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


Lockdown playlists for every mood, part three: chosen by Bat for Lashes, Neil Tennant, Jason Williamson and Mike Skinner

Delivered... Jude Rogers | Scene | Sun 24 May 2020 1:00 pm

Music stars pick soundtracks to get you through the next phase - for moments of melancholy, optimism, escapism and contemplation

At her home of three years in Los Angeles, Natasha Khan and her boyfriend are having a particularly unusual lockdown, because she is six-and-half-months pregnant. “Going through all this on our own is a bit sad,” she says. “But weirdly, it’s a bit of nesting time, anyway. It’s been good to bed down.” She’s also been loving the “incredible colours” of spring blooming all around: the jasmine, tropical plants and orange poppies on the mountains.

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Lockdown playlists for every mood, part two: chosen by Norah Jones, Joe Talbot and Flohio

Delivered... Jude Rogers | Scene | Sun 24 May 2020 11:00 am

Music stars pick soundtracks to get you through the next phase - for when you’re feeling peaceful, spiritual - or full of energy

In lockdown in New York, Norah Jones and her husband, Pete, have started a new musical tradition: playing Christmas songs every Sunday. Their children – a six-year-old and a four-year-old whose names Jones has always kept anonymous – aren’t impressed. “We’re basically doing it to cheer up the grownups in the house. The kids also don’t like the fact they don’t get any presents! ”

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Lockdown playlists for every mood, part one: chosen by Jarvis Cocker, Haim and Lianne La Havas

Delivered... Jude Rogers | Scene | Sun 24 May 2020 8:00 am

Music stars pick soundtracks to get you through the next phase, for when you’re feeling angry, in need of a boost - or ready for a dance

Cocker and his partner, Kim, have been keeping their spirits up during lockdown by doing domestic discos on Instagram Live. “You’ve got to go for the uplifting music, haven’t you?”, Cocker says from his home outside Sheffield. “The world’s on pause, after all. It’s time to remind yourself you’re lucky to be here.”

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One to watch: Jockstrap

Delivered... Jude Rogers | Scene | Sun 12 Apr 2020 5:30 am

The London-based duo serve up retro-tinged experimental pop in a fantastical second EP

Bands often have names that summon up their sound, but not Jockstrap. Far from a macho, musky proposition, they write fantastically eccentric songs that are often about sex. They consist of Georgia Ellery (vocals/violin) and Taylor Skye (vocals/electronics), who met at London’s Guildhall School of Music in 2016 and formed the band a year later.

Jockstrap’s music is experimental pop cast in a retro sheen; ghosts of bygone bands such as Black Box Recorder and Broadcast can be heard in Ellery’s vocals and lyrics. These songs are more radical, wonky things altogether, however. Melodies warp and distort on naive-sounding analogue synthesisers. Rhythms and arrangements shift constantly. Glimmers of hip-hop, techno and rave also lurk in odd corners.

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Pi’erre Bourne review – rapper-producer with an eye on Kanye’s crown

Delivered... Daniel Dylan Wray | Scene | Tue 18 Feb 2020 1:30 pm

Yes, Manchester
Known for beats for 21 Savage, Young Thug and Chance the Rapper, the South Carolinian producer dances gracefully through genres in his live show

‘When I say, ‘Yo Pi’erre’, you say, ‘You wanna come out here?’” instructs Pi’erre Bourne to an obliging audience as he steps on stage. The line – a dialogue sample from The Jamie Foxx Show – has become the rapper and producer’s tagline since it featured on Playboi Carti’s Magnolia, a monster hit propelled by Bourne’s game-changing earworm of a beat.

The South Carolinian’s board skills have rocketed him upwards, and he is now one of the most sought-after producers in hip-hop, working with Lil Uzi Vert, 21 Savage, Young Thug, Chance the Rapper and even his hero Kanye West. It was West’s dual role as producer and rapper that Bourne once looked to shadow, saying: “I could really be the next Kanye type of star.” In 2019, he released his major label debut, The Life of Pi’erre 4, a T-Pain-esque overload of Auto-Tune crooning above deft production skills.

Touring until 19 February.

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Bionic synthesis: artists make music with a prosthetic arm, eye motion

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Scene | Mon 17 Feb 2020 6:47 pm

Accessibility in music can mean expanding expression beyond what is normally physically possible. For one artist, that means jacking a prosthesis as CV – for another, overcoming paralysis to make music with eyes alone.

