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Tag: New Stuff (1-10 of 1089)

Azealia Banks releases first single since splitting from label

Rapper Azealia Banks has spent more time over the past couple years starting Internet beefs than putting out music, but after her recent split with Universal Music Group she seems to be turning that around. Yesterday she released her first new song as a lead artist in nearly a year, and she didn’t insult anyone on Twitter in the process.

“Heavy Metal and Reflective,” which she’s released through her own label Azealia Banks Records, is an odd choice as both a comeback single and a declaration of independence. The rumbling rave-trap beat by producer Lil Internet—the Beyoncé video director who inspired the seapunk aesthetic that Banks has been accused of ripping off in the past—is sufficiently banging, but Banks approaches it with a low-key, conversational flow that doesn’t do much to suggest a take-no-prisoners rapper who’s just been let off her label-imposed chain. READ FULL STORY

M.I.A. and Partysquad release 'Gold'

Dutch DJ duo Partysquad were part of the sprawling crew of producers behind M.I.A.’s brilliant and noisy Matangi album, helping bring to life the Shampoo-referencing standout track “Double Bubble Trouble.” M.I.A.’s returned the favor now by appearing on the pair’s new Partysquad Summer Mixtape 2014. Along with a remix of “Double Bubble Trouble,” the 77-minute DJ mix also features a brand new collaboration with the Sri Lankan-born singer.

With its rowdy pile-up of handclaps, whistles, Caribbean rhythms, and woozy, pitch-bent synthesizer horns,”Gold” would have fit in well on Matangi. Actually, it sounds quite a bit like a Diplo production–Partysquad co-authored Major Lazer’s cacophonous reggae/EDM hybrid “Original Don”–so it does a pretty good job of suggesting what it might sound like if the creative partnership of M.I.A. and the DJ hadn’t flamed out as spectacularly as their romantic one.


Chippy Nonstop unveils her dirty-cute single 'Peeka'

Rapper and burgeoning pop star Chippy Nonstop resides in Los Angeles, but it might be more accurate to say she lives on the Internet, where she’s amassed an army of fans on Twitter and other social networking platforms through virally popular singles like “Money Dance” and “Kicked Out Da Club.” The latter single perfectly sums up both her sound (club rap with an emphasis on regional styles like Bay Area hyphy) and her philosophy (which is YOLO to the extreme).

Her latest single is called “Peeka,” which pairs a buzzy, bass-heavy beat with pitch-shifted vocals that use the name of the most popular Pokemon character as a euphemism for a very non-G-rated act. She says that it was recorded in just one day, and that, “I want my fans to have this song for the summer time to dance outside their homes in the sprinklers in.” As I write this, those fans are feverishly posting memes in anticipation of its release, so without further ado, here it is.

Dance-music legend Arthur Baker returns with 'No Price'

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Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories helped to revitalize the careers of disco-era masters Nile Rodgers and Giorgio Moroder. Now Arthur Baker—who helped guide disco’s evolution into modern dance music, producing Afrika Bambaataa’s massively influential “Planet Rock” and remixing the biggest pop stars of the ’80s (including, weirdly, Bruce Springsteen, who’s not known for being a club-music kind of guy) along the way—is engineering a comeback of his own.

Baker’s new track, “No Price,” was first written and recorded in 1979 for a collaborative album with soul singer Joe Bataan that was scrapped when their label folded. Thirty years later, Baker dusted it off and sent it to Al-P from MSTRKRFT, and later invited Chromeo crooner Dave 1 to add a new lead vocal part. The final result is a glossy, string-laden jam that gooses peak-era disco funk with some contemporary thump. Baker’s calling his new project Slam Dunk’d, and they’ll be releasing a full album in September.

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In the studio: Weezer discusses lyrics, the new album title, and Ric Ocasek

We’re still a few months away from the arrival of Weezer’s new album Everything Will Be Alright in the End, but you can get a good sense of what to expect by reading about EW‘s exclusive visit to the studio. I spent two days with the men of Weezer, and we had a ton of conversations both about the new album and about the stuff bands talk about between takes.

But of course there was not enough room to get all of the gems into the piece. If you’re hungry for more, here are a handful of awesome bits that were left on the cutting room floor. READ FULL STORY

Yung Flight releases debut video 'To the Top'

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Yung Flight is a 21-year-old rapper currently living in Northern Virginia. He has a new single called “To the Top” that gives a Southern twist to the current cloud rap wave and provides an excellent platform to show off his raspy, breathy flow and his willingness to take risks with rhyme schemes. It also has a sweet R&B-flavored hook. Flight’s still so new that that’s about all the information I have on him right now, aside from the fact that he’s working on his first mixtape.

In the video, he and his crew wander around New York City and do a lot of looking like they have plans to conquer it soonish. Judging by his first release, that doesn’t seem like an impossible goal.

