Sak Tzevul could be also be called rebel rock. As I type this, the term sounds cliche to me. But maybe it’s only cliche from a particularly regulated US perspective that tends to want to discredit any creativity that truly subverts the clutches of the culture industry–that which tells us what to consume, how to consume it, and that creativity falling outside of these stringent guidelines should be ignored or ridiculed.
What makes the band so intersting–ya know, aside from its fascinating fusion of indigenous and electronic instruments and dynamic song-writing–is its directness in challenging cultural norms that attempt to regulate indigenous culture.
In an interview with a New Jersey Blogger, Hola Desde NJ, “Damian Guadalupe Martinez, lead singer for SAK TZEVUL, said young musicians would rather imitate the new sounds than enunciate the Mixtec language before an audience or a public microphone for fear of being ridiculed. “’Most music played in my town, and others like it in Mexico, is imposed. Our indigenous music has been relegated to behind the scenes to be forgotten and not promoted,”’ he said.”
This four-piece rock group from Mexico proper reminds me of things I’ve never heard. It’s familiar, yet not. They’ve got a catchy shoegaze charisma with upbeat songs and swooning vocals that swim in just the amount of reverb, but they’ve got enough of their own style to avoid sounding trite. That said, their first release sounds like it could be from the 90s, and that’s not a dis. Check out this video, and download their EP for free (all you gotta do is tweet about first).
I’m going to Mexico in July to talk with some producers and music collectives about a project I’m working on (among other reasons), and I’ve stumbled upon a wealth of amazing acoustic-based groups in the process of preparing myself to go. Ampersan & is one of them. I’ll be posting a review of their latest release in the coming days, but check out this video in the meantime.
Richmond, VA–I realized recently that for the past several weeks I’ve been in cahoots with the emcee from the Richmond-based band, Double Rainbow–whose album I reviewed over the summer before ever stepping foot in this city–as we have both been heavily involved with Occupy Richmond. It’s strange how life brings people together. It’s strange how the Occupy moment has pulled every aspect of my being (academic, creative, social, spiritual, etc.) into chaotic synchronization, dissonant harmony, or some other thing that doesn’t make any sense but makes perfect sense. The Occupy Richmond Education working group held a free expression forum on Saturday, which was really just an excuse to get to know one another on a more personal level, to play each other music, and to read each other poetry. Here’s my friend Isaac from Double Rainbow performing “Stop Lying to Us”:
Congratulations to the homies at MPLS.TV for their new Pitchfork-premieredCity of Music with Toro Y Moi! These kids are goin’ places! Be sure to watch out for the upcoming releases in the series. I don’t think you’re ready for them. Watch the video for Toro Y Moi’s Light BlackHERE
Tycho, the Bay-area electronic musician/designer, is back with his highly anticipated new LP Dive. The album has been getting love all over the place and can be picked up HERE. If you’re a music/design/photo junkie you should also check out his blog ISO50. Listen to the just released radio version of his title track Dive.
It’s been a long road for WALE to reach the mainstream expectations his initial hype built for him. His new album, Ambition, has him breaking through in the way he was supposed to with his rookie release. Even though he has switched up his subject matter a bit, you still have to respect the grind. And that’s why it’s no surprise that one of the stand-out tracks on the album is Slight Work featuring Big Sean (who is in MPLS on 11/14) and was produced by Diplo. Listen below:
Mates of State is, far and away, one of my favorite bands. They would be a guilty pleasure if the music wasn’t arranged so beautifully. It’s just sweet, touching pop music at its core. Hard to not get on board with that. They will be coming through Minneapolis 11/18, so be sure to check that out at the Fine Line Music Cafe. Watch their new video for their song Sway
Outasight is another Benzi cohort and a choice for Pepsi’s New Icons contest, which I guess would make him the “choice of a new generation?” His first single Tonight is the Night has the appeal to make the mainstream jump, but honestly has its own steez. Download his Mixtape with DJ Benzi HERE Check out Tonight is the Night below: Outasight – Tonight Is The Night by iamoutasight
Beacon, a Brooklyn duo whose nostalgia-laden, ambient pop themes tug in a way I haven’t felt since Gayngs. I hope they’re ready for the James Blake comparisons, but if they keep this up, there will be plenty of room for both of them.
No Body is available digitally on Nov. 15 HERE. Listen to standout track See Through You