Tag: Detroit MI

Live Footage: Royce da 5’9″ Performs “Thou Shall” and “Overcomer” on Vevo’s Ctrl

Born Ryan Daniel Montgomery, Royce da 5’9″ is a Detroit, MI-born and-based emcee, best known for his longtime association with Eminem, with whom he’s one half of duo, Bad Meets Evil, a critically applauded solo career, primarily collaborating with Carlos “6 July” Broady and DJ Premier, as well as ghostwriting for the likes of Diddy and Dr. Dre. He’s also a member of Slaughterhouse, an All-Star hip-hop act that also features Joe Budden, Joell Ortiz and Crooked I, and one half of PRhyme with the legendary (and aforementioned) DJ Premier.

As the story goes, Royce da 5’9″ signed his first deal with Tommy Boy Records, who offered him $1 million while Dr. Dre’s Aftermath Entertainment offered him $250,000 and unlimited beats, a decision that he described as one of his biggest regrets in a 2016 Complex interview. After Tommy Boy Records closed, the Detroit-based emcee signed a deal with Columbia and Game Recordings, with whom he began recording an album then titled Rock City, a title which referred to Detroit being the former (and best known) home of Motown Records. When the album wound up being heavily bootlegged, the Detroit-based emcee left that label for Koch to re-record the album, eventually releasing it 2002 as Rock City (Version 2.0). And although the album didn’t sell well, the DJ Premier-produced single “Boom” helped Royce achieve some underground recognition and lead to the two working more closely with PRhyme.

Their 2014 debut album together featured both artists going out of their comfort zones, and expanding upon their familiar sounds; in fact, Premier enlisted the compositional skills of Adrian Younge, whose work he sampled throughout the album’s production while Royce da 5’9″ traded bars with the likes of MF Doom and Little Brother‘s Phonte on the initial release, and with The Roots‘ Black Thought, Joey Bada$$ and Logic on the deluxe edition released the following year. 2014 also saw Royce da 5’9″ team up with Eminem on the posse cut “Detroit vs. Everybody.” 

Since then, the Detroit-based emcee released 2016’s solo album Layers, 2018’s Book of Ryan, which featured another ongoing collaboration with Eminem “Caterpillar,” that year’s second PRhyme album Phyme 2 and a guest spot of Eminem’s surprise release Kamikaze. 2020 continues a recent period of incredible prolificacy with the release of his eighth album, the 22 track The Allegory, which features guest spots from Westside Gunn, YBN Cordae, Benny the Butcher, and a boatload of others. 

Vevo’s Ctrl series highlights the work of hard-hitting, cutting-edge artists making an impact in today’s music scene with a focus on both emerging and established artists. The artists Vevo’s Ctrl series features are artists that the video platform believes demand attention, and the series is a way of shining a deserving spotlight on those artists. Recently, Vevo’s Ctrl invited the acclaimed Detroit-based emcee to their Brooklyn studios to perform two tracks off the album — “Overcomer” and “Thou Shall.” “Thou Shall” is centered around an eerie, RZA-like production: stuttering beats, a sinuous bass line and a looping string sample and eerie atmospherics while Royce da 5’9″ of bold and swaggering pronouncement of being doper than anyone else out there, full of pop cultural references with Kid Vishis slamming the door on anyone who may challenge them. “Overcomer” is centered around a looped and seemingly ancient soul sample and thumping beats while Royce da 5’9″ rhymes about blessings, the wisdom he’s earned, sociopolitical observations and more.

The performances that Vevo’s Ctrl captured are swaggering, passionate within an intimate yet minimalist setting.  

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New Video: Watch Detroit’s ADULT. Smash a Room in Frustration in New Visual for Tense and Claustrophobic “Total Total Damage”

Detroit-based multimedia and electronic music production and artist duo ADULT. — the husband and wife team of Adam Lee Miller and Nicola Kuperus — have developed a sprawling catalog of material that obscures and blurs defined genres and styles, while drawing from industrial electronic, house music, punk rock and visual art with releases through Mute Records, Ghostly International, Thrill Jockey, Third Man Records and a list of other labels throughout their two plus decades together. 

