Thomas Blondet – Future World Remixed (Rhythm & Culture)

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Listen Now: “In This World (Feat. Leyla Chattie & Kenny Kurlou) [One Era Remix]“

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Future World Remixed is Rhythm & Culture’s full-length collection of remixes from Thomas Blondet’s global, downtempo 2014 debut. The record’s 17 tracks include remixes by Fort Knox Five, Bruce Gil, Kaleidoscope Jukebox, Telepath, Deela, and Zeb and feature vocalists Carol C (Si*Sé), Monsoon, Tina M, and Leyla Chatti.

RIYL: Thievery Corporation, Nicodemus, Dzihan & Kamien

Focus Tracks: 1, 3, 8, 14, 16
FCC: Clean


Congo Sanchez – Dealin’ With This (Herb)

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Listen Now: “Love Lost (Feat. Mr. Lif)”

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“With all of the injustices that are going on with the world, we feel it is important to make music that documents our feelings and perspectives during these times. Our music is a reaction to police brutality, unjust war for profit, pharmaceutical poisoning of the youth, the caste system, media exploitation, gentrification, societal ignorance, religion, sexism, racism and love.” – Jeffrey James Franca

Dealin’ With This, the first full length LP from Congo Sanchez, is an amalgamation of musical influences symbiotically continuing the unique sound achieved by producer and creator Jeffrey James Franca, AKA “Congo”. The album features the vocal talents of band members Flex Mathews and Haile Supreme, as well as special guests Mr. Lif, Ras Nebyu, and Brittany Tanner. The most unique cameo of the album is a choir comprised of the bands nieces and nephews featured on the opening cut, “Gentrified Children”. Each song on the album tells a different story, touching on the real life experiences of the band. Experiences ranging from the perils of life on the road, broken hearts and dreams, to deceased family members and political protest pieces. Dealin’ With This takes a real approach to composition and pushes the boundaries musically and socially. It is a refreshing, relatable presentation of word and sound, with a relevant and thought provoking message.

The evolution of this ensemble has happened naturally over the past year and a half. Having already captivated audiences from coast to coast, and now with the completion of their first full length record, it is clear that Congo, Haile and Flex are on the rise as a cutting edge musical force. Congo’s time as the drummer for Thievery Corporation has clearly had an effect on his ear as he continues to explore the down-tempo, reggae mezcla, with an obvious hip-hop overtone to the composition. Listeners will hear an array of sounds and rhythms, paying homage to the roots of music with thick layers of percussion; signature to the Congo Sanchez sound. All of this accompanied by a conscious message and an authentic lyrical approach creates a superb listening experience.

Revolutionary music of the past has historically been instrumental in social progress and civil change. The group reminds us that our guard cannot be let down, that artists can and must continue to use music as a tool for social awareness. In the words of the great Stevie Wonder, “Have we really come this far through space and time, or is this just a vision in my mind?” Based on the current events of this generation, it sadly confirms that the progress portrayed is merely a mirage, a facade to maintain the blissful ignorance of the general public. With this first full-length album Congo Sanchez draws their line in the sand and invites you to join them.

“Love Lost” feat. Mr. Lif

“Love Lost,” a collaboration between Congo and Mr. Lif, finds it’s spot batting clean up on the record and does nothing short of knocking it out of the park. The song, based on a melody from Turkish Psychedelic Singer Kamuran Akkor, describes a journey in which a girl follows her heart all over the world in search for her lost love. She goes through physical and emotional perils leading almost to her death. Mr. Lif’s vocals paint a clear picture evoking emotion throughout the verses. He presents many archetypal instances of love and shows his depth and wisdom with his creative approach. The beat on this track will take you back. Filled out with a hypnotic modal guitar, accompanied by an 808 holding down the low end, and just enough vintage synths to bring you into outer-space and back, this song will find its way into your timeless folder for sure.

“Out On The Road”

The beginning of “Out On The Road” sets the mood perfectly for the topic of the song to come. The band chose to sample actual voice-mails that they’ve received over the years, to paint a picture of the different types of relationships that one may encounter when living the life of a touring musician. The chord progression on this jam is full of emotion with an old school driving house bass line. The band shows their skills in all directions featuring Haile’s versatile voice on the intro and choruses, and the stellar MC work of Flex Mathews on the verses. This is the band as you will see them live in their pure form, as they have been for the first year of their existence. The energy level of this song is high, and the beat, an up tempo 4 on the floor with sounds of the Brazilian underground, blended with the deep vibes of Chicago and Detroit. “Out On The Road” is a playful, polyrhythmic, dance masterpiece.

