Our new "Freshly Spilt Milk" Soundcloud playlist includes new hip-hop from New Orleans, Quickie Mart's remix of Cha Wa, TGUT's remix of Rae Sremmurd, international club music, a Frank Ocean cover and more.
Recently, The New York Times' Jon Caramanica wrote a strong piece on the world of Soundcloud hip-hop, and Soundcloud is the place I go these days where I get the buzz I associate with rock 'n' roll--even when the music isn't rock. The nerve is stronger, the outrageous is less calculated, the sense of adventure is organic, and the joy is more spontaneous. And since it's online, the weak stuff can be clicked away from with the properly dismissive ease.
Because of that, I'm sorry to see news reports of Soundcloud's financial woes and possible demise. I'm sure that emerging musicians will find places to go and be heard, but the ease and intuitive nature of Soundcloud's interface makes particularly useful as a place to hear what new artists are doing. Through it, I've gone deep on AF the Naysayer, El Dusty, and Fro-Yo Ma, who kicks off this week's "Freshly Spilt Milk" playlist under his real name.
1. Zack Villere - “Next”: The artist formerly known as Fro-Yo Ma has Frank Ocean’s skill for sounding very personal, very specific, with the same sensibility running through his mid-fi slow jam.
2. Sudan Archives - “Come Meh Way”: Sudan Archives is a self-named, self-taught violinist and singer inspired by Sudanese fiddlers. The New York Times recently interviewed her.
3 Pell - “Jam” (Prod. by London on da Track): I gather Pell has relocated to the West Coast (True?), but the New Orleans-born rapper continues to be solid. Producer London on da Track gives him less spacey beats to work with, and Pell responds with a vocal that keeps paying off with smart twists and touches throughout the song.
4 phareaux - “Say You're Scared’ (rip static major): The Baton Rouge producer recently posted a series of demos in search of a reason to finalize them; this track sounds ready to be four or five different songs, particularly when the rain chimes kick in and at the end when an off-mic guide vocal stops feeling provisional.
5 Cha Wa - “Tootie Ma” (DJ Quickie Mart Remix): The original of this Mardi Gras Indians track was moderated by the Brazilian band behind it. If the percussion behind the vocals is going to get organized, it ought to get digitized too, as Quickie Mart demonstrates.
6 Baba Stiltz - “This Is It” (Body Mix): The fragmented vocal give definition to this moody patient, house flip side of Stockholm’s Baba Stiltz’s “Can’t Help It.”
7 Gettoblaster & Just Alexander - “Bubble”: The exceedingly round bottom end on this deep house track clearly inspired the lyric.
8 Rae Sremmurd - “Swang” (TGUT remix): New York City producer TGUT makes Rae Sremmurd’s “Swang” really swang by picking up the tempo a little and giving it a fresh hook on synth-generated wood blocks.
9 Iman Omari - “Rock it” (Liyah Flip): Vibe Music Collective member Iman Omari created a sweetly psychedelic fragment of a track by layering and looping voices that all want the same thing but not quite at the same time.
10 ZiggMonster - “Autonomy”: I can’t find much of anything online about this New Orleans rapper except that he’s unsigned. The track’s groove is fueled by a moody ’80s keyboard melody, and his slightly smoky flow earns your attention.
11 Dengue Dengue Dengue (feat. Sara Van) - “Guarida” (Branko Remix): Sara Van sings what sounds like a Spanish folk song, which the Peruvian electronic duo Dengue Dengue Dengue support and augment by letting the simple melody do much of the work. Branko’s remix picks up the tempo and adds ambient electronics.
12 Chai Tulani (feat. E The Storyteller) - “Love Drank”: The Kenya-born, Chicago-raised Chai Tulani shows mad game as he sings his intended into his arms.
13 El Dusty (feat. Jah Fabio) - “Kanto Negro”: Corpus Christi’s El Dusty warps the world with this dubstep cumbia trap, complete with rap by Jah Fabio.
14 Rastronaut - “Azinhaga”: The Lisbon DJ/producer frequently works with Enchufada’s Branko, so he hasn’t released that many tracks under his own name. This world techno suggests that he should.
15 Oliver Tank - “Charlene” (Tiber remix): A tweaked sample of The Temptations’ “Get Ready” plays such a major role in this remix of “Charlene” that the track almost inserts the Australian Oliver Tank in the band.
16 Night Drive - “Trapeze Artist Regrets”: Night Drive’s dark synth-pop immerses itself so deeply in its first generation influences that you’re waiting for Dave Gahan to take the mic at any moment on this track.
17 Sinjin Hawke - “Onset” (Krane & Alexander Lewis remix): Krane and Alexander Lewis’ remix of “Onset” is a Hunger Games-ready triumphant techno march in search of one more sequel.
18 Dense & Pika - “Casino”: British production team Dense & Pika drill down in the simple, hypnotic pleasures of the sounds of their house until they introduce a sample from The O’Jays’ “Backstabbers” that gives the track form. Then they manipulate that sample to again open the door to the infinite.
19 Rad Cult - “Got Wet In The Bomb Shelter”: Psychedelic electronic music for the cyborg roller disco courtesy from the Tobacco/Black Moth Super Rainbow laboratories.
20 Siri With Da Draco (Prod. by Yung Skah) - “Siri With Da Draco”: Siri’s ready to run Rad Cult’s disco.
21 Patricia - “Rain Vs. Sunshine”: There’s no Patricia in Patricia, and there’s no song in “Rain Vs. Sunshine.” Instead, there’s a beautiful, moody, melodic fragment that is all atmosphere punctuated by sung phrases that work more as sound than semantic units.
22 laxcity - “Cry”: Sheffield’s laxity gives us a more stripped down version of Patricia’s mode—less density, more disruptive percussion, but another track long on style and sound, and one that finds a sweet note to finish on.
23 TL - “Sicko”: Rapper TL comes from the D.C./Maryland/Virginia area, and on “Sicko” his flow is pure energy. He wants to be heard now, loud and clear, and while the track works fine, he’s the reason you hang with this song.
24 LIKE & Iman Omari (feat. Buddy) - “Backwoods (Third Eye)”: This high-density beat includes what sounds like a backward riff that gives the track a cool, disruptive quality as LIKE spits down a metaphysical/super-high path.
25 midnight — “Promethium”: Here’s the press release explanation of this track:
midnight releases sultry, slow burning new single "Promethium". Produced by frequent collaborator and good friend ylxr, "Promethium" draws its inspiration from The Prometheus myth, who gifts his fire to mankind and endlessly suffers as penance for this treachery against the gods. His gift of fire both uplifted mortals and gave them the tools to their own destruction.
A story of fleeting glory in the face of probable demise was the inspiration behind the track, with the spacy production and, multi-layered beats and lyrics & melody capturing the essence of what a flame represents, embracing a distinct rush of exhilaration and danger.
Additionally, Promethium is an unstable and radioactive element mainly synthesized by man. A fitting name for both the element and the song.
26 Raleigh - “Ivy”: This Canadian rock band’s cover of Frank Ocean makes explicit how good a pop song “Ivy” is, but that’s not enough for Raleigh, which turns the song into a dialogue between a sweet, breathy female and a distorted rock dude who comes clean in the end.