Legendary Bristol duo Massive Attack are bringing their music where it has never gone before. In fact, music has never been stored in such a way. Daddy G and 3D are encoding their seminal album Mezzanine in DNA to celebrate the iconic record’s 20th anniversary. Assisted by scientists at ETH Zurich, led by Professor Robert Grass, magnetic nanocarrier manufacturer Turbobeads, and US-based company CustomArray, the band actually managed to seal their most successful release to date into DNA molecules.
The microscopic DNA strands carrying the album are collectively stored inside 5,000 nano-sized glass spheres. Then the DNA is transferred to a small bottle filled with water, where it will be preserved. Professor Grass describes the unique storage process as a way to potentially “store music for hundred of thousands of years,” explaining,
“Compared to traditional data-storage systems, it is quite complex and expensive to store information on DNA. However, once information is stored on DNA, we can make millions of copies quickly and cost-effectively with minimal effort.”
An album was never been encoded into DNA before, though with methods of combining synthesized DNA with ink, and even now music, perhaps Mezzanine will be just the first of many classics to be commemorated in this way.
Kanye West‘s recent return to Twitter hasn’t been all for naught. His sporadic bursts of activity on the platform always turn out to be entertaining, though this time around seemed like it was leading up to some sort of action from the G.O.O.D Music camp. Now, we finally have confirmation. The hip-hop giant announced in a flurry of tweets that he’s preparing to bless us with not one but two albums in June. West also shared that one will be a solo LP and the other will be a joint project alongside Kid Cudi called Kids See Ghost. The last time Ye dropped off an album in June, he gave us Yeezus in the summer of 2013. If history repeats itself, maybe we justofficially rename the month to Yeezy Season moving forward?
The good news just keeps coming though. The Chicago emcee also announced new LPs from Pusha T and Teyana Taylor as well, with Pusha’s follow up to 2015’s King Push: Darkest Before Dawn landing on May 25 and Taylor’s album slated for one month later. Megastar rappers Drake and J. Cole both recently used social media as the vehicles for their next album announcements, with Cole opting a surprise drop this week and Drake gearing up for a chart battle against West in June. Hip-hop’s top heavyweights all seem to be mobilizing right now — June is really shaping up to be one for the books.
Hailing from Dublin, Le Galaxie has released an absolutely spellbinding new album, Pleasure. With an intensely innovative sound that features a mesmerizing combination of funky instrumentation, infectious vocals, and nu disco vibes, Le Galaxie has mastered a vastly distinct electronic style that will immediately captivate listeners.
Pleasure is a spectacular creation of art — the collection of eclectic pieces is a rarity that vehemently strays from the monotonous tone of the ordinary. Le Galaxie embodies a new era of dance music, one so different, ingenious, and original that the construction of each track flaunts a production full of stunning surprises including deep thumping syncopated beats, groovy rhythms, otherworldly waves of bass, and layers of breathtaking samples mixed together effortlessly.
Le Galaxie has engineered such an idiosyncratic masterpiece that it’s not out of the question to consider them pioneers of a new genre — a futuristic combination of highly energetic, rich, invigorating, resonance that powerfully moves in a dynamic light, unveiling a special oeuvre that gives off a totally hypnotizing feel.
The rollout of Dillon Francis‘ impending mombahton LP has officially begun. January brought “Ven,” which found Francis joining with Puerto Rican songwriter Arcangel and Dominican rapper Quimico Ultra Mega for the record’s lead single. Now the “I.D.G.A.F.O.S.” producer has dropped off the track’s accompanying music video, taking us to the streets of NYC for the new feature. The “Ven” video includes performances from Francis’ Latin co-stars as they deliver slick Spanish bars over a dripping, syrupy moombah beat. However, unlike the majority of additions to Francis’ video catalog, the “We The Funk” producer takes a backseat this time, letting Quimico and Arcangel really own the feature’s spotlight.
Rapping in front of the city’s urban backdrops, accented by doodled animations, the Michael Garcia-directed video even comes complete with a few mentionable cameos from The Kid Mero and viral sensation Pioladitingancia — arguably two of the city’s biggest proponents of Dominican New Yorker culture. This is actually Mero’s second project with Francis, as some might remember him as Dillon’s broccoli nemesis in 2014’s “Exit Through The Donut Shop.” Man, how far we’ve all come.
