Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Play By Play

 

Trust me on this one. Go to the song first, then read my words if you need.

The band is called Autre Ne Veut. I don’t know what that means, and I haven’t decided yet if I want to look it up. Having done some digging since I first heard this song, I found out that this act previously released an EP with an album cover depicting an extreme close-up of a very intimate area of the female anatomy. I’m not personally objecting in any way; I’m only trying to keep some degree of mystery in the relationship.

Autre Ne Veut is one guy, named Arthur Ashin, from Brooklyn, and somehow all by himself with this song he created a straight-up pop epic. (I’ve heard some of his others since, and they’re all equally compelling.) It’s like the musical energy of Peter Gabriel, Aphex Twin, and Appolonia 6 collided somewhere up in the stratosphere, and all the fallout raining down is sex vibes and strobed-out sunshine. “Play By Play” sounds like Saturday night fucking Sunday morning; it sounds like the darting swooniness of your high school years, the rolling weirdness of your college years, and the dark drama of your twenties, all at the same time. It’d score a hell of a movie scene, but most movies have a long way to go to earn a song this distinctive. It sounds new, but new in an agreeably familiar way.

I like it.

 

Official band site: http://www.autreneveut.com/

Me on Twitter: @jonnyabomb

 

Autre Ne Veut

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Drokk is not the soundtrack to the new DREDD movie.  Well, it could’ve been.

As you can surmise from the subtitle, Music Inspired By Mega-City One, this collection of music is very much Dredd-affiliated.  Geoff Barrow, instrumentalist for the English trip-hop band Portishead, collaborated with composer Ben Salisbury on this collection of orchestral music that at one point was intended to be the score for the new DREDD movie.  For whatever reasons, that didn’t pan out, and the score to DREDD was provided by Paul Leonard-Morgan.  The actual DREDD score is still very good, the general difference being that it’s heavier on the tangible instruments, such as guitar and drums.

Barrow and Salisbury primarily used 1975-model Oberheim 2 Voice Synthesizers for their compositions, the result of which being that Drokk has less in common with the bombastic Zimmer-influenced action soundtracks of today, and falls more in line with the more measured, eerier likes of Fabio Frizzi and Goblin, and also with the pseudo-futuristic shimmer of Vangelis (BLADE RUNNER).  Oh, and John Carpenter.  Very much John Carpenter.  Listen to Track #4, “301-305” — sound familiar?  It will if you’ve seen ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13.

Drokk is the most fun kind of homage.  It’s all the action movies and sci-fi movies you grew up on, but the only place it’s happening is inside your head when you listen to it.  Maybe it’s ultimately not a huge tragedy that it was separated from DREDD — I like the idea of this rogue soundcloud travelling adrift from the context within which it may or may not have originally been created.  It doesn’t have to accompany a story made up by someone else — you can have it soundtrack the story you imagine yourself.

If you’re into that kind of thing, that is.  (I am!)

You can listen to the entire thing here, but it’s well worth a buy:  http://drokk.bandcamp.com/

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Me more here always:  @jonnyabomb

LAWLESS is a couple weeks old now, but it’s still way worth talking about.  It’s not to be confused with FLAWLESS, the Philip-Seymour-Hoffman-in-a-dress movie, nor is it to be confused with the upcoming DREDD movie, which as we all know is guaranteed to have a surplus of law.

Here’s what I said about LAWLESS before I saw it

WETTEST COUNTY was on my list of 50 most eagerly-awaited movies of the year.   But it’s not called that anymore, though.  Now it goes by the handle LAWLESS, a much more generic title which sounds a little cooler after knowing it was generously bestowed upon the movie by none other than Terrence Malick.  Whatever it’s called, it’s a John Hillcoat movie, which after THE PROPOSITION and The ROAD, promises good things.  I’m definitely getting a less-artsy, more-mainstream PUBLIC ENEMIES vibe from the new trailer, but that doesn’t strike me personally as a deterrent.

Check out the trailer, it made LAWLESS travel that much higher on my want-to-see-now meter:

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Now, to read what I had to say about LAWLESS after seeing it (spoiler warning: it’s a lot of very nice things), you’ll have to click over to Daily Grindhouse:

>>>LAWLESS!!!<<<

And make damn sure you check out that soundtrack:

Talib Kweli has for a long time been my favorite MC, certainly the one I’ve seen most often in concert.  Few in any genre of music can match him for consistency and substance, and none have better balanced witty wordplay with words actually worth saying.  Matching Kweli with DJ Z-Trip is inspired, since Z-Trip is one of the most inventive and playful of the mash-up artists to have appeared in the hip-hop underground over the past decade.  Kweli brings a sophistication, sincerity, and sardonic humor to everything he does, and Z-Trip brings the wild sonic inspiration.

