Hot Jam of the Day: Jae Stephens, "24k"


Jae Stephens "24k" Digital Single Fuck one of the best debuts of the year. The LA-based newcomer just dropped one of the best songs of the year out of thin air. Featuring inch-perfect production from Jam City, Stephens weaves a devastating slow jam that captures the growth of a relationship from anxious first Read more

The Round-Up: The Best Albums of May 2017


After a pair of phenomenal months of music, May's slate looked decidedly more low-key. However, now as I look back at it, there was still a handful of solid releases that deserve your time. Here are a few of my favorites. J Hus Common Sense Black Butter When I looked at the release schedule Read more

Hot Jam of the Day: Lil Durk, "Pressure"


Lil Durk “Pressure” Digital Single Five years into his career, the Chicago native seems to be at a crossroads. After kicking off his career with a string of devastating mixtapes (including my favorite song of 2013), the 24 year-old has been a bit up and down of late, crafting a slew of Read more

Hot Jam of the Day: Kommode, "Fight or Flight or Dance All Night"


Kommode “Fight or Flight or Dance All Night” Analog Dance Music (out June 2017 on Random Two Syllable Word) Good things come to those who wait, and Kings of Convenience fans have been waiting for the debut from Eirik Glambek Bøe’s side project for more than 10 years. Since announcing this project Read more

Hot Jam of the Day: Jlin, "Holy Child"


Jlin "Holy Child" Black Origami (out 05.19 on Planet Mu) Though there's only one more day until the Gary, Indiana footwork innovator's second LP drops, this brilliant and beguiling cut is more than worthy of standing on its own. Like her masterful debut, Dark Energy, this track features multiple, intricate polyrhythms that collide freely without Read more

Featured

Best of 2014: The Hottest Jams of 2014 (Honorable Mention)

Posted on by TP1.COM in Best of '14, Featured | Comments Off on Best of 2014: The Hottest Jams of 2014 (Honorable Mention)

It’s that time of the year again! It’s time for me to spend altogether too much time comparing apples and oranges, trying to figure out which tasty sonic nuggets spoke to me the most clearly this year. I’ve been making this list for the last six years — the last four for Thunder Penguin — and while I don’t get paid to do it anymore, I find myself enjoying it more and more each year.

As last year, let’s kick things off with an aperitif — a handful of songs that I love and feel compelled to write about but couldn’t quite fit on my list.

The-Dream: “Black” (digital single)
2014 was a beautiful year, but it was a hard, profoundly sad one. We were reminded again and again where we really are as a country and how far we must go to reach some modicum of equality. Terius Nash’s Gaye-inspired ballad was one of a handful of powerful protest songs that brought some light and hope to the dismal reality facing so many Americans every day. 

James Blake: “200 Press” from 200 Press EP
The British boy wonder spent most of 2014 looking back to his club roots with delicious effect. Here, Blake ties an Andre 3000 sample in nots over a spacious, carefully constructed arraignment. It’s not quite “CMYK,” but it’s a start.


Travi$ Scott: “Mamacita” (f/ Rich Homie Quan & Young Thug) from Days Before Rodeo

The talented Texan plays best with others, when his prodigious production talents outweigh his lyrical shortcomings. Teaming up with two of the most current voices in hip-hop and producer du jour, Metro Boomin, Scott and co. gleefully cruise through five minutes of stuntin’ over a creeping beat.

Read more

Hot Jam of the Day: Future Brown, “Talkin Bandz” (f/ Shawnna, DJ Victoriouz)

Posted on by TP1.COM in Featured, Hot Jam of the Day | Comments Off on Hot Jam of the Day: Future Brown, “Talkin Bandz” (f/ Shawnna, DJ Victoriouz)

Future Brown
“Talkin Bandz” (f/ Shawnna, DJ Victoriouz)
Future Brown (out 02.24 on Warp)

Nguzunguzu, Fatima Al Qadiri, and J-Cush don’t give a fuck about your year end list. “Talkin Bandz” is the kind of banger sure to throw a wrench in any self-respecting blogger’s “Best Of” list. It’s a potent concoction made of a cascading arrangement, a couple of monster verses from Chicago vet Shawnna, and a languid hook from DJ Victoriouz. Best of all, “Talkin Bandz” comes with the news of a long-awaited debut LP from the quartet, which is likely to be one of the hottest releases of 2015. All hail.

Hot Jam of the Day: Tink, “Tell The Children”

Posted on by TP1.COM in Featured, Hot Jam of the Day | Comments Off on Hot Jam of the Day: Tink, “Tell The Children”

Tink
“Tell The Children”
Digital Single

In these disheartening times, we need powerful, impactful voices like Tink’s.

RIP to Michael Brown Jr. and the many other innocents who have been tragically taken far too soon. May they find justice and peace in the next world.

