ONES TO WATCH - JULY 2021
Artists You Need To Hear About Right Now
Four unmissable artists, all in one place. The team at Slow Motion Panic Masters has more incredible musicians for you all to pay attention to right now, or regret missing out on some of the most exciting music the world has to offer.
But first, make sure to follow our spotify playlist with the link below and tune in to hear a regularly updating stream of sensational underground appreciation:
Loshhh - LONDON, UK
Nigerian-born London musician Loshh’s rise through the music industry has displayed the early signs of an artist with the talent and vision to call out to the most marginalised of communities. Since the release of his debut EP ÍFARADÁ in February 2021, Loshh has offered a gentle hand wrapped in a tapestry of rich spoken word poetry and visual art: a luxurious blend of aesthetic and auditory practices. The Don’t Sleep signee has championed a sound that pulls from the likes of Fela Kuti while dragging in elements of post-punk, traditional blues and gospel, even strewn with elements of Bebop to create a mercurial blend of tracks that remain somehow remarkably cohesive.
Loshh's desire to instil joy makes him a vital voice in our present moment, as the fiery ‘Revolution’ flexes the muscle of his six-piece band to dispel the simplistic thought of the US as being an isolated place of racial inequality, pointing an accusatory finger back towards the systemic inequalities rife in the United Kingdom. Through repeated political statements though, Loshh continually asserts a celebration of life that is tender and joyful, as the Jazz-inflected ‘Faji’ holds aloft the beauty and autonomy of black women with a shimmering visual of his mother over pointed, angular horn sections. Loshh’s deep vocals are beautifully malleable, able to slip into the urgent and at times utterly euphoric, ‘Feelam’, for example, is opened by a melodic piano but truly framed by a deep rasping hum that opens into a scream, while ‘É Beré’ frames racing drums with gnarled vocals dripping with reverb. On his recent KEXP performance and interview, Loshh spoke briefly about the track, illuminating his creative process, "…with Feelam, it’s just about feeling it in your soul and in your spirit, everyday". This desire to reach out of the quotidian and pull into a spirit world makes for upwardly winding hypnotic listening, with the constant feeling that Loshh is musing on a place far above your reach, grasping at something completely intangible and crystallising it in a glassy case fashioned by his throaty, impassioned delivery. His first headline show is planned for the 9th of September at The Social in London, and it promises to be a spectacle that veers into the absolutely unmissable.
feeo - LONDON, UK
feeo: Spotify / Instagram / Facebook
feeo’s gauzy and intricate production outlines the intentions of an artist striving to realise a future-soul vision, and a productive 2021 for the North West London based singer and producer saw a trail of singles lead up to the release of the four track EP feels like we’re getting older doesn’t it, on June 4th. Across the tracks, she stamps her authority as an extremely accomplished avant-pop vocalist, crafting elaborate shifts in pitches that are able to blend in and out of the mix itself.
feeo's penchant for ticker-tape beats often allow her tracks to rise and expand with generously layered pillowy vocals, with each tap taking on a raindrop-like patter through synth strata. The title track cycles a base through sparse instrumentation, swelling in waves as she perfectly reflects the nature of the song itself, the beckoning carnality of “dust and rubble / gathering in heaps… you can get lost in me”. The aptly named final track ‘End Song’ flexes her vocal dexterity, shifting into a half rap-half song cadence over jumpy production that splashes eccentric motifs, such as the subtle but unmistakable cheer of a crowd at the [1:30] mark, a sound that returns later in a mechanical gasp. feeo’s melodies are threaded through tracks that push for the vivid, instantaneous textures of modernity; a coming of age while centring her voice as a conduit for feelings of solitude and confusion. Her world is a balance of the disorienting but sensuous and beautifully delicate, a suggestion that the two can go hand in hand.
koleżanka - BROOKLYN, NEW YORK, USA
koleżanka: Spotify / Instagram / Facebook
Brooklyn based singer, songwriter and producer koleżanka or Kristina Moore, has moved from strength to strength in 2021, releasing three singles in the lead up to her album release Place Is on July 30th through New Jersey label Bar/None. Moore describes her songwriting as largely informed by the notion of a ‘non-place', echoing work coined by Marc Augé, and folklorist Arnold Van Gennep's concept of 'liminality' to refer to spaces in which the concerns of relations, history and identity are disassembled. Moore's experience of this anti-place, a persistent feeling of inbetweenness allows for an exploration of the fears and potentialities of feeling blurred, dissociated, anxious and opaque, as latest standout release ‘A Mouthful’ laments alongside notable trip-hop influences. Languid guitars slide through under her affective cadence as she laments the disoriented feeling of late capitalist experience, “I feel time / I feel…” as she breathily announces, "it is strange / to look the city in the face".
