December 26, 2011

XV... Just Killin it "Learn to Fly"

Over the years many artists have come and gone, making consistency the number one attribute I look for in new musicians. The one rapper that has yet to disappoint the SG music team is XV. "Learn to Fly" is the first leaked single from his EP L7 which is slated for release in 2012. The track features an electro influenced beat that we are used to from Xv and a pretty sick hook sung by Betty Trouble, (who seems like a good time). XV's popularity is clearly growing as he has made a big stir on the short list for XXL mag's "Freshmen" list for 2012. Although this would be a huge honour for the kid, I just hope it doesn't ruin the individual sound that we've been getting from Mr.Vizzy for the past year. XV is just so unique to me, as he is able to make some serious heart felt tracks like "The Kick" but then comes at us with absolute party jams like "foreign exchange student". The kid's mad talented and I will be patiently waiting for the L7 EP, until then here ya go... enjoy

December 16, 2011

iSH - So Long

So at the start of this week when I posted Carousel’s new album, 26 Allston, I signed off with the line “I’m sure we’ll hear this sampled and remixed soon enough,” and I’ve already been proven right. iSH, a Toronto based rapper that was featured recently on SG, is continuing his domination of recently released indie rock/electro, putting a few verses on top of one of Carousel’s stronger tracks from 26 Allston – Here Right Now. iSH is on his grind right now, with an ear to the industry like no other, being able to keep on top of the latest tracks and re-releasing them for free as soon as possible. This is buzz building mode people, as iSH has to get himself positioned nicely here before he releases his upcoming mixtape – Long Days, Short Nights – in early January 2012. Look out for it.

iSH – So Long

Carousel - Here Now

Daniel Lee Kendall - Lost in the Moment

I’ve recently been hearing Australian singer/songwriter Daniel Lee Kendall’s leading single, Lost in the Moment, sampled ever so slightly on a number of commercials. The subtle high hats combined with bouncing keys gives this song a warm, welcome entrance, which stuck on me and forced me to hunt it down. When I came across the success Daniel achieved based off these commercials, it was clear that having his song featured has now given him the opportunity to truly chase a life in music (with his featured track at 100k YouTube views & the rest of his music quickly rising from the ~5K it sat at prior).

This significant change got me thinking, who are these executives responsible for choosing music to place in the ads, and where do I sign up? The extent to which media is helping artists these days has simply grown to such a point that they should realize their power is starting to rival that of music labels. If they give artists the opportunity to showcase their work – whether this be through a commercial, or on a a larger scale in a show or movie – it can easily mean big things for them and their career, much past the feature itself. Although this path clearly places all the responsibility on the artist to grow themselves, when good choices are made and the right audience is exposed to the material, things always have a way of working out. See how Daniel Lee Kendall has responded to this newfound fame, with his re-released track Lost in the Moment below, as well as a video to follow. Recognize it?

Daniel Lee Kendall - Lost in the Moment

Album Preview: Steve Aoki - Wonderland

As Steve Aoki starts to release music from his upcoming 12 track album, Wonderland, we’re starting to see why he is considered to be one of the best DJ’s around - he works very well with talent. Although Aoki has a very upbeat trance-like style, he’s proven over time that he can adapt this to accommodate different artist’s styles and genres, without taking much from their sound. In the albums latest pre-release, Cudi The Kid, Aoki takes this exact approach, still making his mark with Travis Barker handling all of the procession and leaving Cudi’s voice unedited (for the most part).

Travis Barker has personally been one of my favorite musicians since a very young age, as I was obsessed with playing the drums growing up and he always was able to stay relevant and push the envelope. Typically this has been much harder for drummers to do, (ie. How many famous solo drummers do you know), but Travis has always been able to carve himself a niche. Whether this has been offering drum lessons to fans and pros when he was a part of Blink 182, providing real beats for hip hop samples (Game, RZA, Drake), or crushing to a set to techno music, Barker has always found new ways to kill it (I mean listen to that cowbell). Aoki doesn’t just stop at Cudi and Barker for talent though, as the feature list is long on this album, including Chiddy Bang, Rivers Cuomo, Wynter Gordon and many more.

