Tag: M.I.A.

New Video: Headbang with Rituals of Mine in Intense Live Footage-based Visuals for “Armor”

Comprised of Terra Lopez and Dani Fernandez, the Los Angeles, CA-based electro pop duo Rituals of Mine can trace their origins back to 2009, when they initially formed under the name Sister Crayon. After years of relentless touring up and down the West Coast, playing house shows, DIY venues, basement rooms and other small, local establishments, the duo built up a loyal fanbase, and as a result the duo began to build a growing regional and national profile, touring with The Album Leaf, Built to Spill, Antemasque, Le Butcherettes, Maps & Atlases, Doomtree and others. Adding to a growing profile, the duo’s first two independently released and critically applauded albums 2011’s Bellow and 2013’s Cynic helped to further cement the duo’s reputation for crafting cathartic material centering around tweeter and woofer rocking beats, soulful vocals and trip hop-inspired production. 

The Wes Jones-produced, third full-length album Devoted was released in 2015 to critical applause — with the album landing on a number of indie “Top Ten Albums of 2015″ lists; but despite the album’s success, 2015 was a harrowing and difficult year for the Los Angeles, CA-based electro pop act’s Terra Lopez, as her father committed suicide and several months later, her best friend Lucas Johnson died in a tragic accident. Reeling from grief, the duo felt the need to put the Sister Crayon name to rest, and landed on their new name Rituals of Mine.”  Terra writes “It was a mantra that I repeated under my breath on a daily basis when the loss I was experiencing felt too heavy at times. Music, the act of creating, performing, touring, writing, singing, experimenting – all the rituals we have created to get through life.”

Because of its extremely limited release, Warner Brothers Records decided to re-master and re-release Devoted when the duo signed with the label last February. Re-mastered by Tom Coyne, who has worked with Led Zeppelin and Adele, the 2016 re-release features previously unreleased remixes and B-sides. Recently, the members of Rituals of Mine released a live, stripped down video for album single “Armor,” which features Madame Gandhi, a former drummer in M.I.A.’s backing band. 

Filmed by the Bay Area-based French Press Films with lighting by The Steel Hip (Moonlight), the video features the collaborators headbanging and rocking out intensely to their swaggering and percussive live version. And while swaggering, the live version manages to maintain the original’s cathartic vibe with a “you-are-there” intimacy and immediacy. As the duo’s Terra Lopez explains in press notes, “We’ve been long time fans of Kiran (Madame Ghandi) and we’ve all wanted to do a track together so when the idea came around to do a stripped down, percussive heavy live video for “Armor,” we were all so down. This track is raw, it hits heavy and it’s our version of an electronic/punk track. It’s one of my favorite tracks of ours to perform live and this version with Madame Ghandi is so fun and dynamic plus it’s just badass to see women head banging and having a good time together. French Press Films were so incredible to film with — they wanted to do something different visually for a live video so they set up a track in the Madden football building in the Bay Area and shot it beautifully. Huge thanks to them and the team for this. They kill it every time.”

New Video: Acclaimed World Dance Music Act Balkan Beat Box’s Swaggering Hip-Hop Influenced Visuals for “Chin Chin”

Currently comprised of founding members Ori Kaplan (saxophone), Tamir Muskat (production, percussion) and Tomer Yosef (vocals), the Tel Aviv, Israel-born, Brooklyn-based world, dance music trio Balkan Beat Box can trace its origins to Kaplan and Muskat meeting as teenagers in Brooklyn. As the story goes, both grew up immersed in music; Kaplan had been a klezmer clarinetists while Muskat was a drummer in a punk rock band — and the founding duo began collaborating together on a project, which would mesh the styles and sounds of Mediterranean and Balkan folk music with dub and thumping, club-banging hip-hop and dancehall beats. This is largely inspired by the fact that both Kaplan and Muskat had long felt that the traditional music they were long familiar with was a bit stodgy and outdated and didn’t adequately reflect the experiences of living in an increasingly globalized culture; however, fusing it traditional sounds with contemporary sounds was a way of bringing new relevance to old music, as well as a way of introducing old dance sounds to contemporary audiences. By 2006, Tomer Yosef was recruited as the group’s frontman and the lineup was completed.

