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Who is shaking up the EDM industry?

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This week, Electronic Dance Music’s most overtly opinionated, twitter-fighting bass genius Joel Zimmerman, a.k.a Deadmau5 dropped his latest studio double-album while(1<2).

Well, what does mean? While most may just yawn, close this tab or even throw their computer at the wall with the sheer thought of another release of a repetitive head-banging EDM collaboration, this album release, alongside many others in 2013/2014, have spurred a debate really worth raving about (…literally).

Anyone who knows the Mau5, knows he has a history of distaste for sloppy production, festivals, the banal of over-played EDM music and well, anything music related, thanks to the joys and reach of social media. However, in a recent interview with the UK’s The Standard, Zimmerman took one more dig at the music genre which has housed his music for so many years.

“Disco had a longer run than EDM has, to be honest about it, and that died in a f****** hurry. EDM is way more susceptible because that was in a time when they didn’t have mass social media and all that shit. It’s not gonna be me saying, ‘OK, EDM’s done’, and the whole thing falls apart, but I think it’ll eventually f*** itself so hard.”

While some are selling-out to Las Vegas adaptating (I’m looking at you Calvin Harris) in order to survive as the biggest, most well-paid DJ on the planet. Other artists who found their roots in the EDM scene have done a complete 180and rebelled against the pressures of money, fame and their record labels, to produce some of the most exciting tracks of the last year. I am not here to sit and ridicule EDM culture; I proudly fly the “Eat, Sleep, Rave, Repeat” flag. It is has just come to the surface that times are changing and, dare I say it, it is not all about the “drop” any more. Here are some of the big-name rebels who are shaking up the current EDM industry:

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Avicii

Why am I starting with Avicii? Why? He’s just so mainstream…

Remember that song “Wake Me Up”? That tiny song, which he produced with Aloe Blacc, reached number one in over 22 countries, and had over 375 million YouTube views. Yeah that’s the one. Well, things did not start out all peachy for this 24-year old Swedish rebel. If we take ourselves back to Miami’s Ultra Music Festival 2013, when he dropped this bluegrass banjo-infused, thigh-slapper set with live instrumentalists and singers, fans of this tried-and-tested banger machine were left shocked, outraged and confused with no drop to jump to.

Avicii later replied, “I really wanted to switch things up and do something fun and different, as I always strive for, and this album is about experimentation and about showing the endless possibilities of house and electronic music…My music is open to anyone who wants to listen to it and I will always stay true to my sound.”

Even Ash Pournouri, Avicii’s manager, knew the gamble would pay off:

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While, we may all argue that Wake Me Up, and other songs of his 2013 album release “True,” have now become dance floor staples, we have to remember this is the same guy that bought us Levels. He took a big risk on a global stage and at that moment, in terms of production and ingenuity, this was a large step forward for the young Swede. Since then we have seen him collaborate with country legend Mac Davis, bluegrass musician Dan Tyminksi, Incubus guitarists Mike Einziiger and Ben Kenney and folk rock singer-songwriter Audra Mae. In a music scene which can quickly become shrouded in artistic unoriginality, this courage to step up to the plate should be commended favourably.

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Deadmau5

No Dj in the world is more outspoken and passionate about the Electronic Music genre than the mouse-head-clad Deadmau5. However, when he took to the stage at Ultra Music Festival’s to play the Saturday closing set earlier this year, he provided one of his most controversial outcries to date.

With the antics starting on Twitter shortly before his set, the fans were somewhat ready for his trademark rebellion:

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While some have called his Levels shout-out a fair tribute to the hospitalized Avicii, who was set to play the marquee spot at Ultra, EDM young-gun Martin Garrix did not get off so lightly. Halfway through his set, Deadmau5 dropped Martin Garrix’s festival-anthem Animals, with a distinct mash up with Old MacDonald Had a Farm; gaining him the official dickhead troll of the year title.

Just like a duck into water, Deadmau5 dealt with the inevitable backlash to his public EDM tantrum in true Mau5 fashion - over Twitter. Among those who did not find it funny was superstar DJ Tiesto, a mentor to fellow Dutchman Garrix. While Tiesto did not directly condone Zimmerman’s action, he did make the point to call out Animals as an “epic track” and pinned Garrix as a “super talent.” Deadmau5 later replied with a sarcastic “Am I supposed to sneer while hitting the sync button? Or is that ironic?”.