Hot Jam of the Day: T-Pain, “Stoicville”

Posted on by TP1.COM in Featured, Hot Jam of the Day | Comments Off on Hot Jam of the Day: T-Pain, “Stoicville”

T-Pain
“Stoicville”
Stoicville: The Phoenix (out in 2015 on Nappy Boy)

It’s pretty depressing that it took an auto-tune free NPR performance for America to show a modicum respect to one of the finest hit-makers of the last decade, but these are depressing times. If you argued that Eddie Van Halen and Tom Morello’s usage of distortion pedals them frauds, you would rightly be called an atavistic, unreasonable dipshit. However, few would say the same if you slated T-Pain for running his (very good) voice through a vocal processor. In fact, most people would probably agree that this devalues his standing as a musician.

This faulty logic has been used (by dipshits) as a stick to beat the ATLien for most of his 10-year career. To them, I present some facts. At just 29 years of age, T-Pain has already sang on and co-wrote fifteen (15!!!!) US Top 10 Singles, including at least seven pieces of musical WD-40 that will set any dancefloor/club on the planet ablaze. He’s also consistently put younger artists over, providing them with the kind of anthemic, gold dust choruses necessary to introduce rising talent to the masses. More than anything, he’s just an affable, super talented dude who has spent his entire career soundtracking good nights out with friends and long nights in between the sheets. And, the vocal processing he’s used makes him no less of an artist than your favorite guitar-wielding rawker.

All those aforementioned facts are why we should be celebrating T-Pain’s 10 years in the game. Fuck a Tiny Desk Concert. Fuck your Twitter approval. Hell, fuck this exquisite, acerbic slab of lyrical majesty that puts his ridiculously versatile skill set on blast. More than anything, fuck the fact that if this was a Kendrick Lamar track, all those dipshits would be fawning all over it.

The Most Anticipated Albums of The Fall (Part 2)

Posted on by TP1.COM in Album Reviews, Featured | Comments Off on The Most Anticipated Albums of The Fall (Part 2)

Dan Bodan
Soft
(10.28, DFA)
After what feels like an eternity, the Berlin-based crooner is finally ready to drop his debut LP. I instantly fell in love with Bodan’s lithe, gracefully salacious sound on 2012’s bulletproof Aaron/DP 12″ single. Since then, he’s continued to crank out diverse, unclassifiable tunes that consistently challenge how pop music is supposed to sound and what pop singers are supposed to sing about. In his music, nothing is taboo. Whether it’s a lounge lizard sax solo, trancey synths, an earnest cover of a jazz standard, or a soliloquy about a particularly memorable blowjob, everything is in play. And that’s what makes Bodan such a fearless artist and one of the most fascinating musicians of 2014.
Giddy-O-Meter: 10/10

Future
Monster
(10.28, FREEBANDZ)
Fresh off the crushing (for me and presumably, them) dissolution of his relationship with Ciara, Future graces us with his second full-length release of the year. While his eyeroll-y recent collab with Wiz Khalifa, “Pussy Overrated,” gives me pause about this release, the presence of executive producer Metro Boomin and the 30 year-old’s stellar track record gets me back on board.
Giddy-O-Meter: 8/10

Young Chop
Still
(10.28, Chop Squad)
Last week, I wrote about the Chicago producer’s impressive maturation over the last two and half years. After taking over the world with the ubiquitous “I Don’t Like,” Chop has steadfastly refused to be put in a box, and pre-release singles suggest that Still will serve as a culmination of 30 months of non-stop work and melodic experimentation. In interviews, Chop (né Tyree Pittman) comes off as a gregarious, genuine, super driven guy, and it’s great to see all of those traits keep paying off for him.
Giddy-O-Meter: 9/10

Grouper
Ruins
(10.31, Kranky)
Liz Harris recorded much of her 10th LP, Ruins, all the way back in 2011, whilst on an artist’s residency program on the southwestern coast of Portugal. Evidently, the Oregon resident stumbled upon a new kind of alchemy while there, because she managed to bottle up the region’s impossible beauty and distill it into eight gorgeous songs. Armed with mostly just a piano and her intimate, disarming voice, Harris crafted an album to savor and one of her most human, direct statements ever. It’s another unique effort from one of the finest musicians working today.
Giddy-O-Meter: 10/10

Arca
Xen
(11.04, Hippos In Tanks)
I’ll be honest, I have no idea what to expect when it comes to Alejandro “Arca” Ghersi’s debut LP. The eclectic, Venezualen producer has lit up high profile collaborations with Kanye West and FKA Twigs, and last year’s beguiling, &&&&&,was one of best mixtapes of 2013. That said, Xen seems likely to be a different animal altogether, and its mesmeric lead single, “Thievery,” features unsettling, witch-housey (I know, I know) instrumentation and an intoxicating, shuffling backbeat. I have no clue what the record will sound like, but when it comes to Arca, that’s kinda the point.
Giddy-O-Meter: 9/10