Bertolt Meyer was already producing and DJing, even with a birth condition that left him without the lower portion of one arm. But he hacked his arm prosthesis to jack control voltage straight into his modular – connecting to synthesis more directly than most before would even imagine.

In the case of Pone, a seminal French hip-hop producer, the disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) left the artist without muscle control of his body. Using an eye interface, he has managed to publish a book on the disease.

But he has also turned to music production, connecting open, hackable eye tracking solutions to Ableton Live. The eyes act as a (very slow) mouse – in this case, the screen-and-pointer GUI paradigm of the software is an aid to accessibility. Inspired by Kate Bush, he has made an instrumental album called Kate & Me entirely using his eyes.

And … wow – it’s everything you’d expect from a hip-hop innovator like Pone, astonishing as you think of the effort that went into production. It’s a testament to the power of musical imagination, and the potential of that imagination to connect in any way it can with the outside world.

The album is a free download from the album site:

Check the release party:

The Guardian has an extensive article on his story. There’s some sobering information, too – like the lack of French insurance support for the condition.

Pone: the paralysed producer making music with his eyes [The Guardian]

There’s not nearly enough attention paid to accessibility in the music tech industry. It’s not some novel edge case – it hits right at the core of what music technology for expression is fundamentally about. (And even accessibility defined in narrow terms is bigger than you think – so for instance 1 in 20 KOMPLETE KONTROL users take advantage of features for the visually impaired.)

I wrote about this in a blog story for Native Instruments, which deals with their products but also a lot about the process for developing these features – it’s relevant to anyone reading here who makes music products. (And even though this deals with vision accessibility, there are lessons relevant to other matters, too.)

Designing for the visually impaired

It’s also worth reading Ashley Elsdon’s writing on the topic, like this story for us:

The post Bionic synthesis: artists make music with a prosthetic arm, eye motion appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

Pone: the paralysed producer making music with his eyes

Delivered... Anaïs Brémond | Scene | Fri 14 Feb 2020 9:00 am

Motor neurone disease has left the French hip-hop artist totally immobile – yet he still found the means to compose a remarkable album inspired by Kate Bush

Interviewing an artist who can’t speak is an unusual, almost meditative experience. I am in a small town outside Toulouse in south-western France to meet Pone, a beatmaker who helped shape the sound of French hip-hop in the 1990s. As part of Marseille’s seminal group Fonky Family, he produced hits such as Art De Rue, Sans Rémission and the hair-raising Mystère et Suspense, as well as 113’s hypnotic single Hold Up. But we are here to discuss Kate & Me, an instrumental beat album created as an ode to Kate Bush, and the first album in history to be entirely produced through an eye-tracking device.

The silence in Pone’s bedroom is punctuated by the amplified sound of a breathing machine, his torso slowly moving up and down under a blanket, and the playful mewing of his daughters downstairs. Every so often, his wife, Wahiba, stands up from the couch at the sound of her husband’s computerised voice. “Eyes, please,” is a request to soothe his eyes with sterilised pads.

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Coachella 2020 announced with headliners Rage Against the Machine, Travis Scott and Frank Ocean

Delivered... Ben Beaumont-Thomas | Scene | Fri 3 Jan 2020 11:06 am

Lana Del Rey, Calvin Harris and 21 Savage to also appear at California event that kicks off festival season

Coachella, the most high-profile music festival in the US, has announced its full lineup for 2020.

Political rap-rock band Rage Against the Machine headline the Friday of the two-weekend festival in April (each weekend featuring the same lineup), as part of their first tour since 2011. The band, which formed in 1991, released four albums before splitting in 2000. They re-formed in 2007, with their first concert at Coachella that year. Two years later, following a fan campaign, they scored an unlikely UK Christmas No 1 with their expletive-filled track Killing in the Name.

