Chris Martins

writer

Biography

  • 6Blocc 'Death Wish' Stream Basstruck EP

    6Blocc Combines Juke, Jungle, and Dubstep on 'Death Wish'

    6Blocc is a legend in Los Angeles' electronic music scene. In late '80s, he made rap beats for up-and-coming MCs, but in the early '90s he found his stride as a creator of and ambassador for emerging styles — happy hardcore, jungle, drum'n'bass. He went by the name R.A.W. and his early tapes are the stuff of local legend. Of late, though the man's become best known for throwing in his lot with the SMOG Records crew, initially specializing in dubstep, and now, as you'll hear below, experimenting with footwork. "Death Wish" hails from his June 24 Basstruck EP, and combines moody atmosphere, jittering percussion, menacing vocal samples, and Squarepusher-like edits.

  • Lana Del Rey 'Shades of Cool' Video Ultraviolence

    Watch Lana Del Rey's Bewitching, Surreal 'Shades of Cool' Video

    Lana Del Rey's spectral "Shades of Cool" now has a video to go with. Seen above, the Jake Nava-directed clip follows the movements of a ruggedly handsome older man — through the streets of Los Angeles at night, and eventually  very '70s-styled abode. Initially, our Ultraviolence heroine appears as a hologram or an, ahem, shade that seemingly lives in the fellow's head, but the lines between fantasy and reality mesh further as the nearly six-minute track haunts ever onward. Ultraviolence is out now — revisit the title track, "Brooklyn Baby," and "West Coast." Also, catch LDR on an upcoming Brian Wilson album.

  • Dikembe 'Gets Harder' Mediumship Stream

    Dikembe Seethe Earnestness on Searing 'Gets Harder'

    We most recently heard from Dikembe in the SPIN Singles Mix — the Floridian punks wowed us with a moody sprawler that veered into post-rock territory even as it bumped up against the recent emotings of the excellent Cloud Nothings. That song hailed from the quartet's second album, Mediumship, arriving August via Tiny Engines, and now we've got an aptly titled second taste, "Gets Harder." Heard below, the new song combines strained shouts, grungy guitar, yearning melody, and a sound that creeps and surges in time. (There's a little Pixies in there too, we'd venture to say.) "I never said anything that I didn't mean," quavers Steven Gray, and you believe him without question — this is earnest stuff, and further fuel to the fire of anticipation. In July, Dikembe tour with San Diego's Weatherbox.

  • Hear Jessie Ware's 'Tough Love,' the First Taste of Her New Album

    Hear Jessie Ware's 'Tough Love,' the First Taste of Her New Album

    Though it's only been two years since Jessie Ware's Devotion crossed our desks, it feels like longer — the London singer and songwriter helped usher in a major R&B revival that's been advancing ever since, so it only seems fair that she have a hand in shaping it further. Below you can hear "Tough Love," the first song from her next album, which is being produced entirely by BenZel (remember their cover of Brownstone's "If You Love Me"?). It's a pleasantly unflashy track that finds Ware unspooling falsetto'ed excellence over a warm, soft-focus cut that wouldn't sound lost on a Blood Orange album. For more of what she's been up to of (sort) late, we heard "True Believers" late last year, and Julio Bashmore's "Peppermint" before that.

  • Ella Eyre If I Go Remix Cadenza Stream

    Ella Eyre's 'If I Go (Cadenza Remix)' Blends Pop, Soul, Trap

    The last time we heard from Ella Eyre, the Rudimental singer was holding forth over Oflynn's purple-dipped post-dubstep remix of her breakout solo track "Deeper." On July 13, however, she'll release her first official single, "If I Go," and we've got a trap-kissed revision of that soul-pop gem below courtesy of Mad Decent affiliate Cadenza. The London producer stays out of the way of those immense vocals, supporting with a wild array of percussive hits, eerie builds, and atmospheric wash. In the end, we get something akin to Timbaland and Mark Ronson crafting a track for the Wedidit gang, with a lion of a vocalist doing her thing on top.

