- Chris Brown signee Sevyn Streeter covers Aaliyah’s “Come Over”
- HOUSTON: Celebrate the 10th Annual Texas Black Expo Juneteenth Summer Celebration with Mint Condition & Doug E. Fresh
- New Music: Chrisette Michele – “Love Won’t Leave Me Out”
- Thursday’s Pop: Karmin – “Acapella”
- You Should Know: Danish Electro-Soul Duo Quadron
- Emeli Sandé Performs “Next to Me” on VH1′s Morning Buzz
- New Video: Goapele – “Undertow”
- New Video: India.Arie – “Cocoa Butter”
- New Video: Grace Potter and the Nocturnals – “The Lion The Beast The Beat”
- LIVE REVIEW: Allen Stone, Warehouse Live, Houston – 5/17/13
Upcoming Album Releases
Jun 18 - Arika Kane, THE REMIX ALBUM
Jun 18 - J.Cole, BORN SINNER
Jun 18 - Kelly Rowland, TALK A GOOD GAME
Jun 18 - Mac Miller, WATCHING MOVIES WITH THE SOUND OFF
Jun 25 - Atlantic Connection, LOVE ARCHITECT REMIXED
Jun 25 - Femi Kuti, NO PLACE FOR MY DREAM
Jun 25 - India.Arie - SONGVERSATION
Jul 2 - Pretty Lights, A COLOR MAP OF THE SUN
Jul 9 - Ciara, CIARA
Jul 9 - Thundercat, APOCALYPSE
Jul 16 - Candice Glover, MUSIC SPEAKS
Jul 23 - Gogol Bordello, PURA VIDA CONSPIRACY
Jul 29 - AlunaGeorge, BODY MUSIC
Jul 30 - Kendra Morris, MOCKINGBIRD
Aug 20 - Raheem DeVaughn, A PLACE CALLED LOVELAND
Aug 27 - Amel Larrieux, ICE CREAM EVERYDAY
Here is my official year-end list of music releases that captured my heart and ears over the last 12 months. From independent finds on music blogs to major-label promos that hit my email, my top 30 includes various album drops, an exclusive vinyl release from Record Store Day in April, a handful of mixtapes and a plenty of dope singles to boot.
Everything is listed alphabetically. Free downloads are noted as available. In other words, enjoy the sounds!
Alabama Shakes, BOYS & GIRLS (rock/blues/soul)
From playing major music festivals like Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits and South By Southwest all in one year, it’s safe to say that rock and soul outfit Alabama Shakes is set for an even bigger 2013. Their debut album Boys & Girls is a gritty mix of southern rock, blues and gospel-soul. The group’s not-so-secret weapon: Lead vocalist-guitarist Brittany Howard. [ATO Records]
Candice Anitra, BIG TREE (alt-soul)
Brooklyn-based alternative soul singer-songwriter Candice Anitra shares her full-length debut Big Tree with songs of love, hope and various other things. [Candice Anitra Music]
Chi Duly, BALLOONS OF HAUS (electro-dance)
Producer-DJ Chi Duly remixes The Weeknd’s mellow R&B set House of Balloons into a full-on electronic-filled house music mix. [Free Download]
Collette, JUNETEENTH REVOLUTION (soul/hip-hop)
Columbia, S.C.-bred, Harlem, N.Y.-based singer and rapper Collette brings an album of freedom songs for those seeking a free and open mind. Lead single “Material Star” features guitarist Akil Dasan. [ColumbiaSoul Entertainment]
Columbia Nights, Dawn | Dusk EP (jazz/spoken-word)
D.C. by-way-of-Philadelphia duo Columbia Nights debuted a lovely EP in May, mixing spoken-word, jazz and electronic-influenced tracks for 18-minutes of sweet and soulful sounds. [Record Breakin' Music]
Edit Murphy, “Brooklyn Nights” [Fantastic Man Remix]” [single] (classic house)
Edit Murphy crafts a classic house style while shouting out Jay-Z’s hometown borough. (Production by Fantastic Man, an Australian producer). [Smoke N' Mirrors]
Summer may be officially over tomorrow but that’s no reason to stop grooving on through the Fall. Thus, here I’ve compiled my top three DJ music releases to include a favorite single, podcast and remix album. These are musicians I consistently keep tabs on for guaranteed dope projects. So press play or download or purchase, but most importantly — get your groove on!