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Bruce Springsteen debuts short film for 'Hunter of Invisible Game'

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To mark the end of his latest massive world tour, Bruce Springsteen just posted a thank-you message to fans on his website, along with a short film based around “Hunter of Invisible Game” from his most recent album, High Hopes. The Boss not only stars in the 10-plus-minute clip but co-directed it along with frequent collaborator Thom Zimny, who’s been working on Springsteen documentaries for over a decade.

The short revolves around Springsteen playing a grizzled loner in what seems to be some sort of post-apocalyptic world that’s reverted to a pre-20th-century technological level—or at least that’s what all the crumbling ruins and horse riding seem to suggest. (Think The Road but gauzily dreamy rather than relentlessly horrifying.) The folk-soul song gets expanded to fit the visual format with an extended instrumental intro arranged for synthesizer, strings, and, uh, wind chimes.

For a first-time effort it’s not too bad. If he ever gets tired of making records (doubtful) he could probably pull off a post-catastrophe cowboy flick. “Hunter” is streaming now at his site.

Blood Orange releases moody 'High Street' video

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Near the end of Blood Orange’s outstanding 2013 album Cupid Deluxe, the psychic tension that’s been building up over its course finally has a moment of release as project mastermind Dev Hynes veers sharply away from the retro-tinged funk that makes up most of the record. The result is “High Street,” a gentle, meditative ballad where he takes a secondary role providing hooks for British rapper Skepta’s verses.

Despite the novelty value of the its Parade-era-Prince-meets-UK-grime approach, it’s a subtle composition that finds a steady balance between its two sides. With Skepta’s introspective lyrics, Hynes’s echo-soaked vocals, and the weightless flourishes of piano and synth pads that prop it all up, it sounds like a song made for contemplative late-night walks.

Fittingly, its video is heavy on atmospheric shots of Hynes wandering the nocturnal streets of London, and it also features a visually impressive setup with Skepta rapping in front of an array of unmanned double-decker buses. While there are significantly fewer of Hynes’s fantastic dance moves in “High Street” than there were in Cupid Deluxe‘s first three videos, it’s still pretty great.

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The-Dream returns to form with 'Royalty - The Prequel'

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Last week, R&B god the-Dream released a video for his single “Black” that underlined the song’s triumphant political message–inspired by the life of Nelson Mandela–with a staged protest pulling together representatives from a diverse range of causes, from Ukrainian sovereignty to the epidemic of gun violence in Chicago. It was a remarkably solemn moment from a performer who’s biggest moment of mainstream exposure in recent memory was when he got clowned by Jay-Z for the outfit he wore to the Grammys.

At 7 p.m. last night, the-Dream that his cult of devotees know and love—the one who writes songs about things like buying women expensive handbags in order to get off the hook for doggish behavior or getting drunk on tequila and crashing an ex’s weddingcame bouncing giddily back with the surprise release of a free seven-song EP called Royalty – The Prequel. It is, thankfully, a far less serious record than “Black,” or even most of last year’s IV Play, which even his hardcore fans had a hard time finding much pleasure in.

The-Dream is an R&B artist, but he’s always had a rapper’s spirit, and Royalty is, on one level, a playful tribute to the rap music that he loves. “Pimp C Lives” transmutes Houston’s syrupy hip-hop sound into future soul with a chorus that shouts out the late UGK rapper. “Cold” samples Mobb Deep’s classic NYC thug anthem “Shook Ones, Pt. II.”  On “Outkast” he compares true love to the feeling he got from listening to Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik for the first time.

Getting to goof around and indulge his geekily obsessive rap-fan side is one of the benefits of the mixtape form. It also removes much of the pressure to produce radio hits, which seems to have begun having a detrimental effect on his work. Where IV Play feels constrained and lifeless, Royalty (and the free online album 1977 that he released in 2012 under his given name, Terius Nash) is vibrant and mischievous, the qualities that made his fans fall in love with him in the first place, and ones that help sink his hooks into you even when they’re not particularly sharp. Royalty‘s supposed to be the first release on a new “Designer and Culture Label” he’s starting called Contra Paris. Hopefully he won’t go back to a traditional label—he’s much better when he’s off his leash.

Video: UK dance duo Jungle's brand-new 'Time'

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The two lifelong friends who make up the core of the British dance music group Jungle—they expand to a seven-piece for shows—go by the initials “J” and “T” and have generally kept as low a profile as possible while simultaneously blowing up in the UK on a level that suggests they might be this year’s Disclosure.

On July 15, they’re releasing a self-titled debut album on XL. In preparation, they just released a video for the single “Time.” The song is a kaleidoscopic pileup of soul, disco, and house music with a deep groove, psychedelic flourishes, and transcendent falsetto vocals that suggest a futuristic rendition of the Bee Gees’ disco phase.

For the accompanying visual, they have two rather dapper older gentlemen engage in a very smooth dance-off.

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