Save Money affiliate Vic Mensa gets an assist from UK songstress Eliza Doolittle for the latest INNANETAPE bumper “YNSP”. Look for INNANETAPE September 30th.
Vic Mensa (Twitter)
UK melancholy merchant King Krule’s f w/ me if you want or don’t, I’m not bothered either way sound seems the perfect cross-genre match for Australian-based producer Ta-Ku’s f w/ me if you want or don’t, YOU will be bothered either way beats. Krule’s melody, vocals, and tune are all about knifed out inside Ta-Ku’s mix and what replaces it is a syrupy melange of soft-touched bass and delicate programmed hi-hat and snare. Listennnn.
The Terry Lewis & Jimmy Jam-produced “That’s The Way Love Goes” is one of the best R&B tracks ever. So why remix it? Enter Final DJs and their 80’s synth-pop inspired heatrock of a mix. FDJs select for big room synth textures and balance them with smooth as silk house beats to create an A+ juxtaposition and an overall very good remix.
Final DJs (Soundcloud)
It’s been a big year for Austin singer songwriter Max Frost. Post-SXSW buzz, his track “White Lies” became a blogosphere hit. Since then, this 21 years young musician has signed with Atlantic Records and will be touring this fall with Gary Clark Jr in support of his forthcoming debut EP, Low High Low. B3SCI writer Brian Litwin recently had the chance to catch up with the young pop star in the making to chat about his massive year, song concepts, Geddy Lee, Texas BBQ and more! Have a look at their chat below.
B3SCI: Please introduce yourself to the B3SCI audience.
MF: Hey! I’m a 21 year old singer/multi-instrumentalist/producer born and raised in Austin, Texas.
B3SCI: We are picking up some soul, funk and pop influences? Who specifically would you consider your main influences?
MF: I wouldn’t say I have a ‘main’ influence. I draw from lots of music that I’ve loved over my life that spans from Albert King to Bob Dylan to Led Zeppelin to OutKast.
B3SCI: Are there any influences of yours that may come as a surprise to fans?
MF: I’m a huge Rush fan! Haha…
B3SCI: What can we expect from your debut EP Low High Low out October 8th?
MF: Five songs that represent my musical evolution over the past few years and also give a window on the styles I’m developing for the upcoming album. The theme came from the emotional content of the songs as well as the lo-phi against hi-phi production style.
B3SCI: “White Lies” has gained critical acclaim from reputable online press outlets. It’s an extremely nice mix of radio ready dance and catchy pop music, but there is more to it. What was the catalyst that spawned White Lies?
MF: “White Lies” was created as an experiment like most of my songs. I drew the concept from experiences I’ve had in relationships and stylized the song with the idea of creating an old school song on a modern groove.
B3SCI: You recorded all the instruments on “White Lies”. What was your favorite instrument to play on this track?
MF: Playing the bass was the best part for sure. It’s really the most important part and provides the motion of the groove and keeps the song funky against the electronic vibe.
B3SCI: You go on tour with fellow Austin native, Gary Clark Jr. starting on September 26th at The Wiltern right here in LA. You have a major label deal and you are only 21. Life must be pretty crazy right now, how are you handling all of this?
MF: I’m just trying to stay focused on my work and not lose sight of the passion that got me here in the first place. The momentum is great and I’m trying to enjoy everything in stride, but what’s really important to me is continuing to create music that I really love and am proud of making.
B3SCI: What is one artist, dead or alive, that you would want to hang with?
MF: I would kill to be able to go back and just be in the room while John Lennon wrote a song.
B3SCI: The Hype Machine backing seemed to help you get noticed by the overall music world. Do you have any advice for other up and coming artist on how to get your music out there so the “right” people can hear it?
MF: Be patient. Only put out what you think is your best work. Surround yourself with people who truly love what you create. Respect everyone. Be humble.
B3SCI: Last question – Tex Mex or Texas BBQ?
MF: BBQ all day!
MAX FROST ON TOUR
All dates w/ Gary Clark Jr. except *
9/21 Utopia, TX Utopia Fest*
9/26 Los Angeles, CA The Wiltern Theatre
9/27 San Diego, CA House of Blues
10/2 Oakland, CA Fox Theater
10/5 Austin, TX Austin City Limits Music Festival*
10/10 Salt Lake City, UT The Depot
10/11 Denver, CO Ogden Theater
11/11 Boston, MA Royale
11/12 Washington, DC 9:30 Club
11/16 New York, NY Terminal 5
11/20 Minneapolis, MI First Avenue
11/22 Indianapolis, IN The Vogue Theatre
11/23 Columbia, MO The Blue Note
Max Frost (Official)
“Fallin” reminds us of so many things we love about that mainstream late-90s R&B. Dallas Austin, Darkchild, Jermaine Dupri, you know the good stuff. A’LONNA is an L.A. based newcomer with sounds seemingly well beyond her years. Having already caught the attention of producers like Timbaland and INDIAN, take note and sample “Fallin” from A’LONNA below.A’LONNA – Fallin
Review by J.L. Greene
It’s a given with Justin Timberlake, I’d expect it with Justin Bieber and would definitely anticipate it with twerk-magnet Robin Thicke. But I never, ever, ever thought I’d get crushed to death by a savage mob in front of Empire of the Sun’s Luke Steele (see picture above).
Perhaps it was just naiveté on my part, but on Thursday, September 12th it was hard to think of such dangers. Alpine, an up-and-coming group of bewitching Australians, opened the show and brought with them another level of dance-consciousness. It’s easy to see why Rolling Stone named them band to watch in July 2013. With pump and enthusiasm coupled with sparkles and paint, singers Phoebe Baker and Lou James danced with flowing hand motions, and then like clawing cats, while displaying the range of their exquisite voices. Their energy was contagious and they proved to be the perfect opening act for Empire of the Sun.
