Run the Jewels – Blockbuster Night Pt. 1 [Atlanta/Brooklyn, US]

Hip-hop / Rap

Here’s what you’re gonna do: you’re gonna listen to this massively intelligent insight bomb Killer Mike drops on CNN’s Brooke Baldwin regarding Ferguson, which is a truly horrifying and disappointing (though tragically not surprising) blight on America’s already rocky reputation. After you do that, maybe read and share his Billboard op-ed piece where he attacks the fundamental issues that need to be addressed. Then, maybe after some of your own research, when you feel like you have a fully formed opinion and are satisfactorily upset over all the bullshit, press play on Blockbuster Night Pt. 1. Let the rap duo that are giving The Throne a run for their money’s uncut disses-upon-disses be directed at anybody who contributed to the ridiculous GoFundMe for the cop who shot a harmless 18-year old and provide catharsis. Let El-P‘s sinister and swaying, clicking and clacking beat on the track spread fear in the hearts of hate-mongers all around the world. Sure, it’s an inherently apolitical track, but it’s got an intensity that can be focused anywhere and will cause immeasurable destruction that simply cannot be denied. After Mike’s final line, “tell ’em fuck ’em, I never loved ’em and salutations” lands like bricks just after the beat drops out, you know exactly who has just passed through. Run the Jewels are back, and it’s looking like they’re here to do that voodoo that they do (so damn well) all over again. 

RTJ2 (sequel to last year’s fantastic self-titled debut) is out October 28th via Mass Appeal Records.

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Hello Saferide – I Was Jesus [Stockholm, SE]

Twee / Indie / Pop

hellosaferide

Jesus, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Ghandi are the go-to choices for the somehow always relevant “if you could meet one historical figure…” question, and understandably so. They did great things in their lifetimes. Swedish pop project, Hello Saferide‘s lead single, I Was Jesus, from upcoming September (3rd) release, The Fox, the Hunter and Hello Saferide (out via Razzia Records) poses the question what would have happened if these infamous examples of peace and progress came back as women? And despite a sugary musical backdrop and vocals that put your favorite sweet to shame, the answer isn’t very easy to swallow. Whether it’s suddenly not being believed in after performing miracles, being praised for the weight loss from a hunger strike, or just simply being too wiped out to exist, Annika Norlin’s portrayal of the patriarchy takes it to extremes but never feels exaggerated, and is endlessly amusing. Most impressively is that it comes across with humor and poise over a strolling, mid-tempo beat and pleasant synth tones and plucking guitars. This is how I prefer my strong feminist declarations: served over a piece of pop perfection.

Pre-order the album here and explore her back catalogue here!

Photay – Reconstruct ft. Seafloor / No Sass [Woodstock, NY]

Electronic / Modern Jazz / Hip-Hop / Funk

New York producer Photay (Evan Shornstein) released his self-titled debut album about a year back (pick it up for free!) and was barely noticed. It was a compilation of the work he’s produced over the period of 2010-2012. Following a trip to West Africa, the album was heavily influenced by African natural sounds. Interesting as it was, it definitely put him on the radar for me.
So when he released No Sass I (with the internet) welcomed his new sonic palette of glitzy horns, staccato-ed beats resulting in equal parts jazz, hip-hop, funk and well, awesome.

His new self-titled album is due later this month on the 26th and from the sound of it (get it?), he’s definitely worked it out this time.

Fans of Aphex Twin, Tennyson, and Capital Cities will love his sound.
Show him some well-deserved love at this facebook and souncloud page.