Archive for the ‘Bands We Like’ Category
You’ve heard about him from the tags on your new jeans, and now it’s time to get better acquainted with Berlin’s Comfort Fit.
As the legend goes, Comfort Fit learned the art of sampling at age four. He DJed his first gig at age 12, and he released his first record at age 18. Wow. Either his parents were incredibly supportive of his endeavors, or they’re failed musicians living vicariously through him.
Whatever their technique of child rearing, Mr. and Mrs. Fit reared themselves a damn virtuoso.
Over several albums, Comfort Fit has forged a sound that borrows from soul, hip hop, funk, and glitch formats. While any one track might fall into one of these categories, it will never do so neatly.
These records are better defined by clean, nuanced production than by any genre title.
Comfort Fit collaborates like crazy, so his record liner notes are packed with obscure gems of rap and song from all languages.
Hear a preview for his upcoming record via a quote from Soderbergh’s Schizopolis and a little background funk.
The Clonious is an Austrian making soul music, but it’s been warped beyond recognition. The elements of ‘soul’ have been turned into their robotic equivalent; electronic clones gone haywire. No wonder it takes a helmet made of six headphone cups to make the stuff.
From bouncing two-step beats to slow grooving beats and vocals that experiment one step beyond Jamie Lidell, The Clonious’ tracks are varied. When he’s working with labelmate Cid Rim, the tracks are way upbeat and playful. His most recent tracks are featured on Affine Records What A Fine Mess We’ve Made compilation, but the label’s Souncloud page is littered with gems by The Clonious and other Austrians making this kind of noise, including one Dorian Concept.
Hear some samples from Full Nelson EP below, a collaborative record between The Clonious and Cid Rim that dropped at the end of last year on Affine.
Debruit is a fan of head and face accessories. The Parisian producer is rarely seen without a Kangol or a fedora or shades or something adorning his noggin. His album covers get the same treatment, often featuring people in hats with jewels in place of eyes, noses, and mouths.
Each release explores the sound of a region, with Debruit sampling indigenous music and incorporating it into the record.
2009′s Let’s Post Funk ventures through West Coast hip hop. A year later Spatio-Temporel, with an African woman on its cover, sampled the sounds of that continent. His new release, out this month, covers Turkey, so of course the jewel-face on the cover is rocking a fez.
Şiş Sürpriz is glitch hop harem music. Half way through the record, it wouldn’t surprise you to see android belly dancers appear out of nowhere and start doing a seductive (albeit rickety and robotic) dance sequence.
With this as his third release in the series, Debruit seems committed to encapsulating each part of the world in an instrumental beat record, and we’re hoping he keeps doing it. There’s a lot of world of cover.
Get a taste of Turkish delight.
American Men = Scottish boys
Four of them, to be specific. This is what happens when a perfectly functioning rock band goes full out synthesizer. There are a lot of epic melodies and big time drum fills in American Men’s music. It sounds like the result of The Go! Team tripping out Boards of Canada style.
The members of American Men were all at one point part of the burgeoning rock scene in Glasgow. When they got together and made music that sounded more like glitch hop, Hudson Mohawke apparently went ape over their potential. The band released their debut Cool World EP last year and since then the band has… well, who the hell knows.
Though they’re consistently uploading really awesome tracks to their Soundcloud page, the band has made it nearly impossible to find information on them anywhere on the internet. Seriously, try doing a search for “American Men” and see what you come up with.
They’re one of many bands of late who have done themselves this disservice, but maybe that makes us like them even more. Hear a short jam below and see what you think.
Talk about Un-Google-able.
I found another one, guys. Looks like there’s a whole stash of these sick beatmakers in the grab bag that is LA, and every time I reach in and pull one out, it becomes my new favorite.
This time around, however, I was tricked into falling for a guy from Northern Cali. Wake is based in Oakland, but he’s with the LA-based Proximal collective, a group we’ve just begun to tell you about.
Like his cohorts, Wake has a crisp sound that incorporates less ambient noise and more G-funk than the more well-known producers from the area. This is their competitive advantage. While the rest are experimenting with synthesizing dream states, Wake is just making chunky beats that require neck braces.
From the bits and pieces I’ve heard, he creates beats in two general styles: The boom bap beat, and the bizarro club beat. An example of the first can be heard below.
For further listening, check out his recent single here.
Keep an eye on us, and we’ll keep an eye on Wake.
Say “Sahy Uhns.”
