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'Electronica' Bands // p 1

Darren's favorite bands for his Song Of The Day filtered by Electronica
371 Bands
BadBadNotGood

BadBadNotGood

BadBadNotGood (stylized as BADBADNOTGOOD) is an instrumental music group from Toronto, Ontario. The group includes keyboardist Matthew Tavares, bassist Chester Hansen, saxophonist Leland Whitty, and drummer Alexander Sowinski. They are known for their interpretations of hip hop tracks and their collaborations with Kendrick Lamar, Tyler, The Creator, Earl Sweatshirt, Denzel Curry, Danny Brown, Mick Jenkins, and Ghostface Killah.

Matthew Tavares, Alexander Sowinski, and Chester Hansen met in 2010 through the Humber College jazz program in Toronto. The trio united over a shared love for hip hop music, including that of MF Doom and Odd Future. Hansen plays acoustic and electric bass in the group, while Sowinski, who often dons a pig mask during performances, is on drums and sampler. Tavares handles keys, playing rhythms on a Prophet '08 and electric piano. The name of the band came from the tentative title of a comedy television project that Tavares was working on, which was eventually abandoned.

One of BadBadNotGood's first collaborations was a cover of "Lemonade" by Gucci Mane. They played a piece based on Odd Future's music for a panel of their jazz performance instructors, who did not find that it had musical value. After they released the track on YouTube as The Odd Future Sessions Part 1, it got the attention of rapper Tyler, The Creator, who felt differently and helped the trio's video go viral.

BadBadNotGood uploaded their debut album BBNG to Bandcamp in June 2011, which included covers of songs from A Tribe Called Quest, Waka Flocka Flame and several tracks from Odd Future. The trio had their first show at The Red Light in Toronto. In September 2011, they released their first album, BBNG, recorded in a three-hour session. Dante Alighieri on Sputnikmusic called the album "a welcome reinterpretation of modern jazz without the pretense of snotty wine parties and thick rimmed hipster dinosaurs."

BadBadNotGood recorded a live jam session with Tyler, The Creator in Sowinski's basement in October 2011. Videos from the session received more than a million views between them on YouTube.

The trio opened for Roy Ayers at the Nujazz Festival in January 2012 and played for Gilles Peterson's Worldwide Awards in London. At a February tribute to J Dilla in Toronto, their covers of "Lemonade" and "Hard in da Paint" had hundreds moshing.

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 'Eyes Closed'

'Eyes Closed'
Wednesday, November 20, 2019

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 'Stark’s Reality'

'Stark’s Reality'
Wednesday, October 9, 2019

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 'Confessions'

'Confessions'
Sunday, June 23, 2019

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 'Sour Soul'

'Sour Soul'
Friday, May 3, 2019

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Beirut

Beirut

Beirut is an American band which was originally the solo musical project of Santa Fe native Zach Condon. Beirut's music combines elements of indie-rock and world music. The band's first performance was in New York, in May 2006, to support its debut album, Gulag Orkestar.

Condon named the band after Lebanon’s capital, because of the city’s history of conflict and as a place where cultures collide. Beirut performed in Lebanon for the first time in 2014, at the Byblos International Festival.

Early years

Zach Condon was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on February 13, 1986. He grew up in Newport News, Virginia, and in Santa Fe. Condon played trumpet in a jazz band as a teenager and cites jazz as a major influence.

Condon attended Santa Fe High School, until dropping out aged 17. Santa Fe's proximity to Mexico exposed Condon to mariachi music. Work at a cinema showing international films piqued his interest in Fellini arias, Sicilian funeral brass and Balkan music.

Cordon attended community college for a short period, before traveling to Europe at the age of 17 with his older brother, Ryan. Condon's exploration of world music developed Beirut's melodic sound. Zach's younger brother Ross Condon played in the Brooklyn-based band Total Slacker.

Gulag Orkestar

Returning from Europe Condon enrolled at the University of New Mexico, where he studied Portuguese and photography. Condon recorded most of the material for Gulag Orkestar alone in his bedroom, finishing the album in a studio with Jeremy Barnes (Neutral Milk Hotel, A Hawk and a Hacksaw) and Heather Trost (A Hawk and a Hacksaw), who became early contributors to the band.

