theDoggyBagEP

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Music, digital, art, film, theatre, photography and the likes. I like to write, I have an unashamedly pretentious alter-ego, and I am interested in things. This is the result. Remember: “the unexamined life is not worth living.”

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Beautiful Rewind: Four Tet set to release new album

Some super-sweet news, one and all: the unassuming musical-maestro and all-round pioneer of sound-innovation that is Kieran Hebden (Four Tet) has quietly announced that he will be releasing his nine studio album later this year, via his very-own Text Records.

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At this stage, there’s not much to know bar the title (Beautiful Rewind), the tracklist (see below) and the fact that you should all be really quite excited. Of course, this air of the unknown only makes what will already be a tantalising wait for this new release that little bit more sweetly unbearable.

In typically refreshing fashion, Hebden has shunned the usual trawling PR brigade in favour of a more clean-cut, under-stated and organic album release: “[there will be] no pre-order, no YouTube trailers, no iTunes stream, no Spotify, no Amazon deal, no charts, no bitcoin deal, no last-minute Rick Rubin”, he proclaimed earlier this week. An invigorating and much-needed affirmation indeed.

It remains to be seen whether Beautiful Rewind will go down the experimental bass route that his recent collaborations and releases have focused on, or be more of a throw-back to Four Tet’s earlier dreamy trip-hop work of the late 1990s. We wait with palpable excitement for the answer.

So, here’s the tracklist:

1. Gong
2. Parallel jalebi
3. Our navigation
4. Ba teaches yoga
5. Kool FM
6. Crush
7. Buchla
8. Aerial
9. Ever never
10. Unicorn
11. Your body feels

Good luck with the wait!

1 note Four Tet Keiran Hebden Beautiful Rewind Text Records Music Bass Electronic Music Musiccorner

Mount Kimbie // Cold Spring Fault Less Youth: exclusive stream

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The electronic music world is awash with excitment and ancipatation at the prospect of Mount Kimbie's new LP, Cold Spring Fault Less Youth, being launched oh-so-very-soon. We’ve had to wait two years since their critically acclaimed Crooks & Lovers album, so it’s no wonder we can’t contain ourselves. For those who just can’t wait until 27th May, never fear - NPR Music have an extra-special treat for those left-leaning ears: you can stream the entire album a week before its official release right here! It won’t disappoint.

Mount Kimbie Musiccorner Madetostray Cold Spring Fault Less Use Crooks & Lovers Bass Music Electronic Music Bass Music Warp Records Dummy NPR Music

Four Tet // Rounds (re-release): a landmark album from the master of experimentation

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13th May 2013 was a day of significance in the world of electronic music: it marked the decade anniversary of the release of Four Tet’s seminal, epoch-making third album, Rounds. To celebrate, Domino launched a rerelease, including the tantalising addition of seven typically innovative, contortedly shining tracks mixed and recorded live by Hebden in Copenhagen.

Four Tet has been at the forefront of a new-wave defiance that has been growing across UK producers steadily over the last 15 years: he fosters a refusal to accept the mundane predictability that so much of today’s EDM is focused around and feeds off. For Hebden, two decks, a mixer, some keyboards and trusty laptop present a platform from which to create and experiment with sounds that shake and stimulate you to the very core. Simply, for this ground-breaking curator of musical patterns, boundaries exist to be pushed and broken; conformity is a concept to be shunned. As an album, Rounds epitomised this forward-thinking, challenging attitude. It was the beginning of a fresh wave of serial experimenters and has been cited as an influence for producers as wide-ranging as Floating Points, Mount Kimbie, Jamie xx and Caribou.

After his work within the 90’s band Fridge, Hebden saw some success with his first two solo projects, Dialogue and Pause; however, it was with Rounds’ release a decade ago that the music world really stood up and took notice: this was an unprecedented ten-track journey that took listeners on a twisted path through synthesised jazz, bass-heavy trip-hop, melodic grime, post-rock purity and melancholic, meandering folk. Four Tet demonstrated that he can be exactly what you wanted him to be: hot and cold, fast and slow, all-dancing and all-thinking. If such a thing exists, Keiran Hebden showed that he was, and still is, the pensive raver – a pirouetting oxymoron contained within a riddled paradox. He recently expressed “direct rebellion” at being labelled ‘folktronica’ – no wonder: when releases are as diverse as his, you can’t put this man’s sounds into a box. There isn’t one big enough.

Some of Four Tet’s greatest productions are contained within Rounds: “She Moves She” incorporates off-beat rhythms with blissfully inappropriate string and harp melodies to form one of the sunniest tracks this side of 2000; “As Serious As Your Life” is quintessential, raw, trip-hop that pulsates with dense energy and pace; “My Angel Rocks Back and Forth” is…well, it’s beyond description and comparison, isn’t it? Musical science just doesn’t cut it.

