Archive for the 'Music we like' Category

Stein Ingebrigtsen – En Kveld I Februar

Also available in Swedish?

b0ka HQ provides for you! A record we’ve been laughing, crying and singing to for decades. The Norwegian 1973 masterpiece “Bare Stein”, made by the father of the boyband vocalist Christian Ingebrigtsen (A1), Norwegian singer-songwriter Stein Ingebrigtsen. The album is comprised of some amazing covers of beloved (mostly American) songs sung in Norwegian. The track we’ve chosen to share this time is one of many romantic tunes from the album and is called “En Kveld I Februar”. The sound is old-school pop with string arrangements and cheesy lyrics. In our opinion, the original speed of the album is a tad too slow, so we always play it at 45 rpm. Despite what you might think, the smurf voices really does the trick! If you go shopping at any second-hand store in Norway you might be lucky enough to find a copy of this forgotten gem. Don’t forget to speed it up!

Disclosure


Figured we ought to mention our favorite EDM producers this year. Uk dance duo Disclosure is not just a regular duo but actual brothers – Young and talented boys at the age of twenty and seventeen. Pretty damn impressive! They put out their first 12″ back in 2010 and have been pushing solid dance tracks ever since.

They are totally in tune with the times but have that extra something to make them stand out among their contemporaries. A large dose of James Blake, Mount Kimbie and Subliminal Kid is easy to hear in their tracks, but somehow their music seems like the perfect little push forward in this particular scene. Perhaps their focus on club-friendliness over pretence and art is what seperates them from the pack.

The sound Disclosure have in their music might not be surprising to those who stay updated on club music, but keep in mind: Every hyped scene reaches a point where someone defines that particular sound, adjust the accessibility, perfect the production and take it one step further. In 2012 it seems like Disclosure will be the ones who get the attention. The last couple of months have been a home-run for them – Attacking the blogs with the freshest tracks and remixes we’ve heard in a long time, and a free EP to boot. Last week they put out their first official release; The Face EP – Featuring some great female vocals from Ria Richie and Sinead Harnett. These are definitely kids of the 90’s and early 2000’s, and you can clearly hear Artful Dodger, Craig David and Phats & Small on their list of influences as well as the artists doing simlar things today.

Jessie Ware – Running (Disclosure Remix)

Disclosure – Flow (Amusement Remix)

It remains to be seen what the future holds. In the modern jungle of blog-crap and copycats, quality artists such as Disclosure tend to be caught up in hypes that build bubbles of anticipation, often in suspense of a debut album. But we’ve seen how the album format might not be the right way to go, especially in the world of EDM. The EP format seems perfect for Disclosure right now, and hopefully they won’t rush anything, before the need for something else arises – The need for closure.

b0ka HQ recommends “Theophilus London”

Every year’s greatest buildup is here… It’s hot and cold (At least here) and it always leaves you full of expectations. Yes! Spring is here and of course, you’ll need some fresh tunes to go with it. b0ka HQ discovered a very talented Brooklyn rapper who goes by the name Theophilus London. Goofy beats with super catchy choruses. His music is a juicy hybrid of rnb, hiphop, funk and electro. The buzz has been building for quite some time and last year he realeased his debut album Timez Are Weird These Days.

Here’s a little selection of his tunes:

We’re also very happy to see some new b0ka tunes appearing. Last week our glinty space-traveler “Edit” uploaded a demo called Techno Color. A joyride through a world of warm mechanics. Check it out below:

The Famous Biting Guy is getting ready to drop his sample based mix-tape Paper Work vol.1. It will be out as a free download here on b0ka.com. You can already get a hold of three tracks from the mix-tape through his soundcloud. Paper Work vol. 1 will also come with a series of visuals done by b0ka’s very own VJ Dance-commander Nygaard.

The Famous Biting Guy – Lie

The Famous Biting Guy – Level Up

The Famous Biting Guy – Face To Face

2011

2011 is now history and we’re taking a quick look at its letdowns couple positive surprises. A major letdown of a year for debut-follow ups, but a surprising year where hip hop went further in breaking free of its own cultural box.

James Blake

2011 started out with James Blake’s long awaited debut album. Maybe the most important album this year. The self-titled debut turned out to be a great commercial success combining dub-step, soul, good lyrics and goose-bumpy vocals. He simply created a trend where vocals were put back in the centre of the music. A natural step forward considering todays options in the studio. A wave of auto-tune, melodyne and talk-box has whirled over the music scene since the mid 2000’s but hasn’t reached its full potential until this year. James Blake is an artist in tune with time because he made the trend. One of the bravest debut albums in a long time, and a surprising twist considering his previous string of dubstep-esque EPs and 12″.

Another interesting newcomer in 2011 is Abel Tesfaye aka The Weeknd. The young canadian started his career as a mysterious blog phenomenon in late 2010. In march he came out of nowhere and released his critically acclaimed free mixtape House Of Balloons. The album was filled with his slick modern rnb vocals. A beauty of which many of us never seem to understand because the genre has been poisoned by overwhelming quantities of commercial and braindead garbage for such a long time. Many of the MTV based rnb singers have great voices, not to mention entertainment skills, but come across as cynical and shallow people, surrounded by dull beats and bad ideas. The Weeknd happily borrows ideas and ways of expression from them, but somehow manages to shine a positive light on modern rnb and hiphop.