Ba Da Bing! records signed Condon on the strength of the recordings. Condon recruited friends to play Gulag Orkestar's first live shows in New York in May 2006.

Beirut's first music video was for "Elephant Gun". The second video, for "Postcards from Italy", was directed by Alma Har'el. Lon Gisland EP was the full band's first release, in 2007.

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 'The Shrew'

'The Shrew'
Monday, September 30, 2019

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 'Prenzlauerberg'

'Prenzlauerberg'
Tuesday, December 11, 2018

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Björk

Björk

jörk Guðmundsdóttir (/bjɜːrk/; Icelandic: pjœr̥k]; born 21 November 1965) is an Icelandic singer, songwriter, composer, actress, record producer, and DJ. Over her four-decade career, she has developed an eclectic musical style that draws on a range of influences and genres spanning electronic, pop, experimental, classical, trip hop, IDM, and avant-garde music.

Born and raised in Reykjavík, she began her music career at age 11 and first gained international recognition as the lead singer of the alternative rock band the Sugarcubes, whose 1987 single "Birthday" was a hit on US and UK indie stations and a favorite among music critics. After the band's breakup, Björk embarked on a solo career in 1993, coming to prominence as a solo artist with albums such as Debut (1993), Post (1995), and Homogenic (1997), while collaborating with a range of artists and exploring a variety of multimedia projects.

Several of Björk's albums have reached the top 20 on the Billboard 200 chart, the most recent being Vulnicura (2015). Björk has had 31 singles reach the top 40 on pop charts around the world, with 22 top 40 hits in the UK, including the top 10 hits "It's Oh So Quiet", "Army of Me", and "Hyperballad". She is reported to have sold between 20 and 40 million records worldwide as of 2015. She has won the 2010 Polar Music Prize from the Royal Swedish Academy of Music in recognition of her "deeply personal music and lyrics, her precise arrangements and her unique voice." Björk was included in Time's 2015 list of the 100 most influential people in the world. She was ranked both sixtieth and eighty-first in Rolling Stone's 100 greatest singers and songwriters lists respectively. Björk also won five BRIT Awards, and has been nominated for 15 Grammy Awards.

Outside her music career, Björk starred in the 2000 Lars von Trier film Dancer in the Dark, for which she won the Best Actress Award at the 2000 Cannes Film Festival, and was nominated for Academy Award for Best Original Song for "I've Seen It All". Her 2011 album Biophillia was marketed as an interactive app album with its own education program. Björk has also been an advocate for environmental causes in her home country Iceland. A full-scale retrospective exhibition dedicated to Björk was held at the New York Museum of Modern Art in 2015.

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 'Venus as a Boy'

'Venus as a Boy'
Thursday, February 28, 2019

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Bonobo

Bonobo

Simon Green (born 30 March 1976), known by his stage name Bonobo, is a British musician, producer and DJ based in Los Angeles. He debuted with a trip hop aesthetic, and has since explored more upbeat approaches as well as jazz and world music influences. His tranquil electronic sound incorporates the use of organic instrumentation, and is recreated by a full band in live performances.

Green's work has attained a cult following, and he has collaborated with a variety of other artists.

Green debuted in 1999 on the Tru Thoughts compilation When Shapes Join Together. His stage name Bonobo, is a reference to the Bonobo chimpanzee species. Following the releases of the EP Scuba and the single "Terrapin", Bonobo was offered label deals with XL recordings and Mute records, but he chose to remain in Tru Thoughts.

His first album Animal Magic was released on the same label in 2000. It received mixed reviews; Pitchfork stated that despite not being a ground-breaking chill-out album, Bonobo "[showcases] smooth breakbeat loops, synth sounds, and aforementioned dub effects. [And his] electronic music draws on live playing," according to PopMatters. Reviewer Dean Carlson also said that the album "slowly takes shape as a solid debut of narcoleptic downtempo." In spite of reactions, Animal Magic has given Bonobo a cult following. Its accompanying compilation album titled "One Offs...", was issued in 2002 and contains reworked songs and rarities.

