Three years after the release of his mixtape “1999”, Brooklyn-based rapper Joey Bada$$ celebrates the release of “B4.DA.$$”, his long-awaited and first proper album. But that’s not the only thing to celebrate for Joey this week, as today marks also his birthday. On the occasion he shares a free download, another track produced by Statik Selektah.
“B4.DA.$$” is available on iTunes, Amazon or Spotify.
It’s been a while since I last came across a mixtape from Gaslamp Killer, but coinciding the release of his Serato picture disc, the LA-based discjockey and producer put down a mix for Dublab radio.
The Gaslamp Killer is an explosive force within our universe. He is constantly forming chaotic dynamics into physical manifestation through the medium of music. In this special dublab session, GLK unveils the newest crystallization of his creative pursuits, Break Stuff, a Serato Pressing Picture Disc featuring exclusive material from the mind of this matter smasher.
Also available for download from the Dublab website.
Four years have passed since these tracks were recorded at various Caribou live shows in Belgium and the UK, now Dan Snaith is selling them for a good cause. What makes this EP stand out is the line-up involved in the Caribou Vibration Ensemble: Four Tet and James Holden on synthesizers, Ahmed “Sinkane” Gallab on drums, a three piece brass section, flutist, and Dan Snaith himself on vocals, synth and electric guitar.
Available on Bandcamp for $3 (or more) with all proceeds going to Gendered Intelligence.
Remember 2014? Yes, that was last year! Nevertheless, I want to go back one more time and present my very own selection of favourite record covers of the previous year. Surprisingly, here are a bunch of record sleeves of music I never listened to, stuff that popped into my eyes while browsing shops and reading newsletters.
Antoni Maiovvi – Avrokosm (Not Not Fun)
A prime example of what a good record cover might do, I started listening to the music after seeing this beauty. It shares all the qualities of a poster advertising a seventies sci-fi movie, obscure imagery that makes one want to find out more. Nice detail: the mismatching reflection on the lake. Designer unknown.
Deejay Deer – Natur (Numbers)
Sometimes a good photo is all it takes, and someone at Numbers must have thought the same. The picture itself dates back to 1909 and I always had a sweet spot for portrays that show a person in a strong, dignified way. Photography by Underwood & Underwood.
Oberman Knocks – Dilankex EP (Aperture)
Here’s a record I actually bought last year and I’m not ashamed to admit I bought it soleley for the design. Not that there’s anything about an Autechre remix or even Oberman Knocks himself. Bold design, high contrast and a clever die cut. What’s not to like? Designer unknown.
Clap Clap – Tayi Bebba (Black Acre)
I have to admit, I first saw this cover in high resolution while tracking down the image for this post. I always liked the colours and composition, but I was mildly disappointed about he clean, digital (?) look — the lack of texture. Still, a favourite of 2014! Designer unknown.
Caribou – Our Love (Cityslang)
Not exactly my favourite Caribou record, but longtime collaborator Matthew Cooper came up with this sleeve worthy to add. Reminds me of Carnovsky‘s RGB room and some of Erosie‘s work.
Rustie – Green Language (Warp)
Alright, I complained about the clean detail of the Clap! Clap! sleeve, but that’s exactly what makes the Rustie cover so great. And the unreal look of those flamingos, I still find it hard to believe it’s an actual photo. Artwork by LuckyMe’s Dominic Flannigan with photography by the amazing Simen Johan.
Roughlung – Untitled (Cleaning Tapes)
Maybe a bit of random choice, but it represents a for a style that has become a favourite of mine in recent years. Grim, with an almost metallic quality. Designer unknown.
FaltyDL – ///I\II\\\\ (Ninja Tune)
A bit too Instagram maybe, but let’s not pretend: this is why I use Instagram myself, and it’s probably why you either love or hate it yourself. Artwork by Thomas J. Simon, who was already responsible for several of FaltyDL‘s earlier sleeves.
Powell – 11-14 (Diagonal)
Simple and cute. Powell had a series of covers in a similar fashion and it would nice to these go on for a bit, as Modeselektor have been doing over the years with their trademark monkey. Design by Guy Featherstone.
Future Islands – Singles (4AD)
Yet another band I never heard about, but the cover caught my attention. I like a collage now and then and there’s nothing more to say about this one. Artwork by Beth Hoeckel.
If you like this post, check out the rest of the Dis|cover series, including selections by Shaun Bloodworth, Optigram, GiveUpArt and others.