“Dealin’ With This”

The albums title track, “Dealin’ With This,” stems from the original sessions where the band first started to collaborate. The song opens with a sample recorded on Congo’s phone while he was sitting in traffic one day. He was listening to a program on first hand accounts of Japanese Americans during World War II, and their accounts of being segregated out of society and put into prison camps. This particular excerpt is a Japanese woman discussing her experience and that of an American “white boy” who’s sympathy for the imprisoned Japanese Americans became too great, so he had to leave knowing that the society around him was not sympathetic towards the situation of the prisoners. Before Haile’s vocals even come in, the listener already feels the depth of this song. The chorus represents the disbelief that one goes thru when dealing with loss, tragedy, war or depression. The band has dedicated this song to all who have lost a loved one, and was inspired by the loss of the youngest in Jeffrey’s family, his little brother Nicholas Toms Franca. The words of Flex on this tune hit very close to home when aware of the topic at hand. Coupled with Haile’s pre-chorus chant and desperate vocal melody, the trio shines to the fullest on this one. The rhythm of the beat is very unique with the characteristic world percussion layers of Congo’s productions. An atonal synth pattern and dense production style is representative of the chaotic feeling of a life out of control flying by without slowing down, and the strength that it takes to get back up.

RPM Focus Tracks: 2, 7
Hip Hop Focus Tracks: 5, 4, 8
FCC: 6, 3

ADDS for 11.25.2014

Gaudi – Bass, Dub, Sweat & Tears (Six Degrees)

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Listen Now: “Sufani”

GOING FOR RPM & WORLD ADDS

In 2004, electronic dub pioneer, Gaudi released his fifth solo album Bass, Sweat & Tears, an organic fusion of Dub, Nu-Beat and Global influences inspired by Native cultures from around the world, designed to take listeners on a musical journey from Burkina Faso to Iran, with stops along the way in Pakistan, India, Papua New Guinea and touching on the roots of Spain, Jamaica and Italy. This ground-breaking album was originally released on the Canadian record label, Interchill Records and eventually became their all time best selling release. It received acclaim from fans and fellow artists alike, with Massive Attack declaring it an “awesome album” with “excellent production” and the Buddha Bar’s DJ Ravin calling it “a great album” and “a magical and lovely journey”. Tracks from Bass, Sweat & Tears have been featured on 65 compilations worldwide and in four feature films.

What set Gaudi’s global fusions apart from many of his contemporaries was his desire to unify different forms of music from around the world, keeping the heart and significance of each culture’s roots, while adding his own very personal production style. In the three and a half years that the project was in production, Gaudi worked with an astonishing 42 musicians from around the world, each bringing a special flavor to the project’s stew.

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of this Global Electronic Dub classic, Six Degrees Records is re-releasing the original Bass, Sweat & Tears, as well as Dub, Sweat & Tears, a companion release of all new, mind bending dub mixes produced by Gaudi himself. Gaudi explains his inspiration for the new Dub versions: “For the 10th year anniversary of Bass, Sweat & Tears I wanted to create something special. The original album meant a lot to me because it managed to broaden my worldwide recognition as an artist and as a fearless innovative music producer, so I decided to re-open all the old audio files, separated the tracks through my 48 channel analogue mixing board, and dub it up inna old skool stylee. I used tape echoes, spring reverbs, valve amps and compressors and added some extra analogue synth touches here and there to create extra depth. My intention on this new project was to create a completely new sonic experience, pointing out all of the obscured details, the most minute percussive rings and beeps and the most mesmerizing basslines. The sessions for Dub, Sweat & Tears took me 18 months, and it has been a very challenging work – it was very difficult to give new light to a project that already shines with its own light, so instead, I simply repositioned the spotlights in different places in order to illuminate different shades and shadows”.

Whether it’s the timeless, classic sounds of the original Bass, Sweat & Tears, which still sounds brand new and fresh these ten years down the line, or the newly “Dubbed”, companion release Dub, Seat & Tears, this music proves that Gaudi remains one of Electronic music’s most unique and innovative producers, a man who is justifiably proud of his past, while continuing to blaze new trails into the future.

