Electronic duo Filastine is comprised of composer/director Grey Filastine and vocalist/designer Nova Ruth. On his many travels, Grey met Nova in Indonesia where she had been performing with a hip-hop group. Joining forces and basing themselves in Barcelona, Filastine specializes in a cinematic brand of electronic music that utilizes many global influences alongside found sounds, percussion, vocals, and acoustic instruments. The result is an irresistibly warm blend of the digital and the analogue that renders their music as meant for the mind as much as the feet. This year Filastine has been working on a series of four video singles, Abandon, representing dances of liberation and today we bring you the second video of the series, “The Cleaner”.
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As someone who suffered terrible verbal abuse at the hands of a family member for much of my childhood and teenage years, I can deeply relate with what New York singer-songwriter Rachel Sage is looking to achieve with her new single, “I Don’t Believe It”. Sage has created an uplifting and powerful piece of music that speaks to the pain caused to her from a young life filled with bullying. The song picks you up, dusts you off and tells you that the bullies were wrong and aims to show one how much self-worth they have and how much they have to offer the world. “I Don’t Believe It” is an affecting pat on the back, encouraging one to pursue one’s dreams, put the negativity behind them and find success however that may be defined.
Chris Ingalls: I wanted to like this solely on the basis of Idris Elba, but even he can’t save this cringe fest. He drops by at the beginning and in a few other spots, like Vincent Price in “Thriller”. But at least MJ had a decent song to show for it. It may move you and even inspire, yes, a dance off, but this is little more than a novelty song, stuffed with embarrassing pop culture cliches and serving merely as background music for a hip-hop dance competition or something the wedding reception DJ can throw on after the old folks leave. [4/10]
Seattle’s Western Centuries keep the fire alight for real honest to goodness honky tonk country music. Dale Watson would be likely to say “that’s a real country song”. But the band’s members—Cahalen Morrison, Ethan Lawton, Jim Miller—come from vastly different musical backgrounds and all bring something unique to the table. Morrison comes from the Americana scene with a youth spent playing in New Mexico conjunto bands, while Lawton is a Seattle native who was devoted to punk and hip-hop before he fell head-over-heels in love with bluegrass. Meanwhile Miller was a heavy in the jamband world, founding the highly popular Donna the Buffalo. And they all meet to make first class authentic country music.
John Bergstrom: ‘80s pop and especially ‘80s synthpop takes a lot of flack, much of it deserved. But “Enola Gay” is a resounding refutation of the notion nothing substantial, beautiful, or timeless could ever come from skinny English guys with synths, though the live rhythm section is essential to the song’s power, too. Andy McCluskey’s stunner is a lament for the plane that dropped the first atomic bomb, and you can feel the dizzy, Tilt-A-Whirl hook willing itself back to a simpler, less terrifying time. The production is spot-on, having aged remarkably well. And as McCluskey demonstrates, you could skip the wistful melancholy and (nerd) dance to “Enola Gay” just as easily. Everything a classic should be. [10/10]