It’s safe to say that we’re full-on Little People fanboys and girls over here at TMN. Our first listen through Mickey Mouse Operation all those years ago lead us down a path filled with glee-filled, full-album sessions, stopping only when someone painfully interrupted that start-to-finish experience.
If you’re not familiar with this inventive artist, we’re going to do our damnedest to try and get you acquainted over the next month, starting with today.
People are often surprised when they find out Laurent Clerc, aka Little People, grew up in the Swiss Alps. With a style stemming from an early adoration of hip hop, it’s not easy to fathom a vast selection being available in that part of the world. No matter how it happened though, it did, and it laid the foundation for the glorious instrumental electronic music we’ve come to know and love from him.
Now focused on organic instrumentation, Clerc’s music has come to be an ingenious combination of warm synths, intricate melodies, string arrangements, and well-articulated samples.
We don’t want to lead you too far in today though. We’re planning on saving some of our insight for our upcoming interview with him. Until then, start by watching one of our favorite videos of all time, followed by a deep dive into his SoundCloud.
Atlanta’s Rome Fortunehas pushed boundaries in hip-hop for the last year in more than one way. His work with pioneering electronic producer Four Tet is just one great example making for some of our favorite tracks of 2014. Today, we get possibly their best collaboration to date with “Leaders,” an accurate title for both artists. Starting with some classic-sounding boom bap percussion, Four Tet adds layers of atmospheric keys and arpeggiated synths to take the backdrop to outer space. Equipped with just the right instrumental, Rome shines with a delivery that dynamically switches between matter-of-fact and melodic as he motivates others to take chances in the same way he has. It’s the type of tune that will inspire you to chase your dreams.
Fittingly, Rome also announced his new iPhone app today, which will allow fans to chat with him as well as receive exclusive content and browse his whole library of music. You can download it for free here.
Fresh off the release of a stellar mixtape in Thurlian, San Francisco’s A-1 is keeping the quality content coming with his latest visuals for “Sunday Love,” one of our favorites from the project. Shot fully on a GoPro while on vacation in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, the video perfectly matches the laid-back and radiant energy of the track. If you’re not yet familiar with A-1, this should serve as the perfect introduction to his positive, energetic lyricism as well as the ultimate addition to your Sunday soundtrack. Peep below and check A-1’s upcoming tour dates after the jump. Continue reading →
Chitown native SD had a breakout year in 2014 with the release of his hit street single, “Circles.” Today the track finally receives the remix treatment, with a refreshing new update courtesy of fellow Windy City resident Smoko Ono and Soulection’s Mr Carmack. Those three names alone should be enough to convince you to give this one a listen. This reinterpretation preserves much of the essence of the original, but it’s further amplified through an ethereal mix of synths that’ll have your head spinning in, well “Circles”. Stream the hypnotic tune above and be on the lookout for more from these promising producers in the near future.
If you’re old enough to drink, ask yourself what you were doing at 20. Were you making songs and music videos like the Los Angeles resident Rav Mojo? Probably not. The emerging act has brought forth his first single called “Godzilla” that takes influence from the rapper’s New York origins.
Rav offers up an intriguing visual partner with a hard hip-hop record. A string of experiments coincide with the rapper’s insatiable flow in the video. Any music that has dark undertones is something that sticks out to our ears, which is why the beat, lyrics and video all had us ninjas impressed. Expect more soon as this is the first public project that Rav Mojo has released.
Chicago Sight N’ Sound is an ambitious endeavor between 119 Productions & The FDC meant to showcase the city’s best and brightest up-and-comers. Plenty of familiar faces are scattered throughout the two-part project, including Mick Jenkins, Lucki Eck$, Saba, The O’My’s, Kami De Chukwu, Jean Deaux, Ibn Inglor, Smoko Ono, Jarred AG, Dally Auston,Martin $ky and many more. The C.S.S. takes advantage of some of these more well established names to introduce listeners to some newer talent they may have never even heard of, which is essentially is the true goal of this undertaking. In fact, some of the project’s best moments come from artists who may have never crossed your radar before.
Along with the mixtapes which make up the “Sound” portion of the project, there’s also a visual aspect which can be found on 119’s official website. After checking out the full scope of The C.S.S, it’s pretty clear that the teams over at 119 Productions and The FDC poured their heart and soul into making this project possible, and it’s not a stretch to say this is one of the most important projects to come out of the Chi all year, if only to show that the city can really unite together as one.
We’ve selected a few of our favorites from both mixtapes below, but we encourage you to check them out in their entirety over at the Chicago Sight N’ SoundSoundCloud page.
Welcome back to the Hip-Hop Dojo, everyone. By now we assume you all know the protocol, but in case you need a refresher, the Hip-Hop Dojo is a monthly feature split it up into three distinct components: the artist spotlight, our monthly playlist and our mixtape roundup. May was a busy month for hip-hop, there’s no denying that. Our latest edition of the Hip-Hop Dojo is a little lighter on the playlist side, but it’s definitely not lacking in quality tracks. Meanwhile, our mixtape section is loaded, with about 20 different projects we believe you absolutely need to check out.
The selection process for our monthly spotlight is never easy, and there’s often an internal struggle as we narrow down the list of names we’d like to approach about the opportunity. When we found out that Mayo had re-emerged onto the scene recently though, we couldn’t think of a better choice to be our Spotlight Artist for the month of May. The LA via Chicago transplant recently ended an eight month hiatus with the release of his latest song, “My Girl”, the first in a revolutionary series of singles that will comprise his Summer Story. You may or may not have heard of Mayo, and one look at his SoundCloud will let you know that the man likes to keep his releases tight and his lips even tighter. We had a chance to sit down and chat with Mayo and he opened up to us about everything from long distance relationships to dropping out of college and his breast cancer awareness campaign. After hearing from the man himself, we promise you’ll never forget the name.
Read on to find out what Mayo had to say, and afterwards click over to the next page to listen to this month’s playlist. On our final page you’ll find reviews of all of our favorite projects to drop during the month of May.