Disappointments

Following up hit debut albums seems to be harder than ever nowadays. 2011 saw mid-2000’s SpankRock and Justice follow up their hyped debuts. Both of them were extremley right at the time. Today they sound outdated and insecure with these new releases. Justice tried to be brave and aimed for a new 70’s prog sound. Posing as cocky studio geeks in their new video comes off as desperate, weird and unreal. When they released The Cross back in 2007 they seemed to have a whole different idea about music. They made their first album using garageband. The ideology was simply based on good ideas and execution-excellence. Now they seem to base themselves on how professional and expensive your studio is. Five guitars playing the same yacht-rock hook might be complicated but not necessarily interesting.

SpankRock’s debut Yoyoyoyoyo was a huge highligh the year it came out – A humorous and funky hiphop trip. Their second effort Everything Is Boring & Everyone Is A Fucking Liar (2011) felt like the same joke told over again. A struggle for reinvention is shown by using Boys Noize as producer. Definitely shows a different side to Spank Rock and could be considered as brave, but doesn’t seem as sincere with its recycling of washed-out ideas. This does not mean it’s been a weak year for hiphop though. Kanye & Jay-Z’s Watch The Throne album was a splendid ego-fest doomed to succeed both critically and commercially. A$AP Rocky’s debut was a fresh old-school/new-school thrill filled with up and coming guest producers. Drake’s incredible Take Care touched a little bit of the newer indie by using Jamie XX as producer. Tyler The Creator was in the studio with Toro Y Moi. Hiphop is definitely moving further away from its roots and seems to be adapting more genres than ever. Collaborating with not only hiphop producers but people from the electronic field or the indie field. This might be a sign of good health, right?

The biggest phenomenon of 2011 might be the disappointing follow up album. Wave-based artists such as Neon Indian, James Pants and the two earlier mentioned artists stuggle to keep up the pace. With new waves coming and going faster than ever we experience a frustrated and insecure scene.

Toro Y Moi is one out of few who has delivered a great second album this year. Bundick released Underneath The Pine in springtime. A natural step forward and a big move away from the so-called chillwave genre. He ditched a lot of his programing in favor of a more organic sound. Highly influenced by sixties psychedelia and “early” chill-out such as Air. He also seriously developed his song writing skills for the better.

Also, this year we’ve seen a much higher productivity amongst artists, which started last year with Robyn’s three-albums-in-one-year stunt. Almost every label seem to be cooking while the heat is still on, churning out as many releases as they can. A natural move if you, for example, think about Justice who released one album and then kind of burned out. The marketing idea today seem to be the more material the better. Before you get out there and start promoting you should at least have material for maybe two EP teasers and one full length album. For James Blake this was a good way to gain success. First he released a couple 12″s, then The Bell’s Sketch, CMYK and Klavierwerke EPs followed by his full-length debut. And our very own (norwegian) youngster and sampling wizard Proviant Audio released two albums through BBE and Paper Recordings this year. Both of those off the hook.

All in all 2011 does not stand out as a very good year but not a very bad year either. Of course we always have the good stuff as well as the bad stuff. Nothing unexpected has happened. Lady Gaga is still “shocking” people with her eggs and meat dresses. Hopefully we’ll get less of that next year.

Is it really happening?

Steave Tease on The Avalanches’ follow up

Is the long wait for the overly anticipated followup of Since I Left You nearing its end? Recent media and twitter activity from The Avalanches themselves, absolutely suggests so.

Collaboration with artists like Jonti from Stones Throw, Connan Mokasin, Jennifer RTX and Ariel Pink, revealed through their twitter certainly doesn’t calm down expectations of an album anytime within this year. One thing that really got me excited was of course the picture of a piece of paper with lyrics and alternative song titles.

With 6000 registered followers, and definitely a gazillion unregistered ones, it’s unsurprising to see their tweets used in their marketing strategy. The obvious example being how they critizied Bon Iver’s frontman Justin Vernon for dissing people’s desire for Grammy Awards, while he starred in a whiskey commercial himself. Though it might be a correct observation and a justified statement, it’s still a great PR-stunt by the wizards of oz, and their words quickly went viral, getting their name mentioned in newspapers and blogs everywhere with only the push of a few buttons (and us b0ka HQers took the bait). I think most of their fans would agree that they have always known what power they hold and have deliberately kept us on our toes all these years.

We’ve been served countless rumors and speculations about the new album. Messages on the band’s myspace page stated: “Clearing samples for new album” , and while it really got expectations soaring, those words are already a few years old. We’ve been on a rollercoaster ride of expectations, getting our hopes up only to have them crushed. Whatever happened to last year’s “Wrap up party”? The band’s twitter suggests that recording of the second album is still in progress. With all these back and forth insinuations and emotional buildups and breakdowns, are we in for something real any time in the near future? Are we really gonna hear a new track from the followup in 2012? We seem to finally be getting tangible pieces of information for the first time in years, but we may still only speculate on wether or not they’ll postpone yet again, or if this album will sound totally different from their previous effort, or if the pressure has built to a point where a followup could never outshine the previous star.

