Tag: Miami FL

Over the past few years, I’ve written quite a bit about the Brampton, ON-born, Toronto, ON-based DJ, violinist, singer/songwriter, sync pop artist and JOVM mainstay Maya Killtron. Now, as you may recall, Killtron received national and international attention with the release of her debut EP, 2012’s Hipster/Gangstaand as a result of the surrounding buzz around the EP, Killtron made appearances across the North American festival circuit, including appearances at Miami’s Winter Music ConferencePride TorontoThe Halifax Jazz Festival and CMJ. Adding to a growing profile,  “Back For More,” her collaboration with New York-based production duo Love Taps received praise from Stereogum and Huffington Post for a sound that possessed elements of moomba and R&B. The equally attention-grabbing video showcased a sadly bygone New York. “Back For More” also received the remix treatment from  Smalltown DJs, The Slow WavesEyes Everywhere, Brothers In Arms and City Kid Soul — with the City Kid Soul remix being named in the Top 5 at Toronto’s Bestival.

Killtron’s latest full-length effort, Never Dance Alone is slated for a March 22, 2019 release, and the album reportedly was made specifically for dancing through your problems. The album’s latest single “Red Dress” continues a strong run of 80s synth funk/80s R&B-inspired club bangers as it’s centered around layers of arpeggiated synths, thumping, tweeter and woofer rocking beats, an anthemic hook and Killtron’s sultry pop belter vocals  — and while much like its predecessors, the track will bring I Feel for You-era Chaka Khan to mind, the track features a disco-inspired string arrangement that hints at JOVM mainstays Escort. Interestingly, the song is an uplifting, feminist anthem, complete with a much-needed “go out and get it, girl,” vibe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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New Video: Mexican-Panamanian Singer Songwriter and Multi-instrumentalist Michelle Blades Releases a Topical Post Punk Anthem

Michelle Blades is a Mexican-Panamanian singer/songwriter and self-taught multi-instrumentalist, who grew up in a family of salsa musicians — and as a result, a young Blades soaked up notions of her heritage, studio life and production. When Blades was seven, her family fled Panama as a result of the vestiges of violence and unrest left by Manuel Noriega, eventually relocating to Miami, where they all learned English and lived in different recording studios and apartments. 

Ironically, music was all but forbidden at home and many of Blades’ artistic aspirations were halted by the family patriarch until she moved out when she turned 16. She then spent time juggling a number of different jobs including — being a journalist for the local CBS affiliate, producing a biweekly show, Focus on South Florida, selling smoothes, working for MIA Skatepark, and pursuing a passion for film and video by producing skate videos for her website 2TEN AM Productions. Interestingly, this love of film would wind up being important for her aspirations and her career, as it paved the way for her to direct and produce music videos for several artists. 

After buying a ukulele with her first paycheck, Blades relocated to Arizona, where she immersed herself in Phoenix’s and Tempe’s DIY scenes, learning guitar, drums, synths and bass, eventually recording and releases EPs under her own name and with the noise punk trio North Dakota. Along the way, Camaraderie Limited Records, a small Paris-based label invited Blades to go on a month-long tour of house shows and while discovering Europe for the first time, she also made friends, who would change her life. As the story goes, during her third tour of France, Blades befriended the team at Midnight Special Records — and it prompted a move to Paris, where she created the bulk of her work to date, collaborating with the label and artists in a familial sort of collective of like-minded souls. 

Since relocating to Paris, Blades has been rather prolific as she has released 2015’s Ataraxia, 2016’s Polylust EP, and 2017’s Premature Love Songs EP, written music and arrangements for Laure Briard, played bass in Fishbach, put together a Transatlantic band Michelle Blades y Los Machetes, and directed videos for Clea Vincent’s “Retiens mon desir” and “Chateau Perdu” among a list of others. 