  • Incan Abraham 'All You Want' Video Tolerance

    Incan Abraham Depict High-Flying Heartache in 'All You Want' Video

    Incan Abraham know a thing or two about magnetism. The four Los Angeles natives therein first met in kindergarten. And when adulthood (or, more accurately, college) pulled them apart across the length of the continent, something kinda wonderful happened. They decided they'd reunite for a quick stay in a home in upstate New York, and wound up staying for a month, writing much of the music that would make up their debut album, Tolerance, out now on White Iris.Their song "All You Want" deals with a different kind of magnetism — the romantic sort, naturally — and the just-released video brings that theme to new dramatic and dangerous (and literal) heights. The Noah Kistler-directed short introduces us to two young lovers from a different era: the pilot of a single-engine airplane and his patient but distressed darling.

  • Ryan Hemsworth Tinashe 'One For Me' Video

    Ryan Hemsworth and Tinashe Make the 'Most Boring Video Possible' and It's Beautiful

    Ryan Hemsworth isn't your typical DJ. He's the type to play an edit of a Kanye West rant to a rave-happy beach crowd in the Bahamas, to redub himself "Shy Diplo" on Twitter and half-seriously request of his followers, "pls send pics of your dog/s to fill my empty soul up with." But in a way, the Canadian producer is merely projecting the reality felt by many artists whose line of work often puts them at odds with their own crowds (hi Deadmau5), and whose purportedly glamorous life frequently feels like a long string of quiet moments — transit, email, eating, waiting, sleeping — the mundanity of which is magnified by the one that everyone gets to see: the show.The point of all this musing? Hemsworth released a wonderful album last year, Guilt Trips, and we're happy to premiere a late-breaking music video therefrom, for "One for Me" featuring Los Angeles R&B singer Tinashe.

  • Oscillator Bug 'Feel Rif' Stream Bursts of the Million

    Oscillator Bug's 'Feel Rif' Is Gleeful Synth-Pop Lunacy

    Oscillator Bug's strange sound exists at the previously unforeseen axis of Dan Deacon's maximal brainiac pop and Gary Numan's arty synthetic dream — at least, that'd be a fair enough description of the song you'll hear below, "Feel Riff." Other parts of the Chicago musician's September 9 album, Bursts of the Million, may well invoke Devo, Suicide, Of Montreal, and even (in that analog synthesizer goop) Black Moth Super Rainbow. The man born Zaid Maxwell has done time in a handful of bands (Shapers with Hood Internet's Steve Reidell, for one) but one could argue all that's been in service of honing his approach to so much creepy/gleeful lo-fi weirding. Take a listen here, and spend some time staring at the cover of Bursts of the Million, arriving via Dymaxion Groove, while you're at it.Track list below, too.Bursts of the Million track list:1. "Enavasion"2.

  • Allah-Las, '501-415,' Stream Worship the Sun

    Hear Allah-Las Sling Vintage California Cool on '501-415'

    Allah-Las are about as California as they come — an aural cocktail of surf-rock slack, garage-psych heat, and Beat Generation cool that goes down as easy as a Harvey Wallbanger sipped within view of the Pacific sunset. This also makes them a perfect fit for the Innovative Leisure label, which specializes in high-quality Los Angeles (etc.) noise-makers like the fellows you see above, and hear below. As the story goes, the band's members first met while working at their city's iconic record shop, Amoeba Music, but soon migrated to a nearby basement. On September 16, they'll release their second album, Worship the Sun, and you can now hear the first taste of it below.

  • Afrolicious California Dreaming Remixed Album Stream Scientist

    Stream Afrolicious' Dubby, Funked-Up 'California Dreaming Remixed' Album

    When you consider the roots of Afrolicious, an album-length remix project makes perfect sense. The San Francisco-based collective began simply as a DJ night thrown by two brothers — Joe and Oz McGuire, a.k.a. Pleasuremaker and Señor Oz. But as their event gained popularity, it attracted other producers and players interested in exploring the intersections of live Afro-Latin music and contemporary electronic styles. Afrolicious soon became a dozen-strong band, their growth mimicking the diaspora of the very same culture they're celebrating.

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