Levantis – Jamaican Greek Style

Playing with mystery is as old as art itself. And even when the mysterious isn’t the subject of art, the person behind the artwork has often become the mystery. From the writer picking a pen name to the performer cloaking his identity, it has been done for a long time. Yet, it feels like in recent years there has been an increase of this phenomenon, in particular the use of masks has become more of a gimmick, a marketing tool to increase the interest in or the awareness about an artist. As you can question the motives of an artist, what’s so comforting for the follower to reveal who is using a new name, a new face? Why do we seek the safety-net of a tracklist when it’s more adventurous to listen to something new and unheard, without prejudice?

Well, I don’t necessarily want to be part of that speculation, but it seems the internet has already decided about the true identity of Levantis. Though (or because) I have heard the same said about Rezzett, or in fact quite a number of artists on Trilogy Tapes, I don’t give much of a fuck. Let’s stick to what’s there, and so far there isn’t much more than a most excellent EP released on the said label. Earlier this week, Ninja Tune affiliate label Technicolour revealed its first album release, the 11-track “Romantic Psychology 1” by —you guessed it— the oh-so-mysterious Levantis. You can listen to a first track above, but I’m sure before its release on October 30th, there will be plenty more to be revealed.

Pre-order on Bandcamp or the NinjaShop.

NameBrandSound – Nowadays Pressure EP

I first heard about NameBrandSound, the new project by IG Culture and Bugz in the Attic’s Alex Phountzi, when the latter sent me a track some months ago. Back then I wasn’t too impressed by most music categorized as juke. Yes, it had a certain energy and rawness that was compelling, but on the downside most of the music sounded cheap. All of that has changed when DJ Rashad’s Double Cup came out on Hyperdub, as it introduced a more coherent, organic sound.

I’m happy to say that the debut EP by NameBrandSound brings along the mature production quality, while keeping the raw energy of its American cousin. It’s good to hear the duo venturing into something new and I’m looking forward to where they’ll take their experimentations with the genre in the future. The four tracker was released yesterday on Ninja Tune sublabel Technicolour and is available on vinyl and digital download. Order your copy directly from the label or try Bleep, iTunes or your favourite record store.

PS: You might also want to checkout the NameBrandSound mixtape on Solid Steel