Kelela - Cut 4 Me

Message Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed

Preemptively starting this so I have a place to fan out tomorrow.

The Reverend, Tuesday, 1 October 2013 05:47 (three years ago) Permalink

"Bank Head" is top 5 this year obv.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6I_2eYvrEJw

The Reverend, Tuesday, 1 October 2013 05:50 (three years ago) Permalink

it feels really weird that a few years ago this was the kind of project i dreamed of

i just don't like the direction night slugs/fade to mind have gone in over the past year or two - those awkward, stop-start beats, the lack of groove or direction, the way all their beats feel like hanging in space waiting for something to happen that never does - no melodic or rhythm hook at all. they sound pretty but you can't get your teeth into them let alone dance to them. when i listen back to the NS/F2M tracks i fell in love with, and still love, there's so much more drama and urgency about them. pretty sure all of this is completely intended and they're making exactly the kind of music they want to but it's not for me any more.

kelela does what she can with beats i mostly don't care about, i guess. "floor show" and "cut 4 me" are the best trax here on a couple of listens. it's never less than pretty and sounds a bit like i once imagined r&g would sound in places. i haven't finished giving it a chance but overall, siiiigh

lex pretend, Tuesday, 1 October 2013 08:24 (three years ago) Permalink

(it's sort of funny to me that of all that crew, ikonika's the one who's really kept pushing her music in meaty but completely distinct directions, including doing a pretty triumphant vocal track (for a singer who, left to her own devices, turned out to be totally dullsville!). not that i ever doubted ikonika's talent but she was the one who was much more consciously ~limited~ when she started out)

lex pretend, Tuesday, 1 October 2013 08:26 (three years ago) Permalink

it'll probably get lots of attention and praise because people have idealised the concept of such a record so hard, i guess

lex pretend, Tuesday, 1 October 2013 08:29 (three years ago) Permalink

Or because, you know, some of us actually like it!

twinkin' and drinkin' and ready to fly (Alex in Montreal), Tuesday, 1 October 2013 15:24 (three years ago) Permalink

But I'm not going to get into the meta conversation because I'd rather talk about how much I love the way she bites into Enemy.

twinkin' and drinkin' and ready to fly (Alex in Montreal), Tuesday, 1 October 2013 15:26 (three years ago) Permalink

Feel free to explain what's so great about it!

lex pretend, Tuesday, 1 October 2013 16:03 (three years ago) Permalink

not everything is made for dancing, lex

I make $94k Based God (rennavate), Tuesday, 1 October 2013 16:11 (three years ago) Permalink

it's not like it works on a slow jam level either *shrug*

lex pretend, Tuesday, 1 October 2013 16:22 (three years ago) Permalink

I don't have any baggage to attach to this other than having seen a few people on my feeds being enthusiastic about it and liking the songs they linked to, so when I say I think it's really good, it's because I just think it's really good, not because of any idealizing.

Greer, Tuesday, 1 October 2013 21:52 (three years ago) Permalink

I think this is really, really good. I love her voice. also love how bassy the tracks are.

My god. Pure ideology. (ey), Tuesday, 1 October 2013 22:34 (three years ago) Permalink

A kinda quirk of this I like is how often these songs start of sounding like they could be the intro to some really chipper synthpop tunes and then just become something else entirely.

Greer, Tuesday, 1 October 2013 23:08 (three years ago) Permalink

"Bank Head" is top 5 this year obv.

― The Reverend, Tuesday, October 1, 2013 1:50 AM (18 hours ago) Bookmark

the natural and just evolutionary end of the clapper

乒乓, Wednesday, 2 October 2013 00:21 (three years ago) Permalink

otm!

i just don't like the direction night slugs/fade to mind have gone in over the past year or two - those awkward, stop-start beats, the lack of groove or direction, the way all their beats feel like hanging in space waiting for something to happen that never does - no melodic or rhythm hook at all. they sound pretty but you can't get your teeth into them let alone dance to them.

