Rizzle Kicks are the UK duo of vocalist/MC Harley Sylvester and rapper/MC Jordan a.k.a Rizzle. These two lads, who hail from the quintessential Victorian seaside city of Brighton, are no strangers to the music scene and they have been happily moving around the circuit gaining a steady fan base whilst honing their unique style over the last couple of years. Rizzle Kicks are in an esteemed group of artists (Adele, Katy B, Kate Nash) who have worked at the BRIT school, however, these two have something special; very special, and it is worth taking note.
Rizzle Kicks are a physical example of genre fusing to the extreme and the pair carry it off dynamically with guile and dexterity. Labelling their music as "Indie-hop", it is evident there is a plethora of musical genres spliced apart and sewn back together to form a bold patchwork of expressionism and audio treats when this duo come along. