Monday, November 29, 2010
Darkstar may be signed to Hyperdub, one of the most relevant dubstep labels out there, but their sound is pretty distinct and actually bears almost no resemblance to dubstep itself. That is, unless that genre had suddenly slowed down, turned off its paranoid basslines and gone mad for the abstract experimentalism of indie-acts like Radiohead or Portishead.
Full of digital glitch details and dreamy synth lines that support down tempo pop melodies sang with distorted vocals, North is actually one of those records that seems made specifically for those long nights of cold weather. And so the name is to be taken seriously: these are indeed ten extremely intimate songs that beg to be listened to in the dark. Or, in other words, subtle intensity for solitary souls. (7,5/10)
Darkstar - North (mp3)
Saturday, November 27, 2010
Monday, November 22, 2010
The internet has kind of exploded today with all the appraisal and universal acclaim that My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is getting - 10 out of 10 by Pitchfork? Like, whoa! So to ride the wave, here's a post to say that i agree with everything... partially.
Yes, Kanye is, along with Lady Gaga, one of the most fascinating and complete pop artists of our current time. Yes, this album is perfect in every sense, with all the biblical lines, over-the-top sampling and out-there influences. And yes, it does seem like a culmination of everything that Kanye represents, condensating all those great sides that have been showing on his four previous albums.
With that said (and here comes a purely personal opinion): the concept of perfection is sometimes overrated and I still prefer the disarming imperfections audible in the radical experiment that was his previous 808s & Heartbreak, with its beautiful digital emo-hip-hop ballads loaded in a stripped-down (and almost unconfortable) coldness.
And now that i got that off my chest, I'm going back to listen once more (and more and more) to My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, just to be amazed by its mouth-watering-and-larger-than-life attitude. Power! (8,5/10)
Kanye West - Power (video)
He may have started as a techno musician, but those days are long past gone. Black City, his fourth album, continues Matthew Dear's journey into a very individual world, filled with his own (unnatural) voice, skeleton melodies, glitch details and immersive synths, while the BPM's are getting slower and more diverse. And even if influences may range from new wave, krautrock, disco, R&B or ambient, that doesn't really say much, as this is actually one of those cases where the result is completely something else and very different from the logical sum of its parts.
With all the rich textures that each song presents, Black City actually ends up being pretty enigmatic: dark, nocturnal, hypnotic, involving and with a somewhat dirty atmosphere. A bit like soundtracking twisted S&M acts in a large warehouse, late night, no lights on. (8/10)
Matthew Dear - You Put A Smell On Me (mp3 via Fluxblog)
MDBC Abstraction (video)
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Monday, November 15, 2010
Twenty One, their previous album, is probably one of the most underrated records of recent years. With all its perfect catchy tunes and euphoric indie-pop vibes, it still managed to skip the radar of almost everyone, and quite unfairly so.
Is that why Serotonin is now a whole different beast? We'll probably never know, but the shock is indeed there: where Twenty One was a very accurate window to all things hip and cool in the indie world, this new album goes in a very opposite direction, channelling past bands like Fleetwood Mac (!) or Supertramp (!!). Pass the initial surprise though, and you'll be able to find everything that has always been great about these guys: namely, the ability to create timeless and joyful pop anthems full of addictive hooks and riffs. And even if there wasn't any other reasons to praise this album, we would always have that cover. (7/10)
Mystery Jets - Dreaming Of Another World (video)
Saturday, November 13, 2010
"I'll never be a pop star, I'm too raw"
His solo career hasn't been quite as successful as the hits he has produced for other artists (Umbrella or Single Ladies to name just a couple...) but, even so, The-Dream's three own albums pretty much constitute one of the most interesting bodies of work in recent R&B.
Love King is no exception to this, right on the contrary: his trademark digital sound is intact, with seductive futuristic ballads and mid-tempo songs that seem to constantly soundtrack matters related to sex and love and, well, more sex. The only difference is actually more an evolution than anything else: this time, and from start to end, we seem to be in a constant state of ecstatic high, with an impossible amount of ear-catching hooks, synths and choruses supporting permanently-addictive melodies. Best of all: as complex and intense as everything may seem, he makes it all sound so damm-natural. (9/10)
The-Dream - Panties To The Side (mp3 via The Citizen Insane)
The-Dream - Yamaha (mp3 via dailybeatz)
Tuesday, November 09, 2010
Monday, November 08, 2010
A star-studded cut like only Kanye West can create, mentioning everything and everyone in the history of fashion. More importantly, this a delicious hip-hop club-banger not to be missed.
Kanye West ft. Kid Cudi, Pusha T, John Legend, Lloyd Banks & Ryan Leslie - Christian Dior Denim Flow (mp3 via Consequence of Sound)
Friday, November 05, 2010
Popjustice has called this song "pretty much the exact opposite of rubbish" and I couldn't agree more. Here it is, in the form of a self-made clip which Patrick actually calls "a little lyric video for youtube made in my kitchen".