Caught in the Net: The trouble with Monae
Friday 13 August 2010
Janelle Monae has received admiring glances from all sides for her boho-futurist sound, style and general outlook. "Tightrope", the opening single from her acclaimed LP The ArchAndroid, has made a strong bid for the year's best song.
Last week she got further plaudits for the video for her new single, "Cold War". The song is rather good (though it's no "Tightrope") and the video is pretty nice: shot in a single take with Monae's face on a dark background, it's essentially an update on Sinead O'Connor's "Nothing Compares 2 U" video (including the tear), but with more BPM and higher definition. Watch it at jmonae. com. So far so good, but then she had go and to spoil it all with a bout of overly earnest emoting about the video and its effect on her fans on Twitter (@janellemonae). It was like some horrible combination of a Kate Winslet Oscar acceptance and The Oprah Winfrey Show. I fear we will never be able to consider Janelle in the same way again.
Squelchy bass from Squarepusher
Later this month the UK electronica artist Squarepusher will team up with the French label Ed Banger to release a new EP. Called "Cryptic Motion", the two-track release is billed as "Squarepusher presents Shobaleader One". I'm not entirely sure what that's all about, but regardless, the first track is a squelchy, bass-driven dash of electro-funk, while the second tune is a more frenetic remix by Mr Oizo. Both take a little getting used to, but there are some nice sounds in there. They are streaming on Soundcloud at ind.pn/bOcCwR.
Concentrate on a free download
Sticking to a squelchy bass-driven electro-funk theme, at the start of the week Dam-Funk marked the end of his European tour by putting a link on Twitter (@damfunk) to a new free download. The track, "Concentration", is a previously unreleased, seven-minute long demo. Get it at ind.pn/d4r1Ex. It's a minimalist electro-funk jam, full of repetitive beats and smooth, barely-there synths. The sort of music that should soundtrack a nocturnal drive through a seedy stretch of Dam-Funk's native LA streets.
The Portland resident Liz Harris is the face behind Grouper. She makes music of quiet beauty that jumps between spare acoustic tracks and washes of ambient sounds, all shot through with her hushed vocal tones. Her latest effort is "Hold/Sick", a limited edition 7" vinyl and download release through Room 40. It's available from 6 October at room40.org. The first song "Hold" is streaming there already. On it, with vocals low-down in the mix, she coos softly over waves of gorgeous yet stark synths and electronic noises.
Oscars 2015 Mexican filmmaker uses speech to urge 'respect' for immigrants
Oscars 2015 Bringing you all the news from the 87th Academy Awards
TV ReviewThe intrigue deepens as we delve further but don't expect any answers just yet
Razzies 2015 Golden Raspberry Awards 'honours' Cameron Diaz and Kirk Cameron
Film Hollywood's new leading lady talks about her Ramsay Street days
Oscar voter speaks outfilm
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Forget 'The Dress': Here are five of the biggest news stories you might have missed
- 2 The black and blue dress: Makers considering a white and gold version
- 3 Prince Harry leaving the armed forced to pursue conservation projects in Africa
- 4 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 5 The remarkable archaeological underwater discovery that could open up a new chapter in the study of European and British prehistory
Seinfeld is laughing all the way to the bank: TV show generates $3.1bn in repeat fees since final episode
Eddie Redmayne in The Danish Girl: First look at Oscar winner as transgender artist
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
Justin Kelly interview: On James Franco playing a gay man who renounces his homosexuality
Fearne Cotton quits Radio 1 after ten years for 'family and new adventures'
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
Half of Ukip voters say they are prejudiced against people of other races
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Aqsa Mahmood branded a 'disgrace' by her parents after claims she recruited three UK girls flying to Middle East