When DJ’s collaborate with artists and add their own value like Aoki’s been doing here, it shows why he’s considered an artist and not a producer – which is quite the difference when all is considered. Aoki has already spilled a few tracks from this EP, including the songs listed below. Get hyped, Aoki will also be in Toronto on New Years, playing a show at the Guvernment/Koolhaus. Bound to get cray.

Steve Aoki ft. Kid Cudi & Travis Barker – Cudi The Kid

Steve Aoki ft. Chiddy Bang & Lil Jon – Emergency

December 13, 2011

Mac and Devin Go To High School - Soundtrack

Wiz and Snoop dropped the highly anticipated soundtrack to their movie "Mac and Devin Go To High School" today. Though I'm not surprised or blown away by it, I have been jamming out pretty hard. Snoop described it as "something to relax to and get you through the day," and I couldn't agree more, the soundtrack is low key and a lot of fun to listen to. When I found out about the project, I anticipated, having grown tired of their Shtick, that it would be way to similar to what Method Man and Redman did with "How High", but I was very wrong. There is something about the familiarity of their flows, combined the almost comic, "420" based subject matter that makes me want to forget it's exam season, throw on my floppy-eared winter hat and jam out. Scope some early highlights below from the soundtrack including a nice feature from a personal favourite Curren$y.

Snoop Dogg & Wiz Khalifa - OG (Feat Curren$y)

Snoop Dogg &Wiz Khalifa - That Good

December 12, 2011

Adventure Club - "Collect Call"

The Montreal native dubstep duo, Adventure club, has been making their way around southern Ontario recently, warming up for their larger tour cross Canada and dipping into the states. A few weeks ago I attempted to go to one of these shows, but traffic issues kept the group from making their appearance. If they had been able to get there, I would have been privy to the track the duo has officially released tonight, a remix of Metric's Collect Call.

I've been waiting on this track to be exposed for a while, as it's perfectly aligned with Adventure Club's focus to use powerful female vocals worked into their web of dubstep. This duo has showed good examples of this in the past, taking Lips' Everything To Me and Flight Facilities' Crave You to new levels, the latter being a song I thought I preferred untouched. With this duo about to take their music nationally, it seems this is the point where they make it, if they're going to. See below for their latest remix of Collect Call as well as the other tracks I mentioned, then check these guys out when they come around to your city - New years at the Sound Academy with Mord Fustang sounds pretty tempting to me...

Metric - Collect Call (Adventure Club Remix)

Flight Facilities - Crave You (Adventure Club Remix)

Lips - Everything To Me (Adventure Club Remix)

Concert Review: Macklemore + Ryan Lewis

When Macklemore and Ryan Lewis made their way to Toronto's Mod Club on Saturday night for their first gig ever in Toronto, the SGM team was there to check out the show. I'm not going to waste any time with background info here, as the hip hop duo has been featured on Straight Goods Music a couple of times now, (and if you've never heard of them, hit up those SGM archives because you're in for a treat).

Macklemore is known as a passionate artist, who really cares about his music. When he was on stage this showed clearly, as he was on point and energetic, seeming a little surprised to find out how faithful his Torontonian followers are. Ryan Lewis' on stage antics were very reminiscent of Sabzi (from Blue Scholars) as he was constantly involved with the crowd, as well as helping out with vocals and just going crazy. I knew going into the show that there was bound to be some hardcore fans watching one of the most energetic hip hop performances, but due to the fairly youthful crowd, stage diving and crowd surfing, it seemed to get out of hand near the end. Now I'm not one to hate on energetic fans because that is what it's all about, but if you decide to get up on stage, go for your stage dive. I don't really care to see 7 kids posing for their buddies in the first row to take a cell phone picture, just so everybody will believe them when they post on facebook that they were on stage. Overall a great show, oh and the live trumpet was damn cool.

Check out the video for their fall tour and I would definitely recommend you get out to Macklemore & Ryan Lewis when they're in your area - if you haven't already missed them.

Carousel - 26 Allston

Indie music is becoming more and more popular these days, (ironic, as indie represents independent). With groups like Foster the People, M83, Metric and the Naked and the Famous leading the charge, indie music has been able to penetrate society like never before. This has made room for different sub styles in this musical landscape to emerge, such as the soft rock/electro group Carousel.

