Who: The musical histories of the cities he's called home - San Francisco, New Orleans, and now Brooklyn - play a big role in Jim-E Stack's production. After first getting noticed through his Mirage collaboration with R&B and bass enthusiasts NguzuNguzu, the young producer began to elegantly weave complicated, regional influences into something that could easily play out as another experimental club track. But pay closer attention and you'll find subtle strings of bounce, the kind of buried, purring bass that pushes through old-school UK dubstep, and the more accessible elements of modern, synth-imbibed hip-hop production that made his remix of A$AP Rocky's "Purple Swag" so compelling. With his forthcoming Tell Me I Belong full-length set to be released later this month, Stack is bound to benefit from R&B and rap's current want for innovative, electronically-minded producers. PUJA PATELSounds Like: NguzuNguzu, ShlohmoWhere To Start: "Purple Swag," which magically combines a sauntering chopped-and-screwed mentality with flourishes of running, club-influenced snares.
Who: Los Angeles quartet Misun (pronounced 'me-sun') unearths slick handclap-laden pop for the dismal lyrics lover. The band's want to groove while singing catchy hooks (ie. "Something inside of me is tormenting me / And I wish that I, wish that I could sleep") is part of what makes up their deliciously unavoidable tonic. After working together in a restaurant back in their hometown of Washington D.C., vocalist Misun Wojcik, bassist William Devon, guitarist/producer Nacey, and drummer Jon Jester formed Misun and released their debut EP The Sea in the summer of 2012. They've chosen to label their lustrous, upbeat sound with a self-inspired genre called "aquawave," which translates to a mix of 1960's rock influences, righteous guitar riffs, hints of doo-wop, and the type of Brazilian flavor that can be found on their recently released single, "Travel With Me." Though it's Wojcik's deep and sultry contralto that ultimately sets it all off. JESSICA HERNDONSounds like: The Chiffons meets Dirty Beaches, Little Dragon, GoldroomWhere to Start: Their moody 1990's dance revival "Sleep," on which Wojcik muses about dreams, reality and desire.[videoembed size="full_width" alignment="center"][/videoembed]
Who: Olympia, Washington isn't all about grunge and K Records; there's also the green paradise that's bred the scuzzy Naomi Punk. The punk-laced trio doesn't strum guitars but rather mauls them, creating bruised anthems that effortlessly growl and sneer. Together, the band – whose members have also performed in local standout groups including Masters & Johnson, U and Seahouse – stunned audiences as openers for Mac DeMarco while touring for their gritty first record The Feeling. With the band's forthcoming Television Man release, due out on Captured Tracks in August, the band's sound has shifted towards focusing on sharper instrumentals and taut songwriting. But, thankfully, the guys don't skimp on any of masterful thrashes they've perfected along the way. PAULA MEJIASounds Like: Nu Sensae, Destruction Unit, Ex-CultWhere to Start: "Burned Body," a seether with salty surf riffs at the edges.[videoembed size="full_width" alignment="center"][/videoembed]
Who: Puto Márcio, DJ b.bOy, DJ Ly-coOx, and DJ Télio, a quartet of Lisbon producers collectively known as Tia Maria Produções. They're part of the wider Príncipe Discos family, and their rippling, elastic beats bear comparison to those of labelmates like DJ Marfox, DJ Nigga Fox, Blacksea Não Maya, and Piquenos DJs Do Guetto, fusing Portuguese/Angolan styles like batida and tarraxo with Afro-house and styles as-yet unnamed. Just as their working method blurs the lines between collective and individual effort — their debut EP, Tá Tipo Já Não Vamos Morrer, features a mixture of solo and duo cuts, but it's presented as a unified effort rather than a compilation — their very existence complicates any oversimplified portrait of the Lisbon scene. When they came together in 2012, Márcio, then 18 years old, was living in Loures, north of Lisbon, and the rest of them, between 15 and 17 at the time, lived on the other side of the city, south of the river Tagus. These days, Puto Márcio lives in Rennes and Lycox in Paris. As the diaspora spreads outward, is it any wonder their beats resemble the tensile strands of a dew-dropped spider web on a muggy day?Sounds Like: DJ Marfox, DJ Nigga Fox, Blacksea Não Maya, Piquenos DJs Do GuettoWhere to Start: Their debut EP, Tá Tipo Já Não Vamos Morrer.
Who: Three real dark English dudes whose inherent heaviness is offset by bewytching catchiness and bursts of roiling surf-rock. Wytches are both heavy and scrappy — death-obsessed angst-addlers whose shouty and tousled sound has us dancing on the unmarked grave of Ozzy's beheaded bats. What's more, head weirdo Kristian Bell has a way with words, snarling streaming poetry that ranges from spooky tales of nights out that end in the cemetery, to self-deprecating stories involving lovers and embarrassing things that happen on beds. Long hair does care, and we're better for it. CHRIS MARTINSSounds Like: Black Sabbath, Dick Dale, Jack WhiteWhere to Start: "Wire Frame Mattress" combines all three of the aforementioned names in perfectly shredded harmony and was our first taste of the band's August 25 debut LP Annabel Dream Reader, arriving via Partisan.