If there are two things I can credit Sputnik Music for, expanding my love of esoteric and ugly metal and raising my overall level of hipster douchebaggery stand high at the top. So here now I present to you a glorious amalgamation of the two:
As part of the second wave of French House, Justice were pretty big in 2007 with their debut album † (Cross). The reception to early releases from upcoming album Audio, Video, Disco (due for release October 25th) has been mixed. Clear though is the change in direction signaled with the upcoming album, with rock elements present on Cross being drawn out and put centre stage. Out now are three more tunes in which this new direction can be seen clearly.
The new direction taken by Justice is reminiscent of drum and bass act Pendulum’s transition in sound from Hold Your Colour to In Silico. For Pendulum the move proved to work out commercially, but saw a lukewarm reception critically, so how will the turn in sound fare for Justice? Well here are three tracks for you to be the judge of.
The pitfalls of remix albums are not that difficult to determine. Whether from artists rushing a remix to earn a quick buck and get their name seen, or from limitations and hurried timetables enforced; almost always remix albums come out inconsistent in their quality.
Suited to the remix treatment or not, Radiohead have at least turned the album over to a superb collection of electronic artists. With remixes by Caribou, Jamie xx, Four Tet, Jacques Greene, and Shed, the artists featured are both talented and well versed in the field of remixes. Featured below is a remix of Bloom by Blawan off the album, a fair departure away from the sound of the original.
Belfast punk trio Empty Lungs have been knocking around for about a year now and ‘Identity Lost’ is their first formal release, a three-track single produced by Rocky O’Reilly (of the late, great Oppenheimer).
The band cite Jawbreaker and Hot Water Music among their major influences, but the one that springs immediately to mind is Rancid, particularly in the way lead vocalist Kev Jones and wingman Ryan Holmes trade off vocal lines on ‘Hope and Apathy.’ The title track is more of the same with a thumping bassline and scratchy chord riff that call to mind Gang of Four at their most catchy.
The entire three-track single will set you back two of your Great British pounds on Bandcamp. Check out the video for ‘Identity Lost’ below the player.
Major/Minor is Beggars with a purpose, and that purpose is to kick ass. “Anthology” hits harder than any Thrice song in the last five years. I’m continually impressed with Dustin’s vocal performance, not just in this song but the album as a whole. He’s never exactly sounded bored on past albums, but the lack of harsh vocals has definitely given that impression at times. But he’s so impassioned on Major/Minor that it’s almost unbelievable, and this song is the best example of that. Plus the riffs are amazing.
Anybody who’s known me for more than five minutes knows that I have a bit of a hard on for Irish music (I run a blog exclusively devoted to the stuff here) and those who’ve known me a little longer know that I have a special place in my heart for Irish hip hop, which is nothing like the oxymoron that it initially appears.
Ireland has been producing underappreciated rap for years, going back to the innovative trip hop of Marxman through Scary Eire and modern acts like Messiah J & the Expert, the Infomatics and Melodica Deathship. Unfortunately, the general view of Irish rap is dominated by half-baked acts like House of Pain (though some of Everlast’s solo output is legit) and… well I don’t even know what the fuck this is but it needs to be fucking put down immediately.
This has been floating around the Internet for a little while now (and I play it in turntable almost daily) but nothing’s really been posted on Sputnik about it yet. Lana Del Rey doesn’t have an album out yet but she’s working on one and it’s going to be awesome. Check it out.
Rabbit Junk have always been an eccentric band. They’ve been known to mix anything from industrial and black metal to hip hop and hardcore, and this song is no different. “What Doesn’t Kill You Will Make You a Killer” is the first single from the band’s upcoming album (currently untitled). It features the return of the more fun, tongue-in-cheek Rabbit Junk and also the return of Sum Grrl. The song itself is really two parts — the hip hop influenced beginning and the metalish second half. Oh, and the video is pretty cool too.
Rabbit Junk – What Doesn’t Kill You Will Make You a Killer
Download this song (and another from the album) free here.