And since their formation over a decade ago, the Brooklyn-based trio have maintained a long-held reputation not just for their wild genre mashing, deep digging in the crates grooves, but for a enormous club-banging beats paired with incendiary flows that call for riots and demonstrations in the streets and a for getting sweating on the dance floor — or perhaps suggesting that dance music and funk can fuel and inspire the next revolution. Interestingly throughout the course of five full-length albums, the trio have collaborated with a group of frequent and trusted collaborators and associates — and to add to a growing profile, the act has had their material sampled by Jason Derulo, Diplo, who used a sample for a Mac Miller song, had their music appear in FIFA ’17 and in Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping and have collaborated both as a unit and individually with platinum-ceritifed selling artist Asaf Avidan, Yemenite pop trio A-WA, Stargate and Fifth Harmony. But no matter what their work is rooted in a political urgency and authenticity; however, the band’s most recent effort Shout It Out finds the trio expanding upon their songwriting and creative process. As the members of the band explain in press notes when the members of the band gathered in the studio for the Shout It Out sessions, they played freely with collaborators for several days straight and then sampled what they felt was the best and boldest grooves, much like a DJ digging in the crates for the most interesting, weirdest material they could find. “A lot of weird things came out,” Kaplan exclaims in press notes. “We wold listen to jams and go ‘oh, here’s a moment, let’s sample it!” and they would build a track up from four bars or so.” And as Muskat explains of the material on the album “We are known to be that band to shout out things that bother us, but this time ew went inward and more personal. This album is us revealing who we are as people and what’s going on in our personal life.”

Shout It Out’s latest single “Chin Chin” has the trio pairing a slick, dance floor friendly production featuring looped klezmer-leaning, horn sample with stuttering drum programming, tweeter and woofer rattling 808 beats, distorted vocal samples and an enormous drop with Yosef rhyming about money — from the violent and desperate things people would do for it, the expensive and glittering possessions people buy with it. And in some way thematically and sonically, the song sounds as though it draws from M.I.A.’s “Paper Planes” as it points out that money is what makes the world go around, while also reminding us that we live in a world in which people will sell themselves, their children, their children’s future’s for short term gain.

The recently released music video visually draws from crime movies like Snatch and Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and hip-hop videos, and as a result, it further evokes the swaggering, stomping groove of the song.

Featuring primary and founding members Ryan Needham and Liza Violet, along with a rotating cast of friends, collaborators and others, the Leeds, UK-based indie rock band Menace Beach received both national and international attention with the release of their full-length debut Ratworld and its follow-up Super Transporterreum EP — both of which were praised for an off-kilter, buzzing and fucked up take on 90s rock. The band’s forthcoming sophomore effort Lemon Memory was written in  Ibiza and recorded in Sheffield, UK with Russ Orton, who’s worked with M.I.A., Arctic Monkeys and The Fall and the album was reportedly written as a way to lift a citrus-based curse that the band’s primary duo believe was placed on their house — yes, the band does believe this — as well as a way for them to forge their own sound and identity.

Now as you may remember last month, I had written about Lemon Memory‘s first single “Give Blood,” an anthemic, scuzzy power chord and thundering drum-based single in which Needham and Violet sing about death in an ironically detached tone — while nodding at Blur and psych rock. The album’s second and latest single “Suck It Out” maintains the anthemic hooks the band is known for, while being the most psych rock-leaning song the band has released to date as twisting and turning guitar chords, played through gentle amounts of reverb, thundering drumming and a propulsive bass line are paired with Needham’s vocals singing with a bratty and nasal snarl.

 

 

Featuring primary and founding members Ryan Needham and Liza Violet, along with a rotating cast of friends, collaborators and others, the Leeds, UK-based indie rock band Menace Beach received both national and international attention with the release of their full-length debut Ratworld and its follow-up Super Transporterreum EP — both of which were praised for an off-kilter, buzzing and fucked up take on 90s rock. Now, if you had been frequenting this site last year, you may recall that I wrote about “Ghoul Power,” the first single off Super Transporterreum EP, a song that tales a story about a pocket-sized, alien thou, who soaks up your darkness and anxieties –but after hanging out with the members of Menace Beach, who take him to way too many parties and shows, the alien winds up as a pale, sweaty  mess. Sonically, the song seemed to draw from PixiesThe Breeders and L7 while evoking a lurching fucked up, nauseating haze.

Written while in Ibiza and recorded in Sheffield, UK with Russ Orton, who’s worked with M.I.A., Arctic Monkeys and The Fall, the band’s forthcoming sophomore effort Lemon Memory was partially written as a way to lift a citrus-based curse that the band’s primary duo believe was placed on their house and as a way for them to forge their own sound and identity. The album’s latest single “Give Blood” begins with a couple of false starts before noisily chugging along in earnest with layers of scuzzy power chords fed through effects pedals and tons of feedback, propulsive and thundering drumming and an anthemic hook in which Needham and Violet sing about death — all while sounding as though the song were inspired by Blur and psych rock.

