Heiko Julian can outright attack on a number of mediums, but the rawest and most satisfying efforts of this prodigious character are his sounds. When listening to this album, Julian’s pop-culture consumption, absorption, will pass fleetingly throughout, while still remaining in touch with his own unique and identifiable bases. All that is within the realm of this dedicated artist-critic, smooth as he moves through electro trends and non-trends, is in this Cop Font.
His weapon of choice appears to be Logic, an application prone to lack essence due to the commonly staccato formations of the programs’ novice players, his own early work included, a sound he’s left behind, discovering himself in ethereal decay for a more intimate obtrusiveness; a sound that I had always hoped to find in his often well designed lifelessness. He’s found life here, authentic and panting.
Cop Font’s most recent demo, humbly titled Pretty Good, nonchalantly passing these tracks off as internet fodder, is a high end movement of subtle trick producing and hip hop clipped model pieces. As if he had been taught to pause for reaction, either in action or conversation, his music finally rebels to allow the room to play a role. You’re no longer left between key strokes. If the notes stop pulsing, the room’s still breathing, a vital new element in his more tender moments. But don’t be so readily lulled: though he’ll break your heart on the tracks that most matter, he’s equally made a headphone party album.
Heiko Julian will keep making music. He’ll keep writing books. But with the ease in which this music seems to flow, the sensibilities, and the constant experimentation, I wouldn’t be surprised if very soon something pulls him further in to popular consciouness. [Free Download] @teenspleen
Dapper, grinning ear to ear and often sporting a bow tie New York based rapper, singer and artist Kamau Agyeman is a remarkable musician in that he defies genres and creates an orcastra of one with his layered, multifaceted vocals. Melodic, soulful and jazzy KillaBox is utterly poignant. Lines like media I don’t want to kill you/ I just don’t want you to kill me reflect both our times and Kamau‘s state of mind on KillaBox. There is something innocent, contemplative and longing that is fully realized and brithed on this track. His vocals range from fast, drawling raps to harmonious crooning. Background vocals are like honey to the ears, slow, sweet and dripping. KillaBox is the kind of rare song that send shivers up the spine while inspiring faith in the very future of humanity. @lachicasuprema
My favorite feature of today is a special one; Backburner from Mark Crozer & the Rels, a Charlotte based psych-rock band, is their most recent release and includes 7 tracks ranging from straight forward alt-rock to more spacey UK pop ballads. Mark Crozer, long-time songwriter and musician has spent his career working in various locations from his home city of Cambridge, UK to Canada, Charlotte, and most recently NYC. His background ranges from solo projects like the Rels to even joining in 2007 as a touring member of Jesus & Mary Chain, his first gig with them being Coachella to a crowd of over 50k and an on-stage guest appearance by Scarlett Johansson. Since then he has focused more intently on his own band, releasing various albums and playing regionally. I really love the whole collection but had to go with a feature of the closing track ‘Dig That Funky Meat‘ based on name alone. May this be your favorite new artist and hopefully your choice of spooky pop for Halloween weekend. @thinknotsleep
So many times when I’m analyzing a video, it’s for the video content itself and perhaps one of the most overlooked aspects is the actual relationship between the orchestral dynamics and visuals. The video for ‘Valerie’, off 10xbyCelestial Shore, is so much more than a visual experience paired with a musical one. It’s so far beyond the normal thought process, which I imagine often goes something along the lines of “wouldn’t this be a great soundtrack for this scene”, that it merges to generate a legitimate human feeling. At first that might sound stupid, as music is meant to create emotion, but when I say that ‘Valerie’ has the ability to be human, I mean that it can do it without the participation of the viewer, answering the old adage: “If a tree falls in the woods and nobody is there to hear it, does it make a sound?”
Celestial Shore is somewhat of a staple in my DIY world. If I had to win a court case for why this culture is valuable, they’d be a key piece of evidence (sorry to reduce you guys to a thing). My Chrome bookmarks consist of “Material to Post”, “Bad DIY” (for the day that we decide to show you the dark side of this world), “Good DIY” (I try to get creative with my folder titles), and “VIPs”. Celestial Shore is one of 37 bands that sit in that folder. That’s out of the 1,152 posts that I’ve written, and probably close to 5,000 DIY bands that I’ve thoughtfully listened to.
The evolution of Celestial Shore has seen many species, each one more adept at connecting the dots to brilliance than the next. I believe that it’s the DIY scene, the support from their fans, earned the good old fashion way, and the open source community which moves amorphously without prejudice or bias, that has fostered their creativity and gifted us with their product. 10x, some of the Best New Music around. @Dingusonmusic
*Note: Stay tuned for the revival of my old column D.I.Y.M.V.P.At one time, Dingus was just me. Soon it was Thomas and I. Then Leah, and so on. Now we are where we are and we’re damn proud of it. But growth has separated me from my original pleasure source, writing. And while I love doing administration work and promotion, I miss starting sentences with conjunctions. When you love something, you make time for it. D.I.Y.M.V.P. will not run on a regular schedule, rather when I have the time in-between large scale projects (which I promise will be often). So stay tuned for my next human subject: Jim Testa from The Jersey Beat, one of the DIY Godfathers.
