Mr Witch is not a man of many words at the best of times, but today he is a man of even fewer words. He leaves all the words to Welsh rap sensation Akira The Don on new single ‘Doing Good’ while he busies himself in the background, communicating in drum machine, high-pitched robot noise, and crunchy, motorik rhythm. With every track he puts out, Mr Witch mutates into a new vehicle, like a shiny Transformer constantly shape-shifting, hitching things up a gear. Now, following the Mandarin rapping of ‘I Want You’, the stark riot of ‘Carat Cake’ and the party-starter that was ‘Feelin Fine’, the bewitching returns.
It’s something a little more chilled-out, Akira’s rhymes having a similar effect to a gnarlier Mike Skinner on a track like The Streets’ ‘Weak Become Heroes’. Imagine if the Deceptacons made lullabies for baby Deceptacons to fall asleep to, ‘Doing Good’ would cut the mustard. It’s the kind of simmered-down yet still nightmarish track you might require if you want to signal the epic end of a night out at a PC Music rave, the sound of neon lights slowly dimming but never quite fading out completely, the song Skrillex’s heart makes when he’s sad. Listen above, follow Mr Witch on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, and we’ll see you same time, same place next week, 10K fam.
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Did we imagine Frank Ocean? Dream him? It’s been long enough now since his glorious 2012 summer soundtrack that fans, us included, have begun to question if he ever existed in the first place, or if ‘Channel Orange’ was some kind of hive-mind musical mirage. The wait goes on for ‘Boys Don’t Cry’, the Californian’s much-hyped new album, which seemed set for release last week after a live-stream began on Ocean’s website of him in a carpentry workshop. That stream amounted to nothing – or at least nothing yet. Which is why, to help ease the wait, because Frank Ocean fans do cry, today Bad Wave are stepping up.
‘Frank’s Track’ was Ocean’s short but affecting cameo on Kanye West’s The Life Of Pablo album earlier this year. LA duo Bad Wave, fresh from the release of their mind-melting MGMT-ish curio ‘3am’ a fortnight ago, take that snippet to another dimension with the above cover, adding lullaby Rhodes keys and haywire electronics to the tender melodies of the original. Their sparsest moment yet, Bad Wave’s ‘Frank’s Track’ is a reminder that there’s a sparser side to a band whose upbeat, itching-to-dance electro-pop, on songs like ‘Extraordinary’, ‘Good Girls’ and breakout single ‘Runaway’, has earned them high praise from The Guardian, The Sunday Times, Beats 1, BBC Radio 1, DIY and more. Check it out above, follow Bad Wave on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and we’ll see you next week.
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Imagine a Stranger Things-style upside down reality where Radiohead, instead of writing ‘Idioteque’ in an icy fortress of contemplation, wrote it on a bugged-out dance floor. That’s the vibe of Viigo’s latest: an anxious, frantic-paced electronic slinker that like the flashing club strobes it describes, will blind you with its bright zip of colours. It’s easily the trio’s grandest statement yet, an early James Blake-ish belter that lures you in like a Hadron Collider-powered tractor beam and refuses to let go. “There’s no easy way to get away from the party lights,” sings breathy frontman MJ Hancock on the track. And he’s totally, inarguably right.
If you haven’t been following the Viigo story so far, let us get you up to speed. Made up of New Jersey’s Hancock, LA instrumentalist Micke McGinnis and shadowy-producer Chris Rude (they collaborate over the internet), the trio’s first single of 2016 ‘Move’ was about shacking up with a loved one and the twin terrors and excitement that goes with that, delivered over window-shaking bass. The track that followed, February’s ‘Other Lives’ meanwhile was a slow-motion electronic ode to sex and growing older. Then came ‘Beautiful’ – a track that via R&B guitars, gentle drum machine shuffle and bass that boomed like something from the Inception score, did exactly what its title promised. Further bangers followed. Now, with the more explosive ‘Party Lights’, they’re shifting up a gear. “Take your medicine, take your medicine,” Hancock implores before the song’s frantic breakdown. Whatever your ailment, ‘Party Lights’ is the cure. Listen to the track above, and follow the band on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
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All hail 3am, that glorious twilight time when mistakes are made, one-more-drink turns into one-drink-too-many and the entire space-time continuum can seem to melt around you. LA duo Bad Wave’s ode to it, in keeping with the weird, wild shit that tends to go down at this hour, is their weirdest, wildest release yet – a song that takes the late night disco of Daft Punk’s ‘Get Lucky’, MGMT-ish wacko-pop nous, a truck load of bleeping keyboards and an avalanche of burning romance, then locks them all in a bathroom at a house party in another solar system. And that’s before the track really loses its mind.
