Tag: i-D Magazine

New Video: JOVM Mainstays KOKOKO! Release a Cinematically Shot and Feverish Visual for Brooding Album Single “Zala Mayele”

Led by Makara Biano and prolific French producer débruit, the pioneering Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo-based DIY electronic collective KOKOKO! is inspired by a growing spirit of protest and unrest among their hometown’s young people. Much like young people everywhere, Kinshasa’s young people have begun to openly question centuries-old norms and taboos, and have openly begun to denounce a society they perceive as being paralyzed by fear — namely, the fear of inclusiveness and much-needed change. The collective and their counterparts have done this with a fearless, in-your-face, punk-rock sort of attitude and ethos. That shouldn’t be surprising as the rapidly rising collective’s name literally means KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK! — with the collective viewing themselves as the sound and voice of a bold, new generation defiantly and urgently banging on the doors and walls, and yelling “OUR TIME IS NOW!” 

Speaking of DIY, the collective’s members operate in a wildly inventive DIY fashion, creating self-designed and self-made instruments from recycled flotsam and jetsam and recovered junk. They even built a recording studio out of old mattresses, reclaimed wood and an old ping-pong table. Unsurprisingly, the act’s creative processes is centered round the notion that poverty and the desperately urgent need to survive often fuels creativity. Now,  as you may recall the Congolese collective exploded into the national scene with their debut EP 2017’s Tokoliana, a forward-thinking, urgent effort featuring a difficult to pigeonhole sound with elements of disco, post-punk, hip-hop, reggae, retro-futuristic funk, Afro-futurism and the region’s traditional music that seemed to come from an alien yet familiar near dystopian future in which the ghetto and the club are intertwined. 

Tokoliana’s follow-up TONGOS’A EP further explored themes of survival within the desperate and uneasy sociopolitical climate of their homeland, in which the average person may be forced on absolute certainties — the small, deeply human pleasures we, in the First World sometimes take for granted. 

Last year’s full-length debut Fongola was released to critical acclaim from the likes of NPR, The Guardian, Mixmag, Mojo, Dazed and i-D Magazine. The Congolese collective made their live, Stateside debut with a tour stop here in NYC, as well as an NPR Tiny Desk Concert, which helped them gain a following here in the States.  

Building upon their rapidly growing profile, the Kinshasa-based collective start off their 2020 with the latest single off their critically applauded full-length debut, the percussive “Zala Mayele.” Centered around layers of thumping polyrhythm, a propulsive bass line, a looping sample of a gorgeous string section and distorted vocals, the track may arguably be the most brooding and atmospheric tracks on the entire album — while still being remarkably dance floor friendly. 

“‘Zala Mayele’s lyrics are about the dangers in Kinshasa’s streets (thieves, sorcerers, gangs, and more) and the importance of distinguishing what is what, what is hidden under what shape, in disguise and around the corner, in the shadows.” The cinematically shot video for “Zala Mayele” follows a young boy — Issa — as he wanders the streets of his hometown on his own. During his journey, he encounters and is threatened by a variety of dangers booth real and imagined that blind, titillate and confuse him. These dangers “little by little, he will be able to notice and take control with a trip on the other side of the mirror,” the band says in press notes. 

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New Video: Up-and-Coming London-based Pop Artist Jodie Abacus Releases Swooning Visuals for Euphoric New Single “Meet Me In The Middle”

With the release of “I’ll Be That Friend” and “She’s In Love With The Weekend,” the up-and-coming London-based pop artist Jodie Abacus quickly saw a growing national profile, as both singles received airplay on BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 6 and BBC Radio 1xtra — and as a result of his growing profile, Abacus has collaborated with some of the UK’s hottest producers, writers and artists including Julio Bashmore, Tobias Jesso, Jr., Duke Dumont, Ariel Rechtshaid (who has worked with Beyonce, Adele and HAIM, and others), Rahki (who has worked with Kendrick Lamar), SOHN and others.  Adding to a growing profile, the up-and-coming, London-based artist has received praise from The Fader, who hailed him as “irresistible” and i-D Magazine as “somewhere between a less animated Thundercat and a more off-the-wall Stevie Wonder.” 

