Back in September, Mija furthered her foray into underground sounds with the Just Enough EP. Spanning just two tracks, the enigmatic DJ/producer explored a techno-leaning style, fitted with subdued, spoken-word performances. Now, Mija has unveiled a psychedelic new video for the project’s standout track “Dead Flowers & Cigarettes.”
Directed by her photographer and best friend, Ryan Farber, the video sees Mija giving an enchanting onstage, oral performance of the track. With a hazy red light engulfing the small performance space, Mija connects with her audience, inciting volatile reactions on her poetic behalf. While glitches and overlays add a mind-bending touch to the visual, Mija’s daring on-stage persona lives up to the multifarious artistic aesthetic she embodies offstage.
Miami’s Steven A. Clark delivered his sophomore LPvia Secretly Canadian earlier this fall, produced by Boys Noize. The pairing of Clark’s genre-blending 80’s-inspired R&B and Alex Ridha’s deep, archival knowledge of synthwork resulted not only in Where Neon Goes To Die but a kindred working relationship and friendship. The project was documented by Lil Internet over the course of the record’s creation and now fans can dive into a behind the scenes look at Clark’s album and studio sessions with Boys Noize in a new mini-doc that captured the experience.
Boys Noize and Clark come together in Ridha’s Berlin studio after lengthy email chains bouncing music back and forth. Clark discusses the duo’s mutual adoration for Prince, and the kid in a candy story feeling of being out of Miami and having access to Boys Noize trove of synthesizers and production equipment in pursuit of a “handcrafted, analog” sound. The video canvases Clark’s motivations and influences, Boys Noize’s production process and studio aesthetic, and much more. In a busy year for Boys Noize that included the launch of his ELAX alter ego and resumed work on Dog Blood, his work with Steven A. Clark proved to be a really refreshing step outside of dance music in 2018. Check it below.
Grabbitz and Pierce Fulton reflect on social media-centered life in 2018 in their new collaboration, “Information Overload.”
A gentle guitar melody ushers in a scratchy beat as Grabbitz’s soaring falsetto takes center stage, contrasting the gritty ambiance of the introduction. A groovy bassline throughout makes this track sonically irresistible, while the lyrics ask listeners to take a closer look at the effects of social media and technology on everyday life.
“Looking at your life, and man, it sure looks nice, but do you have a filtered soul? Don’t forget to stay the way that you were raised in this information overload.”
The collaboration is a brilliant melting pot of both artists’ versatile styles, showcasing graceful guitar themes, stellar production, and polished harmonies — all while driving an important message in the age of social media.
Accompanying the track is a unique music video, put together by Seenfilm, a company that specializes in paper animation. In the video, we find a paper Grabbitz wandering the desert, video camera in hand. Throughout its course, viewers see gray cityscapes and technology created and destroyed, with colorful nature scenes taking their place.
DJ Snake is not done with his “Taki Taki,” which came out earlier in the fall, just yet. The Latin pop crossover number with Cardi B, Selena Gomez, and Ozuna was an instant global hit, shooting straight to the top of the charts worldwide. Its accompanying music video was originally premiered and released during the American Music Awards back in October, and it has since become the ninth fastest music video of all time to hit 100 million views.
The artists have now teamed up for a pixelated version of the hit music video. It follows the same story lines and visual concepts as the original, but showcases them through lego-like animated characters. The pixel video has already hit 1.1 million views in less than 24 hours, demonstrating that views will not be in short supply for “Taki Taki’s” animated video sibling either.
Justice are closing out 2018 on a considerable hot streak. The French luminaries recently capped off a momentous world tour, they are hot off the heels of a Grammy nomination for Woman Worldwide, and now they’ve dropped off a brilliantly concepted new video by director Filip Nilsson for “Heavy Metal” — a standout from 2016’s Woman, and an ensuing staple in their live sets since.