It’s been over a decade since One Be Lo first burst on to the Midwest’s hip-hop scene as part of the now legendary Binary Star and he’s still more than alive and kicking. His fourth solo release since the original dissolution of Binary Star, L.A.B.O.R., is due out on September 6th and if its first single “The G.O.A.T.” is any declaration of what’s in store One Be Lo’s powerful wordplay and trade marked murky and soulful beats are back in full form.
In what’s arguably the most bizarre (and strangely adorable) collaborations of the summer, indie dance duo Matt and Kim, the swagalicious Soulja Boy, and the Godfather of Partying Andrew WK recently took part in Converse’s “Three Artists. One Song.” campaign, spawning the so-called ‘party anthem to kick off the end of summer’, entitled “I’m a Goner.”
Upon first listen, I didn’t quite “get it,” but as Andrew WK mentioned to me a while back and has since Tweeted, “You don’t have to understand something to enjoy it, and you don’t have to like something to love it.”
Granted, I don’t LOVE the track if it means that summer ends soon, but it is indeed a very happy tune.
Stream it here:
Matt and Kim f/ Soulja Boy and Andrew WK – “I’m a Goner”
Converse also has a behind-the-scenes video of the whole recording process, if you are so inclined.
What say you? Thumbs up or thumbs down?
Thrice have posted a lyric video (?) to another song from their upcoming album, Major/Minor, entitled “Promises”.
Stupid lyric videos aside, “Promises” shows Thrice continuing in the direction they took on Beggars, away from the experimentation and expansiveness that led to Vheissu and The Alchemy Index. It’s another straightforward, four-minute rock song, and while it’s something that Thrice has done better than anyone for years now, it still feels a little underwhelming to hear them play their cards so close to their chest. Major/Minor is shaping up to be exactly what Beggars was, an album of tight songs that hardly expand the band’s sound palette.
Watch the video below.
It is fairly easy to see that Alex Smith matches his peers within Detroit in terms of talent and quality of his output. That says a lot given the rich musical legacy of Detroit. His output of late hasn’t dropped off the standards set by 2005’s Just Ask the Lonely. On its own, Here’s Your Trance, Now Dance! can attest to that.
Though one can keep pretty close tabs on artists’ releases these days, sometimes a very pleasant surprise comes about unexpected. High School Graffiti is one of these pleasant surprises, with five cool little tunes. My Naffew Randy is one especially worth checking out. So hurry up and grab this EP for free here, and remember your please and thank yous.
The 59th edition of FabricLive‘s mix sets features Four Tet aka Kieran Hebden, and this lovely future single culled from the end of it is now available for streaming. It’s graceful and hauntingly beautiful, perfect for that 5 am comedown. As Hebden noted: “This mix is not about my DJing. It’s about London and fabric and nights out and my take on all that. The memories and the influences. I used old and new music, I used recordings of fabric, and I made new tracks of my own for it. I hope people play it fucking loud and lose their minds in it and remember or imagine what it’s all about.” Check out the FabricLive compilation when it drops September 19th and for now, enjoy this fantastic single.
Das Racist, the joking-but-not-joking rap group from New York, released their first paid single to the world yesterday in the form of “Michael Jackson”. It comes from their upcoming album Relax, and brings a lot to unpack, from the Wingdings-inspired album art to Heems’s RZA reference to the meaning, if there is one, to the song’s anthemic hook: “Michael Jackson/ A million dollars/ You feel me?/ Holla.”
But all I really have to say is this: “I’M FUCKING GREAT AT RAPPINGGGGGGGGG!”
Scottish post-rock act Mogwai gave their fans the first glimpse at their upcoming EP Earth Division this week with the haunting “Get to France”. The eerie piano driven piece is the EP’s lead off track and comes off as the warped bastard cousin of songs like “Friend of the Night”. If this is any indication to the mood of Earth Division then it looks like we’re in for a treat.