With enough creativity, everything in this world can be linkin’ed back to you. After all, we are the center of our own respective universes. Take Linkin Park for example: turns out this nu-metal cum rap-rock cum hip-hop-alternative-electronic band got their name from Lincoln Park in Santa Monica, a mere stone’s throw from Venice-based G Living; throw in the fact that emcee Mike Shinoda is also of Japanese heritage (like yours truly); and finally, that the band is hell bent on saving the environment. The co-incidences are starting to scare me.
DFA/LCD Soundsystem mastermind, James Murphy, hooks up with long-time friend and fellow New Yorker Pat Mahoney for what has to be the best Fabriclive in ages. Rarely have I heard a mix where track after track has me simultaneously nodding my head and reaching for the cover to check exactly who created each funky gem.
From new school dynamite like Baby Oliver’s “Primetime (Uptown Express)” and its unbelievably catchy, pitch-shifted vocals on Environ to major label standouts like Chic’s “I Feel your Love Comin’ On” (Atlantic) with its elephant-shriek horns, this pair craft a set that transcends time, pledging allegiance only to the groove. Sure there’s one or two spots where I might head to the bar if this were in a club (Punkin’ Machine’s “I Need You Tonight” was probably just as irritating in 1980 when it was brand new), but Murphy and Mahoney quickly regain their footing with inspired segues like 1978 Lenny Williams cut into 1993 Daniel Wang.
Múm has shrunk, but their sound has gotten bigger. With the departure of Kristin Valtýsdóttir (and with her, the overly-precious pixie vocals which prevented me from ever fully enjoying any of the previous three full-length albums,) the founding duo of Gunnar Örn Tynes and Örvar Þóreyjarson Smárason have crafted a group of songs that manage to be both their quirkiest and their catchiest to date.
Unless you’ve just woken up from a coma, it shouldn’t come as news that the music industry is going through some tough times. The major labels are all suffering as records sales are being replaced by digital downloads, legal or otherwise. Last year, album sales dropped 15% from 2006, a trend that’s been going on for eight consecutive years. This prompted cutbacks across the board, the biggest of which came from EMI who plans to “cut up to 2000 jobs and axe hundreds of artists”.
One artist they’ll be keeping is English singer-songwriter, Robbie Williams, who famously signed a $160 million deal with the label. Williams is the most successful British solo artist ever: he’s sold more albums in the UK than any other British solo artist and has album sales of over $70 million worldwide.
Arriving as his first full-length release, this Danish Music Award-winning artist delivers what he has been so acclaimed for. Taking a bit of stylistic impression from many electronic genres, the album primarily focuses on rave rock, disco, electro and techno. The vocals throughout the album come courtesy of FM Belfast, Blake and NYC’s the Pierces.
Deep and funky with a laidback drive; the distorted guitars and delicate melodies make for a nice contrast. Filled with epic tracks and huge mixes, it is quite clear why this artist is famed throughout the world. The neo-electro styling of “Humming Song” is silly and screwy, while the bass and percussion leaves you with a menacing tapping in your foot. With a current remix of “Liquid Propagnosia” from Tomboy making its rounds, you can soon expect further remix work from the infamous Trentmøller.
In the (good) old days, rock bands trashed hotel rooms, destroyed equipment and consumed excessive amounts of everything they could get their hands on. Not so much these days. The current breed of artists seem to prefer saving the planet over screwing it up.
Enter the epitome of this new wave, Green Owl Records.
Green Owl is a Manhattan-based indie label founded by NYC singer-songwriter Ben Brewer (The Exit, The Appletrees), singer-songwriter Ellenike Abreu (The Appletrees) and producer-musician Stephen Glicken. All three are hell bent on presenting music and art in an environmentally sustainable and socially responsible way.
Moving Units’ 2004 debut, Dangerous Dreams, was an impulsive collection of immediate electro/punk/pop reactions. Hexes For Exes is more thoughtful and, in the process, perhaps less impetuous in nature Continue Reading / See Additional Photos
When Anders Trentemøller released his groundbreaking debut, The Last Resort, last year, the Danish wunderkind was universally hailed as a sonic visionary whose riveting soundscapes were an expansive mélange of minimal deep house, intelligent techno, pulsating glitch-house and brooding dark pop with lush textures and cinematic, organic orchestration. The masterpiece yielded several dancefloor classics, including “Rykketid,” “Polar Shift” and “Sunstroke,” alongside ingenious reworks for the Knife, Royksopp and Moby, which skyrocketed Trentemøller to the forefront of the electronic music movement.
Helming the 12th installation in the Balance series is the ever-popular Lee Burridge. Spanning over three discs — an extended mix by any standard — Balance 012 doesn’t have the concern of fitting the experience of an entire night of clubbing into a sparse 75 minutes, it actually takes you through the whole evening. Continue Reading / See Additional Photos
The Swedish duo Koop have done a great job of adapting and, in the process, owning music from parts of the world other than where they hail from. On their latest long-player — that term is used euphemistically, as it only runs a scant 30 minutes — Koop Islands, the two feature their latest musical adoption: Jamaica Continue Reading / See Additional Photos
Remember Live Earth, the massive rock concert on July 7, 2007, organized by Al Gore and Kevin Wall, featuring 150 musical acts at eleven locations around the globe? It was broadcast in over 130 countries on television, radio and internet and viewed by a global audience of 2 billion.
Of course, you remember. If not, you should probably keep that to yourself.
Okay, if you have been here for any period of time, you know G Living is all about the darker side of green. When it comes to music you can’t get much darker than NIN. Trent Reznor is not only dark, he seeks to point out what is right in front of our faces but refuse to see it. With the new Album Year Zero, Trent isn’t holding back, he shows us a bloodied mother nature in their very first single, it is called Survivalism. The lyrics are simple and straight forward, mother nature has her limits, and humans have their greed, violence, and never ending hunger for more than we need.