Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Artists to watch in 2013

Ta-ku (Perth)

You can’t tell lies with a Soundcloud URL like ta-ku-got-beats. On the spot Reggie Matthews a.k.a. Perth producer TA-KU commits to those beats, delivering glitterwave, electronic, future beat and trap in a collection of polished and dynamic tracks.
Ta-ku’s music already has a strong online presence and it’s going to be hard to stay on the down low during 2013.
If you’re a fan of Chet Faker or Flume, it is highly likely that you’ve heard a Ta-ku track or sample. His distinct choppy hip-hop beats and soul groove recall a party mood of the 90s. Ultimately though, the beats are futuristic and progressive. Check out “Dip That”: Destiny’s Child become a whole lot cooler (part of his mini-EP 2bit Lady Anthems).
Ta-ku provides plenty of free downloads, as a strong advocate for online music sharing, and the best place to start exploring is his Soundcloud link: soundcloud.com/takugotbeats. Also hard to go past his ‘Hyperparadise’ remix, if that was one of your favourite tunes of 2012.
Or stream his 2012 release RE ϟ TWERK online.
Up for the triple j top 100 were his two tracks “Diamond Mouth” and “Mahal feat. Chet Faker”. It’s no surprise when he’s cut a way through the overhyped styles of trap/nu-soul/chillwave and if his EP is any indication, look for Ta-ku’s steady soundscape to take over in 2013.

What So Not (Sydney)

What So Not is made up of Sydney boys Harley Streten and Chris Emerson (solo acts as Flume and Emoh Insteadrespectively). They are signed onto the Sweat It Out label alongside Yolanda Be Cool, Parachute Youth and Twinsyamong others.
A combination of the chill vibes of Sydney’s northern beaches mixed with a pinch of inner city swag runs through their tunes. Their explosive remix of Major Lazer’s ‘Get Free’ is a standout for 2012 and we can only dream of what beats they’ll conjure up next.
If you haven’t yet caught What So Not at a club or music festival (most recently at the Ivy Hotel, Southbound andWonderland) be sure to head along to one of their live shows. For the second part of 2012, the pair toured like mofos around the country, turning every venue into a sweaty, sweaty mess.
Their leading remix ‘Ov3r 7 Dollar’ off the 7 Dollar Bill EP launched them into the urban club scene – soaked in macho bass, drum work and stunted sirens.
Another to check out is their killer remix of Kimbra’s ‘Warrior’, combining her powerful vocals with addictive poppy synth and a lift to the chorus which is impossible to ignore.

What So Not are pretty active online – follow them on instagram @emoh_wsn for some pretty hilarious photos or tweet @WhatSoNot- they’ll answer back.
In the words of Nina Las Vegas: “Watch out 2013. What So Not is coming for you.”

Foxygen (LA)
Here’s a band you may not have heard of, Californian indie rock duo FOXYGEN – who have filtered just about every rock band of the late 60s into a dazed, kaleidoscopic sound which would please any fan from indie to psychedelic rock.
It’s more about the vocals and less about the shredding instruments but it’s hard to acknowledge the scent of a Mr free-wheelin Bob Dylan, Velvet Underground and even Rolling Stones.
Foxygen is Sam France & Jonathan Rado, LA-based musicians. They have just released a single off their upcoming second album ‘No Destruction’. Full of spacey guitar licks and street poetry, it’s weird and wild, and mostly unpredictable. It sounds retro but on closer inspection, there are modern tiffs: “There’s no need to be an asshole/You’re not in Brooklyn anymore.”
The duo have also brought out a music video for upcoming track 'San Francisco'. It gives an insight into the eccentricity of the two – with vocalist Sam Frances perched on an English armchair in techi-coloured pants seductively mouthing the playful Kinks-y lyrics(your eyes are like a cup of tea/ascend into the sun with me”). There is definitely something a bit smokey about this clip.
Foxygen released their second album We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic on January 22 with Jagjaguwar (Bon Iver, Sharon Van Etten).

Carmen Villain (London)

Model turned musician CARMEN VILLAIN has released a single off her upcoming debut, with a swirling psychedelic sound and a voice that is both delicate and compelling. The track ‘Lifeissin’ opens with resonant guitar and a distinct reverb sound which grows throughout the track.

Villain aka Carmen Hillestad was born in the USA, lives in London, and is a delectable mix of half-Norwegian, half-Mexican. On the track she plays guitar, bass, percussion and keyboards – proving that her move from the fashion world to music was not inconsequential.

‘Lifeissin’ features dreamy harmonies and a sweeping chorus but is not necessarily one to lie back and relax with. Villain slows it down, allowing us to revel in the escapist lyrics: “take the fear out of forever” 

With a chill sound likeable to Sonic Youth or Dum Dum Girls, her music would easily fit into a Wes Anderson soundtrack or even the more angsty Girls.

‘Lifeissin’ evokes a lo-fi rock sound and is an exciting look at more of her material to come. Carmen Villain is currently touring in the UK and is due to release her EP Sleeper on March 12 through Smalltown Supersound.

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