 

 

 

 

New Video: JOVM Mainstay Sofi de la Torre Returns with Some Slow-Burning Synth Pop

de la Torre has been rather prolific releasing two EPs That Isn’t You and Mess, both of which critically applauded and received attention across the blogosphere; in fact, at one point Mess steadily climbed the the Hype Machine charts and was featured in Spotify’s Weekend Buzz playlist. Earlier this year, I wrote about “Sit Down” which may have arguably been the Spanish-born, Berlin-based pop artist’s boldest, feistiest song she had released to date while nodding at the work of M.I.A. Interestingly, de la Torre’s latest single “Flex Your Way Out” is a slow-burning and radio-friendly track in which de la Torre’s ethereal yet sultry vocals are paired with moody and sparse production comprised of swirling electronics, twinkling keys, and stuttering, tweeter and woofer rocking beats. Pop artist Blackbear contributes a verse to a song that focuses on a relationship between two difficult and damaged people, who can’t quite figure out how to make it work — or if they should make it work.

The recently released music video continues de la Torre’s reputation for pairing her slickly produced pop with slick music videos — and in this case, the visuals feature de la Torre driving around her gorgeous birthplace of Las Palmas in the Canary Islands.

Preview: Full Moon Festival 

Matte Projects is a creative production company that focuses on the conception, production and promotion of music-related events, perhaps more famously known here in New York for creating the Full Moon Festival six years ago, a carefully curated festival and dance party, largely inspired by Thailand’s world-renowned full moon parties. And although it’s been a couple of years since JOVM has covered the Full Moon Festival, its sixth year marks a return to Governor’s Island for two days of partying, art installations, and dancing from early afternoon to late in the night with one of the most enviably gorgeous views of Lower Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty around – and under this month’s blue moon, no less.

Culinary Delights

Although I’m a music blogger and journalist first and foremost, I fucking love food – I mean, who doesn’t right? – and when I covered the festival back in 2014, one of the best food highlights was The Brooklyn Star’s fried chicken waffle cone. Picture a waffle cone stuffed with popcorn fried chicken on top, mashed potatoes and coleslaw and topped with your choice of honey sriracha sauce (which was frankly the best thing I’ve ever had) or a ranch-based sauce.

 

Two years later and I’m still talking about it; that’s how fucking good it was – and I might kill someone to have another one.


(Photo Caption: Brooklyn’s fried chicken waffle cone may be the reason the terrorists hate us. And the person who came up with it is a genius.)

This year will continue the festival’s reputation for culinary delight as Matcha Bar, Mile End, Best Pizza, Pokito, Pig and Khao, Clean Shave Ice and Chalk Point Kitchen will all host pop-up stands throughout the festival. I’m starting to salivate over the possibility of some pork belly Adobo, pastrami sandwiches, pizza – well, all the food, really. And whatever weight you put on, you can sweat it off dancing all night.

Music

Full Moon Festival’s sixth edition may arguably have one of the most musically diverse lineups in its history and some of the must see sets will include the following:

Day 1, August 20, 2016

Led by its creative mastermind, producer and electronic music artist Aaron Jerome, SBTRKT (pronounced as “Subtract”) has developed an internationally renowned reputation for remixing the work of M.I.A., Radiohead, Modeselektor, Basement Jaxx, Mark Ronson and Underworld, and for releasing two critically applauded full-length albums, a few EPs and a number of singles – all of which have either received airplay or have been playlisted by BBC Radio 1 and BBC Radio 6. Interestingly, throughout his recording and performing career Jerome has preferred to be as anonymous as humanly possible and during live shows he’s been known to perform wearing modern interpretations of native and indigenous society ceremonial masks designed by A Hidden Place, as well as performing with frequent collaborator Sampha.

Earlier this year, Jerome announced a new project that he described as a “non album,” a collection of songs specifically designed to be an ongoing listening experience, while bringing new music to fans in a faster fashion than the traditional album cycle.

