From an initial line-up of simple, motif fronted tees in 2011 to No Noise, today sees the arrival of menswear label Serge DeNines’ new subtle offering.
With a loosely minimalist approach, No Noise boasts a premium outlook (think on point fabric choices) with a contemporary aesthetic and a nod to sportswear (read: suitably casual cuts and a streetwear backbone).
A very modern interpretation of luxe dressing, the SS16 collection features the biggest line-up to date in the brand’s (admittedly) short history; while co-ords like that pictured are perhaps the biggest draw, elsewhere bomber jackets feature prominently.
Comprised of a grey, white, navy and black palette, perhaps the most noticeable detail throughout the range is a complete rejection of heavy branding. Winning.
Because you may as well start the Bank Holiday with a banger…
Kyla La Grange has been in the studio, working on some typically ambitious material. That sugar-sweet touch is still there, but she's broadened her scope while refining her intensity.
New cut 'Hummingbird' airs first on Clash, and it's imbued with a sparkling, neon-lit energy.
"'Hummingbird' is about hovering between the different versions of yourself," explains Kyla, “the traits you thought you'd outgrown but that come back to get you, about how having too many choices makes you dissatisfied because you always think you'd be happier if you'd chosen the thing you didn't choose, which usually isn't true. It’s about trying to sit comfortably in your own skin and learning to like all the things about yourself that wouldn't necessarily fall into society's definition of a successful functioning human.”
Check it out now.
Today (April 29th) we finally get our hands on one of the most highly anticipated hip-hop albums this year.
It truly feels like we have been waiting forever for Drake’s fourth studio album, 'Views…'. Drake has not tucked himself away to a solitary studio to solely concentrate on this album since he announced his release plans.
The rapper has been involved in a multitude of projects whilst touring, releasing merchandise and short films. Since the album announcement, the demand for the album has been met alongside the mounds of music Drizzy has drip-fed us. Strategic it may be, the Toronto native has steadily kept the hype alive for 'Views…' since July 2014.
To fully appreciate the new album, we journey through the musical timeline showing how Drake has kept us guessing and well fed in the run up.
July 2014 – The announcement
On July 15th, 2014, Drake tweeted 'Views From the 6' leaving his fans in hysteria of a new album being on its way. According to Billboard, though, Drizzy had not even begun recording the LP at this point. His track, '0 to 100/The Catch-Up' also referenced a 2015 release:
“Listen up, boy, you're better off eavesdroppin'/We already got spring 2015 poppin'/PND droppin'/Reps-up P droppin'/Majid Jordan droppin', OB droppin'/ not to mention me droppin'”
The countdown had officially begun.
October 2014 – Drake’s birthday gift
After spending the summer on the Drake vs. Lil Wayne tour, the rapper dropped a few new tracks with a cryptic tweet the day after his birthday. He tweeted, “You should probably keep an eye on that http://ovosound.com in the next hour…just saying…” Within the hour, he has posted three brand new songs, '6 God', 'Heat Of The Moment' and 'How Bout Now'.
February 2015 – I'f You’re Reading This It’s Too Late'
As the spring of 2015 approached, Drake’s fans were no doubt in full anticipation of 'Views…'. So when Drizzy dropped 'If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late', the release was unexpected but received well. Priced similarly to an LP, the rapper then clarified on Twitter that this wasn’t an album when he asked, “How’s my mixtape?” Waiting on 'Views…', ' If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late' dropped smacking us all in the face with a surprise.
July 2015 – Speculation prevails
By the summer of 2015, a release date for 'Views…' was nowhere to be seen. Spring passed and the lack of any indication of the album dropping simply just kept the hip-hop scene wondering. Speculation surrounding dates would increase when “September 24” mysteriously appeared and disappeared from Drake’s OVOSOUND website.
According to the Latin Post, details about the album had surfaced in April from writer Ernest Baker’s Four Pins profile who stated that only two songs had been recorded. However the rapper appeared to be far from lacking new tracks releasing 'Hotline Bling', 'Charged Up', 'Back To Back' and 'Right Hand' in late July. 'Hotline Bling' would go onto dominate playlists and the radio.
