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Tuesday, Oct 4, 2011
by PopMatters Staff
New Zealand’s Sola Rosa (otherwise known as Andrew Spraggon in real life) has six albums under his belt and has built a big name for himself in Kiwi circles for his brand of downbeat electronic music.

New Zealand’s Sola Rosa (otherwise known as Andrew Spraggon in real life) has six albums under his belt and has built a big name for himself in Kiwi circles for his brand of downbeat electronic music. Sola Rosa’s latest album is Get It Together, which you can stream in full over on solarosa.com or below the jump right here. He’s a genre bender of the sort we love here at PopMatters, traversing soul, jazz, hip-hop and Latin, while underpinning that blend with super funky, electro beats.


Unlike Spraggon’s earlier work as Sola Rosa, he has now built out the act into a performance based ensemble with a full band for live dates. That new approach is evident on Get It Together, which includes musical help from previous Sola Rosa collaborators Matt Short (bass), Ben White (guitar), and Will Scott (drums), as well as appearances by vocalists Spikey Tee (best known for his work with Jah Wobble, Mr Scruff, and Bomb The Bass), UK MC Serocee, German-based poet and singer Bajka, and Wellington songstress Iva Lamkum. The album has already hit #1 on iTunes in New Zealand as well as staying lodged high on the Independent New Zealand Music Album Chart for four months.


Tagged as: premieres, sola rosa
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Friday, Sep 30, 2011
by PopMatters Staff
Nappy Riddem has graciously given us a truly bangin' mixtape with their funked of versions of classic tunes by Otis Redding, Sam Cooke, Zap Mama, Kanye West, and more, as well as their own song "Angle It".

Rex Riddem and Mustafa Akbar are the duo at the heart of performance wunderkinds Nappy Riddem. They seamlessly blend hip-hop, soul, Afrobeat, funk and reggae into a cohesive whole aimed at packed dancefloors. Next week their debut album One World Sovereignty releases via Fort Knox Recordings, the Washington DC renegade funk ‘n’ soul label. It’s a perfect home for genre-mashers like Nappy Riddem, who joyfully respect no boundaries, instead drawing from virtually every genre of the African Diaspora. To celebrate the new album, Nappy Riddem has graciously given us a truly bangin’ mixtape with their funked of versions of classic tunes by Otis Redding, Sam Cooke, Zap Mama, Kanye West, and more, as well as their own song “Angle It”. It’s a perfect collection of warm sounds that’ll heat up our rapidly cooling autumn days. The full tracklist after the jump, while you can now pre-order One World Sovereignty.



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Thursday, Sep 29, 2011
by PopMatters Staff
Synthpop legends Erasure return this fall with a new album, Tomorrow's World, releasing 3 October in the UK and 10 October in the US.

Synthpop legends Erasure return this fall with a new album, Tomorrow’s World, releasing 3 October in the UK and 10 October in the US. By way of introducing their new tunes, Vince Clarke and Andy Bell present this 15-minute mini-film wherein they discuss their latest music, as well as discuss their artistic legacy.


Erasure has just released the first single “When I Start To (Break It All Down)” and you can find a rehearsal video for that below the jump. Frankmusik heads up the production on Tomorrow’s World, giving the album a thoroughly contemporary dance-pop sheen, such as he has perfected in previous work with Lady Gaga, Pet Shop Boys, and Ellie Goulding. But then, it’s pretty hard to imagine much of today’s electropop without the likes of Erasure, Yaz (Vince Clarke’s previous group with Alison Moyet), and Depeche Mode (Vince Clarke’s first major group). OK, let’s give it up for Vince Clarke, who is virtually the architect of the hook-filled pop melody driven by warm and dancey synths. It’s a 180 from the earlier cooler sounds of Kraftwerk and the rawer guitar/synth/bass mixture of New Order.


Tagged as: erasure, premieres
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Thursday, Sep 22, 2011
by PopMatters Staff
NOVI, aka Carolyne Neuman in real life, is an up-and-coming electro-pop artist originally from small town Oregon, but now based in the big city (Los Angeles).

NOVI, aka Carolyne Neuman in real life, is an up-and-coming electro-pop artist originally from small town Oregon, but now based in the big city (Los Angeles). NOVI previously had a tune (“All the Way”) on the hit show One Tree Hill, which brought her some early visibility and now she is about to release her debut EP, Now I’m Here, this fall. “Blackbirds” is the lead-off single, which was mixed by Brian Malouf (Michael Jackson, Madonna, Prince), who says, “When I first heard Novi’s music I was struck by the strong originality and the defining musicality. They are great and very original sounding songs and her voice soars! I love listening back to these tracks now—they really hold up.”



Tagged as: novi, premieres
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Friday, Sep 16, 2011
by PopMatters Staff
New Zealand's the Phoenix Foundation continues on the path of the smart, crisp and shining pop set by their Kiwi forbearers, artists like the Clean and the Chills.

New Zealand’s the Phoenix Foundation continues on the path of the smart, crisp and shining pop set by their Kiwi forbearers, artists like the Clean and the Chills. The British press has been all over this group with The Times calling them “New Zealand’s finest purveyors of psychedelic pop” and The Guardian tagging their latest record, Buffalo, as “an album that already seems destined to be among the best of 2011”. Sadly they have gone fairly under the radar in the US up to this point, even as Buffalo got a US release back on 14 June. Look for that to finally change with the deluxe edition release of Buffalo here in the States on 18 October. This latest edition will be an iTunes exclusive. The tune we are premiering today, “Bright Grey”, is a bonus track off the new deluxe edition, but it just as easuly sounds like the A-side of a hit single, which shows just how deep this band’s catalogue of tunes is.



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