Kyle Norton, who goes by the musical nom de plumbe Norty (formerly Nortroniks), is a rising genre-bluring electronic artist on the sample/groove-driven tip straight outta Grand Rapids, Michigan. After debuting in 2013 with Greater Colors on Detroit label Young Heavy Souls, the up-and-coming beatmaker has shared bills with the likes of Ratatat and Mux Mool and performed at festivals including Electric Forest. We’re pleased to world premiere the video for “We Were Nearly There” — the title track of Norty’s new EP — directed and edited by Orange Cap, a clip which finds Norton exploring a surreal kaleidoscope world dressed in a space suit.
It’s been 27 years since De La Soul first burst onto the hip-hop scene with the seminal Three Feet High and Rising, but Pos, Dave and Maseo are still going strong today. For And the Anonymous Nobody, the first proper De La album in 12 years to feature all three members, the trio turned to a modern mode of funding: Kickstarter. Apparently there are still plenty of people out there eager to hear a new De La Soul record, because it took less than 10 hours for the group to meet their goal.
There are also lots of major musical figures from all genres who respect De La Soul enough to collaborate with them. The new album finds the group working with Snoop Dogg, David Byrne, Jill Scott, Usher, Damon Albarn, and many more. In the interview below, the trio talk about how they put And the Anonymous Nobody together, how they came to collaborate with Snoop Dogg, and other tidbits to keep you going until the album comes out on August 26.
Warning: do not drive or operate heavy machinery while under the influence of the new track (or especially the video) by French/German DJ/producer team Lifelike & Kris Menace. Let’s just say that in both the sonic and visual sense, its title, “Ecstasy,” is to be taken literally. The in-your-face old-school rave vibe of the tune is bound to evoke images of people madly flinging their bodies around a late-’80s/early-’90s Manchester club under the influence of a certain substance, and the joyous emotion usually accompanied by that scenario. The mind-melting video crafted by Hexstatic, who have previously worked for the likes of Coldcut and David Byrne, is the cherry on top, completing the head-swirling experience. Lifelike and Kris themselves had this to say about the endeavor: “Manchester and the Hacienda always had a special place in our hearts: its part of our musical culture, this is where it all happened, the birth of acid-house & techno movement, Tony Wilson, Factory Records, 808 State, etc…Back home in our studio, it was obvious, we had to do it, we had those old Roland TB-303/TR-707/Akai S950 sampler under a pile of dust that we had totally forgotten, this is what we used to produce ‘Ecstasy,’ all in one night, and we’re really proud of it, as it sounds like no other records out now on the scene.”
Atlanta-based producer Chris Hunt has been breaking musical ground and pushing limitations for years. After the breakup of his band Cloudeater, Hunt has carried on making music that challenges the senses. His work has manifested in the form of two solo EPs, Tomb and Tomb II, which he recorded in Atlanta and New York. His creativity knows no boundaries as evidenced in the video for “Elegy” from Tomb II which he directed. “I shot the footage here and in Death Valley and put it all together,” Chris tells us. “This track was built by recording drones playing through speakers in a house I used to live in with a former partner. The sound of that track is inseparable from the sound of the house.”
Producer/visual artist Ulli Bomans, who also records as Schieres and works with T.Raumschmiere on Shrubbn!!, continues his sonic explorations on his second album, Sort By Dragging, for Berlin-based Shitkatapult. While most electronic music focuses on hedonism and instant gratification, Bomans boldly navigates his music through a gloomy crevasse where many of his peers would fear to tread. We’re pleased to world premiere the music video for “Screensaver” — a haunting, beautiful track on Sort By Dragging — directed by Bowmans. He uses the clip to express his feelings about the deepening refugee crisis in Europe.
“Day after day we get news about people that lose their lives when trying to come to Europe by crossing the Mediterranean sea,” Bowmans tells us. “This bothers me and somehow I feel helpless about it though it happens so far away from my life here. I feel really uncomfortable sitting in my comfortable environment whilst others die on their way to what should lead them to our side and finally to a saver and better life. Sometimes it’s hard to find suitable words if you want to talk as an artist about things that touch you. ‘Screensaver’ is an attempt to picture this situation.”
Craig Sherrad, a versatile musician/producer from Detroit, has been at the epicenter of techno since its birth in the ’80s. A cousin of techno icon Derrick May, Sherrad has rubbed elbows with all of the city’s major players. On his own he has explored a wealth of styles and musical projects over the past two decades. On his just released Fuzzy Dancer release issued on his Motor City-based label DNAUT Music, Sherrad follows up his previous Sketches Of A Circuit EP with an even deeper electronic ethos. We’re pleased to world premiere the music video for the soulful “Whatever You Do” directed by Matt Ortlieb of Empty Balloons. The clip tells the story of a night on the town in Detroit filled with vodka, clubbers dancing and a woman on the verge. Intrigued? You should be. Hit the play button below and prepare to get lost in this smooth house jam.