Kr!sh is a NYC-based producer looking to bring a harder element to the EDM scene. His most recent song, “Shloka,” blends the gritty dark, pulse of industrial techno with the rhythmic, yet varied levels and layered textures that characterize electro house. A similar style of producing can also be seen in the work of Gesaffelstein, a Parisian DJ and producer who Kr!sh numbers as one of his favorite artists.
The track name, which literally means “verse,” alludes to a type of couplet verse line that is frequently used in Indian epic poetry. Seems fitting because, one, epic poetry was often sung, and two, music is very much the poetry of sounds. At times jovial-sounding, at times restrained, and always tense and heavy, “Shloka” is worth the listen. Hit play on the Soundcloud player and check it out.
For those of you who are not familiar with Lapalux, it’s time to become acquainted. His musical style dances around soulful experimental and ambient elecontrica, sometimes converging on free-form, but it is always purposeful, always beautiful. The UK-based producer has been gaining momentum with each successively released single in preparation for his “Some Other Time” EP this October. “Forgetting and Learning Again” is the most recent and, in my opinion, the most breathtaking of these efforts to date. Released merely four hours ago, the song has already found a home on my iPhone and is favored to quickly rise the charts of my “Most Played.” Kerry Leatham’s voice is a perfect complement to the song’s rich textures; it embodies that brief self-admonishment and that fleeting sense of guilt we all undergo when we realize that we’ve once again fallen into the trap of human habit. But thanks to this shared, depressing cycle of events, we can fully relate to and enjoy a song as evocative as “Forgetting and Learning Again.”
And, “The Hours,” which was released about two weeks ago:
New York natives, Lana Del Rey and A$AP Rocky, have caused quite a stir in the past couple of days. To start, the two recently released the music video for “National Anthem,” a video that grips at the national psyche with its reinterpretation of the often romanticized Kennedys and their ‘American Camelot.’ JFK is played by the nonchalant and ever composed A$AP Rocky, who dons his usual snapback and array of jewelry; Lana plays Marilyn Monroe in the video’s beginning, before later assuming the part of Jackie Kennedy. The video is highly political and everyone seems to have their own take on it. Even A$AP seems to be unable to put the video into exact words:
“We did a video together … [it's] some swag sh–,” he said. “I play JFK, she plays Jackie O, you know, some cool, trippy sh–, some really 2015 sh–. People gonna get it in like three years, and that’s the whole purpose of it.” (A$AP Rocky, Source: MTV News)
To be fair, Lana was the originator of the idea behind the video and it is probably safe to say that only she and the director truly understand the emotional and intellectual significance of each scene. Oversimplified, the video is a dark, brooding love story that wrestles with the status quo. But if a picture is worth a thousand words, then this video is worth thousands more.
And in addition to “National Anthem” A$AP and Lana have also collaborated on “Ridin,” a feel-good summer cruising song produced by the Kickdrums. The song makes expert use of Lana’s sensual voice and old-time sound, both of which are perfect complements to the insouciant beat and A$AP’s flow.
As soon as I heard the 80s soul power vocals, it literally was “Game Over” for me. Lately I’ve found myself listening to disco/funk/soul inspired tracks and fancying myself somewhat of a musical anthropologist, I decided to do some digging. Apparently, Skrillex and Nero sampled Moby’s song, “Thousand,” aptly named for holding the Guinness world record for fastest tempo in bpm (hence, 1000) of any released single. Moby, in turn, had sampled the vocals from “Let No Man Put Us Under” by the disco girl group, First Choice. This makes “Game Over” an interestingly layered track. It’s always amazing to see how music can build on itself. I’m inclined to believe that Nero was responsible for the sample choice, largely because their Welcome Reality album was heavily inspired by 80s pop and electro. Either way, the listener can really sense a collaborative effort on this song—Nero’s melodic and yet heavy, electro-pop sound is nicely interspersed with Skrillex’s signature glitch drops and even some Reggae hype-man vocals. The full release is definitely something to look forward to. Listen below!
And also check out “Thousand” and “Let No Man Put Us Under:”
Kudos to Mac Miller for taking the time to film a proper video for “Missed Calls,” a sentimental song off Blue Slide Park. The rapper has actually come a long way since his awkwardly stiff acting appearance in VH1′s Single Ladies. Fans will get to see a softer side of Mac in this video as he shares intimate on-screen moments with the beautiful Hennely Jimenez. Without spoiling the plot, I will say that the video ends with a frustrating cliff-hanger. You can check out the visuals below!
I’m starting to think Usher and Rick Ross might be a power duo (Usher Rozay?). Usher’s crooning tenor vocals and Ross’s signature baritone are perfect complements of each other. And despite Ross getting lots of flak for his weight, I don’t think anyone can deny that he’s got an appealingly rich voice that is so fitting for the boss image he portrays. I would even go so far as to say that Rick Ross may very well become the Barry White of ‘rap’ if he continues with these love ballads. You can quote me on that! The video incorporates the elements of old-school R&B videos–slow motion movements of the female (here, played by the beautiful Lashontae Heckard) to emphasize her mystique, an outdoor pool scene, scenes of intimate moments at home–that I fondly remember from my childhood. Great song! Great video!
“I’ll Be Alright” is the second single off Passion Pit’s upcoming Gossamer album. It’s classic Passion Pit, complete with glitched beats, high-pitched vocals and a quick tempo. It’s a nice follow up to “Take A Walk” and has me wondering if ‘remaining stoic in the face of difficulties’ is going to be the common thread running through their next album. Given the precarious nature of the global economy and the hard financial times in which many have found themselves, such an album might be just what people need.