who haven’t been together in over 30 or 40 years, and encouraging them to take part in the entire process.  As Barresi explained in press notes for the first compilation, “All of (these songs) could’ve been huge given the right circumstances. But for one reason or another most of these songs fell flat and were forgotten. However, time has been kind in my opinion and I think these songs are as good now or better than they ever were.” And by having the artists actually participate in the entire process, it can give the artists and their songs a second chance at some much deserved attention — if not a second chance at success.

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site, you may recall that just a few weeks ago, I wrote about The Second Trip‘s first single, Ash’s “Midnight Witch.” That single would likely remind many listeners of Mountain‘s “Mississippi Queen,” Steppenwolf’s “Magic Carpet Ride” and early Black Sabbath as layers of huge, sludgy and bluesy power chords were  paired with a driving rhythm and soulful vocals — but with a deeply psychedelic feel. Amazingly, although the song was originally released more than 35 years ago, it sounds and feels as though it could have been released today as several contemporary bands have adopted a similar sound, including the likes of Ecstatic Vision. The compilation’s second single Crossfield’s “Take It” manages to sound and feel like a surreal yet sensible amalgamation of Black Sabbath, The Rolling Stones, The Animals (in particular, “We Gotta Get Out Of This Place”) and The Doors and others as blistering and scorching guitar chords are paired with soaring keyboard chords and thundering drumming with unusual tempo changes and chord progression changes that make the song feel and sound as though it were a prog rock precursor — all while giving the song an expansive, tripping off hallucinogens in the desert feel and tone.

 

 

As I’ve mentioned on this site a number of times, the Internet really has proven to be a wonderful place to discover both new music and extremely rare, lost music — and with an increasing ease. Just think about it, the technology that brings this site into your home has contributed to a wild proliferation of independent labels across the world, equally competing against the major conglomerates for your ears, attention and money. And interestingly enough, smaller, independent artists have been much more willing (and able) to take the sort of risks that their larger, monied rivals wouldn’t and couldn’t — i.e., attempting to re-introduce artists, whose work was so wildly ahead its time that audiences at the the time just couldn’t accept it — and yet fill in a musical gap, or seem so current that it was impossible to figure how it was missed; attempting to reintroduce regionally favored artists from a time when hit songs in Milwaukee were often different than hit songs in Atlanta, Baltimore, Des Moines, Minneapolis or New York.

Of course, before the Internet, bulletin boards and social media, much of this material was only known to cultish and dedicated insiders, who would spend their time seeking and collecting long-lost and long-forgotten albums, often hoarding them in private collections or selling them at collector’s shows. The Internet and blogosphere have democratized the process, allowing the average listener and fan a chance to listen and to love some of these long-forgotten wonders. Unsurprisingly, there’s money that can be made from discovering long lost material, and it often results in labels and bloggers mining beloved and influential genres to exhaustion through endless compilations of certain genres — in particular psych rock, AM rock, doo wop, singer/songwriter folk, funk, soul and a few others come to mind.

Now, strangely enough up until last year, there hadn’t been many proto-metal, pre-stoner rock compilations when the Chicago, IL and Los Angeles, CA-based distributor Permanent Records released a compilation of incredibly rare singles from the 60s and 70s on Brown Acid: The First Trip. With the help of Daniel Hall of RidingEasy Records, Permanent Records co-owner Lance Barresi spent time not just collecting and compiling the singles on the compilation, they also spent a great deal of time tracking down the songs creators, often bands who haven’t been together in over 30 or 40 years, and encouraging them to take part in the entire process.  As Barresi explained in press notes for the first compilation, “All of (these songs) could’ve been huge given the right circumstances. But for one reason or another most of these songs fell flat and were forgotten. However, time has been kind in my opinion and I think these songs are as good now or better than they ever were.“ And by having the artists participate it can give the songs and the artists a real second chance at success, if not some kind of attention.

Barresi and Hall have complied a second volume of rare proto-metal and pre-stoner rock from the 60s and 70s, Brown Acid: The  Second Trip, which is slated (fittingly enough) for release on April 20. The Second Trip‘s first single, Ash’s “Midnight Witch” manages to sound as though it drew from Mountain‘s “Mississippi Queen,” Steppenwolf’s “Magic Carpet Ride” and early Black Sabbath as layers of huge, sludgy and bluesy power chords are paired with a driving rhythm and soulful vocals. And while being forceful, the song manages to possess a trippy feel — and in some way the song nods at material that has been released by a number of contemporary bands including Ecstatic Vision and others.