Bass, Dub Sweat & Tears Focus Tracks: 1, 4, 6, 8, 12

Dub, Sweat & Tears Focus Tracks: 1, 3, 4, 5, 7

Bass, Sweat & Tears Focus Tracks: 2, 3, 5, 12

FCC: ALL CLEAN


Little May – Little May EP (Dew Process)

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Listen Now: “Hide”

GOING FOR TOP 200 ADDS

“Each of the five flawless tracks has serious staying power … Their sound is smooth and evocative, with songs that flow between intoxicating guitar melodies, haunting vocals and uplifting folky beats – all accompanied by captivating and honest lyrics.” – Bazaar

“This Sydney, Australia trio thrives on sad songs sung in three-part harmony and strummed hard on acoustic guitar. “ – Bob Boilen, NPR (Top 10 Discoveries of CMJ)

“This Sydney trio wowed crowds and critics alike with their tear-stained harmonies and twangy folk.” CMJ (Best of CMJ 2014)

From breathlessly impressed reviews of their live shows to the international websites already clamoring for news of Little May, the Sydney three-piece have already carved out a name for themselves, with their haunting and harmonic brand of folk and intricate lyricism. Since their debut single “Boardwalks,” Little May have acquired well over a million Soundcloud plays, been added to high rotation on Triple J, topped the Hype Machine chart twice with both their sophomore single, “Hide,” and the newly released “Dust” as well as the AirIT charts for community radio.

Already proving the critics correct as one of Australia’s hottest break out acts of 2014, Little May are primed to impress with their highly anticipated debut EP. The self-taught trio consisting of Hannah Field, Liz Drummond and Annie Hamilton, met at high school, the band forming over a shared love of playing music and Jeff Buckley – a friendship that is evident in road-trip inspired video for “Boardwalks.”

Their first single quickly won hearts instantly, added to community radio around the country. Their second single, “Hide,” grew organically in a worldwide flurry, which saw the track top Hype Machine twice, with no international PR support. The ghostly video for the track personified the beautifully strange song, with simmering melodies but an underlying sense of darkness – emphasizing the band’s songwriting ability.

Quickly topping the AirIT charts, the track was added to Triple J, followed by their winning the Triple J Unearthed slot, performing alongside the likes of Lorde, Haim, and Cloud Control at the Sydney leg of Laneway Festival. The ladies were also invited to support, Mikhael Paskalev on his recent East Coast tour. They also played at their second consecutive Secret Garden Festival and were recently announced on this years’ Splendour In The Grass lineup.

Little May also received a nomination for ‘Next Big Thing’ in FBi Radio’s SMAC awards this year, nominated alongside eventual winner Elizabeth Rose and Dustin Tebbutt. Influenced by the likes of Local Natives and The National, the trio are well versed in capturing their audience with their unique and talented songwriting that they describe as “ghost folk.”

Focus Tracks: 2, 5, 1
FCC: Clean


Jozeph Van Wissem – It Is Time For You To Return (Crammed Discs)

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Listen Now: “Love Destroys All Evil”

GOING FOR TOP 200 ADDS

Jozef Van Wissem is both an avant-garde composer and a baroque lutenist, and thus no stranger to dichotomy, wrote the New York Times. He has released over ten albums since the early 2000s, and makes music which is pleasantly hypnotic, in a way that’s just as challenging as more confrontational music. Overtly melodic, as capable of creating a gentle ear worm as inducing a starry-eyed trance. Van Wissem has been pushing the lute’s agenda out of the academy and into more accessible circles (Pitchfork).

He’s performed over 800 solo lute shows at concert venues around the world, including prestigious rock festivals like ATP and Primavera Sound, playing his all black, one-of-a-kind baroque lute custom built for him, and unvariably fascinating the unsuspecting audiences: you don’t need to understand [his] compositional idiom to be mesmerised by his hall-of-mirrors instrumentals wrote MOJO, while NPR’s All Things Considered feels that his compositions are mystic and set in hypnotic darkness, and Wire Magazine described one of his albums as a masterpiece.

Van Wissem has also collaborated with a diverse range of avant-garde luminaries, often making lute music sound not just contemporary, but straight-up experimental (Tiny Mix Tapes). He has recorded three albums with Jim Jarmusch (in his guitarist incarnation), Tilda Swinton performed with them on the second of these albums, and appeared with them at an ATP festival in 2012.