Yes, it has been 11 years or more since one of the greatest musical experiences ever recorded came out (except various official and unofficial releases) and blew people’s minds. The music, not to mention the title “Since I Left You” conveys more meaning to me with every passing year. I can go back to the musical universe of Since I Left You and enjoy it whenever I want to but still I feel longing. How can such creative, ingenious people like the Avalanches make something so brilliant, share it with the world and then let everybody wait a decade for more?

Part of me can’t wait any longer and has almost given up on any more material, and part of me is actually glad it has taken this long. I have a feeling that The Avalanches always knew what they were doing after their debut album, and it’s obvious to me that you can’t go crate digging for 3500 genius samples in a couple years. But is the follow up an extension of their debut, or something totally different?

Steave Tease, b0ka HQ

b0ka HQ’s christmas recommendations:

b0ka HQ brings you christmas recommendations to keep your ears warm and your belly aching for even more fat deliciousness.


b0ka HQ loves the Italian disco and balearic label Strictly Groove Recordings. Warm and organic dance music. Good for dancing as well as relaxing on the couch with your home-boys. Here’s a wonderful selection of their greatest 12″s. Check their soundcloud for mixes.

Dj Riko has been compiling his christmas mixes for a decade now. This year he has chosen to make a best-of out of all his past christmixes. Funny and original christmas music. Enjoy!

You can download it (along with the past ones) at:

Australian one-man band Jonti (signed on Stones Throw!) released his Twirlgig album this year. Boy-room music of high quality. Filled with funky beats and atmospheric one-man choirs. There is something slightly christmassy over his music, which makes this album the b0ka HQ xmas-soundtrack of the year.

Jonti – Hornet’s Nest

Canadian rapper Drake recently put out a very good album by the name “Take Care”. The amazing album-opener “Over My Dead Body” strangely enough gives you christmas spirit.

Drake – Over My Dead Body

And we would also like to reccomend our favorite christmas tune of all time. Paul McCartney‘s “Wonderfull Christmas Time”.

Locussolus

Wow. DJ Harvey’s got a new project. Something completely different from his Map Of Africa rock “parody” back in 2007. Most of the music he’s been releasing so far has been all about exaggerating a genre’s niche. Making the straightforward disco sound more interesting with a great sense of irony. Standing with only a foot in the box he now brings us Locussolus.

Dj Harvey is still a true 12″ artist. Locussolus is a compilation of his previously released 12″ material and includes great remixes from Lindstrøm & Prins Thomas and Andrew Weahterall. The album shows the difference between the english and the norwegian cosmic disco. Harvey’s work is still based on slow grooves with rhythm and bass as main focus but the sound is easier, cleaner and more polished than the Oslo-based disco.  The music still remians underground and important for the diggers. The reason why cosmic disco has stayed fresh and exciting for so many years is because it’s made by people who’s constantly searching for the “perfect” tracks and styles. Music for dj’s made by a dj. This is exactly what Locussolus gives you. Dusty obscurity and hints of great  pop-sensibility. Enjoy!

Dj Harvey – I Want It (Lindstrøm & Prins Thomas remix)


b0ka happenings & hasbeens:

########## 2013 ##########
:: 21 Dec - Nordfjordeid / Straum
:: 14 Dec - Oslo / Dattera
:: 13 Dec - Bergen / Østre
:: 30 Nov - Oslo / Verkstedet
:: 15 Nov - Oslo / Jaeger
:: 23 Oct - Tromsø / Insomnia
:: 29 Aug - Bergen / Elefanten
:: 18 Jul - Nordfjordeid / Malakoff
:: 27 Apr - Bergen / Kvarteret/SoS
:: 27 Mar - Øystese / Påskelarm
:: 23 Feb - Bergen / Kosmo
:: 21 Feb - Bergen / Kvarteret
:: 02 Feb - Bergen / Østre - N&D
:: 19 Jan - Oslo / Jakob Kirke
:: 12 Jan - Oslo / Parkteateret
:: 11 Jan - Bergen / Hulen

########## 2012 ##########
:: 27 Dec - Nordfjordeid / Straum
:: 21 Dec - Bergen / BAS
:: 16 Nov - Bergen / Kvarteret
:: 02 Nov - Bergen / Fantoft
:: 05 Oct - Bergen / Kosmo
:: 08 Jun - Oslo / Revolver
:: 04 Mai - Bergen / Hulen

########## 2011 ##########
:: 21 Oct - Bergen / Fantoft
:: 08 Oct - Bergen / Kvarteret
:: 16 Sep - Bergen / Kvarteret
:: 04 Jun - Bergen / Cafe Opera
:: 12 May - Bergen / Landmark
:: 11 Mar - Bergen / Kosmo
:: 05 Mar - Bergen / Kvarteret
:: 17 Feb - Bergen / Kosmo
:: 29 Jan - Bergen / Electric Cafe
:: 14 Jan - Bergen / Kosmo


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