With Four Tet’s productions moving increasingly into dance arena, the rerelease of Rounds gives old fans a chance to indulge in a touch of his primitive, early sounds, while opening up the ears of those who haven’t yet been acquainted. Fling in the exclusive live recordings from Copenhagen and there’s something for everyone: this is a sure-fire winner from one of the heavy-weights of improvised experimentation.

Four Tet Musiccorner Rounds Domino Records Music Electronic Music Dance Music Trip-Hop Folktronica Keiran Hardie Bass Beats

James Blake // Overgrown [album review]

Strangely refreshing, wholly unnerving and predictably unpredictable: it could only be James Blake with his new album, Overgrown.

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This album is remarkable. 11 tracks filled almost wholly by a pure and holy tripod: drums, bass and a big ol’ sprinkling of reverb-heavy vocals. James Blake pulls the most out of this minimalism and manages to produce a truly rich, yet satisfyingly pure sound. Is this his trademark? It could well become so: effortlessly combining neat, clean-cut melodies with classism and depth. Pop and rock; pop and bass; pop and electronic; pop and everythin’ else - it’s covered folks.

Overgrown is bold, it’s exciting and it’s predictably unpredictable. Subconsciously and in unnervingly swift fashion, we are moved from the innovative electronic experimentation of the title track through to the quintessential-Blake post-dubstep think-tank of a tune, ‘Life Round Here’ (wait until it gets going at 2.30). ‘Retrograde’ acts as a platform for a full-range of Blake’s impressively wild and weird vocal tones to be showcased, whilst ‘Digital Lion' provides us with a sizzling ’90s techno flavour that could've come straight out of Berlin.  When combined with the hard house of 'Voyeur' and the unnerving (and, quite frankly, unnecessary) US hip-hop (!) of 'Every Day I Ran’, you have a wholly eclectic, seamlessly diverse and utterly Catholic album. Strangely, it works. 

The standout factor? Blake’s disturbed, warped, unabashed vocals running through every track, stamping their unique mark and ensuring that each song is unlike any other. So sharp, so sensual, so wholly listenable. This is a set of songs that anyone who appreciates sound should own. 

Conclusion: this album is an experiment…and it’s worked in blissful fashion. Listen up.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

1 note James Blake Musiccorner Overgrown Music Bass Dubstep Post Dubstep Vocals

Check out these mind-bending artworks from Russian illistrator Victor Melamed. From Hendrix to Harvey, Cave to the Clash, he’s twisted global rock stars into surrealist images bursting with imagination and originality.

Victor is a teacher at Moscow’s British Higher school of Art and Design, and works for the Rolling Stone magazine. Check out more of his work here.

 

4 notes Victor Melamed art illistration Rolling Stone Jimi Hendrix The Clash John Lennon PJ Harvey Jim Morrisson Gnarls Barkley

Track of the Week: Mount Kimbie // Made to Stray [Warp Records]

Two pioneers of musical innovation return to the fray with a pulsing track that takes us to the ‘darkest corner of the night’.

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Kai Campos and Dom Maker, a.k.a. Mount Kimbie, have been frustratingly aloof since bursting onto the scene in 2010 with the critically acclaimed ‘Crooks & Lovers’. The album announced the young London duo at the forefront of the UK’s genre-defying underground music scene, with creativity, innovation and a fearless willingness to experiment at the core of all of their productions.

Made to Stray’ is no exception to this refreshing philosophy. We’ve had to wait nigh-on 24 months for a new track, awash with tantalisation throughout, but an exclusive airing on Ben UFO’s Rinse show last week finally put us out of our glorious misery. And boy, it’s been worth it: Campos and Maker’s dulcet vocal tones lead us through an unnerving, unpredictable and utterly gripping show-down of off-beat electronic reverberations. Hypnotic, dreamy and organic, this is sure to take you somewhere else on this lazy, hazy Saturday mornin’. It’s simultaneously uplifting and melancholy, thought-provoking and hedonistic; in short, a sublime snippet of sound to warm the soul.

My advice: turn it up loud and get lost! Listen here.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

MountKimbie WarpRecords MadeToStray Crooks&Lovers Bass Music Electronic BenUFO RinseFM

Disclosure Brave the Conventional

2012 saw Disclosure steadily chip away at the bastardisation of dance music, and become a pop duo in the process.

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Seb Wheeler’s feature in today’s Mixmag told us everything genuine electronic music fans already know, but always like to hear: popularity is not bad (necessarily); being unknown is not good (necessarily). The underground music scene can often get caught up in the not-whos-of-not-whos of DJing (it is ‘underground’ for a reason, I suppose) but it must be remembered that there is only one thing that ultimately counts: the sound at the end of it all.

