Death Grips, "Fashion Week" (free download). Getting a bead on San Francisco experimental rap team Death Grips is becoming increasingly difficult — which is saying something. The group, whose work since 2010 has resided at the intersection of hip hop, noise, punk and synthetic dance music, announced a breakup last year but followed that with a new record. Then they announced the arrival of another, "The Powers That B," to come in February. Last week they dropped "Fashion Week (instrumentals)," a dozen new experimental electronic and/or rock tracks that illustrate why Death Grips fans are so devoted. Quite the impressive afterlife.
Called an "instrumental full length soundtrack," "Fashion Week" moves with the frenetic waves of a film score, as if maneuvering along with unseen action. Though more aggressive and out there, the work is similar in vibe to
N.E.R.D., "Squeeze Me." Last year at
"Squeeze Me" is the first new song for the group since 2010 and is one of a number to come on a forthcoming soundtrack to the animated feature "The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water." As such, "Squeeze Me" is sopping wet, drenched with both catchy beat and melody. Like the team's work as the Neptunes, the track is heavy on tribal tom-tom beats, the kind with a propellent momentum that drives party songs. It's not as aggressively weird as the early N.E.R.D. stuff, but that's relative given how prescient N.E.R.D.'s sound was. It's like the world caught up with them.
Cairo Liberation Front, "Bring the
On the just issued "Bring the Noise" mixtape series, the Cairo Liberation Front has dropped five samplings, each a springboard into a different aspect of the sound. They're about a half-hour each and reveal sonic globalism writ large. To paraphrase pop star Meghan Trainor, this globalism is all about the bass (and blaring air horns).
Based in the Netherlands, the CLF celebrates the Cairo sound of today, one that has morphed from the general chaabi style used in various regions during wedding celebrations and into its current, synthetic party-heavy amalgam. Throughout the five mixes, each issued on a different music blog (and gathered on the group's Facebook page), wildly manipulated voices and heavily echoed beats revel in tones that treat heartbeat rhythm and thumping electronic circuitry with equal affection.