Author Archives: Ash El Gamal

[Festival Review + Playlist] Take Us Back: Outside Lands 2014 Highlights through Photos & Songs

IMG_0244

During the Gold Rush, the area where Golden Gate Park currently resides was referred to as the “Outside Lands,” a sprawling seemingly uninhabitable expanse, before being adopted by the city of San Francisco and developed into what is now the gorgeous western portion of the city. Today, Outside Lands carries a whole new meaning as the the premiere music festival of the Bay Area located in the heart of the park. Every event has a unique charm and, for OSL, the magic of San Francisco’s physical and cultural beauty is truly at its core. With breathtaking scenery, quality food/wine and the lingering remnants of the hippie movement, Outside Lands 2014 served as yet another reminder of why the area has become, and has for so long been, such a desirable destination even with its famously cold summer weather.

Just over two weeks have passed since we took our final steps out of what was the most popular OSL in the event’s history. In the days following a festival, the mundanity of everyday life can become particularly evident. Luckily, with concerts, there’s always an artist’s music to revive the excitement of your most memorable, albeit sometimes least remembered, moments. This year’s Outside Lands lineup featured an incredible diversity in artistic styles making for a broad range of experiences to look back on. Join us as we take revisit a dozen of our top highlights from the weekend through photos and songs. Continue reading

Related items:

[NEW] SBTRKT – War Drums (ft. Warpaint) + Highs & Lows

artworks-000088664622-seyyw7-original
SBTRKT
War Drums (ft. Warpaint) LIVE AT MAIDA VALE
SBTRKT
Highs & Lows LIVE AT MAIDA VALE

With his forthcoming album about a month away, SBTRKT continues to provide us reasons to be excited. On his latest release, the pioneering electronic producer let loose track number 3 from the second part of the project.

“War Drums,” which features the vocals of talented Warpaint front-woman Emily Kokal, delivers exactly what its name suggests with intricate, driving percussion. Per usual, SBTRKT shows off an immaculate attention to detail and an ear for the perfect singing voice to match leaving the listener in a state of awe that only grows with incremental listens. According to the track listing, this one will clock in at just under three minutes, but the version presented here is a stunning live rendition from BBC‘s Maide Vale Sessions, which is nearly two minutes longer.

As part of a three-song Soundcloud set, all from the same live session, SBTRKT also shared a live version of the Sampha-assisted “Temporary View” and the previously unreleased “Highs and Lows,” which although incredible dope is not listed as a song on the upcoming record. Peep the new sounds above–Wonder Where We Land is out on September 23rd and can be pre-ordered via iTunes.

Related items:

[NEW] Caribou – Our Love

artworks-000087968758-tqr3nz-original
Caribou.
Our Love

After an extended hiatus, Dan Snaith, aka Cariboumade a splash a couple months back with the announcement of an upcoming album and subsequent release of the first single, “Can’t Do Without You,” a euphoric, building dance masterpiece that immediately took the blogosphere by storm. The talented producer returns this morning with the title track from the project and it is absolutely stunning. On “Our Love” Caribou draws the listener in with a smooth electronic groove but, rather than keep it low-key, at about 3 minutes he switches the beat up with an addicting bass-line that dares you not to dance.

In many ways, Caribou has chosen the perfect time for his return falling in place with the incredible direction that producers like Jamie xx, Four Tet, Mr. Carmack, and oft-collaborator Burial are taking with their respective, distinct brands of experimental bass music. Kick your week off with some bounce above. Starting tomorrow, August 19th, this one will come as an instant download with pre-order of Our Love, which drops on October 7th via Merge Records

Related items:

[Hip-Hop] Joose – Black Sand (Rvdical Remix)

artworks-000088098262-tqtok8-t500x500
Joose
Black Sand (Rvdical Remix)

Hip-hop is currently going through a fascinating transformation as rappers continue taking risks ranging from the strange vocal inflections of Young Thug, and more recently Makonnen, to the future bass raps of Goldlink. The Soulection collective has had a special role in carving out what label-captain Joe Kay calls the “sound of tomorrow” lending their unique brand of dance music as instrumentals for a broad range of talented emcees. The strength of this movement is multiplied by the artists’ and labels’ openness to collaborate, which in the digital age has become easier than ever and allows for an unprecedented diversity in styles.

