We managed to stay mostly dry at last weekend’s Governors Ball, and considerably less salty than the masses that swarmed E 11th St. in hopes to catch a glimpse of Kanye. This week, we’ve been gearing up for Northside Festival, a Brooklyn-based festival that highlights some of the underground’s more interesting acts.
This week we’ve got a couple Northside bands, including one with a shitty name that a famous person said on network TV. There’s also a Making The Band veteran, the first LP from a prolific hip-hop producer, and some grimy New York rap. But first, street tales from an Irish NuYorican:
Wiki — “3 Stories”
Patrick “Wiki” Morales, of the up-and-coming New York City group Ratking, quietly released a solo LP, Lil Me, earlier this year. It’s more faithful to the ’90s boom bap than the wildly progressive Ratking material, but you can still hear some left-of-center production — one one track, King Krule’s Archy Marshall lends some of that sweet sweet tone to Wiki’s record. “3 Stories” is Morales’ take on the classic New York storytelling device, weaving mundane daily activities into a tapestry of dense detail and comical description. His language and wordplay is colorful enough, but the goofy cartoon illustrations take it to another comedic level.
Diarrhea Planet — “Ain’t a Sin To Win”
Counting Diarrhea Planet’s LPs is a bit tricky; what’s typically referred to as its first LP, 2011’s Loose Jewels, is, at 18 minutes long, shorter than its 2014 EP, Angels in the Outfield. But regardless of what number LP it is, the latest, Turn to Gold, is undoubtedly its strongest. Recorded in Nashville with Grammy-winning engineer Vance Powell, it finally captures the stadium-sized sound the band has always brought to every stage it has ever graced. The dudes made their TV debut yesterday, playing Turn to Gold track “Ain’t a Sin To Win” on Late Night With Seth Meyers, giving us this immortal line from the SNL-alumn host: “The Tonight Show has President Barack Obama tonight, we have Diarrhea Planet!”
D∆WN — “Wake Up”
D∆WN has been on a tear of late, with a steady stream of singles leading up to the unannounced release of her forthcoming LP Redemptionheart. We were blown away by Infrared, her EP with Kingdom (she performs in Brooklyn with him as part of the Northside Festival), and each subsequent tease we get only serves to bolster the anticipation. This video for “Wake Up,” an early single from Redemptionheart, works just as well as a fashion short as it does a music video. Her style has always been a high point of her aesthetic—we can’t wait to hear what she has in store tonight at Northside.
Clams Casino — “All Nite (ft. Vince Staples)”
Clammy Clams has been relatively quiet since his third instrumental mixtape dropped in 2013. And now we know why; he’s prepping for the release of his first “album,” 32 Levels, due out later this year. This track features a guest MC on the mic, as do most of the joints on 32 Levels. Vince Staples goes “All Nite,” flowing over a characteristically gloomy spaced-out production that bounces along with his raps, adjusting pace and pitch when he does. Listeners are highly likely to be susceptible to involuntary head bobbing.
Secret Circle – “Keep it Low”
The word “supergroup” gets bandied about a bit too much for our taste, but this team-up of Lil Ugly Mane, Antwon, and Ratking’s Wiki is certainly super, and they come together on “Keep it Low” as the group Secret Circle. The flows are tight, though the lyrics skew a bit blue, sampling a pornographic moan and keeping the lyrical content focused between women’s legs. Not their most progressive work, but that beat doe…