If you’re a frequent YouTuber, no doubt you’ve fallen down the digital rabbit hole of autoplay. It’s a feature of the site that generates a queue of similar videos for users to watch that plays as soon previous videos finish. The other day I had one of those rare autoplay sessions that can only be described as the closest thing I’ve experienced to a Vulcan mind meld in a long time. “Got It All (DJ Brace Remix)” by the Brown Bag Allstars (BBAS) is one of those songs I probably wouldn’t have found had I not been listening to CYNE on the recommendation of a friend. I forgot to turn off the autoplay function and before you knew it, I was listening to the hip hop collective of J57, The Audible Doctor, Koncept, Soul Khan, DeeJay Element, E Holla and DJ Goo that make up BBAS. I mean, wow. Just w-o-w. I realize I’m a little late to the party, but these guys are the real deal. Did you know they formed the group in a Brooklyn record store called Fat Beats? I don’t know how much more authentic you can get. Class act.
I tend to go through an electronic dance music drought once summer ends. The days of frolicking through festivals in crop tops and snapbacks are slowly replaced by winter parkas and—sadly—no festivals. But you know what? Sometimes cool weather begets cool music. Mark Knight and Adrian Hour recently released “Dance On My Heart” and I can’t get enough of the single. I’d even go as far to say that featured vocalist Indiana achieves Ice Queen status! (C’mon, you had to know I’d go there.)
This SG Lewis remix of Disclosure’s hit single “Magnets” was featured on my favourite BBC Radio 1 program the other day. I am blown away! Apparently, so was Lorde. She tweeted out her appreciation of the track to her some 4-million followers. Not bad for a 20-year-old producer from Liverpool, eh?
Yesterday Kendrick Lamar performed some of his biggest hits alongside Washington’s National Symphony Orchestra in front of a crowd of 2,500 at the Kennedy Center. I mean, this is what art is all about: collaboration, experimentation, creativity, imagination. Think about it, there’s some interesting work at play here. The joint performance by the NSO and Kendrick challenges our traditional view of high and low art. Really, orchestral rap? Damn straight, orchestral rap! What is genre anyway? It’s a question that has been raised by artists since we began slicing and dicing music into categories. What I take away from the NSO/Kendrick collab is that no matter how hard we try to slice and dice, some sounds—like resilient pound dogs—will always evade the bad and tag. The result? Something truly inspiring. Just listen to that sax around the 2:40 mark!
Canadian duo Majical Cloudz delivers once hell of a punch to the soul with their single “Downtown.” Not a dry eye in the room.
“The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars…” —Jack Kerouac
I’m loving this dreamy track from New Zealand’s Tamaryn. There’s something about shoegaze that always keeps me coming back. See ya next year, summer.