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Sound Check's Blog – August 2012 Archive (20)

#SoundCheck - Crystal Axis, Teenage Punk Rockers from Kenya, Release “Devil Sold His Soul”

The DIY scene in Nairobi is quickly becoming one of the most vibrant on the continent. A group of young bands, few older than 25, supporting each other making independent, badass, and just plain LOUD music. We've written about the scene before and I'm…


Added by Sound Check on August 31, 2012 at 1:37pm — 2 Comments

#SoundCheck - The UK Garage Rock Renaissance continues with The Connectors new video “Naked”

Between Melody Nelson, and now The Connectors, we definitely seem to be in the middle of a UK garage rock renaissance. Taking their cues as much from Nirvana and 90's garage as the Kinks, the two piece band consists of singer/guitarist Andy and drummer Danny. Their first single is “Naked,” a fist pumping garage anthem reminiscent of fellow two piece Local H. Built on a simple riff and repeating “just like everybody else / unlike anybody else,” the duo makes the most out of their…


Added by Sound Check on August 29, 2012 at 1:42pm — 1 Comment

INTERVIEW: Catching up with Reggie Watts & Straight Line Stitch @ AP Fest 2012

After she enjoyed the Afropunk Fest performances like the rest of us, AP member Olivia Haynes got a chance to catch up with hilarious mad scientist Reggie Watts and Alexis Brown of Metal band Straight Line Stitch.

They told her about what Afropunk means to them and what they have in store for us in coming months. Check it out.

(Straight Line Stitch photo by wagz2it/TimeOut NY)…


Added by Sound Check on August 29, 2012 at 1:00pm — 2 Comments

Weekly Kick-Off: 10 Banging Tracks Your Ears Must Hear

Ready to kick off your week with another list of great tracks? Of course you are, so here we go!

Contributor: Elijah Watson

10. XXYYXX, "Lonely Sometimes:" This vowel-less producer from Orlando, Florida is definitely someone you should know about. The 16 year-old (yes he is 16) has made some enjoyable beats, and "Lonely Sometimes" is no different. Soaring with angelic vocal samples, the track gradually…


Added by Sound Check on August 28, 2012 at 12:30pm — 4 Comments

#SoundCheck Get Your Retro BadBoy On with Twin Shadow's sophomore record 'Confess'

Twin Shadow's 2010 debut Forget was rightly hailed as one of the most exciting releases of the year. It's been 2 years and synth-pop lothario George Lewis Jr. is back with his breezy sleazy charm on the new Confess. The record is self-produced, Lewis channeling his inner (well, outer...) New Romantics era Niles Rodgers. The production is…


Added by Sound Check on August 27, 2012 at 12:50pm — 2 Comments

#SoundCheck - Sibling bands are all the rage at Afropunk Fest 2012. Catch The Skins & The Oxymorrons at APFest

We've been repping the Skins for a while here, and hopefully by now you know why. This badass quintet of teenagers (siblings Bayli, Reef, and Kaya Mckeithan and not-siblings Daisy Spencer and Russell C) has recorded 2 EPs in the past year and hitting the road and playing shows whenever they have some downtime between school. (When I was 17 the best I got was playing Golden Eye whenever I had some downtime between school...)…


Added by Sound Check on August 24, 2012 at 11:58am — No Comments

#SoundCheck: Battle of the Bands winners Tess and Inky Jack will rock Afropunk Fest this weekend

Our love for New York singer/songwriter Tess is no secret. Straddling the world of RnB and rock like the second coming of Tina Turner, Tess has spent the past few months kicking some serious ass. After dropping her debut EP …


Added by Sound Check on August 22, 2012 at 11:30am — No Comments

#SoundCheck Folk-Punk With AP members Werebears

Afropunk members Werebears just pushed out their new video for the track "Locals." The song is an acoustic+electronics driven folk-punk tune a bit like oneline drawing, except you know, consistently good. The song is brilliant in both the British and the American sense. And seriously, how can you not love a song with the lyrics "when you're on your fixie screaming aah?" This wins at the internet today.…


Added by Sound Check on August 20, 2012 at 1:53pm — 3 Comments

Freestyle Soul on the Rise: Durand Bernarr On Touring With Erykah Badu, Being An Outsider & His Solo Projects

Durand Bernarr has dubbed his sound “freestyle soul”. It is an eclectic fusion of funk, neosoul, r&b, jazz, and pop. His voice is that of a soaring male soprano with multiple octaves that could easily rival Rahsaan Patterson or Maxwell. He has already released four albums on Bandcamp, he is part of Erykah Badu's band, and has performed internationally. I happened to catch him right after he completed his summer tour with Erykah Badu while he was taking a break visiting an…


Added by Sound Check on August 20, 2012 at 12:09pm — 1 Comment

AP Quickie: Flying Lotus Reveals Track Featuring Erykah Badu

Producer Flying Lotus revealed 'See Thru To U', a track from his upcoming album 'Until the Quiet Comes' (to be released October 2nd). On vocals: Ms. Erykah Badu. If you love Erykah, join us at this year's Afropunk Festival Aug 25-26 in Brooklyn, it's free honey bunny! Come over. - L C-D…


Added by Sound Check on August 17, 2012 at 1:00am — 2 Comments

#SoundCheck - Reggie Watts brings his mad science genius to Afropunk Fest 2012

There's nothing new about musicians putting jokes into their songs. Hell, Mozart wrote multiple choral pieces with “lick my asshole” as the text. And comedians using music to tell a joke is about as old as the whole idea of telling jokes. But there's something rare about an artist who's able to transcend both labels to the point where he's neither a comedian singing songs, nor a musician telling jokes. Reggie Watts is his own special category of indefinable.…


Added by Sound Check on August 16, 2012 at 11:29pm — 2 Comments

Weekly Kick-Off: 10 Banging Tracks Your Ears Must Hear

Uh-oh, it's time for another weekly dose of jams from some of the latest acts in alternative black music. Here you go!