Bad Wave, aka West Coasters Tucker Tota and Patrick Hart, began 2016 with a bang via January’s acclaimed breakout single ‘Runaway’ – a track title that sums up the nature of their success since. Lauded by BBC Radio 1, Billboard, Beats 1, The Sunday Times and more, the band were recently described by The Guardian as makers of “wan, wonderful songs” full of “bright electronics and arena-ambitious choruses, hooks and heavenly chord changes”. Now, with the release of ‘3am’, they’re kicking things up a notch, pushing their sound to even more out-there fringes of pop as live shows with Vince Staples and LCD Soundsystem await. “What are we doing in this guy’s house?” questions frontman Tucker as the track descends into slow-motion, trap hip-hop madness at its close. “Is that a dog or a really big mouse?”
There’s no stopping once the dance begins, the song insists. And there’s no stopping Bad Wave, whose electro-pop adventure just crossed a trippy new event horizon. ‘3am’ is out now –listen on Spotify, Apple Music and SoundCloud, and stay tuned to Bad Wave on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. We’ll see you next Friday.
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Kerouac described it as “wild, sweaty, important, the land of lonely and exiled and eccentric lovers come to forgather like birds.” California is the place Brett maestro Mick Coogan currently calls home, but you don’t need us to tell you that. It’s written all over the gorgeous, slow-motion explosion of his new single, which seeps America’s sunshine state from every gorgeous pore. Full of widescreen guitars, shoegaze haze and lyrics about late night drives down rebel highways beneath dusky skies, it’s a track as big as the land that inspired it. Kerouac got this place. And on ‘California Nights’, so do Brett.
Born in DC, the band, completed by guitarist Scott Dittrich, bassist Dave Kuehl and drummer Jon Jester, are new to 10K, but you may know them already. Their latest full-length ‘Mode’ was released in March this year on Cascine, adding even more weight to their reputation as an indie best-kept-secret whose cult-acclaimed sound stretches multiple inspirations. On ‘California Nights’ and their upcoming ‘Die Young’ EP, out later this year on 10K, it’s Tom Petty and Kevin Shields leading the way: a fever dream of screeching guitars over descending keyboard melodies and floating falsetto vocals that will melt you where you stand.
Brett are on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Follow them, listen to ‘California Nights’ and we’ll see you next Friday.
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Yeah so Jay Z is a dope rapper (and let’s admit it, he was doper in the past than he is at present), but what if Jay Z was a baller automaton? And what if, instead of being “up in NYC”, this robot Jay Z was up in, uhhh, NELA (that’s North East Los Angeles, crew… Come on, you got this). At 10K we promised we’d give you a new track every week, and we shall deliver. Sometimes though, you have to sing the praises and pay homage to your inspirations. Which is why Monsieur Witch (we’ve gone French, fuck the Brexit) has turned H.O.V.A. into C-3P0. Mr Witch may have come onto the scene with Chinese rapping and a style that owes a thing or two to Major Lazer (and also Uniqlo), but nobody can deny the global, universal, intergalactic influence of the Jiggaman.
So without further ado, Mr Witch doffs his cap and takes on the responsibility of a ‘Big Pimpin” re-do. There is no better time of the year than the third Friday of July to take on that task, turning the big hitter from Jay’s 1999 album ‘Life And Times Of S. Carter’ into a glitchy, futuristic, robo-sex anthem. Move over Daft Punk, there are some new computerised Lotharios in town. Crank up the volume, charge up your LEDs and set your RAM free to the rhythm of a gangster classic.
For more Witch-Z updates, click on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and we’ll see you next week.
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For this week’s 10K release we thought we’d shut up and let the music do the talking. ‘Splash Instrumental’ by LA G-funk worshippers Luu is every bit as sun-soaked and gorgeous as the introductory trio of singles that won praise from Noisey, Amazing Radio and others, it’s a velvet-smooth dose of sunshine, with soul so deep you could get the bends. It’s also literally speechless, a jam-band dose of vitamin D that breezes gently to D’Angelo-deep-cut-vibes climax. Expect Fender Rhodes keys, summer haze and a little introspection. Enjoy ‘Splash Instrumental’, follow Luu on social, and we’ll see you next week.
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