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Sound Check's Blog (2,817)

NEW MUSIC: Neo Soul Legend Omar Returns On The Instant-Classic 'Love In Beats' #SoundCheck

For 30 years now, Omar has lurked just below the surface as the king of underground soul. His releases have gained him acolytes from Stevie Wonder to Erykah Badu, with Omar's impeccable voice ringing out eternal. His latest, Love In Beats adds a number of high profile guest features (most notably Robert Glasper and Floacist), but the heart is unmistakably Omar's.




Electronic undercurrents flow through the album's veins, courtesy of Omar Lyefook's brother Scratch…

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Added by Sound Check on February 27, 2017 at 2:30pm — No Comments

NEW MUSIC: Thundercat Drops His Afrofuturist Opus 'Drunk' Early #SoundCheck

That ultracool dwarf star with 7 planets orbiting it just discovered by astronomers is 40 light years away. This means that both the glorious funk operas of George Clinton, Sun Ra's experiments with electronica, and the smooth yacht rock of the late 70s just reached it. In record time, they've sent back their response: Thundercat's Drunk.




The bass virtuoso and melodic mage (I'm going to be mixing nerd genres here, deal with it) sends up one of the first albums to…
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Added by Sound Check on February 24, 2017 at 6:00pm — No Comments

NEW MUSIC: Naomi Pilgrim Transforms The Special's Ska Classic “Racist Friend” Into An Anti-Racist Anthem For 2017 #SoundCheck

With white nationalism on the rise the world over, artists are stepping up and recognizing that merely “raising awareness” isn't enough, we need to inspire action. Into that light steps Naomi Pilgrim. The Swedish and Barbadian singer re-works The Specials' classic “Racist Friend” into an anti-racist anthem for 2017. With verses by Sa-Roc and Yugen Blakrok, the track demands engagement, calling on everyone to confront the people in their lives with fucked up attitudes and not… Continue

Added by Sound Check on February 24, 2017 at 5:30pm — No Comments

VIDEO PREMIERE: Alternative artist Fusilier is bringing funky vibes and commentary on colorism in new video for ‘Make You’

Imagine someone asking you, "You're black and gay. How does it feel to have two things wrong with you?" with a straight face. Imagine feeling anger coiling within you and frustration with so many things about the question that you want to lash out and rid yourself of their negativity. Now imagine internalizing it and using it to make some hard hitting experimental R&B and electronica, and you’ve got Fusilier, the Atlanta-born, Brooklyn-based talent looking to make a…

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Added by Sound Check on February 24, 2017 at 11:30am — No Comments

NEW MUSIC: Oakland Afro-Soul Quartet Bells Atlas Find Grace in Heartbreak on Stunning New Single “NCAT” #SoundCheck

Even at their most heartbroken, Bells Atlas can't resist the allure of a deep groove. The shades of pain and frustration that color their latest single “NCAT” (Nothing Comes After This), inhabit the fringes, while singer Sandra Lawson-Ndu's silken voice struggles to maintain composure. The unreasonably tight rhythm section of Geneva Harrison and Doug Stuart as always keep the whole thing from drifting into thin air. With this new cut, following “Spec and Bubble,” whatever…

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Added by Sound Check on February 23, 2017 at 4:26pm — 1 Comment

Stream experimental electropunk artist Pink Oculus’ eclectic vibes and brilliant visuals

There’s something brewing in The Netherlands and the music is bubbling right with it. Dutch singer Pink Oculus, born Esperanza Denswil, is a triple threat: singer, emcee, and producer, combining the energies and sounds of hip hop, rock, electronica and soul into a vibrant and intricate punk experience. The Rotterdam native released her debut project ‘sweat,’ in November 2013, and has since toured throughout Europe. Early inspirations are Mos Def, Common, Erykah Badu, Non… Continue

Added by Sound Check on February 23, 2017 at 12:30pm — No Comments

VIDEO PREMIERE: UK indie pop singer Iris Gold gets vulnerable in acoustic visual for ‘Do You Know What I Mean’