One of the early tracks “leaked” from the latest Flying Lotus album You’re Dead, “Coronus, The Terminator” is the second to receive a video. Still one of my absolute favourites on the record, I love it for pretty much the same reason I loved “Getting There” on the previous album. Directed by Alex Takacs aka Young Replicant.
Whether you know it or not, you have likely stumbled across the work of British photographer Shaun Bloodworth before. Sometimes referred to as the photographer of dubstep, his long-lasting involvement in the music scene goes far beyond that. You might remember his L.A. Dope series we wrote about some years ago, in which he portrait then-rising producers from the city of angels. Among his work are collaborations with GiveUpArt‘s Stuart Hammersley, like The Green Series and North/South/East/West, and of course the many portraits shot for the Rinse mix series.
So today, three years after GiveUpArt took turn, we’re very happy that Shaun took the time to pick his favourite record sleeves from 2014.
Aphex Twin – Syro (Warp)
I like the idea of providing a recipe almost, that you can follow to make your own SYRO, and also the bonus track that can’t be played because its a cardboard record. The idea has equal importance to the visual, something that has always run through Ian’s work. Design & art direction the Designers Republic.
Simon Pyke – Universal Everything & You (Warp)
This was a tie in with Universal Everything exhibition at the Science Museum with a track by Matt Pyke’s brother Simon. There are 4 different covers based around the organic animated doodles you may have seen at the Museum. The inner vinyl is illustrated with black & white organic doodles.
Hudson Mohawke – Chimes (Warp)
LuckyMe have produced some amazing sleeves this year —Rustie, Clark, Cid Rim— but this is the best I think, although I wish the mock Photoshop version that was floating around with HudMo in the centre had been released. Design & art direction by LuckyMe, photography by Zhong Min.
Matthewdavid – In My World (Brainfeeder)
I love this sleeve so much, Matthew and his daughter Love as if they are posing for a 17th century old master. The photograph also reminds me of a Brothers Grimm etching by David Hockney — The Enchantress and the Baby Rapunzel. There was also a really amazing video that went with this on pitchfork as a teaser. Design by Seth Ferris and photography by Logan White.
Venetian Snares – My Love Is A Bulldozer (Planet Mu)
No idea who is responsible for this, but I wish I’d done it, great idea for a portrait. Traditional simple arresting cover, where photography is the key factor. Design by Arnold Steiner.
Nozinja & Tessela – Wa Chacha (Warp)
This started out as a press shoot in a pub near Islington, but it worked so well that the photograph was used for the cover. Nozinja turned up the the torrential rain wearing a white spandex tribal two piece, didn’t really have to do much, the picture made itself. I also shot them outside in the rain holding bright dayglo umbrellas. I was asked to design this sleeve, but thankfully I bottled it, and handed it to my friend and collaborator Stuart Hammersley at GiveUpArt who used his trademark bright colours and tight typography. Wish we’d done more this year together.
Various Artists – Bleep 10 (Bleep)
Bleep’s brand colours (green & blue) are used through everything including the NSEW and BLP/GRN series Stuart and I did with Raj Chaudhuri and Dan Minchom at Bleep. The custom logotype is based on a really basic 3×4 grid and carried onto some type details on the rest of the packaging, the chunky 10 is lovely.
ALSO – EP01 (R&S Records)
ALSO is Laurie Osborne (Appleblim) & Alec Storey (Second Storey). The glitchy type represents the choppy rhythms found in the tracks. The sleeve is printed simply in a metallic purple and pale minty blue, I think this is 1 of 3 with an album to follow in the same style. Very simple and beautiful. We’d planned to do something similar with the press photography but it didn’t come off unfortunately. Design and art direction GiveUpArt.
Bonobo – Northern Borders (Ninja Tune)
Saw this at the Novation/Walls gallery in all its glory at their ADE exhibition, really beautiful and unlike most covers I’ve seen over the past few years. Has a lovely hand made quality to it. The box set had lots of tie dye/Rorschach type ink illustrations by Leif Podhajsky.
Illum Sphere – Ghosts Of Then & Now (Ninja Tune)
I know Ryan (Illum Sphere) paid a lot attention to getting the correct photographer for this cover, I thought the whole set worked really well. I did some press shots which were in black & white too, it was nicely directed by Ninja Tune. Photography by Silvia Grav.
Shaun Bloodworth’s work can be found on his website and Vimeo. He shares good music and other wisdom on Twitter.
If you enjoyed this feature, please check out previous installments put together by Optigram, GiveUpArt, Colectivo Futuro, Sven Swift, Nitzan Edit and myself.
