As previously heard in some monthly playlists, several 2014 tracks were full of beats, up in front. Not only heavy drums but also massive bass lines, exotic percussions, synths, hand claps, even human beatbox! The playlist below, or directly from pleer here, reviews this specificity in music.
1- French-Cuban 19 year-old twin sisters, Lisa-Kaindé and Naomi Diaz, are the duo behind Ibeyi. They’ve been hailed by some publications like The Guardian, as artists to watch in 2015. Being also the daughters of the late Cuban percussionist Miguel Anga Diaz who played with Buena Vista Social Club among other bands, is worth mentioning in this “Beats” playlist perspective. «River» is taken from their first EP Oya out last August. In the video, they are doing a difficult apnea exercise!
2- Thom Yorke’s second solo effort, “Tomorrow's Modern Boxes” out last September, is the perfect example of an electronic beat-built album. “Guess Again”, with wonky piano notes, is the only track to give a little bit of soul in this cold robotic production.
3- Half-Mauritian, half-English producer, singer and percussionist, Joseph Deenmamode, alias Mo Kolours released his first 18 short tracks album last March on bandcamp, infused with soul, reggae, dub. " Mike Black" is also on Gilles Peterson “Album of the Year” list .
4- Usually, there are no remixes in this blog and since I’m not familiar with Nelly Furtado music, I couldn’t tell, on first listening, that the Caribbean percussions and bouncy track “The Feeling” by London based collective The Citrus Clouds , was a remix of her 2003 song “Força”.The remixers have 4 other tracks on their soundcloud.
5- Speaking about remixers, Portland arranger, André Allen Anjos, working under the name of RAC (stands for "Remix Artist Collective") did a lot of re-tuning, from The Shins, Lana Del Rey, Two Door Cinema Club,….In spring 2014 he delivered his own original music through 2 parts of “Strangers” album full of catchy tracks, starring artists like Bloc Party’s Kele, Tokyo Police Club,… “Repeating Motion” features one of the original members of the RAC collective, Karl Kling.
6- London duo Whilk & Misky is Nima and Charlie. Within the 4 tracks of its debut “First Sip EP” released in October by Island Records, “Clap Your Hands” is the ultimate bangin’ tune, between flamenco like guitar, hand claps like castanets. What you hear is not a trumpet, this human beat box!
7- Jacob Dillan Summers is only a newcomer in 2014 under the moniker of Avid Dancer. The guy has been around for a while now, growing up in a strict catholic family without listening to contemporary music, being in the US Marines, playing in several bands, The Rhone Occupation, Laura Laura. On his 4 tracks debut EP “I Want To See You Dance” out last October, you can hear that he is, as a drummer, always starting with rhythms created on percussion. His music has a fresh retro feeling.
8- Opus Orange is a six piece band from Santa Monica, always flowing pop rock tunes with their sixth EP “Balance” released last February on bandcamp . Stomp your feet to the rhythm of the namesake track “Balance”.
9- Fronted by Rasmus Kellerman, Swedish band Tiger Lou's last LP dates back to 2008 but last October, heavy drum announced his return with a pertinent single, “Homecoming#2”, his catchiest tune to date, feeling like the horizon is bright & wide.
10- One of my favorite voices, Hayden Thorpe, returned last February with his band, “Wild Beasts”, from Kendal, UK. Vocal harmonies and speedy metronomic drum are still the base of “Wanderlust”, the first single taken from their fourth LP “Perfect Tense”.