Week in Pop: Beat Culture, CSLSX, Work Drugs

Sjimon Gompers

Swizz, Rocky and Yams reminisce over Megaupload (VIA)

The threat of SOPA and PIPA and the preemptive strikes of FBI takedowns and the wave of online-going-offline protests took a toll on our pop buzz feeds this week. After the big Wednesday voluntary protest blackouts, we disovered that Swizz Beatz is in fact the CEO of Megaupload which then gets shutdown by the Feds amid SOPA hysteria, Anonymous responds with DDoSing DOJ, RIAA, MPAA AND while the LDR SNL fiasco kickstarted a dissenting celebrity tweet-a-thon and gave us the Clams Casino “Born to Die” remix. Despite all this, let us enjoy what kept us strong and hopeful this week in no particular order

No sooner had Azealia Banks dropped her new track “Need Sum Luv” when word hit the stands that she had signed to Universal Music Group which means enjoy the “212” video before it becomes replaced by a YouTube 'UMG complaint' removal error screen.

The new single “Sleepwalking” from Liverpool's Tear Talk's got us talking about how sentimental indie numbers are alive and well. Here is how the band describes their sound: “We feel like there’s this real sense of endearment in the naivety of what we’re trying to do, this kind of fragility that is lost in most modern pop music, which we feel like we give off due to our lack of ability. In short, ability has become the death of modern pop and gladly it’s something we’re lacking in.” Tear Talk's Port Sunlight EP is available now on their bandcamp from Bleeding Gold Records.

Also from Bleeding Gold is the Francophonic ALEXROSSI's “Je Te Prends ft. Inès Olympe Mercadal.” This is for those who prefer their Gainsbourg from the Jane Birkin late '60s/early '70s years with a sprinkling of post-disco dance treatments. The Je Te Prends 7″ will be available in late February and it is available digitally now.

Fatal Lucciauno dropped the track “Big Bro” this week with a phat Kuddie Fresh instrumental. From his backyard of Seattle to the rest of the nation, Mr. Lucciauno breaks it down like this; “The song is about the love of the down ass sistas from my hood, and those across the country that believe in what I believe, it's a true revolution through disciple love – it sounds weird, but for those that know, they know.” Look for Fatal's Respect February 21 on Sportn' Life Records.

Dirty Three are about to release their first album in seven years, Toward the Low Sun. To celebrate they have shared the single “Rising Below.” The track will make you happy that people still believe in the power of instrumentals and utilizing classical musicanship for contemporary betterment. Toward the Low Sun drops February 28 on Drag City.

With the new year here, its time to enjoy another season of Incase's Room 205 series kicking off with wild, gloom gauzes of funereal energy in Chelsea Wolfe's “Movie Screen.” To suit the song's title and morose theme, Chelsea and band play around projection screen black out curtains with black and while flicks playing during the performance. Meanwhile a blue light glow to keep things enticing, morose, and strange.

Gucci Mane is back at 'em with “Trap Back.” Get a first listen here to the upcoming DJ Holiday collaborative mixtape Trap Back coming February 5.

Ms. Herrema and the former RTX bunch are about to reboot as Black Bananas with the release of Rad Times Xpress IV January 31 on Drag City. But in traditional hype fashion, here is another album taster of how much radder times are about to get. Look out for their February 2 release party at the Echo in LA.

Jacaszek's video for “Dare Gale” makes me think of shopping at the tile section of the Polish Home Depot equivalent on heavy psychotropics. The video was directed by Pedro Maia and is an assemblage of super 8 shot images of various tile designs in a darkened room. The images are superimposed effected by various light aperture techniques that make the images appear to hover in time to “Dare Gale's” breathless hums. Jacaszek's Glimmer is available now from Ghostly International.

Get an earful of CSLSX teaming up with Mountain Man to make a Philadelphia by way of Brooklyn future classic dressed in the new romantic threads “Aeromancer.” We get an earful of the audio arms race to treat the early '80s Cocteau Twins catelogue as a subject of genre conjecture warranting repeat listens and working within textures of vocals and production from another level. We look forward to further material from CSLSX.

We received a late Friday cable from the Odd Future camp that Syd the Kyd's project The Internet just dropped the video for “Fastlane.” It's a Thelma and Louise directed by Tarantino ride through on the deserted highways with pistols, a few laughs and a whole lot of fun. Purple Naked Ladies is out now digitally and will drop physically January 31 on Odd Future Records.

