Philly R&B singer Jacqueline Constance makes music is exciting in its own right. But as we saw during her Key Fest set this spring, she also does incredible covers. Constance recently recorded a session with the folks over at RECPhilly, and it features her version of James Blake’s haunting “Retrograde.” She injects with a bit more soul than the (equally captivating) original using only a loop pedal and some impressive vocal control. Watch the session below. Continue reading →
Beat virtuoso and Philly native Moon Bounce has released a cosmic track dubbed “Shake” from his much anticipated EP Dress Rehearsal (due out 2/25 on Grind Select).
Moon Bounce (aka Corey Regensburg) draws comparisons to the likes of James Blake and Nicholas Jaar, but he’s much more than that. While “Shake” follows the Blake-Jaar mantra of distorted, looped vocals in every pitch and range, his beats delve deeper, with erratic yet steady percussion and warped electronic inclinations that completely fill the space of the track. Bringing to mind Shlohmo, whom Regensburg has shared the stage with, the track is fast and funky and a great teaser for the EP. What makes Moon Bounce so different from other artists? Well, for starters, his beats are completely cultivated on his own. No sampling necessary.
Prevalent on Dress Rehearsal is Moonbounce’s R&B influence, a signature part of his sound that contributes to his unique productions. The slowed down, laid back percussion on “Ouroboros” is a perfect example of this smooth-as-hell, neck-nodding style that’s so addictive. The EP drops February 25, and it is certainly one to keep on the radar. Listen to the track “Shake” below.
There’s a certain kind of beauty in unlikely (and surprisingly good) collaborations. This time it’s UK pop songstress Ellie Goulding teaming up with up-and-coming Detroit rapper Angel Haze for a new spin on James Blake and Chance the Rapper‘s spooky “Life Round Here (Remix)”.
The track was originally featured on Blake’s Overgrown LP which earned him a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist this year. With her distinct breathy pipes, Goulding shines and creates the atmosphere for the fire Angel Haze (who recently released her album Dirty Gold) spits in her impressive verse. Chance the Rapper recently told NME that he and Blake were moving in together to make more magic. Based on the brilliance of this cover, it wouldn’t be a bad idea for Ellie and Angel Haze to do the same. Get tickets to Ellie Goulding’s March 14th show at the Liacouras Centerhere.
UPDATE: And so we thought the story ended here. Two excellent contemporary pop artists, one solid collaboration, something our contributor Katrina Murray dug up in her regular music digging for The Key. Show coming up to make it timely; good stuff all around, yeah? Then I saw a tweet in our direction from Ryan Schwabe aka ONEdependent from the Philly / Brooklyn production duo Subglo. “You forgot to add ‘made in Philly'” he wrote.
I re-tweeted his comment, not entirely sure what it meant, and that led to us exchanging Twitter messages about the background.
“Life Round Here” was produced by Schwabe and Noah Beresin aka Noah Breakfast (previously known as Xaphoon Jones of Chiddy Bang) in West Philly for Schwabe’s raremp3 production company. They previously worked with Spank Rock, and the band Wet, and got their start mixing Goulding’s cover of the Alt-J hit “Tessellate” last summer. That led to this more recent collaboration. The more you know, right? Dig on “Tessellate” here. -John Vettese, editor, The Key
Philly beat cultivator Moon Bounce, aka Corey Regensburg, released a free download for the track “Marvelous Beast” from his forthcoming EP Dress Rehearsal. (Hat-tip to our friends at The Deli for the news). The track features fragmented beats that dismember and collide, with choppy, pitch-shifting vocals inserted overhead. It brings to mind James Blake meets Nicolas Jaar, but Regensburg is all organic, opting (for the most part) to create his own unique beats and sounds rather than sample from others. Download the track for free on Moon Bounce’s Facebook page here, listen to it below.
UK born electro pop sensation James Blake entranced a sold out Union Transfer crowd on Monday night with a soulful performance that was nothing short of spellbinding. The young Blake, who won the prestigious Mercury Music Prize this year for his album Overgrown, is no ordinary electronic outfit: instead of enticing you to bounce against the walls like a wild banshee, his live shows pull from the depths of your soul and ask you to simply feel, and that’s precisely what went down at Union Transfer.