Dean Blunt
Black Metal
(11.04, Rough Trade)
Speaking of “who the fuck knows,” the mercurial Londoner’s second solo release is also sure to confound and delight openminded listeners. After his split with Inga Copeland — who dropped the incredible Because I’m Worth It back in May — the ex-Hype Williams man has continued his prolific, mellon-twisting output as a solo artist. The Redeemer was one of the most divisive, peculiar records of last year, and the songs we’ve heard from Black Metal point to a slightly more streamlined, albeit still pretty fucking weird sound.
Giddy-O-Meter: 9.5/10

Deptford Goth
Songs
(11.04, 37 Adventures)
Life After Defo, the southeast London songwriter’s debut LP was one of the most underrated albums of 2012, and I actually don’t blame music critics for that Everything about Daniel Woolhouse is understated. His warm, restrained vocals. His spare, windswept arrangements. Hell, even his face in promos is mostly obscured, either by his sadboi poses or his barista-level beard. That said, if you spend some time with his music, you’ll likely find that it’ll open up to you and reveal its quietly majestic properties.
Giddy-O-Meter: 9/10

Ryan Hemsworth
Alone for the First
(11.04, Last Gang)
If you’ve been following the Canadian DJ/producer’s career somewhat closely, you saw this one coming. Wiped out by the late nights, constant travel, loud music, and lonely hotel rooms of life as a touring DJ, Hemsworth’s second LP is the quietest, most reflective work of his career. The 7-song set is led by his lovely Dawn Golden-assisted, long distance relationship jam, “Snow in Newark.” Not much of a singer himself, Alone for the First Time enlists a talented guest-list, including Alex G, Lontalius, and lithe Swedish vocalist Little Cloud.
Giddy-O-Meter: 8.5/10

18+
Trust
(11.11, Houndstooth)
Like an NC-17 version of the XX, the shadowy duo’s darkly seductive jams will slink their way on to that “special” playlist we all have on our laptops. Built around the dual vocals of members Samia and Justin (who also serves as their main beatmaker), 18+ stews elements of hip-hop, goth, bedroom R&B, and downtempo electro into an intoxicating sonic elixir. While last year’s mixtape showed incredible potential, Trust boasts much improved production value that should take them to the next level.
Giddy-O-Meter: 9.5/10

Antony and the Johnsons
Turning
(11.11, Secretly Canadian)
While it’s not really a new album, Antony’s concert film/live album that chronicles the extraordinary stories of 13 women over the backdrop of the Mercury Prize winner’s exquisite chamber pop looks like a revelation. Besides being one of the finest live performers I’ve ever seen, Antony’s music and personal stories (and surely the ones featured in this documentary) are extremely inspiring and enlightening, and I personally can’t wait to sit down an enjoy Turning in full.
Giddy-O-Meter: 9/10

Andy Stott
Faith in Strangers
(11.17, Modern Love)
Let’s be real, no matter what the pre-release singles sounded like, a fanboi like me was always going to fawn over any new Andy Stott record. That said, when they’re this fucking good, you can’t really blame me. The two songs in question — “Violence” and “Faith in Strangers” — highlight his mastery of managing sonic space and his originality as a producer and songwriter. The Mancunian producer’s last LP, Luxury Problems, made my Top 5 of 2012 list, and there’s no reason his next one can’t do one better this year.
Giddy-O-Meter: 10/10

RL Grime
Void
(11.17, WeDidIt)
It’s been a helluva year for the futurists in LA’s WeDidIt Collective. 2014 saw quality releases from core members Groundislava and Shlohmo, along with a stream of exquisite remixes and one-off singles. So it’s only fitting that (arguably) their biggest star, RL Grime (né Henry Steinway), is set to bookend their year with his debut LP. Akin to maximalist, hands-up producers like Hudson Mohawke, it’ll be fascinating to see how Steinway balances club bangers with more pop-focused tracks, like his swirling collaboration with How to Dress Well.
Giddy-O-Meter: 8/10

Starting V: 5 Doughboyz Cashout Tracks You Need to Hear

Posted on by TP1.COM in Featured, Starting V | Comments Off on Starting V: 5 Doughboyz Cashout Tracks You Need to Hear

Detroit’s Doughboyz Cashout has been one of the best new finds of my music year, combining timeless g-funk beats with loquacious, swaggering bars. In a hip-hop scene increasingly driven by druggy production and #sadboi MCs like Drake and Future, the group’s energy, directness, and overall good vibes are extremely welcome. Though there are palpable traces of Bay Area swag, LA soul, and New Orleans/Atlanta late 90’s snap, their potent sonic stew is all their own.

Though they’ve endured a long road to fame (they formed in ’06), it looks like they’re finally set to blow, signing to (Young) Jeezy’s CTE Records. Here are five of the DBCO tracks that helped soundtrack my summer.

