Video Premiere: Yohuna’s “Golden Foil”

Some records seem borne of—and eternally exist in—a state of splendid isolation. Fragility is their strength, and sonic restraint wields as much authority as an orchestra. A spiritual descendant of Cat Power’s Moon Pix and Elliott Smith’s early recordings, the debut full-length from Yohuna—the musical alias of Wisconsin native Johanne Swanson—is the end product of prolonged, often unplanned period of solitude. Although she’s still young, the singer-songwriter’s adulthood has been unusually nomadic, having taken her from her hometown of Eau Claire to New Mexico, Los Angeles, Boston, Berlin and, most recently, Brooklyn, where she became an artist-in-residence at the live-and-work space Silent Barn. It was there that she finished writing the songs that make up Patientness. Preview the video for the track “Golden Foil” here, and read our interview with Swanson, who spoke to us from her second Brooklyn home in the last year.

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New Global Sounds: August 2016

Hari Kondabolu
In our constant search for new musical discoveries across the globe, we’ve rounded up some of the most intriguing and exciting sounds to be released in recent weeks. Delve into the glowing, supple productions of Ecuadorian visionary Helado Negro, and take a trip back in time with Teck-Zilla x Allen Poe from Nigeria and Kentucky. Then, go out and ignite the dance floor with the fierce salsa grooves of Colombia’s feisty La Mambanegra.

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Album of the Day: Horseback, “Dead Ringers”

As if Horseback’s discography wasn’t daunting enough—2013’s A Plague of Knowing compilation filled three fearless LPs with nothing but singles, splits, and rarities—the newly released Dead Ringers finds Jenks Miller once again reshaping his elusive sound. While repetition is still at the root of every recording, lulling the listener into a stupefied state, Miller has never come this close to making Factory-issued post-punk before. Admittedly, this is the kind of post-punk that only exists in the Horseback universe, a shifty place where the dark side of the human condition is explored, peppered with allusions to everyone from Carl Jung, David Cronenberg (the album’s named after one of his creeptastic films), and Joseph Campbell to Joy Division, Coil, and This Heat.

So, no, the horse-riding death goddess on this album cover is not a heavy-metal nod, signalling a return to Miller’s blustery, blackened roots. Much like his Music For Snowdrifts EP, Dead Ringers is more of a meditative journey, letting minimal synth lines and circuitous rhythms lead the way instead of screams, screeches, and squeals. No wonder Miller has been name-dropping folks like The Field, Terry Riley, and Laurie Spiegel lately. Now all we need is an electro-folk effort from Miller’s other North Carolina band (Mount Moriah) to bring things full circle.

—Andrew Parks

FANSO Collective Discuss Their Grainy, Tripped-Out Spanish Hip-Hop

Cráneo and Lasser of FANSO Collective

Cráneo and Lasser of FANSO Collective.
“We want you to put on your headphones and feel like you’re in a kind of analog bubble.”—Made in M, FANSO Collective

Ever since Spain’s first encounter with hip-hop culture in the 1980s, the country’s relationship with the genre has been somewhat tumultuous. What began with an introduction from the American soldiers stationed in Spain’s biggest military bases—Torrejón near Madrid, Seville and Zaragoza—exploded in the mid ‘90s and early ‘00s, with groups like Club de los Poetas Violentos, Violadores del Verso and artists like KaseO, Mucho Muchacho and La Mala Rodríguez adding credibility and style to what had been a strictly underground movement in the Iberian Peninsula.

After the initial fanfare died down, the culture returned to the margins (there’s been a slight resurgence in international attention in recent years brought by groups like Agorazein and PXXR GVNG, which have capitalized on the popularity of more melodic, R&B-flavored hip-hop and trap).

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Lost Bayou Ramblers Release 1999 Live Recording to Benefit Flood Victims

Lost Bayou Ramblers

Lost Bayou Ramblers.

It’s for good reason that the music of the Lost Bayou Ramblers is synonymous with Louisiana. Founding brothers Louis and Andre Michot grew up there, and their family has roots in the state stretching several generations back. They were tapped to provide music for the acclaimed film Beasts of the Southern Wild, which was set in Louisiana, and no matter how progressive or experimental their music becomes, its grounding in traditional Cajun music is always clearly detectable. So when the southern part of the state was beset by flooding earlier this month, rendering houses uninhabitable and leaving people without places to sleep or food to eat, the first question on the group’s mind was, naturally, “How can we help?”

As is often the case with Lost Bayou Ramblers, the answer was found in music. The group has released a live recording of their very first show in 1999, the full proceeds from which will go to benefit those impacted by the flooding. We talked with founder, vocalist and fiddle player Louis Michot about the origins of the project.

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