The new Agony & Ecstasy with Le1f, Chromatics, Mikky Ekko and Yeezy's latest
VIDEO OF THE WEEK: Le1f - 'Spa Day'
Le1f steams off with a clutch of NYC co-stars in this tropical new clip, where Junglepussy, Heems and Lakutis join him at the spa to open their pores. Directed by Jesse Miller who's also made videos for Danny Brown, Hood By Air and VFILES' Model Files, it's a brilliantly over-literal interpretation of the bubbling beat. I'm feeling totally rejuvenated!
TRACK OF THE WEEK: Chromatics - 'Looking for Love'
It's been knocking around for a few months now, but now Chromatics' 'Looking For Love' finds its rightful home in the jewel in the tiara of the new Italians Do It Better comp After Dark 2. According to the label, (via Gorilla vs Bear), this song as well as 'Cherry' were both recorded and mixed before 2012's Kill For Love came out - "but [Johnny Jewel] thought they fit After Dark 2's purpose more." And rather than the shady disco elegies of Kill For Love. it's good to hear the band being a lil' sleazy again.
ALBUM OF THE WEEK: Standish/Carlyon - Deleted Scenes
Formerly of the Australian rock outfit The Devastations, the collaborative album from Conrad Standish and Tom Carlyon glistens like the murkiest oil on water. With weighty pauses and minimal guitar lines, Deleted Scenes draws from dub and industrial as well as the moodier side of New Romantic synth to make a devilishly good and surprisingly hooky pop record. HTRK vocalist Jonnine Standish (the wife of Conrad Standish) contributes her foreboding vocals to album highlight 'Feb Love' - a handclap-driven, synth jam with a contained smeariness and a cooing counter-melody in the final chorus. One of the most solid and seductive albums of recent months.
DEMO OF THE WEEK: Mikky Ekko - 'Disappear' (ruff demo)
One of the most unique male vocalists around right now, this week Mikky Ekko premiered a "ruff" cut of the weighty, moving 'Disappear', a ballad with just a flicker of trap snares. Maybe it's the hanging out with Clams Casino, but the roughness suits him.
REMIX OF THE WEEK: Cassie - 'All My Love' (Kingdom remix)
This new cut from Fade To Mind mastermind Kingdom premiered just in time for the weekend, a plunderous remix of Cassie's 'All Me Love' from her solid recent mixtape Rockabyebaby. To announce the new cut, Kingdom tweeted "let's celebrate the end of an era, the beginning of a new one #verticalXL". So maybe his game-upping new release Vertical XL means a stop to the R&B dance remixes that he does so brilliantly, but dang it seems worth it.
...AND ANOTHER THING: Kanye West - 'New Slaves'
Kanye just out-Kanye'd himself, launching his new record Yeezus this week by staging 66 projections of 'New Slaves' in cities around the world. The track, which bears all the hallmarks of a Hit-Boy production and reportedly features Frank Ocean's vocals at the end, is a declaration of a "new world order" as Yeezy declares he's about to "tear shit down". It's no 'Gold Digger', but it feels good to have Kanye back and angry, even though it's not quite clear what's diddling his chain. Other collaborators on Yeezus (due June 18) reportedly include M.I.A, A$AP Rocky, Burial and, erm, Ellie Goulding.