We can just to add to his list of his other twitter disputes: Deadmau5 v.s The Internet, Madonna, Arcade Fire, Justin Bieber, Porter Robinson, Steve Angello…the list goes on.

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Porter Robinson

In a very enlightening Reddit AMA last Wednesday, 21-year old Porter Robinson opened up to his fans revealing that he “started to become really unhappy with the EDM-type stuff” and “basically, [he] wanted to stop writing music for DJs/clubs/etc and instead write more personal, songwriting-oriented stuff that focuses more on being beautiful and vast-sounding and nostalgic.”

“I don’t see myself ever producing EDM music-for-DJs again, no,” Robinson told one fan.

Right. Well, this was unexpected. Last time I remember hearing this bass-driven EDM whiz-kid, he was filling the room with Language, and 100% in the Bitch, and gracing the mainstage of Ultra. However, if we could learn anything from this young EDM rebel, it is that under no circumstances can we call his new hotly-anticipated album Worlds, set to be released on August 12, an EDM album.

“A lot of my angst about EDM came from my songwriting process. iIthink that EDM, in order to do its job in its intended setting (a DJ set), has requirements to make it 'work'. the most effective electro tracks have a 30-second buildup, where the chord returns to the root note, with risers, maybe a rising vocal, a snare roll - there are moves you HAVE to do in an 'EDM' track to make it work.”

He later added, “It was the BEST FUCKING FEELING EVER to be writing music without those confines. writing music makes me so goddamn happy again.” Those “confines” being pressure on the function over real artistic expression.

In 2014, Porter has enticed us with a 10-hour release video, and three songs including Sad Machine, Sea of Voices and his latest release, Lionhearted, a clear departure from his usual bass-heavy big room sounds. It is obvious he has spent a long-time separating his new work from the rest of the EDM cluster pack, and with this evolution, sets a bright future for electronic music.

This Saturday sees Robinson take over the decks on BBC Radio 1 for a special Pete Tong Essential Mix. A rebellious mix which should not be missed.

UPDATE: Listen to the two-hour long mix here.

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Dillon Francis

This guy. Mr funny man himself Dillon Francis may not be the most overtly opinionated dance-infused producer, but he definitely does not take the pressures of the EDM world too seriously. Nurtured under the decks of producing mega-dude Diplo, and his Mad Decent label, Francis has flown the flag for a new sound called “Moombahton.” Do not fret, I can barely wrap my head around the terminology – apparently a fusion genre of house music and reggaeton. What you do need to know is that this signature don’t-give-a-fuck style (“I.D.G.A.F.O.S” is one of his prime tracks) and well-produced beats are what looks to be the immediate future of the EDM genre. Taking the piss out of anything and everything.

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Besides his flourishing DJ career, providing one of the most memorable sets at Coachella 2014, his social media presence has gone from stride to stride; or should I say, alter ego to alter ego. Dj Hanzel, one of Francis’ many alter egos, urges his crows to go “vun deeper” and provides endless Vines and Instagram Videos for his fans. His latest attempt to poke fun at the ridiculousness of the EDM festival scene, was personified in his new character “Treva” from Australia (yay, we are now globally recognised feral festival goers!). In reality, this rough jab is an attempt to break away from the confines of the EDM trap Moombaton sound which very often pigeon-holes his work. While Dillon Francis may be relatively new to the 'fuck-you EDM, revolution, this attempt to add diversity to his DJ career makes him a rebel to the system in 2014.

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Yeo on Pharrell, Keith Urban and Koopa Troopa

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Melbourne producer/songwriter, Yeo, has been kicking around on the scene for a while. Since the release of his first single, Girl, off his forthcoming EP, Come Find Me, his audience has boomed. His second single, Kobe has continued that streak, amassing almost 50,000 plays on Soundcloud and delivering a video directed by MOOP JAW.

We spoke to Yeo midway through his Kobe single tour, a show that brings together his diverse, RnB styles with an all-encompassing visual experience.

How’d the first show go?

Ah it was insane. It was crazy. So unexpectedly awesome.

Has the liveshow changed since you started?