Eh, that's not really true for me at all, if anything early NS/FTM stuff has taught me how to appreciate their newer stuff. And I absolutely love negative space in my dance music. Like I've long noticed when I break down with Tim over dance music it's usually because of his bias towards maximalism and mine towards minimalism. But Kelela's presence kind of makes this all moot by providing a focal point other than the beats.

But anyway, Alex in MTL otm. "Enemy" is the most gorgeous thing ever and this tape is somehow managed to live up to my high expectations. Besides, it's 2013 and slow jams are the best type of music to dance to anyway ;-)

The Reverend, Wednesday, 2 October 2013 02:26 (three years ago) Permalink

And I like Ikonika but she's just about the border of what I'll tolerate as far as going in a more techno-y direction.

The Reverend, Wednesday, 2 October 2013 02:27 (three years ago) Permalink

Can we talk about Nguzunguzu bringing in the "Moments in Love" flip at the end of "Something Else"? Like of course they do that, but you don't actually expect them to, so it's one of those perfect moments of unexpected obviousness that make me melt.

The Reverend, Wednesday, 2 October 2013 02:29 (three years ago) Permalink

Kinda lol/fitting that I'm quite enjoying this.

Tim F, Wednesday, 2 October 2013 03:39 (three years ago) Permalink

Naturally.

The Reverend, Wednesday, 2 October 2013 04:25 (three years ago) Permalink

I think because I struggled with the dancefloor aspect of a lot of early NS and affiliated stuff in the first instance, I don't mourn its diminution the way Lex does - to my mind, engagingly intricate/fussy non-functional pseudo-R&B beats is possibly a better look for many of these producers.

Tim F, Wednesday, 2 October 2013 04:41 (three years ago) Permalink

Oh yeah, weird syncopation being the other thing that's total catnip to me.

The Reverend, Wednesday, 2 October 2013 04:43 (three years ago) Permalink

Really must hear this. Tomorrow, hopefully.

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 2 October 2013 05:35 (three years ago) Permalink

I have seen this played out in clubs and people did dance tho

(I was DJing at an afterparty at that Basilica Sound Scape festival with the dude who runs Tr1angl3 R3cords and he played "Bank Head" and people totally got down to it- it's just a different kinda vibe)

the tune was space, Wednesday, 2 October 2013 05:39 (three years ago) Permalink

Yeah people have def danced whenever I've heard "Bank Head" out.

The Reverend, Wednesday, 2 October 2013 06:44 (three years ago) Permalink

intricate/fussy

these are negatives to me. we've been here before, where others hear "weird syncopation" i just hear stilted and awkward

i've seen people dance to latter-day night slugs, i can't do it though - just too dry and stilted.

lex pretend, Wednesday, 2 October 2013 07:20 (three years ago) Permalink

i did envisage kelela providing some sort of focal point but i feel like her songwriting does much the same "hang in the air on the verge of doing something that never happens" thing as the beats

lex pretend, Wednesday, 2 October 2013 07:21 (three years ago) Permalink

haha I chose "fussy" as an alternate expressly to allow that yr mileage would probably vary lex.

Tim F, Wednesday, 2 October 2013 07:57 (three years ago) Permalink

tbh i don't even hear them as fussy or intricate, just awkward and rigid

lex pretend, Wednesday, 2 October 2013 08:01 (three years ago) Permalink

I do too - rigid certainly, and if not always awkward to my ears then at least deliberately "ungainly" - but I suppose I can deal with it better as straight soundworld indulgence rather than when it sounds like someone took a perfectly decent house track and sprained its ankle.

It seems a reasonable thing to be turned off by though, IMO.

Tim F, Wednesday, 2 October 2013 08:11 (three years ago) Permalink

I could mostly give less of a fuck about a perfectly good house track at this point tbh

The Reverend, Wednesday, 2 October 2013 08:20 (three years ago) Permalink

Even the straightforward "functional" dance music I'm into is club or ballroom or juke or falling in between those cracks.

