Multicultural Sounds travels the world for contemporary reinventions of cultural staples. Spain’s Grammy-winning Ojos De Brujo tackle every genre under the sun in their remix album, and Montreal/Los Angeles by-way-of Iran’s Niyaz talk humanitarian ideas on their latest, Sumud.
Ojos De Brujo
Barcelona’s Ojos De Brujo (aka Eyes Of A Warlock/Sorceror in English), certainly know how to release a multicultural slaw of dub, electronica, tropical, ragga, everything, and more of everything. Antagonistic male rapping cuts into female vocals singing Spanish with a Middle Eastern warble and flair; dubstep takes over with stereotypical wobbles at times, only to fall into ragga beats; tropical rhythms and flamenco influences creep in until all things are indistinguishable and challenging. This is global dance music at some of its best, and it’s a pleasing surprise Ojos De Brujo are a Grammy-winning act.
At right, stream the equally Latin and Indian-influenced “Todo Tiende”, remixed by Los Chicos Altos, and watch the animated music video of the original. See full post for a megamix of their entire remix album (which is well worth it to dive into!)
“Night Song”, shot entirely in a single take and without the teeniest bit of post-editing, sees a scramble of projected black and white characters, shapes, and words transforming vocalist and director Kim Krans’ face and form into entirely new compositions every couple seconds. In the brief Q&A below, Krans addresses the concept behind the video and its creation process, and a small gallery of her visual art can be viewed. Their upcoming record, Grace & Lies, will be released via No Quarter Records this month.
This post is long overdue, but it is a recap of our SXSW 2012 party, which you can read more about HERE. REDEFINE’s second annual SXSW party was once again thrown with Gina Altamura of Portland nightclub Holocene and Marjorie Owens of Dallas blog Clumsy N Shy, who collaborated on an evening of acts that entranced your mind and made your body move. Beyond that basic premise, the bands that really held the crowd’s attention and turned it from a 21-room college co-op into a home for all were those who really exemplified the ideal of the entire party, as captured by the Alan Watts quote below. They were the bands that provided in comfort to concertgoers, by providing a balance for all to see, hear, and feel — and often with fantastic visual aids to boot. This quick recap, consisting primarily of videos, highlights some of our favorite acts of the day. Hope you can join us next year.
“The only thing you need to know to understand the deepest metaphysical secrets — is this: that for every outside there is an inside and for every inside there is an outside, and although they are different, they go together.” – Alan Watts
Midday Veil – “The Current” > Filmed and Edited by Lymay Iwasaki
“Pop music shouldn’t always get a bad rap,” says Top Pops!, a recurring selection of pop music highlights across a selection of styles. This post features two indie electronic acts fronted by adorable females: Sweden’s Little Dragon and Brooklyn’s Friends.
After the release of their understated 2011 album, Ritual Union, Swedish pop musicians Little Dragon are back with a brand new track, “Sunshine”! A recent trip to Sasquatch Festival in George, WA was largely underwhelming save for a few acts, and Little Dragon were definitely one of the standouts. Their charmingly innocent approach to experimental electronic music is made all the more impressive when one considers that they play every single part of their music live. No samples.
“Sunshine” will be released June 28th via Peacefrog, in conjunction with Absolut Vodka (you can see a video related to that HERE). Included below is a J Boogie remix for “Crystalfilm”, its original music video, and the band’s upcoming tour dates.
Whim is a collection of media focused on independent rock/pop/garage and everything surrounding it. Two autumnal records are on the horizon, courtesy of Midwest musicians Night Moves and Merseyside, UK’s Stealing Sheep. Lots of satisfaction that you can feel in your bones here, as both bands transmute psychedelic habits into burnt country backdrops to create mesmerizing, earthy tracks.
Minneapolis musicians Night Moves remind one of Portugal. The Man‘s Americana-influenced psych rock on their latest singles, “Headlights” and “Country Queen”. Speaking vaguely about feeling directionless, the band questions personal comforts (“I just don’t know who I am”) while simultaneously providing comfort in the form of gentle falsetto mantras (“It’s alright”) that bring the song to a slow and smooth close. Their debut album, Colored Emotions, comes out October 16th on Domino Records. Full tracklisting and tour dates to follow.
With every new album they release, Yeasayer’s fame grows rich with new haters and new fans. Admittedly, I was a bit skeptical about their opening single, “Henrietta,” and still am — but they could be doing worse, and the new single, “Longevity,” definitely pleases me at least a little bit. Be warned: the direction they’re heading is definitely hella pop — more similar to Odd Blood than All Hour Cymbals, by a long shot. So, those of you who are mourning Yeasayer’s past need to just get over it, and they’ll tell you that in their “be here now” affirming “Longevity”. Both “Longevity” and “Henrietta” can be heard below via prismatic vignettes — or music videos, for laypeople — created by video artist Yoshi Sodeoka. For the latter, the band themselves recommend drugs. Fragrant World comes out August 21st on Secretly Canadian.
Whim is a weekly collection of media focused on independent rock/pop/garage and everything surrounding it. This week we feature the incredible new Grizzly Bear track, an Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti cover, a brand new Jens Lekman cut and more. So yeah, it’s been an insanely busy week for music junkies. And a good one too.
Putting some of my personal fixations with Grizzly Bear aside, the release of their brand new song almost imploded the internet last week. “Sleeping Ute” is taken from the bands yet-to-be-titled album, due out later this year on Warp, and is an explosive mix of scaling guitars and the band’s collective vocal range. It’s incredibly reminiscent of member Daneil Rossen’s Department of Eagles project, digging into darker, more cathartic sounds on the third verse. It’s different from “Two Weeks,” which is kind of a bold statement considering the success of that song and Veckatimest as a whole, but “Sleeping Ute” is expansive and brilliant. So for now at least, they have my attention.
CocoRosie’s latest release, a 7″ featuring “We Are On Fire” and “Tearz For Animals”, is the duo’s first release in two years, taking their hip-hop-influenced vibes into an epic realm of movement, smoke, and costume in this slow-motion music video for “We Are On Fire”, directed by Emma Freeman. More cutesy is their collaboration with Antony Hegarty, of Antony And The Johnsons, with its lyrical hopefulness for humankind, its bizarre vocal melodies, and its drums like dove wings’ flapping.
Hear both tracks and read more details about the release below.