Onra (Paris, FR) | Hip-Hop/Soul/Electro
“Hold Tight” feat. Chuck Inglish
This version features label mate Chuck Inglish of rap group The Cool Kids, but the original appears on Onra’s latest EP Deep In The Night (Fool’s Gold Records). DITN has been in constant rotation around here since it dropped in early June.
DJ Spinna (Brooklyn, NY) | Soulful House | Journey Mix (Mid Summer 2012)
I’ve had the privilege of being on the dance floor during one of Spinna’s set three times in the last three years, and each time I leave with a big-ass smile on my face as well as sweaty clothes on my back. His mixes touches my soul. You can thank me later for this one!
1. Love Is So Nice (Reelsoul RMX) – Dj Roland Clark presents Urban Soul
2. I Still Love You (Pablo Martinez RMX) – Andrea Martin
3. Faith (Dj Spinna Galactic Soul RMX) – Groove Addix feat Annette Taylor
4. Downtown – Kerri Chandler
5. Don’t You Want My Love (Sean McCabe Need My Dub) – Dajae
6. Smile (Joey Negro Mix) – Mistura
7. We Need His Power (Dj Spen Instrumental) – Marlon D & Mena Keys
8. Superewoman (K2 Re-Edit) – Quincy Jones
9. Guitar Groove – Yusuke Hiraoka
10. Somebody That I Used To Know (Reelsoul Mix) – Gotye
11. Rain – Kerri Chandler
12. Rain (Atjazz RMX) – Kerri Chandler
13. Linda (Da Capo Touch) – Ralf Gum feat Oluhle
14. What We Gonna Do – Sia & Ribatone
15. The Roof Leak – Dj Fale
16. Awukhu Muzi (Shelter Edit) – Busi Mhlongo
17. All In My Head (Mark Francis Edit) – Avery Sunshine
18. B-Piper – Wyze, Joy Halliday
19. Kissing You (Josh Milan RMX) – Miranda Nicole
20. Lost Tapes (Feel Mix) – Needs
21. Living My Dream (Zepherin Saint Tribe RMX) – Local Instruments
The Stuyvesants (Brooklyn, NY) R&B/Hip-Hop/Soul | The Stuyvesants: Remixes
Based in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, this production duo of Algorythm and Flwrpt crafted re-mixes to some of the hottest R&B/hip-hop joints of the mid-90′s. Think: Camp Lo’s “Luchini”, 702′s “Steelo” and Ginuwine’s “Same Ol’ G.” In a word: #Loveliness
My top music releases for the month of July, to include singles, EPs and LPs.
Danny Brown & AraabMUZIK “Molly Ringwald” [single release] (hip-hop) – Rapper Danny Brown teams up with Mr. MPC King AraabMUZIK on this club-inspired jam.
DJ Sneak, SNEAK’S IBIZA BOMBERS PT. 1 (deep house/tech house/house) – Puerto Rican-born, Chicago-bred DJ Sneak (Carlos Sosa) brings the house, deep house and tech house in this smoothly-crafted compilation inspired by the Ibiza music scene.
Frank Ocean, CHANNEL ORANGE (R&B/soul) – On his proper debut LP, rising R&B singer-songwriter and producer Frank Ocean shows why his music should remain more important than his lifestyle choices.
Kinky Movement, NERVOUS EP (jackin’ house) – 4-song mix of deep & funky house music.
