Passepied – Hyper Realist
One of my fave bands out of Japan at the moment. Really like how a bunch of J-Pop bands are reinvigorating them old school synth-pop and new wave sounds. Plus their shoe game is insanely tight. They don’t play around when it comes to music videos either.
Passepied – Nagasugita Haru
Demo Taped – Not Enough
Assumptions tend to ass bite in the long run. The first time I discovered Demo Taped through this video, I pictured a Mura Masa looking fellow behind the vocals and groovy electro synths. Apparently, he’s a (black) 19 year old from Atlanta.
Shy Girls – Without
And, of course, it would be easy to assume Shy Girls was black, until you discover his actual name is Dan Vidmar.
Mark Lanegan – I’m Not the Loving Kind
Mark Lanegan’s version of this John Cale ballad is paired with an equally badass music video. Think Sauti Sol’s Isabella and then think the direct opposite of that. Las Vegas provides a heartbreakingly perfect backdrop for broken dreams and the quiet resignation of being a perennial loser.
Beach Fossils – Saint Ivy
Despite losing to Donald Trump supporters in the 2016 US presidential elections, Beach Fossils decide to keep things hopeful on Saint Ivy, focusing on the stuff and people from their native New York City that make up the version of America they still believe in.
Escapism Refuge – Light Up ft. ill Chill
South African downtempo/bass producer Jason Beukes‘ star is starting to rise, more so with the release of his first full-length album. His talent for creating ambience shines through in this track. He doesn’t immediately shove you down deep end of trippiness; he slowly eases you into zero gravity.
Wakadinali – Koroga Kiuno
Wakadinali are also gradually gaining a following with their unique sounding offerings of Kenyan hip hop / trap. Ever wondered what Drake’s One Dance would have sounded like if it was released in the 2000s and Ogopa Deejays did the production? Well, Koroga Kiuno seems to answer that question.
The War on Drugs – Pain
If one was to ask me which sub-community of Twitter I belonged to, I’d likely point to ‘3AM Twitter’. The graveyard shift. A mostly silent community of insomniacs kept up at night by the feeling of rock bottom scraping ass hairs, or just by the crushing weight of cynicism.
Inevitably, Saliva Vic became one of the focal points of my TL. In many ways, he was able to vocalize moments and emotions that would ring true to most of us still up at the time. Chancing upon his blog was just the inspiration I needed to keep writing about music in general and Kenyan music in particular. RIP.
Gloria Estefan – Get On Your Feet
Even though every New Year’s Day since 2016 has been full of lows for me, there’s nothing 80s funk pop can’t fix. Just happened to recall this Gloria Estefan gem that still sounds like a bottle of happy pills.
One of the major disadvantages of not having a constant web presence is missing out on rare and epic happenings. Over the weekend, I learned that hip hop artist Akua Naru was in Nairobi last Thursday for a concert courtesy of Goethe-Institut. For someone who has been a serious Akua Naru fan since the days when The World Is Listening was still a fresh new joint, having that concert pass me by was … painful. But hey! 🙂
I’ve been soothing the pain away with this rough compilation whipped up sometime in 2011.
Some good old smooth hip hop tracks and instrumentals that rarely get mainstream airplay, including: // Priceless gems from femcees Nitty Scott, the massively talented Akua Naru (more from her here: http://www.akuanaru.com/ ), Makeba Mooncycle and Apani B (not forgetting Erykah Badu somewhere in there) // MF Doom’s Metal Fingers persona proving just as good making dope beats as behind the mic on Sumac Berries and Dead Bent// Some old classics from Guru’s Jazzmatazz, Xzibit’s 1996 LP At The Speed Of Life and the first Blackroc album (I hear Blackroc 2.0 is coming out soon)
Strongest Of The Strange – Charles Bukowski
The World Is Listening – Akua Naru
The World Is Listening (Jay Baez Remix) – Akua Naru
Lunchroom Classics – Makeba Mooncycle & Talib Kweli
Sumac Berries – MF Doom
Back In The Day (Puff) – Erykah Badu
All She Said – Guru ft. Macy Gray
Dead Bent (Instrumental) – MF Doom
Fly Emcee – Apani B
The Backflip (PH7 Midnight Remix Instrumental) – Akua Naru
Auntie Maria’s Crib – Nitty Scott MC
Bird’s Eye View -Xzibit ft. Tha Alkaholiks
Stay Off The Fuckin’ Flowers – Blackroc ft. Raekwon