The Mainstream May Have Found a Hero

kid sister

Nine times out of ten when a previously underground-ish artist makes the cross over to mainstream music, it almost entirely ruins their image in the eyes of the truly musically zealous, and though I’m continually trying to deny the fact that publicity can change an artist in my own eyes, I fear that my attempts are becoming more and more pathetic with each new development in the industry. After having witnessed the nomination of Justice’s remix of MGMT‘s Electric Feel for the category “Best Remixed Recording of 2009”, it has become impossible for me to believe that ceremonies like the Grammies even make an attempt to represent the outstanding achievements in the industry (due to the fact that naming the aforementioned remix the “best of 2009” proves a massive ignorance to a large collection of tracks more worthy of the title); Rather, the nominations are probably derived from a small pool of artists who have, at this point in time, already become well known enough to draw in the required viewer quota, and thus ensure full and complete payment to the men in suits. Not cool.

But don’t let my annoying pessimism get to you. Despite these unfortunate ulterior motives that permeate the industry, it’s every artist’s duty to cling to the belief that at some point in time, the structure of our current system will be gutted and rewritten, and after seeing a couple of the artists that are currently on the rise, I feel it is safe to say that time could very well be quite soon.

Kid Sister

dreamdate

At this time last year, we were just beginning to witness the start of our adorable Chicago hip-hop visionary, Kid Sister’s career. No doubt, we were all quite aware (due both to the fact that nearly every track she released was at some point melded into a dirty electro remix, and to [bleh] Kanye West’s guest drop on Pro Nails), that she was quite a bit more than a passing fad, however, I don’t think any of us could have predicted the extent to which her sassy vocals would travel. Over the last few months, Kid sister has been spoon fed to me through every media outlet I can fathom, including, but not limited to, every music related site on the internet (and that includes both the ones run by the kids with the dunks and the kids with fedoras), the radio, and even (gasp) MTV, and while a turn of events like this one would normally have me on my knees, wishing it weren’t so, in the case of Kid Sister, I couldn’t be happier. Something about her refusal to dwell on the overplayed and heavily promoted current hip hop style gives me the confidence to believe Kid Sister won’t let her tracks be tainted by the grimy hands of the media, and that being the case, I don’t believe I could think of a more suitable artist to put a stop to the totalitarian reign of the great (yet not necessarily good) Kanye West as the dominant and recurring artist of the industry.

I advise you to pay close attention to this first track, seeing as it’s the first single off her debut album entitled Dream Date, and it could very well be the tune you’ll be humming whilst your impressionable eyes make note of the next trendy fashion statement. (Although if it’s anything like those ridiculous shutter shades, there’s a good chance this post is going to be rewritten with a very dissimilar connotation.)

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Kid Sister – Family Reunion (Feat. David Banner)

And while were on the subject, can I mention how much I love the fact that Kid Sister is always down to drop a verse on a remix? No one did that before she made it cool…

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WTF feat. Pase Rock and Kid Sister – Nadastrom On Drugs Remix

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Green Velvet – Shake and Pop (W/ Kid Sister’s Guest Drop)

Back On Track, and Ready For the Nite

Deepest apologies for having nearly disappeared for almost a week; I’m finally on the mend after a bit of an illness, which, when combined with far too many hours of work, has proven overwhelming. On the positive side of things, however, my lack of updates has allowed me to build up a substantial collection of goodies that have been kept in their cages and away from trouble for far too long. Naturally, approach these tracks with caution; They do like to pounce, and could leave you feeling very confused and unprepared come Monday morning.

Nite Cells

In all honesty, this first act, a couple of Hollywood producers working under the name Nite Cells, had me a bit confused at first: For a reason that I have not yet come to understand, they call themselves minimalists, yet the first 15 seconds of any of the tracks they have up for preview on their Myspace will not only beg to differ, but they’ll leave you wondering why Boys Noize hasn’t decided to hop in the same boat and call himself a minimalist as well. Nite Cell’s latest track, which happens to be a remix of the Division Kent tune “L’Heure Bleue” (a track that was covered a few weeks back), is on par with some of the heaviest, grimiest pieces of electro I’ve heard, and building on that, it seems as though the boys might well have uncovered a well guarded technique that is (at least in my opinion) sure to give Justice‘s formerly exclusive twangy, slap bass synth a run for its money. I’ve got a strange feeling that Nite Cell’s could be in for heavy dose of success quite soon.

(Speaking of Justice, is it just me, or does anyone else see the ironic resemblance between these Hollywood kids, and their Parisian peers?)

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MP3: Division Kent – L’heure Bleue (Nite Cells Roquefort remix)

Soulwax, MGMT, and other Exciciting News

It’s been a while since I’ve made any sort of comment on the swelling sea of fists that is mainstream electro, but experience has recently allowed me to realize that mainstream music is (in most cases) mainstream, for a particularly solid reason: It’s damn good. And this, my friends, is precisely the reason that the Belgian phenomenon known as Soulwax is causing such a commotion with their shows as of late. The humble group have borrowed from the likes of MGMT and created a very nicely rounded remix (of which we’re lucky enough to have a decent quality pre-release recording) that has more than enough power push all your buttons at once. Soulwax provides their familiar mystical, progressive-electro touch, which is then fused with a magically curious MGMT nostalgia, and after hearing the result for the first time, I’d go so far as to say you might find yourself torn between whether you’d rather be getting down and dirty with all the hot bodies around you, or simply pondering the concepts of existential thought. Either way, make sure your seatbelt is fastened before (and I must stress before) you choose to download this track, because you’re in for a (pardon the cliche) wild ride.

