Chris Martins

writer

Biography

  • Monster Rally 'Orchids' Video Return to Paradise

    Monster Rally's Beatwise Exotica Inspires Dance in 'Orchids' Video

    If Martin Denny and Madlib had a fully grown musical lovechild, that harmonious little stitch-job would no doubt sound like Monster Rally. Cleveland-via-Los Angeles producer Ted Feighan makes blossoming instrumental hip-hop that owes just as much to the annals of exotica and Tropicália. To wit: a song like "Orchids," the opening track from his recently released Return to Paradise. The lush ditty rolls in on a flurry of guitar notes and static pops before hand-hit drums give way to finger-punched sampler pads. Monster Rally's technique can be witnessed in the clip above, as his workman-like approach to crafting such beautiful beats turns a mundane office space into a place of strange magic.Interested in more? Stream Return to Paradise, out now on Gold Robot, right here:

  • Oh My Goodness Alias Remix Not Lying Stream OMG

    Oh My Goodness and Alias Craft Purple Soul on 'Not Lying' Remix

    Oh My Goodness are a duo out of New York who combine TV on the Radio-style future-funk with the kind of frenetic, detail-oriented production that tUnE-yArDs have staked their rep on. Vocalist Therese Workman and co-producer Tyler Wood met while cleaning bathrooms at Harvard but they both originally hail from Maine — the home of Anticon Records founding father Alias, who lends his left-field touch here to a remix of "Not Lying."The wavy revision hews its own purple path, but retains the bewitching charm of the original, from the now-out Oh My Goodness EP. Therein, we hear Workman's soulful voice, letting us know, "I left my handbag in a dangerous place" (also, on occasion, her Camry).

  • Kurt Cobain Fender Mustang Guitars Video Nirvana

    See the Insides of Kurt Cobain's 'In Utero'-Era Guitars

    In the all-too-brief video above, Fender gives Nirvana fans a chance to get an incredibly intimate look at two of Kurt Cobain's Mustang model guitars. A few years ago, the decades-old instrument-maker sent one of their master builders in for a "supervised" visit so that he could "lightly dismantle" the axes — lovingly dubbed "Blue-Mustank" and "Oranj-Stang" — in order to re-create their nuances for a customized commercial model. On their website, Fender writes, "On the In Utero tour that followed the album, Kurt favored a quiver of modified Fender Mustang guitars as main instruments for his sonic attack. A few years ago, Fender took on the challenge of authentically replicating the specifications of these historic instruments for the Kurt Cobain Signature Mustang guitars.

  • Rilo Kiley 'Emotional' Video RKives

    Watch Rilo Kiley's 'Emotional' New Video Full of Old Footage

    Rilo Kiley called it quits in 2011 after 13 years as a band, but this year delivered RKives, a set of B-sides and outtakes so strong it could function as a primer. With no reunion in the offing, Jenny Lewis and co. are doing their best to make do with what they've got. In March they offered up the video for "Let Me Back In," chock full of their own RKival tour footage. Now we've got a clip for "Emotional" made up of found footage of folks in the '50s and '60s feeling things strongly. The track itself is a roller-coaster of vibes, contrasting intensely pretty sing-songin' with pretty intense Saddle Creek-y shredding. It's no Too $hort collabo, but really, what is?

  • Rap Genius Lyrics Licensing Deal Sony Illegal

    Rap Genius Pays Sony for Lyrics in Bid for Legitimacy

    Earlier this week, popular song lyrics hub Rap Genius was named the number one offender on a list of 50 sites publishing artists' words without the proper licenses. Each was supposedly hit with a take-down notice courtesy of the National Music Publishers Association, who alleged "blatantly illegal behavior." Now Rap Genius has begun the expensive process of doing it all legal, securing a licensing agreement with Sony/ATV Music Publishing, who have 31 percent of the global song rights share.As noted in our first report, Rap Genius co-founder Ilan Zechory seemed confident, if not cocky, when the news broke, saying "We can't wait to have a conversation with them" and emphasizing that his site, which received a $15 million investment last year, is all about context thanks to the active user community who annotate the lyrics.

