Remembering Beatles producer George Martin, an algorithm for music videos, Cassius gets Cat Power on a dance track and more in this week's music
Cassius feat. Cat Power + Mike D: ACTION
Cassius' 2010 EP The Rawkers was a goldmine: every one of those six tracks—from "I Love U So" to "Arcadine" and "Shark Simple"—showed off a different aspect of Philippe Zdar and Boom Bass' personality and musical style, striking the hearts of dance music bloggers with the golden French touch. Zdar has since kept busy behind the scenes—producing, mixing and/or engineering for Phoenix (Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix), the Rapture, Chromeo, MC Solaar and Kindness. He also mixed the Beastie Boys' final studio album and Cat Powers' Sun, and thus explains how, years later, Cassius got Mike D and Cat Power to sing on the new groove "Action" that overturns the listener into a swaying trance.
The Internet: Special Affair/Curse
The Internet (aka Odd Future affiliates Syd the Kyd, Matt Martians and friends) has just released a three-part video for "Special Affair/Curse," from the outfit's third record Ego Death—which was released last year, but has a seemingly never-ending shelf-life. Beginning with a sexy, slo-mo, black and white dance party, the video morphs into a performance and then a cameo from Tyler, The Creator—all the while maintaining The Internet's undeniable effortlessness.
Bibio feat. Gotye: The Way You Talk
Marking Bibio's first collaboration release, "The Way You Talk" is an unusual kind of heart-wrenching pop ballad from the traditionally instrumental-focused electronic music producer. Gotye smoothly sings, "But there's something about the way you talk" into a haze of echoes (the two first met when Gotye requested that Bibio remix "Somebody That I Used To Know") as Bibio layers a modified Hohner D6 Clavinet, Moog synth and "Twin Peaks-esque baritone guitar" to create a beautiful counterpoint to the vocals. The track almost ends too soon, akin to the remnants of a fading memory. It will be on A Mineral Love, Bibio's eighth album out 1 April 2016 on Warp Records; he's described its nature as "traveling through time."
Emmy The Great: Algorithm
Chinese-English singer-songwriter Emma-Lee Moss, aka Emmy the Great, collaborated with London-based artist Daniel Swan (who's done music videos for Django Django and PC Music's Life Sim between his own avant-garde work) for her track "Algorithm." In the vein of calculations that lead us where to eat, who to date and what to buy, the duo wanted to use an algorithm to write a music video. Enlisting the help of programmer and artist Nicolas Seymour-Smith, they compiled synopses of classic and modern music videos, fed it into a machine, and taught it how to generate plots based on its knowledge. The resulting video for "Algorithm" mashes up some familiar YouTube videos and text like "The girl and the singer Justin Bieber are depicted as enamored with their boots." Generate your own music video treatment at Emmy the Great's website, where a smaller version of the machine awaits; simply type in a name to get started. Her album Second Love releases this week, 11 March, on Bella Union.
The Beatles: Eleanor Rigby
Visionary producer, arranger, composer, conductor, audio engineer and musician Sir George Martin passed away peacefully in his sleep at the age of 90. He'll be lovingly remembered for seeing the potential in The Beatles, giving them their first recording contract, and going on to produce every single one of their albums, save for Let It Be (produced by Phil Spector). A beautiful example of Martin's desire to experiment can be heard in his arrangement for "Eleanor Rigby" (the visuals of this video are from the 1984 flop "Give My Regards to Broad Street"), for which surprisingly no band member played an instrument. Lifting McCartney, Lennon and Harrison's voices are two string quartets, to form a piercing meditation on solitude unlike any rock'n'roll or classical song before it.