It’s been a whole while since we heard some hip hop that delivers positive vibes while remaining fiercely independent; Lucille seem to have managed just that.
Starting off as a solo project for Argentinean guitarist Izzy the band slowly grew into a veritable family; the 8-piece collective literally showing strength in numbers.
The high all round level of musicianship (particularly a horn section that sparkles stardust on everything it touches) allows for the tracks ideas to take off in multiple exciting directions. With a revolving door of talented guest female vocalists setting the tone Baltimore native MC Rebel Sun spits his confident stream of consciousness rhymes.
Picking up from where The Roots, Jurassic 5 and Dangermouse left off and adding The Gorillaz flair for surprises and dynamic changes means that no two Lucille tracks sound exactly alike.
Following the release of their “Smokin’ Soul” EP last year the band are gearing up for the release of their first full length album due next month.
Could it be that to find the heirs to The Roots throne we were supposed to look to Tel Aviv of all places? Lucille would have you believe so.
Tiny Fingers has already made people standup and take notice with their 2011 release ”Massive Fingers Spacetrip” which deservedly got the band attention in their native Israel. Earlier this year they followed it up with “Foreign Telegrams“, an album conceived and recorded in one intense session.
The genre hopping outfit continue their prolific spree re-emerging last month with what is surely their most ambitious project to date. Recorded in a single take, ”MEGAFAUNA” shows a band that clearly thrives in the pressure cooker environment of the studio delivering a brilliant dose of post-rock and electronic sounds with grooves the size of the Grand Canyon.
Whilst their music will undeniably be a little heavy for some there is a keen sense of melody throughout the project bringing to mind a cross between Planes Mistaken For Stars and TheMars Volta. The latter is not a completely casual reference as the El Paso superstars hand-picked Tiny Fingers as their support act during their israeli tour.
With dates in New York City for CMJ already under their belt and plans for a US and Scandinavian tour you can expect Tiny Fingers will continue to rise and judging by their recent output will likely surprise us with at least a couple more genre-bending releases in 2013.
“MEGAFAUNA” is out now and will be released via YouTube in its entirety with the three-piece promising further track leaks in the next few weeks.
We have featured Michel Gondry and his work for Weekend Videos in the past but seems we just can’t get enough.
Fortunately Jerusalem-based producer/musician Sasha Raskin has given us an excuse to post the video with his fittingly beautiful remix of Björk‘s ‘Jóga‘. He reduced the intensity of the original even further putting the Icelandic songstress firmly in the spotlight over a delicate electronic heartbeat and some well placed strings and beeps.
Kutiman first came to my attention with his phenomenal Thru-You project where he cut and pasted from a multitude of videos to create wholly original compositions. The artist’s work has recently been displayed his work at the YouTube exhibition at the Guggenheim in NewYork.
His most recent project was for Israeli singer Karolina. The two of them set out for a whole day in Tel Aviv shooting over 150 different locations. The final outcome just goes to confirm Kutiman‘s genius.
This review may well be long and badly written, but “if you take a minute to hear the tunes, little words would be necessary”, as stated on the bands myspace page. This is undoubtedly true in his case, but if I don’t give my two cents Cougar HQ will dispatch a small (but well-trained) hit squad to get me. So I’m sorry Asaf but here goes…
Highly acclaimed and perhaps the most promising new talent to emerge from Israel, anyone who stumbles upon Asaf Avidan & The Mojos is captivated. Rocking blues and folk is sung with a voice that can only be compared to an angst-ridden cherub, sporting a little Mohawk, and sounding suspiciously like the lovechild of Janis Joplin and Jimmy Page.
As a young man Asaf just picked up his guitar and wandered the land, building a loyal fanbase and meeting the musicians who would later become The Mojos. In just a few years they have evolved from a young anonymous Jerusalem-based band to one of the leading acts in the country today.
Following the self-released 2007 debut ‘The Reckoning‘, they were snapped up by Geffen Records, which is hardly surprising given the strength of the album. Featuring true gems such as ‘Weak‘ and ‘Her Lies‘, while guitar and voice are allowed to shine on their own in many songs, most notably ‘Maybe You Are‘ and ‘Reckoning Song‘. Asaf’s voice is so distinctive, versatile and expressive, that it could sing the breakfast menu and make it sound beautiful.
So based purely on their musical merit, with no marketing gimmicks or strategy, AATM have grown organically, without a machine behind them – yet. In that sense they are like an under-valued stock: it’s time to buy.