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MP3: MGMT – Kids (Soulwax Nite remix bootleg)

While on the subject of Soulwax, it’s worth mentioning that the boys have recently completed a full length film entitled “Part of the Weekend Never Dies” (which should make sense to those of you who have indulged yourselves with the renowned “Nite Versions”) with hopes that they might be able to “capture a scene through Soulwax, not the other way round.” (Which I’ve taken to mean that they might be documenting a tour as seen through their own eyes?) Assuming you’re as excited as I am, you can check out a preview, as well as enter a drawing to receive one of ten free copies of the film at DazelDigital.

And on that note, I feel I should close for the time being; Late nights are proving difficult for my recovering mind to handle. Keep in touch, as I should have the second half of this post up soon. Hopefully someone out there is sweating double time to make up for my absence. 🙂

The Beginning of Something Beautiful

If I were to quit listening to, blogging about, and living for music today, I’m proud to say that I would, in fact, die happy, for today I have discovered what I consider to be the most perfect blend of sounds to have graced the many ears on this earth in years. Naturally, you’ll have to excuse me if you don’t completely share my idea of beauty and finesse in the way of sound, but for myself, and those of you who can fall in love with the sensitive magic of artists like Sigur Ros just as easily as you can the sweaty pounding of well crafted electro, I’m proud to present to you the most perfectly crafted combination of all that there is to enjoy in this word: The Deer Tracks.

The Deer Tracks

Essentially, the title says it all: The electronic duo made up of the Swedish David Lehnberg and Elin Lindfors will pull you into a white world of emotion that can only be described by the image of deer tracks on snow. They’ve taken the haunting softness and gentle horns and bells of the Icelandic, Sigur Ros, and have managed to combine it with the electronic instruments similar to those used by MGMT, M83, or even Air, without losing even the slightest bit of emotion, which, seeing as electronic instruments manage to mask the mind behind the compositions quite well, is an impressive feat. Give any one of these newly released pieces only a few moments of your time, and you’ll have become overwhelmed by the power of a melancholy world. There is no happiness or sadness, no wants or need. Amidst these beautiful waves of sentiment, you’ll feel a perfect nothing–the utmost tranquility. Might I suggest that you put on your headphones, breath deep, close your eyes, and live.

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MP3: The Deer Tracks – Yes, This Is My Broken Shield

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The Deer Tracks – Cast Away

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The Deer Tracks – Slow Collision

It’s artistry like this that makes me feel like I really am missing out on a whole other world.

Has Justice lost their touch?

This is a rather painful subject to have to address. I only mean to express my disappointment. I hope it won’t be interpreted as disrespect:

Justice

Justice

Back in 2006, there wasn’t a soul in the entirety of the electro community that would hear a bad word about Justice. Remember Coachella 2006? Remember when they did dj sets and tore their crowds apart with those heavy hitters like Waters of Nazareth and Stress? What happened? My theory: that little electro community that I speak of grew one hundredfold, and the plethora of new fans allowed Justice’s ego to grow equally large. Cross came out, and their somewhat renowned DJ sets turned into “Justice Live”, which is an incredibly confusing title considering you’re going to struggle if you attempt to find anything even remotely live about their show; A guy I know came back from Coachella this year infuriated at the fact that a whole ton of the people that saw Justice’s set were complaining that they may as well have stayed in the hotel room and listened to the cd. He said to me, “They don’t know what they’re talking about. They just aren’t listening hard enough to hear the differences.” At first I sympathized with the guy, thinking, “Yeah, I suppose their are a lot of newbies in this scene. Maybe they just didn’t know.” But after thinking it over for a few minutes, I realized that his opinion is absolutely ridiculous. The fact that you have to perk your ear like a dog to hear the good qualities of a piece of music means that the music just isn’t good. Don’t get me wrong, Cross was and still is a spectacular album, but that doesn’t mean that Justice couldn’t put a little more work into their live performances, especially considering they’re using them as an excuse to not begin work on a new album. The two have been interviewed several times in the past couple months by people curious to know what’s brewing in the Justice cauldron, and each time they have responded with something along the lines of, “We feel that we put a good deal of effort into Cross, so we’re just focusing on touring right now.” Jeez, there are only so many singles your can pull out of that single album… Okay so maybe I’m being a little harsh. (That Stress video was undeniably awesome.) They haven’t literally been up to nothing at all. The guys have recently released a remix of MGMT‘s Electric Feel. Unfortunately, it seems a little below the bar that many of their other tracks have set. Hopefully that’s merely due to the fact that this little sneak preview that’s been blogging about is only a segment of the full song ripped from a radio show, or even just because touring likely puts a heavy strain on production quality.

MGMT – Electric Feel (Justice Remix)

Let’s cross our fingers for a solid comeback. God knows they’re capable.