The Reverend, Wednesday, 2 October 2013 08:21 (three years ago) Permalink

Bun fire pon 4x4

The Reverend, Wednesday, 2 October 2013 08:23 (three years ago) Permalink

but I suppose I can deal with it better as straight soundworld indulgence rather than when it sounds like someone took a perfectly decent house track and sprained its ankle.

i'm mostly thinking of stuff like "fogs", not to mention early jam city stuff like "arpjam", which are still some of my favourite dance trax of this decade, as examples of that urgency (not nec 4x4) which i find completely lacking among NS/F2M, including kelela, lately

lex pretend, Wednesday, 2 October 2013 08:35 (three years ago) Permalink

Kelela's definitely going for a different thing than those tracks tho, more of a floaty, romantic vibe sometimes offset by jagged tracks. Something like "Bank Head" is more made to body roll and dance sexy to than stomp your feet and that's ALWAYS ALWAYS better.

The Reverend, Wednesday, 2 October 2013 08:48 (three years ago) Permalink

We really need to have a thread on drums/bass/momentum/kineticism in music and what does and doesn't work for people, not necessarily dance music either. Because early NS just did not work for me at all on a basic physical level even when it was ostensibly similar to other stuff I liked.

Matt DC, Wednesday, 2 October 2013 08:58 (three years ago) Permalink

Dance in between the beats

The Reverend, Wednesday, 2 October 2013 09:00 (three years ago) Permalink

LOL some of us do know what dancing involves Rev.

Tim F, Wednesday, 2 October 2013 09:09 (three years ago) Permalink

I guess I specifically have a love for dance music that challenges me as a dancer.

The Reverend, Wednesday, 2 October 2013 09:19 (three years ago) Permalink

This is one of the things I find awesome about footwork is basically its whole central premise as music specifically made for dance battles is the tension between how challenging it can be to dance to but still able to be danced to by a skillful dancer.

The Reverend, Wednesday, 2 October 2013 09:22 (three years ago) Permalink

Thing is it's not just about dancing is it? A lot of the listening contexts for this music happen when there's no dancing at all taking place. I like footwork because the rhythmic patterns work for me on a very basic level and would never even think of trying to dance to it. And in 99% of the situations when I actually dance anything that particularly 'challenges' me would be doomed to disaster.

Matt DC, Wednesday, 2 October 2013 09:31 (three years ago) Permalink

I mean obviously dancing is the primary purpose but if the music is any good you can get a lot out of it away from the dancefloor.

Matt DC, Wednesday, 2 October 2013 09:32 (three years ago) Permalink

I guess I specifically have a love for dance music that challenges me as a dancer.

― The Reverend, Wednesday, October 2, 2013 9:19 AM (6 hours ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

I broadly have the same sympathies, which is why in general terms jungle and 2-step and funky are closer to the centre of my taste than are typical house or techno.

OTOH my preferred form of "challenge" is one where the music is rhythmically more fluent, and dares you to try to keep up, as opposed to the inverse situation where the music kinda bludgeons about in an ungainly manner, in a deliberate debasement of rhythmic fluency vis a vis, say, house - although certainly I can also think of examples of this approach which I absolutely love.

Where I think the Kelela album does well is in raising the latter approach to its own level/form of fluency through intensification. I can imagine people dancing to some of this but it seems like a secondary effect.

Tim F, Wednesday, 2 October 2013 15:39 (three years ago) Permalink

i guess the dancing thing is a red herring w/r/t kelela specifically, i'm aware it's not made for that as such, but the same issues that have made NS club tracks in the past year-ish so undanceable to me are the same issues that make this underwhelming to me, it's the rigidity and refusal to do anything except hang there twitching. prettiness is really not enough when it doesn't parlay that into meat at some point

lex pretend, Wednesday, 2 October 2013 15:44 (three years ago) Permalink

yeah i was gonna say why are we talking about this like it's a dance album

J0rdan S., Wednesday, 2 October 2013 15:45 (three years ago) Permalink

Yeah, that was a tangent. But Tim otm.