Carousel is a group of friends that met up at the Berklee College Of Music (yes, of the same orchestra that DJ Premier lead), and have since used their talents to mesh together the pulsing synth of electro with the intricate melodies of indie rock, to find their strong curiosity-peaking sound. I always like when I come across groups with formally trained musicians in their corps, as it usually means they will have a fairly consistent sound throughout all their music, rather than relying on singles that come through the luck of experience. This is the case with Carousel's latest 5 song EP, 26 Allston, which they just released for steam or download off their website. Definitely worth checking out - I'm sure we'll hear this sampled and remixed soon enough.

Carousel - The Thrill

Carousel - Get Up

Carousel - Games

December 10, 2011

Kid Cudi & Dot Da Genius - WZRD

 It looks like Kid Cudi is getting a little unsettled in his current style of music, so he's attempting to switch things up once again. Cudi is teaming up with his long time producer, Dot Da Genius, claiming to be making a different hip hop album - influenced purely by punk rock. Now called WZRD, this duo has quite a bit of experience working together, operating under the name, 2 Be Continuum, for most of their earlier work (including the albums that got Cudi famous). Taking a note from Will Smith, WZRD is said to keep it clean and include no vulgar language, further showing how Cudi tries to distance himself from the rap community.

Cudi just released the single for WZRD, Teleport to Me, which features him covering the all too common problem of distance, over Desire's Under Your Spell (which also made an appearance in the movie Drive). With samples taken from Synthpop groups like Desire, and the only appearance coming from Empire of the Sun, I'm not too sure how WZRD is punk rock, or why Cudi wants to label it, but it interests me regardless.

WZRD - Teleport to me

Desire - Under Your Spell

December 9, 2011

Concert Review: K-os at the Casbah, Hamilton

As someone who loves live music, living in Hamilton really puts you at a disadvantage when it comes to good concerts. So when I found out at 9:30pm last night that K-os was at our very own Casbah we obviously jumped on the opportunity. Probably the best 15 dollars I have spent in a very long time. Maybe its because i've been reppin the Canadian kid since the superstar days or simply because the man put on one hell of a show... who knows. Either way the quality of live show K-os put on was astonishing. The live instrumentation was incredible and his DJ was doing some nasty things on the turn tables. And if your not a K-os fan, here's a great place to start.

December 7, 2011

Miike Snow - Devil's Work

Sorry shoutbox, exam season means surebuds is the only one with the time to write novels and I have to share this one. Miike Snow is coming out with a new album in the near future, this song is the first single off of it. 

December 5, 2011

Olu- This Girl

I heard this song this mourning and honestly can't get it out of my head. It almost sounds like Olu stole this beat from an 80's james bond movie but the killer brass section is pure genius. I have no idea where the sample is from but when I listen to it all I can see is a guy with a sweet mustache shredding his Keytar while playing at someones wedding. Olu goes through stages of choosing the sickest beats for his flow and this one is no disappointment.... and yes this song makes me wanna watch sexy sax man and grow my moustache back.

Olu-This Girl

Artist Update: Luke Christopher- "Poisonous Apple"

After finding rapper Luke Christopher last year, the 18 year old has been pretty quiet... well until now. Luke released his teaser video for the track "poisonous apple" that uses a dope sample of Common's track "Driving Me Wild" featuring Lilly Allen. Although its hard to out spit Common on his own beat the kid makes a damn good attempt.I also found a sick summer jam that he released a while ago but none-the-less it helps me remember the good ol' times... Apparently the full mix-tape is coming out soon so enjoy these two for now.

December 4, 2011

Logic - Young Sinatra (Mixtape)

So I Finally got around to checking out up-and-coming Maryland based emcee Logic’s mixtape “Young Sinatra” and I’m impressed. Logic brings an effortless flow to a solid tape definitely worth checking out if you’re looking for a break from all this dubstep/electro hip-hop. I’m looking forward to see what he can bring in the future. Here's a couple early highlights from the tape.

Logic - Shine On

Logic - Mind Of Logic (Feat. Camille Michelle Gray)