In 2001, Bonobo was signed to Coldcut's label Ninja Tune and in 2003, he released Dial 'M' for Monkey. John Bush of Allmusic stated in a review that Bonobo's influences were drawn more towards alternative rock and world music rather than hip-hop or trip hop. The album tracks "Pick up" and "Flutter" were featured in the snowboarding game SSX on Tour.

In 2005, Bonobo contributed to the Solid Steel series, with It Came from the Sea. The mix features several exclusive tracks as well as remixes and re-edits. His third album, entitled Days to Come, was released on 2 October 2006. An AllMusic review states that "[Bonobo] breathes new life into a well-worn genre." With the album as well as his future work, he featured vocalists such as Bajka, thus "adding [an] organic and vibrant musicality that's rare in electronic music." Days to Come was voted Best Album of 2006 by Gilles Peterson's listeners. The song "Nightlite" appeared on UEFA Champions League 2006–2007, and "Recurring" was used in a surfing film broadcast on Fuel TV.

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 'Black Sands'

'Black Sands'
Sunday, March 3, 2019

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Danger Mouse

Danger Mouse

Brian Joseph Burton (born July 29, 1977), better known by his stage name Danger Mouse, is an American musician, songwriter and record producer. He came to prominence in 2004 when he released The Grey Album, which combined vocal performances from Jay-Z's The Black Album with instrumentals from The Beatles' The Beatles (aka the White Album).

He formed Gnarls Barkley with CeeLo Green and produced its albums St. Elsewhere and The Odd Couple. In 2009 he collaborated with James Mercer of the indie rock band The Shins to form the band Broken Bells. In addition, Burton worked with rapper MF Doom as Danger Doom and released the album The Mouse and the Mask.

As a producer Danger Mouse produced the second Gorillaz album, 2005's Demon Days, as well as Beck's 2008 record Modern Guilt and four albums with The Black Keys (Attack & Release, Brothers, El Camino and Turn Blue). In 2016, Danger Mouse produced, performed on and co-wrote songs for the eleventh studio album by the Red Hot Chili Peppers titled The Getaway. Danger Mouse has also produced and co-written albums by Norah Jones (Little Broken Hearts), Electric Guest (Mondo), Portugal. The Man (Evil Friends), Adele (25), and ASAP Rocky's (At.Long.Last.ASAP (ALLA)). He has been nominated for 19 Grammy Awards and has won six. He's been nominated in the Producer of the Year category five times, and won the award in 2011.

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 'Season's Trees'

'Season's Trees'
Monday, January 27, 2020

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 'Revenge'

'Revenge'
Tuesday, May 28, 2019

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Finley Quaye

Finley Quaye

Finley Quaye (born 25 March 1974, Edinburgh, Scotland) is a Scottish musician. He won the 1997 Mobo Award for best reggae act, and the 1998 BRIT Award for Best Male Solo Artist.

Quaye made a solo recording contract with Polydor Records and moved to New York City. He began working with Epic/Sony when Polydor let him out of contract, and in late 1997 he reached the UK Top 20 twice, with "Sunday Shining" and "Even After All". His reputation was established by Maverick A Strike, released in September 1997. It went gold less than three weeks later, and led directly to the BRIT Award victory. The album is now certified multi platinum. In 1998, Quaye performed George Gershwin's "It Ain't Necessarily So" for the Red Hot Organization's compilation album Red Hot + Rhapsody, a tribute to George Gershwin, which raised money for various charities devoted to increasing AIDS awareness and fighting the disease.

Two more albums were released on Epic, Vanguard (2000) and Much More Than Much Love (2004). "Spiritualized" became his last single to score a top 40 landing in the UK chart when it was released in September 2000, reaching number 26. In 2004 the single "Dice" was released in collaboration with William Orbit and featuring Beth Orton. The song featured in Fox Network's The OC and on the season 1 soundtrack, becoming a minor hit.

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 'Hey Now'

'Hey Now'
Sunday, April 28, 2019

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 'The Emperor'

'The Emperor'
Sunday, September 2, 2018

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Maribou State

Maribou State

Maribou State are an English electronic music duo consisting of Chris Davids and Liam Ivory. To date, they have released eight EPs and two studio albums, Portraits (2015) and Kingdoms In Colour (2018). Besides their own material, the two producers have also done remixes for the likes of Alpines and Lana Del Rey. The duo perform internationally and are signed to Counter Records, an imprint of UK independent label Ninja Tune.