Since its release, “Ven” just seems to get better with repeated listens and the visuals accurately complement the lead single’s swaggering aesthetic. Now with the release of his new video, the excitement for Dillon Francis’ hotly anticipated moombahton album is officially reaching an all time high.
Ask your average Skrillex diehard and they might tell you that the follow up to 2014’s Recess sometimes feels like it’s never going to come — Sonny Moore’s Detox, so to speak. Released on March 18, 2014, the wait since then for another solo Skrillex project feels like it’s crept by in dog years. Despite that, on the fourth anniversary of the OWSLA head honcho’s full-length debut, a circle back to the groundbreaking 11-track LP proves Skrillex’s bass sensibilities of old still undoubtedly stand the test of time. Recessis still a riveting adventure from front to back.
Since then, some of the album’s highlights have become core products in the Skrillex cannon of floor-rattling classics. Moore’s output hasn’t slowed at all since either. He’s spent the better part of these last four years building a rolodex of collaborators that include pop’s most dominating forces, from Jennifer Lopez to Justin Bieber, Ty Dolla $ign to Rick Ross. Nowadays, a considerable touring hiatus, along with a backhanded mention of studio work from Diplo suggest that perhaps a solo Skrillex could one day soon materialize. Skrillex stans may tell you not to hold your breath, but there’s really no reason to when Recess is still so damn good.
For nearly a decade, Pleasurekraft charted their own singular course of chart topping singles that exist at the intersection of expansiveness and danceability. The electronica group’s seminal releases — such as “Tarantula” and “The Most Dangerous Game” — served to solidify Pleasurekraft as one of the global electronic sphere’s most inventive acts. Their brand of atmospheric techno gathered them support from such genre heavies as Adam Beyer, Carl Cox, Nicole Moudaber, and more.
Now, the group have released their debut album, Friends, Lovers, & Other Constellations. The project shifts from the thunderous rhythms on standout singles such as “Tarantula” in favor of an expansive, atmospheric soundscape.
The LP is “something akin to a musical mission statement,” says the group. “To prove that there is more to dance music than just a 4/4 beat, cliche drug references, and party themed vocals.”
From Casey Gerald’s thought-provoking sermon on “G.O.D. (Gospel of Doubt)”, to the searingly cynical “Corpse Reviver Number 1″, this debut album is wholly visceral on a musical and thematic level.”
Remember the first time a kid from Chicago really challenged hip-hop’s status quo? He showed us how swapping 808s for chopped soul samples might actually be cool and that skinny jeans and neon Polos could be just as hip-hop as football jerseys and Cartier. He ushered in a new era of hip-hop by allowing himself to be weird and detailing his journey through the come up across three coming-of-age themed albums that have since cemented their places in the hightest echelons of modern hip-hop history. That kid was Kanye West, and nearly two decades after his emergence, his influence has shaped three of the genre’s brightest new torch carriers: Chance The Rapper, Vic Mensa, and now undisputedly, Towkio.
Each of these three young forward-thinkers are now pushing hip-hop into the future on those same principles, and at times, experimental appeal — though now Towkio is officially planting his flag with his debut LP, WWW. One listen through the new album, and it becomes clear that Towkio’s definition of hip-hop not only sets him apart from most of his contemporaries’, but also that it doesn’t necessarily adhere to current hip-hop conventions either; he doesn’t seem phased in the slightest.
Conceived between the journey from an emerging Chicago rapper to lamping at Rick Rubin’s mythical Malibu recording sanctuary Shangri La, Towkiosets the narrative in WWW.‘s first bars on “Swim,”
“New chapter, new page, made some money off the first mixtape. Now I’m living, good chillin by a beach that’s not a lake. Said the earth controls the moon so we control the waves.”
Relying heavily on these ideas of perspective, frequency and resonant connectivity, the foundational motifs go beyond just the track titles and lyrics. They are weaved into the record’s eclectic complexion of genres, roping together dreamy psychedelic intros, footworking breaks, funk, trap, R&B, and a healthy dose of his throaty vocal hopskotch. Creating the album took the “Drift” rapper to pyramids in Mexico, winding Hawaiian hills, and ultimately 92,000 feet into the atmosphere to quite literally drop his album from a visual vantage point that only a microscoping group of humans in history have ever witnessed.