It has. New members is one of them. But we’ve condensed the show down to a two piece, added visuals and also just recently we’ve started piping the set up so there’s not big spaces between songs and making it a real show. Making it an engaging experience more so than just a bunch of dudes on stage playing music.

Are people responding well to new material?

Four or five of the songs in our set haven’t been put out yet. Majority of it is from older albums but there is a big chunk that is new and people don’t seem to notice. Or if I do mention accidentally on stage that we are playing a new song, they get excited. It’s pretty cool.

QQ_Yeo_1I suppose you’re at that enviable point in your career where people respond well to new songs rather than going for a bar break.

Nahh. That happens. I feel sorry for bands that have to put up with that.

When you were writing and producing the songs for Come Find Me did you feel like you were onto something with Kobe?

I didn’t. Kobe is the one that is the most poppy and catchiest but I don’t necessarily like it the best. I think Girl is really interesting and then the other two are really quite catchy. It’s hard to explain. I didn’t get the feeling at the time. I liked it but I didn’t think this is the single.

Do you find Come Find Me is quite eclectic or is there a common thread that runs through it?

For me personally there is always a common thread. To everyone else I think they listen to what I do and think every song sounds different. I can see that too. A lot of things are different from song to song but where they come from, say my heart or the feelings that I have, they are all from the same place.

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Have you had a common influence since you started recording?

The influences definitely change all the time for me. I think a lot of the feeling, it makes sense when you put them in chronological order. When it comes to something like grief it’s followed by shock, followed by anger, followed by you know repairing yourself and then eventually happiness. It all makes sense in terms of that kind of thing. Talking external influences, I listen to a lot of different kinds of music, I read a lot of different books and I watch a lot of different movies.

Do you think inspiration comes from finding new instruments and new sounds?

Yeah definitely, everything I do is to not have a plan. I lock myself in a shed and play around with all the different musical toys I have. A lot of the time songs just form themselves.

Do you pull inspiration from obscure things like Nintendo?

I used to play video games a lot when I was young. I don’t keep up with the gaming trends these days but I still enjoy video games in general. But yeah It does come from obscure things. Anything from video games to the way the light reflects of a river. Sorry to sound wanky but that’s one of the things. Or how could it is in Melbourne in Winter when you wake up sometimes. Whatever.

I read that you have another EP ready for release after Come Find Me, is that still happening and is it a different kind of sound?

It’s probably a very natural progression from Come Find Me. Come Find Me has a lot of space, and dimension to it. The next one is a tighter, groove-based thing, possibly with a bit more emotion. Because the space has been taken away, it’s a little bit more confronting.

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Do you have an album in the works?

I would love to do an album but I don’t think that I have the attention span nor does my audience. We’ll see. One day I would love to. A big concept one with massive story-lines and songs that run into eachother.

It sounds to me as if the visual output is just as important as the audible output for you. Is that true?

Recently it’s become that way. I think to standout from other musicians and acts you’ve really got to focus on the experience as a whole and realise that people need more than just their ears to be stimulated these days.

How’d the collaboration come up with MOOP JAW for the Kobe video?

Well my manager is actually really good friends with the director and the writer of the clip. He heard the song and he liked it so he said yes.

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Are you happy with the clip?

I’m so stoked, I’m really proud of the clip. It took a long time to come out because there were some details we had to work out. But when it came out everybody said to me it’s beautiful. And I was like, “yeah, I’m glad it came across that way”. That’s all we wanted to do. Make it a work that both Rhett and I were happy with.

How do you go about incorporating the visual into your live show?

We just have a projector and we turn the lights down so you can see the projector. That’s what a lot of bands do wrongly these days. They leave the lights up and you can barely see anything. It’s all about making the crowd feel less self-conscious and giving them something to focus on other than people.

Was there an artists that influenced you early on to be a musician?

Not particularly. There have been a few key artists in my life that have made me or inspired me. Mostly my peers, seeing what they do and how things can be done push me along. Pharrell was a big influence back when I was starting out. It was like, hey he’s just one guy with these ideas and he’s just putting them on record. It’s hard to nail down influences because there’s so many and they’re always changing.

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Do you feel it’s a good time to be a self-made electronic artist?

