All roads look set to lead to LoveBox this year as organisations have just announced the first round of artists/DJ’s confirmed on the bill. Among some of them are SBTRKT, Flying Lotus, Azealia Banks, Jurassic 5 (!), Julio Bashmore, Purity Ring, Gold Panda, AlunaGeorge and the man-God himself D’Angelo! Aside from Mark Ronson and Goldfrapp a full list of headliners has yet to be announced but something tells me there’ll be some pretty legendary names thrown in the mix – watch this space.

Lovebox takes place in London on July 19th-21st, for more line-up and ticket information head over to their official website.

It’s been obvious for a months now that Prince has been busy working on some type of a new release. His website 3rdeyegirl.com has been steadily releasing new music & videos for the past few weeks and he’s reportedly set to debut new music on his West Coast Tour which kicks off next week. Now a new video has surfaced on vimeo featuring Prince jamming with his all new, all-girl band (3rdeyegirl) with the words Plectrum Electrum hinting at a possible album title.

… Plectrum Electrum. 

Ask and you shall receive. Having endured her absence for far too long, Janelle Monae finally announces the follow up to her 2010 debut The ArchAndroid. Titled The Electric Lady Monae fell short of declaring a release date but did reveal specific information of the albums first single. Scheduled to be released on April 22nd at precisely 7:54pm EST a new single featuring Erykah Badu aptly titled ‘Q.U.E.E.N’ will be released to the world… After which the universe will probably implode.

Let that sink in.

Frank Ocean will hit London this July for a one-night performance at Brixton Academy. The Grammy winning singer will perform tracks from his critically acclaimed #1 selling album channel ORANGE but may also (or rather hopefully) begin performing new songs from his forthcoming sopohmore set too which he’s reported to have said is almost complete. Tickest go on sale Thursday 4th via Live Nation.

Justin Timberlake has scored his third UK #1 album with The 20/20 Experience after selling over 109,000 copies in it’s first week – a feat that subsequently knocked pop icon David Bowie off the top spot. The singers third album, his first in over 6 years, had already spawned a number 1 selling single in the UK with ‘Mirrors’ and looks set to sell even more copies on these shores in the coming weeks.

Furthermore JT is set to debut with massive first week numbers in America too. While initial reports suggested the album could sell between 500-700,000 copies, reports today suggest they could exceed those and possibly sell between 900-950,000, maybe even a million. This would easily make The 20/20 Experience one of this years biggest releases and one of the fastest selling of the decade. It’ll also mark Justin’s biggest first week solo sales to date.

… And lets not forget the biggest first week sales of all time came from Timberlake’s former band who sold over 2 million copies of their No Strings Attached album in it’s debut week.

A couple nights back we tweeted a link to Okayplayer’s forum or rather specifically to a post published by Questlove which suggested that Justin Timberlake would release part 2 of his new album The 20/20 Experience sometime in November. Despite The Roots’ drummer being slightly disgruntled by his ‘news’ being picked up across near-enough every platform in blogland – it was up until last night an unconfirmed story. However according to various sources (including this guy) JT confirmed the release of part 2 during a gig in Los Angeles.

According to Questlove’s original post the second part of The 20/20 Experience will feature “throwback Timb” productions, saying the songs he had been played by Timbaland “were straight up Missy/Magoo Timb and [that] Justin said he wanted Timbaland to “get back in his real zone” even if it meant alienating the tweens born after ’86 who never ever heard of Sly Slick and Wicked”. 

We’d had our suspicious that there could be another 10 tracks on the horizon given the album title (“20/20 Experience”) so this all makes perfect and wonderful sense. JT’s album is officially released worldwide this week, it will no doubt (and hopefully) shift a shit load of copies – and deservedly so. Despite a shocking amount of relatively confused reviews the LP stands alone as yet another great Timberlake record. It’s not an easy pop record to get to grips with that much is true – but how can you miss the beauty in that? A pop record that isn’t easy to digest? All a part of that Timberlake/Timbaland genius.

Abel Tesfaye, commonly known as The Weeknd took to his twitter this evening to reveal Kiss Land as the title for his upcoming debut album, he also attached what appears to be the album artwork. No release date has been announced yet but having achieved genuine success offline last year with the re-release of his mixtape trilogy, some could say he has quite a bit to prove this time round. Will R&B’s newest son be able to deliver an engaging body of original work without rehashing what he’s already done, but still appease his post-nineties audience? Time will tell.

The 15th annual Red Bull Music Academy, which this year heads to New York, will take place between April 28th-May 15th and will involve a plethora of influential and respected names in music. The academy will feature 236 artists across 34 nights which will include academy lectures, special one-off concerts, A/V installations and film screenings among other things.

The first round of names taking part this year have been announced and as expected – the list (already) includes some of the most pioneering names in contemporary music. Among the first to be revealed include Four Tet, Flying Lotus, Erykah Badu, Brien Eno, James Murphy, Skream & Questlove. Head over to redbullmusicacademy.com for the full lowdown and ticket information. Expect further (rather epic) announcements in the coming days.

So… New York in April? #yesplease.

Sidenote: They’ve also just launched a new (highly distracting!) Red Bull Midi Academy site featuring “cutting-edge [midi] renditions of all your favourites like Flying Lotus, TNGHT, Mount Kimbie and more…”. The site goes in-hand with the H∆SHTAG$ series they’re currently airing on internet music culture – peep the first three episodes (featuring How To Dress Well, Zodiac, Main Attrakionz, Flatbush Zombies, Mount Kimbie and many others) here.

Not content with selling out her 10 UK tour dates in minutes, Beyonce will play her “only European festival performance” at this years V Festival held on August 17th & 18th at Hylands Park, Chelmsford and Weston Park, Staffordshire. Joining her as co-headliners are Grammy winning band Kings of Leon – who will play the festivals second date.

The festival will also host performances from the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Stereophonics, Basement Jaxx, Fun., Jessie Ware, Rudiemental and many others.

Tickets go on sale 9am Friday 1st March, buy via vfestival.com

Following the release of his devastatingly beautiful new single ‘Retrograde’, James Blake has revealed the album artwork (above) and tracklist for his upcoming sopohmore release Overgrown. Expected for release on April 8th, the album follows Blake’s hugely successfully debut which earned him Mercury, Brits and Ivor Novello nominations and saw him perform around the world.

Most exciting however is the announcement that the album will feature a guest appearence from the legendary RZA, a result of which came from Blake asking him to lay down a verse having been largely inspired by Wu-Tang Clan’s first album when he wrote ‘Take a For Me’ while in New York. The album will also feature a wider spectrum of Blake’s influences citing 90′s R&B and House as influences on particular records. “I probably won’t use a sound if it reminds me of another song and another time. That’s gone. It’s done now. Thing should always progress… These two years have really formed me, I have huge ambitions”.

Tracklist & new live dates can be found after the jump. Pre-order the album here.

Read more…

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