Monday, 23 June 2014

Guest Post: Aural Hubris, be gone - By TK

Editors note- Dear Reader, TK is a very cool boy who knows his musics and blesses this editor frequently with said musics. Thanks Tony :) Also, there are some bad words in this post, like belieber. We apologize.

After a couple of hours wafting through SoundCloud, fishing for tracks that may pique my interests, it starts to get a tad bit unstimulating. Complacency in one’s own “tastes” sometimes makes one think that one can spot a gem just from chopping through a track’s timestamp (at least the intro, mid part and around the end). Inadvertently, one ends up denying attention to some thoroughly fresh tunes, this here is one of those cases.

I happen to follow le producteur x DJ fran├žais, 20Syl. Been a fan of Hocus Pocus for a hot jiffy, and the amount of devotion I offer up to French artists for their electronic music production puts most religious beliefs to ruddy shame.
Editor to TK: Excuse me Sir, do you have moment for me to share the gospel of DJ Jesus? He resurrects beats and rose on the 3rd day to give you the drop.

Also, could dude look any more French?

So with my eyes and ears collectively knackered, I absent-mindedly clicked to preview his new EP, Motifs. I inattentively skimmed through it and closed the page. Fast-forward, I’m on youtube (which is up to some fuckery btw) and thank fuck for the ‘recommended videos’ section and the ghosts of coincidence that lay beneath the bedrock of these interwebs, because right in front of my face was 20Syl’s video for his new single, Kodama.

In basic terms, best video I've seen in bloody ages.

This thing is a cinematographer’s wettest dream broken down into the most effortless form of minimalism.The whole piece looks like it was done on a 3x2 bit of floor in an apartment. Finely. crafted. art. There was none of that contrived caricature attempt at being deep and forcefully artistic, a subculture that’s presently eating up the indie world. Seen a cornucopia of shite vids attempting such of late.

Back to this pearl Kodama. Here’s a downright dope sensation that’s tough to top. Just when you’re experiencing the conjecture of your new-to-be favourite music video, it hits you that the tune itself is actually a joyride on its own. I might as well attempt to explain to you what's going on with the track. 

In my take, on the first listen it might be tough for the naked ear to fully fathom the diamond that is this newest slice of 20Syl’s genius.  An extremely brilliant producer, 20syl isn’t as well-known seeing as his soundcloud has just over 62k followers. Now in an ideal world uninhabited by beliebers, more enlightened music choices would be made and 20Syl would command a couple million fans for churning out aural gold such as this. But I digress, this is what is great about Kodama: soulful piano chords, seamless drum patterns, nuanced vocal snippets and layers upon layers of warps all come together to create a cohesive enchantingness for your ears to bust a nut to.

 The video, in all its cinematographic glory, kinda provides a snippet into a world of live production. To be honest, an AKAI MPC & a synth/MIDI controller plus a vinyl record thrown into any picture automatically make it look cool as fuck. There's a xylophone and a rubik’s cube in the video too, just for extra hardware sexiness.

An aural and visual feast, Kodama  is the shit. Plain and simple.
For as long as the views for this pure piece of happy are less than one hundred billion, every opportunity I get to play it, I will. Then wonder if I shouldn’t do it again. Then do it again. And again. And again.


Monday, 16 June 2014

More Music Mondays: Intelligent songs edition

We have two great songs today. Yay.

No. 1: “MuthoniKifagio” by Newton “short-but-tough-Karish” Karish aka KK Karish
Why do all these boys bands rock cowboy-chic attire? I digs it. 

Where does one start with this blessing of a song?
  •  Melody- Check.
  • Writing- check.
  •  Getdownability- Please attempt not to move and watch how miserably you will fail.
  • Video- Bankai.

In my view, contemporary Kenyan artists rarely know who they are or what their aesthetic is. There always seems to be a need to be a version of something. Sometimes it’s subtle, other times painfully obvious. So it is incredibly refreshing to come across a musician who not only knows who he is but is completely legit in his craft.

This song is smartly written. Karish tells us the story of an unfaithful lover using hilarious, localized metaphors, perfect harmonies and those incredible katitu guitars . Dude leaves you in stitches when in reality, the story is pretty grim. A real comedian.

This is the thing about this song: Whoever you are, whatever your background, whatever you are doing, when this song comes on, you will pay attention. That is rare.

I don’t know when the song came out, but from the video it looks like it could have been some time in the late 90s or early 2000s. Karish has since been elected as the county representative for Muminji Ward in Mbeere North. I don’t know if he’s put the mic down… hope not. It would be a damn shame.

Check out his other songs on the Youtubes.

No. 2: Bunny in a bunny suit” by Simone White

Sharing Muthoni Kifagio’s authenticity and intelligence is this minimal, folksy number by Simone White.
I heard this song yesterday on a movie called “the pretty one” which is quite lovely. Tafuteni.

The existential lyrics and fractal analogies coupled with the melancholic guitar and White’s now-talking, now singing voice, make me get a weird suspicion right in the middle of my back, that God exists.
All ye non-believers...

I do not think I can listen to a bunch of songs like these though. Too many feels.
Check out her facebook page and website if you digs it.

For the next two weeks we will have guest posts from my very cool friends Tony and Josh. Check out their stuffs here and here.

After that, I will be changing things up a bit. Will raid people’s hard drives and force them at gun point asking them to share the stories behind their musics.
If you would like me to come visit you, let me know on twitter.

I’ll bring a watermelon.


Monday, 9 June 2014

Stop. Not-so-sexy confession time.

If you relate to this song on any level, you are a little broken somewhere.
Thanks Life.

A lovely lady who goes by Lady Lazarus on twitter put me on the work of FKA Twigs, an ethereal yet dark, nymph-woman, who created this aural masterpiece and no doubt leaves black shiny dust in her wake.
Anyone else getting a Frida Kahlo vibe?

Some songs grow on you. Not this one. This one goes straight to the bone on first hearing Twig’s light, whisper of a wail… “Pacify…”

Even before I had heard 10 seconds of it, I knew all too well what this song was about. Don’t worry, I’m not going recount to you the sordid details of my self-hating, love affair with a fella whose emotional retardation was lightly-masked by his expertise on J Dilla’s drums, his mean pocket-squares and how he said in a deep, unaffected voice, “Go on, do as your told.” And I don’t have to because Twigs captured the essence of all that mess perfectly on this song.
Never trust a man with an impeccable pocket square ladies...

The sparse, desperate lyrics, the little melancholic break beats, the kinda-scary-yet-exciting industrial screeches and that terraforming bassline that is Just. So. Deep. All of it weaves the story so clearly, that I am almost certain little Ms. Tahliah Barnett went through some epic, sexual-emotional crapfest herself.

My friend Tony said this of the song on hearing it, “Psychadelics + hiphop in monochrome. This can't even be neurochemically healthy.” And I don’t think it is. Healthy that is. Trip hop as a genre filters everything so finely to make this compound that is a little too pure for my sensitive spirit. I can only listen to it in little, spaced out doses. It is way too HD for me to indulge, on the regular.

That being said, Papi Pacify is everything and more. Easily one of my best finds of the year, so far. Keep an eye out for FKA Twigs work. She is something. 

Thanks again Lady Lazurus.


P.S. The dude in the video is giving me LIFE. *fans self furiously*