These encounters all led to Jarmusch commissioning Van Wissem to write most of the soundtrack for Only Lovers Left Alive (featuring Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston), for which he was awarded the Cannes Soundtrack Award. During the promotional tour for the film, which consisted of concerts in a dozen cities around the world, Jozef performed solo lute music, and also appeared as part of Jim Jarmusch’s band SQÜRL.

The entrancing It Is Time For You To Return is Jozef Van Wissem’s brand-new album (his first for Crammed Discs’ revived Made To Measure series), and functions as a perfect introduction to his music which, this time around, is enhanced by a new feature, as Jozef wrote and performed hypnotic vocals for some of the nine pieces.

The album also benefits from the presence of young Chilean filmmaker Domingo Garcia-Huidobro, who contributed electronic programming on a couple of tracks.

And, last but not least, Jim Jarmusch and Lebanese singer Yasmine Hamdan (who also appeared in the director’s latest film) appears on one song.

The Made To Measure Composers’ Series

Jozef Van Wissem’s album is released in the recently-revived Made To Measure Composers’ Series, Crammed’s cult collection which has been described as the aural equivalent of a collection of art books. Charting a map of some of the most interesting instrumental music of the era, thirty-five albums came out between 1983 and 1995, including works by artists such as Hector Zazou, John Lurie, Fred Frith, Arto Lindsay, Zelwer, Steven Brown, Peter Principle, Harold Budd, Brion Gysin, David Cunningham, Benjamin Lew, Ramuntcho Matta, Karl Biscuit, Daniel Schell, Aksak Maboul, Minimal Compact and more.

The loose idea behind the title of the series was: this is music which has been / could have been made to measure as a soundtrack for other media (film, theatre, dance, video). Synergies between Made To Measure and other artistic domains were numerous, as many renowned artists have worked with composers who contributed to the MTM series: filmmakers Jim Jarmusch, Wim Wenders and Bernardo Bertolucci, choreographers Karine Saporta, Karole Armitage, Régine Chopinot, Maurice Béjart and Daniel Larrieu, fashion designers Yohji Yamamoto and Rei Kawakubo (Comme des Garçons), & many others.

After a long hiatus, Crammed have decided to reactivate the MTM series, and will be releasing new albums by currently-active composers, as well as reactivating the back catalogue to introduce it to younger audiences.

Focus Tracks: 2, 4, 6, 9
FCC: Clean


Young Tongue – Death Rattle (Raw Paw)

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Listen Now: “Heavy Metal Thunder”

GOING FOR TOP 200 ADDS

“A super catchy dose of guitar pop.” – Brooklyn Vegan

“Young Tongue utilize all feasible items of instrumentation to rouse the creatures from both land and sea.” – Impose

“… an album that blends experimental pop and post-punk riffs, creating some seriously contagious tracks.” – Ellenwood

“Full of rich percussion and dreamy omnichord backdrops.” – The Deli

Austin TX’s indie rock fivesome, Young Tongue (previously The Baker Family), consists of husband and wife Stu and Liz Baker along with Nathan Ribner, Darryl Schomberg II, and Travis Larrew. Founded in 2014 after six years of performing and releasing music as The Baker Family, the group released their freshman EP Cat Callsin February, 2014, followed by their debut their full length entitled Death Rattle in November, 2014.

Young Tongue complicates the earthy momentum of their percussion-driven sound with surprising touches — an airy omnichord melody or a jagged guitar solo. Their sound generally ranges from progressive indie rock to dance-infused dream pop. It’s this range of lightness of sound and force of rhythm that stirs their audiences to dance. Their lyrics move associatively, stringing along images to reveal stories. If a new language is born out of a necessity to communicate, Young Tongue captures that same sense of urgency to expose narrative.

Lead vocalist and guitarist Stu Baker presents a magnetic and mysterious live show. He oscillates between calculated subdued stillness and less-controlled fits that underscore the music’s rawness. Their show highlights the complexity of Schomberg’s drum parts — at times three members playing percussion at once. Ribner’s bass lines cut through the mix with counter-melodic phrasings that often serve as a song’s lead motive, while guitarist Travis Larrew expands the group’s musical vocabulary with thoughtful, atmospheric, and sometimes acrobatic guitar accompaniment. Liz Baker brings the same lightness and bright energy as her vocals and omnichord parts bring the songs. She moves everywhere, weaving between the other members, connecting them, bringing their music to life. But perhaps the best part of their show is the element of surprise. You never know what strange object will be used as a drum, which instrument Stu will play next, what moment Liz will hop off stage and ask you to dance.

