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5 Electronic Artists that Stood Out at CMJ 2013

October 22, 2013 Artist News No Comments

CMJ-2013While CMJ is traditionally a buzzfest for Indie bands, there’s always some great Electronic music to be found as well. Although EDM has been the big story this year, Indie and underground Electronic music has also flourished. And as with all things Indie, The Orchard distributes some of the best. Quite a few found their way into CMJ shows, and we here at The Orchard want to share the bounty of good music.


Blue Sky Black Death, Sister Crayon, The Range at Cameo Gallery

Blue Sky Black Death has a cinematic approach to Hip Hop beatmaking that long since left genre boundaries in the rearview. They are more than capable of making everything from Drone to Apocalyptic Trap to Synth Pop, and have collaborated with vocalists like Jean Grae, Myka 9, Deniro Farar and Nacho Picasso (to name just a few). But their music is most ambitious when they head off into their own inner worlds. Symphonic compositions like their seminal 2008 record Late Night Cinema or the very Bristolian release A Heap of Broken Images inevitably draw comparisons to legends like Massive Attack.

Sister Crayon is another great Electronic act The Orchard distributes. Starting as a solo act reliant on loop pedals and guitar, the addition of MPC beats and a full band has resulted in a remarkable sound not unlike a higher-fi Coco Rosie. Their full length Bellow is excellent. I also have to mention The Range — even though he’s not an Orchard artist, the introspective beats on his recent full length Nonfiction (stream here) make for one of the most compelling beat-driven albums of the year.

Ghostly International Unofficial CMJ Party: Com Truise, Joel Ford, Lord Raja, Heathered Pearls, Patrick Russell, Nitemoves, Contakt at Output

Ghostly International are a label The Orchard is certainly very proud to be working with in 2013. They’ve distinguished themselves not only with consistently innovative and expertly crafted music but also with gorgeous art and expertly executed marketing campaigns. Unsurprising, then, that their CMJ showcase was not only at the best new club in NYC, but also packed with great artists. Headliner Com Truise‘s analog night driving music sounds like sex on that soundsystem, and the rest of the Ghostly lineup no doubt kept things classy. You can always expect synthy delights and atmospheric vibes in this lineup from one of the most tasteful labels in bass music.


Pitchfork CMJ Showcase: Ryan Hemsworth, KELELA, Traxman, The Range, Jahiliyya Fields, Huerco S., Mas Ysa, J-Cush at 285 Kent

There’s a reason you can’t escape the name Ryan Hemsworth. Few producers can evoke emotion from layered samples the way he does, and almost none has his ear for weird Pop production. He’s been remixing and collaborating his way to the top of the internet charts for a few years now, but his debut album Guilt Trips is coming out today — stream the whole thing on Pitchfork Advance.

LAZERPOP CMJ Party: The Hood Internet, Chrissy Murderbot, E-603 at Glasslands

Chrissy Murderbot has a lot of hats — he’s a producer with several albums out on heavyweight Electronic label Planet Mu, he runs two labels (Loose Squares and Sleazetone, both of which we proudly distribute) and he’s a Dance music historian (his Year of Mixtapes project is like the Smithsonian of Dance music). Most of all though, he’s a DJ dedicated to making people sweat with funky, high energy club music infused with ribald humor. Heavily influenced by the juke and ghetto House of his hometown, Chicago, Murderbot makes future music rooted in an encyclopedic understanding of the past. Highly recommended.

Vienna Teng Seeking Heat (and Getting It) with “Aims”

October 7, 2013 Artist News No Comments


We’re happy to announce the release of Vienna Teng ‘s new album, Aims, on Soltruna Records. This is her first full length album since Inland Territory (2009) and was released on September 24th.

Aims definitely takes a new direction from Vienna’s former album. It’s her most uptempo, Pop-influenced album to date, and very lyrically powerful. From the first song, “Level Up,” to the last, despite the different emotionally-charged topics, you end up with a very up-building positive feeling.

Vienna reached a new level when, I suspect after having watched Amanda Palmer’s TED Talk, she started her own Kickstarter campaign to finance her upcoming music video. Vienna’s fan base  joined forces to back the project, raising 4 times the amount of the initial goal. This money will help produce the music video for “Level Up” and has already helped put together a German tour. It just shows one more time that “amazing things happen when you ask  for help.”

Three years ago, Vienna Teng set her music aside to attend graduate school at the University of Michigan, where she pursued an interest in Environmental Studies and Business. The artwork for Aims is a a colorful map of Detroit, the city she now lives in, and serves as a nice tribute to a city that despite its own problems still attracts artists and entrepreneurs.

This week, Aims reached #155 on the iTunes Pop charts and #4 in Billboard’s Heetseakers chart! Find out what all the commotion is about by checking out the album or catching Vienna during US or German tour!

Funk Globo: The Sound of Neo Baile

May 23, 2013 Artist News No Comments

Funk Globo: The Sound of Neo Baile

What happens when DJs/Producers from around the world add their own unique style of ‘bass music’ in a blender with various ingredients extracted from the Morros (hills) of Brazil’s Favelas?