Abacus’ second EP, Mild Cartoon Violence derives its name from his desire “to capture the flavour of what goes on in my mind at any point in time when I write songs. I have an aggressive and playful approach towards everything I write within the creative process . . . I stand up, jump around and get excited. I envision the past, the present and the future feel of the storyline like a movie in my head in a cartoonish way and then scrutinise and bash away heavily at anything that may not feel right. This EP is about love, sex and torment.” The EP’s latest single, the POMO-produced “Meet Me In The Middle” pairs Abacus’ easy-going and soulful vocals with a shimmering neo-soul meets house music production featuring arpeggiated synths, stuttering drum programming and an infectious and euphoric hook — and that shouldn’t be surprising as the song is a swooning and euphoric track that the up-and-coming, British pop artist says is about a new romance, when you’re trying to get with someone sensually, physically, mentally and spiritually. 

The recently released video was shot in South London and follows Abacus as he meets cute with a beautiful woman, chats her up and invites her to a local house party. As Jodie Abacus says in press notes, “We had such fun shooting this as it turned into a full on party after the cameras stopped rolling.” 

New Video: New Visuals for Tourist’s “We Stay Up All Night” Captures the Joy and Possibility of Youth and Young Love

Now, if you were frequenting this site around this time last year, you may have come across a post or two featuring William Phillips,  London, UK-based electronic music artist/producer and songwriter, best known in electronic music circles as Tourist, and cowriter of Sam Smith’s smash hit, Grammy Award-winning single “Stay With Me.” Adding to a breakthrough 2015, Phillips played that year’s Coachella and Pitchfork Festival Paris, went on lengthy tours of the European Union and North America, made mixes for BBC 1‘s Diplo and Friends and i-D Magazine, as well as received praise from a variety of media outlets — including Pitchfork, FADER and others. Phillips built upon a growing international profile with the release of his full-length debut U, an album that focused on a failed personal relationship the songwriter and producer had; in fact, as Philips mentioned in press notes on his full-length debut, “I’ve always recorded a lot of my life through my phone. Whilst writing the album, I found a huge number of recording that I had whilst being in that relationship, so my ex’s voice is all over this record. Also the sounds of the places we lived and visited together form prominent backdrops to the music.” 

I don’t know how to describe it sonically, it’s not really body music, it’s just a story told through different tempos and sounds. I’m not channelling any specific scene or sound, just my thoughts and feelings. I don’t really understand the term ‘electronic music’ but I suppose if pressed I’d call it that.

I have zero interest in beats and scenes, I’m much more interested in stories. I feel as though this is the biggest lesson I learnt whilst writing this album, that I don’t write music to express myself but to enrich myself. It wasn’t until finishing this album that I could truly feel at peace with that chapter in my life.”

“We Stay Up All Night” is Phillips’ latest single is an ethereal and shimmering collaboration with pop vocalist Ardyn that features the sort of soaring and anthemic hooks reminiscent of M83 — but underneath the bright neon-colored vibes is a subtle hint at wistful nostalgia — presumably at the passing of youth but with a fondness and sweetness. As Phillips mentions in press notes, the new single is “more reflective of who I am now, and how my life has changed over the past year. I moved out of my windowless studio and started writing from home again. I think subconsciously, I’ve started writing more joyous, colourful music and I’ve loved being collaborative once again. ” Phillips goes on to say that the new music he’s recently written may be some of his favorite material he’s produced so far, because he’s loved the opportunity to push his sound towards a new place. Of course, while pushing his sound to a warmer and happier vibe, the internationally renowned producer and songwriter has retained elements of the aesthetic that caught the attention of fans and the blogosphere across the world — mainly  a shimmering, cosmic glow and a swooning earnestness to the proceedings. 