I have only been to Shoreditch’s Plastic People a handful of times, but from the very beginning I could feel the magic of the place. Many legendary parties took place there, many being synonymous with the rise of a new kind of music. Co-op, FWD, Nonsense, the regular nights by Four Tet, Theo Parrish or Floating Points, even the CDR listening events will be remembered by many, and not only by Londoners. The Last Dance, literally, took place last weekend as the club closes its doors forever. What you can hear above is the 5 hours of music played during that night.
“Although Shoreditch has now become apocalyptic after 1am, Plastic People never changed. We all maintained that it’s a safe haven away from it all. The people coming down to the nights were so nice, and became regulars; suddenly it became a room full of 200 friends. You knew their dance moves, you knew the guy who screams when you played a certain track. It didn’t feel like randoms off the street.”
What you shouldn’t miss is the article the quote is taken from, in which founder Ade Fakile and resident Floating Points share their memories of the club. And there’s even more memories on Twitter under the #plasticpeople hashtag.
Plastic People, we will miss you!
Happy New Year! The old optimist I am, I waited until the very last day to pick my favourites of 2014. Like in the previous year, I mostly listened to new music through Spotify, since it allows me to listen to pretty much everything once it comes out. However, unlike 2013 I found it more difficult to single out the favourite of the year, so I decided not to rank the following selection.
Let’s start with some of the more soulful music of the year:
Taylor McFerrin – Early Riser
When Taylor’s debut album came out on Brainfeeder last June, I was pretty convinced the decision for record of the year has been made. Great production, not a single bad track, soulful music made a big comeback into my life.
NinjaShop | Bleep | iTunes
Flying Lotus – You’re Dead
…and then the Flying Lotus record came out and changed everything. I’m not saying it’s better or worse, but I wasn’t so sure anymore about my first pick. Predictable choice? I don’t even think so, but it’s an amazing record start to finish! I’m going as far to say that it’s up there with Cosmogramma!
Bleep | iTunes
Fhloston Paradigm – The Phoenix
I didn’t see King Britt’s LP anybody else’s list for 2014, but I think this is a record that deserves more spotlight. Try it out for yourself and listen to all of the records mentioned so far in a row, they go really well together. Seamless.
Hyperdub | Bleep | iTunes
Experimental and ambient music:
Lawrence English – Wilderness of Mirrors
I said it before and I’ll say it again. If you missed new music from Tim Hecker this year, there’s probably no better surrogate than “Wilderness of Mirrors” by Lawrence English. And while this might read like a second choice, it’s definitely not!
Room40 | Bleep | iTunes
Lussuria – Industriale Illuminato
One of the artists I didn’t know before this year. Some dark, dystopian music released on Vatican Shadow’s label.
Bleep | iTunes
Lee Gamble – Koch
One of the many great records released on Berlin-based PAN label, Lee Gamble’s album took me a while to get into it. If you struggled yourself, let me tell you it’s worth giving it another try.
PAN | Bleep | iTunes
House and techno:
Hashman Deejay – Sandopolis
Bleep | iTunes
Call Super – Suzi Ecto
Houndstooth | Bleep | iTunes
Kassem Mosse – Workshop 19
Hard Wax | Bleep | iTunes
Compilation of the year:
Various – Hyperdub 10.2
There’s no doubt about my favourite compilation of the year, Hyperdub’s vision of RnB from the future won my all over. Killer tracks from Terror Danjah, Morgan Zarate, Jessy Lanza, Ikonika & Dam Funk, Scratcha DVA and more!
Hyperdub | Bleep | iTunes
And lastly, a couple of noteworthy records I enjoyed in 2014:
patten – ESTOILE NAIANT
Freddie Gibbs & Madlib – Piñata
Farben presents James DIN A4
Clark – Clark
HTRK – Psychic 9-5 Club
FaltyDL – In The Wild
Lord RAJA – Constant Moth
HOLOVR – Holo Earth
Afrikan Sciences – Circuitous
You can also listen to nutriot loves 2014, a Spotify playlist with nearly 19 hours of music!
It’s been good to catch up on some mix shows lately, and I think there are a couple of stellar ones in this latest edition of weekend mixtapes.
Here’s a top 5 entry for best Hessle Audio shows of the year, as Ben UFO plays an exclusive recording by Terrence Dixon that nobody should miss, ranging from spaced out jazz to techno proper.
Mr Beatnick is joined by the rest of the Pride of Gombe pack on his NTS Radio show. Listen to 2 hours mixed b2b by Lukid, Samoyed, Astro:Dynamics, Kelpe, Adam Oko and the host of the show.
