The Round Up (4/20/11)

In my ongoing attempts to bring you music that I love, The Round Up is going to provide a weekly window into the new (and occasionally not so new) songs that are the populating my playlists. Expect it every Wednesday. Hold me to my word. (right click tracks to download)

Here’s the deal, kiddies. I’m super hard at work at some things going on beyond the mighty reaches of the interwebs. All of them are music related. Because of the real world invading my free time, I can’t post as much as I’d like and I also haven’t been able to find much new, slightly-deeper-than-just-beneath-the-surface music lately (I have also spent the majority of my time listening to the new Justice song because I really like arena rock style electronica and I’m not afraid to say it). I hereby swear to post a more substantial Round Up in approximately 2 weeks when things die down a bit. For now (and next week) we’re going to have slightly lighter versions. Dope, but lighter. Enjoy.

“Lofticries” – Purity Ring

Purity Ring’s “Lofticries” fits right in with the Weeknd‘s recent invasion of my iPod. Hazy vocal samples, propulsive drums, shimmering synth buoy a performance that cuts through the murk to make something that sounds like the Weeknd minus drugs and plus aspirations towards making anthems. Bedroom anthems maybe, but anthems nonetheless. “Lofticries” is a beautiful sunset in the city and, as has been a theme of late, wonderful thawing music as spring gets into gear.

“Consensual Rape” – Action Bronson (prod. Tommy Mas)

I’m not sure what I like more about Action Bronson: that he names a lot of his songs (this one excluded) after old professional wrestlers, that he sounds like a white Ghostface, or that he has a series of amusing and surprisingly informational cooking videos on Youtube. No reinvention of the wheel here or anywhere else in his catalogue, but Bronson makes solid, clever, hard hitting New York rap. Tommy Mas’s horns lay the perfect foundation for Bronson’s relentless blend of threats, punch lines, and food imagery. Sometimes that’s all your soul needs. Points for references to Dusty Rhodes and Molly.

“Slide Through” – DaVinci (prod. SMKA)

New DaVinci is good DaVinci. I love to hear him flowing over woozy beats like the one production team SMKA provides here, but DaVinci seems to consistently select the least Bay Area-esque beats of any prominent, talented Bay Area rapper. His ear for production seems to be getting more developed and eclectic though; his debut The Day the Turf Stood Still was super solid production wise, but was a little east coast centric on the boards. Songs like “Slide Through,” “Get Her High,” and “Clean Ass Whip” (a favorite from 2010) show DaVinci’s ever increasing range, as both a rapper and a beat-selector. Here he raps faster than I’ve heard before and is no less impressive than usual. Play this one back to back with last week’s “Let’s Ride” and start building your nice weather cruising playlist.

“Illuminations” – Sunless

In 2011 it seems you either have to be completely accessible (Lil B) or utterly enigmatic (the Weeknd) to garner any sort of significant e-buzz (I guess Odd Future throws a bit of a wrench in the system, but even for all their accessibility, the complete picture of their rise to prominence remains a bit murky). Dreamy electro duo Sunless takes the obtuse route, providing a tumblr with two songs, a video, and no information whatsoever. “Illuminations” is produced by someone named Kwes and it’s a fantastic, airy piece of beat-driven pop. Well worth keeping an ear to the ground for these guys, if “Illuminations” is any sign of what’s to come.

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