Tag: Rene Lopez

New Video: Introducing the Retro-Futuristic Synth Funk Sounds and Visuals of The Black Seeds’ “Freakin'”

Led by primary lyricists and co-frontman Barnaby Weir and Daniel Weetman and featuring Jarney Murphy, Nigel Patterson, Ned Negate, along Francis Harawira, Barrett Hocking, Lucien Johnson and Matt Benton, the Wellington, New Zealand-based funk and dub outfit The Black Seeds can trace their origins back to 1998, and since their formation, the act has developed a reputation for music that thematically may express different things based on the songwriter, focusing on personal triumphs and failures, relationships both good and bad, as well as the personal insights and experiences of the artists involved — while being under-pinned with an underlying message of positivity and optimism, pairing that optimism and positivity with funky, dance floor friendly grooves. And as a result, the act has developed themselves as one of their homeland’s finest acts; in fact, the act has several multi-platinum selling albums in their homeland, and a critically applauded live show that they’ve taken across the world, developing a foothold in Europe and North America. 

After spending several years with an intense and very busy touring schedule that included the act playing some of the world’s largest festivals, the members of the New Zealand spent the past year or so working on their soon-to-be released effort Fabric, which was recorded at acclaimed producer/engineer and long-time collaborator Lee Prebble’s Wellington-based studio The Surgery. And although the album will further the act’s long-held reputation for pairing funky grooves with positive messages, the album will also find the band gentle expanding upon the funk, Afrobeat, soul and dub-based grooves; in fact, “Freakin,'” the album’s latest single finds the band playing the slick, 80s-inspired synth funk that reminds me of both the genre’s pioneers — i.e., The Gap Band, Cherrelle, Prince and others, as well as contemporary practitioners such as 7 Days of Funk, Blood Orange, Rene Lopez, and others, complete with a two step worthy stomp. 

Produced by Owen Watts and directed by Mark Russell, the recently released video employs some pitch perfect retro-futuristic graphics and clothing, while featuring a soul train line and breakdancers — because well, of fucking course. The only thing the video is missing is a dude with a boombox. 

If you’ve been frequenting this site over its six year history, you’ve likely made yourself familiar with New York-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and long-term JOVM mainstay artist Rene Lopez. And over the years, Lopez has uncompromisingly refused to be pigeonholed into one particular genre. Over the years, Lopez has managed to mesh salsa, boogaloo, old-school hip-hop, meringue and electronica into one cohesive whole on E.L.S.; salsa and 7os Brazilian music on his most deeply personal effort Paint the Moon Gold; and slinkily seductive synth-based R&B and funk, inspired by PrinceThe Gap BandRick JamesChic and others on Love Has No Mercy and its subsequent releases.

Now, much like The Raveonettes and several others, Lopez has spent the past year on a single of the month series that he’s dubbed the Jam of the Month. The last and latest single of the series “Who Stole Your Heart” is a swaggering 80s freestyle and hip-hop inspired track that pairs Lopez’s silky smooth vocals with big wobbling, tweeter and woofer rocking 808s and layers of cascading synths to craft a dance floor ready party jam that sounds as though it drew from Herbie HancockRockit” and others.

 

 

Maya Killtron is a Toronto, ON-based DJ, violinist and singer/songwriter who first came to attention across both her native Canada and the States with the 2012 release of her debut EP Hipster/Gangsta, and as a result, Killtron wound up touring the festival circuit across both countries, including appearances at Miami’s Winter Music Conference, Pride Toronto, The Halifax Jazz Festival and CMJ. Adding to a growing profile, Killtron’s collaboration with NYC-based production duo Love TapsBack For More” received attention from the likes of Stereogum and Huffington Post for a sound that meshed moomba and R&B – and for a video that showcased a sadly bygone NYC. Additionally, Smalltown DJs, The Slow Waves, Eyes Everywhere, Brothers In Arms and City Kid Soul have all have remixed the song — with the City Kid Soul remix being named in the Top 5 at Toronto’s Bestival.

Killtron is currently working on a multimedia mixtape project featuring MCP champ and producer Fresh Kills, videographer Diana Piruveska, best known for her work with Nelly Furtado and photographer Natalie Caine; however, in the meantime, her latest single “Never Dance Alone” is reportedly a return to the Canadian singer/songwriter’s roots in funk, pop and R&B — and much like the work of JOVM mainstays Rene Lopez, Dam-Funk, Tuxedo and others, the song sonically sounds as though it could have been a B side to Chaka Khan‘s “I Feel For You” as a sinuous and ridiculously funky bass line, warm and explosive blasts of horns and layers of synths are paired with Killtron’s sultry vocals. Along with that is a breezy bridge that emphasizes the song’s infectious hook. Listening to the song immediately reminded me of being out and about in the summer, whether at a house party, a roof top party or a block party desperately trying to talk up that pretty young thing you’ve wanted since the beginning of summer  — and more distinctly summer 1983.

