Sunday, July 30, 2006

Pop Summer Pleasures (Music Videos # 11 to # 16)

Nelly Furtado feat. Timbaland - Promiscuous

Nelly Furtado - Maneater

Justin Timberlake - Sexyback

Rihanna - SOS (Rescue Me)

Beyoncé feat. Jay-Z - Deja Vu

Kelis - Bossy

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Pharrell - In My Mind

After one long year of innumerous delays, here it is, finally, the first solo album from Pharrell Williams, best known as the frontman of super-producers duo The Neptunes or rock band N*E*R*D. In the last decade, he was partly responsible for some of the biggest music revolutions operated inside the mainstream. Britney Spears, Kelis, Nelly, Jay-Z, Snoop Dogg, Justin Timberlake, Gwen Stefani? Just some of the big names that, at some point in their careers, were helped by The Neptunes magic touch. And now the big question: does he still have it? And the big answer: Yes! Divided in two parts, the first half of In My Mind is all hip-hop, with intelligent and sophisticated beats, exploring a multitude of atmospheres, while the second half is a homage to r&b and soul music, assuming influences from Prince, Michael Jackson or even Chaka Khan, full of catchy and addictive songs. And, of course, we have his production skills, which are intact: vintage samples, old-school keyboards, geometric sounds, a scientific attention to details and an addictive vibe. So although this album has been critically panned in most of its reviews, i believe that has to do with other factors, beyond the music itself. Verdict: Underrated project of the year.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Home Videos # 1

Kanye West - Diamonds From Sierra Leone (live)

Kanye West - Touch The Sky (live)

(filmed on the 17-07-2006 in Jardim do Marquês de Pombal, Oeiras / Lisbon)

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Fujiya-Miyagi - Transparent Things

Appearances can be deceiving and, in today's music world, this is a universal truth. Fujiya-Miyagi are a british trio with the name of a japanese duo and spend 35 minutes deconstructing and re-inventing 70's german music styles like krautrock. Exploring the legacy of names such as Neu!, Can or Kraftwerk, here's a monument to minimalism and sonic poetry where the pleasure of listening to music returns as if it was the first time, such is the elegance transmitted in these simple and sublime songs for voice, guitar, vintage electronics, bass and drums, about kids that discover porno mags on their way to school or a guy that breaks his collarbone two times after stumbling in his own shoelaces. Transparent Things indeed.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Buraka Som Sistema - Yah! feat. Petty (Maxi-Single)

There's a new band taking inspiration in street music codes to create a new language, putting them side by side with all the M.I.A.'s, Spank Rocks or Baile Funk compilations of this world. And, surprise, this time they come from Lisbon. Their sound is vibrant and purely infectious, to dance with no inhibitions, and seeing them live on the Hype@Tejo festival was a contagious experience. They call it Progressive Kuduro...

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Polaroids # 4

Kudu (my new favourite band!) live at Terrapleno de Santos, Lisbon (08-07-2006)

Hot Chip live at Terrapleno de Santos, Lisbon (08-07-2006)

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Kanye West - Late Orchestration (DVD)

Hip-hop giving goosebumps? Not a problem, if you're one of the most creative musicians around. Just add an all-female strings orchestra and give new life to already brilliant anthems. It seems that when he named this show "Touch The Sky Tour", he was literally meaning it.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Music Videos # 10

Pharrell feat. Kanye West - Number 1

What happens when you put together two style-obsessed-hip-hop-super-stars-with-big-egos? A big vanity fair, of course, full of designer clothes, expensive fashion accessories and a super catchy song obviously titled "Number 1" . See for yourself.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Matmos - The Rose Has Teeth In The Mouth Of A Beast

The mad scientists of micro-beats electronics and Björk's favourite duo are back with their most accessible and eclectic work to date. Previous efforts included an album mostly constructed around plastic surgery sound samples (with the appropriate title of "A Chance To Cut Is A Chance To Cure") or a sonic exploration of american history ("The Civil War"). Their new project consists of 10 homages to 10 of their heroes, each song exploring the individual world of characters such as Ludwig Wittgenstein, Patricia Highsmith, William S. Burroughs or Valerie Solanas. What makes this album so compelling is not only the fact that if you're familiar with each of these names universe, you'll recognize their elements in here. Even if, for example, you have no idea who the hell James Bidgood is (it seems he was a porn actor, by the way) there's always something to keep you interested, such is the attention to details that is Matmos trademark. You'll have to keep focused, as there's so much happening in each song, but in the end you'll feel rewarded enough to keep coming back again and again and again.