Soundclouds of the Underground: New Tricks Edition
ABOVE: RYAN HEMSWORTH. IMAGE COURTESY OF SASHA LONCAREVIC
These days, music truly lives online, with an infinite number of websites dedicated to hosting tunes for the laptop-wielding masses. However, the web’s bottomless pit of blogs isn’t the only place to troll for mp3 treasures—some of the most new and exciting (Internet-friendly) artists can be sought out via Soundcloud, the online stage that allows musicians to promote and distribute their music to fans and friends across the globe. In this weekly column, expert Internet sleuth Alex Chapman goes deep into the depths of the music-sharing site, in hopes of shedding light on emerging acts, as well as sharing some digital diamonds in the rough.
Fall has arrived abruptly, and in honor of the changing seasons, each of this week’s tracks present a spin on their respective genre—whether it’s Riot Grrrl rap, touching trap music, or vintage French rock revisited from an indie angle, each of these tracks abandon the conventional and embrace the progressive, because whether it’s a new time of year or a new type of music, a little change can always do some good.
Ryan Hemsworth: “Cold & Tempted”
Who: This Canadian producer has been getting lots of love on account of his dreamy remixes, which pluck songs like Frank Ocean’s “Thinkin’ Bout You” and Grimes’ “Genesis” out of their original context, building them a brand-new soundscape out of far-away sounding synths and trap-friendly drum patterns.
The Song: With Hemsworth original “Cold & Tempted,” the only clear sample being a line from Wacka Flocka Flame’s “Karma,” the producer plays on contrasts, meshing a popping snare with a soft-spoken melody akin to a lullaby (although this song’s engaging production is more likely to pump you up then prep you for a nap).
Current Project: The young talent just produced a set of songs for rappers Deniro Farrar & Shady Blaze’s new mixtape Kill Or Be Killed (which you can download here). For more info on Hemsworth, visit his Facebook page.
Mykki Blanco: “Haze.Boogie.Life.”
Who: Far more than just a hip-hop performer, cross-dressing genius Mykki Blanco is a performer for the new age, a multi-medium artiste whose body of work boasts a published book of poems and a music video helmed by Emmy-nominated director Francesco Corrizoni. When her rapper hat is on, Blanco spits impassioned bars that grab attention and don’t let go.
The Song: “It’s a war out here!,” the lyricist growls over a beat crafted by famed London producer Sinden & Matrixxman (of 5kinandbone5), which may remind one of an entirely turned-out “Beez In The Trap.” However, any other resemblances leave as soon as Mykki enters—Blanco inventively toys with the track’s format, using simple, sparse, and strong lyrics to remind all the haters who’s up next.
Current Project: The Harlem-based creative is working on her debut album and gigging it up across the globe. Check out more info on her Facebook page.
Marc Desse: “Video Club” (feat. Anne)
Who: Better known as the frontman for indie-punk trio Theatre Metamorphosis, this Frenchman’s solo work sits on the poppier side of the spectrum: a breezy mix of nostalgic, summery sounds perfect for daydreaming. If the French are natural-born charmers, Desse is simply continuing the tradition in a fashion as cool as it is creative.
The Song: “Video Club” is a heart-melting duet (with the elusive Anne) that finds power in its basic pop structure—this leaves plenty room for the reverb-heavy guitars and clamorous drums to furnish the track with a modern, grungy edge.