Benji Boko – Beats, Treats and All Things Unique (2011)

So, this is the new dancefloor/DJ sensation from U.K. featuring Maxi Jazz, Deuce Eclipse, Ricky Rankin and Mr. Louis (Boko’s seven year old cousin 😀 ) as contributing artist. Benji delivering a mixture of Electronic Funk and Trip-Hop, it’s smooth as it’s danceable, retro perfumed, but sounds kind of fresh. Take Jamiroquai and throw it in a blender with the Gorillaz and you will get something pretty close to this. The skits are kind of funny, the “music” is a minimalist, meticulously calculated series of samplers, sequencers and switches, classic beats and turns coloured with few smooth jazz piano and guitar cuts. It takes only a MIDI sequencing, multitrack recording and mixing software – for instance the excessively user-friendly ACID Pro 7 – and using the proper loop library, even my 4 years old son can deliver a few catchy dancefloor firestarters. And this lead me back to something else: not the bloody “music” matters, but who you know and who stands behind you – how many asses you kissed and most importantly, who’s ass. Read more Benji Boko – Beats, Treats and All Things Unique (2011)

Thievery Corporation – Culture of Fear (2011)

While Brits have Massive Attack, Americans have Thievery Corporation. In 1996 Thievery Corporation released “Sounds from the Thievery Hi-Fi”, their debut album, and with it they defined an entire genre of music and crystallized their distinct “outernational sound” aesthetic. Thievery Corporation was formed in the summer of 1995 at Washington D.C.’s Eighteenth Street Lounge by Rob Garza and Eric Hilton. Over the next 14 years the duo would write and record four more critically acclaimed studio albums (“The Mirror Conspiracy” – 2000, “The Richest Man in Babylon” – 2002, “The Cosmic Game” – 2005, and “Radio Retaliation” – 2008), three remix albums (“Abductions and Reconstructions” – 1999, “Babylon Rewound” – 2004, and “Versions” – 2006), and various DJ mixes and film soundtracks (“The Outernational Sound” – 2004, and the recent Babylon Central Film Soundtrack). On the album “The Cosmic Game” featured high-profile guest singers including Perry Farrell of Jane’s Addiction, David Byrne, and Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips.
In 2006, the band also recorded “Sol Tapado” for the AIDS benefit album Silencio=Muerte: Red Hot + Latin Redux produced by the Red Hot Organization. In 2006 they toured around the United States, playing at Lollapalooza and they were the opening act on August 1, 2009 for Sir Paul McCartney at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland. Read more Thievery Corporation – Culture of Fear (2011)

Anitek – Mind Express (2011)

Flowing and glowing, Anitek brings to the surface a smooth and colorful mixture of jazz, trip hop, downtempo where classy sounds and modern textures are overlapping and completed each other. Dave Nunez aka Anitek is a Trip Hop Producer from Morristown, New Jersey. He has been playing piano for 15 years, along with cello, clarinet, guitar, bass, drums and is also a scratch DJ. His main influences are Rachmaninoff, Dvorak, Medeski Martin, DJ Krush, Bonobo, Amon Tobin, DJ Shadow, Rjd2, Bonobo, Photek, Danny Elfman, John Williams and Fat Jon. He often incoperates genres such as Orchestral, jazz, funk, Electronica, Lounge, Ambient, and Underground Hip hop into his music, creating a lush, melodic Soundtrack for either lyricists, commercials or film, but also writes classic music as well. Read more Anitek – Mind Express (2011)

Echofikibausik – Addicts of chillout (2011)

Echofikibausik comes from Kraków, Poland and mixing dubstep, dub, downtempo, raggae, jazz, chillout, trip-hop, ambient and nu-jazz into an exciting sonar cocktail. You can grab for free his latest release from his Bandcamp page for free, this smooth and groovy five track album entitled “Addicts of chillout”.
I didn’t manage to dig out any background information about Echofikibausik, but the music is quite enough. “Addicts of chillout” is a slow glowing, sparking material with smooth jazz perfume and nice electro and ambiental textures. Read more Echofikibausik – Addicts of chillout (2011)

Geskia! – Alien (2011)

This is an open invitation to a trip into the unknown. A mysterious space filled with broken beats, sparking textures and unidentified noises. Geskia!’s concept is to reproduce the life around him, to reflect the connections between him and others, and to manifest his perspective about the world musically. Merging downbeat and trip hop structures with industrial noises and meditative textures, sparking harmonies, Geskia! build an exciting universe with beautiful moving pictures, unexpected turns and blinding highlights. Geskia! have an absolute positive vibe, it’s warm, full of energy and flowing groove, this electronic music seems very breathing and alive. Geskia! try to reach out and communicate in his own, particular way, he gives expression to his feelings and expect feedback. Read more Geskia! – Alien (2011)

Lamb – 5 (2011)

Lou Rhodes and Andy Barlow parted their ways in 2004 to go on divergent solo projects after four beautiful electronic albums. Six years later, talking on the phone and catching up, their considered the time it’s right to make another Lamb album. And this is it. “5” will be released on May 5 and the pre-ordered special limited-edition version consist in 15 tracks. The flawless blend of baffled beats, intriguing textured ambience and lush, the soulful melodies and color of exciting noises are merged into this highly pulsing new material, Lamb sounds fresh, distinguished, alive and kicking, the best possible mixture of experimental trip hop and pumping drum and bass. Aside from trip hop and drum and bass, their musical style is included a mixture of jazz and dub. Read more Lamb – 5 (2011)