To extend the same high intensity floatation, ‘In a Meeting’ skims her dulcet vocals over smooth metronomic drums and a plucked bassline that lifts and swells alongside her wandering contemplations of intimacy. Her lyrics can be slightly evasive and hard to catch, but it makes deciphering a line all the more rewarding. The breathy call to “go, go, go, go!” towards the tail end of the track is instantly recognisable, a cry ushering in a haywire, almost mechanical break that instantly cycles upwards. In the accompanying video Moore co-directed with Mike Fuller, her anxiety takes the physical shape of her own doppelgänger, catching her gaze from across a dimly lit club, an occupation with multiple selves induced by social anxiety that is illuminated by the mirrors Moore's face is duplicated by in the single covers. The final scene sees the doppelgänger eerily stood in the hallway to Moore’s apartment, staring in through the peep hole, a visual manifestation of the crashing together of industry, city life, socialisation and anxiety that await the opening of a door. In the midst of crippling anxiety, the calls to "go!" offer a momentary soothing release.
Stiff Pap - JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA
Stiff Pap: Spotify / Instagram / Facebook
Recently signed to UK label Cotch International, South African electronic music duo Stiff Pap, the creation of electronic music producer Jakinda & rapper/vocalist Ayema Probllem fuse elements of House and Hip-Hop to create their own blend of Afropunk focused on a sonic interrogation of their politically radical identity.
The release of 10-track project TUFF TIME$ in June provide vital meditations on their place in South Africa. In the aftermath of the country’s first ever fully democratic election in 1994, post-apartheid South Africa was designated a "rainbow nation", intended to signify a prosperous new era of unity after decades of racial segregation. Kwaito, the percussion heavy sound originating from Soweto was the soundtrack to this societal transition. Nearly three decades later, corruption still frames the aspects of contemporary political life, and a new generation no longer share the same hope for the future as past generations did. In response, Stiff Pap adopt a concrete realism with industrial production and abrasive, politically charged vocals that have been described as ‘post-Kwaito’. Ayema raps in Zulu and English over beats infused with Kwaito elements and Gqom; raw repetitive electronic beats that emerged in South Africa in the 2010s.
The duo embody a glitchy, frantic new movement and confrontational sound, constantly able to shift through and diverge from their influences. ‘Riders on the Storm’ integrates metallic twangs with the vocals of Nkosi Zuthulele from internationally renowned Soweto Jazz outfit BCUC, ‘SASSA’ frames the frayed edges of their beat making with staccato flows, built around a sticky hook, and the title track moves the same flows over trudging ambient drones, lashings of autotune forming the spine of the track. The project arrived with an accompanying film, TUFF TIME$ NEVER LAST, a five minute exploration of life as a young black man in Johannesburg, as the duo flex in the back of a stripped out van, draped in Sex Pistols-esque punk denim, necklaces and a leather vest emblazoned with scrawled graffiti. The video uses a collage of cut-out techniques with news articles, snippets of radio recordings and panning shots lingering over Johannesburg as a voice, hazy through the static of a phone call, enters indignantly at the midpoint, “Our life is going to be better, man / Our life is going to fucking change”.
This article was written and edited by Fin Cousins, a postgraduate literature student studying at Kings College London. He loves writing, music and bagels and he has now completely given up on waiting for Love Island to accept his application. He also made our logo.
Thanks for reading! Slow Motion Panic Masters is a music, arts and culture website created and edited by Ben Wheadon, a literature student and musician based at the University of Oxford. He is also a Fleet Foxes shill.
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