Here’s the five artists we’ve had on repeat this month.
New Zealand’s Blood Knight are tearing up the elements of lo-fi thrash and black metal like a lawnmower and spitting them back out in a barrage of relentless speed and misery. We’ve not heard anything this high-grade since the golden era of Bay Area powerviolence and 625 Records’ punishing capital F Frash output.
Blood Knight ain’t easy on the ears, but if you’ve got a taste for anything that sounds like it was recorded by deranged satanists down a phoneline, then this will probably hit the spot. Their first demo is out on the exponentially awesome Australian label Heavy Chains, and we can’t wait to hear what they drop next.
California Love / Nocturnal Witch
Hailing from Edmonton in North East London, Fran Lobo’s sound is desperately seeking something real. Her organic, rich balladry manages to sound both skyward- facing and deeply personal.
Her breakout track Is This Love does very little in the way of vocal trickery. Lobo’s voice is at the forefront of the mix, and the detailed production rattles around her anthemic chorus. She is still operating with a sound that is very much finding its feet.
Both her aesthetic and her songwriting are showing a kind of overflow of ideas and influences, but that’s no bad thing. With a voice like Nina Simone on Plain Gold Ring and a theatrical ambition like Björk, the sky might be the best direction to face.
Ibeyi / St. Vincent
Contrary to assumption, Jonny Teardrop does not take his name from one of the gangsters in The Simpsons. He is also not very good at supplying much information about himself, or his noise-pop project Crave, on the internet. What we can glean from an untidy mass of Soundcloud, Facebook and Youtube links, however, is that he’s a Berlin-based serial EP maker (he’s dropped two in the span of May to June alone) and he’s very good at making heaving, heavy electro that’s overlaid with satanic fuzz and underlaid with danceable beats.
To be filed firmly next to the harsh pop we’ve been hearing from HEALTH so far this year, Crave’s output is a thick, seething electronic tar that puts its hands all over you. Turn it up: while you’re in the grip of Crave, no one can hear you scream.
HEALTH / Salem
Houston rapper Rodji Diego is a member of Moe Gang, who make up H-Town’s Sauce movement alongside The Sauce Factory and the Sauce Twinz (the latter have cautiously accepted one of Drake’s career boosting – but subtly condescending – co-signs). Diego recently dropped his Rodzilla mixtape via the blog, clubnight and dedicated Sauce platform Southern Hospitality, and it sees him land countless punchlines with his urgent, high-pitched delivery.
While the Houston flow has inspired many out-of-town, radio-dominating rappers in recent years, Diego seems eager to keep the Sauce truly authentic: “I’m like a stripper to these labels, throwing dollars at me / see they’re coming for my style, I can’t let them have it / lying in, half-asleep but trynna copycat me.”
Pimp C / Shy Glizzy
We ventured to Paris last month to find a city revitalised by its electronic music loving masses. Though it is yet to compete as a world-renowned clubbing destination, with its wealth of thriving promoters, labels and producers, it’s satisfying to see this bubbling energy begin to get real recognition on an international scale. Our case in point: the UK-centric Livity Sound’s newest offering, the Paris-based Simo Cell. While the Livity Sound label is dedicated to unfurling the sonic evolution of its staple – Peverelist, Kowton and Asusu – its offshoot Ytivil Dnuos remains committed to presenting emerging talent.
After releasing the likes of West Country producers Bruce, Batu and Hodge, the collective are introducing Simo Cell via two off-kilter club bullets. While the style is undeniably Livity-esque, with a sinister rumbling lurking throughout, its percussive minimalism carries enough individual flare to hold your attention. Tres bon.
Tessela / Rhythmic Theory