Disclosure epitomise this: they’ve reached the heady hights of number 2 in the UK charts (yes, chartsnot dance charts) and, in the process, they have proved that you can be known and liked and, to some extent, commercial - but that doesn’t mean you have to become the next generic, junky, bland, nothing EDM act that the likes of Deadmau5 and co. wish you were. Listeners are more sophisticated than plastic producers sometimes give them credit for, and the success of Disclosure’s White Noise is testament to this point. Who’d have though that an unapologetically industrial future garage track, with fuzzed-up female samples and punchy bass lines all included, would even see the dregs of a UK chart, let alone get a sliver medal? Perhaps the average person in this country does appreciate an original, thought-filled production after all.

The success of this UK double-act fills me with a sense of warm satisfaction. Enough of the crud that Radio 1 churns out day after day - it’s time for the mainstream to experiment and for the conventional to be ruffled up a touch. White Noise is the start; let 2013 bring more originality to the masses.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ 

2 notes Disclosure Musiccorner MixMag SebWheeler Charts Top40 White Noise EDM Dance Music

2012: The Social Year

2012 was the year of the post, microblog, like, pin, tweet and video upload. With over one billion active users on Facebook, 25,088 tweets sent every second and 48 hours of video uploaded onto YouTube every minute, the last 12 months has seen social media grow at exponential speed. The volume of choice for interactions can be overwhelming, but with this growth comes unprecedented opportunity for businesses looking to engage and grow their brands at a multichannel level.

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What is still clear is that it is notoriously difficult for organisations to measure the efficiency of these social media campaigns. There is no exact science but instead a range of metrics to consider: sentiment analysis, page likes, retweets, video views and drive of new traffic to name just a few. As such, whittling down a year’s worth of social media campaigns to just five of the best is an inherently subjective process that will undoubtedly fuel debate. Regardless, here are some to whet the appetite:

Kellogg’s Tweet Shop 

  • The idea: Kellogg’s opened a pop-up shop that leveraged social payments – people paid for products by tweeting instead of using cash, meaning there was real benefit to customers in promoting the Kellogg’s brand
  • Why it was so good: the campaign turned social media into a currency, instantly turning something tenuous to tangible. It was entirely customer-led, meaning all of Kellogg’s promotion was done for them, taking word-of-mouth branding to a new level

Heineken and Balloons

  • The idea: using Facebook ‘likes’ as a way to drum up interest in a company is not a new idea; however, Heineken added a bold twist to this strategy by offering to blow up a green balloon in its Brazilian offices every time it got a new ‘like’. Heineken then posted regular videos onto social media platforms to keep its fans updated on the ever-growing mass of balloons that were being introduced to the workspace. The entire office became a sea of green inflatables 
  • Why it was so good: this brilliantly imaginative campaign showed that your brand is everything – and arguably more important than the product itself. This campaign had little to do with the Heineken product and everything to do with the Heineken brand. Thousands of people were incentivised to take part in the fun and become digital fans

Nike and Make It Count

  • The idea: Nike launched a “Make It Count” campaign for 2012, with the aim of motivating people to get active whilst promoting the Nike brand. Emotive and inspiring videos, photos and adverts were complimented by the “Make It Count” hashtag
  • Why it was so good: this was a truly cross-channel campaign that highlighted the importance of consistency in promoting a brand and its message. Across Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and others, Nike tapped into customers and became intrinsically part of their New Year’s resolutions. By using professional athletes as part of the campaign, Nike leverage additional fans and followers. As a result, #makeitcount is one of the enduring social slogans of 2012 

Red Bull and the Stratos Jump

  • The idea: the stuntman Felix Baumgartner performed the highest parachute jump ever and, in doing so, broke the speed of sound. Red Bull sponsored the feat and, as eight million viewers tuned into watch the event unfold online, the Red Bull brand received unprecedented global exposure 
  • Why it was so good: this was a remarkable feat for mankind and Red Bull became part of that story. It captured the public’s imagination and took advantage of the sensationalising of the media – a narrative was carefully crafted, at which Red Bull was at the centre

Dollar Shave Club and the Viral Video 

  • The idea: Dollar Shave Club wanted to create awareness of its new start-up company and products, but without heavy investment. It made a promotional video for $4,500 that went viral, with over eight million YouTube hits
  • Why it was so good: This campaign shows that with the power of social media, you can market your product for next to no cost. This promotional video is bold, witty, to the point and explains exactly what Dollar Shave Club’s product is and why we should be buying it

This is just a snapshot of what social media can do for businesses when its potential is harnessed in the right way – many other organisations have undertaken similarly successful campaigns. One thing is for certain: when combined with innovation and listening to what the customer wants, social media becomes a powerful tool indeed. The beauty of it is that there are very limited barriers to entry, so it is time to get social and grow your brand!

1 note socialmedia mainmusings facebook twitter pintrest blogging kellogg's heineken redbull advertising marketing brand campaign 2012 dollarshaveclub nike
Reblogged from migaishu