Slated for a March 29, 2019 release, Blades’ forthcoming album Visitor continues the Mexican-Panamanian multi-disciplinary artist, singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist’s ongoing collaboration with Midnight Special Records. The forthcoming album’s third and latest single “Politic” is a remarkably topical song that to my ears sounds like a seamless synthesis of campy B52s-like garage rock/garage pop, angular and neurotic More Songs About Food and Buildings era Talking Heads-like post punk and Fever to Tell-era Yeah Yeah Yeahs as the song is centered around arpeggiated synths, looping garage rock guitar lines, a propulsive groove, an infectious hook and lyrics delivered in wild yelps, squeals and howls. At its core, the song expresses an anxious, existential frustration — with everything. The recently released video is centered around live footage of Blades and her backing band performing the song shot with trippy filters and colors and strobe lights galore. 

New Video: JOVM Mainstays SOFI TUKKER Releases Dreamy and Vulnerable Visuals for Slow-burning “Benadryl”

Now, over the past eight years, I’ve written quite a bit about the acclaimed New York-based electro pop act  SOFI TUKKER, and as you may recall with the release of their full-length debut Treehouse, which was released earlier this year, the duo of Sophie Hawley Weld and Tucker Halpern further cemented an internationally recognized profile for thumping, tribal house that draws from Latin, African and other world music genres; in fact, smash hit single  “Best Friend,” received a Grammy nod and was featured in an ad campaign for the iPhone X.

Treehouse’s latest single “Benadryl” is a slow-burning and atmospheric bit of house music centered around thumping beats, shimmering synths, a chopped and screwed-like vocal sample and Hawley Held’s sultry cooing — and while gauzy and somewhat lysergic, the duo explain that the track is a “cryptic break-up song,” meant to evoke and reflect the feelings of being caught in an emotional and physical stupor. “Being in a relationship that you shouldn’t really be in anymore is a lot like taking Benadryl: it puts you in a kind of distracted, dreamlike stupid in which it’s hard to focus. This song is about getting out of that Benadryl-like trance.”

Directed by Philip Lopez and shot in the outskirts of Miami, the recently released video will further cement the duo’s reputation for pairing escapist visuals to their club-friendly song but unlike the previously released videos, this new clip reveals an aching vulnerability, as it captures the duo at points in a weary trance.

New Video: French Electro Pop Duo Synapson Teams Up with Sengalese Singer/Songwriter Lass on a Breezy and Genre-Defying Single

Synapson is a French electronic music production and artist duo, comprised of Alexandre Chiere (keys, saxophone, beats, vocals) and Paul Cucuron (drums, turntables, production and mixing) and since their formation in 2009, the duo have been critically and commercially successful — they’ve sold over 150,000 physical copies and have amassed over 100 million streams; however, they may be best known for their remake/re-work of Burkinabe singer/songwriter and musician Victor Deme’s “Djon’maya,” which they renamed “Djon Maya Mai,” and their original track “All In You,” featuring Anna Kova. Both tracks were smash hits in the duo’s native France, as they charted at #12 and #10 respectively. 

The duo’s soon-to-be released album Super 8 will further cement their reputation for a sound that possesses elements of nu-disco, deep house but it finds them at their most ambitious, as they collaborate with a diverse, international cast including French act M83’s Mai-Lan,  Archive’s Holly, Kaleem Taylor, L. Marshall, Idyllwild’s Casey Abrams, Miami-born, Paris-based rapper Beat Assailant, Jamaica-born, London-based Taneisha lJackson, Tim Dup, Haute’s Tessa B. and Blasé, Sengalese singer/songwriter Lass and a list of others. 

Super 8’s latest single “Souba” synthesis of French electro pop, house music and Afropop as its centered around a slick yet soulful production featuring a looped, shimmering guitar line, a sinuous bass line, thumping beats and a club rocking and radio friendly hook. And unsurprisingly, the two step inducing track will remind the listener that electronic dance music translates language and culture, and that perhaps most important, it’s music that’s always a beneficial unifying force. Additionally, the track will establish the duo on a growing list of French electronic music acts that blur genre lines with a globe spanning bent. 