Ahh. What it does is if there’s a lot of competition around, you just get better at what you do. You work hard. Sometimes, it’s a little bit disheartening when you see these young kids who have produced one song in their bedroom shoot to superstardom whereas there’s guys like me have been kicking it for nine years. But it’s all about the follow-up. If they do a track after that that’s just as good, I’ll shut the hell up because that’s rad.

Do you feel like taking a while is a good thing?

I definitely feel that. My character is very densely built now that I’ve been gigging around for so long. And I don’t get phased by flashy offers or big city lights. I know what I’m good at, I know what I’m not good at and I know what I need to get better at.

Kobe Single Tour:

FRI 6 JUNE – NORTHCOTE SOCIAL CLUB, MELBOURNE

SAT 14 JUNE – THE CAUSEWAY, PERTH

SAT 14 JUNE – LOST SOCIETY BAR, PERTH (DJ SET)

SUN 15 JUNE – INDI BAR, SCARBOROUGH

FRI 20 JUNE – UPSTAIRS BERESFORD, SYDNEY

SAT 21 JUNE – THE ARMIDALE CLUB, ARMIDALE

FRI 27 JUNE – ALHAMBRA, BRISBANE

SAT 28 JUNE – SOL BAR, MAROOCHYDORE

FRI 4 JULY – CATS @ ROCKET BAR, ADELAIDE

SAT 5 JULY – TRANSIT BAR, CANBERRA

THU 17 JULY – SCU UNI BAR, LISMORE

FRI 18 JULY – BEACH HOTEL, BYRON BAY

 

RYAN HEMSWORTH

Ryan Hemsworth gives us 'Every Square Inch'

Following through with his promise to Facebook fans yesterday, favourite in theinterns office, Ryan Hemsworth, dropped new song, 'Every Square Inch,' overnight. Created in collaboration with Japanese producer,  Qrion, 'Every Square Inch' is like sour skittles bouncing their way down a techno-coloured rainbow. Straight A Hemsworth with its vulnerable highs, bursting over defiantly get-low lows, 'Every Square Inch,' has us excited for the release of his October LP, Guilt Trips.

[soundcloud url="https://soundcloud.com/ryanhemsworth/every-square-inchwith-qrion" iframe="true" /]

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Willow Beats sign with Pilerats, release 'Merewif'

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Melbourne duo, Willow Beats have been gaining momentum since the release of their first single, Blue, and have moments ago announced they have signed to Big Scary's record label, Pilerats. Merewif is their first release on the label and is also the first offering from their forthcoming second EP due out 27 June. Merewif is a skittering but ethereal cut, "Stooped in fantasy, mystery, and the stories of Hare Krishna folklore", according to their Soundcloud. It's a minimal sound that they are quickly carving out as their own. This new signing is bound to catapult them into an even larger audience.

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/willowbeats/merewif[/soundcloud]

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Throwaway Thursday

throwawaythursdays19juneWe've been cleaning out the internet in preparation for EOFY and we've found a number of things that are too good to dispose of. Find this week's treats for the eyes, ears and booty below.

STREAM: How To Dress Well- What Is This Heart?

Get a box of tissues and lay into the new LP by Tom Krell. It’s a contemporary RnB masterpiece and it feels like his most complete record yet. He pulls in sounds from all over the place, using decadent orchestral strings alongside ‘90s nostalgia-inducing beats. It’ll tug at your heart strings but will also allow the occasional groove-off. Have a listen before it’s released in Australia tomorrow.

Stream it at whatisthisheart.com

WATCH: Warpaint’s full Bonnaroo set

If you were at Bonnaroo in Tennessee over the weekend then you have our undivided jealousy, if you weren’t then you can join us in being couch appreciators. YouTube has deleted most of the full set videos but Warpaint’s has remained. It’s odd to watch them in the full light of day and without the festival atmosphere surrounding, but there’s no doubt they rate 100 on the cool scale and can shred guitar like no other girls.

DOWNLOAD: LPLX- STNR

Lapalux clearly doesn’t like vowels as of late. His track, the Young Thug-sampling DNY GLVR also left out it’s O’s and E’s and it’s no different with his Young Thug remix, STNR. Lapalux keeps it true to the hip-hop genre adding some thumping bass and cascading percussion. Get it fresh, get it free.