Slated for an April 10, 2020 release through Dais Records, the acclaimed Detroit-based electronic duo’s forthcoming album Perception is/as/of Deception was conceived, written and recorded in a temporary black hole they created: the duo painted their windowless basement entirely black, with the sole intention of sensory deprivation so that they could question their perceptions and witness the resulting ramifications. And as result, the album’s material may be the most introspective and punk-leaning they’ve written to date: the frustration and apprehension that has long been at the center of their work are heightened — but interestingly enough, the material was written with a much more head-on approach, making it forceful and strident.

Last month, I wrote about Perception is/as/of Deception‘s second single, the club banging “Have I Stated at the End.” Centered around a classic electronic body music production featuring industrial clang and clatter, tweeter and woofer rocking beats, shimmering synth arpeggios, an enormous hook and a repetitive mantra that questions the fragility and temporality of life “Total Total Damage,” the album’s third and latest single is a tense and claustrophobia-inducing track centered around industrial clang and clatter, layers of synth arpeggios and Kuperus’ howled vocals. Thematically, the song is a dystopian anthem that focuses on the slow and painful collapse of our society and systems and the growing uncertainty and uneasiness we all feel but while expressing the desperate cabin fever. 

While in social isolation, the members of ADULT. decided to build a room-like set indie their house for the Miller and Kuperus-filmed and edited visual for “Total Total Damage,” which features the duo losing their minds and destroying their room with a sledgehammer.  “We’re hoping that the video speaks to a lot of people, because everyone’s feeling cabin fever and wanting to get out, get back to ‘normal’ life,” the Detroit-based duo say in press notes. 

New Audio: Acclaimed Detroit Duo Adult. Releases an Anxious and Uneasy Club Banger

Over the course of their 23 year history together, Detroit-based multimedia and electronic music production and artist duo ADULT. — the husband and wife team of Adam Lee Miller and Nicola Kuperus — have developed a sprawling catalog of material that obscures and blurs defined genres and styles, while drawing from industrial electronic, house music, punk rock and visual art with releases through Mute Records, Ghostly International, Thrill Jockey, Third Man Records and a list of other labels. 

Slated for an April 10, 2020 release through Dais Records, the acclaimed Detroit-based electronic duo’s forthcoming album Perception is/as/of Deception was conceived, written and recorded in a temporary black hole they created: the duo painted their windowless basement entirely black, with the sole intention of sensory deprivation so that they could question their perceptions and witness the resulting ramifications. And as result, the album’s material may be the most introspective and punk-leaning they’ve written to date: the frustration and apprehension that has long been at the center of their work are heightened — but interestingly enough, the material was written with a much more head-on approach, making it forceful and strident. 

“Have I Started at the End,” Perception is/as/of Deception’s second and latest single is a club banger, centered around a classic electronic body music production featuring industrial clang and clatter, tweeter and woofer rocking beats, layers of shimmering synth arpeggios, an enormous hook and a repetitive mantra that questions the fragility and temporality  of life while expressing frustration and unease. Unsurprisingly, the song evokes the unease and uncertainty of our time. 

Over the past handful of months, I’ve written a bit about the emerging and mysterious French electronic music artist and producer LutchamaK. The French artist and producer grew up as an voracious music fan and listener, who listened to — and loved — an eclectic array of music, including hip-hop, dub, classical, rock, techno and others. LutchmaK’s work is deeply influenced by techno but with a devotion to lifelong eclecticism: his first two EPs, which he managed to create during lunch breaks at his job, featured material that seamlessly synthesized techno, house and EDM among others.