Directed by Daniel Brereton, who has directed videos for Kindess, Connan Moccasin and Metronomy, the video follows a quartet of teenagers as they drive to the British countryside to goof off, explore both in daylight and at night, couple up, canoodle, get high and share intimate moments before one couple stumbles upon a forest-based all night rave, and spends the morning watching the sun rise. The video manages to perfectly encapsulate the feeling of exploration, limitless possibility, naivete and foolhardy passions of youth. 

William Phillips is a London, UK-based electronic music artist/producer and songwriter, best known in electronic music circles best known for his solo recording project Tourist — and as the cowriter of 2015 Grammy Award winner for “Song of the Year” for Sam Smith‘s mega-hit “Stay With Me.” Adding to a breakthrough 2015, which resulted in a rapidly growing international profile, Phillips played at Coachella and Pitchfork Festival Paris, toured throughout the European Union and North America, made mixes for BBC 1‘s Diplo and Friends and i-D Magazine, as well as seeing praise from a number of major media outlets including Pitchfork, FADER and several others.

After releasing a number of EPs, Phillips will be building upon his breakthrough 2015 with the long-awaited release of his full-length debut U, slated for a May 6 release. As Phillips explains in press notes: “This is an album that reflects on a relationship I had with someone. I called it U as the word ‘You’ looks a bit accusatory, and the tone of this album certainly isn’t bitter, ‘U’ is a shape that is balanced but also incomplete, I thought it was a nice visual metaphor for a failed relationship.

I wouldn’t describe this record as mournful or sorrow filled, merely a reflection on my first relationship. I’ve always recorded a lot of my life through my phone, whilst writing the album I found a huge number of recordings that I had made whilst being in that relationship, so my ex’s voice is all over this record. Also the sounds of the places we lived and visited together form prominent backdrops to the music.

I don’t know how to describe it sonically, it’s not really body music, it’s just a story told through different tempos and sounds. I’m not channelling any specific scene or sound, just my thoughts and feelings. I don’t really understand the term ‘electronic music’ but I suppose if pressed I’d call it that.

I have zero interest in beats and scenes, I’m much more interested in stories. I feel as though this is the biggest lesson I learnt whilst writing this album, that I don’t write music to express myself but to enrich myself. It wasn’t until finishing this album that I could truly feel at peace with that chapter in my life.”

U’s second and latest single “Run” is a slickly produced track consisting of a spectral and distorted looped vocal samples paired with layers of shimmering and cascading synths, swirling and undulating ambient electronics, tweeter and woofer rocking beats that sonically draws from house music while possessing a swooning wistfulness at its core; in fact, on some level, the song feels like a bittersweet sigh. There’s a clear sadness of a relationship ending or being irrevocably altered and yet at the same time, there’s the recognition and acknowledgement that at the very least you experienced a wonderful period of sweetness — and for that you should be grateful.

Phillips will be on tour throughout major festival season — and it’ll include a set at the inaugural Panorama Festival. Check out the tour dates below.

Tour Dates: 

05.07 – Dublin, Ireland – Academy Green Room
05.09 – Glasgow, Scotland – King Tut’s
05.10 – Manchester, England – Deaf Institute
05.11 – London, England – XOYO
05.12 – Brighton, England – The Haunt
05.20-22 – Gulf Shores, AL – Hangout Festival
05.25-30 – Lake San Antonio, CA – Lightning In A Bottle
06.11-12 – London, England – Field Day
06.17-20 – Dufur, OR @ What The Festival
07.02 – Amsterdam, The Netherlands @ Pitch Festival
07.15-17 – Louisville, KY @ Forecastle Festival
07.14-16 – Scranton, PA @ Camp Bisco
07.22-24 – Oro-Medonte, ON @ WayHome Festival
07.22-24 – Seattle, WA @ Capitol Hill Block Party
07.24 – New York, NY – Panorama
08.06 – Oxfordshire, UK @ Wilderness Festival
09.10 – Isle of Wight, UK @ Bestival