The Reverend, Wednesday, 2 October 2013 16:17 (three years ago) Permalink

hah if ever further proof were needed that tim is la puta madre when it comes to sweetening up disses

r|t|c, Wednesday, 2 October 2013 16:46 (three years ago) Permalink

Lovely listen, this. Currently on "Floor Show"

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 2 October 2013 17:12 (three years ago) Permalink

Only about half way through but not feeling this at all. With a better vocalist it might have worked but her voice is kind of thin and the songwriting isn't really good enough for it to work as R&B. Also the beats are so torpid and lacking in energy even when they're fast.

Matt DC, Thursday, 3 October 2013 11:06 (three years ago) Permalink

i gave it another try and it's not the negative space in the beats i don't like, it's the fucking stop-start lack of a groove - like on "cut 4 me", which is probably as strong as the album gets, even there you have that pretty good loop which just PAUSES after every iteration for no reason at all. kingdom started out making infinitely better vocal music than this so it's just massively disappointing.

lex pretend, Thursday, 3 October 2013 11:32 (three years ago) Permalink

Yeah I don't think this realizes the potential of forward-looking production and R&B vocalist.

It sounds like most of these guys aren't giving Kelela their best shit and her writing is pretty boilerplate at times. This crawls to the finish line. I still like it, but it's not quite there yet.

I make $94k Based God (rennavate), Thursday, 3 October 2013 15:37 (three years ago) Permalink

i was disappointed by "bank head" when it first came out and still don't think much of it, basically even in a kinda unsatisfactory listen i'll still gravitate towards its more aggressive moments

not that they're that special, just alright. k michelle album so much better

lex pretend, Tuesday, 8 October 2013 08:50 (three years ago) Permalink

even though I like the more aggressive moments on this, for me r&b is kind of what I listen to to get away from aggression.

The Reverend, Tuesday, 8 October 2013 18:35 (three years ago) Permalink

I'm glad we've moved onto the inane false binary stage.

Tim F, Tuesday, 8 October 2013 20:11 (three years ago) Permalink

"something else" >>>>>>

(whose paintings looked like (pink) vaginas) (The Brainwasher), Tuesday, 8 October 2013 20:14 (three years ago) Permalink

there's a full version of "go all night" out today: http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/go-all-night-single/id728850909

How to Destroy How to Dress Well (lou), Tuesday, 22 October 2013 16:13 (three years ago) Permalink

also the first release on Solange's new label, which has me interested in seeing what Solange as curator results in.

fffv, Wednesday, 23 October 2013 00:11 (three years ago) Permalink

She already opened a tour for Solange.

"Send Me Out" makes me feel some type of way :|

old homophobic boom bap rap traditionalist (The Reverend), Wednesday, 23 October 2013 16:07 (three years ago) Permalink

listened to this straight through again yesterday. still love it but now 'Floor Show', 'Something Else', and 'A Lie' are the ones really sticking.

festival culture (Jordan), Thursday, 24 October 2013 19:54 (three years ago) Permalink

this is so good damn

flopson, Saturday, 2 November 2013 01:47 (three years ago) Permalink

♫ it's what they call , a lie-y-ei ♫

flopson, Saturday, 2 November 2013 01:48 (three years ago) Permalink

i'm so all about the minimalism in the production

flopson, Saturday, 2 November 2013 01:52 (three years ago) Permalink

the only track that sounds like lex' descrip (no groove, stop start, "up and down") are title track, send me out, guns & synth, enemy, keep it cool. so less than half. rest got grooves for miles. whole thing rules tho

flopson, Saturday, 2 November 2013 01:58 (three years ago) Permalink

three months pass...

so good

https://soundcloud.com/kelelam/the-high-prod-by-gifted

festival culture (Jordan), Wednesday, 5 February 2014 15:33 (three years ago) Permalink

*waits for something to happen*

*waits*

*song ends*

lex pretend, Wednesday, 5 February 2014 15:53 (three years ago) Permalink

things happening are overrated. i'm ok with kelela songs that sound like an extended breakdown.

festival culture (Jordan), Wednesday, 5 February 2014 16:06 (three years ago) Permalink

things happening are overrated.