September 2015 – 'What A Time To Be Alive'
On September 19th, 2015 Drake announced on Instagram that 'What A Time To Be Alive', the new mixtape from the rapper and Future, would be available on iTunes the next day. With the amount of music Drizzy was delivering, the rapper maintained his place at the forefront of hip-hop. His beef with Meek Mill also aided this, coming out on top.
October 2015 – 'Hotline Bling'
You can only wonder whether Drake ever dreamed 'Hotline Bling' would be as huge as it became. With its mass popularity, the rapper decided to make one of the most memed music videos in history that had us talking for months. 'Views…' on the horizon, Drizzy fans rode the wave with visuals that broke the internet and a track that is still on repeat.
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January 2016 – 'Summer Sixteen'
The mystery surrounding 'Views…' started to become clearer coming into 2016. The promotional track for the album, 'Summer Sixteen' showed Drizzy’s intent to dominate our summer (much like his tracks had done in 2015). Drake announced the album would be released in April on Episode 14 of the OVO Sound Radio, but with no specific date.
February 2016 – Billboards
The creative marketing wheel came into full motion for 'Views…' as billboards popped up in none other than Drake’s hometown of Toronto.
April 2016 – 'Views…' on deck
Drake’s team inevitably turned the ante up for 'Views…' in April. The past few months have been dominated by some big releases, but the anticipation for this release has been astounding.
On April 5th, the rapper released two new tracks to whet our appetites for the album with 'One Dance' and 'Pop Song' featuring Jay Z and Kanye West. A day later, what was mistakenly thought to be the artwork for 'Views…' was seen projected onto the Royal Opera House in London.
Finally, on April 10th the official release date for 'Views…' was set as April 29th, and would be limited to Apple Music in it’s first week. With 'Views…' finally here, the question is, was it worth the wait? Drake’s album has had us holding our breaths with every move he has made. In an age where we are so used to rapid turnarounds with albums, the marketing for this record has been planned well to keep us waiting for this album, planted with surprises in between.
The run up to 'Views…' has been hectic but it just proves that Drake is no doubt one of the hardest working rappers of our time.
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Words: Nikita Rathod
One of the hottest rappers around isn’t from the United States, or even from the UK.
Dublin’s Rejjie Snow is blazing a trail, with his crisp flow and effervescent charm turning expectations on their head. Resolutely independent, the rapper has notched up more than a million streams of breakout cut ‘Lost In Empathy’.
His Cam O’bi collaboration ‘All Around The World’ soundtracked the summer of 2015, with Rejjie Snow currently honing and refining work on his debut full length. The Irish hip-hop star took time out, though, to work on New Originals – a fresh project from iD, the new 4G mobile network, New Originals wants to seek out young artists who are resolute in defining their approach on their own terms.
Rejjie Snow, then, was perfect. Part of a three video series, this profile examines what makes the Irish rapper tick. Discussing his family, his heritage, his background and his approach to music, this is a touching, funny evocation of Rejjie’s world.
Redlight hits hard.
So when the producer announced plans for his new 'Templates' mixtape, fans knew he wasn't about to hold back.
Out on June 10th, 'Templates Vol. 1' is rooted in the producer's clubbing experiences. “I am very proud to present Templates Volume 1, which is the first in a series of mixtapes that is just all about club music. Most parties I play I always try to make new music for that show, and this is a selection of the best tunes and remixes I’ve done over the past six months”.
Clash is able to unveil new cut 'Blood Moon' and it's a barn-storming piece of club production.
Check out those spine-snapping snares, or the bulging bass – sheer UK bedlam from start to finish.
Dig in below.
Pusha T tore it down at the Electric Brixton this week with an energetic performance front-loaded with jams from his superb ‘King Push: Darkness Before Dawn (The Prelude)’ LP.
The album’s woozy intro and the majestic ‘M.F.T.R.’ kicked proceedings off in grand style, as a pair of huge neon crucifixes – emblazoned with the words ‘Sin Will Find You Out’ – loomed ominously over the stage. Together with the relentless downpour outside, it all conspired to add a murkier edge to Pusha’s atmospheric street parables, with ‘Crutches, Crosses, Caskets’ and ‘Untouchable’ proving particularly potent.
