Photography Kerem Yilmaz-Fabrika Styling Seyma Arslaner Hair Burhan Cilgin (No:21) Make-Up Omer Faruk Dinc Model Ali Walsh (Option Istanbul) Photography Asistant Ozkan Ince
Jacket Nihan Peker / Top DKNY Trousers Elie Tahari
Silk top Sandro Skirt Maje
Text Callum Riley
Although Ratatat’s first album in 5 years wasn’t quite up to the standard that everyone had hoped of it, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t still some skilfully crafted tracks on there. Rome feels like another lost cut from Classics, with the duo’s signature guitar duets slowly building to an apex before clearing out for a soft synth laden breakdown. It’s nothing new from the Brooklyn pair, having used the exact same formula on Lex back in 2006, but when it creates songs with such chilled out vibes then what’s the problem really?
The rap world’s current fascination with British Grime MCs came as quite a surprise to most but that doesn’t mean it’s not welcome. With Kanye bringing out Fekky, Novelist, Stormzy and others for his performance of All Day at the BRITS or Skepta surprising Drake’s crowd at Wireless Festival with “Shutdown”, it was only a matter of time before the studio collaborations started appearing. Drake and Skepta’s first official appearance together is on Wizkid’s Ojuelegba, with both rappers dropping bars and Skepta mirroring Wizkid’s story about life in Lagos with his own lines about London, a surprisingly mellow offering from someone who’s appearances usually hit quite heavy. The upbeat gospel inspired track still sounds just as great regardless of whose dropping bars. Even though Drake is the biggest name on the track, his verse is the one that stands out least; but this may be so that more attention is paid to the other two artists, a nice touch from one of the biggest stars in the world.
Not many people can pull off saying “pimpin” successfully; Jay Z comes to mind, so does Snoop Dogg, but definitely not someone like Kurt Vile, a white father of two with hair like Kirk Hammett in the 1980s. But that’s partly the point of his new song, talking about the discrepancy between his rockstar public appearance and the embarrassing father that he is in private, someone who would say pimpin just to watch his children groan about how he can’t say that. The track itself has more of the relaxed feel that shined through on 2011’s Smoke Ring For My Halo, no bad thing as it allows the imagery of Vile’s lyrics to play out in your head as you’re not focusing on anything but the chilled out guitar rhythm.
Tame Impala’s new album has been all over the internet since its release, as everyone and their mother has been raving over the band’s new electronically charged release and how amazing it is. This acclaim is well founded though as the opening track from Currents shows; with almost 8 minutes of house inspired beats and psychedelic synths replacing the guitars that were more prominent on their previous albums. It’s a move that make it feel more like a collaboration with the Chemical Brothers than simply a Tame Impala release, but the band takes the change in its stride and don’t miss a beat.
I didn’t quite believe this when I saw it either, but this is a real remix from the Scottish native, supposedly commissioned for the new Magic Mike movie but rejected for unknown reasons. Ginuwine’s 1996 classic is a hit in strip clubs, so it only makes sense that an updated version should appear to keep the movie up to date. Whilst it’s strange that Rustie’s remix did not make it into the movie (the reason probably being that it’s not radio friendly enough) listeners can still enjoy it as Rustie has posted it on his soundcloud for our listening pleasure. Sadly only clocking in at 2:22, it’s still an absolute firestorm of a track, complete with crunching drums and soaring synths that make this one of the finest pieces of IDM/trap released in months. (Side note: let’s all be thankful that the movie’s creators didn’t tap up Alesso or Calvin Harris for a big room EDM remix that would have been forgotten after 3 days)
Summer Camp – You’re Gone
Everyone loves a human/zombie love story, and a roller derby match between a team of humans and a team of the undead only makes the situation more stupid. The whole DIY approach of the video adds a certain charm, with the roller-zombies being just angry looking people in green paint who can still roller skate just as well as the living. The little love story of the human team coach and the zombie girl coach of the other team is fleshed out (ha) with shots of the championship photos from previous years, showing the zombie coach in her pre-undead state, happily competing with the video’s protagonist. The whole video stinks of Edgar Wright’s influence, especially with the little snarl from the female zombie at the end, which is gently shushed down by the human coach. Robert Frost and Andrew Kueh have delivered a perfectly gentle video for a nice gentle pop rock track; maybe their next video will involve Simon Pegg if we’re lucky.
Hudson Mohawke – Warriors
Warriors, Hudson Mohawke’s uplifting soul trap collab with Ruckazoid and Devaux has been given the video treatment, in a visually striking video starring none other than Pusha T (Where was a collab between those two on Lantern?). The whole clip is in black and white 1:1 format, with the only colour coming from the heat vision view of Pusha running from whatever threat is chasing him. Interspersed with a few shots of Ruckazoid himself before erupting into a cacophony of strobe lights, it’s even got a few shots of Pusha T with fire on his costume, as fire is apparently a very popular theme this month. The biggest question of this visually stunning video is what was following King Push? Probably the Terminator or Predator. Or maybe one of those Amazon delivery drones.
The Weeknd – Can’t Feel My Face
Anyone who heard more than 3 seconds of Can’t Feel My Face was pretty much guaranteed to make some comment about Abel trying to sound like Micheal Jackson; and there is definitely some truth to that when the bassline for the track sounds like it was ripped straight from an alternative cut of Thriller. The video seems to mirror this opinion, with the crooner trying his best to impress an audience who look about as excited as if they were in the line at the bank. Throughout the video only one member of the audience seems mesmerised by Abel’s performance, whilst others throw drinks and bottles at him, and one very sketchy looking guy even managing to set our hero on fire. In true music video fashion however, this is the tipping point in his performance, as the crowd goes absolutely wild as we see Abel bust out some of his best dance moves, all whilst being on fire. This video is worth watching just for the cool factor, and the novelty of seeing The Weeknd dance around a stage whilst angry people try and hit him with stuff.
Thundercat – Them Changes
Music videos always use weird metaphors for the content of the songs they accompany, but having a samurai cut off the protagonists arms in reference to how breakups can leave someone feeling like they’ve lost a piece of themselves, is definitely weirder than most. Built on a sample of The Isley Brothers’ Footsteps In The Dark and featuring a squelching bassline that sounds like it’s been played backwards, the whole experience is that of something being not quite right, a theme which works brilliantly with the heartfelt lyrics that Thundercat produces. If nothing else, seeing a samurai with no arms solemnly watching a TV ad for swords is unintentionally hilarious.
So the Black Eyed Peas have released an annoyingly good new song, so heavily influenced by old school hip hop that much of the video features Will.i.am, apl.de.ap and Taboo digging through the crates in a record store and replacing various hip hop legends on different album covers as they rap about wanting to go back to the old school. Mixing a little bit of DJ Mustard in with the classic funk/hip hop instrumental, the track works surprisingly well at mixing the two styles together. The group even interpolate various famous flows from some of the biggest old school rap tracks, with Shimmy Shimmy Ya & Bring the Noise In the video itself, it’s unrepentantly silly as the trio (no Fergie in sight) dance about the store, as animated versions of famous albums like Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s Return to the 36 Chambers, De La Soul’s 3 Feet High & Rising and even Public Enemy’s Nation of Millions. It’s a surprisingly heartfelt shout-out to the important of old school hip hop and the reverence that the group has for it, as their rap influence was mostly lost in the 00’s with their crossing over into a more electronic sound. Obviously bonus points go to any viewer with an encyclopaedic knowledge of music who can name every album that makes an appearance.
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