Pulled back and bare, British pop singer Iris Gold shows the softest side of her in new acoustic version of yet to be released song ‘Do You Know What I Mean.’ Born in the UK and raised in Denmark, Iris Gold has been making waves with her upbeat, dance leaning tracks, so to see her so vulnerable is a welcome contrast to what we’ve heard from her thus far, showcasing the range and depth of this indie upstart. The London based talent approaches this video with a keen sense of…

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Added by Sound Check on February 23, 2017 at 10:00am — No Comments

NEW MUSIC: The Internet's Steve Lacy Drops New Single “Dark Red” In Anticipation of His Debut Solo Record #SoundCheck

In 1978, rock's original juggalos KISS simultaneously released 4 separate solo albums to the demand of basically no-one and nearly destroyed their empire of mediocre stadium rock overnight. Unfortunately for them, they lacked the collective talent of The Internet (or a carpenter ant, really), whose Steve Lacy just dropped the first single from his forthcoming solo record, hot on the heels of solo records from Matt the Martian and Syd. “Dark Red” is a sumptuous bit of indie…

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Added by Sound Check on February 22, 2017 at 7:08pm — No Comments

Brazilian rapper Thiago Elniño pays tribute to Malcolm X and more on inspirational album

The first album of the Brazilian rapper Thiago Elniño, A Rotina do Pombo (The Pigeon’s Routine), talks the marginalized lives of the black people in Brazil. The main character of the album is Sem Nome (Unnamed), a young boy who lives in a metropolitan city, works in an underemployment and is seen as a dangerous element to society, at the same time he struggles to improve his self-esteem and tries to understand his life as a black boy in the city. Featuring Rincon Sapiência,…

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Added by Sound Check on February 22, 2017 at 4:12pm — No Comments

Bad Brains' H.R. brain surgery "went well", now in recovery



Great news in these gloomy times! Bad Brains’ H.R. underwent brain surgery earlier this month and it went well! The frontman of the seminal punk band has been dealing with health issues stemming from neurological problems for quite some time now and it warms our hearts to know that his recovery is on track. In a Facebook update, his wife and caregiver Lori Carns Hudson said, “Thank you for your many, many prayers! Surgery went well and he looks good.” Let’s put some good… Continue

Added by Sound Check on February 22, 2017 at 12:19pm — No Comments

PREMIERE: Stream UK garage trio Kachina’s magnetic grooves in new EP “Alright”



Hope you hump day needs a pick me up because Kachina is here to stay and here to slay. The three-piece 2-step group gave us an exclusive preview of their new EP “Alright” and the vibes are heavy on this project. Four songs of energetic, electronic driven house sounds, with a magnetic pulse throughout the entirety of the EP. KACHINA formed in Leicester in 2014 after Sparx and Zurcon found common interest in drum and bass, dubstep, grime and dub studio sessions. Joined…

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Added by Sound Check on February 22, 2017 at 10:30am — No Comments

Princess Nokia punches sexist audience member at Cambridge show

It seems that a trend has begun where punches get thrown at Nazis in broad daylight or whenever bigotry occurs and I can’t say I’m against it. In this case, rapper Princess Nokia reportedly retaliated at an audience member at her show in Cambridge via Fly Girls of Cambridge. After he yelled…

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Added by Sound Check on February 22, 2017 at 10:00am — 1 Comment

NEW MUSIC: Brazilian alt rock legends Mickey Junkies Return With Their Latest 'Since You've Been Gone' #SoundCheck

Founded in 1991, Mickey Junkies have become recognized as one of the pioneers of Brazillian alt-rock. Their sound remains rooted in the alt-metal and post-hardcore sounds of the early 90's, singer Rodrigo Carneiro's low baritone rings out over the band's slow sludgy riffs. Their latest record, the primarily English language Since You've Been Gone, adds NWOBHM influences to the sound and goes all in on the genre's blues influence with the odd harmonica lick. Opener…

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Added by Sound Check on February 21, 2017 at 6:29pm — No Comments