Contributor: Elijah Watson

10. Flying Lotus (Feat. Earl Sweatshirt & Captain Murphy), "Between Friends:" Luscious, raindrop keys and minimal percussion, Lotus' production grooves fluidly, providing the perfect background for Sweatshirt's slurred delivery. If you're a fan…


Added by Sound Check on August 15, 2012 at 11:02am — 1 Comment

#Soundcheck x Afropunk Fest 2012 - Check out new music from Toro Y Moi

The absurdly prolific Chaz Bundick, better known to the world as Toro Y Moi, has somehow found time between Lollapalooza, a collaboration with Tyler the Creator, releasing a series of 7 inches in April, and of course Afropunk Fest 2012 to work on new material. Apparently already at work on Toro Y Moi's next album, Bundick and band debuted a handful of new songs at Lollapalooza last week.…


Added by Sound Check on August 15, 2012 at 10:32am — No Comments

AP Quickie: Death Grips Set To Release Another Album This Fall

If you're a fan of apocalyptic punk/hip-hop sounds, this one's for ya. Death Grips confirmed that their next album, 'No Love Deep Web', is coming out this fall. They released their previous LP 'Money Store' earlier this year to critical acclaim. Here's what the band said about 'No Love Deep Web': "the release is scheduled for fall 2012. most likely late october.. we are in correspondence with Crispin Glover and working toward a video collaboration with him relating to this…


Added by Sound Check on August 13, 2012 at 3:41pm — 1 Comment

#SoundCheck x Afropunk Fest '12 - Bad Rabbits are most definitely New Favorite Band Material

I first heard of Bad Rabbits in 2009 from my old roomate with the words “I just heard this band you'd love. They sound like Prince if he was a punk.” No more needed to be said. That sentence has New Favorite Band material written all over it.

At the time, Bad Rabbits were fresh from recording their 2nd EP the wall-to-wall fantastic Stick Up Kids. The Boston-based (yay hometown pride!) multi-cultural quintet had previously formed the brunt of the appropriately…


Added by Sound Check on August 13, 2012 at 12:30pm — No Comments

#SoundCheck x AP Fest '12 - Get down and dirty to DIY electro quartet Body Language's new single “Falling Out”

Body Language's not-so-secret weapon is the dueling lead vocals of Angela Bass and Matt Young. Though boy-girl vocals are kind of the thing these days in the indie pop world (see also: Gotye, Of Monsters and Men, and the XX), it's rare to see them just sound this sexy. Twee, playful, useful from a storytelling perspective, sure, but sexy? This is why we love Body Language.…


Added by Sound Check on August 10, 2012 at 3:22pm — 1 Comment

#SoundCheck - Dig this: Lianne La Havas' debut record Is Your Love Big Enough finally available in the US.

Alternative soul singer Lianne La Havas is already blowing up in the UK, where her debut album Is Your Love Big Enough? hit #4 a month ago. Afropunk has featured a few of her videos over the past few months, and now the record is finally available in the US.…


Added by Sound Check on August 8, 2012 at 10:28am — 4 Comments

#SoundCheck x Afropunk Fest '12 - Janelle Monáe's Elaborate Sci-Fi World: A Look Inside Metropolis

Science-fiction has always been the haven for misfits. You can create a world where the bullshit of our modern era is either mostly figured out, or has deteriorated to a point where there's no choice but to solve it immediately. And whether dystopian (The Matrix), utopian (Star Trek) or pragmatic (Foundation series), sci-fi enables those of us who never easily fit in anywhere to imagine a world in which we do fit. Or at least one in which we understand the rules. So it makes…


Added by Sound Check on August 6, 2012 at 12:25pm — 2 Comments

#SoundCheck: “Art Rap” sensation Open Mike Eagle's 4NML HSPTL is as badass as it is hard to pronounce.

The coffin's been closed on the “are synths and samplers instruments or tools?” debate for a while but it's still rare to hear something that's primarily electronic that sounds handmade. The beats and glitchy synths on LA's Open Mike Eagle's new record by UK producer Awkward are the perfect compliment to self-proclaimed “art-rapper” Open Mike Eagle's idiosyncratic flow. The difficult to pronounce 4NML HSPTL is definitely not for everyone; this is the kind of record that people…


Added by Sound Check on August 3, 2012 at 12:44pm — 2 Comments

#SoundCheck: Santigold drummer Prince Terrence gets dark on his band Hussle Club's debut EP

'Children of the Underground', Hussle Club's awesome debut EP is full of surprises. Mixing industrial, post-punk, and darkwave, the album strays pretty far from Santigold's pop-with-attitude. For an album by an artist known primarily as a drummer, it features little to no live drumming, giving up that position to the trusty 909. Because let's be honest, the 909 never shows up late to rehearsal, having forgotten how to play all your songs.…


Added by Sound Check on August 1, 2012 at 11:00am — 1 Comment

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