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/lapalux/lplx-stnr[/soundcloud]

WATCH: DJ Rashad + DJ Spinn: Teklife in Monterrey (Documentary)

DJ Rashad tragically died earlier this year but before he passed Pitchfork went to Mexico to film a short documentary about a weekend in the life of the Chicago DJ and his fellow producer, DJ Spinn. The black and white affair is an interesting but ultimately bittersweet watch. There’s plenty of weed, alcohol and a few beats at DIY music-festival NRMAL.

STREAM: Kaskade releases free album ‘The Calm’

The Santa Clause of Deep House has now gifted us with his 2006 album The Calm; the third installment in a series of releases from his YouTube channel. Labelled as one of his more ‘difficult collections to get your hands on’ by none other but Kaskade himself, this stream is sure to take you right back to yesteryear, when lockouts weren’t a thing and you had to actually pay for music. Featuring songs Soft Upon the Lips and Wink of an Eye, let Kaskade take you away to a simpler time (and don’t forget to check out his other album offerings). Merry Christmas.

WATCH: Miley Cyrus Bangerz Tour bootleg

In celebration of this loveable country gal coming down-under we've found a bootleg of a full show on YouTube. Yes, it's a little bit of a shotty filming job but not even a camera phone can miss the giant hotdog. Once you're done watching you can bet on whether or not she will be deported from the country or whether she will spray-paint a wall. See, you could make money out of Throwaway Thursdays this week.

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Miley Cyrus pops up on new Alt-J single, 'Hunger Of The Pine'

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It's probably not two names you'd expect to hear in the same sentence but Alt-J have sampled Miley Cyrus' 4x4 on their new track Hunger Of The Pine. Hunger Of The Pine is lifted from their forthcoming sophomore effort This Is All Yours and it's slow-building, oddball track. It doesn't have the same immediacy as a track like Tesselate but it does indicate that the band have been trying new things including what sounds like a more synth-heavy sound. This Is All Yours will drop in September and follows their acclaimed debut, An Awesome Wave.

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/alt-j/hunger-of-the-pine[/soundcloud]

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Broods release Mother & Father

BroodsNew Zealand duo Broods, get straight to the heart of the matter in their new song, Mother & Father.With a catchy cascade of lyrics and pulsing chorus reigning out across a defiant drum beat, the duo's latest offering embodies that perfect young adult contradiction: Strong but not quite strong enough. Although Mother & Father doesn't feature on their current EP, it's got us all excited for the release of their up-coming debut album. [soundcloud url="https://soundcloud.com/broods/broods-mother-father" iframe="true" /]

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Girl-group M.O drop '90s-inspired, 'Dance On My Own'

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The '90s was a prosperous time for girl bands, so it makes sense that the recent resurgence of girl bands has come with a certain '90s nostalgia attached to it. The latest group to try their luck in a quick-filling market is British RnB trio M.O. They're more likely to have hung with TLC than the Spice Girls back in the day with their sound focussed on lush harmonies and sassy intonation. The latest offering from the trio is, Dance On My Own. Just as Robyn did, they've made dancing on your own sound like a stack of fun, with drum n' bass-lite beats and a delectable vocal sample scattered throughout. If anyone's going to bring the '90s girl group renaissance to the mainstream, it will be these three.

Hear it here. 

Watch the video for, For A Minute here:

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The Metamorphosis of Kanye West

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Kanye West is easily one of the most divisive and contradictory players in the game today. So divisive in fact, most can’t even agree on what game Kanye’s actually playing. Music, fashion, Kapitali$ing on the Karda$hian Kid$, or simply rick-rolling young blondes at award shows; as the game changes, so does Chameleon Kanye. *cough Yeezus.* Undeniably, most have struggled to reconcile his often-outlandish public persona with his force as a humble yet boundary-breaking music producer. Yes, I did just write humble and Kanye in the same sentence. 

Almost exactly a year ago, in what was a candid-as-Kanye-gets interview with The New York Times, West explored the various influences and inspirations for his latest album, Yeezus. Along with ensuring that henceforth no commentator (myself included) could mention Kanye West without including some scathing reference to his boundless adoration for the late Steve Jobs (man, he really likes him), The Times interview also delivered him an incredible amount of flack for peremptory insistences like “I am so credible and so influential and so relevant that I will change things” and like “Yeah, respect my trendsetting abilities. Once that happens, everyone wins. The world wins; fresh kids win; creatives win; the company wins.”

