A.-K-PAUL-Landcruisin2

This new effort from A.K. Paul “Landcrusin” is easily one of the most exciting tracks of the year. Anyone like me, caught up in the cult of Jai Paul will be instantly drawn to the space time funk of the new single. It’s a better Prince tribute than almost anything else you’ll hear at the moment, capturing his spirit and energy in a way that’s very hard to duplicate. Let’s hope this is a sign of more to come.

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A-Moon-Shaped-Pool

A new Radiohead record is always a special event and after a particularly long absence nothing sounds better. I’ve listened to little else since A Moon Shaped Pool went live and I don’t see that changing any time soon. This time around they’ve managed to strike the perfect balance between personal and progressive, fleshing out songs that have been marinating for as long as 15 years. Radiohead’s sound has always seemed more important than Thom’s lyrics. There are Radiohead songs that I love, have listened to countless times, but couldn’t tell you two verses of lyrics with a gun to my head. This time around, likely inspired by Thom’s separation from his partner of 23 years Rachel Owen, the lyrics hold a greater amount of weight. Thom, and by extension the band, often operate from a safe distance but these songs feel different – more open, more specific – character traits that add significantly to their strength. The other big textural shift is Jonny Greenwood’s growth as a composer and the addition of the London Contemporary Orchestra on the majority of tracks. Radiohead are no strangers to the grand flourish of a string section but the contributions here are at times more subtle and more complete. The power that these musicians have to offer is better utilized within the landscape of a typical Radiohead song and sometimes, like with lead single “Burn the Witch”, built around that talent. Because many of the songs were plucked from different eras it may be the band’s least comprehensive album. The fact that the songs are organized alphabetically rather than to create a certain energy or tone may be their own acknowledgement of this. The album’s structure also has the fortunate consequence of making you want to reexamine their impressive back catalog, especially the b-sides, with fresh ears after you realize that a good idea or song owes no debt to a release date. Regardless of how you process the record, A Moon Shaped Pool is a rich, fulfilling experience and another impressive addition to their legendary discography.

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Just because…

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Massive Attack haven’t worked with Tricky since their 5 star album Protection released in 1994 so it’s cool to hear them sound this good in 2016. I’m not sure what to make of this bizarre video starring John Hawkes but that piano line could run all day and I’d be happy.

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This dude is having a moment right now and with tracks this hot it’s easy to see why. I was happy to check the production credits and see Hi-Tek’s name popping up in 2016 with something this strong.

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Respect to the YouTube nerd who paired Radiohead’s gorgeous but unused theme for the latest James Bond film Spectre with the actual title sequence.

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Safe to say my wife and I are obsessed with this record and I can’t help but love this chill-inducing version of the album closer recorded for the fine folks at La Blogotheque.

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Futura has always been an artist able to elevate his work above what can simply be dismissed as graffiti despite continuing to use many of the same tools. As he’s gotten older his work has gained an impressive craft and complexity that has saved him from the pitfalls often associated with the term “graffiti artist”. This new mural on NYC’s Bowery and Houston is the latest example.

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Excellent animation work by Elliot Lim re imagining the classic credit sequence for David Simon’s The Wire.

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He was one of the true originals, the kind that come along less and less as time goes on. Bowie was a universally respected hero for artists everywhere whose influence will stretch into infinity. RIP

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