The recently released video employs a simple but endearing concept — we see Lass and the members of Synapson hanging out in and around a prototypical European car. At points the videos features the members of the trio brooding, but for the most part they’re hanging out and enjoying each other’s company. 

Over the past couple of years, I’ve written quite a bit about the Brampton, ON-born, Toronto, ON-based DJ, violinist, singer/songwriter, sync pop artist and JOVM mainstay Maya Killtron, and as you may recall Killtron first came to attention both nationally and Stateside with the 2012 release of her debut EP Hipster/Gangsta. As a result of the surrounding buzz around her debut EP, Killtron made the rounds across the North American festival circuit with appearances at Miami’s Winter Music ConferencePride TorontoThe Halifax Jazz Festival and CMJ. Adding to a growing profile, her collaboration with NYC-based production duo Love Taps “Back For More” received attention from the likes of Stereogum and Huffington Post for a sound that meshed moomba and R&B – and for visuals that showcased a sadly bygone NYC. Additionally, Smalltown DJs, The Slow WavesEyes Everywhere, Brothers In Arms and City Kid Soul have all have remixed “Back For More” — with the City Kid Soul remix being named in the Top 5 at Toronto’s Bestival.

Killtron’s latest single “Satin Sheets” will further cement her reputation for crafting thumping, 80s synth pop/synth funk and 90s dance music-inspired tracks — and while rooted in a sweet nostalgia for slow dances at the school dance, for creating mixtapes of your favorite jams straight from the radio or for that new sweetheart of yours. Sonically speaking her material immediately brings to mind the likes of (the oft-mentioned on this site), Cherelle, I Feel for You-era Chaka Khan, Lisa Lisa and the Cult Jam, early Mariah Carey and so on, with a similar swaggering self-assuredness and an underlying heartbreaking angst — but bolstered by an incredibly slick modern production that’s both radio friendly and club friendly. As Killtron says of her  latest single “Satin Sheets,” “With this track I wanted to take it back to my hometown high school summers. Picture it: Brampton 1999, Cruisin’ along Queen St. on the 1A to Bramalea City Center, summer crushes at the Professor’s lake beach, tryin to catch the eye of the L-section babes for a slow jam at Rec dances, between pizza roll breaks, & bright summer afternoons crushing banquet burgers with the whole squad at Sunny’s. This song is high school Maya, the stacked vocal harmonies, the 90’s bass, the Brampton top down beat. As with all of the Never Dance Alone (my forthcoming Album) tracks, it’s the music I always wanted to make. Not just a nod or throwback, not disposable or following any trend. Its a real gateway into my musical past in ever bar. Syrupy, rich & full of R&B high school angst.”

 

 

New Video: Up-and-Coming Miami-based No Wave/Post Punk/Art Rock Act Donzii’s Dance Floor Friendly Debut

Donzii is a Miami, FL (by way of New York)-based post-punk/art rock/performance art/no-wave act featuring Jenna Balfe (vocals), Dennis Brewster Fuller (bass), Monroe Getz (drums) and Nick DeLucca (guitar), and their debut single “Mines,” which was released by Grey Market Records earlier this year manages to sound as though it were released in 1982 as it consists of early hip hop-like backbeats, an angular and funky bass line paired with Balfe delivering surrealistic non-sequitur-like lyrics with a chilly yet aggressive nonchalance, and while dance floor friendly, the material manages to hint at an underlying dark yet seductive nihilism.  

Directed by Tara Long, the recently released video is like a Dario Argento-like fever dream that features the members of the band pointing out the very odd nature of routines, communing with nature and brooding artfully among other things. 

