The rise and rise of HAAi
‘The Dreaming’ by Kate Bush still stands as one of my all-time favorite albums. Her songs always put a kind of exotic twist on mundane things, their general outlandishness and fey qualities often rooted in day-to-day situations and feelings. The new version of Deeper Understanding off the upcoming ‘Directors Cut’ album, the first track on the mix on the right, has all the traits of her best work, i.e a moderate cheesiness balanced with unexpected and confrontational bursts of alien romance.
The brief next track continues this vibe of gentle, pretty exoticness. It’s taken from the astounding recent Nguzunguzu mix for Dis Magazine called The Perfect Lullaby, a fitting summation of its hours-worth of sensual splendor.
Matthewdavid as well as the whole Leaving Records LA scene that I also mentioned in the previous mix are a continually gushing outlet of forward-thinking music, their main export being beat/sound collages of psychedelic, instrumental hip hop. The first LP by Matthewdavid called ‘Outmind’ is out this week via Brainfeeder and is also streaming on Soundcloud, which is definitely worth checking out.
I came across this next track, which is from a couple of years back, on a random mix on Soundcloud. It’s propelled by a sleek, latin flavored house groove, which more often than not can signal bland cocktail background filler, but the vocals fill it with real purpose and an air of innocence and longing. In general I like soul/R&B songs in which the vocals don’t sound overly labored or professional, but rather have a thin, natural quality to them, through which the human frailties can be sensed. This drifts into heavier and more disorienting club territory with Jamie xx’s intense, flurried remix of Rui Da Silva’s Touch Me, which is also from a little while back.
The rap on Soulja Boy’s I Love My Fans reminds me of one of my all time favourite YouTube videos. The stuttering, trying-to-catch-up-with-the-beat flow finds a perfect partner in the maniacally sped up, shimmering electronic backtrack, charging the slightly infantile bravado with a hilariously jarring effect.
One of the releases I’m most looking forward to at the moment is the Clams Casino EP on the consistently brilliant Tri Angle. Clams Casino recently unveiled a downloadable mixtape worth of instrumentals that were originally used as beats for various left-field rap tracks. What I love about this track is that it doesn’t particularly make me think of hip hop at all but rather of those huge, nostalgic, new age / world-tinged soft dance tracks that were made popular in the 90s by artists like Enigma) or Deep Forest.
Sadie is an artist I stumbled across last week on Myspace, and was surprised to find on her website what appear to be around 6 finished albums. This song is kind of similar to earlier Animal Collective stuff, in having a perfect balance between noise and an intense vocal theatricality. As a whole I think it’s quite heartbreaking.
1. Kate Bush Deeper Understanding (Directors Cut version) (first half)
2. DJ Fufuxo Preta Chinesa
3. Matthewdavid Like You Mean It
4. Crazy Cousinz feat. Kyla Do You Mind
5. Rui De Silva Touch Me (Jamie xx Remix)
6. Soulja Boy I Love My Fans
7. Clams Casino Realist Alive
8. Sadie Rain On Your Bed Noel
Don’t Die Wondering is a London-based blog