Originally from Hertfordshire, Davids and Ivory met at school, where they first developed an interest in music. After writing music and being in local bands for a number of years, they were offered the opportunity to create a remix for the band Hadouken! at the age of 16. They made their debut as Maribou State in 2011 with the five-track EP Habitat on FatCat Records. They released several EPs and singles on Norman Cook's Southern Fried Records in 2012 and 2013, and did a number of remixes for Fatboy Slim, Lana Del Rey, Ultraísta, Kelis, and others. Their 2013 EP Truths featured vocals by Jimi Nxir, Holly Walker, and Nubiya Brandon.

While the duo were preparing their first full-length album, their former record-company FatCat Records released the compilation Beginnings, which contained eight tracks and seven remixes by other artists. In June 2015, Maribou State released their debut album Portraits, under the Ninja Tune imprint Counter Records, preceded by the single "The Clown" featuring North Downs (Pedestrian).

In 2018, the band returned with Kingdoms in Colour, which included the track "Feel Good" featuring Khruangbin; vocals from long-standing collaborators Holly Walker, (who previously sang on fan favourites "Midas", "Steal", and "Tongue"); a collaboration with North Downs (Pedestrian); and the standout single "Turnmills" (named after the London club which closed in 2008).

The record earned them a #25 spot on the UK album charts (and #4 on the UK Record Store chart), was BBC 6 Music’s 'Album of the Day', and received huge support from Annie Mac, Nick Grimshaw, Gilles Peterson, Tom Ravenscroft, Lauren Laverne, Steve Lamacq, Pete Tong, Nemone, and many more, with the band also performing live on Lauren Laverne’s show. Press support came from the likes of NME, Complex, GQ, and Crack Magazine, with Mixmag naming them as one of their 'Artists of the Year' in 2018.

In 2019, Maribou State completed a sold-out UK & EU tour, which included a show at London’s O2 Brixton Academy, with the 5-piece band joined on stage by a string quartet and choir. They have also played to sold-out crowds in cities across Europe and North America, with shows in Manchester, Bristol, Cologne, Berlin, Prague, Warsaw, Hamburg, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Zurich, and Brussels. They also played a run of sold-out North American shows in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Seattle, and Portland.

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 'Feel Good'

'Feel Good'
Wednesday, November 27, 2019

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Portishead

Portishead

Portishead are an English band formed in 1991 in Bristol. They are often considered one of the pioneers of trip hop music. The band is named after the nearby town of the same name, eight miles west of Bristol, along the coast. Portishead consists of Geoff Barrow, Beth Gibbons and Adrian Utley, while sometimes citing a fourth member, Dave McDonald, an engineer on their first records.

Their debut album, Dummy, was met with critical acclaim in 1994. Two other studio albums have been issued: Portishead in 1997 and Third in 2008. In 1998, the band released a concert album, Roseland NYC Live.

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 'Deep Water'

'Deep Water'
Wednesday, July 29, 2020

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 'It Could Be Sweet'

'It Could Be Sweet'
Thursday, July 26, 2018

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Radiohead

Radiohead

Radiohead are an English rock band formed in Abingdon-on-Thames in 1985. The band consists of Thom Yorke (vocals, guitar, piano, keyboards), brothers Jonny Greenwood (lead guitar, keyboards, other instruments) and Colin Greenwood (bass), Ed O'Brien (guitar, backing vocals) and Philip Selway (drums, percussion). They have worked with producer Nigel Godrich and cover artist Stanley Donwood since 1994.

After signing to EMI in 1991, Radiohead released their debut single "Creep" in 1992. It became a worldwide hit after the release of their debut album, Pablo Honey (1993). Their popularity and critical standing rose in the United Kingdom with the release of their second album, The Bends (1995). Radiohead's third album, OK Computer (1997), brought them international fame; noted for its complex production and themes of modern alienation, it is often acclaimed as a landmark record of the 1990s and one of the best albums in popular music. The group's next albums Kid A (2000) and Amnesiac (2001), recorded simultaneously, marked a dramatic change in style, incorporating influences from experimental electronic music, 20th-century classical music, krautrock, and jazz. Kid A divided listeners but was named the best album of the decade by Rolling Stone, Pitchfork and the Times.

