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New British producer, Ben Khan, finds that sweet spot between defiantly dark R&B, electronica and soul with his “Drive (Part 1)” single. Separating himself from the hoards of other bedroom producers with a sumptuously minimal approach to midnight soul, “Drive (Part 1)” sounds like the start of something very special.
Probably best known as the voice behind many of SBTRKT‘s greatest hits, Sampha Sisay is getting ready to embark on a journey of his own with the release of his solo debut, Dual. “Without” provides us with the first taste of what to expect from the six track EP, as Sampha’s hypnotizing vocals float beautifully over the ethereal, undulating backdrop. After just one listen, we’re convinced that we’re going to love whatever else we hear from the UK native when Dual finally drops on July 29th.
M.I.A. returns to the scene the only way she knows how, with a brash, blaring in-your-face new single, “Bring The Noize.” Paying tribute to the Public Enemy classic, Maya told Zane Lowe of BBC Radio 1 that the single is “coming out at a time where I think in America it’s kinda cool to hear something like this,” likely referencing the recent debacles involving the NSA and Edward Snowden. There’s no word on when M.I.A.’s fourth studio album, Matangi, will finally come out, but it’s pretty clear that she’s getting frustrated with the entire process right now, “It’s just one of those things where I’ve given up at this point. I was literally going to start putting out records from my bedroom. This was my last stab at it– I’m going to hand it in and wait for it to go out the way albums go out. If I didn’t get it out right now, I would’ve definitely exploded.” She also went on to mention that the album had been rejected for being “too positive,” whatever that means. Either way, we hope we get a chance to hear the album in its final form, through whichever delivery method she finally settles on.
As I’m sure you already know by now, Kanye West’s Yeezus has experienced a case of the leaks. Depending on how you look at it, that’s either a triumph for the internet or a failure for Ye. Yeezy’s been heralded as one of the most paranoid, tight-lipped artists’ out there, taking every measure to prevent his album from leaking, even going so far as to ensure that there would be no pre-order streams to get hacked into. Despite all his efforts though, the album wasn’t able to release on his own terms. Much mystery still remains around the album, with an official tracklist yet to be revealed. While we won’t be sharing the leak with you, I’m sure you can do some digging to easily find a copy on your own. Instead, we’re providing you with a chance to hear one of the album’s most talked about tracks, “I Am A God” which according to sources was produced by Daft Punk–one of the few artists to cause this much hysteria around the release of their album earlier this year. Check out the supposed final tracklist–including credits–below, and make sure to grab a copy of Yeezus when it officially drops on June 18th. Continue reading →
There’s no way to fully describe the joy of discovering a musical act for the first time. I’ll admit, when this first hit my inbox yesterday I was a bit skeptical. The UK’s answer to The Weeknd? Sounded too good to be true. After listening to the intro I was certainly intrigued, but four tracks deep into the mixtape I could say I was definitely hooked. While such comparisons aren’t unfounded, they don’t completely do the band justice. Yes, though deceiving, Xander The Great is actually comprised of two individuals: Eddy Atlantis on the boards, and Xander Taha handling the vocals and additional production. While the duo’s music can often match the grittiness and brooding nature of The Weeknd, their pieces are distinctly more expressive, allowing Xander to explore his full vocal range. And so, although Abel’s influences are sprinkled throughout the project, it’s evidently clear that the group is attempting to pave their own way in the musical realm. Check out a few of our favorites from Caves & Clouds below, and make sure to grab yourself a free download of the project as well.
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.