full crate and mar

Anthony Valadez – Just Visiting

From what we’ve heard, if you live in L.A. and follow the Hip-Hop beat scene even just a smidge then you will have, at some point, witnessed an Anthony Valadez DJ set. The L.A. based Hip-Hop DJ/producer has residencies at some of the best clubs in and around California, not to mention a regular slot at Santa Monica’s famed KCRW terrestrial radio. In 2009 he released his first full-length EP, Audio / Visual : Sounds Inspired by all Things Visual, which brought an enigmatic fusion of sample-based and live experimental Hip-Hop to our ears, rich in texture and injected with a generous dose of soulful goodness. He’s now teamed up with the amazing label Plug Research to release his second LP Just Visiting, a vibrant collection of sparkling beats and delicate melodies with collaborations from the likes of Mar (of Full Crate and Mar), Anna Wise (of Sonnymoon) and Def Sound. You can stream the whole album at the bottom of this page, and check out our favourite tracks off the album with accompanying [brand new] visuals below.

Tracks You Might’ve Missed: Full Crate and Mar – Lovely Steps Mix

Shortly after Amsterdam duo Full Crate and Mar released Conversations With Her back in 2009, the Future-Soul dream-team dropped this 43 minute mix of handpicked gems, meticulously pieced together by Full Crate and powdered with Mar’s silky voice throughout. The choice of tracks is genuinely sensational, and it makes for perfect late-night listening. Mar’s ad-lib harmonies throughout adds a touch of personality that you don’t tend to find in mixes, and it also gives us a chance to hear ‘exclusive’ (albeit old) content while we wait for the next full record from the boys. Listen below or download the mix for free right here.

New Release: Mar – Our Attempt

Dutch soul-singer Mar is back with bite this month, releasing the lead single off his debut solo EP Seeing Her Naked (slated for a release by the end of this month). Our Attempt begins with Drake/The Weeknd style production (fizzling string-pads and gittery Hip-Hop rhythms), which is then brought back down to earth via a blues guitar riff doused in melancholic distortion. Together with Mars silky vocals, the track is a beautiful example of what the future holds for RnB and Soul music, joining other forward-thinking artists like The Internet and Frank Ocean who are really pushing the boat out within this type of music. We’ve also been told that a new Full Crate and Mar album can be expected by the end of 2012! All good things to come…

New Artist: Szjerdene

It’s always great to see musicians doing something different, as is the case with North London singer Szjerdene. She’s been elegantly fusing Soul, RnB and Jazz vocals with Glitch-Hop backdrops; drawing clear parallel’s with the Future-Soul sound that has come out of L.A. in the last few months via OFWGKTA sub-group The Internet. Leila’s Tale has her beautiful tones sprinkled generously over a rework instrumental from Swiss-born producer Dimlite. A match made in heaven, we can’t wait to hear more!

New Release: Mar Variation – Avril 14th with Szjerdene

It’s safe to say that Aphex Twin, known as the most inventive and influential figure in contemporary electronic music today, has had a pretty interesting 2011. Kanye West sampled the track Avril 14th off the 2001 drukQs album to make a melancholic love joint with John Legend called Blame Game. Now, Dutch-born RnB/Neo-Soul singer Mar (of Full Crate & Mar) and North London counterpart Szjerdene have collaborated to showcase their version of the famous piano track. It is in keeping with Mar’s Variation project, which has him reinterpreting old songs in his own style, accompanied by some very cinematic videos. The video for Avril 14th is a bit heavy, (it might even be a homage to Aphex Twin’s notoriously messed up music videos) but we love the new interpretation – AAAAND it’s a free download which you can get here.

Full Crate and Mar – Conversations With Her

Full Crate (producer) and Mar (singer) are two musicians from Amsterdam, making some of the most blissed out music we’ve ever heard. Their 2010 collaborative release Conversations with Her is a 5 track concept E.P. offering a lush melting pot of Hip-hop, Soul and Dubstep vibes fused with soothing vocals. Think D’Angelo meets Dilla, Dutch style. More recently though, these guys have been working on separate projects. Mar Variation has got Mar reinterpreting old songs with a new impression, accompanied by some very cinematic videos – (check out the video of Last Christmas below). Following on from his and FS Green’s beat tape Hi-hat Club Vol 5: Eggs and Pancakes, Full Crate has released a 7” The Barb on London based Label Kilawattmusic, which we highly recommend! Get a quick taste of it all here first: