According to recent interviews Chris Brown channeled a lot of Michael Jackson, Sam Cooke and Stevie Wonder during the recording sessions for his forthcoming album X. I’d love to know what he was listening to when he was on that Guetta wave… I digress. MJ’s influence on Breezy’s career has been obvious from day one and while to an extent that’s cool and completely understandable – it is a bit worrying now. Despite great (albeit surprising) production from Diplo and a strong melody/vocal performance from Brown, ‘Fine China’ fails to demonstrate any originality, a fact that unfortunately ruins the entire experience. Also a sentiment not lost on his cringe new video either.
We’ve all come to know Chris Brown the ‘singer and dancer’, but will we ever meet Chris Brown the ‘artist’? I’m not convinced.
Usher scored his biggest hit with his Diplo produced single ‘Climax’ last year. With one song he reignited his career while simultaneously fooling his fans into believing he had returned (after a good few years of soul destroying Guetta-produced abominations) to his R&B heritage - unfortunately he mostly lied. ‘Climax’ flirted so closely to the edge of contemporary R&B that it ingeniously ticked a lot of boxes (old school heads, mainstreamers and new ‘alt-R&B’ fans) and did so at exactly the right time.
… So naturally the dynamic duo are back again – for better or for worse and unsurprisingly they’re up to the same tricks. ‘Go Missing’ is another fine-line walker – it toys with a cringeworthy over-the-top wobbly breakdown… But it never comes; They reign it in. Clever chaps. And like it’s predecessor, Usher’s voice does most of the work.
Flying Lotus, pioneer, adopter, adapter. If this unreleased audio premiered on Diplo’s Radio 1 show proves just a minute inkling of anything with it’s ripped bass, southern hats and lush sample looping for glory under a veil of dirty compression… it’s that he be put in an $80,000 studio with Drake or Kendrick immediately so we can get some history made. A deep banger, it’s great Lotus has chosen to unleash it from his recently disclosed hard drive. Let’s have some more then.
If ‘Ima Read’ was fierce, this new remix featuring Njena Redd Foxx, Gangsta Boo & Tricky is outright vicious. Reading enemies as casually they would their shopping list, Katz, Foxx and co aim to maim with callous shade – “Ima chop that bitch / Ima slice that bitch / Ima dice that bitch / Ima ice that bitch / I don’t like that bitch”.
Zebra Katz’ new single, along with a slew of remixes (which will also include appearances from Azealia Banks, Mao, Ira G, Cauzeone, Moroka, I Am A Camera, Ripley, Baise Haus, Nikko and Norrit) will be released via Diplo’s Mad Decent imprint Jeffrrees on September 16th.
Who knew back in 2009 Diplo (and formerly Switch’s) bashment side-project would turn into such an international monster, and viably so. ‘Get Free’ featuring Amber Coffman of The Dirty Projectors (make sure you’ve checked their latest LP Swing Lo Magellan) is a refreshing excursion from Lazer’s electro-heavy raucous stuff, into more lovers rock territory that’s somewhat gooey and adorable in the ears. The video, as with alot of Mad Decent and Diplo’s stuff with their appreciation of less exposed worlds, has a nice cultural artifact vibe about it too. Wine, skank and all the rest of it won’t you? Till Monday.
Cultural influencer M.I.A has announced that her new album Matangi will be released this December and will be released in conjunction with a book, film and exhibition. And, in her words, is a result of the “blows” she’s experienced in the industry over the past 3 years. And will serve as a “fuck you to them and thank you to you [her fans]“.
Answering questions from fans on twitter, the ‘Paper Planes’ singer revealed that the new music sounds like “Paul Simon on acid” and will feature no collaborations (with the exception of Missy Elliott & Azealia Banks who appeared on her ‘Bad Girls’ remix). She also appeared to take a jibe at producer and ex-boyfriend Diplo, claiming the only producers involved are the “ones that don’t act like a fame whore coloniser”. Deep.
The Roc Nation signed singer also revealed a partial tracklist too – peep that here.
As we all know, the original was a favourite here but sadly for some/us Usher’s album hasn’t quite go in the direction that most/we may have been led to presume.
… But the Diploma produced single did do the job of raising Usher’s profile within certain quarters (that until then had largely ignored his most recent offerings) and now 22 year old Londoner Raf Riley is doing the same. Some may say this remix envelopes more boundary blurring, avant-gardeness than Usher’s original but we don’t see that as a bad thing.
Yes Riley has incorporated a few pre-existing formulas here – chopped ‘n’ screwed verses, dubstep drops, but to his credit he’s mixed them well and keeps you guessing right to the end as to which way it might go..
Keep your ears peeled for Raf’s forthcoming EP Dog Unit on Diplo’s Jaffree records coming soon.
By now it’s pretty clear that Usher’s forthcoming album ironically titled Looking For Myself will be an unfortunate mix of Euro-Pop and R&B.
The world fell to his feet with the release of his Diplo produced single ‘Climax’, a song which not only sparked a renewed interest in mainstream R&B but also (for the first time in a long time) rejuvenated his position as a contemporary music contender.
… But then his second single ‘Scream’ dropped and with it a collective (but personally speaking not surprising) sigh. The sinful follow up was a disappointing return to Raymond’s ‘OMG’ disgrace, a song not befitting of an artist with a diamond selling album like Confessions or classic songs like ‘You Make Me Wanna’, ‘My Way’ and ‘U Got It Bad’ (to name a few). Instead it reminded us of how much our veterans have become consumed with desperation to remain relevant by achieving easy international hits.
But hope returned somewhat with the release of this, Usher’s latest single featuring Rick ‘Bawse’ Ross. By no means a career landmark, but a welcome return to what Usher does best. Better yet – what he was born to do.
It’s a continually sad sight to see R&B artists who crafted many of the fundamental rules of the genre regress into an uninspired and lazy mind state. Instead of pushing forward their creatively and finding legitimate ways for their music to evole and service a new (albeit much different) audience – they sloppily jump on a uninspired band wagon lead by super villain Guetta.
Positioning themselves as an annual affair to look forward to, Lovebox has firmly established themselves as the most revered dance and cross genre festival that many look forward to each year. From the birth of Groove Armada’s idea and over the decade of taking over Victoria Park in Hackney for 3 days of festivities, they have had the likes of Grace Jones, Jamiroquai, N.E.R.D, Diplo, Friendly Fires et al on their weekend loving stages.
In celebration of their “decade of love”, this year Lovebox will host Magnetic Man, Azari and III, 2 Bears, Pearson Sound among the long list in the dance forum. Hackney will also see the likes of Emeli Sande, Little Dragon, Azealia Banks, Lana Del Rey as well as Rinse FM and good friends RBMA hosting stages too. Whether the sun is shining or not, grab your tickets and see you there!