In the words of Mr. Bongo: “Welcome to Neo Baile, a new take on the traditional sounds and aesthetics of Brazil’s Baile Funk (or Funk Carioca) that challenges the established order to create something new, exciting and forward thinking. Mr Bongo is extremely proud to present The Sound of Neo Baile compilation, featuring 14 unreleased and exclusive tracks from worldwide producers that reinterpret the love-it-or-hate-it Brazilian Baile Funk sound. The compilation has been put together by two of the movement’s most knowledgeable players: Sao Paulo-based Funk na Caixa a.k.a. Renato Martins and London-based Sean Casey a.k.a. Bumps, founder of Club Popozuda.”

The release is a 17-track various artists compilation slated to drop worldwide June 10th, 2013. Just in time to add some more heat to the already sweaty summer dance floors! What’s it sound like, you ask? Well, it’s packed with plenty of bass, plenty of Brazilian Portuguese vocal samples, synth melodies and hints of the genre’s own ‘tamborzão’ (big drum) percussion loops. This release is perfect for those who already love Baile Funk, or just for those of us who aren’t fortunate enough to live in the Cidade Maravilhosa (Marvelous City a.k.a. Rio de Janeiro) but would like to shake their ‘bundas’ (butts) in their perspective cities around the world as if they really were at a Baile Funk Party in the Favela. I assume this explains the term ‘Neo’ in the title. It’s a new take on an already existing genre. Globo (globe) implies the international tinge to this project, as each of the producers on it is from different countries around the world. More influences the better, I say, as it adds to the already diverse sounds you hear on the comp.

To be clear, there is definitely a difference between straight ‘Funk Carioca’ and ‘Neo Baile Funk.’ For example, if you were to purchase a Baile Funk compilation in Rio, you might notice the rigid template of production from track to track. It’s a common trend in Electronic Dance genres across the board. For example, in Drum n Bass, they recycle the infamous 6-second loop called the ‘Amen break.’ In Baltimore Club music, it’s the ‘Think Break.’ In Reggaeton, it’s the ‘Dembow‘ break, and so on. In Funk Carioca, they use the ‘Tamborzao/Tamborzinho.’ According to Wikepedia, “Tamborzão beats use samples of Brazilian hand drums, particularly the atabaque, in arrangements that are close to the same as those used in Maculelê capoeira.

This release breaks that mold, and throws in 808 kicks, snares, hi-hats in multiple patterns… Trap/Hip-Hop, Kuduro/Soca, House, Baltimore Club, etc. All in all, it makes it a bit more accessible for the casual night clubber, mixing the genre with familiar sounds, while also blending perfectly with the original Rio-based productions. A win-win situation for all.

We Don’t Just Sell Music, You Know

November 28, 2012 Artist News, Orchard News No Comments

DJ Comrade "Favela Trap"Over here in the Physical department at The Orchard, the sales reps are privileged to rep CDs from some of the finest musicans and DJs in the world. When a legendary DJ like DJ Premier is in the house to discuss his latest project, you best believe we’re paying attention! And we’re always happy to see someone like RJD2 pop by too. In 2012 so far, we’ve sold and marketed old school legends ranging from Premo to Pop royalty Dionne Warwick, from Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Dion to Mr. Worldwide himself, Pitbull, with his first collection of Original Hits. Of course, Pitbull’s booty shakin’ dancefloor anthems have their roots in both the Miami bass scene and his earliest mentor Luke and the Southern crunk beats popularized by his early producer and collaborator Lil Jon.

EDM, or Electronic Dance Music, is constantly evolving and morphing into the latest flavas. Somewhere in the mid-2000s DJ Diplo picked up on a Brazilian Dance craze, Baile Funk, the latest crossover music rockin’ all the favela (communal Brazilian shanty town) parties in the working class neighborhoods of Rio De Janeiro. Of course Diplo has gone on to become a superstar DJ and producer and spread the Brazilian funkiness everywhere he went in the States. Meanwhile back at The Orchard Sales department, Comrade Xão was working alongside some of the very same original sales reps who first blew up Pitbull, Lil Jon and Ying Yang Twins to gold, platinum and multi-platinum status. The Orchard got busy releasing greatest (or Crunkest) hits compilations from all three artists while Comrade Xao played parties in Brooklyn and visited the favelas of Rio to check out the party scene first-hand and show the locals his latest fusion of all of these influences. After a few close encounters with the machine gun toting favela security forces and the equally feared local polícia, Chris brought back his newly added Rio street knowledge to his mixes in New York.

And so it is with great pride that The Orchard Physical Sales department can now say, “we not only sell great music, but make it as well!” Ok, we know what you’re thinking…. sure, some of the reps have played in bands with label deals before and can rock a fierce, power chorded version of the Kinks “Father Christmas” at The Orchard Christmas party. Not what we’re talking about…. 5 minutes of fame on a small stage. Nah, Comrade Xao is rocking a complete full album release here, featuring some of Rio’s hottest MC’s over cutting edge Baile Funk/Trap beats and he’ll be hitting the sunny streets of Rio just in time to unleash Favela Trap for its December 12 street date. Check for it at your favorite online retailers and don’t take our word for it. Listen to Rio’s own DJ Wooles (Apavoramento Sound System): “DOPE!!! This style will bring a fresh air to baile funk overseas.”  And…. “There is only one release this year that I have been looking forward to for so f*&%#in’ long: DJ Comrade’s Favela Trap,” straight from the mouth of Dutch wonder kid and producer Munchi (Selegna, T&A, Mad Decent).

We see new releases come and go all the time over here. But fresh Dance music is like awesome fresh coffee, the real stuff hard is to find. Now you know!

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