Payroll Giovanni: “Get Money Regardless” (Digital Single)
To my ears, Payroll Giovanni’s slick flow is reminiscent of the mid 90’s California artists that I grew up with, namely Rappin’ 4-Tay. That buoyant, effortless delivery (think: a vocal Bradley Beal 20-footer) is on full display here with Giovanni sliding through twinkling keys and a soulful vocal hook to devastating effect.

Big Quis: “Mayweather” (f/ Payroll Giovanni) (on My Turn)
On this, one of the group’s most anthemic tracks, Giovanni and the ravenous Big Quis turn their swag up to Money Mayweather levels here. Quis’ aggressive flow is an excellent foil to Giovanni’s laid back demeanor, and their vocal synergy is masterfully framed by a swirling arrangement and an adhesive hook. This should have been one of the songs of the summer.

Read more

The Most Anticipated Albums of the Fall (Part One)

Posted on by TP1.COM in Album Reviews, Featured | Comments Off on The Most Anticipated Albums of the Fall (Part One)

Summer is over, and the best part of the year is upon us. 2014’s fall release schedule is already packed with tons of sonic goodness, which, at any moment, could be bolstered by the emergence of long-rumored new releases from the likes of Kanye, Kendrick, Frank Ocean, and many others. Here’s part one of our round-up of the best stuff with firm release dates.

Aphex Twin
Syro
(09.23, Warp)
We’ll kick off the list with the big one: electronic music demigod Richard D. James’ first LP in 13 years. One of the most influential, restless artists in modern music, James has made a career out of refusing to sit still and make the music others want him to. Syro looks set to be another fascinating chapter in his illustrious career.
Giddy-O-Meter: 9.999/10

Read more

Hot Jam of the Day: Grouper, “Call Across Rooms”

Posted on by TP1.COM in Featured, Hot Jam of the Day | Comments Off on Hot Jam of the Day: Grouper, “Call Across Rooms”

Grouper
“Call Across Rooms”
Ruins (out October 31 on Kranky)

Any day Liz Harris announces a new album is a good day to be alive; and when that announcement comes with a new song, life is just the best. “Call Across Rooms,” the first single from the Portlander’s forthcoming 10th LP, is a slab of trademark Harris gorgeosity of the highest order. Her delicate vocal creeps over a weary piano line, sounding simultaneously present and a million miles away. Many ambient artists struggle to let the listener in, due to the roots of the shutters closed, otherworldly genre. However, Harris has always been able to tiptoe that line, drawing the blinds just enough to let cracks of light illuminate the overwhelming beauty of the shrouded interior. Listen up, because this is the sound of a genius at the peak of her powers.

Hot Jam of the Day: Aphex Twin, “minipops 67 [120.2][source field mix]”

Posted on by TP1.COM in Featured, Hot Jam of the Day | Comments Off on Hot Jam of the Day: Aphex Twin, “minipops 67 [120.2][source field mix]”

Aphex Twin
“minipops 67 [120.2][source field mix]”
Syro (out 09.19 on Warp)

After 13 years in the woods, Da Gawd Richard D. James is finally ready to grace us with another full-length effort, his sixth. Our first taste of it is this aqueous, surprisingly accessible affair, especially when you consider his last LP, 2001’s challenging Drukqs. James mixes up a buoyant bass-line, heady synth filigree, and a disembodied vocal to form a stunning five-minute opus that cries out for repeat listens. It’s exactly the kind of piece so many hoped for, in that it sounds like James is mining new territory, while staying true to his Aphex Twin-osity. James has never been a singles artist (save, perhaps, the timeless “Come to Daddy”), which fills me with hope that the rest of Syro will live up to this high standard. Bring on the 19th.

Hot Jam of the Day: Dan Bodan, “Jaws of Life”

Posted on by TP1.COM in Featured, Hot Jam of the Day | Comments Off on Hot Jam of the Day: Dan Bodan, “Jaws of Life”

Dan Bodan
“Jaws of Life”
Soft (out 10.28 on DFA)

I awoke Tuesday morning to a delightful email. The Berlin-based crooner’s long-awaited debut LP finally has a release date, and in “Jaws of Life,” I got a third taste of the ten-song effort. Like nearly all of his bulletproof back catalogue, “Jaws of Life” lurches along at a languid pace, smearing Bodan’s pillow top soft tenor over a romantic arraignment. He’s always been an exquisite storyteller, armed with a disarming, graceful voice. However, his exceedingly rare ability to weave lustful tales that tiptoe on the borderline between romance, playfulness and downright lecherousness is what really sets him apart. I mean, not a lot of artists can make “tourist dick” sound charming, but somehow Bodan can. “Jaws of Life” is yet another positive step towards what may culminate in one of the best albums of 2014.