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


One to watch: Cookiee Kawaii

Delivered... Kadish Morris | Scene | Sat 10 Oct 2020 2:00 pm

Blending Jersey club music, Chicago footwork and silky slow jams, the TikTok star is much more than one viral hit

Before it became an unexpected target of the Trump administration, TikTok was best known for catapulting songs like Cookiee Kawaii’s song Vibe (If I Back It Up) into virality, with more than 100m streams. The New Jersey singer’s tune feels tailor-made for the app: it stands at only 84 seconds, features whip-cracking sound effects, and the looped vocal snippets lend themselves to lip-syncing. But Cookiee’s songs are more than catchy internet ringtones; they are giving life to Jersey’s club scene – perhaps that’s why the rapper Tyga reached out to her to collaborate on a remix of the song.

Cookiee’s parents were both DJs, and she grew up listening to house music. She also performed in choirs while attending Catholic school. She has been recording music for more than 10 years and her latest EP Club Soda Vol 2, boasting raunchy lyrics, choppy vocals and speedy tempos, is inspired by the Baltimore club genre. It also has the energy of Chicago’s footwork (with its snares, drum kicks, and samples) and the silkiness of R&B slow jams.

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Mallrat, Powderfinger, Flowerkid and Cry Club: Australia’s best new music for October

Delivered... Nathan Jollyand Guardian Australia | Scene | Tue 6 Oct 2020 5:30 pm

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

Related: ‘Everything I do is about feelings’: Mallrat on making music for forgotten teens

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DJing formally offered at GCSE: a challenge to a ‘colonialised curriculum’

Delivered... Joe Muggs | Scene | Tue 8 Sep 2020 4:39 pm

An additional new syllabus of formal grade exams on DJ decks – the technology behind grime and hip-hop – has been welcomed for promoting greater inclusivity

When Austen Smart and his brother Scott were kids, they were driven amateur musicians, relentlessly making mixtapes and teaching themselves how to MC. Yet they had no connection to their school’s music department. “In fact, we only went in there for the first time when we went back years later and started teaching DJing, having had a relatively successful career in music,” says Austen.

Over the past five years, the pair have been trying to rectify this disconnect with their education initiative FutureDJs, working to get DJing recognised in formal musical education. Early on, they managed to get DJ decks recognised as an instrument for GCSE assessment, but creating the framework for this to work in practice was a bigger challenge. Last week, they succeeded: FutureDJs and the London College of Music Examiners published a syllabus that offers grade certifications on CDJs (decks for manipulating music from CDs or digital files). This puts them on a par with classical and jazz instruments, and provides a national standard for GCSE marking. The aim, says Sandra Allan of exam board AQA, is “allowing more accessibility and diversity, giving students opportunity they may not have considered before now”.

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

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San Cisco, Mo’Ju, Alex the Astronaut and more: Australian music for isolated times

Delivered... Guardian Staff | Scene | Sat 11 Jul 2020 1:58 am

Each week we add 15 (or so) new songs to a Spotify playlist to soundtrack your physical distancing amid coronavirus – and help artists you love get paid

As some states around Australia begin to slowly open back up and Victoria heads back into shutdown, Australia’s arts industry is still largely dormant – and the music industry was hit harder, and earlier, than most others. But until large gatherings and gigs happen again, there are small things you can do: it’s an imperfect solution but streaming Australian music can help.

Each week, in partnership with Sounds Australia, Guardian Australia adds some 15 new songs to a playlist for you to put on repeat.

Related: From Eskimo Joe to Hearts and Rockets: Australia's best new music for July

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Beck’s greatest songs – ranked!

Delivered... Ben Beaumont-Thomas | Scene | Thu 2 Jul 2020 3:00 pm

As the prince of American alternative turns 50, we select his finest moments, from bluegrass ballads to breakup masterpieces and ‘beefcake pantyhose’

Beck’s most recent album, Hyperspace, was a missed opportunity, a gorgeously produced modern R&B album with barely any strong tunes. But See Through is good – its wash of synths paired with a staccato chorus makes it evocative of Swae Lee.

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Beck’s greatest songs – ranked!

Delivered... Ben Beaumont-Thomas | Scene | Thu 2 Jul 2020 3:00 pm

As the prince of American alternative turns 50, we select his finest moments, from bluegrass ballads to breakup masterpieces and ‘beefcake pantyhose’

Beck’s most recent album, Hyperspace, was a missed opportunity, a gorgeously produced modern R&B album with barely any strong tunes. But See Through is good – its wash of synths paired with a staccato chorus makes it evocative of Swae Lee.

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Electronic virtuoso Thomas Piper’s insistent voice delivers in honest, powerful “Permission to Live”

Delivered... Peter Kirn | Artists,Scene | Sat 6 Jun 2020 1:01 am

Thomas Piper's Permission to Live is a powerful, personal statement. It comes from one of the few people who plays Ableton Push like his main instrument, from an artist who draws from a hundred skills.

The post Electronic virtuoso Thomas Piper’s insistent voice delivers in honest, powerful “Permission to Live” appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

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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