Tag: RUFUS

Now, over the course of this site’s eight-plus year history, I’ve written quite a bit about the New York-based dance music collective ESCORT. And as you may recall, the act which features founding duo and production team Eugene Cho and Dan Balls and Adeline Michele as members of a core group of anywhere from five to 17 has received attention for a sound that’s indebted to disco, house music and soul — and for a live show that has made them a must-see act; in fact, the members of ESCORT have played some of North America’s biggest festivals, including Sasquatch Festival, Okeechobee Festival Montreal Jazz Festival, Full Moon Festival and others — and have shared stages with The Internet, Charles Bradley, Digable Planets, De La Soul and Cody ChesnuTT.

Now, as you may recall, things have been busy in the ESCORT universe: Adeline recently released her self-titled, full-length debut while her primary gig has released singles — and their last single “Slide,” which was co-written by denitia and sene‘s Denitia was centered around a buoyant bass line, shimmering synths, some Nile Rodgers-like guitar and Adeline Michele’s sultry vocals manages to recall Chaka Khan and Rufus“Ain’t Nobody,” making it a sort of 80s synth funk-inspired skating rink banger. The acclaimed act’s latest single “Josephine” finds them returning to their roots — a subtly modern take on classic 70s disco centered around an incredible vocalist; but in this case, the song is an anthemic, club-banging biography of the legendary Josephine Baker that manages to recalls Giorgio Moroder‘s legendary work with Donna Summer.

 

 

 

 

I’ve written quite a bit about the acclaimed New York-based electronic dance music/neo-disco outfit Escort and their indomitable frontwoman and bassist  Adeline Michele throughout the course of this site’s eight-plus year history.  Now, as you may recall, the Escort frontwoman will be releasing her self-titled full-length on Friday, and the album is a bit of a sonic and aesthetic reset button from the full-length that she released a few years ago.  In fact, the album’s first single “Emeralds” was a slinky, 80s Quiet Storm-inspired synth soul that brought Prince to mind, while being centered around a a sinuous bass line and Adeline’s sultry vocals. “Before,” the album’s  Chaka Khan and Rufus‘ “Ain’t Nobody,”  Mary J. Blige’s “Be Happy,” and Patrice Rushen‘s “Feels So Real”-like featured shimmering and arpeggiated synths and Adeline’s pop superstar vocals. 

“Hi Life,” the latest single off the Escort frontwoman’s soon-to-be released album is a straightforward yet ecstatic house music banger featuring shimmering and arpeggiated synths, thumping tweeter and woofer rocking beats, a rousing hook and Adeline Michele’s sultry pop superstar vocals. Sonically, the song brings Inner City’s house music classic “Good Life” and Larry Levan to mind but with a modern sheen.

 

 

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.

If you’ve been frequenting this site over the past few years, you’ve likely come across Brooklyn-based indie dance pop act Body Language. Currently comprised of founding members Matthew Young and Grant Wheeler, along with Ian Chang and vocalist Angelica Bess, the Brooklyn-based act can trace its origins to when its founding duo had began crafting their own mixes and relies at a weekly party they curated and DJ’d while they were both living in Hartford, CT. And as the story goes, shortly after they had started their party, they met and recruited Angelica Bees, with whom they began writing their own original material, material that wound up comprising their debut effort Speaks. 

Interestingly, once the trio of Young, Wheeler and Bees began working on their sophomore EP Social Studies, they had hooked up with Theophilus London on an album — and during those sessions, they met the band’s fourth member Ian Chang who contributes to the band’s latest effort, 2016’s Mythos.  Now, if you had stumbled across JOVM during the course of last year, you might have come across a post on “Addicted,” the first single off Mythos — and the single revealed that the quartet went through a subtle change of sonic direction as the single found the act drawing from New Jack Swing and classic house.

Recently, the Brooklyn-based dance act shared Mythos‘ closing track, “Free,” a sensual and shimmering, classic house-inspired track featuring arpeggio synths, Bees’ sultry vocals a chopped up vocal sample and propulsive drum programming to create a song that sounds as though it drew influence from Crystal Waters‘ house music classic “Gypsy Woman (She’s Homeless).” But along with “Free,” the dance pop act released previously unreleased remixes of “Free” by Wrestlers and the album’s lead single “Addicted,” by Memoryy.

The Wrestlers remix of “Free,” begins with an introduction reminiscent of the introduction of Chaka Khan and Rufus‘ “Ain’t Nobody” before pairing Bees’ sultry vocals with a slick production that balances a retro-futuristic vibe with hyper contemporary recording techniques as it featuring wobbling and distorted arpeggio synths and chopped up vocal sample — and while still retaining the dance floor vibe of the original, the remix manages to push the song in a contemporary direction.

Closing out the singles package is Memoryy’s remix of “Addicted” pushes the song towards goth and industrial-leaning electronica  as tense and wobbling, arpeggio synths are paired with cowbell-led percussion and tweeter and woofer rocking beats. And in some way the remix manages to put an accessible spin on an industrial-like production, retaining the dance floor-friendliness and infectious hooks of the original.

 

Comprised of Kacee Hedit, Benny Tamblyn and Oli Kirk, Adelaide, Australia-based indie rock/indie electro pop trio Flamingo have developed a reputation both locally and nationally for a sleek, downtempo electronic sound with the release of their first two EPs, with their second EP Drip Drip being released to widespread critical praise. And as a result, the trio not only embarked on their first national tour with stops in their homeland’s largest cities — Perth, Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney and their hometown — they’ve found their profile growing opening for BonoboRüfüs, Giraffage and The Kite String Tangle, as well as appearances at Splendour on the Grass and Groovin’ the Moo.

Interestingly, the trio’s latest single is about a topic that has been in the international spotlight for some time — refugees, who arrive by boat to a new and perhaps unforgiving and unwelcoming land. And as the band’s vocalist Kacee Heidt explains “Leaving your home and everything you have ever known to travel to the other side of the world in search of a life free from tyranny and devastation with nothing but your family and the clothes on your back. This is one of the hardest things a person can possibly go through and something most Australians couldn’t possibly imagine.”  And as a result, the song portrays refugees with a profound sense of empathy — an empathy the the members of the band feel has long been missing from their national conversation on the issue. Sonically speaking, the trio pairs shimmering guitar chords, skittering beats, gently undulating synths and Heidt’s plaintive vocals singing lyrics that point at asylum seekers’ plight with a bitterly sarcastic irony at its core, opening suggesting that those who were desperate enough to risk everything for the chance at asylum need not just the most empathy but the most assistance.