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Indian E-music – The right mix of Indian Vibes… » hip-hop


50 great tracks for September from BTS, Marie Davidson, Boygenius and more

Delivered... Ben Beaumont-Thomas | Scene | Mon 3 Sep 2018 10:00 am

From Empress Of’s modern classic to the magnificent angst of Boygenius, here are 50 new tracks you shouldn’t miss – read about our 10 favourites below, and subscribe to the playlists

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Bland on Blonde: why the old rock music canon is finished

Delivered... Michael Hann | Scene | Wed 29 Aug 2018 11:35 am

The 1970s brought about the idea that rock was important – and needed a canon of greatest albums to match. But in a digital age, is definitive musical excellence a ridiculous notion?

Rock’s flight into seriousness in the 1970s had many ill effects. There was prog rock, jamming, not releasing singles – and the idea that the couple of decades since Elvis had produced enough music of sufficient worth to produce a canon. In 1974, like a university English department sending out a reading list to undergraduates, NME polled its writers and published its list of the top 100 albums of all time. The Beatles’ Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was No 1, Bob Dylan’s Blonde on Blonde was No 2, the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds was No 3 – you could imagine just such a top three being published today.

A few period pieces aside – it’s a long time since Spirit, Frank Zappa, Johnny Winter, Joe Cocker or Country Joe and the Fish featured in a generalist greatest albums list – it set a template for the pop canon that has remained largely untouched for more than 40 years, by adhering to certain rules.

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Everybody get up! The dance crazes changing the world

Delivered... Lior Phillips | Scene | Fri 10 Aug 2018 11:00 am

Drake’s In My Feelings is the latest viral sensation to get people moving. And from black culture to queer identity to feminism, the global reach of pop choreography makes it the perfect way to change cultural perceptions

When In My Feelings hit No 1 in the US last month, it meant not only that Drake had racked up more weeks at the top of the chart than any male solo artist in 60 years, it also established the latest in a long history of viral dance crazes.

The trend was kicked off by Instagram comedian Shiggy dancing along to the track, his moves perfectly synced to Drake’s lines: hands shaped into a heart when Drake asks if Kiki loves him; turning an imaginary steering wheel for lyrics about “riding”; waggling his finger back and forth when Drake asks Kiki to say she will never leave his side. Instagram users around the world followed suit, mimicking those moves and adding their own flair, often hopping out of a moving car while doing so, to the horror of the police. The #InMyFeelings challenge was born, making it the latest instance in which pop and dance have proved inseparable.

#Mood : KEKE Do You Love Me ? @champagnepapi #DoTheShiggy #InMyFeelings

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50 great tracks for August from Travis Scott, Robyn, Halestorm and more

Delivered... Ben Beaumont-Thomas and Laura Snapes | Scene | Tue 7 Aug 2018 10:13 am

From Future’s cry for help to Jlin’s brutally funky footwork, here is the best of the month’s music – read about our 10 favourites and subscribe to all 50 via our playlist

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Contemporary album of the month: Walton: Black Lotus

Delivered... John Lewis | Scene | Fri 20 Jul 2018 7:15 am

The electronic minimalist composer takes apart the sonic signatures of grime music and reassembles them with clockwork precision

The writer Albert Goldman once observed that every dance craze – from ragtime to rumba to rave – tends to go through a similar life cycle. Each starts as slightly scandalous underground scene that is painted as a symptom of decadence and criminality. It then goes overground, reaching out beyond its core demographic. It then fades from the mainstream and starts a gradual process of gentrification, to be curated by ethnomusicologists and rare-groove archivists.

It’s a cycle we’ve seen repeated for more than a century: from tango to techno, from habanera to hip-hop. Weirdly, with grime – a music that’s been a part of the British musical landscape for nearly 20 years – all of these stages are still happening simultaneously. Grime is still scandalous (and parochial) enough to attract massive police attention, mainstream enough to spawn such huge stars as Stormzy and Skepta, yet gentrified enough to attract the attention of highbrow bloggers who’ll archive pirate radio recordings and rhapsodise about grime’s references to gamelan and Steve Reich.

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Lovebox review – Childish Gambino leads diverse corrective to Trump visit

Delivered... Natty Kasambala | Scene | Mon 16 Jul 2018 11:52 am

Gunnersbury Park, London
While SZA was delayed by the Trump protests, other artists were energised – including Childish Gambino, who scaled up his music to unprecedented size

The Trump visit – and subsequent protests – coinciding with Lovebox affected the festival in more ways than one. Besides SZA’s highly anticipated set being cut after just four songs, reportedly due to a late arrival because of the protests, the political events also inspired an air of resistance. From those donning anti-Trump protest gear to a rhetoric of encouragement among performers, including Childish Gambino who was “proud to see that big balloon”, a resounding optimism permeates Gunnersbury Park. The diversity of talented voices across the weekend, particularly given the festival’s notable US weighting, served as perfect opposition to political uncertainty arising here in the UK and across the Atlantic.

