Next Step November Artist Spotlight: Tensei

 

Our November Next Step Artist Spotlight goes to Chicago based production duo Tensei! Hats off, gentelmen.

Meaning ‘heaven star’ in Japanese, Tensei consists of producers Simple X and Midas Wells, kindred spirits of sorts, one might say. Midas from the Chicago suburbs and Simple X from the Chicago south side, the two first met circa 1998 at the dorms of Southern Illinois University during a cypher. Soon, the two were banging out tunes on whatever their limited student resources could afford. However, Tensei’s journey has certainly been anything but linear: post graduation saw a “regular” job for X and a momentary complete departure from music for Midas.

Then came the serendipitous run in at a mutual friend’s gig a few years ago and Tensei was born. Both committed to their crafts, Tensei does not heavily rely on samples and in fact play many musical parts themselves. Any gaps that need to be filled are done by session musicians and vocalists. An incredible amalgam of soul, house, jazz, electronic, and eastern sounds comes alive.

Below, you can find a pretty freakin awesome grab bag of Tensei treats. The first is an exclusive stream of “Space Colony,” a tropical cosmic tune fit for an RPG (role playing game, for the non-video game nerds). Next is “The Ticket,” a drum heavy industrial sounding track with a bit of a Latin feel. Then we move to Tensei’s remix of “Robots” by the beloved Bilal, the track that actually got the talented duo signed to Plug Research. Finally, is perhaps our tastiest treat, the “Tensei Plugcast,” a completely engrossing DJ mix of songs from their massive archive dubbed with live violin and trumpet no less.

These dudes are going places, y’all. Watch for it.

Tensei – “Space Colony”
 

Tensei – “The Ticket” [MP3]
 

Bilal Robots ft. Adad (Tensei Remix Alternate Version) by Plug Research

Plug Research Podcast #14: Tensei by Plug Research

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Bilal – “Little One” Video

VIDEO PREMIERE // Bilal “Little One” from Centric TV on Vimeo.

Bilal‘s album Airtight’s Revenge was released last year, providing a breath of fresh air to neo-soul. The album has produced some beautiful visuals to accompany singles including “Robots” and “Levels.” The latest of these videos is for the emotional standout track Bilal wrote for his son, “Little One.”

Airtight’s Revenge on iTunes | Amazon

www.AutismSpeaks.org

New Bilal Video: “Robots”

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The Sounds of VTech / Bilal “Robots”

Vtech Music has given us videos of Bilal in an amazing jam session, reworking classic songs like “Is This Love” and “Tainted Love.” But it’s especially appropriate that today they have released Bilal’s official music video for “Robots,” a track from the monster of an album Airtight’s Revenge.

From Vtech, An Election Day Special:

On this Election Day 2010, Bilal teams up with French director Mikael Colombu to bring you “Robots”. Come along and join us on this multi-media journey as we see the world of politics through Bilal’s eyes. Mikael’s ability to translate Bilal’s words into imagery, gives us a chance to properly reflect on his ideology of modern times.

To Bilal, people are becoming more like robots through the use of manipulative propaganda by corporate media . This video is his way of opening everyone’s eyes to the truth. As you watch “Robots” you’ll soon find yourself paying very close attention to what is really going on.

Pass this along, and help the robots amongst us.

And don’t forget to make a change by voting today.