The current state of the hip-hop union is in flux. Modern technology, a proliferation of whiz-kid producers and, quite simply, the talent itself has pushed sounds and structures to new, intelligent, multi-dimensional heights. (Remember My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy?)Additionally, the tension between indie and “lamestream” culture continues to dissolve. Artists that were once snubbed are gaining a new level of respect. More deserving of this than anyone right now as he approaches the release of his second LP Take Care, is fresh Young Money golden boy Drake.Drake’s approach to R&B-tinged rap has always been classic in the thematic sense. Continue Reading
Austin trio Ringo Deathstarr (what a name!) are no re-inventers of the proverbial wheel. But really, they don’t need to be. Their reverb-soaked brand of rock ‘n’ roll was conceived decades prior by pioneering shoe-gazers like the Jesus and Mary Chain and Cocteau Twins. But these influences are in no way disguised. Translation: they’ve got a lead foot on that effects pedal and a wont for constructing vast walls of nearly deafening sound.
YACHT is a band that used to be boring. Initially the solo dance-pop project of Portland musician, Jona Bechtolt, its shortcomings lay in an obvious lack of focus. Sure, Bechtolt has always possessed a singular knack for constructing addictive dare-you-to-dance material, but simply put, it was never enough to generate a lasting buzz. In the ever-competitive realm of indie music, a handful of impeccable synth hooks isn’t always gonna cut it.