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50 great tracks for July from Drake, Ebony Bones, Low and more

Delivered... Ben Beaumont-Thomas and Laura Snapes | Scene | Tue 10 Jul 2018 10:58 am

From Nicki Minaj’s sex chat to Blawan’s masterful minimal techno, here are 50 great new tracks from across the musical spectrum. Read about our favourite 10 and subscribe to the playlist

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Get inspired by how Che Pope tracks live – and manages time

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Mon 9 Jul 2018 11:40 pm

Digital production isn’t just about electronic music – it’s about producing the likes of Preservation Hall Jazz Band, too. Here’s Che Pope on his “GSD: Get Sh*t Done” method.

And yes, that’s worth highlighting I thought not just because this live-tracked music recording of the ensemble is fun to watch, but because I like his rigorous approach to separating time and concerns.

Che Pope you may now as Che Vicious or Che Guevara. He’s worked with… well, so many people, from Lauryn Hill and The Fugees (taking me back) to later on Dr. Dre’s Aftermath to Kanye to Hans Zimmer.

So listen to the man. Actually, just as with Susan Rogers, figure the kind of personality who can work with all those very idiosyncratic personalities is able to keep some distance and objectivity. Sometimes our rockstar heroes may not be able to put things into words, but the producers who worked with them often can.

To highlight the time management part – not that I, uh, ever get challenged with trying to be half a dozen people at once – here’s what he recently told Universal Audio:

I did this thing a few years back I call “Taking Back Your Schedule,” where I made some firm decisions about, y’know, this is my phone call and email time. This is when I’m reachable. And this is when I go into creative mode without any interruptions, unless they’re urgent.

In general, mornings up to about 2pm are for business calls and emails and all that; 3pm on is for creating music. Look, if you’re going to do both — and in many ways you especially need to do both these days — you need to craft a system that works for you. Doing so will make a significant impact on your ability to be productive in your creative and business life.

Actually, I think it’s easy to look at that and think, okay, that’s just for successful producers who already have this balance thing worked out and other people working with them.

I’d say it’s probably even more important if you are under more pressure and in the DIY everything situation. Then you need time that isn’t connected to social media management or tax accounting – even if it’s just a half hour at the end of the day, if that half hour is sacred.

Che Pope was talking to Universal Audio, meanwhile, because they shot this beautiful live session. This makes me want to put aside some time this week to practice keys – and you thought the keyboard couldn’t be “expressive”:

Whatever the instruments, this really demonstrates how much can happen with live tracking. And the beauty of digital is, you can now model an entire studio worth of gear and take it with you on a compact laptop rig. That means here with the UA Apollo, they can track live as if the equipment were in the room – being a UA 610-B tube preamp, and here a Studer multitrack tape with Fairchild limiters.

At the same time, the cleanness of digital recording and the control that offers can still provide a fresh, modern sound. It’s interesting to see people get the modernity in comments – but then the Studer was meant to sound transparent; we’re just used to listening to poor copies on tape and poorly maintained vinyl, played on poor-calibrated/low quality playback equipment, and thinking of that as “vintage.” (Don’t get me wrong – I love horrible equipment, too! But you get the point.)

Maybe there’s some connection to the idea of time management and decision making. Here, you really capture a set of live performances without too much manipulation – and in the ambience of the room. That’s something you could experiment with in any idiom or genre; it still scales the music performance to human time. (Some similar thoughts on ensembles soon – and a parallel early approach to production – from Carl Craig.)

And keeping things at human scale is something we can all do.

More details on the process and thoughts:
Inside the mind of Che Pope / Apollo Artist Sessions [Universal Audio]

The post Get inspired by how Che Pope tracks live – and manages time appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Best albums of 2018 so far

Delivered... Ben Beaumont-Thomas | Scene | Wed 20 Jun 2018 7:00 am

Lily Allen dished on her divorce, Arctic Monkeys found their inner crooners, Cardi B earned her stripes, Pusha T teamed up with Kanye West and the Vaccines made an unexpected classic

As amusingly unfiltered as ever, Allen embraces the sunny disposition of Afro bashment and British rap, and pairs it with delicate, bruised and often dolorous songs about her divorce – an affecting combination.

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Parklife festival review – Manchester turns night to day with punishing party energy

Delivered... Daniel Dylan Wray | Scene | Mon 11 Jun 2018 1:44 pm

Heaton Park, Manchester
Liam Gallagher is incongruous, but prompts massive singalongs, while the xx and Confidence Man are other big successes

‘Who here is on drugs?” asks a member of Levelz, at 4.30 on Saturday afternoon. This may seem like an odd question, but at Parklife time feels mirrored, with the 11am-11pm festival feeling as if it’s 11pm-11am. Drugs seem to be ubiquitous; wide eyes, wonky gurns and euphoric grins cannot be hidden in the beaming sun. The Manchester rap collective then play the infectious Drug Dealer as part of a genre-hopping set.