New Video: Mount Kimble’s Playful Visuals and New Single Pushes Their Attention-Grabbing Sound in Trippy New Directions

Comprised of Kai Campos and Dominic Maker, the London and Los Angeles-based production and electronic music artist duo Mount Kimbie can trace their origins to when the. St. Austell, Cornwall-born Campos and the Brighton-born Maker met while studying at London Southbank University, where Campos was having another go at school and Maker was studying film.  And with 2009’s Maybes EP and Sketch on Glass EP, and their  2010’s full-length debut Crooks & Lovers, the duo quickly rose to national attention for pushing dubstep into new, exciting directions, including using field recordings to form major elements of their material paired with glitchy synths and electronics, as well as elements of post-punk and other genres — with some critics hailing them as the pioneers of post-dubstep. Unsurprisingly, Crooks & Lovers appeared on over 30 different “Best of 2010” lists, including NME, Mixmag, Resident Advisor, Pitchfork and Drowned in Sound — and along with that NME listed them at number 22 of their 30 Artists for 2011. Adding to a growing profile, the duo have frequently collaborated with James Blake, King Krule and Micachu and have remixed the The Big Pink, Foals, The xx and Andreya Triana among others.
 
By 2012, the band signed with renowned electronic label, Warp Records, who released their critically applauded breakthrough album Cold Spring Fault Less Youth the following year and their third album Love What Survives, which was released earlier this year. Interestingly, their latest album marks two different and important milestones for the duo — their first studio album in four years and the first album with the duo as a Transatlantic duo with one member in London, the other in Los Angeles. The album’s latest single “You Look Certain (I’m Not So Sure),” feat. Andrea Balency finds the duo pushing their sound in completely new directions — in this case, nodding at breezy surf pop, psych pop and industrial electronica while retaining the glitchy synths and boom bap beats that first caught the attention of the blogosphere while pairing that with Balency’s coquettish and ethereal vocals. And while seemingly self-assured, the song bristles with the narrator’s awareness of their insecurities and faults. 

Directed by Rosie Marks and Frank Lebon, the recently released video is set in Miami and focuses on (and even emphasizes) the insecurities one has while in a new place — especially when you’re someone from far away, trying to figure out what the hell is going on and how you fit in. 

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past few years, you may be familiar with Miami, FL-based JOVM mainstay and electro pop artist Brika. And as you may recall, the Miami-based pop artist has received attention both from this site and across the blogosphere for a sound that draws from trip-hop, jazz and several other genres, as well as a slow-burning neo-soul reworking of Shaggy‘s “It Wasn’t Me,” as well as her debut effort Voice Memos.

Brika’s latest single “Just Wanna Be Single” was produced co-written and produced by R&B singer/songwriter and producer Shy Girls with Grammy Award-winning producer Julio Reyes Capello, and the single pairs a slick but breezy and chilled out production featuring strummed guitar, finger snap-led percussion, languid cascades of synths and an infectious, radio-friendly ear worm of a hook with Brika’s coquettish yet self-assured vocals; but underneath the radio-friend airiness are unusually self-aware and introspective lyrics that capture a modern woman, who is perfectly okay with not having anything particularly serious holding her down; in fact, she wants to simplify her life and her relationships — in some way, she sees relationships as a difficult, time-consuming burden, full of heartache. Certainly, the woman who narrates the song is a fully-fleshed out woman, the sort of woman you’d find self-possessed and self-assured but a bit of a player, and yet beguiling all the same.

 

 

If you’ve been frequenting this site over the past 12-15 months or so, you’ve likely come across a couple of posts on the Brampton, ON-born, Toronto, ON-based DJ, violinist, singer/songwriter and indie pop artist Maya Killtron. And as you may recall, Killtron first came to attention both nationally and Stateside with the 2012 release of her debut EP Hipster/Gangsta, and as a result of the attention she received, Killtron wound up making the rounds across the North American festival circuit with stops Miami’s Winter Music ConferencePride TorontoThe Halifax Jazz Festival and CMJ. And adding to a growing profile, her collaboration with NYC-based production duo Love Taps “Back For More” received attention from the likes of Stereogum and Huffington Post for a sound that meshed moomba and R&B – and for visuals that showcased a sadly bygone NYC. Additionally, Smalltown DJs, The Slow WavesEyes Everywhere, Brothers In Arms and City Kid Soul have all have remixed “Back For More” — with the City Kid Soul remix being named in the Top 5 at Toronto’s Bestival.

