Caught in the Net: Rap with a little help from his friends

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The Independent Culture

The Brooklyn rapper Theophilus London (below) released a new EP to iTunes this week. The five-track release "Lovers Holiday" is also previewing along with the rapper's own dissection of each song on the Spin website at It cements the up-and-coming artist's twin reputations as a music insider and as a genre-blender with guest vocals and production from the likes of Sara Quin of Tegan and Sara, Glasser, TV on the Radio's Dave Sitek, Dev Hynes and Solange Knowles. The cynic might quibble at the shameless flaunting of indie-hipster credentials (hip-hop for the Pitchfork generation etc...) but there are some nice pop-tones in there and a fine throwback 1980s synth sheen to the whole thing.

Only Kinetic

Last week the elder stateman rapper/producer RZA put a brief message on Twitter (@RZAWU), "Wu-Disciples, check Kinetics kickstarter, show some love. Young brother bringin you new tracks! PEACE!". The link led to a music pledge site for the rapper Kinetic 9 of the Wu-Tang Clan-affiliated group Killarmy. The rapper plans to release a new free download record this month, but before that he is trying to raise money for its production and post-production from fan donations through the Kickstarter website. With only a week to go in his pledge-drive Kinetic 9 was a good $2,000 short of his $3,000 target. Hopefully, the music will still see the light of day.

Surrender to the new beat

Chaz Bundwick, aka the electro-pop outfit Toro y Moi, has a new album out on 22 February. The record, his second, is another wave of hazy electro jams that also showcases his emerging song writing abilities. It's called Underneath the Pine and ahead of its release the whole thing is streaming on Urban Outfitters' blog at On the site, there's also a video for excellent lead single "New Beat". And while you're at it the South Carolina native has also dropped a new mix for Fact magazine at

Cat Power emerges with a new song

Cat Power last released an album in 2008. That covers-filled record, Jukebox, featured only one of Chan Marshall's own compositions It's five years since her classic LP The Greatest. Fans starved of new Cat Power material having been waiting with baited breath for new music from the singer; an album is reportedly due this year. This week a video surfaced from a recent Cat Power gig in San Francisco, with Marshall and her band playing an unknown song – Her label, Matador, have since confirmed it as a new song. The track is a slow-burner with piano and guitar rumbling along with a soft vocal, reminiscent of the quiet tracks on 2003's You Are Free.