Well folks, we’re a little on the late side this time around, and who knows if my internet will allow me to even post this as it has been extremely temperamental today. This edition gets into international music quite a bit. Iceland, Canary Islands, Bulgaria, India, and Benin are all represented in this edition of the Fortnightly. There are some big new singles from Gorillaz and Death Cab for Cutie, and there are really exciting new albums from Angelique Kidjo, Lazerbeak & Longshot, Busdriver, Brownout, and M. Ward.
Funk/Latin powerhouses, Brownout, are taking on another classic. After releasing 2 albums of funk interpretations of Black Sabbath (Brownout presents Brown Sabbath I and II), the group is now taking on hip-hop legends, Public Enemy. In the new record, Fear of a Brown Planet, we are treated to complete reworkings of many Public Enemy classics. This is an amazingly fun album, and it allows you to see some of this classic material in a new way.
In the last few years, I’ve come to think of hip hop as the genre that seems to be pushing boundaries the most in music. Maybe it is just the current cycle we are in, but, in terms of bold creativity, hip-hop is the current leader. Busdriver’s latest album, electricity is on our side, is a perfect example. The album is incredible. It’s somehow MC at a danceclub, and jazz at a winebar at the same time. Busdriver, and other artists like him, are pushing Hip-hop into all kinds of territory that people don’t expect. Because of the borrowing culture that has surrounded it from early on, it’s a genre that seems to have no limit to what it can draw into itself. electricity is on our side can seem a bit out there on the first listen. Maybe it is an acquired taste. Maybe some will find it inaccessible in its complexity. I think it may be one of the best records of the year.
I have a lot of favorites in this edition, but there are a few that have struck me particularly. Van Stee, Angelique Kidjo, Mazzy Star, Kiran Ahluwalia, Lazerbeak & Longshot, and Courtney Marie Andrews are some great ones this time around.
Van Stee – Here Comes The Fire
Gorillaz – Humility
Longshot, Lazerbeak – Just Dance
Brownout – Fight the Power
Angelique Kidjo – The Great Curve
Kiran Ahluwalia – Khafa
Busdriver – I been there
Eptos Uno – Peso Pesado
Olafur Arnalds – re:member
The Mystery of The Bulgarian Voices – Sluntse
Mazzy Star – Still
Courtney Marie Andrews – Long Road Back To You
Luke Winslow-King – Blue Mesa
The National Reserve – New Love
M. Ward – Miracle Man
Lord Huron – Secret of Life
Death Cab for Cutie – Gold Rush
Desert Mountain Tribe – Spyders
Olafur Arnalds – unfold
Dat Garcia – Anfibio (Space People Remix)
Pablo Fierro – Timanfaya
Rosalia – Malamente
Longshot, Lazerbeak – Parades
Nocando – She Went to War
Busdriver – pull the sky closer