Sonically, the record plays upon hip-hop’s new wave versatility, with a welcomed serving of pop appeal on tracks like “Hot S**t,” the Teddy Jackson-assisted “Symphony,” and a cheeky breakbeat cut on “Disco.” Louis The Child‘s contribution to the album, “Loose,” opens like it’s the much needed mid-record breather, before quickly tightening down and breaking into a rambunctious collection of bombastic kicks and tenacious spits.
The real respite, however, comes as one of the album’s final additions — a sleepy R&B piece alongside Grammy-nominated SZA called “Morning View.” Throughout its 13-track span, celestial trains of thought play a key aesthetic role in WWW.‘s compilation, culminating on pieces like “Alone” and “2 Da Moon.” Such a theme is not unlike the early outputs of fellow unconventionals like Kanye and Kid Cudi.
photo credit: Lenny Gilmore
Towkio showcases his inextricable acceptance of weirdness, and unapologetically declares it cool in his own way as well. It isn’t cookie-cutter rap music, and it wouldn’t be true to Towkio if it was. If still not skeptical about the Yeezy coming-of-age parallels, listen to him and Vic Mensa go in with brilliant, youthful defiance on “Forever” and tell me it doesn’t sound like the logically matured progression to West’s seminal classic, “We Don’t Care.”
On paper, WWW. is built by a team of sharp industry power players, with Lido behind the console raking in substantial writing and producing credits with Knox Fortune and frequent SZA songwriter Carter Lang, all beneath the legendary Rick Rubin’s watchful eye. Together, a seemingly motley crew of differently-wired creators have come together to aid in the delivery of Towkio’s triumphant longform debut — a relatable narrative of introspection and simultaneous emergence, all wrapped up in the underlying concept of the “overview effect” and how we relate to the daily risks we all take living on this big blue rock with one another.
Nowadays, the burgeoning rapper keeps his head in the stars, his feet in the California sand, and he’s survived a plummet from space that would humble anyone. Towkio has officially staked his claim in his corner of the ever-growing hip-hop empire, and in two more decades from now, who knows how WWW. will inspire an entirely new generation of rappers?
As Alison Wonderland continues to ascend in the electronic realm, she’s become a fixture in the global dance scene while slowly rolling out new productions. She’s allowed her live performances to speak for themselves — a wise decision — with an upcoming installment at Coachella a high point of anticipation. Another sign of her powerful production abilities and strength of her fanbase: she’s the highest billed female DJ set to perform at the festival in 2018.
Presently, Wonderland’s preparing to release her new album, AWAKE, and now released its very first track.
Unlike her most recent trap-ridden single, “Happy Place,” which found Wonderland in a place of considerable sonic comfort and calculated drops, “Church” is an empowering, future pop single. Its lyrics are challenging and demands that all comply to her utterance, “You better, treat me like church.”
Over the course of the last seven years, Pleasurekraft has mesmerized the dance music community with a string of chart topping singles, spanning a variety of genres. The electronica group’s releases — perfect for dark dance-floors — are laden with subversive energy and a palpable verve. Through seminal releases like “Tarantula” and “The Most Dangerous Game,” Pleasurekraft solidified themselves as dance music visionaries. Their atmospheric techno soundscape garnered support from such genre stalwarts as Adam Beyer, Carl Cox, Nicole Moudaber, and more.
Now the group have their sights set on global techno ascension, as they announced the release of their debut album, slated for release Feb 23rd, 2018. The project is “something akin to a musical mission statement;” reads an official press release. “To prove that there is more to dance music than just a 4/4 beat, cliche drug references, and party themed vocals. From Casey Gerald’s thought-provoking sermon on “G.O.D. (Gospel of Doubt)”, to the searingly cynical “Corpse Reviver Number 1″, this debut album is wholly visceral on a musical and thematic level.”
Pleasurekraft – ‘Friends, Lovers & Other Constellations’ Tracklist