The show’s midway point saw Desiigner – the newest signee to Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music imprint which is headed by Pusha – hit the stage with a frantic rendition of his massive single ‘Panda’. While the surprise appearance was largely well-received – the Brooklyn rapper’s frenetic guest spot ended with a stage-dive into the hyped crowd – there were more than a few stifled giggles moments earlier when the Future sound-a-like (who also guested on ‘Ye’s ‘The Life Of Pablo’ LP earlier in the year) attempted to spin his mic in his hand and clumsily dropped it on the floor.
Such mirthful moments aside, the set firmly regained momentum once Desiigner had exited and Pusha delved deeper into his back catalogue. Backed by an explosive laser show, cuts like ‘Pain’ and ‘New God Flow’ hit hard while ‘Nosetalgia’ had the entire crowd rhyming along to that killer line about Ivan Drago. The former Clipse rapper also rolled out a verse from the group’s breakout classic ‘Grindin’’ which segued splendidly into the awesome ‘Numbers On The Board’.
In the end, it was a commanding, confident performance from Pusha, who remains one of rap’s most compelling voices some 15 years after first emerging, and one that ups the anticipation for his new LP ‘King Push’, which is set to drop later in the year.
Words: Hugh Leask
Lazy Habits are a London-based six-piece whose sample-delic sound matches generations, styles, and continents.
Fusing New Orleans jazz with hip-hop, pop, and more, the band's jaw-dropping live show has taken them to historic venues such as London's Roundhouse and KOKO hubs.
Festival stalwarts, the band's new album 'The Atrocity Exhibition' drops on May 27th and finds them moving even further in disparate yet exciting directions.
New cut 'Answers With Questions' is a case in point. Heavy duty fare, it's informed both by Lazy Habits' live show and their growing confidence in the studio.
XY&O are a trio from Wales, a three-piece who specialise in artful, contagious synth pop.
Electronic music that comes laced with colour, the band have begun picking up some nationwide attention.
BBC Introducing stepped in to shoot their first ever live session, allowing the band to showcase their nascent live sound.
'One More Night (Lemonade)' and 'Lights On' are both high-energy moments, with XY&O matching crisp songwriting against searing synths and skittering drums.
Check it out now
Photo Credit: Ayna Čustović
Until last year putting on a festival had only been a distant dream for Annie Mac. She’d always had the idea sat in the back of her head, but assumed that when she eventually came around to curating a festival it would be in some muddy farmer’s field in Britain. In fact, when she was presented with the idea of throwing a weekend of parties across Saint Paul’s bay in Malta, she’d never even been to the tiny island that sits between Italy and North Africa. A self-confessed micro manager, Mac tested everything from the distance between the hotel to the shuttle bus to ensure that nobody would feel slighted by their experience, and visiting AMP Lost & Found, now in it’s second year, it’s clear that this is all paying off.
When we catch up with Annie in London a week after the festival, she's only just getting her life back in order. She's just dropped off a black sequinned cape, embroidered with the word ‘RAVING’, off at the dry cleaners – it was a gift from one of the 8,000 music fans in attendance at this year’s Lost & Found and feels quite symbolic to her. “It’s a very intense situation,” she admits. “But it’s a lot of fun.” From brief sightings of Annie over the Lost & Found weekend, it feels like this is a perfect summary of her time there. She somehow seems to have the ability to be everywhere at once, and no matter which party you’re at, she makes an appearance to give the DJs and artists some support. It’s no coincidence: “This year I wanted to make sure I went to every party,” she explains. “I wanted to make sure I saw all the DJs, make them feel welcome and see which parties were popping off.” And with two pool parties running simultaneously each afternoon as well as Castle Raves and boat parties, plus two stages running at the festival’s main site each night – that’s no mean feat, but it certainly gives a sense that Annie is fully involved in the creation of the festival rather than just being some figurehead that’s been stuck on once the real work has been done.
“It’s got to look and feel like it’s coming from me, otherwise it’s pointless putting my name to it,” says Annie. While her main roles surround the curation of the line-up and the aesthetic of the parties, she gets stuck into everything and initially struggled with the idea that a festival was too much of an undertaking for one person to have full control over. “I've calmed down a bit now,” she admits. “I was actually able to enjoy it (this year). I knew that I could trust everyone that was working on the festival to do a really good job.”