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Prefuse 73 – The Only She Chapters (2011)

Strange, but nice, kind of mysterious is this brand new album by Prefuse 73. Trip Hop textures, distant and soft noises, kind of familiar obscurity floating around through this 18 tracks that been tied together by the words “The Only…” which at the beginning of every title from the songs. Sometimes it reminds me of Dead Can Dance, but Prefuse 73 strip down everything to the bone, they are much more electronic and minimalist. Their spacy and atmospheric music have something warm, friendly, intimate, peaceful. And it’s quit charming. It’s kind of release or even caress. On the other hand there’s always some hidden tension in the background which keep our attention focused. It may be a tricky game, but Prefuse 73 play it well. You can leave this one on repeat and it will flows and floats around like the smoke. And once again, this is nice. Read more Prefuse 73 – The Only She Chapters (2011)

t.A.T.u. – Waste Management Remixes (2011)

Lena Katina and Yulia Volkova made some waves in 2002 not only with the song “Not Gonna Get Us”, but also with all the controversial discussions about that they are lesbians – or not. Later, in 2004, Katina then stated: “He (producer Ivan Shapovalov) made us out to BE lesbians when we were just singing FOR lesbians. We wanted people to understand them and not judge them. That they are as free as anyone else.” And Volkova stated: “He spends his time thinking up scandals instead of planning our artistic work. I’m sure our fans would rather hear new songs and new albums than new scandals.” The band’s name – t.A.T.u. – “Тату”, refers to a shortened version of the Russian “Та любит Ту (Ta lyubit Tu)”, meaning “She loves her” and it was the idea of the producer Ivan Shapovalov. The first single was completed in Autumn 2000, entitled “Ya Soshla S Uma” released in English as “All The Things She Said”. Their first album, “200 Po Vstrechnoy” was released on May 21, 2001 and the English version of the album was released one year later, entitled “200 km/h in the Wrong Lane”. In May 2003, t.A.T.u. represented Russia at Eurovision Song Contest 2003, where they placed third. In 2003, the act released the first compilation CD of remixes, titled “Remixes”. In early 2004, t.A.T.u. legally broke their contract with Ivan Shapovalov and soon after announce their split. Read more t.A.T.u. – Waste Management Remixes (2011)

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Kaya Project – Desert Phase (2010)

Kaya Project este rezultatul colaborării dintre Seb Taylor şi Natasha Chamberlain, iar acest „Desert Phase” este al patrulea lor album după „Walking Through” (2004), „Elixir” (2005) şi „And So It Goes” (2008). Taylor este un compozitor/producător activ, dar şi un multi-instrumentist, cântă la chitară, bas, zheng, silofon, tzoura, banjoud, flaut, darbouka, muzicuţă şi face programare, foloseşte cu îndemânare samplere şi clape. Taylor a fost ocupat în ultimul an cu producţia şi compunerea unor reclame TV şi coloane sonore, „Buddha, Bees & the Giant Hornet Queen” coloana sonoră pentru un documentar despre natură realizat pentru BBC a şi câştigat un premiu.
Pe lângă Taylor şi solista Natasha la proiectele Kaya contribuie şi un şir lung de invitaţi: Irina Mikhailova, Omar Faruk Tekbilek, Shahin Badar, Deeyah, Johnny Kalsi, Randolph Matthews, etc.
Muzica este un amestec de Ambiental cu World Music predominant cu inflexiuni orientale, infuzii Trip Hop, Downtempo şi Nu Jazz.
O călătorie relaxantă, într-o lume cu sonorităţi fine şi ritmuri şerpuitoare, hipnotice, instrumentele exotice piperează temele, dau un şarm şi un farmec aparte proiectului.

Cele 15 piese noi au acelaşi şarm, poartă aceeaşi amprentă „trip”, sunt Read more Kaya Project – Desert Phase (2010)

THE Q4 – Sound Surroundings (2010)

Cei trei olandezi zburători au fost patru, dar din lipsă de timp unul a dezertat, însă numele proiectului inspirat şi de unul din primele sisteme sourround din anii ’70, în fapt o distribuire a sunetului stereo în 4 boxe, a rămas neschimbat.
Membrii THE Q4 sunt producători, DJi, muzicieni, s-au confruntat în 2005 în cadrul unor „beats battles”-ul via internet şi s-au decis să-şi unifice efortul şi abordările diferite într-un proiect şi-n 2006 pun cap la cap 6 piese pentru EP-ul „Sound Surroundings’ însă nu se găseşte nici o companie de disc dispusă să investească, să producă materialul.
Cei trei membrii rămaşi lucrează individual, Sense construieşte muzică pe bază de samplere şi loop-uri, dar lucrează şi ca producător pentru formaţii Hip-Hop; Arts the Beatdoctor mixează intens predominant materiale instrumentale şi a scos o serie de albume solo iar SWT a cântat ca chitarist într-o serie de trupe de Rock Alternativ, dar a devenit cunoscut mai ales pentru ritmurile şi mixurile sale Hip Hop.

Împreună cei trei Read more THE Q4 – Sound Surroundings (2010)