Radiohead's sixth album, Hail to the Thief (2003), mixed rock and electronic music with lyrics inspired by the War on Terror, and was the band's final album for EMI. Their subsequent releases have pioneered alternative release platforms such as pay-what-you-want and BitTorrent; Radiohead self-released their seventh album, In Rainbows (2007), as a download for which customers could set their own price, to critical and chart success. Their eighth album, The King of Limbs (2011), an exploration of rhythm, was developed using extensive looping and sampling. A Moon Shaped Pool (2016) prominently featured Jonny Greenwood's orchestral arrangements.

Radiohead had sold more than 30 million albums worldwide by 2011. Their work places highly in both listener polls and critics' lists of the best music of the 1990s and 2000s. In 2005, they were ranked 73rd in Rolling Stone's list of "The Greatest Artists of All Time"; Jonny Greenwood and O'Brien were both included in Rolling Stone's list of greatest guitarists, and Yorke in their list of greatest singers. In 2009, Rolling Stone readers voted Radiohead the second-best artist of the 2000s. They will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2019.

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 'House of Cards'

'House of Cards'
Saturday, May 2, 2020

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 'Codex'

'Codex'
Monday, September 9, 2019

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Ratatat

Ratatat

Ratatat (/ˈrætətæt/ RAT-ə-tat) is a Brooklyn-based electronic rock duo consisting of Mike Stroud (guitar, melodica, synthesizers, percussion) and producer Evan Mast (bass, synthesizers, percussion).

History

Beginnings and first album, Ratatat (2001–2005)

Evan Mast and Mike Stroud first met as students at Skidmore College. They started working together in 2001, recording several songs under the name "Cherry", Stroud had previously toured with Dashboard Confessional in 2000.

Ratatat debuted in 2003 with the release of the single "Seventeen Years" on Mast's and his brother Eric's (E*Rock) record label Audio Dregs in the US and Rex Records in the UK. Mike Stroud had been a touring member of Ben Kweller's band, but he "had enough" by 2003 and, after two years of touring, left the band after appearing on their second album, On My Way (released in 2004). Having signed for XL Recordings, Ratatat released their self-titled debut album, Ratatat and the single "Germany to Germany". The album was written and recorded in Mast's Crown Heights, Brooklyn apartment on his laptop. It is entirely instrumental with the exception of vocal excerpts at the beginning and end of select tracks.

In the following year, Ratatat supported the band Interpol on their tour. Also in 2004, Ratatat released Ratatat Remixes Vol. 1 in co-operation with Audio Dregs, a compilation of remixed tracks by other artists, thereby garnering the attention of Rolling Stone.

Second album, Classics (2006–2008)
On August 22, 2006, Ratatat released their second album entitled Classics on XL Recordings.

On October 6, 2006, Ratatat became the first band to perform a public show inside the Guggenheim Museum in New York City.

On October 10, 2006, a new demo album from Ratatat titled 9 Beats was leaked online. This set of tracks does not appear on any official discography listings. 9 Beats was not an official album, the tracks consist of short instrumental electronic musical pieces and demos for their next mixtape. In 2007, this release was followed by their second volume of remixed tracks, Ratatat Remixes Vol. 2.

From June 2007 until October 2008, Ratatat had Martin Bonventre accompany them on their European tour and fall shows in America as the pianist/synthesizer player. Bonventre drew much attention due to his erratic dance movements on stage. The reason for him leaving the performance is unknown.

Third album, LP3 (2008–2009)
Leading up to the release of Ratatat's third album LP3 on July 8, 2008, their official website showed the videos of the three first singles. "Shiller", "Shempi" and then "Mirando" have all been released (or announced) on 7" or 12" singles. "Shiller", the first to be released, featured a special b-side, the track "Mahalo" which was later also included on the fourth album, LP4.

In 2008, it was rumored that they would be signed by Star Trak Entertainment as the understudies of The Neptunes.

Ratatat contributed two songs to Man on the Moon: The End of Day, the debut album by alternative rapper Kid Cudi released September 15, 2009, "Alive (Nightmare)" and "Pursuit of Happiness", the latter of which also featured MGMT. Cudi and Ratatat performed "Pursuit of Happiness" together on Late Show with David Letterman on September 11, 2009.

