Nitin Sawhney Releases London Undersound

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The eighth album from musical innovator Nitin Sawhney, London Undersound, will be released tomorrow, August 25th. Featuring a cast of guest contributors that includes Natty, Reena Bhardwaj, Ojos de Brujo, Anoushka Shankar, Roxanne Tataei, Tina Grace, Aruba Red, Imogen Heap, Faheem Mazhar and Paul McCartney, the album embraces a far-flung range of musical and cultural influences, to put it mildly. And yet the collection is deftly bound together by Sawhney’s masterful production, and a narrative subtext which runs through the diverse strands of music like a thread of steel.

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Wale at Hudson Hotel Private Park, SVEDKA Sessions #1

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Check out this footage from our first SVEDKA party! Wale and DJ Mark Ronson at the Hudson Hotel Private Park in New York.

K’Jon’s I Get Around Sweeps #1 R&B Album On iTunes

Detroit’s K’Jon introduces his full-length major label debut, I Get Around, a superb collection with nods to both his contemporaries, including Kem and Robin Thicke, and his predecessors, like fellow Detroiter Marvin Gaye. While K’Jon’s music is well suited to Detroit’s ballroom culture and Chicago steppers, the appeal is much wider. Whether you’re holding up the wall in a Brooklyn club, roller-blading in Santa Monica or two-stepping in Chicago, K’Jon’s music fits.

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What separates K’Jon from his contemporaries, besides his lilting vocals, are the production values on I Get Around. You can hear acoustic guitar on the sweeping “Feels Like Love,” and the grandeur of a theatrical ballad on “I’ll Never Forget.” The music, handled in-house by K’Jon’s production team, is real soul music – the kind that speaks to an earlier time in our music history. From lively instrumentation to lush vocal arrangements, K’Jon does the Motor City proud with his approach to classic rhythm and blues. When asked about his personal favorites on his upcoming release, K’Jon can’t choose one. “That’s too hard!” he says with a laugh. “But I can say that a track like ‘This Time’ could become a bigger hit than ‘On The Ocean.’ It’s very special to me. And it’s one of those songs that people have been responding to.”

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R.I.P. Baatin

Titus “Baatin” Glover, one third of the original Detroit hip hop group Slum Village, was found dead this Saturday morning; he was 35 years old. The cause of death is still unannounced, but it’s clear that he had been sick for some time. In 2002 he told the Free Press that he had been diagnosed with schizophrenia. Later his illness led him to leave Slum Village. But recently he rejoined a new incarnation of the group, with plans to record and tour.

It’s a bittersweet ending when music is rescued from obscurity only after death. J Dilla’s death weighed heavy on the entire hip hop community, but at the same time it sparked a huge increase in appreciation for his production and the music of Slum Village. The Detroit hip hop family is clearly close-knit, so it’s comforting to know that Baatin’s family and friends have full support in each other, along with support from fans around the world. Our thoughts are with the Glover family, and we’re truly saddened by the loss.

Thanks to Black Milk for this video with his reflections and a bit of footage of the original SV’s last video shoot.

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