My favourite record of December turns out to be Hashman Deejay‘s debut album “Sandopolis”, released this week on the label Future Times. Had to check out some of his DJ mixes as well. Here’s one recorded at this year’s Dekmantel Festival.
What can I say, two hours of records selected by Floating Points and Four Tet, playing their recently found records from all over the world.
And lastly, dont’t miss out on the December edition of Funkineven‘s Apron show on NTS Live.
As the year comes to an end, there are plenty of albums worth considering the best of the year. Here’s one that snuck onto my list in the (almost) last minute. I first came across Hashman Deejay‘s music through one of the best Hessle Audio shows of the year: the Pender Street Steppers special aired last summer. That’s really when I first got aware of Vancouver’s Mood Hut label and its associates, one of them being Hashman. Among the tracks played on the show that stuck with me in particular was “184”, and as life sometimes goes, I only re-discovered it by pure chance when going through this week’s Bleep newsletter. And this is where I came full circle, as the track is taken from Hashman Deejay’s new album “Sandopolis”, which is out now on Max D’s Future Times label.
2. Statues PF
Get yourself a copy from Bleep, Rush Hour or iTunes.
Life of a music blogger is nothing what you would imagine it. Unlike someone, let’s say, who writes about fashion, we don’t receive fancy dresses every other week. We get ugly emails advertising music we would never write about. Well, most of the time. To be honest, the moment when I started receiving promo emails was the moment when the fun in writing about music started fading away. Oh, the joy of discovery. It’s been a long time since music was only available on physical formats, and while it’s not all bad, I often feel that music lost some value in the process.
Anyway, it was only a couple of days ago that I received a package from the postman, my second in more than six years of blogging! Turns out it’s the new K15 2xEP that came out in late October on Kyle Hall’s Wild Oat imprint. I first met K15, or Kieron, in summer 2006 through a common friend, followed his music all over the years, eventually talked him into doing a podcast, and was mad proud when he was remixed by our musical hero Kaidi Tatham earlier this year. Next stop: Detroit!
I’m still listening to the second disc, but the first convinced me enough to write about it. Listening to the track above, techno producer Fabrice Lig was reminded of Titonton Duvanté, athe common friend of K15 and mine compared it to Mr Fingers. Well, both it’s true: the first record ventures into the past, references classic house music from the eighties, with one track sampling the early nineties anthem Gypsy Woman (She’s Homeless); the second record is a deeper, more sincere look at what house music has to offer. There are a couple of more samples on the Wild Oats online shop, if you need more convincing. It’s also the only place I found that still has copies available.
Nectarines is the b-side of of Nuits Sonores and the EP holding both tracks is available digitally as of today, with the vinyl release following next week. You can pick up the download from the Eglo Bandcamp, Bleep, iTunes and maybe the digital store of your choice. Pre-orders for the vinyl at the former two stores include an instant download!
Not as obvious as some of the bigger titles this year, but I’m sure I’m not the only one who anticipated the release Lord RAJA‘s debut album on Ghostly International. Following his seminal releases on the Astro Nautico, it was only a question of time when some bigger label would sign the 22 year old producer from New York. With label mates such as Dabrye, Com Truise or Shigeto, the Ann Arbor-based label looks like the right choice. So, finally, the wait is over: “A Constant Moth” is available as of today! If you haven’t had the chance to listen to any of the upfront leaks, like the tune featuring Jeremiah Jae, you can stream the album in full in the SoundCloud widget above.
You can order your copy from Bleep, HHV, Boomkat or iTunes. Spotify listeners follow this link.
It’s been a while since we last selected weekend mixtapes for you, but don’t worry, we’ll continue to do so!
My favourite Hessle Show in quite some time and currently on repeat, listen to two hours of house and techno by the one and only Ben UFO.
There’s a new Afrikan Sciences album coming out on PAN in the second week of December. On the occasion he played a guestmix on the label’s radio show.
London’s Mr Beatnick released his Marshmallows EP on Tief Records the other day. On his latest radio show he was joined by Werk Discs’ Moiré to play some music.
And this last one is an older gem I rediscovered more recently, an mix by our podcast-contributor The Reboot Joy Confession.
Following NameBrandSounds‘ debut EP on Technicolour was followed by several remixes by the duo consisting of IG Culture and Alex Phountzi. One of them was the remix for Ill Blu‘s Blu Magic, which —I think— was never properly released.
Well, as of today you can grab a free download from the NameBrandSound Bandcamp page. Enjoy!