  • Trinidad James L.I.A.A.R.$. Stream New York Dis

    Trinidad James Says South Runs New York, Unleashes 'L.I.A.A.R.$.'

    Kendrick Lamar stirred things up a bit when he declared himself the new King of New York. Of course, the beloved Compton MC did so while rapping cricles around his competitors, in the middle of a song that was clearly designed to provoke thought and conversation. But Atlanta's Trinidad James may have ruffled feathers on a Chad-Smith-in-Brazil level when he declared that the American South "runs" New York City to a crowd of New Yorkers, at a New York show on Wednesday night.As VIBE notes, James praised East Coast rap of yore, and then dropped the offending comment: "We were in Atlanta like, 'Oh my God, I have to wear my bandana on tilt like Juelz.' What the fuck happened, dog? Us in the South, us 'bammas, we just did our own thing. But now we run y'all, musically. That's crazy.

  • Ka 'You Know It's About' Video The Night's Gambit

    Ka, Rapping Firefighter, Waxes Streetwise in 'You Know It's About' Video

    Ka may have released the best rap album of 2013 with The Night's Gambit, a minimal masterwork of whispered knowledge and abstracted boom-bap written, produced, and performed by the man himself. The Brooklyn firefighter/artist directs his own music videos as well and they dwell in a similar space. Previously released clips for "Peace Akhi" and "Jungle" are black-and-white, set in Ka's New York, and free of any frills whatsoever. Now the album opener "You Know It's About" gets a visual, via Nah Right, that shows our host looking as contemplative and hardened as he sounds, rapping quietly behind fences and bars, with a few of his lyrics finding literal footing in between. "They hear my voice," he hisses. "They know it's about / That pain, that gutter."

  • Starkey 'Stroll' SMOG City 2 Stream Tour

    Hear Starkey's 'Stroll' Through Dubstep, Glitch, Trap, and Rave

    Los Angeles bass factory SMOG Records may be deeply associated with the city that its founder 12th Planet calls home, but those early adopters of dubstep have found kin all over, especially as the style is absorbed into the ever-shifting image of electronic music in 2013. Philadelphia producer Starkey is a great example of how far the movement has come: On a song like "Stroll," incessant 808 pounding collides with glitched sequences, trap slaps, rave synth, and soothing trance, resulting in a Frankenstein-like club crusher.That song can be found below right now, and come November 19, it'll hit iTunes as part of the SMOG City 2 compilation. (Sample Atlantic Connection's "Mirrors" on VIBE and Pawn's "Hot Skull" over at XLR8R.) At the end of the month, the SMOG City Series Tour kicks off featuring 12th Planet, Flinch, SPL, and Two Fresh, plus a few other friends.

  • Howard Evans 'Red Face Boy' Matthew E. White Dub

    Matthew E. White Dubs Howard Ivans' 'Red Face Boy' to High Heaven

    The art of dub is no joke, but with Lee "Scratch" Perry busy exploring musical life on other planets, we're confident Matthew E. White can do the form justice. The man's own Big Inner LP debut was a lavishly psyched-out slab of visceral choral soul and jazz sound-think, a gauntlet thwomp laid down not just for the artist, but for his Richmond, Virginia-based label/collective, Spacebomb.Next up from that family: Howard Ivans, Rosebuds main man and Gayngs member, whose magnificent art-funk offering "Red Face Boy" appeard on this website last month.

  • Ratking Eric Copeland Gauchos Black Dice Stream

    Ratking and Black Dice's Eric Copeland Are Left-Field Rap 'Gauchos'

    Ratking wield the sort of left-field rhymes that put crews like Antipop Consortium and Def Jux on the map in the early aughts — oblique with a city-hardened edge, best served up on a bed of glitch-addled beatwork that acknowledges rap's past while utterly ignoring the rules. That makes Black Dice member and solo DFA-signed producer Eric Copeland uniquely qualified to throw this Harlem crew a backing track, and he does on "Gauchos," a new track hailing from the forthcoming CONS EP VOL. 1. That branded collection will amass original songs recorded by various artists at the Converse Rubber Tracks studio in Brooklyn. Ratking and Copeland's wonkily grooving collaboration is free to stream and download below.

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