London jazz duo Blue Lab Beats is soulful alchemy for your ears

What do you get when you combine electric guitar, synth bass, a hip hop sensibility and two young musicians with a world imagination? The answer is Blue Lab Beats. The British duo is drawing on the Dilla and neo soul’s legacy of fusing hip hop, jazz and soul, and making a brand of contemporary jazz that would fit equally well at Essence festival as it would in a 90s coffee shop in West Philadelphia. In this video from Jazz FM, you’ll see duo absolutely kill their set, with…

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Added by Sound Check on February 21, 2017 at 1:32pm — No Comments

Five reasons why Nina Simone is a timeless Queen



Nina Simone would have been 84 years old today and in thinking about her contributions to Black thought, music, style, and activism, we can’t think of a single reason why she shouldn’t be celebrated. Take a look at these five reasons why Nina Simone was and is a timeless queen.





By T. McLendon, AFROPUNK Contributor






Musical Excellence: Nina was a gifted pianist and singer, a…

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Added by Sound Check on February 21, 2017 at 10:00am — 1 Comment

VIDEO PREMIERE: DC electronica duo Thievery Corporation get groovy yet political in Jamaica in video for “Letter to the Editor”

Thievery Corporation sounds like a diabolical enterprise at the center of a Marvel film, but in this universe, they’re the electronica duo infusing the sounds of Jamaica into the synth-based grooves of tomorrow. In their new visual for “Letter to the Editor”, they call on the talents of Racquel Jones, a Kingston spitter with a knack for obliterating instrumentals, and let her loose on the track to do as she pleased. The song is equal parts tropical and trippy, full of…

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Added by Sound Check on February 20, 2017 at 10:18am — No Comments

PREMIERE: Debut From Chicago Avant-Funk Trio Bottle Tree, “Open Secret,” Combines Spirituality and African Rhythms

The spirit of Chicago’s Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), the 51-years-old-and-running-strong powerhouse of black American avant-garde, runs deeply through “Open Secret,” the first track from Bottle Tree. The sound that the trio — composer/cornetist/synth player Ben Lamar Gay, vocalist/percussionist/scholar A.M. Frison, and Italian drummer Tommaso Moretti — evoke is what one imagines the great Art Ensemble of Chicago would have sounded like if…

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Added by Sound Check on February 17, 2017 at 1:45pm — No Comments

NEW MUSIC: SZA joins forces with producer Kingdom for seductive new single ‘What Is Love’

Like, it’s still not the album, but it’s pretty good. SZA and producer DJ Kingdom collaborated for their swagged out R&B-soul single ‘What Is Love’. Stamped with SZA’s trademark alt-R&B ambiance and embellished with Kingdom’s club-ready instrumentals. ‘What is Love’ is taken from Kingdom’s forthcoming project “Tears In The Club”, out Feb. 24. Check it out, below.…





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Added by Sound Check on February 16, 2017 at 4:51pm — No Comments

This white South African DJ says she's Black

Race is weird and tricky and convoluted and means different things to different people, and even differently to folks in different countries. In South Africa, a commercial house DJ named Anita Ronge and more commonly known as Kasi Mlungu or DJ DuchAz has claimed that she is often criticized for not being Black enough. The issue is that she’s supposedly not Black at all. As a white South African, she can “act Black” by adopting Black customs and slang, surrounding herself…

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Added by Sound Check on February 16, 2017 at 11:41am — No Comments

French ambient soul duo Ibeyi returns with stark and enchanting single ‘Lost In My Mind’

Ibeyi took the world by storm in 2015, combining the Afro-Cuban sounds inherited from their father and European downtempo to create a brand of soul that we’d never heard before. The French twins, Lisa-Kaindé and Naomi Diaz lit a spark and filled a void that many have not been able to find elsewhere. In their new single “Lost In My Mind,” the duo sings of being in a sort of warped headspace, exploring and retreating from the crevasses in the psyche and what they find there.…

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Added by Sound Check on February 15, 2017 at 1:33pm — No Comments

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