Having produced for the likes of Mary J. Blige, JAY Z and Aloe Blacc, Jamaican-born British-raised singer/songwriter and producer Knox Brown is going to turn a lot of heads with his solo output. His soul-drenched debut single ‘Harry’s Code’ oozes personality; tapping into the sounds of his motherland he applies a light but unmissable reggae spirit across the songs glorious instrumentation.

We’re all accustomed to Kwabs’ era-defying vocals and so its pleasant surprise when someone like him is motivated enough to create an equally resonating visual to accompany their music. The Emil Nava directed video for ‘Pray For Love’ produced by Plan B is a wonderfully cinematic affair centred around two children adjusting to their new lives.

I’ve had the privilege of hearing a lot of BANKS’ new forthcoming music and without exaggeration I report – you haven’t heard nothin’ yet. The L.A native has done a great job in enticing listeners with her echoey ballads but whats soon coming is far more intricate and progressive than her previous releases. Produced by our very own Lil Silva, ‘Goddess’ is one of many tracks the two have collaborated on and serves as an apt signal for whats to come. Enjoy… And get excited for whats coming up.

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‘Tomorrow’ featuring veteran soul singer Raheem DeVaughn is the second single lifted from The Roots’ forthcoming album …And Then You Shoot Your Cousin. The uncomplicated track, led by a simple piano and shuffling drums is accompanied exclusively by DeVaughn’s sanguine performance – disrupted only by a flurry of instrumentation that culminates the songs outro.

Every year it seems Coachella manages to ensemble and even more exciting motley crew of performers to headline their stages. This year they outdid themselves by reuniting one of hip hop’s most beloved group – Outkast – following a near 8-year hiatus. Add to that show stopping performances from Pharrell Williams, Disclosure, Nas, A$AP Ferg, Solange, Warpaint, Lana Del Rey, Banks and heaps of others, not to mention the special guests some of these artists brought out including Gwen Stefani, Busta Rhymes, Jay-Z, Diddy, Snoop Dogg, Juicy J et el.

As the first weekend comes to an end, we’ve compiled some of the best performances from the past two days for you to sit back and enjoy. We’ll keep adding more full performances as they become available. And we’ll do the same with next weekends festivities too. Watch Outkast’s set up top and all the others after the jump.

Read more…

Kwabs

Singer Kwabs reunites with producer SOHN for another epic ballad called ‘Something Else’. Boasting a foreboding mix of hammering drums and soundclash of electronics, ‘Something Else’ continues the narrative that Kwabs and SOHN have been building since ‘Wrong or Right’. But of course no amount of production can distract from Kwab’s all-empowering voice which again here takes its rightful place centre stage.

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Sony announced this week plans to release another posthumous Michael Jackson album titled Xscape which will hit shelves on May 13th. The news was accompanied by the albums, quite frankly ridiculous, artwork and was met (by me) with large scepticism. And even despite the latest news that our hero D’Angelo will have a production credit on a track featuring Questlove & Mary J. Blige – my scepticism is still vigilant.

Of course the very notion that D’Angelo has even glanced at a song graced by Michael Jackson is enough to make our heads (and presumably, the universe) explode but the truth is, these are songs Jackson never intended to see the light of day. These are incomplete songs void of MJ’s true completed vision – I can’t imagine any true artist (past or present) feeling satisfied at the idea of their music being released without their approval; hence why Stevie Wonder, Prince and Madlib all intend on having their masters destroyed after they die – to protect the integrity of their legacy… Not to mention everything that Sony has touched since MJ’s passing has been utterly shambolic.

So yes, a pretty significant, albeit selfish, victory for us fans but we’ll wait until we hear the full thing before we embrace an illegitimate Michael Jackson album.

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And so the weekend officially begins.

In lieu of a new D’Angelo album, the heavens have granted us three previously unreleased, entirely glorious new songs from D’s forthcoming re-release of his Live at the Jazz Cafe album. Due for release on March 25th, the newly titled Live at the Jazz Café, London: The Complete Show will feature the entire recording of D’Angelo’s legendary 1996 show – including new renditions of Al Green’s ‘I’m Glad You’re Mine’, Ohio Players’ ‘Sweet Sticky Thing’ and Brown Sugar’s ‘Jonz In My Bonz’.

Fuuuuuuck!

via Pitchfork / Billboard / Rolling Stone

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Kwabs’ latest power ballad ‘Pray for Love’ was produced by none other than Ben Drew aka Plan B. Surprisingly tender, Drew frames a vivid landscape of muddy production with flooded drums, poetic strings and a gorgeously reserved piano. The songs crowing glory is of course left to Kwabs – whose masterful, awe-inspiring voice commands every ear in reach. Beyond.

I’ve been an Erykah Badu worshiper for far too long to know that you can’t rush Badoula Oblongata into making new music; but as we approach the fourth anniversary of her seminal New Amerykah Part Two (Return of the Ankh) LP – the thirst for new material is becoming real. Nevertheless we’ll continue to be patient and in the interim ‘receive life’ through last nights live performance of ‘The Healer’ which she performed during her set at The FADER Fort in her home state of Texas.

Goosebumps every time.

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