Focus Tracks: 1, 3, 4, 6, 8
FCC: Clean


ADDS for 11.18.2014

Bugs In The Dark – Cross My Heart Little Death EP (Self-Released)

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Listen Now: “Work”

GOING FOR TOP 200 ADDS

“In taking the spare indie aesthetic and merging it with a primal rock sound, Bugs in the Dark strike a winning balance.” – PopMatters

“Apocalyptic rock perpetrators Bugs in the Dark are one of the most awesomely tense indie bands in NYC…The future of New York City music.” – The Deli Magazine

“Bugs in the Dark are doing their best to fill the void left by Sleater Kinney and the Pixies. Surprisingly, they’re doing a bang-up job.” – L Magazine

“Bugs in the Dark can do what all those post-punk revivalists did five years ago by prettying up the raw material of their era of choice, which for these guys is early 90s alternative/noise” – Impose Magazine

Punk infused, apocalyptic art rock trio Bugs in the Dark release the EP Cross My Heart Little Death (11/18/14). Having toured with bands such as Jeff The Brotherhood, J. Roddy Walston & The Business, and Japanther, the band has been described as “The future of New York City music” by The Deli Magazine, and compared to acts such as Sleater Kinney, The Pixies, and Sonic Youth.

After meeting backstage at a theatre in NYC’s East Village in 2000, Karen Rockower Glass (guitar/vocals) and Zach Glass (guitar/vocals) formed Bugs in the Dark in 2006, bringing Rich Crescenti (drums) into the mix in 2011. Drawing from influences such as Dead Weather, Blonde Redhead, and A Place To Bury Strangers, Cross My Heart Little Death is the band’s fourth release, following 2007’s Shake Shake, 2008’s Grand Avenue, and 2011’s Hang it on the Wall.

In addition to playing iconic NYC venues such as Mercury Lounge, Glasslands, and Brooklyn Bowl, the band is taking their live show to the next level, performing at both national and international festivals including CMJ, SXSW, Northside Festival, Indie Week, and Halifax Pop Explosion. Bugs in the Dark is making waves, and is sure to make more so with the release of Cross My Heart Little Death’s new single, “Red Lines,” as “they can take these all too familiar sounds and turn them on their heads, creating dense tones and striking melodies from noise that we’ve heard a thousand times before” (Nooga).

Focus Tracks: 1, 5, 2
FCC: 4


Ephemerals – You Made Us Change EP (Jalapeno)

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Listen Now: “You Made Us Change”

GOING FOR RPM ADDS

Ephemerals continue their unstoppable ascent with the incredible single You Made Us Change.

One of the highlights from their Nothin Is Easy album, single You Made Us Change is the sound of young British soul king Hillman Mondegreen meeting the raw power of ephemerals NY vocalist Wolfgang Valbrun. The songwriting and the delivery combine to make it one of the most emotive soul records of the year.

The entire Nothin Is Easy album was recorded live to tape in 3 days at London’s cowshed studio and the incredible urgency of that soul soaked session is immediately apparent. Little wonder Blue & Soul described it as “essential listening” and Uncut as “eminently listenable.”

Remixes on the single come from Dutch disco house stalwart NSFW who pitches the vocals down and lays them over a pounding bass groove. Ephemerals label mate AOTOA delivers an atmospheric double time dub workout and finally mid tempo electronica remix courtesy of Antenna Happy.

Focus Tracks: ALL
FCC: Clean


Eyelid Kid – “On Your Mynd” (Raw Paw)

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Listen Now: “On Your Mynd”

GOING FOR TOP 200 & RPM ADDS

We are thrilled to introduce you to Eyelid Kid through his first single, “On Your Mynd.” Eyelid Kid is an Austin born future composer. He is the daughter’s boyfriend and father’s employer, who shares visions of true suffering and unforgettable fantasies.

Think James Dean growing up in the shaman tents of the Amazon coming out to write the new Harry Potter.

Focus Track: 1
FCC: Clean