Diamond Rugs is supergroup comprised of John McCauley and Robbie Crowell of Deer Tick, Ian Saint Pé of The Black Lips, Steve Berlin of Los Lobos, Hardy Morris of Dead Confederate, and Six Finger Satellite's Bryan Dufresne. Following up their premiere holiday hit “Christmas in a Chinese Restaurant” is the terse yet aptly titled “Gimme a Beer” which sums up the imperfections of the day and what every good man and woman deserves for their services. Look for Diamond Rugs self-titled April 24 on Partisan Records

Prince Rama has a big national spring tour kicking off February 23 at Glasslands so check your listings and if you have yet to vibe to the Master Suspiria Vision Remix of “Golden Silence” then we encourage you to do so with abandonment. I can only liken it to the the noises you hear while meditating in the Himalayans for 14 minutes and the sound of things slowing and just…being.

Or how about the video for the new Santigold song “Big Mouth” off her forthcoming spring album Master of My Makebelieve on Downtown / Atlantic. The Cody Critcheloe video's aesthetics will remind you of old school M.I.A. back when all the in folks were rapping along to “One Dolla”, full of early '90s colors and digitally emulated cut-out neon pastiches.

Errors' video for “Pleasure Palaces” reminds us of all the digital icons that permeate our user experience on a daily level. If the weirdness of seeing your desktop icons, throbbers, cursors and what-have-yous chopped up and rearranged grabs you then prepare for their upcoming release Have Some Faith in Magic January 31 on Rock Action Records.

After enjoying Kirko Bangz “Drank in My Cup” like a styrofoam and sizzurp to go; you can imagine how jazzed we were to hear about his new mixtape Progression 2: A Young Texas Playa. Listen to a stream here or download for yourself.

If disembodied heads floating about like balloons mixed with a hometown feel is your kind of Friday night, than you need to see Unknown Mortal Orchestra's video for “Thought Ballune.”

Beat Culture is the electro dream project of 17 year old Sunik Kim who has just self-released his new album Tokyo Dreamer on Bandcamp. Kim's electronic creations make music by way of telling stories with keyboards that hinge off of emotive responses that bounce between key sequence and a clever array of beats. Beat Culture is the sound of now. Listen and or download to Tokyo Dreamer here.

OLIVER dropped their mix Audio Speedwagon (Volume 1) a few days back on Kitsuné. The San Fernando / Vancouver duo drummed a 27 minute banger of rarities as their EP Dirty Talk dropped this week featuring remixes by their friends Black Van and Punks Jump Up.

Lightouts recorded a knockout cover of Guided by Voices “The Official Ironmen Rally Song” which got the official GBV tweet-bump. You can find it on the flipside of the upcoming maxi single The Cure for Shyness February 7.

Last holiday season we were hyping Fly Moon Royalty and wanted to keep the love going as they prepare to release their deubt self-titled February 6 on Sportn' Life Records. First up is the piano driven single “Lemonade” with the posi message of “when life gives you lemons you can build a lemonade stand, you got the choice in your hand.”

Second from FMR is “Android Love” which makes me think of fembots on Match.com somehow.

Reporting from Austra defectors Trust is their new bad buzz anthem “Sulk.” Count this to be yet another reason why we are looking forward to the relese of TRST February 28 on Arts & Crafts.

Work Drugs' “Ice Wharf” got the Cascine treatment this weekend with remixes by Selebrities and Southern Shores. More than the keyboard bathed reworkings and re-sequencing is the collaborative nature that brings together the not so disparate realms of Camden to Philadelphia.

Panabay duo Los Rakas dropped the track “Pimpin' Smokin' Dro” to illustrate again that pimpin' is never easy. What you do get is a brief appearance by E-40 who you almost wish would have stayed a big longer but the Bay statesman gives his blessing and that is trill enough for me. Look for Los Rakas' EP Raka Love coming out this Valentines Day.

AU makes music that makes us love Portland for something more than a snarky Fred Armisen comedy show. “Solid Gold” is the first listen from the album Both Lights due April 3 on Hometapes that leaves no organic instrument behind.

Doomtree kicked off their national tour this week with the video for “Bangarang” off No Kings. No karaoke party is ever complete without an appearance from Har Mar Superstar who must have it in his performance contracts that he has to at least disrobe his shirt for any performance. Check your local listings for Doomtree's tour schedule.

Brighton/Portsmouth duo Prinzhorn Dance School dropped “Usurper” this week. Prinzhorn's LP Clay Class drops January 31 on DFA Records. This track is for the dance music lover that holds tight to old Gang of Four records while retelling verbal manifestos about how the post-punk period was the only era when music mattered.

And finally for us mourning the loss of Megaupload and all the convenience and controversy that came with it; here is the star studded commercial where your favorite celebrities talk about how the fabled file locker changed our lives.

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