There aren't many more magnetic personalities in rap right now than Danny Brown. Which is why in this week's NME, we follow him on as he storms the UK, where he's unwilling to live up to the goofy persona he's cultivated across his acclaimed albums. Pick up this week's issue for Jordan Bassett's account of two days on tour with the Michigan emcee.
Throughout music's rich history, there's been heaps of bands using the feeling of being stuck in a small town to fill their sound with feeling. Stevenage's Bad Breeding are no different. On their debut single 'Age Of Nothing' they bare their teeth and spit bile about "living in a town where nothing really happens, except nothingness itself". It's a barbed, no-holds-barred sonic assault that marks them out as an even angrier, more vicious Eagulls; an aggressive confrontation that’s as darkly exciting as it is terrifyingly in your face.
It's easy, among the likes of Coldplay, Bieber, Kanye, Julian and Gaga, to forget that SXSW is primarily about breaking new bands. That's still the official line here at the festival, and for me personally it still rings true. Although things don't really get into fifth gear until today (Wednesday), yesterday was still heaving with punters, bands and pissheads snaking through the hub of the city while an endless array of acts played 20 minute sets anywhere that would allow them. Best thing I saw? together PANGEA, who I'll mention in a minute. Weirdest thing?
Skrillex dropped his debut album 'Recess' yesterday with little notice. It was written and recorded in Los Angeles, Seattle, Seoul, London, Stockholm, San Francisco & Brooklyn and features guests including Ragga Twins, Chance The Rapper, Diplo, Passion Pit vocalist Michael Angelakos, OWSLA stars Kill The Noise, Alvin Risk and Milo & Otis. NME spoke to him last night to get the skinny on his first proper record.
Ke$ha last week announced she’d dropped the dollar sign from her name, becoming just plain old ‘Kesha’. Presumably because when your name already sounds like Sean Connery sneezing you don't need a dollar sign to further jazz things up, right? Sometimes a name change can invigorate a career and become an important part of an artist's mythology while they reinvent their sound (Prince, Bowie, we're looking at you). Other times it's because of an impending lawsuit or because it transpires another band got to that title first, a la Longview and Brother.