A year on from citing Le Corbusier’s lamp as his greatest influence and declaring NBA commissioner David Stern an artist, Kanye’s gone and got hitched to an impeccably-dressed pot of vanity in front of a impeccably well-curated wall of flowers, has graced the cover of US Vogue with said pot of vanity and baby North, been declared by Lou Reed as “the only person who’s out there really doing something,” and collaborated with James Blake on the Brit's upcoming album. Having been described by Justin Vernon from Bon Iver as “otherwordly,” and securing the lead role in Instagram’s Most Liked Picture of all time, the West that walked out on stage yesterday at the Cannes Lions Festival to talk all things techno-culture, is a far cry away from West that ranted for 8 minutes straight on Jimmy Kimmel mere months ago. Despite spinning the same bullshit about design with utopian aspirations, and the hard-knock life of “rentable” celebrities who face public “lashings,” Yeezus appeared a changed man. Cool, calm and collected.

Here’s why.

Firstly, Kanye’s started wearing skirts 

“Men wearing skirts goes back hundreds of years, but never caught on in America. We have been brainwashed into thinking this is some sort of feminine act. One of the most masculine things you can do is put on a skirt.”

Ever knowledgable Kanye knows that happy genitals equal happy people, right? So in an act invested with moralistic intension and a desire to de-brainwash the poor un-manly men of America, Kanye’s reinvented the wheel with his high end man-skirt. Taking the lead, not that he’d admit it though, from Marc Jacob’s signature kilt, Kanye’s ensuring that as summer descends on LA LA Land he, along with anyone looking to purchase a man-skirt for a mere $US250-$US5000, will have easy, breezy and carefree junk in an environment designed for optimum mobility and fresh air cultivation. Making people happy in the pants, or should I say skirt, always makes you feel good about yourself so it's no wonder Yeezy is all smiles.

When he’s not wearing skirts, he’s wearing track pants

After an on-going saga with Nike, in which the brand failed to promise Yeezus royalties to his Yeezy trainers, or deliver future collections for the designer collaboration, a now Baby-Daddy in all their three-stripe, dollar $ign goodness.

“The old me without a daughter might of taken the Nike deal, because I just love Nike. But the new me, with a daughter, takes the Adidas deal, because I have royalties and I have to provide for my family.”

It’s humbling to know that worries regarding financial security keep even the Kim-ye clan up at night. So, with a new collaboration under his belt, and well on the way to getting his money “up to the next level. Because it ain’t on Jay Z level yet, it ain’t on Diddy yet,” it seems clear all Kanye of by-gone days really needed was a few good nights' sleep.

He even designed the blanket under which he’s been sleeping

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He found time to stop and smell the roses

With Annie Leibovitz pulling out from her role as official Kim-ye wedding photographer mere days before the wedding, Kanye was still determined to have Annie-Leibovitz-like photography for his big day. While this meant he enlisted the help of a 19 year old, then-unknown photographer, it also meant he spent “like four days,” perfecting the palate of a flower-filled photo of their wedding for Instagram. It’s a hard job, but someone’s got to do it.

He’s become a family man

During The New York Times interview, Kanye was particularly tight-lipped when it came to discussing family matters, stating “I don’t want to explain too much into what my thoughts on, you know, fatherhood are, because I’ve not fully developed those thoughts yet. I don’t have a kid yet.” And explaining that when baby North did come, it would be his kid, “not America’s.” A Vogue cover and one highly anticipated, over-the-top wedding later and my, my, how times have changed. Mother-in-law Kris Jenner sat in the audience for Kanye’s stint on the Cannes stage, while Kanye himself declared he “can't be with any girl but Kim because that's the girl that I look at her pictures the most and get turned on the most.” What did I say about happy genitals equalling happy people?

And finally, his genius has been credited in app-form

In yet another social initiative to beautify the world, Kanye lent his mug to web programming group, The Free Art and Technology, for an application that allows you to put Yeezy’s face all over your desktop’s icon dock. Downloadable here, Kanye must be feeling pretty good about bringing some Kanye-tinted beauty to desktops everywhere. 