P!nk “Blow Me (One Last Kiss)” [single release] (pop-rock) – P!nk sharing another utterly- relatable pop single release.
With tons of new projects forthcoming and lots of dope music in my ear right now, I just realized I haven’t posted my favorite “new music” list since the beginning of April. For those who might of missed ‘em, here’s January, February and March –but the list is a short roundup highlighting my top LPs, EPs, singles, and mixtapes released throughout the month. Whether for deep lyrical content or strong production aspects, there were plenty who got play on my iPod.
Nonetheless, here’s a shortlist of my favorite releases that dropped from April 1 to June 30 of this year. In order of the most recent.
▪ Atlantic Connection, LOVE ARCHITECT (electro/soul/downtempo)
* Emeli Sandé, OUR VERSION OF EVENTS (pop/soul) #SwedishSoul
▪ Esthero, “Never Gonna Let You Go” (electro/pop) [single]
▪ HouseShoes, LET IT GO (underground hip-hop)
▪ Jarrard Anthony, READY TO LIVE (R&B/soul) #uplifting
▪ Lakecia Benjamin, RETOX (soulful/funky/jazzy)
▪ Liquideep, Alone [EP] (soulful house)
▪ Lissat & Voltaxx vs. Marc Fisher feat. Vanessa Ekpenyong, “Heat of the Night (Deep Disco remix)” (house) [single]
* Onra, Deep in the Night [EP] (electro/hip-hop) #dopeness
▪ Rocco Careri & Arturo Macchiavelli feat. Vanee, “Rock With You“ [Michael Jackson cover] (soulful house) [single]
* B.o.B, STRANGE CLOUDS (pop/hip-hop) | 15 tracks/10 features #StillLikey
* Columbia Nights, Dawn | Dusk EP (neo soul) #sosmooth
* Karmin, HELLO (pop) #ultrapop #guiltypopleasure
▪ Mary Mary, GO GET IT (Music from the TV series) (contemporary gospel)
* Miguel Migs feat. Meshell Ndegeocello “Tonight“ (R&B/deep house) [single]
▪ Monophonics, IN YOUR BRAIN (soulful/heavyfunk/60′s rock)
* Rebecca Ferguson, HEAVEN [U.S. RELEASE] (pop) #BritishSoul
* Scissor Sisters, MAGIC HOUR (electro-pop-dance)
* Tank, THIS IS HOW I FEEL (R&B) #warning #pantieswilldrop
* The Hood Internet, MIXTAPE V.6 (hip-hop/electro) #crazymashups #FREEdownload
* Alabama Shakes, BOYS & GIRLS (rock/blues/soul) #lovelovelove
▪ Bassnectar, VAVA BOOM (dubstep)
▪ Blockhead, INTERLUDES AFTER MIDNIGHT (trip-hop) #instrumentals
▪ Bonnie Raitt, SLIPSTREAM (blues/country/rock)
* Jamiroquai, ROCK DUST LIGHT STAR [U.S. Release] (pop/rock/dance) #nearly two years after its European release. Can we at least get a U.S. tour? #justsayin
▪ Photek, DJ-KICKS (drum n bass/downtempo/deep house)
▪ SWV, I MISSED US (Soul/R&B) | Sisters With Voices are back!
▪ The Black Seeds, DUST AND DIRT (pop/rock/reggae)
▪ Yuna, YUNA (indie pop/rock/folk)
Bonus track: Matisyahu “Sunshine” [re-worked, pop version of 2010 single]
DJ/producer Opolopo and singer Amalia entered my iPod last year when I came across his 2010 release Voltage Controlled Feelings via Google Play. Now, his latest Mutants is rattling my eardrums (in that good way!). Alongside Dam-Funk and a handful of others, the Hungarian-born, Sweden-bred Opolopo is creating a mutant blend of soul, funk, hip-hop and house.
In the video –while visiting Jakarta, Indonesia for a performance, Opolopo and his partner and collaborator Amalia, talks about future-funk, their influences and more.