 

Over the six year history of this site, I’ve written quite a bit about New York-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Rene Lopez, one of JOVM‘s earliest mainstay artists. And throughout that time, Lopez has uncompromisingly refused to be pigeonholed into one particular genre — the New York based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist has managed to mesh salsa, boogaloo, old-school hip-hop, meringue and electronica into one cohesive whole on E.L.S. (short for Electric Latin Soul); salsa and 7os Brazilian music on his most deeply personal effort Paint the Moon Gold; and slinkily seductive synth-based R&B and funk, inspired by Prince, The Gap Band, Rick James, Chic and others on Love Has No Mercy and its subsequent releases. This shouldn’t be surprising as Lopez has told me in an interview, he grew up in a household where salsa, merengue and disco were frequently played — and his first band The Authority was deeply influenced by his love of Prince and funk. So in some way, Lopez has come back full circle.

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past year in particular, you’d likely know that Lopez is among a handful of artists who has focused on a single of the month series. While on one level, such a phenomenon points to the death of the album, it also allows artists to be creative without concerning themselves with the strict thematic and lyrical structure of an album — but with fairly strict deadlines to compete and release material. Lopez’s latest Jam of the Month, “Run Run Baby,” is a sleek, slinky and sensual synth-based pop/R&B that strikes me as a modernized version of Prince’s “The Beautiful Ones” if covered by Dam-Funk as Lopez’s sultry crooning is paired with shimmering and wobbling synths, skittering drum programming.

 

February 2016’s JOVM Spotify playlist will likely continue the wild variety I’m so proud of but with a number of mainstay artists including tracks by Victoria + Jean, Anna Rose, Rene Lopez, Anika, Shabaam Sahdeeq, Gosh Pith, Marco Benevento, New Order, Boulevards, Mavis Staples, Sofi Tukker, Charles Bradley, Majid Jordan, La Sera, Pr0files, Atmosphere, We Are Temporary, Beacon, Elephant Stone, Caveman, Octo Octa and several others who you’ve become familiar with through this site. But you’ll also come across a couple of tracks from one of my favorite new artists of the year, Sophie and the Bom Boms, some classic blues from Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, Bo Diddley and George Thorogood, porto-metal and stoner rock and countless more. Check it out!

Over the six year history of this site, I’ve written quite a bit about New York-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Rene Lopez, who is not only among a group of artists I first wrote about when I started things here, he is also one of JOVM‘s earliest mainstay artists. And throughout the past six years, Lopez has uncompromisingly refused to be pigeonholed into one particular genre — Lopez has managed to mesh salsa, boogaloo, old-school hip-hop, meringue and electronica into one cohesive whole on E.L.S. (short for Electric Latin Soul); salsa and 7os Brazilian music on his most deeply personal effort Paint the Moon Gold; and slinkily seductive synth-based R&B and funk, inspired by PrinceThe Gap BandRick JamesChic and others on Love Has No Mercy and its subsequent releases. This shouldn’t be surprising as Lopez has told me in an interview, he grew up in a household where salsa, merengue and disco were frequently played — and his first band The Authority was deeply influenced by his love of Prince and funk. So in some way, Lopez has come back full circle.

If you’ve been frequenting JOVM over the past few months you’ve come across posts on Lopez’s “Heavy, Baby Heavy,” “Trouble Lovin’ Lady,” and “Watch Me Turn It Up,” the first, third and sixth singles of his continuing Jam of the Month Series. The seventh and latest single in the series is the slow-burning Quiet Storm-like synth-based ballad that pairs Lopez’s sultry crooning with contemporary electronic production consisting of shimmering synths and persistent keyboards, ambient and swirling electronics, skittering drum programming, a gorgeous violin arrangement and anthemic hook. Sonically, the song sounds as though it draws influence from Prince, Blood Orange and Tuxedo and while being danceable and sensual, there’s an earnest sentiment at its core — a mix of desire, uncertainty, doubt and vulnerability that comes about from sincerely putting your heart and soul out on the line with the hope that it’d be reciprocated, and that it’d be a real and meaningful love.