Waiting for Prince as Assassins bow out
Prince performs during the 'Pepsi Halftime Show' at Super Bowl XLI between the Indianapolis Colts and the Chicago Bears on February 4, 2007 at Dolphin Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. Photo: Getty Images
Still reeling after all the recent music-scene excitement? Let's see, we had a deluge of purple with the big reveal of an impending Prince tour and subsequent Twitter rioting as tickets to those shows were made scarcer than hen's teeth. Then there was the presence of tween-omenons One Direction in the country proving five Biebers are better than one. And abroad there was this little thing called Coachella going on with seemingly every awesome international act (sorry One Direction) playing a set. That's a lot of action. What's more, it's a lot of distraction from other worthwhile events recently, so in the interest of sharing the spotlight here's some stuff that might've escaped your eye but still deserves your attention.
British beatmaker and vocalist Jai Paul is back. If that name doesn't ring a bell then don't worry, it probably shouldn't. Up to now he's only had the one tune, BTSTU, an online demo that ignited the blogosphere with its lush atmosphere blended with fractured beats and falsetto coos. The song soon ballooned into infamy with both Drake and Beyonce nicking samples of it for their own work. It took two years to follow that up but with Jasmine the enigmatic producer may've topped that stratospheric benchmark. He repeats yet improves on his own formula, crafting a gorgeous and spacey ballad that's had some 400,000 listens since its premiere. So now, remember that name.
Speaking of good, weird stuff out of Sydney, Big Dumb Kid has dropped his debut LP, Chocolate. Self-produced from his bedroom, the record flips the script on conventional Aussie hip-hop, with BDK rapping in a drowsy half-time baritone about mid-20s malaise and his crippling slack-titude. What's most impressive is the production, which grinds between slow and slimy bass and bright, party-ready electro jams. It's a perfect reflection of Big Dumb Kid's skewed vision and it's probably the most unconventional Australian rap record in a while.
However, we have also seen the demise of a beloved local act, Assassins 88, who've called it a day after entertaining those in the know with their distorted take on surf-y garage rock. There's likely nobody out there rueing their Assassins 88 tribute tattoo and their departure won't make headlines but it will certainly be felt by those fans of wild and furiously interesting indie music.
A lot can happen in a little time. We'll have to see what the next few weeks of living in this world we call the music industry brings us.
■ Dave Ruby Howe is a music blogger (hyperbole.tv), would-be pop academic and Triple J's assistant music director of Australian music. Twitter @daverubyhowe