We have made this point at The Music Ninja perhaps a hundred times over, but it seems to be a growing trend. Teenagers are producing some of the most forward-thinking, genre-bending electronic music being put out in the EDM landscape at the moment. 18 year old Ollie Mckendrick-Ness or more simply OMN comes to us today with his latest self-released single “Betwixt”, and it only serves to perpetuate that stereotype. On “Betwixt”, OMN slowly creates a sonic soundscape that pulls in its listener by employing acoustic elements over a swift, downtempo “boom-pap” drum kick and what sounds to be a subdued MIDI controller hook. Parts of OMN’s instrumentation recall older Sigur Ros, but with an experimental pop-sensibility one would expect to find from a more freshly faced group like Youth Lagoon. It is just a beautiful listen, and as an added bonus can be taken home for your listening pleasure. Download “Betwixt” above.
Based around an infectious rhythm that balances a seriously funky, head-nodding groove with sleek synthesis, Jungle’s debut single, “Platoon”, is an immersive introduction to the London based collective. Set for a July 15 release on Chess Club records, the video matches the restrained groove of the single with an amped up and uninhibited B-Girl routine by the coolest six year old in town. Check it out above.
It’s only perfect that Fyfe‘s latest single is titled “Conversations” because that’s exactly what he’s sparked since the very first moment he stepped foot onto the music scene with “Solace.” From a virtual nobody to one of the most revered artists of 2013, Fyfe has endeared himself to listeners with his captivating vocals and brilliant lyrics. As displayed through his artwork, Dixon is aiming for a far more colorful effort here, blending together a myriad of different genres to produce yet another infectious tune. Indeed, the one thing that truly impresses us about Fyfe is his ability to maintain a consistent sound, yet each of his songs stands out clearly for the rest. It’s a true testament to just how talented the man really is. We expect big things from Fyfe going forward, and if you haven’t had a chance to check out last month’s Solace EP, make sure to give it a listen here.
British electronic instrumentalists Augustus Ghost and Throwing Snow, just put the finishing touches on their collaborative debut full-length album, A Small Murmation, under stage moniker Snow Ghosts, which is getting polished up and mastered as we speak for a July 8 release on Houndstooth Records. Already being championed with invitations to support live for the likes of uber-tastemakers in Thom Yorke and Bonobo mostly on the back of 2011’s Lost at Sea EP, Snow Ghosts’ ominous music clearly effects those who have been privy to their unique blend of folk-pop, black-metal, and electronica. Their latest single “Secret Garden”, so far the second coming from A Small Murmation, balances Augustus ghost’s stark and rich vocals with cyclical melody and a chillwave inspired beat that seems to have developed a case of the “trip-hop’s”. You can pre-order Snow Ghosts’ forthcoming long-player here, and as always stream the track above.
The Weeknd gives us a 2 for 1 special today with the premiere of new material from his upcoming Universal debut, Kiss Land.Along with the album’s title track, fans are also treated to the full version of “John Carpenter,” another new song that was previewed earlier this week. For the first half, Abel takes us on a haunting voyage to a creepy location known as “Kiss Land,” complete with cliché horror movie screams. Around the three minute mark, the track segues over to the equally ominous “John Carpenter,” which is sure to please longtime fans of The Weeknd. While Kiss Land has no set release date yet, we look forward to its release later this year. As an added bonus, we’ve also included “Gifted,” a recent collaboration between The Weeknd and FrenchMontana.
Over the weekend hip-hop fans were provided with a real treat from one Ms. LaurynHill. Nearly fifteen years removed from the release of her classic debut solo album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, Hill is finally one step closer to the release of a follow-up project. Fans have been clamoring for new material from the former Fugees standout for years now, and although it’s been awhile, it’s clear Lauryn has not lost a step. While the music isn’t exactly being released on her terms (check out StereoGum for the full details on the story), the quality hasn’t suffered as a result of it. Hill has long struggled with maintaining the balance between artistic integrity and succumbing to the greed and corruption prevalent in the music industry, which she alludes to in her analysis of a “Neurotic Society.” In a world of Nicki Minajs and Gucci Manes, Lauryn Hill is truly a breath of fresh air. Her rhymes, are sharp, poignant and observant, while her dizzying flow can often leave you baffled as you scramble to find the rewind button. Lauryn’s sophomore effort has no set release date yet, but if this single is any indication, the year of the comeback is truly upon us (despite what LL Cool Jmight think).
Don’t let the name fool you here; this isn’t your typical LupeFiasco. If you’ve been following Lupe on Twitter over the last couple of months, you’ll no doubt have noticed that his feelings towards hip-hop haven’t exactly been positive lately. Accordingly so, it seems he’s decided to take a brief break from rap music to pursue his SNDCLSH side-project alongside partner Sky Gellatly. Although it may seem strange to fans of Lupe, this isn’t his first time branching out from the rap game, as he also had a rock band known as Japanese Cartoon not too long ago.
Similar to his work on Japanese Cartoon, Lupe takes over the role of lead vocalist here as well. “Thieves” is definitely an admirable effort from a man most wouldn’t associate with electronic music outside of his mixtapes. Then again, that’s what might have helped make this transition so natural for him. Lupe described how the evolution from emcee to DJ first began in an interview early last year,
I got an offer to DJ like a year-and-a-half ago,” he reveals. “It was something that I was good at, so it was like I got tired of playing other people’s music so it’s like, I might as well make my own dance music. It should be good.”
Seems like a simple enough answer from a man as talented as Lupe. Why don’t you judge for yourself by taking a listen to the single above? If you like it, make sure to check out some more SNDCLSH material over on their SoundCloud and grab the single on iTunes.