LutchamaK is gearing up to release his full-length debut Invisible Realm and the album’s first single “Tribute 2 Mad Mike” continues in a similar retro-futuristic vein as “Later On.” Centered around a minimalist-leaning production, the track features shimmering synth arpeggios, tweeter and woofer rocking beats, vocodered vocals and an enormous hook, “Tribute 2 Mad Mike” brings Computer World and Tour de France-era Kraftwerk, JOVM mainstay Boys Noize, ’90s house music and techno to mind. Simply put, it’s a thumping club banger.

“I wanted to make it as danceable as possible,” LutchamaK wrote to me in an email. “It’s a salute to Mad Mike, one of the founders of Detroit’s Underground Resistance. I tried to get a ’90s techno vibe, hoping the result won’t be seen as plagiarism.”

 

 

Detroit, MI-based hip-hop act Clear Soul Forces — E-Fav, L.A.Z., Noveliss, and producer/emcee Ilajide — can trace their origins to a 2009 all-nighter at a Detroit recording studio. As the story goes, the four emcees scraped the money to record material individually. Coincidentally, Royce Da 5’9″ was finishing work on his album Street Hop in the studio room next door, and naturally the four emcees leapt at the chance to spit a few rhymes and get pointers. The quartet then spent the next nine hours in an epic cypher in which they traded bars back and forth, while the impressed Detroit-based legend intently listened. When they finally finished, Royce Da 5’9″ suggested that the four emcees should team up and be a group.

Since their formation, the act has spent the better part of the past decade developing and maintaining a reputation for lyrically and sonically drawing from 70s spoken word artists and boom-bap era hip-hop as a group and with each emcee’s individual creative projects. Sadly, the act’s forthcoming fifth album ForcesWithUs, which is slated for a March 13, 2020 release through Fat Beats Records will be their final album together.

Interestingly, Forces With You‘s first single, the Ilajide-produced “Chip$” is centered around a glitchy yet soulful J. Dilla-esque production: hard-hitting, head-nodding and shuffling beats, shimmering melodic keys and a razor-sharp hook. And while the track is an upbeat and celebratory banger, there’s a palpable sense of purpose and passion throughout that suggests that this track — and in turn, the album — isn’t a victory lap, nor a farewell tour in which the members wave farewell and get flowers from adoring fans; but rather, it sees the act “not going quietly into the night,” as the old poem says. And although Clear Soul Forces are coming to an end, the track subtly signals a bright new future for its in individual members.

 

 

Currently featuring founding members Cynthia Sley (vocals), Pat Place (guitar) and Dee Pop (drums) along with newest recruit Val Opielski, the New York-based act Bush Tetras can trace their origins back to when Sley, Place, Pop and Laura Kennedy (bass) formed the band back in 1979.  Interestingly, their full-length debut Too Many Creeps was considered one of their scene’s defining moments as it accurately captured the vibe, feel and ethos of that scene’s particular moment.

Building upon a growing profile, the members of Bush Tetras were an opening act during The Clash’s legendary, spring 1981 17 show run at Bond International Casino. After the release of their Topper Headon-produced Rituals EP, which featured the chart-placing “Can’t Be Funky,” Laura Kennedy and Dee Pop left the band and were replaced by Bob Albertson (bass) and Don Christensen (drums); however, the band broke up.

For the better part of the next three decades, the members of the band were fairly elusive, although interestingly enough, the band’s original lineup reunited on a couple of occasions — in 1995, which resulted in 1997’s Beauty Lies and recording sessions the following year, which resulted in a Don Fleming-produced album that was shelved when Mercury Records was sold. That album was finally released in 2012.

In 2005, Julia Murphy replaced Kennedy and they resumed playing and touring across New York. The band toured across Europe the following year. Sadly, Laura Kennedy died in 2011 after a long battle with liver disease. In 2013, Cindy Rickmond, a former member of Cheap Perfume, Grayson Hugh, Church of Betty and Unknown Gender briefly replaced Murphy. And in 2016, Val Opielski, a former member of Krakatoa, Walking Hellos, PSXO and 1000 Yard Stare joined the band.