Born Terrence Thornton, Norfolk, VA-based emcee Pusha T is perhaps best known as one-half of critically applauded and commercially successful hip-hop duo Clipse, with his brother Gene “No Malice” Thornton. And with the help of their friend, Norfolk, VA-born producer, multi-instrumentalist and eventual mega-hit artist Pharrell Williams, the duo quickly exploded into the national scene with the release of their 1997 full-length debut Exclusive Audio Footage. And as a result, Pusha T has made a number of guest spots over the years including on Kelis’ “Good Stuff,” Nivea’s “Run Away (I Wanna Be With You),” all while recording three more albums as a member of Clipse, including the duo’s critically applauded and commercially successful third album Hell Hath No Fury. After the duo’s fourth album, they announced that Clipse would be on hiatus while each individual member would pursue solo projects and other creative endeavors.

In 2010 Pusha T was signed to Kanye West’s GOOD Music and made guest appearances on a number of labelmates’ releases including “Runaway” off West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and West’s GOOD Fridays singles series and as a solo artist Thornton has collaborated with an increasingly lengthy list of artists and producers including Swizz Beatz’s Monster Mondays series, Lloyd BanksH.F.M. 2 (Hunger For More 2), Future, Tyler the Creator, Jay Z and others. Interestingly, over the last few years Thornton has been incredibly prolific, releasing a handful of mixtapes and his solo debut, My Name Is My Name. Adding to a growing profile, last year Kanye West personally appointed Pusha T to take over the reins at GOOD Music. And we should be expecting a full-length in the near future.

Born Nkosinathi Maphumulo, the internationally acclaimed,  eThekwini, South Africa-born and Johannesburg, South Africa-based producer and DJ Black Coffee can trace the origins of his recording and performing career to when he majored in Jazz Studies at Technikon Natal. While as a student there, he worked as a backup singer for Madale Kunene before forming an Afro-pop act S.H.A.N.A (short for Simply Hot and Naturally African) with classmates Mnqobi Mdabe (Shota) and Thandukwazi Sikhosana (Demor). The somewhat short lived act was signed to Melt 2000; however, his DJ and production career explored when he was selected as one of two South African participants during 2003’s Red Bull Music Academy – and with an increased buzz around him, he released “Happiness,” which was featured on the DJs at Work compilation; in fact, by the release of his sophomore effort, Have Another One, Black Coffee had become a household name in South African electronic circles for a propulsive, forceful tribal sound and for putting on locally-based artists and producers, all of whom have started to receive attention across Africa, Europe and elsewhere.

Adding to a rapidly growing international profile, Black Coffee has played at some of the world’s biggest and most renowned clubs and stages including Southport Weekender, Panorama Bar, Circo Loco and Boiler Room and has made appearnaces at a number of music festivals including SummerStage, ADE and Red Bull Music Academy in his hometown of Johannesburg, Coachella, Ultra Music Fesitval and others. I’ve seen the brother do his thing live and he’s arguably one of the best electronic music arists, producers and DJs in the entire world. And as much as I want to see some of the other acts on the bill – i.e., Marcus Marr, Santigold and others – I think that Black Coffee may well be worth the price of admission.

Day 2, August 21, 2016

Largely influenced by James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Devo, reggae, Fela Kuti and a ton of Nigerian music, Philadelphia, PA-born singer/songwriter and producer Santi White is best known under the monikers Santogold (which she performed under between 2003-2009) and Santigold has throughout the course of three full-length albums Santogold, Master of My Make-Believe and her most recent effort, 99¢ has developed a reputation for a sound that has at times been compared favorably to the likes of M.I.A. as her work sonically manages to blur, mesh and completely destroy genre lines as you’ll hear elements of techno, house music, dub, reggae, alt rock and others while ironically commenting on our sociopolitical zeitgeist. Interesting, as the result of a growing national and international profile, White has collaborated with an equally impressive list of artists and producers including Diplo, Jonnie “Most” Davis, Yeah Yeah YeahsKaren O., Switch, Q-Tip, TV on the Radio’s Dave Sitek, has opened for the likes of Jay Z and Kanye West during their co-headlining tour, Beastie Boys, Red Hot Chili Peppers, the aforementioned M.I.A., Bjork and has a number of singles make prominent appearances in ad campaigns, including a 2013 campaign for Honda Civic among others.

Comprised of Matthew Correia (drums), Spencer Dunham (bass), Miles Michaud (vocals, guitar) and Pedrum Siadatian (guitar), Los Angeles-based indie rock sensations Allah-Las can trace their origins to when three of the four band members worked at renowned record store Amoeba Music. Formed back in 2008, the Southern California-based have received both local and national attention for a sound that draws entirely from the 60s and includes elements of folk rock, psych rock, surfer rock and garage rock – while firmly establishing themselves as part of a burgeoning retro/garage rock scene that includes The Mystery Lights, The Black Angels, Raccoon Fighter and others.