Fourth album, LP4 (2010–2014)
According to Mike Stroud in an interview with Paste Magazine released on August 4, 2009, "most of [LP4] was recorded during the same studio sessions that yielded LP3". Ratatat's fourth album, LP4, was released on June 8, 2010, via XL Recordings.

In 2010, Ratatat supported Vampire Weekend on their UK tour at The Brighton Centre and Alexandra Palace. Meanwhile, their song Neckbrace was used in the ski film "The Way I See It" by Matchstick Productions. In 2011, their track "Mirando" was used in Prada's SS2011 ad campaign.

In August 2011, Ratatat was featured in the song "Red Alert" on CSS's new album La Liberación.

On September 29, 2012 past collaborator Kid Cudi confirmed that Ratatat would be featured and producing on his upcoming third studio album Indicud, however the collaboration didn't make the final cut after Kid Cudi decided to produce the whole album by himself, with the exception of an additional production by Hit-Boy on the track "Red Eye" featuring Haim.

In May 2013 they entered the Austrian Singlecharts after the Austrian network provider A1 used "Loud Pipes" for a radio-advertisement.

Fifth album, Magnifique (2015–present)

Ratatat at the Fox Theater in Pomona, promoting Magnifique, on April 15, 2015.
The band played Coachella Festival and Governor's Ball Music Festival in 2015. They debuted their new song "Cream On Chrome" just a few hours before their night-ending Coachella set on April 11, 2015. The band also played a concert in Pomona, California on April 15, 2015, and at Primavera Sound in Barcelona in May.

In May 2015, the band announced that their fifth album, Magnifique, would be released on July 17, 2015, and feature a cover of the 1971 Springwater single "I Will Return".

The first single from the album, the track "Cream on Chrome", was voted number 52 in the Triple J Hottest 100 of 2015 held in January 2016. This is their second appearance on the annual countdown run by the Australian radio station, after featuring on Kid Cudi's "Pursuit of Happiness", which polled 33rd in the 2009 countdown.

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 'Swisha'

'Swisha'
Friday, October 25, 2019

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 'Wildcat'

'Wildcat'
Tuesday, October 16, 2018

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The High Llamas

The High Llamas

he High Llamas are an Anglo-Irish avant-pop band formed in London circa 1991. They were founded by singer-songwriter Sean O'Hagan, formerly of Microdisney, with drummer Rob Allum and ex-Microdisney bassist Jon Fell. O'Hagan has led the group since its formation. Their music is often compared to the Beach Boys, who he acknowledges as an influence, although more prominent influences were drawn from bossa nova and European film soundtracks.

O'Hagan formed the High Llamas after the breakup of his group Microdisney. The band initially played in a more conventional acoustic pop style, but after he joined Stereolab as a keyboardist, he was inspired to revamp the group's music closer to the electronic and orchestral sound he preferred. Their second album, Gideon Gaye (1994), anticipated the mid 1990s easy-listening revivalist movement, and its follow-up Hawaii (1996) nearly led to a collaboration with the Beach Boys. Since then, the High Llamas' albums have been more electronic and stripped-down.

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 'Glide Time'

'Glide Time'
Tuesday, May 14, 2019

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Thievery Corporation

Thievery Corporation

How many highly successful musical artists do you know that have thrived for 20 years without a radio hit, a big budget video, or major label backing? Moreover, have managed to do high-profile TV appearances, own and operate their own independent label since day one, sell several million albums and continue to expand their fan base across the globe each year. They’ve collaborated with such uniquely famed artists David Byrne, Perry Farrell, The Flaming Lips, Anushka Shankar, Femi Kuti, Seu Jorge, Bebel Gilberto, and been featured on major film soundtracks such as Garden State. They’ve headlined top music festivals, such as Coachella and Lollapalooza, and have influenced a whole generation of electronic producers and DJs. If you add these elements together, you can arrive at only one conclusion: Rob Garza and Eric Hilton, aka: Thievery Corporation.