For one artist to incorporate the styles of drum n’ bass, house, dubstep and downtempo on a single album is one thing, but to do it smoothly and rather sexy-like, is positively another.
That being said, L.A.-based Atlantic Connection delivers the goods with ease on his new album Love Architect (out today!). And you can hear the DJ/producer’s sweet vibes below.
|Balloons of Haus Remix Project (2012)|
Brooklyn-based producer Chi Duly remixes Toronto-based The Weeknd’s House of Balloons (as well as) the singer’s latest Echoes of Silence. The dark electro-tinged R&B projects are now a booty bass-house-influenced mix called Balloons of Haus. One word: Dopeness.
Miguel Migs (born Miguel Steward, aka Petalpusher) respects the DJ movement. Always one to bring a lovely brand of deep house to the table, the San Francisco DJ, producer and musician is a master at what he does. With countless DJ mixes, remixes and nearly two-dozen EPs to his credit, Migs released his fourth studio album Outside the Skyline November of last year. The LP features well-known acts like R&B diva Evelyn “Champagne” King, alternative singer-bassist Meshell Ndegeocello and bossa nova pop artist Bebel Gilberto. Last month I had the chance to pose a few questions to the guy behind the decks to find out why he become a DJ, his career choices if he were not spinning records, and much more.
Outside the Skyline is solely made up of guest features, which is not your usual release, why go that route? I’m thinking the title of the album has something to do with it.
I really enjoy working with various artists/vocalists and exploring different styles… I love the whole process of song writing; recording and creating music and I wanted to create a cohesive album that reflects some of my inspirations. Soul, funk, disco, rock, reggae and electronic elements all interwoven, featuring a wide range of amazing singers, and ‘Outside the Skyline’ is the result.
Where do you go (mentally or physically) to create a song? How long does it take to get the right sound? And when do you know it’s finished?
I write songs very spontaneously and without an exact plan… usually, first I put together a rough track instrumental idea, then I get a feel for what style vocal would fit nicely on top. Sometimes I will write the lyrics and melody collaborating with the singer I have in mind, and sometimes I will write it myself and then bring in the vocalist to perform and record the song… there are no exact rules to the process, I just try and stay open minded to various styles and I have so many musical ideas always going through my head.
I’ve followed your DJ career for about 10 years now, what pre-show rituals, if any, do you have? Anything unusual like rehearsing in a room full of Patchouli incense and peach candles.
[Smiles] I just show up with my music and spontaneously see where it goes! It’s always a bit of an experiment, testing out lots of new tracks all the time as well as just having fun with it all.
Can you recall a particular experience that made you say, “I wanna be a DJ?” Because you were a musician beforehand.
I never planned on this really, it was not a serious goal to be a professional “DJ”, I just really enjoyed playing records for fun and it naturally progressed into a full-time thing along with the production and all…
If you hadn’t become an architect of music, what do you think you’d be doing?
I probably would have either opened a bar or a little restaurant… both of which I still might do in the near future actually… that or go open a little bar on a beach somewhere exotic like Tahiti… that sounds good, disappear and live in paradise!
Changing gears, what are your thoughts on the celebrity DJ culture; e.g. successful singers or rappers who are now “pursuing” a DJ career? And I’m using pursuing loosely.
To each his own, and the best of luck to anyone that wants to be creative with music. It’s personal taste and personal preference, but overall it has all become a bit watered down it seems. It’s definitely a different time now from the good old days of every DJ playing records and diggin’ through the crates.
I’m curious, what color do you think matches your music? And why?
Depends on the mood… maybe one part blue for the deep and laid back aspect, with some red or orange thrown in there for warmth.
Outside the Skyline is in stores now.
- ND McCray
- ND McCray
Ryo Murakami, 2017 EP – deep house/tech house
Claude VonStroke, Bird Brain (Bonus Track Version)