Bad Decisions,” which I wrote about while in Amsterdam, The Netherlands earlier this year, was a written as a review of some of Killton’s best and worst decisions when it came to affairs of the heart paired with a sound that nodded at 80s synth funk and early 80s disco in a fashion reminiscent of JOVM mainstay act Escort; in fact, that shouldn’t be surprising as Killtron explained in an email to me,  “With ‘Bad Decisions,’ as well as my first single ‘Never Dance Alone,’ I wanted to pay tribute to; but not copy my heroes — Teena Marie, Prince, and The Gap Band.”

“Whiplash,” the third and latest single off Killtron’s Never Dance Alone EP is influenced by a childhood memory of a young Killtron listening to Michael Jackson‘s “PYT‘ for the very first time. “It was my driveway one July and my dad let me take our little radio outside while I washed the car, ” the Brampton-born, Toronto, ON-based pop artist explains. “‘PYT’ jumped out of the speakers and pretty much changed my ears forever. I never listened to the music the same way again.” Sonically, Killtron describes the song as having touches of elastic funk, roller rink dance, New Jack Swing and candy-coated pop paired with modern electronic production — and while that may be true, the song reminds me of Morris Day and The Time‘s “Jungle Love,” The Gap Band’s “You Dropped a Bomb on Me,” Cherelle‘s “Saturday Love,” Chaka Khan‘s “I Feel For You” and others as it features a sinuous bass line and a stomping groove; however, Killton’s latest single is at a much faster BPM than the sources that inspired it. Of course, much like the preceding singles, “Whiplash” is a love song — this time focusing on the sort of swooning love that comes about suddenly and feels so right, even if it’s just for the moment.

 

 

 

Preview: Secret Solstice Festival 2017

With its inaugural run back in 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland’s Secret Solstice Festival has quickly become one of Iceland’s largest music festivals, featuring a diverse and eclectic array of established and internationally recognized artists, locally renowned acts and up-and-coming artists from all over the globe, performing in one of the most unique backdrops in the entire world – the roughly 72 hour period of near constant daylight Iceland experiences during the Summer Solstice, because of its proximity to the Arctic Circle. (After all, Reykjavik is the northernmost capital and administrative region of the northernmost country in the entire world.) Building upon its growing reputation as one of the world’s most unique music festivals, the fourth edition of the festival may arguably be one of the biggest and most diverse lineups to date as it includes Foo Fighters, Rick Ross, the UK electronic act The Prodigy, The Verve’s former frontman Richard Ashcroft, Pharoahe Monch, Chaka Khan, Foreign Beggars, Dubfire, Novelist, Rhye, Dusky and Chicago house music artist Kerri Chandler. Along with those artists, some of Iceland’s renowned acts, including Högni, Úlfur Úlfur, Amabadama, Emmsjé Gauti, GKR, Tiny, Aron Can, KSF, and Alvia Islandia will be performing. And adding to the 72 hour party vibe, the festival’s organizers have planned a series of electronic dance music takeovers and showcases featuring some of the world’s best party crews – including Ibiza’s Circoloco, Above & Beyond Records’ deep house imprint Ajunadeep Records’ dance floor collective Crew Love, ATG and Dubfire’s SCI+TEC among others.
Interestingly, for the second consecutive year, Secret Solstice is currently the only major music festival in the world to be certified CarbonNeutral®, as the festival sources almost all of their power needs from the use 100% renewable geothermal energy, hybrid vehicles provided by Toyota Iceland – and from offsetting any residual emissions through the purchase of high quality, verified carbon credits. Unlike any other festival I’ve attended or heard of, festivalgoers and artists alike can know that they’re being environmentally responsible while partying and catching some of the world’s most interesting artists. Of course, during a multi-day festival like Secret Solstice, it’s difficult and damn near impossible to catch everyone and everything, so consider me as a helpful guide – with some information on artists I’d love to catch while in Reykjavik.