Woman’s eerie, neon-coloured “Marvelous City” doesn’t exactly deviate from the throngs of electropop singles flooding the market as of late (often sadly referred to as EDM), but it does employ a pleasantly lush practice in ambient-pop noodlings. “Marvelous City” is rife with catchy hooks and harmonies, but its pungent atmosphere of orbiting synth waves is the draw here. Swelling with sonic panic and anxiety, the number overflows like a cauldron of anti-romantic synthpop.
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Known for her art-rock compositions with Goya Dress and the more straightforward pop songwriting of her solo career, Shetland-born Astrid Williamson returns to the classical musical training of her formative years to present Requiem and Gallipoli. A ten-piece set of orchestral compositions written by Williamson herself, Requiem and Gallipoli is a crystalline example of the songwriter’s talents as a composer.
Her work with the atmospheric and dramatic alternative rock outfit Goya Dress established Williamson’s skill in combining the storms of pop-rock structures with the understated and moody arrangements of a string section. The artist further expressed classical designs in her follow-up solo work, always within a pop context.
Backed by Books One, Maestro Gamin returns after a brief hiatus with a single from the upcoming Miracle Work Medicine EP. Decidedly more straightforward than his previous works, “Future Calling” mines a chunky, percussion-looped groove laced with the sample of a Middle Eastern buzok. Gamin’s designs are more socially-conscious on this latest effort, forgoing the surreal, cut-up lyricism that defined his earlier work. The tune never directly references the colour-line issues we are currently undergoing these days. Rather, there is the sly circling of racial matters that brings the rapper’s poetry into spiritual form. Gamin’s voice, quite like the soulfully smooth consistency of peanut butter, rips an edge rougher than usual here; his lyrics on this new material command rather than inform. In the past, the rapper has never cared much for dancefloor fodder. But on “Future Calling”, his urgency to connect language with movement demonstrates an uncommon parlance – one that has the power to transform the ghettoblaster into a talismanic device of medicinal properties.
The muffled shuffle of Adian Coker’s “Been There” begins with a minimal line of percussion, soon eased into a more wholesome groove of metronomic hip-hop. This sampling of the South London rapper’s impressive talents features on his latest EP, Time Out of Mind, which has already gained some traction in his native UK. Having explored a gamut of pop-music styles, Coker’s hip-hop rests comfortably in a secured space of influences pooling from both sides of the Atlantic. There is indeed a good chunk of East Coast hip-hop in his work that is essentially the tether of which the grime, dubstep and electro-funk elements are attached.
An amusingly cryptic narrative of Dadaist assemblage, Turkey’s hip-hop supergroup, 90BPM, presents the video clip for their second single from their premiere album, Kötülük Bizim Işimiz, a collection of alternative hip-hop that explores everything from Turkish funk to Prince Paul-styled turntablism.