Weekend 1 is sold out Register for Weekend 2 presale at https://t.co/x8PRTb12Eh. Presale starts Monday 1/6 at 12pm PT pic.twitter.com/QPRYnJVe9P

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Ben Lee, Georgia Maq, Tame Impala: Australia’s best new music for January

Delivered... Nathan Jolly and Guardian Australia | Scene | Fri 3 Jan 2020 2:01 am

Each month we add 20 of the best new Australian songs to our Spotify playlist. Read about 10 of our favourites below – and subscribe on Spotify, which updates with the full list at the start of each month

Related: Woodford folk festival review – a much-needed moment of positivity and reprieve

Related: How American pop star Halsey responded to the bushfire crisis faster than Australia’s prime minister

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Guardian albums and tracks of 2019: how our writers voted

Delivered... Electronic music | The Guardian | Scene | Fri 20 Dec 2019 7:00 am

We’ve announced our favourite releases of the year – now the Guardian’s music critics reveal their top picks of 2019

Albums
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – Ghosteen
Michael Kiwanuka – Kiwanuka
Sturgill Simpson – Sound and Fury
Billie Eilish – When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?
Slowthai – Nothing Great About Britain
Sharon Van Etten – Remind Me Tomorrow
Fontaines DC – Dogrel
Sault – 5
Tyler, the Creator – Igor
Dave – Psychodrama
Weyes Blood – Titanic Rising
Nilüfer Yanya – Miss Universe
Chemical Brothers – No Geography
Brittany Howard – Jaime
Little Simz – Grey Area
Jamila Woods – Legacy! Legacy!
International Teachers of Pop – International Teachers of Pop
Angel Olsen – All Mirrors
Anderson .Paak – Ventura
These New Puritans – Inside the Rose

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The 50 greatest Christmas songs – ranked!

Delivered... Michael Hann | Scene | Thu 5 Dec 2019 1:00 pm

From John Fahey, the Sonics and the Waitresses to Slade, Wizzard and Mariah Carey, we count down the best festive numbers

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Lizzo, Billie Eilish and Lil Nas X top 2020 Grammy nominations

Delivered... Ben Beaumont-Thomas | Scene | Wed 20 Nov 2019 3:50 pm

Lizzo scores eight nominations with Eilish and Lil Nas X on seven, but British artists largely snubbed in major categories

The 17-year-old pop sensation Billie Eilish has become the youngest artist to be nominated in all four of the most prestigious Grammy award categories: record, album and song of the year, and best new artist.

Her gothic, innovative single Bad Guy, which topped the US charts, is nominated in the song and record categories, while her similarly chart-topping album When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? is nominated for the album prize. She completed a sweep of the top categories with a best new artist nomination, and has six nominations in all. Her album engineers got a nod in the best engineered album category, including her brother and collaborator Finneas, who received three nominations.

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50 great tracks for October by Alicia Keys, DaBaby, Angel Olsen and more

Delivered... Ben Beaumont-Thomas and Laura Snapes | Scene | Tue 1 Oct 2019 10:00 am

An epic harp workout and an unearthed Japanese ambient gem sit alongside new rap from DaBaby and James Massiah in our playlist of the month’s best new music – read about our 10 favourites below

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Sampa the Great: The Return review

Delivered... Rachel Aroesti | Scene | Fri 13 Sep 2019 10:30 am

(Ninja Tune)
She’s charismatic and her challenges to western orthodoxy are welcome, but Sampa needs to find a fresher sonic palette

Over the past decade, hip-hop has relaxed its borders - welcoming in a flood of new styles, characters and concepts. One thing that still unites most rappers, however, is braggadocio; the aggressive, occasionally tiresome boasting that stems from rap’s battle past. As a Zambia-born, Botswana-raised, Australia-based woman, Sampa Tembo belongs firmly in rap’s inclusive modern age – but as her moniker suggests, she’s no stranger to a spot of rampant egotism. “I’m boutta blow up soon / I ain’t wasting time chilling with you”, she crows on Grass Is Greener, before describing herself in more biblically bombastic terms – as “The end / Beginning and on / and on” – over the intricate percussion of Dare to Fly.

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One to watch: Velvet Negroni

Delivered... Tara Joshi | Scene | Sat 24 Aug 2019 2:00 pm

The US singer-songwriter’s free-ranging debut is informed by the constraints of a strict evangelical upbringing

Artists such as Velvet Negroni are emblematic of the disintegration of distinct genres in the streaming age. Real name Jeremy Nutzman, under his current moniker he makes gorgeously expansive sounds that meld and melt the lines between everything from lush synthpop, experimental electronic and choppy rap to reggae and dub.

Born in Minneapolis, Nutzman was adopted by a white evangelical Christian family and boxed in by stringent rules. From the age of five he would play classical piano for at least an hour a day; secular music was forbidden. In an interview with the Fader, he described discovering a pile of abandoned CDs on his neighbour’s lawn, though all his attempts to hoard such treasures – even hiding them in air vents – were found out.

Velvet Negroni’s Neon Brown is released on 4AD on 30 August

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