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5 Artists You Need To Hear Right Now Vol. 4

5 artists you need to hear ugly

Like the Microsoft paperclip, we're always here to help. This week we're delivering five new artists that cover nearly every genre you could imagine setting your eager ears on. We've got hip-hop, electronica, rock, dance, jazz and seemingly everything in between. We must warn that Jungle Pussy or the Naked Eye are not suitable to search in google images at work.

Ara Koufax

You may recognise the names Sam Gill and Luke Neher as those two guys who previously recorded under Naysayer and Gilsun. Ara Koufax is a new project for the duo, which explores new territory. The project is “two producers driving to a beach house in the middle of winter to distill a bleak climate into something warmer”, according to the press release and it does show. Their first track, Converge, is a distorted and frosty tune, made comfortable by the nestling vocal. It’s the only taster we have from them right now but given their previous output as Naysayer and Gilsun and this track, it’s a safe bet to say the future looks bright for Gill and Neher.

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/ara-koufax/converge[/soundcloud]

Facebook . Twitter . Soundcloud

Junglepussy

It was the name that attracted me but the music that made me stay. As you can probably tell Brooklyn rapper Junglepussy, ain’t one to mess around with. Her new mixtape Satisfaction Guaranteed is a hefty collection that finds a perfect mix between throbbing bass and seductive tempos. It was produced mostly by Shy Guy who’s produced NYC rapper Le1f. She opens the tape with “What’s up good lookin’/You hot n’ I’m cookin’” and from there it’s a succession of quick-fire lyrics full of sass.

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/vice/sets/junglepussys-satisfaction-guaranteed[/soundcloud]

Facebook . Twitter . Soundcloud

Elaphant

Not to be confused with Elephant or Elliphant, New York five-piece, Elaphant, may just be the one’s to convince the world that guitars still exist in recorded music. They centre around scungy riffs and formulate melody over willful grooves. Their debut self-titled EP is polished enough to appeal to more than just a hipster like The Black Keys but also individual enough to ensure they don’t take the Kings Of Leon highway to mediocrity.

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/elaphant/sacking-cards[/soundcloud]

Facebook . Bandcamp . Soundcloud

The Naked Eye

French/English duo The Naked Eye are probably the biggest treat we received in our inbox this week. Self-described as “Jazz/Soul/broken beat influenced new comers”, the pair have released two exquisite tracks to date, that sound exactly as they have alluded to. As a debut, Embrace, carves an ambitious musical path, beginning with a minute-long instrumental before expanding into a hazy, nouveau-jazz sound. Second single, Sweet Boy, is more minimal but also more immediately melodic. It feels as if Nina Simone was remixed by Flying Lotus and we’re utterly enamoured by it.

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/thenakedeyemusic/embraceme[/soundcloud]

Facebook . Twitter . Soundcloud

Joy.

When I was 17 I was spending copious amounts of hours choosing my MySpace song. It seems 17 year-old singer/songwriter and producer Olivia McCarthy (aka. JOY.) has been putting her time to much better use. At this point, she’s only got one song to her name but it’s a corker. Captured is a sleek track pumped along by a persistent throb below her breathy voice. It’s a downtempo affair, that adds some soul to a genre of electronic music that is becoming increasingly monotonous. For a debut, it’s beautifully polished and deservant of the hype that it will no doubt receive.

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/joy-aus/captured[/soundcloud]

Facebook . Soundcloud

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5 Types of Music Apps You Need In Your Life

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1. Streaming

Hype Machine 

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Starting as a web experiment in 2005, Hype Machine has grown into a powerful tool that joins the forces of 806 independent blogs and websites to curate the best music from around the web. Their app version of the website gives you the ability to choose which songs you enjoy with the simple tap of a <3, now with the newly-added feature of 'playlists', allowing you to categorise your favourites into 'Up', 'Down' & 'Weird'. It's also the perfect hub to find remixes of the songs you love.

Cost: $4.99

Compatibility: App, iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. 

Download on iTunes 

Indie Shuffle 

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A run-off from the popular indie music website, the Indie Shuffle app provides you with playlists of the best electronic, hip-hop, indie-rock and folk music along with their favourite remixes, all curated by a team of music enthusiasts. All that is required of you is to find a track and hit play, and Indie Shuffle will build the playlist around your selection, helping you to discover new music on the go.  The best things about this app? No ads, no listening limits for the small price of zilch!