― festival culture (Jordan), Wednesday, February 5, 2014 4:06 PM (4 minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

smh

lex pretend, Wednesday, 5 February 2014 16:11 (three years ago) Permalink

haha. for real, i like catharsis as much as anyone, but there's room for the opposite too.

festival culture (Jordan), Wednesday, 5 February 2014 16:14 (three years ago) Permalink

the opposite of catharsis isn't NOTHING

lex pretend, Wednesday, 5 February 2014 16:16 (three years ago) Permalink

it's not her best song but there's some slow-burn tension there and a couple of hooks that work for me. i just love her commitment to minimalism. maybe you forgot to click play?

festival culture (Jordan), Wednesday, 5 February 2014 16:27 (three years ago) Permalink

i am familiar with minimalism and how amazing it can sound but there needs to be some THERE there. early cassie - which pretty much invented the surfeit of this kind of r&b right now - sounds packed with max martin hooks in comparison

lex pretend, Wednesday, 5 February 2014 16:31 (three years ago) Permalink

wow this sounds exactly like a weeknd song

le goon (J0rdan S.), Wednesday, 5 February 2014 17:08 (three years ago) Permalink

Produced by Gifted & Blessed(!)

Though not into it really:(

cog, Wednesday, 5 February 2014 17:12 (three years ago) Permalink

This is just ok, but let's be real, if this was an Amel Larrieux album track (which it practically is), lex wouldn't have shit to say about it.

raggett neds of your summer dress (The Reverend), Wednesday, 5 February 2014 17:55 (three years ago) Permalink

Ha, I didn't even think about the fact that Kelela always cites Amel as the person who inspired her to be a singer til I hit submit.

raggett neds of your summer dress (The Reverend), Wednesday, 5 February 2014 17:57 (three years ago) Permalink

two months pass...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/kelela-an-randb-star-to-be/2014/04/14/f4681b6a-bb4a-11e3-96ae-f2c36d2b1245_story.html

Interview with her

As with “Cut 4 Me,” Kelela says the recording sessions for her new album have taken place in Los Angeles, London and across the digital plane. Fittingly, the music video for Bok Bok and Kelela’s squeaky new single, “Melba’s Call,” features an empty studio with the singer Skyped in on a video screen.

Meantime, Kelela says she’s hunkering down, fending off record labels until the album is complete. “I’m just trying to make it good,” she says. And by good, she means unbearably excellent. “I’m waiting for the moment when I’m jumping around the room because I can’t even deal with it.”

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 15 April 2014 13:51 (three years ago) Permalink

three weeks pass...

I like the song with tink

wins, Sunday, 11 May 2014 12:13 (three years ago) Permalink

two months pass...

this is rad! crazy - i kept seeing her name popping up here and there and thought "hey i remember a really cool girl i met in college named kelela" but i'm not really a huge R&B dude so i didn't look into it to see if it was her. what are the chances right? but holy fuck i looked into this morning and it's her! she was cool as fuck too, really super friendly and warm, easy going and chill. we had some mutual friends, a jazz musician i knew and also a girl i dated and eventually became good friends with. kelela was really into jazz at the time (so was i) so we talked about jazz a lot. she was part of this whole crew that hung out at the student-run coffee shop like all day, a group of us just kind of dominated that place. rad!

marcos, Wednesday, 23 July 2014 14:07 (three years ago) Permalink

but yea anyways this album is good

marcos, Wednesday, 23 July 2014 14:09 (three years ago) Permalink

one month passes...

