Killer Mike and El-P announce ‘RTJ2′

Run the Jewels - El-P (left) and Killer Mike

Killer Mike and El-P have announced the follow-up to their self titled debut as Run The Jewels, RTJ2.

Alongside the announcement, the duo also released a full version of ‘Blockbuster Night Part 1‘.You can listen to the track below.

Rage Against The Machine’s Zac De La Roca and Blink 182’s Travis Barker are confirmed as guest, after having been hinted at by appearances in pictures from the recording sessions. Killer Mike also described RTJ2 as “the best rap group album since RTJ1!”

RTJ2 is due out on October 28th via Mass Appeal. You can listen to ‘A Christmas Fucking Miracle’ from Run The Jewels below.

Earl Sweatshirt accuses Taylor Swift’s ‘Shake It Off’ Video of ‘Perpetuating Black Stereotypes’

Odd Future rapper Earl Sweatshirt tweeted about Taylor Swift’s ‘Shake It Off’ video, calling it “inherently offensive and ultimately harmful”, after stating that he hadn’t watched it, but didn’t need to.

The tweets can be seen below:

 

The video in question is Swift’s first new song in almost a year, and is the first single taken from 1989, scheduled for release on October 27th. Watch the video below:

The portrayal of cultures in music videos being criticised is not unfamiliar – in October of last year, Lily Allen’s ‘Hard Out Here’ video came under fire for using similar imagery that some claimed perpetuated black stereotypes, and earlier this year Avril Lavigne’s ‘Hello Kitty’ video was similarly criticised for fetishising Japanese culture.

Caribou Shares Title Track From ‘Our Love’, Announces London Show

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Alongside information about a 2015 London show, Caribou has unveiled the title track from fourth record Our Love.

The track begin in typical Caribou fashion, due to its warm bassline and sensitive vocals, yet by the climax it seems destined for clubs with a combination house-style vocals and bubbling electronics. You can listen to ‘Our Love’ below.

He is also set to play a show at London’s Brixton academy on 14th March 2015. Tickets are due to go on sale here on Wednesday at 9am.

Our Love is due out on 6th October. You can listen to the lead single ‘Can’t Do Without You’ below.

DZ Deathrays – Black Rat

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Somewhere in a crowded room where pre-drinks are a distant memory, the strobe light is on. You’ve spit up on your shirt, but it’s all okay, your night has just begun.

Australian duo DZ Deathrays are fairly unlike anything you’ll find in the UK at the moment. Born from Brisbane house parties, their unique thrash-pop sound easily has as much in common with Pixies as it does Klaxons.

For the most part, Black Rat is a lot cheerier and a bit more party than DZ Deathrays’ previous releases. Of course they’ve maintained the grungy, poetic lyrics and gravelly vocal delivery, as well as the complex musicianship which is pivotal to the DZ Deathrays noise. The whole album is a wall of aggressively distorted guitars and hair-raising cymbals, topped off with lyrics which beg for them to be yelled back at the two-man band through sweaty crowds worldwide.

The constant switching between punky-thrash songs  like ‘Gina Works at Hearts’ and the more laid back tunes like ‘Northern Lights’ make it impossible to treat Black Rat like background music – DZ Deathrays keep reeling you back in with mad drum fills and cheeky little riffs. Amidst this punk/gaze blur, there are songs like ‘Night Slave’ that are just magnificently funky.

Listen closely and you can hear the colours in the kaleidoscope changing, twisting and turning as each track on Black Rat throws up new styles and rhythms.  Frequently during Black Rat, DZ Deathrays manage to give songs with quite harrowing lyrics a seriously uplifting feel, throwing a smile over their previously saddened demeanour.

Black Rat is the hour of the party you can remember. The walk home in the morning; the hazy patches in-between.

