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New Wave New York

The world is fucked, the city is gone.

When MC Wiki of New York noise-rap collective Ratking spat those bars on ‘Protein’ from last year’s So It Goes LP, it struck a chord with listeners who felt that the Big Apple has been rotting in recent years and a younger generation that feels shortchanged by their city.

Native NYC youth are pissed off with the post-9/11 disappearance of the ‘gritty old’ city thanks to the policies of an establishment with a dull and sanitised vision of what New York should become. This process manifests itself in fast-paced gentrification, police brutality, the snubbing-out of local communities and the loss of diversified cultural and artistic scenes – ultimately squashing the city’s identity. This peaked when Taylor Swift – a recent import to NY – was crowned as the city’s ‘welcome ambassador,’ galvanising the grass roots to stand up against the corporate selling-out of NYC

Roy Vlcek, a 20-year-old Tribeca local has seen this wilful mischaracterisation of NYC since his childhood and came to the conclusion that art was the only weapon to restore the city’s long-held living idiosyncrasies. Without a budget and just a $350-rented camera, the young writer, filmmaker and student at Columbia University went out to give a platform to the city’s voiceless and gave birth to the New Wave New York (NWNY) project.

NWNY is a set of video interviews with young New York artists – from Brooklyn to Manhattan, from Harlem to Upper West Side – who vent their resentments towards New York and share their inspirations, motivations and mind-set. The series is paving the way to a soon-to-be-released short documentary, featuring the city’s brightest young creatives alongside defining cultural figures like Wu-Tang Clan’s Raekwon.

I spoke to Roy to find out more about the project and his beef with the Big Apple. It’s on Huck Magazine.

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Art by Dan McPharlin

Australian artist Dan McPharlin has a deep interest in the sci-fi scene. He’s works in 2D and 3D design and illustration ranges from portraits of infinite, unparalleled universes’ to maquetes of technological paraphernalia of endless languages, knobs of variant electrical frequencies, buzzing sounds and unreachable-by-head numbers of binary instructions.

His latest showcase is a set of hand-made miniature sculptures homaging the early electronic recording equipment and synthesizers that paved the way to the continuous evolution of sound manipulating apparatus. Framing matt-boards, paper, plastic sheets, strings and rubber bands, are the materials featured in the 3D compositions.

Back in May, art and culture magazine Juxtapoz highlighted McPharlin’s drawings of far-flung planets and surreal landscapes, which ended up as album art in music records of Prefuse 73 and Pretty Lights. Music and the complexity of what’s beyond our planet are concatenated in the Aussie’s artist portfolio.

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Source: Juxtapoz

Video by Tanner W. Jarman

“BKWYA”‘s really sticks to the mind and ears. It is a minimalistic, buzz-dragging beat by Brooklyn’s producer Kashaka followed by a drowsy, loose flow by also Brooklyneer emcee Wati Heru. This is the first single of Heru’s upcoming LP Dystopia FM, due March, and it sounds like a darkish night, unsettling night in NY’s most populous borough.

Source: Mass Appeal

 

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The answer lays back in the 1980’s as hip-hop, connected with b-boying and breakdancing, fostered a new cultural movement that shifted from the ghettos and slums to city center’s and worldwide.

Multinational clothing brands saw the earning’s potential of such movement and came closer to the people bonded to street culture. One those companies actually started giving out free clothing to the street kids so the brand could evolve with a linkage to hip-hop culture.

The history of fashion and hip-hop and it’s social evolution is the premise of graffiti historian, journalist and hip-hop analyst Sacha Jenkins documentary Fresh Dressed: The Revolution of Fashion Born On The Streets, which debuted last January in Sundance Film Festival.

The documentary features two-cents by Kanye West, Andre Leon Tally, Riccardo Tischi, Dapper Dan, from Harlem, and one of the founders of the Lo Lifes, Thurston Howell III.

The documentary will be aired on CNN in 2015.

Source: Mass Appeal

Video by Rob Schroeder

There are musical collaborations that just sound perfect. From the top of my head, I point out Snoopzilla & Dãm-Funk; Mos Def & Talib Kweli (Black Star); MC Guru & DJ Premier (Gang Starr). Topping up the list is Sour Soul, the recent project that gathered in the same studio Wu-Tang Clan’s founder Ghostface Killah and Canadian futuristic-jazz trio BADBADNOTGOOD.

Ghostface Killah needs no introduction. Besides being a central figure on the New York’s hip-hop collective, he also mastered a couple of timeless long-plays – Ironman (1996) and Supreme Clientele (2000) -, totalled ten solo albums and kept on flowing with hip-hop’s own evolutions and transformations while keeping it’s origins. Teaming up with the unconstrained jazzy sound of BADBADNOTGOOD is proof of that: Sour Soul sounds both classic and futuristic and positions itself as yet another remarkable hip-hop collaboration.

Toronto’s BADBADNOTGOOD first came to my attention actually due to another teamwork with a rapper – Tyler, the Creator. They all joined forces around 2012 and put up online the Odd Future sessions, featuring jazzy covers of Tyler’s gems from his second album, Goblin. By the time of such collaboration, the trio – Matthew A. Tavares (keys), Chester Stone Hansen (bass), and Alex Sowinski (drums) – had self-released a couple of albums online. Next up came BBNG2 (2012); the production of tracks for The Man with the Iron Fists (2012), directed by also Wu-Tang member SZA; a production in Earl Sweatshirt’s Doris (2013); and concerts with Frank Ocean. Last year, the trio released another record – III (or BBNG3) – at a point when there was not away one could ignore their creativity and loosed rhythms. Sour Soul consummated the propensity of the trio to play with rappers and produce hip-hop progressive records.

In Sour Soul, Ghostaface Killah and BADBADNOTGOOD are joined by MF DOOM, Danny Brown and Slum Village’s Elzhi. The LP has been released by Lex Records and is now available to buy on every online platform.

Príncipe Records, the afro-house label born out of Lisboa’s ghettos and slums, is kicking its 2015 drops by 24 February with a couple of debuts by C.D.M – DJ Lilocox and DJ Maboku’s joint project – and Nídia Minaj.

Malucos de Raíz hallmarks the first on-the-record collaborative project by the two Lisboa’s DJs that share a common place as spinners in Príncipe’s monthly residency in Lisboa’s gigs’ alley Musicbox. The record keeps up with the duo’s sounding spectrum of house bpm’s and African genres like tarraxo and batida.

On the B side, 18 year-old Nidia Minaj also embarks on a first trip at Príncipe Records: Danger is her debut with the label’s stamp. Born in Portugal and currently living in Bordeaux, France, Minaj’s latest production draws on heavy synths and kuduro and tarraxo’s baffling rhythms. The eight-track record betides her Estúdio da Mana, digitally released in August last year by Brother Sister Records.

C.D.M’s “Safadas da Noite” and Nidia Minaj’s “Puto Iuri” are the singles available online at the moment and will soon be released on digital and vinyl formats through the label’s Bandcamp page.