Since 1996, Garza and Hilton have released 8 studio LP’s, 2 remix collections, 2 DJ mix albums, and continued to perform live on 5 continents. Along their unique musical journey, they have virtually defined an entire sub-genre of electronic music. And now they’re ready to embark on yet another journey with the release of their new album, “The Temple of I & I.”

Longtime fans of Thievery Corporation are keenly aware that the duo has been heavily influenced by Jamaican music. Since their debut LP, “Sounds from the Thievery Hi-Fi,” the production team has applied a uniquely diverse dub ethos and aesthetic to their music. After paying tribute to bossa nova and easy listening inspirations on their 2014 release, “Saudade,” Hilton and Garza set their sights on the culturally rich and warm musical environs of Port Antonio, Jamaica. There, they dove even deeper into their singular exploration of classic Jamaican sounds for the “The Temple of I & I.” “The innovation, spirit and power of Jamaican music is a constant source of creative manna for us,” explains Hilton. “On the musical map, Jamaica is an entire continent. We could have spent a year there, soaking up the vibes in the air, and constantly being inspired by the strength and resilience of the people.”

Their journey began on a cold February morning in 2015 when Garza, Hilton, and their DC-based rhythm section touched down in Kingston and ventured across the Blue Mountains to what Jamaicans call the “real Jamaica” . Port Antonio. Setting up camp at Geejam Studios in San San, they felt immediately connected to their surroundings as they began recording just steps from the turquoise waves crashing below. As the Thieves played through day and night, heads poked through studio doors as curious locals seemed intrigued by such authentic sounds. “People couldn’t believe Robbie Myers, our guitarist, wasn’t Jamaican,” laughs Hilton. “I think they’re used to people coming down from London or LA to record rock or pop records and they were amazed we had such a handle on their sound. It was beyond gratifying, and high-grade ganja and Appleton rum started showing up on the reg.”

After a week of ’round-the- clock sessions, Thievery Corporation brought the Geejam session tapes back to their lab at Montserrat House Studios in DC. From there, the mission continued with months of vocal, horn and editing sessions. Familiar voices appear, including Notch Howell, who had performed “The Richest Man in Babylon” and “Amerimacka” on previous records. Hilton calls him, “possibly the best male tenor we know.” Other collaborators included Mr. Lif, Puma Ptah, Lou Lou, Zeebo and Elin, who are all known by the Thievery audience as key members of their ensemble, both from past recordings and their live shows.

Also figuring prominently in those sessions was a Thievery Corporation newcomer; Racquel Jones from Kingston, Jamaica. Garza and Hilton had met Racquel on their first trip to Port Antonio, where she played some demos for them at Geejam that used Thievery Corporation as a backing track, and which sounded like a perfect match to them. “We’d been waiting years to find a conscious, brilliant, female Jamaican singer and MC,” Hilton explains. As a model and former Miss Jamaica contestant, one would not expect the pure lyrical fire and tough delivery that comes out of her on tracks like “Letter to the Editor” and “Road Block.” “It’s impressive,” says Hilton. Few musical artists are as diverse as Thievery Corporation, moving from space rock, hip-hop, Indian trip-hop, dub, French torch songs, and shoe-gazer blissfulness with remarkable cohesive ease. Boundaries and following trends have never been part of Garza and Hilton’s agenda.

Explains Rob Garza, “We’ve never been concerned with fitting into the ‘music industry.’ We started making music in the liquor room of DC’s Eighteenth Street Lounge with random bits of music gear among boxes of spirits. Approaching our music as a production duo has allowed us to never feel limited to one particular sound and traverse many fascinating musical landscapes.”

In great anticipation of this exciting new release, and in reflection of an astonishing two decades together, one may be prompted to ask what has been the magic formula behind Thievery Corporation’s great success and what does the future hold from here? Perhaps the answer can be found in Rob Garza’s concluding thoughts: “What inspires us to continue to create this genre of sound is the broad spectrum of collaborators and audience members it continues to draw. We have been extremely privileged to work with artists of all cultural, social and political backgrounds, and our fans display even greater diversity and age differences. The people who have come together through Thievery Corporation are as much an accomplishment as the music we’ve produced to date and will continue to produce in the coming years.”

Source ThieveryCorporation.com

 'Omid (Hope)'

'Omid (Hope)'
Saturday, October 12, 2019

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