The latest remix from Flow-Fi‘s Rvdical the Kid is exemplary of this incredible progression reworking the already dope track, “Black Sand,” from frequent West Michigan AGO collaborators Joose and Sango into an addicting masterpiece. While the original has a minimal and incredibly relaxed vibe to it, Rvdical’s take adds an ethereal element rearranging the vocal sample and adding unique percussion giving Joose’s lyrics a whole new context. Zone out to this awesomely floaty track above.

Related items:

[NEW] Captain Murphy – Cosplay

artworks-000087314199-2aldnc-original
Captain Murphy
Cosplay

Over the course of this week, legendary experimental producer Flying Lotus has been unveiling information about his highly anticipated upcoming album, You’re Dead. In addition to sharing the dark, trippy album artwork and exciting tracklist, which includes features from Snoop DoggKendrick Lamar, renowned jazz musician Herbie Hancock and FlyLo’s rapping alter-ego Captain Murphy, he also let loose a new Captain Murphy track today through Adult Swim’s Singles Program titled “Cosplay.”

For anyone who hasn’t been to Comic Con, the term cosplay is short for “costume play,” a performance art most commonly involving people dressing up as existing fictional characters and creating intertwined story lines–quite fitting in this case. As we’ve come to expect from the Captain, this new offering is brooding and ominous with warping vocals and disorienting production. For some more background on FlyLo’s menacing other half, watch an awesome animated short about the origins of Captain Murphy here.

In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, FlyLo said the new project will “mess up the game” diving into themes of death and the afterlife through music. We’re certainly excited to hear his take on the age-old question on You’re Dead, which is set for release on October 7th. Stream this new offering above and look for a free download via Adult Swim on August 18th.

BONUS: Check out snippets from You’re Dead below.

Flying Lotus
Youre Dead! Teaser
Related items:

Alt-J – Every Other Freckle

alt-J-This-Is-All-Yours
alt-J
Every Other Freckle

Alt-J‘s upcoming album is shaping up quite nicely. Earlier today, the U.K. alternative rockers released the third consecutive quality track from the project. In tandem with the other two songs we’ve heard thus far, their latest offering helps crystalize expectations for their highly anticipated sophomore record.

Each glimpse has featured a different dimension to the band’s sound–“Hunger of the Pine” full of sultry, powerful longing and “Left Hand Free” feeling more upbeat and catchy. “Every Other Freckle” presents yet another facet falling in between the other tunes in terms of energy but incorporating some of the vocal patterns found on An Awesome Wave, most notably “Breezeblocks.” The range of styles presented in these first singles suggests that we can expect a versatile and engaging mix from This Is All Yours, which is available for pre-order on iTunes and drops on September 23rd.

Related items:

Outside Lands 2014: 10 Acts to See Before 3PM [Event Preview + Playlist]

2014m-lg

With the inevitable shenanigans that occur during preparation, it can be difficult to get to a music festival in a timely manner. As a result, its fairly common for festival-goers to miss out on acts that play early in the day. While headliners rarely disappoint, there’s something incredible about discovering an artist for the very first time during a live performance–a mutually beneficial exchange between artist and fan. The first few hours of a lineup provide ample opportunity to do so without compromise often producing some of the most energetic shows of an event.

Outside Lands is coming up on Friday, and we’ve decided to do our best to compel all our ninjas to make it to Golden Gate Park early this weekend by highlighting 10 acts worth seeing before 3PM. In creating the list, we found that there is certainly no shortage of artists, both established and up & coming, that we’re excited for during the first few hours of each day. If you can’t make it in early, don’t sweat, because at least a few of these bands will be headlining festivals themselves soon enough. Check out the playlist below and we hope to see some of you at OSL this weekend!

Day 1 (08/08):

Night Terrors of 1927 (Noon, Panhandle Stage)

Sounds like: Brooding, dark pop bringing together powerful emotions on either end of the spectrum.

Night Terrors of 1927
Young and Vicious
Night Terrors of 1927
Dust and Bones

Aer (12:45PM, Twin Peaks Stage)

Sounds like: A sunny blend of hip-hop, alternative rock and a splash of Sublime.

Aer
Feel I Bring
Aer
Wont Laugh

Run the Jewels (2:15, Lands End Stage)

Sounds like: Hardcore hip-hop with counter-cultural commentary.

Run The Jewels
Banana Clipper feat. Big Boi
Run The Jewels
Get It

Continue reading

Related items: