Caught in the Net: New magic to follow the Voodoo


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The Independent Culture

Each new year seems to begin with a vague suggestion/vain hope that D'Angelo will finally follow-up his 2000 masterpiece album Voodoo.

The latest smoke signals have come in several forms: the neo-soul singer has signed up for a brief European tour – with a date in London – in a few weeks' time; last month, the Roots drummer Questlove – a friend and collaborator – said that the new record was "97 per cent finished"; and this week a fresh hint arrived in the shape of new music. Well, not exactly new, but it was something: a demo emerged of D'Angelo covering Soundgarden's 1994 grunge hit "Black Hole Sun" in his own inimitable way – trippy, psychedelic soul, strange vocals. Hear it at Some doubt was thrown on its authenticity with Questlove weighing in on Twitter to say it was indeed a D'Angelo demo from about eight years ago and most certainly not on the new album. A few steps forward and a few steps back then.

Rocky gets a track out asap

Harlem rapper A$AP Rocky has been hailed as one of several names to look out for this year and has kicked things off by dropping a new track on his Tumblr, "Some new wave to start the year off right," he wrote before adding confidently: "Call us on a yacht 10 years from now we'll still be on top." The track, "Pretty Flacko", is a fine slow-burning affair with confrontational spitting from the rapper and a hazy, dubstep-infused production from spaceghostpurrp.

Tsunami aid is a work in progress

We are the Works in Progress is a benefit album in aid of the relief fund for last year's earthquake and tsunami in Japan. The 14-track record was organised by the dream-pop band Blonde Redhead, whose singer and guitarist Kazu Makino is from the country. It's released digitally next week with a physical LP following in February. Last week there was an early taste of it in the form of a song by Karin Dreijer Andersson, the Swedish electronic artist/singer best known for her work with The Knife and Fever Ray. Called "No Face", the minimal track, comprised of vocal cooing over sparse sounds, is streaming at

Baby tears mean trouble

Cassie Ramone of Vivian Girls, Kevin Morby of Woods and a few others have an extra curricular project called The Babies. They're putting out a release next week called Cry Along with The Babies through the New Images label, which is streaming lead-off single "Trouble" on the Soundcloud page – sxPxc3. It's a gorgeous, lo-fi affair with scratchy, barely-there guitars and faint to-and-fro vocals from Ramone and Morby.