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Wednesday, Jan 30, 2013
The second single from Autre Ne Veut's incredible sophomore LP, Anxiety, happens to be the best track from that album, a layered, textural minor masterpiece of avant-R&B.

With Frank Ocean and The Weeknd dominating R&B in a huge way in 2012, expectations are high for any artist attempting to step up to the mic that’s shared with artists as immensely talented as those two. It won’t be long, however, before Arthur Ashin—the man behind the Autre Ne Veut moniker—rises successfully to this challenge with the release of his sophomore album Anxiety, out on February 26th for the Mexican Summer label. The record—an almost impossibly rich and multilayered work of avant-pop and R&B—makes one even question if the term “sophomore slump” has any relevance; Anxiety is such a considerable improvement over his 2010 self-titled debut that at times it’s hard to believe it’s the same artist performing.


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Monday, Jan 28, 2013
Electronic-pop chanteuse Nicolette bounces back with the life-affirming funk of her newest, ear-pleasing single.

The one-time Massive Attack vocalist serves up this slice of electronic-pop as she prepares for her fourth solo release. A chilled layer-cake of flexible, vivacious beats, stiff sour funk and brass-section acrobatics, Nicolette offers a slipstream romance of the merits of positive-thinking and fantasy on “Fascination”. The UK artist has been working steadily and quietly on new material since the uplifting sunburst of 2005’s Life Loves Us, an album of chopped beats and melted funk that was infused with the juice of high, carefree energy.


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Wednesday, Jan 9, 2013
Computer programmer by day, Fecr-i Ati moonlights as a one-man hip-hop band of sorts.

Computer programmer by day, Fecr-i Ati moonlights as a one-man hip-hop band of sorts. The 20-something Turkish rapper has been experimenting with music in his time off from work and has come up with some pretty imaginative results. A trained musician from a very early age, Fecr-i plays a wide variety of instruments including violin, flute, darbuka (a Middle-Eastern drum) and his personal favourite, the baglama, a Turkish stringed instrument heard here in this track, “Kalkmaz Kir”. A flashy hip-hop number given a Turkish makeover, “Kalkmaz Kir” also takes a cheeky swipe at bhungra, calling all arms to the dancefloor. Described by Fecr-i as a song about rising above those with bad attitudes, his guttural raps betray an almost mischievous swagger as he ploughs through the walloping beats with agility and force. It’s hard not to submit to the gravitational pull of the seductive, muscular rhythms and there’s much to love here, from the Turkish funk that runs through the Punjabi-inspired chorus to the mess-with-me-and-die attudinizing by the rapper, who is really just smirking underneath the fury. Undoubtedly blasting out of every bachelor’s sports car in Turkey.


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Wednesday, Jan 9, 2013
Hot Eskimos turn the magic and confused beauty of the Sugarcubes’ most cherished number into a sublimely lush jazz rendering that brings the song’s most furtive emotion to the fore – one of deep sadness.

Hot Eskimos turn the magic and confused beauty of the Sugarcubes’ most cherished number into a sublimely lush jazz rendering that brings the song’s most furtive emotion to the fore – one of deep sadness. “Birthday” has had a number of reinventions over the years, but no artist or band could ever capture the raw, unspoiled beauty of Björk’s voice, jubilant and vicious in equal measure. The band give the song that was primed for a jazz reworking an atmosphere of swirling colour and shape, with piano scales sliding around an at once steady and fractured rhythm, and the drums and upright bass creating a cadence of tension and release. Like the original, Hot Eskimo’s version is rich with ideas and a musicality that could only have been sparked by an imagination brimming with wide-eyed wonder and a desperate need to be fulfilled. Just see if you don’t laugh… or cry.


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Friday, Aug 10, 2012
iamiamiwhoami's debut album has been quietly under the radar, but this daring electronic record has a beating heart at its core, and single "play" may very well be one of the best songs to be released all year ...

When we previously looked at the new material coming out of Jonna Lee’s iamamiwhoami project, we found that her synth side project had evolved from experimental film whodunnit into something much more succinct, poppy, and remarkably catchy. “Goods” was the final track off of Kin, iamamiwhoami’s first official album, and it was funky, emotive, and really, really fun. We called it “The Most Inexplicable Song of the Summer Candidate You’re Ever Gonna Hear”, and even now, that statement still stands.


Yet diving deeper into Kin reveals just how well constructed and multifaceted this project is. After several listens, the whole thing begins to feel like the best Bjork album that Bjork never made: sonically daring without sacrificing song structure or emotive impact. The songs are very good and the corresponding film for the disc (feature wild choreographed numbers with a bunch of mop/Wookie creatures) is a miniature epic in its own right; but at the end of the day, there is one other track that stands out strongly from the rest.


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