The Weeknd – House of Balloons
Abel Tesfaye, the face and voice of The Weeknd, is a Toronto-based R&B singer who clearly knows how to make a good song. Along with producers Doc McKinney and Illangelo, Tesfaye forms a sound full of atmosphere, sexual tension, and narcotics.
What truly separates House of Balloons from just about every other R&B album out there, aside from quality, is the mood and execution of what I’m sure will become known as The Weeknd’s signature style. The beginning of “High For This” pretty much sums up how the rest of the album will play out, with ice-cold rhythms and spaced-out instrumentation.
As for the vocals, I have one thing to say. While I understand the vicious backlash against Auto-Tune by the masses, this is probably the one and only situation where it totally fits, and even complements the rest of the music. Considering the science-fiction leaning sound of the album, the vocal effects give Tesfaye’s voice a kind of robotic aspect.
This comes highly recommended to fans of R&B that have been yearning for some semblance of creativity in the genre, and for those who would only consider listening to it if it was creative.
Best to listen to when: You’ve got Ecstasy in one pocket and condoms in the other.
Avoid at all costs if: …
Now it is known: The title track samples Siouxsie and the Banshees’ 1980 single “Happy House.”
The Weeknd A.K.A Abel Tesfaye. Abel started uploading songs to YouTube in 2010 and in March of 2011 he dropped his first mixtape, House of Balloons. His second and third mixtapes, Thursday and Echoes of Silence respectively, will also be released sometime in 2011. The vocals, sometimes sung and sometimes rapped, talk about ugly things in a pretty voice.
Frog Pocket – Gonglot
Ok, I’ll be totally honest here. Describing Frog Pocket to you is like telling you what love tastes like. It’s basically impossible, but I’m going give it a try anyways.
I went through a phase where I was listening to a lot of obscure electronic music, the kind that has very little melody and inconsistent rhythms. I was infatuated with all the glitches and unpredictable changes, and couldn’t seem to hoard enough of it, so I took to the interwebs in search of something new, and that’s where I found Frog Pocket. Gonglot borrows from several styles of music, but you can’t really place it into any one genre. It’s a Frankenstein of musical styles, and if I had to describe it in two words: fucking epic.
It has a slow-fast-slow style that gets your adrenaline pumping and spine tingling just to let you catch a breath before another epic wave of awesomeness. It’s like that joke where you just had to be there. This is music you just have to hear to understand how incredible it is. It’s a must buy.
For fans of: Drum N’ Bass, Ambient Electronic, and IDM
Best to listen to when: You want a musical experience that is completely unique and original
Now it is known: He’s from Scotland. ‘Nuff said.
Frog Pocket is John Charles Wilson from Ayr (Ayrshire, Scotland). He has been active and prolific within the scottish scene since 1996. Mouthmoth, his own small record label, is surely the best in Scotland for weird and oblique electronic music.