Frank Ocean phones in to Zane Lowe’s show on BBC Radio 1 to discuss the early release of his album channel ORANGE (which he explains was “always the plan”) and his attempt at controlling its release. He also talks about the recording process behind the debut album, where he recorded it and the creative input he sought after from his “heroes”. He ends the interview by talking about his plan for future shows, touring for the next 3 months and his upcoming opening slot for Coldplay.
Great to hear Frank talk about the importance he put into creating a full body of work. “I hate calling this thing ‘a game’ because I take it very seriously”.
After releasing one of this years most vibrant albums, legendary Soul singer Bobby Womack employs Bristol-based producer Julio Bashmore to remix his new single ‘Love Is Gonna Lift You Up’. Originally produced by Damon Albarn & Richard Russell, Bashmore’s remix turns what was face down and pummels it with dance ready low ends, stringy synth chords and a killer b-line. Take a listen…
Meantime – some good news to report: Bobby Womack has been given the all clear from doctors after his recent health problems. The singer will be returning to Europe later this year for some live shows – including London. Can’t wait!
A few months ago we popped up a striking record by this up and coming LA songtress, titled ‘Dr. Lock‘. It recalled the vintage zest of Neo-Soul we’d loved and experienced too long ago. That is, right before ‘neo’ sadly turned into tired BBQ music with poor engineering, bland imagery, minimal progression and fell victim to it’s dull caricatures (exceptions being Erykah, Bilal and forthcoming D’Angelo all of whom manage to experiment with relevance). But that’s besides the point. Bago is moving on – here to excite in a realm beyond any 10-year-cycle retro labelling and yank Soul into the present.
‘Remember’, like ‘Dr. Lock’, is again produced by fellow Westcoaster Alexander Spit who himself hints at being a flexible force. In a turn for the neoteric mindset meeting time-honoured grit, the two have managed to take the Shangri-La’s 1964 classic ‘Remember (Walking In The Sand)‘ and turn it into a maybach banger with fat lows, belligerent drums and Bago’s powerful resound echoing like some femme fatale right before she empties the clip. And just when contemporary soul was in need of a trill’er makeover…
Sunday Best, Bago’s produced entirely by Spit, is coming soon.
East London electro-boogie suppliers Royalty recently released these visuals for their swanky hark back to the 80s that is ‘Eroica’. The infectious number itself features ever evolving Swedish dame Kissey Asplund on the frosty, pining vocals. Accompanying that is dry ice, hot whips and lots of fierce posing. Thank god it’s Friday.
Royalty’s four-track EP drops July 16th on local label Five Easy Pieces and can be acquired via bandcamp here.
Who’s Twigs? Whose fanny is that? Who knows? A mysterious UK-based artist has just released these fetching, abstract visuals but what’s caught our attention even more is the track itself. A skittery slow jam with the kind of timbered percussives resembling James Blake’s ‘Unluck’, the soft vox and slow chops allude to a sensual collision between R&B and dream-pop. Whilst information is scarce, don’t let that stop you from adding Twig’s little entry into blog mythology to your boudoir jukebox.
Continuing to develop a sound and style all her own is Toronto based songstress Rochelle Jordan, who today releases another new single off her forthcoming debut album P R E S S U R E.
‘Too Long’ reinforces the chemistry Jordan has struck up with producer KLSH, who has once again created a rich textured and atmospherically driven beat. He’s also got Rochelle showing off some unmistakably Aaliyah-motivated BV’s too (excuse the easy reference, but just listen!) It’s not imitating when you weave your influences into something fresh like this.
… Right now no other female in R&B is coming as hard as Rochelle. I said it.
Looks like Hype Williams got his mojo back. Or at least found an artist with a proper budget. Either way, the iconic 90′s director has remerged with a new Tarantino-inspired video for Jack White’s latest single ‘Freedom at 21′. Alongside some big action shots and special effects, the video flaunts some familiar Williams colour-ways too – we all remember that lime green, don’t we? ‘Freedom at 21′ features on White’s critically acclaimed solo album Blunderbuss which is out now.
After a fantastic EP and a few delays (including one tonight), Hip Hop’s rising star Azealia Banks releases her much talked about new mixtape Fantasea. The tape boasts “15 Azealia Banks originals and 3 remixes”, including singles ‘Nathan’, ‘Jumanji’ and yesterday’s leak ‘Neptune’ featuring London’s Shystie and will be followed by Banks’ debut album later this year.
Her game has been tight thus far, lets see how this fares…
Londoners – we have been spoilt. Let’s admit it, we’ve had some heavy hitters and some huge festivals recently and I for one am becoming all too accustomed to sporting wellies in the middle of summer and being among 60,000 people. (I blame Wireless.) With the Olympics to look forward to this month and the city buzzing, let’s mix it up and support some top class talent. Be it Cold Specks or Jessie Ware at the open air venue of Somerset House, or Kwesachu or Lianne La Havas at Village Underground, check out something fresh this month.
The digital release of Frank Ocean’s album channel ORANGE earlier this week excluded this collaboration with lead Wolf Tyler, the Creator. Instead the song, titled ‘End/Golden Girl’ will be included on the physical release on July 17th. The absence of this won’t make much of an impact on the LP either way – it’s not the strongest offering, especially in comparison to the rest of the album. It should have been better (production is the best thing about it), but I do quite like the idea of Tyler’s demonic switch up at the end given the context of a potentially large commercial audience. (Ocean’s set to shift around 110-125K digital copies this week and is expected to debut big on Billboard 200 next week).
Note: The track begins after the ‘End’ snippet, at 03:45.