My girl Jarina De Marco is back at it again, this time with ‘Spell on You’- her most tantalizing single yet. Tracking all of her latin influences into modern vocal expression, the video is vivid, alive, pointed and powerful just like the songs back-beat agenda that grabs you by the spine. The tune’s been a long time in the making and now that it’s hear, I’ve got to say I’m glad she took her time. For those who don’t know, Jarina was once a prophetic voice in the DIY scene working with groups like Ender Belongs to Me. Now, she’s signed and climbing. @Dingusonmusic
Stairway to Blackland by Shvun Dxn & Myth Syzer (Paris, France)
Stairway to Blackland is experimental hip hop at its finest. A stellar collaboration between Paris based producers Myth Syzer and up and coming New York rapper and R&B singer Shvun Dxn (also know as Shaun Don) there is something new, ethereal and exceptional about this album. It is moody and distorted yet masterfully pulled together. The beats touch on electronic and experimental noise music while mixing in classic jazz and funk samples (think Flying Lotus or Wu Tang Clan). Too often experimental hip hop is interesting in concept but a pain to listen to. Stairway to Blackland kills it and doesn’t even give you a moment to question its legitimacy. The vocals feel like a young and humble Kanye or a rougher and tougher Kid Cudi . The album flows as one, with spooky samples, killer hooks and an all encompassing fuzziness that renders it utterly entrancing. @lachicasuprema
I don’t know how to write this review being that I am currently in shock from how hard this record hits. From the first moments of the quick opener ‘Hit Vibes‘ to tracks like ‘Cherry Pepsi‘, the production is immaculate, powerful, and comparable to classic jams from Whitney Houston to UK genius Jai Paul. Saint Pepsi wields mostly instrumental electronic funk, true dance music for anyone with half a soul and it couldn’t be more relevant right now. Diverse drum and synthesizer sounds paired with crispy slapped bass grooves and choppy vocal samples, the entire listen through to Hit Vibes is a ride. Make sure to brag to your friends that you heard him first and be on the look out for tour dates. Featured today as Staff Favorite & Best New Music! @thinknotsleep
‘Own Appeal’ by Oddisee (Brooklyn by way of Maryland)*
There is nothing like stumbling on new music from an artist you dig while seeking out new releases on bandcamp. My jackpot goes by the name Oddisee, easily one of the most progressive MCs and producers on the scene, and he just dropped a new record and mixtape in one titled The Beauty In All/Tangible Dream. The Beauty In All is an instrumental record of neo-soul, hip-hop beats with never ending vibe and is paired with a bonus mixtape titled Tangible Dream that features rhymes and poetry by the main man himself. Today I have a free track called ‘Own Appeal‘ featured for you all to help yourselves to. Lyrically these tracks fall into the conscious hip-hop genre, a relatively pretentious title but you know what I mean, and flow-wise Oddisee has a bit of an Andre 3000 smooth groove going throughout the record. Tangible Dream is truly an inspiring release and it is exciting to watch this man climb to the top, whatever that means to him. It is shocking to hear something this mature and evolved when we are still plagued on the daily with whack rappers. Anyway, you’re welcome. [Free Download] @thinknotsleep
Heavy and moody, Hot Sugar‘s single release Leverage manages to be ruthlessly intelligent and effortlessly gangster simultaneously. Featuring DIY rap heavy hitters KOOL AD, Fat Tony, Lakutis, and Nasty Nigel, Leverage almost seems like a collection of flowing poetic monologues. The steady, almost ominous thump of the bass pulls this otherwise borderline disjointed track together. The video is beautifully shot and does a excellent job conveying the melancholic, harsh, lonely vibe of Brooklyn in the winter time. @lachicasuprema
Today my favorite feature that I have appropriately added to our Staff Favorites section is an album released by the composer Stavros Gasparatos titled Seven. The work is emotional and very multi-layered in that is ambient, minimalist classical in essence but also merged with electronic beats and instruments to add a much broader atmosphere. The record is a soundtrack to a stage performance written by Stavros Gasparatos and the auditory experience is on its’ own very powerful. Stavros has become one of the leading composers and sound designers in Greece and this production is a clear representation of his experimental side but also conventional expertise with composition. While listening to the album I am obviously drawn to imagining the experience of viewing the stage performance along with the score but at the same time I think of how incredibly it could work in a future PT Anderson film. This is a great experience and I hope everyone has some time to sit through and venture into the landscape Stavros has created. @thinknotsleep
With technology growing exponentially, personal computing is challenging the recording business and the internet is challenging the publishing business. Now more than ever, we see the pool of music and design growing deeper. But as always, the more music there is, the harder it is to find what really matters.
Dingus is dedicated to the search. It's here, on this humble blog that we shed light on bedroom artists in their most defining moments. If you want what's popular today, Dingus is not the blog for you. But, if you want what's fringe, pure and passionate then you've somehow landed on the right URL. So check back daily and enjoy your fellow peers' endeavors.
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