Studying medicine whilst simultaneously launching your hip-hop career is not an enviable task…
“Nu brand flexxx is not just a group, it’s a lifestyle”. So reads the about-box on the group’s Facebook page – an elaborate claim, but one that is justified in the video of their latest release, Spellbound. In a world where rappers have a lot to say for themselves, the message of this drug and Haribo fuelled affair is simple: sit back, relax and take time to enjoy life. With a chilled, hypnotic beat and lyrical flow to match, Spellbound creates the perfect soundtrack for such an occasion. Given their approach to music, Nu Brand have drawn comparisons to Wiz Khalifa, but these guys have been doing their thing for much longer. If any connection is to be made, it should be to Outkast, simply for the variety of material they produce. With a Conservative Party anthem, a poppier ode to London Fashion Week, and more traditional grime tracks backing up Spellbound, all are produced with a touch of style and humour that makes Nu Brand a very interesting prospect.
London label Somethinksounds (an offshoot of cult culture magazine Somethinkblue) is about to storm the Electronic scene with the soon to be released Slow Ground E.P. by wondrously talented Lucky Paul; a new Electronic producer from New Zealand. Though currently residing in the Electronic epicentre of the world, Berlin, Paul has been on
Our little island may be a long way from the dancehalls of Jamaica…
From somewhere amidst the chubby cheeks and impressive moustache comes Nathaniel Rateliff’s voice, unique in its ability to both soothe and arrest the listener. His endearing demeanour coupled with an original brand of Americana-Folk makes Mr. Rateliff instantly likeable. Since his album In Memory Of Loss came out last year, he’s been gradually acquiring a committed following, including self-proclaimed drinking partner Marcus Mumford and Led Zeppelin legend Robert Plant. Shroud and You Should’ve Seen The Other Guy are brilliantly crafted songs and deserve greater recognition. The latter in particular, an ode to his grandfather, showcases Rateliff’s vocal range and heartfelt lyrics. The Denver songsmith is a breath of fresh air in a folk scene which can often be criticised for taking itself a bit too seriously.
Yesterday, sonic chameleon Travis Stewart (aka Machinedrum and one half of Sepalcure) tweeted the sounds of star pupil Will Johnson (Youngteam) from The New School in New York. Taking influences from Samiyam, Bonobo, Boxcutter and of course both of Travis Stewart’s projects, 19 year old protégé Youngteam has climbed aboard the fast moving ship of loose Garage in a vast ocean of Electronic music. Being a guitarist has pushed his sound into new quarters, with track Seasondeux fusing an acoustic guitar riff with ambient chords, spaced-out arpeggiators and rolling drum hits, in a similar vain to Mount Kimbie. The track is utterly absorbing and we can only dare you to listen below and not get pulled into its nebulous atmosphere. Lets hope we get more of the same in the coming months.
A stirring improvised collaboration recorded over the 2018 vernal equinox.
Soothing dream pop from the Welsh multi-instrumentalist.
An ode to our Gottwood home from the Ruf Kutz boss.
Warped soul experiments from the newest Future Bounce signee.
Old school dance anthems from the Optimo Music and Biologic Records producer.
Japanese ambient, and US indie-soul to lo-fi London rnb and uplifting gospel.
Katia Mullova explores the lessons we might learn from Coronavirus lockdown to create a more environmentally-friendly gig economy and community at large.
Katia Mullova assesses the wider implications of this annual focus on data sharing.
A behind the scenes look at Berlin’s unassuming open air party spot.