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Wednesday, Apr 28, 2010

Flying Lotus
Cosmogramma
(Warp)
Releasing: 4 May


Classifying Flying Lotus into any particular genre or sound is almost impossible. Hailing from Winnetka, California the DJ/producer has made a name on, what can be best described as “experimental hip-hop beats”. However, elements of funk, rock, R&B and soul also creep into these sonic landscapes where he mixes thick synthesizers with sound effects best suited for the farthest reaches of outer space. His new album, Cosmogramma, features guest appearances from Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke and jazz great Ravi Coltrane. It’s currently streaming over on Flying Lotus’ MySpace.


01 Clock Catcher
02 Pickled!
03 Nose Art
04 Intro/A Cosmic Drama
05 Zodiac Shit
06 Computer Face/Pure Being
07 …And the World Laughs With You [ft. Thom Yorke]
08 Arkestry
09 Mmmhmm [ft.Thundercat]
10 Do the Astral Plane
11 Satelllliiiiiteee
12 German Haircut
13 Recoiled
14 Dance of the Pseudo Nymph
15 Drips/Auntie’s Harp
16 Table Tennis [ft. Laura Darlington]
17 Galaxy in Janaki


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Monday, Apr 26, 2010
by PopMatters Staff

Junior Boys lend their remixing talents to “Odessa” off Caribou’s recent release Swim. Timothy Gabriele said this about the tune in his recent review: “Swim seems mostly to focus on wronged females who must either ‘swim’ or drown. Foremost is ‘Odessa’, the lead single and definitely one of the most defiantly eccentric of the bunch. The song is about a woman who is ‘tired of crying and she’s sick of these lies / She’s suffered him for far too many years of her life’ and is now ‘Taking the kids / Driving away’. The main hook is a processed vocal sample somewhere halfway between a dolorous weep and a ghostly moan. Its pairing with persistent bass, colorful keyboard rolls, cowbell tings, and microfunk accents seems mismatched at first, but the song grows on the listener after repeated spins. It has the tendency to recall the first time one hears the off-putting tenacity of Japan’s ‘Still Life in Mobile Homes’ opening up Tin Drum. Its conjunctions sound too aberrant to be pop proper until one adjusts him or herself outside of the conservatism of a 50-year radio model.”


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Friday, Apr 23, 2010

The National
High Violet
(4AD)
Releasing: 11 May


If you’ve been counting the days since 2007’s Boxer and can’t stand the suspense over its follow-up any longer, the National is streaming its latest long-player High Violet in its entirety at the New York Times. Upping the smoldering intensity of Boxer, if that’s possible, leaked tracks like the imposing “Bloodbuzz Ohio” and the haunting “Afraid of Everyone” won’t disappoint anyone who has been eagerly awaiting new material from the band. And while the new songs sound impressive in their own right, you’ll now be able to hear them in the context of the album, which is the best way to listen to a band that’s devoted to big picture storytelling like the National. For those who are a little more patient, you can wait a couple of weeks until the proper release of High Violet on May 11.


SONG LIST
01 Terrible Love
02 Sorrow
03 Anyone’s Ghost
04 Little Faith
05 Afraid of Everyone
06 Bloodbuzz Ohio
07 Lemonworld
08 Runaway
09 Conversation 16
10 England
11 Vanderlyle Crybaby Geeks


“Bloodbuzz Ohio” [MP3]
     



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Friday, Apr 23, 2010
by PopMatters Staff

Quentin B. Huff will be appearing on WNYC’s Soundcheck program today at 2.00pm EST along with Lah Tere of hip-hop group Rebel Diaz discussing women in hip-hop. Recently Huff wrote for PopMatters in “A Declaration for Female Emcees” that “hip-hop needs a women’s movement ala Seneca Falls. The Declaration of Sentiments used the Declaration of Independence as its structural model (in hip-hop we call that “sampling”).”


Here’s the description of the planned Soundcheck program: “Female emcees, or ‘femcees’, have always been a minority in hip-hop. But in this decade, they became almost an endangered species. The few women in the genre are not nearly as successful or engaged as rappers like Queen Latifah or Foxy Brown, who made inroads in the 1980s and ‘90s.


To examine this question we’re joined by Quentin B. Huff, who wrote a column about the issue for PopMatters.com; and Lah Tere, a member of the Bronx-based hip-hop group Rebel Diaz. She is also the founder of Mommas Hip Hop Kitchen, an annual all female hip hop showcase.”


You can listen to the program online here.


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Wednesday, Apr 21, 2010
by PopMatters Staff

Jennifer Davis will be appearing on WNYC’s Soundcheck program today at 2.00pm EST alongside the legendary Specials discussing the history of ska. Last year she penned “The Ska Will Go On” for PopMatters where she claimed, “ska never died… it merely sank back underground to the grimy clubs from whence it sprang, while the genre’s biggest stars took time to rest, regroup, and strategize their comebacks.”


Here’s the description of the planned Soundcheck program: “Ska started as a politically volatile offshoot of reggae in the 1960s. It returned in the Thatcher-era England of the late ‘70s and early ‘80s with seminal bands like the Specials and the English Beat. And it has resurfaced in the songs of groups like the Mighty Mighty Bosstones. Now, as the Specials and the English Beat embark on major tours of the U.S., we look at the roots of the genre and find out where it’s traveled. Our guests include two original members of the Specials and Jennifer Davis, a journalist who covered the history of ska for PopMatters.com.”


You can listen to the program online here.


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