Saturday, 25 September 2010

Das Racist

Das Racist, the much hyped hip-hop duo, released their second mixtape the other week. It's called Sit Down, Man and you can grab it for free from Mad Decent here. The reason that Das Racist are getting so much attention is because, pure and simply, they're a very interesting prospect. On Sit Down, Man they've gathered a huge range of eclectic guest producers and special guests. The result of this is some original and truly innovative beats. All of these pieces of production all sound very different but at the same time fit together and complement each other. Das Racist's work over these beats are as impressive as the production. Their lyrics, quite suprisingly after hearing this song, are intelligent and genuinely funny throughout. Even their rhythm feels unique on this, probably being closest to the laid-back slur of Lil' Wayne. So yeah, basically this is great and you should get it.

Das Racist - Sit Down, Man - All Tan Everything (feat. Jay-Z) (Produced by Sabzi) by Hypetrak

Monday, 20 September 2010

Kanye West - Lord, Lord, Lord (featuring Mos Def, Raekwon, Swizz Beats, Charlie Wilson)

Kanye West seems to be getting more attention for his Twitter these days than his musical ouput which is a crying shame seeing the quality of his GOOD Fridays project. GOOD Fridays basically consists of Kanye giving away a brand new song for free for his fans every Friday (you can get all the songs so far here). Anyway, the newest is called Lord, Lord, Lord and includes such rap royalty as Raekwon and Mos Def. Kanye's beats are second to none as always but he's gone for something really different on this one, it's really funky and mellow. The song could probably do without Swizz Beats’ section but Mos Def’s opening verse is great and more than makes up for it. These tracks are making me really excited for his new album. I mean, if the throw-aways are this good then how great must the actual final product be? Especially seeing as appearances on the album include RZA, Pete Rock, Madlib and, bizarrely, Justin Vernon. Anyway, the new album is out in November and is currently called Dark Twisted Fantasy.

Kanye West - Lord, Lord, Lord (feat. Mos Def, Swizz Beatz, Raekwon & Charlie Wilson) by waveofsounds

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Deerhunter - Helicopter

It's taken a while to grow on me but the new Deerhunter single, Helicopter, has finally clicked and it is absolutely amazing. I should have known better than to doubt them really, shouldn't I? The long-awaited return of one of the best bands of the last decade can't be anything short of spectacular really. I think my initial disappointment stemmed from the ambient feel of the song which makes it sound more like an Atlas Sound (singer Bradford Cox's solo project) song than a Deerhunter song. However, it's still a dreamy, beautiful song with a gorgeous melody sung by THAT voice. Everything you need from a Deerhunter song then. The video itself is pretty interesting considering how simple it is too. You can see the Helicopter video here:

Good, huh? There's also already a remix in circulation by, British producer, Star Slinger. This version brings a whole new glitchy/hip-hop feel to it. Sounds quite a bit like something J Dilla would have done. It is also really quite good.

Deerhunter - Helicopter (STAR SLINGER REMIX) by Star Slinger

So yeah, all this has made me even more excited about the new album. It's called Halcyon Digest and it comes out a week tomorrow. I highly recommend you check it out.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Converge @ Manchester Academy 2 15/07/10

Converge tours in the UK are rare occurrences but when they do happen they are done properly. With support from two bands big enough to be doing their own European headline tours and one of the most hyped new bands currently in metal, it is safe to say that Converge take choosing their support acts very seriously. The Academy 2 was a venue made in heaven for Converge too; large but still intimate with no barriers or security (a decision the Academy probably regretted after someone had to leave, bleeding everywhere, after a song and a half after a mic was thrown at their head.)

First on tonight is Kvelertak whose attempt at mixing Black Metal with Rock 'n' Roll (or Black'n'Roll, do you like what they did there?) falls short of the mark. Tonight they sound more like a Mötley Crüe cover band being fronted by a Viking (complete with beard and bare torso combination) than what they successfully pull off on the album. This is probably down to the sound which was terrible so all the instruments blurred in to one and the vocals were distorted and too low in the mix. This sound ruined set was a real disappointment seeing how great their debut album is. However, throughout the set was devil horns, beer drinking and references to valleys of doom so it was at least fun for all the family.

By Gaza’s set the sound had been improved dramatically and was note for note perfect for the duration of their set. Not only was there an improvement in sound quality but even a boost in the quality of band as well. While their latest, He Is Never Coming Back, is good, the band reaches a whole new level live; slow, heavy and loud. Towering over the crowd, Gaza's intense vocalist's performance was filled with anger and disgust. Sludgey hardcore is a genre done far too often these days but rarely is it as good as this.

Kylesa, the band behind last year's incredible Static Tension were up next and while the tunes were there they just didn't quite cut it live. Due to terrible sound and a quite uninspired performance, Kylesa's songs all just seemed to blur in to one leaving nothing but a slight feeling of disappointment. While Kylesa's two drummer fuelled cross between Mastodon and Coliseum works on record it seemed to be completely lost here although the soundman may, again, be more to blame than Kylesa themselves. However, the set occasionally reached the level they set on record and those moments were phenomenal.

Converge really are a spectacle live. Having spent almost twenty years in a genre where most don't last three, the four-piece have really learnt their way around the stage. However, in those twenty years they don't seem to have lost any of the energy or intensity, Bannon constantly looking like he is going to explode any minute for the duration of their set. It is also heart warming to see such a veteran band throwing the mic out to the crowd to sing entire verses and constantly thanking the audience for attending. Unfortunately, the length of their career seemed to backfire on them when certain parts of the crowd seemed dissatisfied with their set relying heavily on their two latest albums, No Heroes and Axe to Fall. However, the new and old blended perfectly together during this set from opener Concubine to closer The Broken Vow. Very few words were spoken through the set and the band powered through an impressive eighteen songs in less than an hour. The band put on a performance in the truest sense; emotive and entertaining throughout. Here’s to Converge spending another twenty years on the touring circuit.

Monday, 13 September 2010

Pulled Apart By Horses - High Five, Swan Dive, Nose Dive

Pulled Apart By Horses released their latest single High Five, Swan Dive, Nose Dive today and it's an absolute beauty. This Leeds quartet have been building up momentum over the last year and a bit through constant touring, some radio 1 play, the release of their debut album, and a ridiculous amount of touring. More recently, they supported Muse at their massive 65,000 capacity Lancashire County Cricket Ground gig on the 4th. Pulled Apart By Horses play, what I can only describe as, Grunge/Noise Rock inspired Post-Hardcore. A band that sound trapped in the nineties but incredibly modern all at once. High Five, Swan Dive, Nose Dive is your typical Pulled Apart By Horses song, consisting of huge riffs, pummelling drums, Tom Hudson's yelp-like scream, and ending in a massive, chaotic breakdown. If you like loud, noisy music and big fucking riffs then you need this band in your life.

You can buy the single here or whatever if you're in to that sort of thing.