London, UK-based producer, electronic music artist, multi-instrumentalist and DJ Dhas received international attention over the last few years for a number of critically acclaimed singles released through renowned dance pop/electro pop label; in fact, “Brown Sauce” was mentioned in Pitchfork’s Tracks while “The Music,” appeared in the major motion picture Pusher and landed at number 3 on Spin Magazine’s Best Dance singles in 2013. And if you were frequenting this site over the course of 2015 you might recall that Marr collaborated with internationally acclaimed indie pop artist Chet Faker on an EP that featured the slickly produced Daft Punk and Off the Wall-era Michael Jackson leaning track “The Trouble With Us.”

Now if you’ve been frequenting this site over the course of its six-year history, you’d know that the New York-based neo-disco/electronic dance music/funk collective ESCORT have been mainstay artists. And over that same period of time, the collective founded by producers Eugene Cho and Dan Balls featuring frontperson Adeline Michele as members of a core group of five that frequently expands to 17 for live shows has received local and national attention for an incredible live show of funky, danceable tunes, their two full-length albums and for their frontperson’s incredible stage presence, cementing their reputation as a must-see live act.

Tickets are still available — and for a two day festival out on gorgeous Governor’s Island, the tickets are pretty affordable. [Purchase Tickets]

JOVM will be there to cover the festival. Expect some live tweeting, a lot of Instagram and more. And if you weren’t following me, here are the socials:

Twitter: @yankee32879 and @williamhelms3rd

Instagram: @william_ruben_helms

 

 

 

 

Last December, I wrote about Sophie Stern, the Los Angeles-based creative mastermind behind the (mostly) solo recording project Sophie and the Bom Boms. Initially, Stern’s career began behind the scenes as a songwriter, who was signed to mega-hit producer and songwriter Dr. Luke’s camp. After spending couple of years as a go-to songwriter, Stern decided that it was time for her to go out on her own as a solo artist.

 

Inspired by a diverse array of artists including diverse array of artists including Erykah BaduTom Tom Club and a lengthy list of others, Stern began collaborating with two rather renowned producers, David Elevator, who won 3 Grammys for his work on Beck‘s Morning Phase and Dan Dare, who’s best known his work with Marina and the DiamondsCharli XCX and M.I.A. for her debut EP. The EP’s first single “Big Girls” was a breezy and infectious pop confection that paired big boom-bap beats, cascading synths, anthemic hooks and Stern’s effortlessly soulful vocals in a way that was reminiscent of Nu Shooz‘s “I Can’t Wait” while sounding remarkably contemporary.

The EP’s second and latests single “Appetite” will further cement Stern’s reputation for crafting incredibly infectious, breezy and anthemic pop as you’ll hear boom bap beats, handclaps, twinkling synths and an anthemic, hashtag worthy hook paired with Stern’s ballsy and bratty vocals in a song that’s a tell off to fuckboys, deadbeats, drama kings and queens and parasites everywhere — with the sort of sense of humor that would likely remind you of things you may have heard or said back in the schoolyard.

Sonically and thematically speaking the song manages to nod at Australian-born, Berlin-based indie pop artist Phia, Gwen Stefani‘s “Ain’t No Holla Back Girl,” and TLC‘s “No Scrubs” as it possesses the same “girl power/girl, drop that loser/girl, drop that deadbeat friend” air but backed by slick, modern production techniques.

 

 

 

 

Sophie Stern, the Los Angeles-based creative mastermind behind the (mostly) solo recording project Sophie and the Bom Boms originally started her career as a pop songwriter, who was signed to mega-hit producer and songwriter Dr. Luke’s camp. After spending a couple of years writing songs for several major stars, Stern, who was inspired by a diverse array of artists including Erykah Badu, Tom Tom Club and others, decided that she should go out on her own as a solo artist.

Stern collaborated with two renowned producers, David Elevator, who won 3 Grammys for his songwriting/production work on Beck‘s Morning Phase and Dan Dare, who’s best known his work with Marina and the Diamonds, Charlie XCX and M.I.A. for her forthcoming debut EP. The EP’s first single “Big Girls” is breezy and infectious pop confection that pairs big, boom-bap beats, cascading synths, anthemic hooks and Stern’s effortlessly soulful vocals. Sonically, the song draws from 80s synth pop and R&B (for example think of Nu Shooz‘s “I Can’t Wait“) while sounding remarkably contemporary — the production behind the song is incredibly slick without removing the song’s sense of fun or Stern’s larger-than-life confidence.