It’s actually pronounced “Science,” but we’re glad for the creative spelling as it makes the LA producer far more Google-able. Sahy Uhns is the founder of Proximal Records, yet another label that showcases abstract hip hop production in LA, the city it represents through its roster.
His collective is just getting started, and his name is just getting out now, but Sahy Uhns has been composing music since his teen years. In his beats, you can hear that unmistakable G-Funk element that west coast hip hop is built on, as well as the same ambient/electronic sound that’s embraced by the beatmakers concentrated in the LA area.
So far, we’ve only heard Sahy Uhns’ tracks on a few compilations, including those on Proximal’s Beat Stew volumes 0-2 and Narrative of a City, and they’re enough to make me crave an album. Hear some stuff below and build your appetite for Sahy Uhns.
Builder of machines.
Mike Gao is equal parts musician and inventor. Seriously, he’s like the freaking Thomas Edison of experimental hip hop.
Aside from releasing dicey, glitchy hip hop on Galapagos4, the Chinese-American, LA-based producer also creates machines that revolutionize the art of DJing and production.
Among the various robots of his imagination, Mike Gao has had a hand in creating Beatbox 2 MIDI, which allows you to trigger sounds using your mouth; Turntable Gestures, which allows you to control parameters using hand-on-vinyl motions, and the touch screen drum machine, which you can watch in action below (rather, which you have GOT TO SEE below).
It’s imaginative stuff, and I want it all. But Mike Gao is the man who knows how to use these innovations to their fullest potential.
His style chimes in with a lot of the instrumental, wonky, stuttery hip hop in LA, but while the other guys are rocking APC40s, Mike Gao’s got an arsenal of androids at his disposal.
That’s one big reason to like him.
It’s like a campaign slogan.
Chris Alfaro worked on a few different projects, but the one that’s got the catchiest everything is his solo work under the name Free The Robots.
Free The Robots is the cartoonish finder of delicious samples, creating tracks that are at once thoughtful and silly.
A notable trait; the stuttery stop and go beats that Madlib and J Dilla pioneered, which everyone seems to be adhering to for the past decade, are not a staple in Free The Robots’ tracks. The beats are pretty straightforward. It’s refreshing to hear something with the sensibility of yesterday that still has the experimentalism of today’s LA beat scene.
http://player.soundcloud.com/player.swf?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F9301580 Ctrl Alt Delete (2010 Tour Promo Mix) by Free the Robots
Free The Robots new album Ctrl Alt Delete is out at the end of this month. Get a taste below.
Wanna know why??
Trust Japan to combine the most disparate genres into a new form of music, and then feed that new form a bunch of acid. Ryoma Maeda, aka Milky Chu, aka Milch of Source is the younger brother of Katsuhiko Maeda, aka World’s End Girlfriend.
The brothers have been prolific producers of pop+classical+rock+beserker electronics for the past decade, ending 2010 with a new label established by WEG called Virgin Babylon.
Ryoma’s solo work is erratic and intense. It’s got a mischievous playfulness to it that you don’t hear in WEG’s mature, long-winded compositions.
Maybe that’s why a Milch of Source song fits perfectly with a video that explains why Gloomy Bear is covered in blood. You can also hear Ryoma’s spaz-core in the production for female Japanese singer Eel. Ryoma and Eel partnered up in 2002, creating a sound that added a punk element to Milch’s usual soup of styles.
Most recently, Ryoma produced Eel’s 2011 album For Common People. This video for the title track will give you an idea. Be careful though, I’m not sure but I think this is that video that you watch and then mysteriously die seven days later.
Any time an artist brings back the undeniably funky sound of 70s soul, it’s a good thing. We loved it when Mark Ronson did it, we love that Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings ARE it, and we love Space Invadas for doing it one more time. The two halves of this duo, Australian Katalyst and Englishman Spacek, have a number of previous credits individually. Space Invadas is a project centered around big beats, space-age sounds, and more laser gunfighting than anyone can handle.
Their album Soul:Fi is out on February 22nd, and judging from the bits and pieces we’ve heard leading up to it, it’s going to be killer. Spacek has worked with J Dilla and Slum Village in the past, and it shows in some of Space Invadas tracks. Katalyst has remixed the Gift of Gab and Ugly Duckling. Sound like a hip hop fest? It’s a little deeper than that.
Have a listen to “Done It Again.” It reminds me of Lyrics Born and the Poets of Rhythm’s collaboration “Changed My Mind” in the best possible way.
“Done It Again”