The new feature is a fittingly complementary visual accent to “Heavy Metal’s” suspenseful, winding build. Enlisting Norfolk State University’s Spartan Legion marching band, one of the premier college marching bands in the country, Justice sonics can be experienced unlike they’ve ever been before, performed in a choreographed march routine. The video intersperses Justice’s version and the Spartans’ live version into one syncopated hybrid. Justice already makes music fit for arenas, but performed by a marching band takes the duo to a new space entirely, and the result is captivating. Says Nilsson,
“I came across a clip of this marching band from Norfolk in Virgina over a year ago. I immediately knew that these guys had something special and that wanted to make a music video with them one day. Months passed and then suddenly the Heavy Metal track by Justice came my way. We contacted the the marching band leader, William Beathea, and it felt like we all knew at that point that we had to make this work. I wanted his marching band of 220 people to play the track as well as create a customized choreography. We knew it would be far from easy to pull it off. It was a very strong and emotional experience working with these musicians and dancers.”
Belgian producer Alex Lustig has had a monumental output in 2018. Dropping nine releases, comprised of two EPs and a whole load of singles, the Young Thug and French Montana collaborator has spent the year making a name for himself in his solo work. After releasing his most recent single, “Under Pressure,” early this December, the track may be getting a boost after gaining some viral attention.
Coincidentally, Lustig has caught the eye of another act that had a massive 2018. Korean pop group BTS recently uploaded a video of themselves practicing MMA, with Lustig’s track playing in the background. With users in the comments clamoring for the track ID, this may be just another boost to round out Lustig’s solid 2018.
James Blake gave fans a taste of some unreleased work on December 8 in Brooklyn, teasing a track featuring the vocals of André 3000. Blake and André 3000 worked together previously on “Look Ma No Hands,” which was released over the summer under André 3000’s name. It was a sublime example of Blake’s versatile and often somber tone.
Blake’s approach to music has always been forthright; he’s an artist that is constantly growing while never forgetting. His ability to navigate mood, genre, and medium has enabled him to work with some of this generation’s best. This year alone, he worked on Travis Scott‘s ASTROWORLD, the Black Panther soundtrack and released a handful of singles. In 2016, he toured with Vince Staples and Moses Sumney for his album, The Colour of Everything — a truly versatile mood-bending lineup.
With the art collective 1-800-Dinosaur, a “kindship of humans plus dinosaurs,” Blake has hit the late night scene dropping hints of heat, one of which can be found 7:45 into the video below. Blake also recently announced that he will be touring the US and Canada in February and March.
WHIPPED CREAMhas delivered a final parting gift for 2018, wrapped nicely and tied with a bow: “LUV.” Since debuting in 2017, she has slowly but surely making a name for herself, using this year as the time to assert her hip-hop, dark, and heavy bass-influenced style.
“LUV” is engaging from the get-go as the ultimate WHIPPED CREAM track, paired with an equally eerie fantastical video. Clocking in at less than two minutes long, the Vancouver-based artist set out to switch things up a bit with “LUV,” saying, “I combined sounds and grooves from stuff I listened to when I first got into electronic music and put it all together into one piece of work. You think you know my sound? Think again. This piece is to leave my listener with questions and wanting more.”
Mathangi Arulpragasam, better known as M.I.A., is much more than meets the eye, and now she has a documentary to show fans why and how. The piece is named MATANGI / MAYA / M.I.A, and earlier this year it was shown atSundance Film Festival. It then made its way to cinemas, and now the Steve Loveridge-directed film is available for rent or purchase.
The documentary takes a look into Arulpragasam’s upbringing in London living as an immigrant family from Sri Lanka. This was during a period of time when there was a large stigma on immigrant families living in the city, and as she dubs it in the trailer, “I lived through a war, came as a refugee, and I’m now a pop star.”
The documentary is also available to stream through Amazon and iTunes.
Although Lido‘s visual I O U 2 EP may have received limited screenings in a handful of US theaters last month, Lido has now released the transcendent project in its entirety to YouTube.
Directed by close Lido confidant, Arudz Goudsouzian, the visual realm of the EP is highly emblematic of Lido’s own coming to terms with a real-life lost love; an exploratory journey reflecting on despondence, confusion, and eventual resolve. The visceral tour through Lido’s psyche oscillates between immaculate baths of light and forestry (including pensive pans over the project’s British Columbia backdrop) and poignant, lone bedroom scenes.
Lido’s own vocals, heard homogeneously throughout the five-part project, bolster the narrative’s accessibility in regards to the artist’s path to self-reconciliation. The story is a timeless one: unflinchingly relatable, while remaining empirically authentic to its creator.