At the recent Red Bull Music Academy event of workshops, performances and talks in Madrid, the rapper MF Doom was in attendance. The mysterious rapper is fond of hiding behind elusive personas and doesn't do a whole lot of press.
So it was a treat when he sat down for an interview – it was billed as a lecture, but was more of a conversation – in front of an audience and, helpfully for us, a camera. In the lengthy chat, conducted behind his trademark metal mask, he talks about his extensive back catalogue, those personas, occasional controversies and his life.
It's at vimeo.com/31521253. On redbullmusicacademy.com/academy there is more from the event, including conversations with the likes of Erykah Badu, Tropicalia pioneer Tom Zé and producer/DJ Andrew Weatherall.
Delicate flavours from the Big Apple
High Highs come to London on 24 November for their first ever UK show. The New York-based trio arrive on the back of their self-titled debut EP – now streaming on Soundcloud at ind.pn/swj1rA. Its four tracks are beautiful sketches of understated indie-pop; the key is restraint, with the vocals and instrumentation – guitars, occasional synths, drums – all kept low in the mix, creating a lovely whirl of subtle melancholia.
Another fine batch of Session musicians
Over the last few years the 4AD label has been impressing with its Sessions series (4ad.com/sessions), featuring nicely shot videos of bands from its roster performing live takes on tracks from their recent albums. In the latest, Annie Clark and friends – trading under the name St Vincent – showcased four songs from her new album, Strange Mercy, with Clark showing off impressive guitar-shredding skills. In the background is a video projection of Clark; the makers claim this contrast of live performance and video projection is inspired by footage of Shirley Bassey singing on Italian TV in 1968. See it at 4ad.com/sessions/010.
Leaked tracks? He couldn't care less
In an interview published by Billboard this week, Canadian hip-hop star Drake claims he looks forward to leaks of his music. And so it is without guilt that I mention some unofficial Drake leaks (though Billboard hint that Drake's team might be behind said leaks) which have emerged ahead of his second album, Take Care, released next week. The title track, featuring Rihanna, emerged online and was promptly removed, but two more new tracks are circulating. "Crew Love", featuring rising indie group The Weeknd, can be found at ind.pn/sxk6j6; another, "Lord Knows", featuring Rick Ross, is streaming at ind.pn/suueDu.