While known for blurring the lines between music, performance, video and sculpture, on her new album, Homeland, Laurie Anderson homes in on the music and lyrics.
The standout track is the satirical electro-pop tinged "Only An Expert". On Indaba-music a competition to remix the track has been running; hear some of these efforts at ind.pn/ azYyA0. For the new record, released on 28 June, Anderson unveils a male alter-ego, called Fenway Bergamont performing "audio-drag" – a vocal distortion and one of her signature performance tricks. On the Nonesuch website are two videos of Fenway in action – ind.pn/aIwCZY. The album, with guest performances from Lou Reed, Kieran Hebdan and Antony Hegarty, is streaming until 22 June on NPR at ind.pn/ 9Pu9ZU.
Prince rakes over the summer embers
Prince turned 52 this week. If he was living in Greece he probably could have retired by now, but instead he marked the occasion by dropping a new song on a radio station in his native Minneapolis. Called "Hot Summer", it's a fairly throw-away funk jam – though as it wore on, the track grew on me slightly. Only slightly. It feels as if this song may have been written while in a cheesy mood during Prince's 80s pomp and then, perhaps rightly, tossed to one side; only for it to be retrieved and given a polish now. It can be found at ind.pn/bbFKuZ.
Electronica and hip-hop, can't beat it
Proximal Records is a label set up by two native LA producers, seeking to bring attention to the area's thriving "beat scene", fusing electronica and hip-hop. Last year they put out two mixtapes at proximalrecords. com. They're planning a new compilation LP, grandly titled, Proximity One: Narrative Of A City, but before that there's another sampler of their efforts with a free mixtape featuring numerous artists working with the label at ind.pn/aumg8I.
Kanye, Jay Z and Big Boi get busy
It's been a busy few weeks for some of hip-hop's big-shots: first, at the end of May, a new song from Kanye West leaked. Called "Power", it finds him in aggressive mood and is thought to be the first output from his forthcoming new album. Hear it on Nah Right at ind.pn/dgR5Fb. Next, also on Nah Right, came a new song by Jay Z. The track, "Ultra" features Swizz Beatz and is streaming at ind.pn/ bMKU3M. Finally, following his glorious "Shutterbug" video, another song has emerged from Big Boi's eagerly awaited solo album. He goes big on the latest effort with much fanfare, strings, chants and a strange reference to David Blaine. The song can be heard at ind.pn/drZdRE.