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Andre Altrez is no nonsense in new video for “Consequences”

Andre Altrez
Andre Altrez | photo by BlackMythPhoto | twitter.com/BlackMythPhoto | courtesy of the artist

Local rapper Andre Altrez introduced himself to Philly in 2016 with his eclectic EP, Sprout — which saw a mixture of world music, jazzy and smooth R & B, while dotted with electro hints. Recently, he expanded his influences even further with his latest EP No Come Down, which The Key’s John Vettese dubbed as “atmospheric trap bangers.” Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Black Kids at Boot & Saddle, Andre Altrez at The Barbary, Mild High Club at Johnny Brenda’s

Black Kids | photo via the artist’s Facebook page

Florida indie pop outfit Black Kids released their long-awaited (seriously, it’s their first full-length in nine years) second LP Rookie last month, and tonight their tour makes a stop at Boot & Saddle with support from Surf Rock Is Dead. The genre-bending new album is full of catchy tunes that more than make up for the long hiatus, and given their unpredictable history, Black Kids’ appearance in town is definitely worth catching. Stream Rookie standout “Obligatory Drugs” below and find tickets and more information on tonight’s show on the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

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Andre Altrez dabbles in atmospheric trap on new No Come Down project

Andre Altrez
Andre Altrez | photo by BlackMythPhoto | twitter.com/BlackMythPhoto | courtesy of the artist

After catching our ear with the mellowed-up, jazz-tinged Sprout EP, Philly rapper and producer André Altrez switches up gears for his latest, No Come Down — a gripping set of trap bangers that flaunts and flexes his skill. Altrez co-produced the EP, which is currently streaming on Bandcamp, in collaboration with Scrap, Butch Dawson and Ben Thomas. The tone is highly contemporary (notes of Migos and 21 Savage make their way to the surface) but Altrez takes the set in alluring and atmospheric directions, adding a psychedelic wash to the hazy dreamscape of “Mystic Thots” as well as the unflinching dose of reality that is “Consequences.” Continue reading →

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André Altrez spaces out on new single “Venus”

Andre Altrez
Andre Altrez | photo by Cheyenne Chapman | courtesy of the artist

The Soundcloud description on André Altrez‘s “Venus” refers to the Philly rapper’s new single “the calm.” Don’t know if the “before the storm” part of that is implicit, or if this is simply calm-for-calm’s-sake, but the song is a blissful two-minute meditation over a sweeping flute loop that evokes the sublime tension of Nas’ Illmatic. Lyrically, Altrez free associates — a bit of can’t knock the hustle, a bit of lust, a bit of escapism from the drudgery and grind of the east coast megalopolis and into one’s own creative headspace. Continue reading →

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PREMIERE: Philly rapper André Altrez steps out with his blissed-out debut Sprout

Andre Altrez
Andre Altrez | photo by Cheyenne Chapman | courtesy of the artist

This Thursday, Philadelphia based rapper producer Andre’ Altrez will be self-releasing his debut project, Sprout: an EP full of blissful, lo-fi hip hop songs.

The music is built around melodic jazz and ambient-tinged beats with clever rhymes that are alternately swaggering and introspective. This is hip-hop that is youthful, vaporous and chilled out.   Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Strand of Oaks at Philly Music Fest, Soraia at MilkBoy, Thundercat at Union Transfer

Strand of Oaks | photo by Tom Beck for WXPN

It’s day two of the inaugural Philly Music Fest at World Cafe Live, and Strand of Oaks take the stage for a headlining set. The festival’s eclectic lineup seeks to showcase local musicians and encourage Philadelphians to support our scene. Also performing today are Steve Gunn, Deadfellow, Ivy Sole, Shannen Moser, and lots more. Check out the festival’s website for tickets, set times, and more info. We most recently saw Strand of Oaks rocking the Marina Stage at this year’s XPN Fest; read a recap of that performance here. Below, watch a video from the band’s recent World Cafe session. Continue reading →

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Celebrate Philly’s diverse music scene with Community Fest

Community Fest | via Facebook event
Community Fest | via Facebook event

Community Fest is a new event creating a melting pot of Philadelphia music, set to take place in University City on February 23rd. The fest will feature a smattering of local artists, from hip-hop collective The Poeticians, to electropop singer-songwriter Ganou, rock duo Geisha Facade to MC and producer Andrè Altrez. The fest was organized by Brian Walker of A Day Without Love. Continue reading →

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The Key’s Year-End Mania: John Vettese’s Top Six Philly Music Discoveries of 2016

Harmony Woods | photo by John Vettese for WXPN
Harmony Woods | photo by John Vettese for WXPN

Year-End Mania is the Key’s annual survey of the things below the surface that made 2016 incredible. To kick off the series, Key editor John Vettese recaps six of his favorite Philadelphia music discoveries from the past 12 months.

Ah, Philly. Keep on being awesome. It’s once again time for me to look back and reflect on the past year of music that came out of our community, and once again I’ve had a harder time than ever narrowing it down.

Locally rooted artists are breaking into the broader music conversation, whether they remain at home (Modern Baseball‘s Holy Ghost receiving international acclaim) or venture outward to other cities and scenes (Michelle Zauner’s sometimes-Philly / sometimes-Brooklyn Japanese Breakfast, Ron Gallo and Liz Longley taking up residence in Nashville). More people than ever are moving from other cities to Philly – including The Dove and The Wolf, who got their start in Paris. And as always, artists like Dr. Dog (who released an impressive two albums in 2016), Kurt Vile (who celebrates New Year’s Eve at The Fillmore) and The Roots (still rocking the late night TV party) rep the city on a national scale.

But this post isn’t about that. It’s my annual reflection on artists who I had not heard of prior to this year, who totally bowled me over and made me want to find out everything about them. These are artists that deserve to be one of those high profile artists in coming years. These are my favorite music discoveries of 2016. Continue reading →