Cost: Free

Compatibility: Android, iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. 

Download on iTunes 

2. Online Magazine

The Fader 

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The official app for The FADER contains features from the magazine and the blog, podcasts, FADER TV, information on FADER's parties and, best of all, a music player curated by the  'definitive voice of emerging music and the lifestyle that surrounds it'.  This is the perfect app for discovering music's next best thing, with The Fader claiming to be the most 'dynamic breath of music and style emanating the fringes of the mainstream'. Basically download this if you wanna be a cool cat. 

Cost: Free

Compatibility: Android, iPhone, iPad & iPod Touch.

Download from iTunes 

Pitchfork Weekly 

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Pitchfork Weekly presents the editorial highlights from their website, updating the app constantly with reviews, features, columns, audio and exclusive videos from Pitchfork TV. The best part of this app is the staff-produced podcasts which feature conversations over the week in music as well as mixes of the latest tracks. 

Cost: Free

Compatible: iPhone, iPad & iPod Touch.

Download from iTunes 

3. Novelty

Tunepics 

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Tunepics is social media with a soundtrack that stimulates the eyes and the ears. Think instagram with Miley Cyrus-esque filters and songs to accompany your picture. It enables you to upload your photos, edit them with a weather filter, express your emotion at the time via a colour wheel and also pair it with a song. Endorsed by Lily Allen, Jamie Oliverwill.i.am and Kate Bosworth. 

Cost: Free

Compatibility: iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. 

Download on iTunes  

Songza

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Voted the 'App Store Best of 2012', Songza plays you 'the right music at the right time', curating playlists for your certain mood at a certain time of day. Want to soundtrack your sweaty dance party? Trying to find a song to match your confidence? Or just want to belt out that incredible voice of yours in the shower? Then this app is just for you.

Cost: Free

Compatibility: iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. 

Download on iTunes 

4. DIY DJ

TRAKTOR DJ

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TRAKTOR DJ app brings the pro software straight to iOS, giving you the ability to create instant DJ sets. Compatible with iPhone and iPad, it allows you to create mixes in seconds from your own iTunes library using familiar hand gestures to perform hands-on, high-impact sets. Auto tempo detection also makes track-syncing and beat-matching a breeze, right in the palm of your hands.  

Cost: $1.99

Compatibility: iPhone & iPad

Download iPhone App on iTunes 

Download iPad App on iTunes 

Slussen 

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Slussen is the accompanying app to the Scandinavian brand of headphones Urbanears and 'the most powerful after-party known to man'. Just plug in the adapter, connect your headphones and sound system for your very own pocket-sized DJ kit. Just like the real deal, Slussen has a pre-listening feature that ensures you can prepare the next track while the previous beats are still pumping. Hot tip: The headphones are the perfect accompaniment to this app. Choose from the rainbow selection here.

Cost: Free

Compatibility: iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch

Download on iTunes 

5. Concert

BandMate 

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BandMate helps you find when your favourite band is playing, recommending live music events in your area based purely on what you're listening to. It also uses the artists already on your iPhone/iPod to discover other bands you might like and creates a personalised calendar of the shows you want to see.

Cost: $1.99

Compatibility: 

Download from iTunes 

Songkick 

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Honoured with the titles 'UK iTunes App of the Week', 'Cult of Mac Must-Have App' and 'Billboard App of the Month', Songkick tracks your favourite bands and  suggests concerts based on the ones you've already been to. It also tracks the artists you've been following and alerts you when they're in town so you'll never miss your favourite act again. 

Cost: Free

Compatibility: iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch

Download from iTunes 

 

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Guerre channels JT on new track 'Tuk'

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Australian artist, Guerre, is part of a host of electronic musicians in the country making deeply intricate and interesting music. Tuk is the second offering off his forthcoming album, Ex Nihilo, and it's a flittering, neo-tribal exploration that features his whispy vocals running effervescently alongside. According to Guerre, the song is the most pop on the album and it's him "trying to channel all that Pharrell produced Justin Timberlake stuff". Ex Nihilo is out 4 July via Yes Please/Remote.

[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/yespleaserecords/guerre-tuk[/soundcloud]

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