This song with Kindness is faboo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MVs4P4lSB6w

Everyone's a closet ned. (Johnny Fever), Friday, 29 August 2014 16:24 (two years ago) Permalink

six months pass...

Arca + Kelela, wowowow

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m4-9mYrbXVI&feature=youtu.be

lil urbane (Jordan), Tuesday, 3 March 2015 16:04 (two years ago) Permalink

ehh bjork worked with arca w/o sounding like she was trying to ride twigs' coattails

raih dednelb (The Reverend), Tuesday, 3 March 2015 19:48 (two years ago) Permalink

oh yeah it's super Twigsy, but more memorable than most Kelela jams imo.

lil urbane (Jordan), Tuesday, 3 March 2015 22:54 (two years ago) Permalink

thought this was awesome

marcos, Thursday, 5 March 2015 18:47 (two years ago) Permalink

six months pass...

i really like "rewind" -- it's as pandering as anything she's ever done but the lyrical concept really works for me. the chorus also feels like a wind up toy kinda which is something i like about good bass songs.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?t=240&v=py6PgXq0yDM

b/w this & the jessy lanza/dj spinn record feel like it's been a lil bit of a comeback year for consciously cool hipster R&B

J0rdan S., Thursday, 17 September 2015 16:07 (one year ago) Permalink

have you heard the abra record j0rdan?

lex pretend, Thursday, 17 September 2015 17:19 (one year ago) Permalink

it's on my list of things to listen to

J0rdan S., Thursday, 17 September 2015 18:28 (one year ago) Permalink

I'm always very happy to come across a song from Cut 4 Me but have somehow unwittingly avoided anything else she's done.

the joke should be over once the kid is eaten. (chap), Thursday, 17 September 2015 18:43 (one year ago) Permalink

i dig cut 4 me but i tend to listen in chunks rather than straight through

"a message" is outstanding i think

marcos, Thursday, 17 September 2015 18:46 (one year ago) Permalink

YO REWIND IS FLAAAAMES

j. winters (josh), Thursday, 17 September 2015 19:23 (one year ago) Permalink

three weeks pass...

i am really, really digging the hallucinogen ep

title track is awesome

marcos, Friday, 9 October 2015 14:26 (one year ago) Permalink

three months pass...

this is cool: http://songexploder.net/kelela

sam jax sax jam (Jordan), Thursday, 28 January 2016 16:10 (one year ago) Permalink

Really regretting sleeping on this and missing her when she came to town. Hallucinogen is so good all the way through, but especially "A Message."

dc, Thursday, 4 February 2016 01:11 (one year ago) Permalink

two months pass...

newish trailer, I guess:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=0ZBnWO3UUh4

sounds like the new stuff is coming from a more loved-up place. her bf directed.

dc, Friday, 8 April 2016 17:52 (one year ago) Permalink

one month passes...

Listening to Hallucinogen EP now - great.

JWoww Gilberto (man alive), Tuesday, 10 May 2016 21:56 (one year ago) Permalink

yesss very excited for the lp

dc, Tuesday, 10 May 2016 22:11 (one year ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

love this ep

marcos, Friday, 27 May 2016 13:47 (one year ago) Permalink

one year passes...

Her "debut album" is coming out in October and the lead single is huge: https://open.spotify.com/album/5FEEH1krjffTBOsf7xgvw6

monotony, Wednesday, 2 August 2017 00:18 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Super exciting day in music announcements for me between this and the new Circuit Des Yeux

Dancing on the Pylons, Wednesday, 2 August 2017 00:54 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Really looking forward to this album. Also she is insanely good looking.

chap, Wednesday, 2 August 2017 09:37 (three weeks ago) Permalink

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ePi5BLJogyA

monotony, Wednesday, 9 August 2017 22:57 (two weeks ago) Permalink


You must be logged in to post. Please either login here, or if you are not registered, you may register here.