Following on from their debut release with Holloway last November, young London imprint Beat Werk announce a return for 2016 with Hagan. An African bass obsessed producer, he comes correct with the label’s second EP, ‘Lockdown’, dropping later this month. Featuring two original tracks from the Mawimbi and Soupu Music affiliate; the title-track Lockdown and it’s de-icer worthy counterpart Glacier, Holloway returns for a remix as well as Bristol based producer Majora.
Producer RJD2 has announced his latest album, Dame Fortune. The follow-up to 2013’s More Is Than Isn’t (as well as last year’s collaborative LP with Philadelphia rapper STS) arrives March 25 via his own label, RJ’s Electrical Connections.
Recorded in Philadelphia, the record features collaborations with Phonte Coleman (of Little Brother and the Foreign Exchange), Son Little, Blueprint, Josh Krajcik, and Jordan Brown. Brown appears on “Peace of What,” the album’s first single, which was inspired by Main Source’s “Peace Is Not the Word to Play.” Listen to it above, via Complex.
“When I hear people talk of peace in America, the discrepancy between our words and our actions can get fatiguing,” RJD2 said about the track in a press release. “I was trying to reflect the experience of people I know, which often feels like, ‘We’re not ACTUALLY trying to do anything about this problem in our country.’”
Tom Misch kicks off the year with a free download, sharing the instrumental-led Never Moved. Whether it’s an offshoot from his August Beat Tape 2 project has yet to be confirmed, however Never Moved certainly does sound that way – full of Misch’s glorious sun-swept sonics underpinned by gentle guitar grooves.
In a haze of distorted guitars and psych-rock come Sunflower Bean, the Brooklyn trio who make wonderful, reverb-soaked music about things they are too young to even romanticize. All three members of the band are under 21, and yet they sing with the wistfulness of souls that are decades beyond their years. Sunflower Bean take a Velvet Underground-inspired foundation and mutate it for their own use and creation. Namely, they chronicle the melancholy aches of reaching post-adolescence, perfectly encapsulating the soreness of your 20-nothing years in a flurry of dusky shoegaze.
After a year that has seen them bursting onto the New York DIY scene and supporting the likes of DIIV, Wolf Alice, and the Vaccines on tour, the band is gearing up to release debut album Human Ceremony, recorded in an impressive seven days in Brooklyn with producer Matt Molnar (Friends). Latest single “Easier Said” is a mist of dream-pop and sparkly garage dissonance. The track builds and builds, exploding when it reaches the chorus. “It’s easier said than done,” bassist Julia Cumming sings, her vocals bordering on the fringe of falsetto. It sparkles and glitters, only a fleeting glimpse of a very promising record. Listen below.
British supergroup the Last Shadow Puppets — that’d be Arctic Monkeys’ frontman Alex Turner, former Rascals member Miles Kane, and Simian Mobile Disco’s James Ford — last released new music in 2008. That album, The Age of Understatement, was rumored to have a follow-up coming this year and tonight, the trio returned with a piano-heavy flash on “Bad Habits,” their new song and ensuing music video. It’s got a loud, insistent, urgent sound to it, with a prominent string section underscoring the chaos with a sense of unease.
“Whatever People Say I Am Am, That’s What I’m Not”: Arctic Monkeys and the Death of a Subculture
Arctic Monkeys’ Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not was released ten years ago, almost to the day this piece was written, but for me, the wake of their death began precisely on October 29, 2005. As blasphemous as this belief suggests, I reject the piety of worship bestowed on the band when their first two singles and debut album went straight to No. 1 on the U.K. Charts. If not remembered for its buzzsaw guitars, blistering speed, and frontman Alex Turner’s witty courtship lyrics, “I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor” is regarded as the musical zeitgeist of our time. But, with the triumph of knocking Sugababes’ “Push The Button” off the top of the singles charts, the victory was also a death knell. For three months, I was a pallbearer at Arctic Monkeys’ long funeral: carrying the coffin with my peers, weighted by my guilt as I watched the ideologies of my youth and identity cremated and inurned. Our dogmatic faith that they were ours alone decayed when we gifted them to the world as “The Next Big Thing” and it was enough to attract the masses’ perennial curiosity. I blame myself, and I blame us all. The naive belief of immortality is youth’s virtue, and with our innate optimism we set out to rupture the order of things — and we did it. We believed the hype.
Devo, White Town, Babybird: what happens when your cult pop band gets huge?
Before the hit:Devo were witchy exponents of anti-corporate sci-fi nerdcore, toiling away in Ohio basements.
The hit: A cover of the Rolling Stones’ (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction chimed with the tense times in the UK (No 41, 1977), while Whip It became their Stateside calling card (No 14, 1980).
After the hits: The band split in 1990, leaving joint-frontman Mark Mothersbaugh to write music for Pee-Wee’s Playhouse and Rugrats and Casale to do everything from video directing (Rush, Foo Fighters) to wine tasting.
“We had two hits, really. One in Britain, the other in the States. We’d been making music for years, in obscurity in Akron, by the time Satisfaction was a hit in the UK. After it, we were embraced by England’s punk culture, a while before America woke up to us. Actually, the punk bands decided we weren’t punks. They weren’t about anarchy, they were conformist and anti-intellectual and angry in a nasty way. So they’d come and see us and laugh and spit at us, the pale, punk scientists from America. But we didn’t care. One writer from Melody Maker really went after us. He insinuated his way on to our tour bus, then wrote down everything we said and did but in as snarky a way as possible, like, “Jerry turned his head like a squirrel” or “he tittered like a piglet”. Our British success made Americans prick up their ears but they didn’t really take us seriously until Whip It became a hit. That had an immediate effect. Having screaming girls was great. Suddenly we were fending them off. We didn’t have to demand better seats in restaurants – we just got ’em! We were in the middle of a small club tour – maximum 900 seats – and within two weeks we had to rebook everything for 3,000-5000-seat places because Whip It became so big, so fast.
Remembering Glenn Frey: Cameron Crowe on Eagles’ Teen King
It was 1972, and “Take It Easy” was on the charts. The Eagles came to San Diego, where I was working for a local underground paper. I grabbed my photographer buddy Gary from school and made a plan. We were going to sneak backstage and grab an interview with this new group. I loved their harmonies, and the confident style that charged their first hit.
Glenn Frey introduced the band: “We’re the Eagles, from southern California.” They were explosive, right off the top, opening with their a cappella rendition of “Seven Bridges Road.” Then, this new band, filled with piss and vinegar, launched immediately into their hit. There was nothing “laid back” about them. No “saving the hit for last.” They were a lean-and-mean American group, strong on vocals and stronger on attitude.
Gary and I talked our way backstage with ease and found the band’s road manager, who threw us all into a small dressing room where drummer-singer Don Henley, bassist Randy Meisner and guitarist Bernie Leadon took us through the story of the band. Every other sentence began with “And then Glenn. …” Glenn Frey was the only guy not in the room.