Callum Cornwell

The Underachievers – Cellar Door: Terminus Ut Exordium

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According to many eminent scholars, authors and theorists of the English language, ‘cellar door’ is a phrase which is beautiful pure in terms of its sound – regardless of its meaning. It’s a weird juxtaposition then that the young and gritty rap duo The Underachievers, hailing from the urban outlaying of Flatbush, Brooklyn have decided to name their latest project after it. The frenetic rhymes, hazy and dark beats; that type of hit-you-in-the-face, hundred mile an hour flow. This is a gnarled and darkened beauty, one which someone may revel in a full moon on a clear, warm summer night, or appreciate the beauty of a graffiti-layered backstreet alley. The rhymes are hard hitting, the rappity-rap ganja-toking archaic style of MCing prominent on all tracks.

Comprised of rappers Issa Dash and AK, The Underachievers have been making noise for a while now, releasing two successful mixtapes last year, Indigoism and Lords of Flatbush. Both mixtapes stood out, competing and holding their own at a time when fellow Beast Coast allies Pro Era and Flatbush Zombies were really starting to blow up. They cemented themselves in that new wave group of hip hop artists hailing from the Brooklyn streets. Cellar Door: Terminus Ut Exordium builds on the success of these mixtapes, and sees The Underachievers finally reach their much expected heights.

From the outset on the opening track ‘Luminescence’ the duo flaunt their distinctive and unique tag-team style of rap. They’re vocally noticeable from one another, which makes the back and forth flurry of rhymes easy to follow. In this opener they take the roles of the knowledge-of-self scholars, looking to school and elevate the minds of the youth – a theme that continues throughout the album. Hazy beats and deep rooted conscious lyricism is what the Beast Coast boys are all about, and this is best found on the track ‘Chrysalis’. An icy vocal undercurrent with a trap percussion proving to be the perfect platform to express their empowering views – “Timeless repetition, them lies in pages visit, surprised we are the victim, societies secret mission/Got your mind twisted and fuck, I ain’t just rhyming nigga, keep up”.

Other tracks that stand out are ‘Felicity’ with its dreamy, pop style and slowed down lyrics, the closest to a mainstream track that the duo will create, looking to equate and impose their message to a more universal audience – and the penultimate track ‘Amorphous’, a desperate plea to society to stop their ways, the evocative lyrics being the ideal marriage to a heavily sampled Portugal. The Man beat.

However, this album does have its flaws. A lengthy middle section does tend to blend together and become monotonous. An overly conceptual style at points means at times you lose the message, with no gripping tale or captivating subject matter, the thoughts just run off randomly.

This album is a big step in the right direction though, and continues the progression made on their last two mixtapes. They have huge potential and with the right guidance under legendary producer Flying Lotus they could continue to elevate.

Will Garnett

Arcade Fire Release Video For ‘You Already Know’

Arcade Fire have just released a video for the perplexingly Jonathan Ross-sampling track ‘You Already Know’ from Reflektor. In it we see a host of old portraits mouthing along to the words as the band jam in what has become their white-suited uniform. It is only towards the ending of the video that we see it was vocalist Win Butler in charge of the kinetic camera the whole time thanks to a few helpful mirrors. I love a happy ending. You can watch the video above.

This comes as the third video released from Reflektor. The band are currently still on the road showcasing their bombastic Reflektour.

Zane Lowe Premiers New Alt-J Song ‘Every Other Freckle’

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Alt-J’s new track entitled ‘Every Other Freckle’ was premiered today on Zane Lowe’s show on Radio 1.

The track shows the beloved Mercury Prize-winners apparently attempting to woo an object of their desire – in the most Alt-J of ways – amidst an eclectic backdrop of cowbell-induced chaos. You can listen to ‘Every Other Freckle below.

This comes as the third song released so far from their upcoming album This Is All Yours after the Miley-sampling grandeur (that’s a sequence of words I never thought I’d use) of ‘Hunger Of The Pine’ and the uncharacteristically oddball strut of ‘Left Hand Free’. You can watch the video for ‘Left Hand Free’ below.

This Is All Yours is due out on September 22nd.