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One of her goals this year was to provide more of an alternative to the house and techno sound that AMP (Annie Mac Presents) events have become known for following the success of appearances from Kaytranada and Virgil Abloh in the festival’s first year. “Mark Ronson and Hudson Mohawke doing a back to back set was something I was really excited about,” says Annie. “And it didn't let me down. Their tribute to Phife Dawg from A Tribe Called Quest was a real moment for me that I’ll never forget.” Those looking for a more diverse Lost & Found experience could also catch the likes of Stormzy, David Rodigan, DJ EZ, Logan Sama,, Preditah and more. “I really enjoyed watching Charlie Sloth headlining the ‘Big Man Ting’ pool party,” Annie adds when reeling through her list of musical highlights. “I’ve never actually seen him do a proper DJ set, I see him doing his thing on the radio, but I've never seen a full festival set and I loved watching that.”
Sloth also loved his time at the festival, upon returning to the UK he booked a family holiday to Malta. Others – including Disclosure, Skream, Jackmaster and Artwork – chose to stay beyond just the nights they were playing, to attend other parties and soak up the vibe, something Annie is very pleased about. “That’s kind of the aim,” she says. “You want to boost tourism overall. Obviously you want to bring money to the economy over the weekend of the festival but you also want to boost awareness of Malta as a destination.” With the majority of its residents speaking English, and its warm and welcoming culture, Malta is an ideal location for festivals. Following the success of the first Lost & Found festival last year a few other promoters have begun to set their sights on the island. But that isn’t something Annie is concerned with. “It's good for us too to have other festivals going out there,” she explains. “I’m glad that we were the first one, but it's really good that there are other people putting stuff on there.”
Her endless list of personal festival experiences – from attending the Christian festival Greenbelt in Northamptonshire as a teenager, to presenting for the BBC at Glastonbury and DJing at festivals for the past ten years – has proven very valuable in ensuring that the Lost & Found experience is a memorable and thoroughly enjoyable one. She’s taken inspiration from Bestival in particular, due to the personal touches that Rob Da Bank and his wife Josie (who art directs the festival) put into it. “It's very clear that it's a real personal project and I love that about it,” she says.. “That's what I want to maintain with Lost & Found, a real feeling of personality and humanity throughout it. I don't want it to become a big corporate, generic vibe, that's my worst nightmare.”
Annie’s own personality and attention to detail is rife throughout the festival, from last year’s flamingo theme making a return – “People came back with flamingo outfits and loads of people had flamingo tattoos as well, which is crazy, but great!” – to the more intimate Castle Rave’s allowing punters to watch headline acts like Disclosure performing atop turrets with a great view of the island, decked out in AMP flags and medieval banners. Every party has its own distinct aesthetic, which is of particular importance to Annie. Alongside her friend Aimee Phillips, who assists her with creative direction, it's something that she enjoys really going the extra mile with. “That's the bit I have to get right from a personal perspective,” she says. “I wanted to make everything have a different vibe. The pool parties were particularly important, because that's something you get with the price of a ticket – whereas the Castle Raves you had to pay more for – I wanted to make sure that the pool parties felt like their own individual brilliant days in their own right.”
While it's resounding success suggests that there is plenty of room for expansion with Lost & Found, it's something that Annie is treating very carefully, not wanting to lose that human element in the process. With the intention of taking things slowly, she does have a bigger picture in mind for AMP. “I obviously live house and techno, but it's important that it feels eclectic. Obviously we can have Stormzy with just a mic and a DJ, but it would be nice to bring a bit more than that.” With her week-night show on BBC Radio 1, Annie is now responsible for breaking a lot of new music, and that’s something she hopes to reflect moving forward. “We started a new strand last year called AMP Collected which is nodding to my week night show and being able to put on people like Kojey Radical or Lapsley. I’ve been wanting to do that for a long time, to broaden the horizons. Its something that we’ll grow into slowly but steadily. I'd like to slowly merge the two strands so that in five years time in Malta we’ll have a live stage where we’ll have a load of bands. That would be amazing!”
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Words: Grant Brydon
Brooklyn's Benjamin Carlisle is making all the right noises, and being tipped in all the right places.
Inaugural release 'Love Me Like This' is probably the reason for this. Gaining serious radio traction, the track is blowing up online.
Jaguar Skills has stepped in on remix duties, supplying something distinctive, something unusual to the original.
Chopped up breaks, renewed texture, and lashing of colour – sheer Jaguar Skills, in other words. Check it out now.