The set opened with the bone chilling and hair raising track “I Never Learnt to Share” from Blake’s self-titled album released back in 2011. From the shrills and shrieks that accompanied the opening vocal loops the early number was clearly a crowd favorite. Blake did a beautiful job of incorporating beloved older tracks that early fans yearn for with songs from the most recent release Overgrown, his most widely popular album yet. At a climatic point in the performance Blake began with the more digitized and bass-heavy “Air and Lack Thereof”, a single from way back in 2009, before transitioning into arguably his most popular track “CMYK”, which features rare outside sampling from R&B artist Kelis (Blake’s usual MO is to use his own vocals). Naturally, the whoops and woo’s from the crowd were in full force.
In the relatively short time Blake was on stage, he managed to perform almost all of Overgrown to the delight of many who became introduced to Blake’s music following the album’s release. One of the most beautifully intimate parts of the set came with Blake’s performance of “Our Love Comes Back”, featuring soft vocals in a slower loop that made our hearts jump and throats lump. It was so moving you could hear a pin drop in the max capacity venue (in reality it was the soft clinking of glasses from the back bar that emphasized the silence). He continued to pull from Overgrown with “I am Sold”, “Digital Lion” and the initial track release “Retrograde” that garnered the album so much attention.
Never one to stick to a particular album live, Blake returned to 2011’s James Blake with “A Wilhelm Scream”, a track that displays Blake’s own transition from his older style of music to new, merging the former concentration on potent beat loops to the latter’s more lyrically heavy style found on Overgrown. He strayed further with a cover of Joni Mitchell’s “A Case of You”, a curveball that threw off everyone in the crowd in the most wonderful way. “Limit to Your Love”, a Feist cover and another of Blake’s most popular tracks, kept everybody ablaze before the heart melting conclusion. Nobody in the audience had any clue of the masterpiece that was to come. Continue reading →
Robert Glasper recently released Black Radio 2, building on the genre bending musical blueprint he debuted on 2012’s Black Radio. Bringing together jazz, R&B, neo-soul, and hip-hop, the Robert Glasper Experiment perform at World Cafe Live at The Queen in Wilmington for an XPN Welcomes event. Tickets and more information can be found here. Below, listen to Glasper’s collaboration with Norah Jones from Black Radio 2.
Psychedelic rockers Coke Weed made one of 2013’s most under-the-radar and likely underrated rock records, Back To Soft. The Bar Harbor, Maine quintet is fronted by Milan McAlevey and the band’s music is bathed in electric Sixties vibes with elements of Velvet Underground, Grace Slick & The Great Society, and Creedence. The band play at Boot & Saddle. Go here for tickets and more information about the show.
John Vanderslice with Philly’s Market East at Johnny Brenda’s.
Singer-songwriter/producer James Blake has released his new video for his collaboration with Chance the Rapper on the “Life Round Here” remix. The original track is featured on Blake’s latest LP, Overgrown. A sense of trespassing is felt as Blake and Chance ride around and attract stares from everyone they pass on the streets. This eerie feeling is enhanced by the black-and-white effect, Blake’s airy vocals, and Chance as he warns: “save yourself first”. Watch the two discuss their collaboration and see the spooky product below.
James Blake tapped Chance the Rapper for a remix of the UK electronic artist’s “Life Round Here,” premiered by Noisey and in anticipation of a video component featuring the Chicago rapper. The track is off of Blake’s sophomore LP Retrograde, which was released earlier this year and nominated for the Mercury Prize just last week. The new version of “Life Round Here” pits Blake’s downtempo and brooding reflections against Chance’s fast-paced and aggressive reactions, though Chance pulls back at the end when he knowingly – and solemnly – says “save yourself first.” Tickets and information for Blake’s November 4th show at Union Transfer can be found here. Listen to the track below, followed by a video of Blake performing “Life Round Here” at Glastonbury this summer.
The latest addition to James Blake‘s quickly-growing live footage archive is his recent appearance at the Glastonbury Festival in Somerset, England in support of this year’s Overgrown. Following festival live-streams from Primavera, Coachella and Electronic Beats (not to mention the live-stream of his album release show at London’s Heaven and an NPR-filmed recording of his April show at the 9:30 Club) the electronic singer-songwriter / post-dubstep producer’s hour-long Glastonbury set hits on tracks from Overgrown, Blake’s 2011 self-titled debut, his 2010 CMYK EP and an early single. Watching all of the live footage on Blake’s YouTube channel will probably leave you wanting to see him play in person – luckily he’ll be at Union Transfer on November 4th. Tickets and information can be found here. Stream the full set from Glastonbury below.