Steve Horowitz: “Twin Cities, bitch!” Rhymesayers do it again. Atmosphere captures the humor and pathos of just trying to succeed when the deck is always stacked against you. The rap is grounded in the reality that failure really is funny, and as a fellow Minnesotan once said, “There’s no success like failure.” You don’t have to be as famous as Kanye to realize this. [8/10]
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Chris Ingalls: The title track from DJ Shadow’s first album in five years is the sound of an old pro showing the kids how it’s done. He does an admirable job of sounding current in a genre that is constantly evolving. The bed of synths that lies under the entire track provides a soothing atmosphere and blends nicely with the loud, jittery beats that swoop in. Spacey keyboard noodling gives the track a lovely, warm sci-fi vibe. Not the best thing DJ Shadow’s ever done, but a comforting reminder that he’s still with us. [8/10]
Deadline for Features pitches: 12 August 2016
Deadline for final, polished articles: 9 September 2016
When Star Trek debuted on NBC on September 8, 1966, there was little indication that its longevity across multiple platforms (films, series, books) would rival that of series such as Doctor Who, or that the series (and its fans) would become fixtures of popular culture, objects of academic study, and an outsized influence on science fiction.
Pryor Stroud: Fearless, corrosive, and smoking with Jeff Beck’s singularly expressive flamethrower-riffs, “Live In The Dark” is taken from the guitar icon’s LP Loud Hailer, his first in six years. The track conscripts vocalist Rosie Bones for its lyric, but, throughout, she seems to be grappling head-to-head with the wild electricity of Beck’s guitar. The tension this creates is a spectacle to behold: here, there is not one singer but two, a singer of flesh and blood and a singer of crackling feedback-figures. It may not be sonically inventive or lyrically deft, but its unadulterated, pyrokinetic take on rock is refreshing in a time when genre-bending has become something of a prerequisite for new artists. [7/10]
It all started with a mix. Well, more accurately, it started as a remix.
For both Richard Norris and Erol Alkan, these two young Londoners started out, by themselves, as Djs, Alkan focusing more on dance and electronic music, Norris befriend Joe Strummer and playing on some of the Clash maestro’s latter-day creations. It wasn’t until 2006 that, after having rejiggered some tracks under his own name, Alkan began using the Beyond the Wizard’s Sleeve moniker. Norris had joined in, and the group, gaining notoriety for productions of artists of both the underground (Midlake) and the mainstream (Franz Ferdinand, The Chemical Brothers) variety, started making the name for themselves. EPs and singles would trickle out here and there, but outside of 2008 compilation of their earlier recordings, nothing concrete.
What a joy it is, then, that The Soft Bounce is here, and goodness is it a mishmash of so many varied things. From the hippie-friendly go-go bounce of “Creation” to the ‘80s synth homage “Diagram Girl” to the ambient instrumental “Tomorrow, Forever” to the string-driven mod number “Door to Tomorrow”, The Soft Bounce encompasses so much but still originates from the group’s clearly-defined psych-friendly aesthetic.
Thus, to help celebrate the occasion, the two Wizards themselves answered PopMatters 20 Questions, revealing a love of truffle oils, an affinity towards author John Higgs, and some remarkably practical advice for handling life’s problems.
"To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the hit franchise, PopMatters seeks submissions about Star Trek, including: the TV series, from The Original Series (TOS) to the highly anticipated 2017 new installment; the films, both the originals and the J.J. Abrams reboot; and ancillary materials such as novelizations, comic books, videogames, etc.READ the article