White Ring---who still captivate me with the sheer perfection of every single song they drip out--today released a blissful, hellish rave-in-hell of a mixtape: Chaind. That Rick Ross remix on there is on it, and it's as absolutely massive as both the source material and the rapper who made it. It's interesting, because the remixes and reconfigurings on this album show witch house firmly planting both skeletal feet in the house that rave built, imagining those serotonin-triggering synths as the daylight after a hellish night. This tape is the essential key to the next level, grab it here thanks to Pendu.
In an alternate world where I can ever get my shit together, I still have a social security card. In that world, I re-upped my passport. In that world, I am in Canada tonight for OVOFEST, at which Drake, Rick Ross and The Weeknd will be sharing a stage. In celebration of that bizarro world where, right now, I am drowning in drugs and a glass of syrah rose mixed with purp (ew? yum. ew...), Drake, just five minutes ago while you were having breakfast, released "Headlines". "Money over everything," it goes, "money on my mind. Tell 'em I apologize...it happens all the time." If Drake had stopped caring about anything but dying in a waterfall of painkillers on the last two sneaky releases that may or may not be from Take Care, that's stopped today, just now. Worth noting this is the return of both Drake wantonly throwing cash around like Scrooge McDuck in that opening scene of Ducktails AND Boi-1da. Coincidence? Hardly.
Back to Black was a ridiculous record, one that seemingly came from nowhere. Very few had heard her first album, Frank, when "Rehab" broke through and the fucked-up, funky neo-soul of Back To Black hit our ears for the first time. With that one song, that one album, she created a genre and gained almost instant celebrity. Back to Black was released in October 2006 and went platinum by the end of the year; those three months solidified the neo-soul genre as the next big thing. In the time since, neo-soul has become almost a ridiculous past trend, a genre for mixtapes played on road trips with aunts so that everyone can agree on the music and get along. But, like the subversive music she herself was nodding to, Winehouse's Back to Black is anything but inoffensive: it's dirty, confessional, snotty, at times even a little racist (I beg you to take a close look at a lyric sheet). And as we got to know Amy herself, we realized how honest it was, and loved her even more for it. It shouldn't have worked, it shouldn't have made millions, it shouldn't have even been produced it's so jarring and raw and absolutely horny, no pun intended, for everything bad and dirty in life. And in that way it stands as a brilliant record, even timeless in its out-of-timeness. I'll trade a million "Rolling in the Deep"'s for that comeback tour to have actually happened. Rest your fucked-up soul, Amy. We'll go back to Back to Black, again and again.
Or maybe it's just telling you you need to do more cat songs. That probably would be a real master stroke, if we just moved directly into cat music. Do you know about Witch House? It's evidently a micro-movement in electronica that's like...electronic music with a witch theme. The two projects that are the main proponents of Witch House, one of whom is vehemently against the idea of being labeled Witch House.
Is it supposed to be Wicca House? That was something that my wife and I were discussing. Whether or not the 'House'—to me, calling it 'house' is like calling it dub. 'House' means something, it's not just a word. You've gotta be house if you called yourself 'house.' But evidently, it might also just be like a Wicca House, the place where the Wiccans live. I don't know, I don't much bout this Witch House but I'm intrigued. And, I do think we should call our next album We Are Witch House. We can claim it even if it's not true.
One of my absolute favorite producers of the past few years is Nike7Up. He's an absolute fucking genius, a mad wizard of pop/tech/rave/rap that essentially digests everything that's good about the modern pop landscape and brings it back, dredged and depraved and totally new. He just released a summer mix that changes everything, or rather that pushes everything in the direction I'd been thinking it was going: Britney bumps against Ke$ha who grinds against...well, wait for the mix's final moments and you'll see. It's been quite a long time (in internet minutes) of silence for Mr. 7Up, and he's brought us the fucking future cloaked in nostalgia masked in deep deep super bass. I've been (softly sweetly gently) saying that mash-up culture as it existed is over, has been for a while, Diplo’s a shit and Girl Talk’s for the amateurs and here comes Nike7UP showing how thinking people, people on the internet with A.D.D. and too much education, do mash-ups. Ignore this at your own risk, because really it’s one of the smartest, most informed pieces of work I’ve heard in 2011 and it’s a fucking mixtape, one to be shared amongst friends or played at BBQs. What we get here is a blanket of common musical experience so fucked in the head it can’t be anything but beautiful. This is a serious talent at work.
Click the image below to download.