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Archive for the ‘Sound of the City’ Category

Village Voice, Sound Of The City: “The Curious 21st-Century Decline Of Hype Williams.”

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Something about how sucky Hype Williams has been for like a whole decade now, with a focus on the disastrous videos for “All Of The Lights” and “6 Foot 7 Foot” via this making-of footage for Hype’s never-finished version of M.I.A.’s “XXXO.”

On Friday, a link to three-minute making-of video for a scrapped, Hype Williams-helmed clip of “XXXO” appeared on M.I.A.’s twitter. The footage shows M.I.A and a small group of dancers (including Beyoncé choreographer Jonté) painted head-to-toe and gyrating to the song’s hissing, whirling beat. There’s also a tiger. And there’s M.I.A. wearing side-slit leggings and Timberlands and looking really awesome in one scene, and in a metallic, skeletal chest plate thingy looking very uncomfortable in another…

Written by Brandon

May 4th, 2011 at 3:56 am

Village Voice, Sound Of The City: Interview with Clams Casino

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My interview with everybody’s favorite ambient rap producer Clams Casino is up on Village Voice’s blog. Not surprisingly, he isn’t listening to Dolphins Into The Future or anything, but like, taking the manipulated soul of Heatmakerz and Kanye and going even further with it. If you haven’t checked out his mixtape yet, please do. Clams Casino Instrumentals Mixtape > Tim Hecker’s Ravedeath, 1972.

​Clams Casino is the producer behind some of Lil B’s trippiest and, therefore, #BASED-est beats, from “I’m God” to “Motivation.” Until the release of his self-titled instrumentals mixtape last week, his name was known to only the most devoted scourers of Internet rap. But thanks to the tape’s mysterious, very un-hip-hop design (a black and white marble image), his wonky producer name, and the beats themselves — moaning, fractured, noisy things that sound as much like Tim Hecker’s Ravedeath, 1972 as they do rap instrumentals — the 23-year-old North Jersey-based producer is enjoying a wider profile. Earlier this week, we met up with Clammy Clams at a Mexican spot near his house in Nutley to talk about his spaced-out, hypnagogic hip-hop, which just might bring you to tears, it’s so beautiful…

Written by Brandon

March 17th, 2011 at 4:31 pm

Village Voice, Sound of the City: Interview with Yelawolf


My interview with Yelawolf went up over at “Sound of the City” earlier today. We met up on two separate occasions and talked about a bunch of stuff (monique_r was also there for interview one and got him talking Gummo) and dude was really open and willing to dig-in deep on some stuff, which is always nice. Probably the best interview I’ve done, though I haven’t done that many. Strangely, he had read my “Yelawolf’s Redneck Manifesto” piece and was genuinely moved by it which is a great feeling; to know you got something about an artist right.

Yelawolf began the year with the mixtape Trunk Muzik and he’s wrapping up his 2010 with a major label EP, Trunk Muzik 0-60, out today. Between the internet release of his mixtape and the EP’s arrival in stores, Yelawolf signed to Interscope records, toured with Wiz Khalifa, showed up on “You Ain’t No DJ” off Big Boi’s Sir Lucious Left Foot, bored a bunch of Brooklyn Bowl attendees, humped some girls on-stage in celebration of his The Fader cover, and rapped over the Cars’ “I’m Not The One” in a holiday sweater. This interview took place at a hot wings spot in Carrboro, North Carolina in the spring and a tour van a few months later in Greensboro, NC as the Gadsden, Alabama rapper prepped Trunk Muzik 0-60.

Written by Brandon

November 24th, 2010 at 3:31 am

Village Voice, Sound of the City: “In Defense of Chill-wave”


So, I wrote this thing defending Chill-wave, which is this sub-genre I actually care a lot about. If you’ve been reading the stuff I drop here that’s not about hip-hop–and even some of the hip-hop stuff–you’ve surely noticed a slow-rolling thesis/defense of New-Age music and this was a chance to sorta gel those ideas into something. Also, got to have fun dropping references to all the shit there’s really no other place to reference, you know, Mike & the Mechanics, Christopher Cross, and this amazing song you may recall from your childhood. I also couldn’t find a place to fit it into the article, but I encourage y’all to go read Carles of Hipster Runoff’s comments under Pareles’ inciting article. The secret about Carles is he’s one of the best indie music critics around right now.

​”Glo-fi” or “chill-wave”, that sub-sub-sub genre of electronic indie pop, was kind of a big deal at SXSW this year. Well, as big of a deal as something solely focused on trying to sound like Christopher Cross on muscle relaxers can be in 2010 at a constantly internet-streaming, forever re-tweeted music festival. Big enough though that New York Times’ Jon Pareles dropped this awesomely brutal piece about why the scene is well, bullshit.

Pareles critiques chillwave’s formal elements, referring to its fuzzy grooves and gated drums as “annoyingly noncommittal”–”a hedged, hipster imitation of the pop [Chill-wavers are] not brash enough to make [themselves].” In short, chillwave sucks because it retrofits older, better music for younger, more ignorant, stuck-up weirdos and nerds. Sounds like the critique lobbed at every indie trend of the past decade.

Problem is, chillwave is the most interesting and vital, stupid indie trend in a minute, and in attacking it, Pareles fundamentally misreads chillwave’s influences and ignores its heady intentions. ’80s pop is everywhere–the sound chillwavers search out goes way beyond the Billboard charts of “the me decade.” It’s in Atari and Nintendo games. And Tangerine Dream’s sell-out, soundtrack period. CDs on the Wyndham label. And horror movies on VHS. It’s that “Happy Birthday To You” song that played at Chuck E. Cheese because the real “Happy Birthday” song is too expensive to license. Stuff even the most devout ’80s revivalists, from Lady Gaga to jj and everybody in between, wouldn’t deign use to spike their style…

Written by Brandon

March 26th, 2010 at 8:15 pm

Village Voice, Sound of the City: “Free Gucci, Fuck Diplo, & The History of “Free ___”

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So there’s a pretty nutty thing I wrote about Diplo’s loathsome “Free Gucci” T-shirt and upcoming mixtape up on the Voice’s “Sound of the City” blog. Word to Zach Baron for sculpting it all into something that sorta makes sense:

“Gucci Mane’s new album, The State vs. Radric Davis is in stores today, but the insanely prolific, remarkably consistent Atlanta rapper has been in jail since November 12th. This is Gucci’s second stint in jail for a parole violation this year. Both sentences stem from a 2005 incident in which Gucci attacked a promoter, served six months for the attack, and was released under the agreement that he would take rehabilitation classes and do some community service–which he’s now failed to do, and gone to jail for failing to do…twice.

And though this recent return to jail brought about another wave of “Free Gucci” T-shirts, mixtapes, and Facebook groups, there’s an equal amount of healthy, hands-up-in-the-air frustration with the guy. It’s impossible to turn Gucci Mane into any kind of victim of “the system” because the system’s given him second, third, and fourth chances to get his shit right…”

Written by Brandon

December 8th, 2009 at 10:42 pm