Between “Body & Blood,” “Story 2,” and “Work Work,” West Coast experimental hip hop trio clipping. has been dropping some pretty intense and odd music videos. “Inside Out” is one of the strangest of them thus far, featuring a headless figure walking through a series of nocturnal, urban settings. As the lyrics of Daveed Diggs quickly roll against the track’s glitchy beat, many of the objects referenced in Diggs’ lyrics rise up through the hole where this figure’s head should be. Hilarious concept, fun to watch.
Check out my extremely positive review of clipping.’s new album right here.
Previously mentioned Coin Locker Kid has one of the most unorthodox approaches to hip hop that I’ve heard in the past few years. I didn’t love the last full-length I heard from him, but I still left puzzled by his odd rhymes, stories, and instrumentals.
There’s a clear hip hop influence running throughout his music, but electronic and experimental music guide a lot of the compositions on this new project as well. The title of this thing: Traumnovelle. It’s available now via Already Dead Tapes, and you can purchase this album via cassette here.
Previously praised electronic music producer Andy Stott is coming out with a new album soon via Modern Love. The release date is November 17th, and the title of this thing is as follows: Faith In Strangers. “Violence” is the first song to drop from it, and it’s an incredibly eerie and chilling change of pace for Stott. Much of the first half features as very delicate vocal that sings faintly over a mix of serene and distorted synth leads. The second half of the song explodes into a slow, bass-intensive groove, and the track essentially repeats these two parts with some slight variations to finish things up.
Not a bad track at all, and it seems that Stott is going to introduce us to some new experiments on this latest record, so keep an ear out.
Pure insanity coming from these two major tracks from anonymous producer SOPHIE, and both of these songs are out now via Numbers.
Between all the vaporwave and trap out floating around the Internet right now, there’s no shortage of zany electronic music at the moment. SOPHIE seems to embrace a lot of the tenants of TNGHT, Rustie, and post-modernists such as Daniel Lopatin; however, these sensibilities are unabashedly fused with commercial pop, a flavor that reads strongest in the often squeakily pitched melodies and lead vocals. There’s just something about the melodic shift at 0:39 that sounds like Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe.” Someone on Twitter went as far as to say the groove on “Hard” resembles that of a Death Grips track, and I have to nod in agreement on that comparison.
Despite the obvious present-day influences, something about SOPHIE’s productions thus far feel as if they’re coming from at least ten years into the future. Their energy is incredibly hyper, their accessibility is high, but there’s something sort of avant-garde about these tracks as well. Maybe it’s sort of short-sighted to assume that songs like “Hard” could become the norm in a decade, but I certainly get the sense that I’m catching up with something ahead of the curve when I put these beats on.
Sweden’s Wildbirds & Peacedrums drops a new track titled “The Offbeat,” which looks like it’s going to be landing on the duo’s next full-length album, Rhythm. Not a surprising title from this band considering much of their past material has featured nothing but vocals and drums, and that’s exactly how this new track feels. Aside from a few spare “plinks” and glitches hanging in the background, Mariam Wallentin’s voice passionately rides the building drum work of Andreas Werliin.
Despite the lack of accompaniment, once again, Mariam and Andreas sound great. Mariam’s vocals continue to be a powerhouse of passion, and the Andreas’ grooves really keep the tension up.
It’s nice to hear W&P get back into the swing of things after the release of Mariam’s debut solo album, which I loved last year.
Look for Rhythm on November 3rd via the Leaf Label.
“Hunger of the Pine,” the lead single off alt-J’s forthcoming LP This is All Yours, was already a plenty fierce song - from its progressive, horn-adorned composition, to its prominent Miley Cyrus vocal sample, to its Hunger Games-esque music video. However, the song just got even fiercer thanks to our bold friends over at clipping., who have re-worked the song into the fourth installment of their “Story” song series (I take it the third chapter was skippable). They did a number on the track, let me tell ya – the only recognizable elements of the original are the “sleeplessly embracing” vocal cut and the horns. Damn, does Daveed sound bad-ass over that brass! But not only is “Story 4″ a glorious testament to these guys’ remixing skills, but it features what might just be their most intricate (and macabre) storytelling to date. After pieces like the first two stories and “Dominoes,” that’s saying something. Here’s hoping this gets put out on a 7″ or something!
But don’t let this overshadow alt-J’s original work, which is still a stellar tune. This Is All Yours drops September 22 via Infectious Records. Find our review of the band’s stunning 2012 debut An Awesome Wave here.
Last month, Houston-based avant-garde rapper and musician B L A C K I E announced a new studio full-length titled IMAGINE YOURSELF IN A FREE AND NATURAL WORLD. No release date yet, but this lead single “None Above” has me properly excited. The track is a crashing, kaleidoscopic wall of sound, with wailing from B L A C K I E forced to the background and just barely audible. It’s beautifully brutal. Or brutally beautiful? Whatever; it’s awesome! Check it out!
Jenny Hval and Susanna are both well-respected Norwegian singer-songwriters with striking voices who favor unique, complex, and often quite minimal compositions. Last year, Hval released a pretty good experimental pop LP called Innocence is Kinky, and Susanna released her fourth solo full length (she has an additional three under the name Susanna & the Magical Orchestra), The Forester. Together on this new collaborative project, they form a very clear bond between their favorite styles.
“I Have Walked This Body” opens on a dark, somber drone, with Hval delivering a keening but mostly placid vocal. Soon though, things get weird. An eerie vocal affect and some well-placed static later, it almost leaks into Shaking the Habitual territory. Both singers’ voices get nicely showcased here, as the song slowly morphs and slides through a few different phases, before growing quite cacophonous and intoxicating, and then finally collapsing back into the void from whence it came. The two women clearly know what they’re doing here. Their collaborative album is a whopping 15 tracks long, so I am very interested to see what they do across such a huge canvas.
Meshes of Voice comes out Aug 19 via SusannaSonata.