Their Attack The Block mixtape is a riff on my favorite movie of last year (and apparently Kweli’s als0), with contributions from all-stars like Black Thought, Styles P, and 9th Wonder (among others) and musical nods to Dead Prez, Public Enemy, Eric B., and REM (!!!!!!).

In my opinion this is pretty much the best thing to happen on computer speakers all year.

Download Attack The Block FOR FREE here:

http://www.datpiff.com/Talib-Kweli-Z-Trip-Attack-The-Block-mixtape.389953.html

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Here are a couple samples to wet your whistle:

Attack The Block” [Title Track]

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NY Shining”  [my favorite track at the moment]

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Follow TK on Twitter:  @TalibKweli

Follow Z-Trip on Twitter:  @ztrip

Follow me on Twitter:  @jonnyabomb

Angel Haze is super-young, but as a statement of intent at the start of a new rap career, you could do plenty worse than this track, “New York,” off her new album Reservation.  You can draw your own comparisons to other rappers if you want — I hear a tiny, tiny bit of M.I.A. in there, but she likens herself to Nas and Lil’ Kim on this song, and if you poke around the internet a little you’ll see more than a few critics going so far as to name-check the Notorious B.I.G.  (They’re talking about the style and the talent, not the voice, obviously.)  Seems likely she’s got her own unique stories to bring to hip-hop though — read this intriguing profile by The Fader for some background.

Personally, I like the confidence.  I like that she’s barely 21, she’s from Virginia, and she’s coming out rapping “I run New York.”  I don’t care if you’re Jay-Z or if you’re me, when you say “I run New York,” you’re mainly running motivational incantations on yourself, and if you’re a musician, you’re offering that same boost to everyone who listens and nods and rhymes along.  It’s a good thing.  The fact that this melody and beat are taken from a Gil Scott-Heron song “New York Is Killing Me” (ironically, a very different sentiment than “I run New York”) only suggests that Angel has cooler taste than most up-and-comers.

“Hot Like Fire” is arguably even catchier and definitely more radio-friendly:

Find out more on Twitter: @NativeRaeen

And I’m there too:  @jonnyabomb

 

If you heard the song first, the way I did, you’re already picturing mental images that are pitched somewhere between John Hughes and John Woo. It sounds like an ‘eighties action movie. The video takes that film-friendly sound and runs with it, towards some pretty unusual, memorable, and maybe even culturally progressive places. (Let’s just say Murtaugh never rode on the back of Riggs’ motorcycle.)

Great song, great video. You’re probably going to dig it. The album is out now.

Find out more at the official site: http://twinshadow.net/

And find me on Twitter: @jonnyabomb

There’s plenty to be said for a good pop song.  It’s not the musical genre that usually resonates deepest with me (Prince aside).  If it’s not hip-hop, classic R&B, or movie scores, I tend to prefer musicians who are or who sound like old souls — Johnny Cash, Springsteen, Sinatra, Iggy Pop, Cat Power, Nina Simone.  Pop music, on the other hand, is the province of the youngest, best enjoyed the less years you’ve racked up on the odometer.

But I don’t know, man, I just like this kid.  Charli XCX is a British songwriter, not even twenty, who makes these songs which, if they aren’t featured in these young adult movie franchises that are so mega-popular now, it’s only a matter of time.  There’s just a hint more darkness and drama in there than we usually get in our party-party-party American pop songs, and a touch more sincerity also.  Maybe she’s hitting the same area of my brain that enjoys so many of Robyn‘s tunes.  Maybe she reminds me in some ways of a young Bjork.  (The New York Times agrees!)  Either way, it’s all good times on the earbud front.

Hate to be that guy who says “This isn’t normally what I listen to” and “American pop music is generally not as interesting” but both of these things are true so consider them said.  But I don’t do guilty pleasures, folks — I like this song and I’m completely guilt-free.

 

I like her song “Nuclear Seasons” too!  Check it out:

Find me on Twitter: @jonnyabomb