With the crowd full of shirtless dudes, buckets of glitter and people wearing sparkly outfits, Parklife seems like Coachella relocated to Prestwich and sponsored by the North Face. There are a lot of stages: the tower block-shaped Valley, the Bronx-themed Elrow tent, the foliage-filled Palm House, the oil rig-resembling Temple (which shoots flames) and a giant airplane hangar. The production is impressive and the sound systems are pristine, with afternoon DJ sets from Jackmaster and Peggy Gou pushing their limits.

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50 great tracks for June from Christine and the Queens, Playboi Carti, the 1975 and more

Delivered... Ben Beaumont-Thomas and Laura Snapes | Scene | Wed 6 Jun 2018 10:00 am

From Troye Sivan’s ode to bottoming to Oneohtrix Point Never’s joyous electronic cheese, here are 50 tracks you shouldn’t be without this month – subscribe to the whole playlist and read about 10 of the best

Related: Sign up for the Sleeve Notes email: music news, bold reviews and unexpected extras

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Field Day review – shifting sounds tighten up London’s festival scene

Delivered... Chal Ravens | Scene | Sun 3 Jun 2018 12:28 pm

Brockwell Park, London
Under orders not to upset new neighbours, Field Day got strict with its headliners – pulling the plug on an overtime Erykah Badu – while serving a jazzy lineup of fresh stars

When the sound gets shut off on the first night of Field Day, Erykah Badu has just peeled herself off the floor, where she’s been serenading us on her belly like a teenager on a late-night phone call. The neo soul queen may be upfront about her age – tweaking the lyrics of Me to sing: “This year I turned 46” – but she still has the youthful insouciance that brought her acclaim as a thrilling live performer in the 90s. Drowned by an oversized cream suit and enormous wodge of crimped hair, Badu is the sparky counterpoint to her ultra-tight backing band, bashing out beats on a drum machine as she introduces “the 90s babies” to classics like Next Lifetime and Tyrone.

But she’s late, and the curfew comes anyway – after barely an hour, she’s on a mid-set high during Bag Lady when the plug is pulled. It was always going to be this way; Badu isn’t renowned for her punctuality, for a start, but Field Day, now in its 11th year, is under strict orders to keep a lid on the noise and chaos. This is the festival’s first appearance in south London after events behemoth AEG nudged it out of its slot in east London’s Victoria Park. Residents of the affluent area around Brockwell Park were quick to raise the alarm, warning of vandalism and damage to biodiversity.

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Summer 2018 playlists, chosen by Goat Girl, Justice, Hot Chip and more

Delivered... Interviews by Kathryn Bromwich and Sam Lewis | Scene | Sun 3 Jun 2018 10:00 am

Musicians reveal the songs they turn to when the sun hits the sky – listen to their hot tracks below

Bandleader and saxophone and clarinet player; member of the Comet Is Coming and Sons of Kemet

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The big bangers: grime smashes into the Hadron Collider

Delivered... Tara Joshi | Scene | Tue 22 May 2018 5:44 pm

They rapped in its tunnels and played instruments made out of old science equipment. Could this be Cern’s most amazing experiment yet?

‘Anyone attending the performances,” says Jack Jelfs, “will find themselves in a 12-dimensional quantum superposition.” This superposition, adds the artist, will contain three overlaid elements: our mythic past, our scientific present and our unknown future. “So,” concludes Jelfs, “you may wish to prepare appropriately.”

Jelfs is talking about The Wave Epoch, a high-concept performance piece that is the result of four British artists spending time at Cern (the European Organisation for Nuclear Research), where particles are accelerated and bashed into each other to reveal the secrets of the universe. When it’s described as “something between an installation, a music performance and a rave”, The Wave Epoch might not sound like anything particularly new, but it all becomes a lot more original when you realise it was conceived 175 metres underneath the Franco-Swiss border in the presence of the Large Hadron Collider, the biggest single piece of machinery in existence.

Scientists were asking me questions like: ‘Do you understand what we’re made of as humans?'

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What, no Whitney? The biggest Rock & Roll Hall of Fame snubs ever – ranked!

Delivered... Alexis Petridis | Scene | Thu 19 Apr 2018 12:00 pm

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame recognises the world’s greatest popular music stars – except for the ones it doesn’t, from Kate Bush to Kraftwerk

This week saw the latest batch of inductees into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio, but – like many other uncategorisable, expansive, eclectic and influential singer-songwriters – Björk was nowhere to be seen.

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