Between sets, fans waited in Chicago’s Aragon Ballroom, passing around white paint to mark their faces. The humming crowd filled the unique space, a venue built almost to accompany Empire of the Sun’s tour itself. With balconies out of Aladdin, a ceiling painted with shooting stars reminiscent of Mickey’s adventure into wizardry and a touch of the fanciful in the Never-Ending Story, the Aragon stood almost as a testament to the fantastical past, waiting for the fantastical future that EOTS would bring.
Empire exceeded expectations. It was like an hour and a half electronic acid trip. Frontman Steele emerged in a black and gold costume with a magnificent headdress that Shredder would envy. Steele’s quirky “girls of the future” surrounded him continuously as they alternately donned space helmets, anteater-like masks, angel feathers and gigantic pink guitars. With perfect lighting, Steele ran about the stage crushing his guitar but always returned to an anchored spot, a command station post in the middle of the stage where he would work synths and keys.
There was constant, intense motion throughout the long set. With the dancers on stage, Steele running about, and projector images of travels all over the earth, outer-space and phases of evolution. Throughout the show, Steele randomly came down from stage for intimately close encounters with euphoric fans.
The room was absurdly hot and even Steele felt it. He first stripped his headdress to show bleached hair, highlighting his blacker-than-black thin goatee. Then he stripped his jacket, rocking around stage in a black shirt and leatherish pants. The heat, however, would not stop Steele from his futuristic costume changes time and again, each one hitting the elaborate state one would expect from the boundary pushing artist.
As Steele disappeared to the side of the stage, a huge form emerged from the stage back, rising to the multi-tiered platform summit. With two, red leaf-rakers for horns, a giant grey skull with flashing purple and blue eyes donned a multi-colored robe. The stunned crowd screamed its delight as Death pulled out two gasoline pump handles and began shooting fog. After a few minutes, and just as seemingly natural as he arrived, he descended into darkness once more.
But where Death left, Steele emerged in a similar costume if not the same as featured in the EOTS “Alive” video. The three burly musicians wore their attire with grace–including the drummer who’s helmet’s plume matched the height of his torso. You can clearly see why Cirque du Soleil would be so attractive to Empire’s other half, Nick Littlemore.
Speaking of Littlemore… Despite a visually overwhelming show and Steele’s ability to capture the huge ass stage, you couldn’t help but hope that fellow bandmate Littlemore would make a surprise entrance. Littlemore’s missing presence was like J.D without Turk, Wayne without Garth, Troy without Abed. It was a palpable ache you hoped would find a happy ending. Even though it was a given to Empire fans he would never arrive, his missing presence still hurt the soul.
In the midst of this fantastical show, my life passed before my eyes several times as I saw my phone flying through the air punched by a fan’s eager fist, received a blow to my face (bruise included) and was almost crushed to death on a few occasions. Honestly, it was the first time I could see how people died at shows. Again, maybe I was naive but never have I been around such ruthless fans. To say the least, the show was beyond anything I’ve ever experienced–both visually and physically. One thing I know for sure: never again will I underestimate the power of a man in a headdress.
Empire of the Sun (Official)
Review By Bruce Rave
Moby can pretty much do what he wants. Although it’s been awhile since he’s hit a commercial bullseye, but he’s got one in “The Perfect Life”. This near-perfect collaboration with Wayne Coyne of Flaming Lips has got a sing-along quality that sticks with me big-time, and will probably do the same for you. Moby’s latest album Innocents will drop this October.Moby w/ Wayne Coyne – The Perfect Life
Reviewed By Mike Olinger
Last year English trio London Grammar posted their debut single “Hey Now” on the Internet. There was something immediately gratifying about the warm female vocals, liquid guitar playing and industrial rhythm section and by 2013; the song went on to receive over 800,000 hits on YouTube. The same song was also chosen to kick-off their debut album If Your Wait, released by Columbia Records earlier this month.
The buzz has only snowballed since the inception of London Grammar less then a year ago. It’s tempting to pop a hole in the hype balloon that has been fed by a Mercury Prize nomination and glowing reviews from cream blogs like Pitchfork and Consequence of Sound. Their reverb-heavy pop fits a little too well next to the burgeoning Alternative Mainstream and sometimes comes off as a well-calculated move towards that marketplace.
Sounding something like the love child of The xx and Florence Welch, the London three piece do manage to keep an evocative edge on their sometimes overly plaintive songs. Their single “Strong” is particularly poignant in its admission “excuse me for a while, while I’m wide eyed and so damn caught in the middle.” It’s confessional and the narrative lends itself beautifully to the band’s speedy rise to prominence, while lead singer Hannah Reid demonstrates just how powerful her vocals can get.
There are some subtle hints to golden era of 90’s trip-hop on “Strong” and “Stay Awake”, and key track “Metal & Dust” conjures up the irresistible vocal breaks of Imogen Heap. There is definitely a synergy between the rhythm section and the vocals of Hannah Reid, one that is captured perfectly throughout the eleven tracks on If You Wait by producer Dot Major. The majority of the album feels intentionally contained and streamlined, which is a positive for people who gravitate towards bands that can recreate their recordings live. No bells and whistles are needed to communicate the impressive dynamics of this band.
London Grammar has certainly answered the call for a stylish debut. It is indeed a slow building, sweltering collection of translucent electronica that calls out for a winter evening and a glass of red wine. Their melancholy lyricism and soft soundscapes seem to be the thread that connects to the majority of their listeners. If You Wait is a little bittersweet, a little over dramatic, but also lovely and confessional. For such a new group, it is an album brimming with graceful sophistication and the promise of greater horizons.
London Grammar (Facebook)