Last year saw the release of Take The Fall EP through Wharf Cat Records, the first batch of new music from the band in over 10 years. Over the winter, Third Man Records cleared their Cass Corridor showroom floor, invited the band down to Detroit — and enlisted the help of Third Man Mastering’s Bill Skibbe and Warren Defever to record their recently released “There is a Hum”/”Seven Years” 7 inch. A side single “There is a Hum” is a slashing bit of post punk, reminiscent of Entertainment-era Gang of Four and Sonic Youth — but seething with a neurotic anxiousness. B side single “Seven Years” manages to be a mischievously anachronistic track that sounds as though it could have been released at any point within the past 30 years. The glitchy and spastic track features some blistering and energetic guitar work centered around cowbell-led percussion and a sinuous bass line. Both tracks find the legendary post punk/No Wave act boldly reminding the listener that although it’s been a while, they play with a fury, passion and purpose that many younger acts lack.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Live Footage: The Raconteurs Perform “Help Me Stranger” on “Late Show with Stephen Colbert”

Comprised of founding duo Jack White (vocals, guitar) and Brendan Benson (vocals, guitar) along with Jack Lawerence (bass) and Patrick Keeler (drums), the Nashville, TN-based supergroup The Raconteurs can trace their origins to when White and Benson, who have been longtime friends were hanging out together and wrote “Steady, As She Goes,” and after they wrote it, it inspired them to start the band, with the band’s founding members recruiting Lawrence and Keeler, who were once members of The Greenhornes to complete the band’s lineup. The band came together in Detroit during 2005 and wrote and recorded material when time allowed.  White and Lawrence went on to form The Dead Weather with The Kills Alison Mosshart.

The Raconteurs long-awaited third, full-length album HELP US STRANGER was released last month through Third Man Records — and the album, which also marks the first batch of new material from the band in a decade, finds the band further pushing their sound in new directions, meshing enormous power chord-based riffs with blues, psych rock, Detroit funk and Nashville soul. Now, as you may recall, album single “Bored and Razed” was a sleazy power chord-based 12 bar blues with an anthemic hook, delivered with a swaggering AC/DC-like air. “Help Me Stranger” finds the band playing a swaggering and dusty old-school blues filtered through modern rock, complete with anthemic hook.  While in town for a nubmer of promotional activities for the new album, the band had a two-night run on Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

Live Footage: The Raconteurs Perform “Bored and Razed” on “Late Show with Stephen Colbert”

Comprised of founding duo Jack White (vocals, guitar) and Brendan Benson (vocals, guitar) along with Jack Lawerence (bass) and Patrick Keeler (drums), the Nashville, TN-based supergroup The Raconteurs can trace their origins to when White and Benson, who have been longtime friends were hanging out together and wrote “Steady, As She Goes,” and after they wrote it, it inspired them to start the band, with the band’s founding members recruiting Lawrence and Keeler, who were once members of The Greenhornes to complete the band’s lineup. The band came together in Detroit during 2005 and wrote and recorded material when time allowed.  White and Lawrence went on to form The Dead Weather with The KillsAlison Mosshart. 

HELP US STRANGER, The Raconteurs long-awaited, third full-length album officially dropped yesterday through Third Man Records — and the album, which also marks the first batch of new material from the band in a decade, finds the band further pushing their sound in new directions, meshing enormous power chord-based riffs with blues, psych rock, Detroit funk and Nashville soul. HELP US STRANGER‘s latest single “Bored and Razed” finds the members of The Raconteurs playing sleazy power chord rock, centered around a boozy, 12 bar blues arrangement, a rousingly anthemic hook, delivered with a swaggering AC/DC-like air.

The members of the Raconteurs have been busy doing promotional activities for their new album that included a two-night run on Late Show with Stephen Colbert in which they performed “Help Me Stranger” and “Bored and Razed” and in-store appearance and performance at Rough Trade. Check out the live performance of one my favorite songs off the album “Bored and Razed,” which they played last night.