The second part of Clash’s preview of All Tomorrow’s Parties’ TV On The Radio-curated weekend of May 10th-12th focuses on another five acts featured on the highly impressive bill.
The first part, featuring El-P, Death Grips, Dragons Of Zynth, Dark Dark Dark and Antibalas, can be read here.
You can listen to a special mixtape featuring a wide selection of acts playing TVOTR’s ATP here.
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The alter ego of New York’s (excellently-named) Michael Quattlebaum, Mykki Blanco is part-rap, part-performance-art, part-we’re-not-sure. Someone, somewhere, called this ‘queer rap’ previously; but we’re pretty sure that’s an insult to someone else, somewhere else. Let’s go with “acid punk rapper”, as her Soundcloud states.
Anyway, she – and when in the Blanco guise, it’s always a she – makes music that provokes thoughts and stirs feet. It’s not always an easy balance to strike, but Blanco’s marriage of punchy and rattling production and self-referential-meets-scene-stereotypes lyricism (via some out-there tangents) works brilliantly when at its best.
Her output to date isn’t exactly consistent, but Blanco’s ATP set could prove one of the weekend’s most memorable if UK dates from earlier in 2013 are taken as precedents. “Intensely physical,” said the Guardian of her Brighton appearance; “entertaining throughout, and perhaps even a little transgressive.” Camber, you know what to do.
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Another truly distinctive MC, albeit one with rather more experience beneath his belt than Mykki Blanco, Saul Williams is always an unmissable live attraction.
A powerful performer, whose poetry background lends his lyricism the sort of compelling depth that can sometimes be lost in the transition from underground to mainstream (though he perhaps bridges the worlds), Williams earned plaudits aplenty with his 2001 debut LP, ‘Amethyst Rock Star’.
His follow-up, a self-titled collection of 2004, was similarly well received (yours truly awarded it a perfect 10/10 when reviewing). A more pop-focused fourth album of 2011, ‘Volcanic Sunlight’, showcased Williams’ ability to flit between genres at relative will.
To some, though, it’s his 2004 album that will remain the man’s career highlight – and when it’s got cuts like ‘List of Demands’ (below) on it, it’s easy to understand why.
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Some artists – some rappers, with incredible reputations preceding them – need no introductions, surely. Surely?
DOOM’s CV is just amazing. Come and see him play. If you don’t, your friends will laugh at you.
His latest album is ‘Key To The Kuffs’, as JJ DOOM alongside producer Jnerio Jarel. Check out ‘Guv’Nor’ below.
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NYC synth-pop duo Light Asylum are at ATP to offer a slightly more pop-polished brand of entertainment compared to the array of outstanding rappers in attendance.
That said, the pair – Shannon Funchess and Bruno Coviello – aren’t exactly as bright as their name might imply: their self-titled debut album of 2012 attracted comparisons to Depeche Mode and Nine Inch Nails.
There’s definitely some ‘80s-recalling synth motifs in there, too – the sort of memorable hooks that’ll appear to (perhaps) the older end of the ATP-going spectrum, who remember when synth-pop was rather more daring than it’d ultimately become; when it possessed a greater sense of soul beneath the thick keys.
Sweet and sour, Light Asylum will get any crowd moving – but might just send them home with nightmares.
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Adam Drucker, aka Doseone, was a member of influential Big Dada-signed trio cLOUDDEAD – alongside Why?’s Yoni Wolf, who also calls at the TVOTR ATP.
Since cLOUDDEAD’s split in 2004, Drucker has kept himself busy indeed. He collaborated with The Notwist as 13 & God, with producer Jel as Themselves, and has fronted the rap/indie crossover act Subtle. His latest solo album is 2012’s ‘G Is For Deep’, released on Anticon. (And, truly, that’s just the tip of the iceberg – this man’s catalogue is immense.)
A real character, whose stage banter is often as impressive as his phenomenal mic skills, Doseone handles heavy subject matter with a light touch. He can spread smiles across the faces of those before him with ease. From personal experience, his live show never disappoints.
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Get more information on, and tickets for, the TV On The Radio-curated ATP of May 10th-12th here.
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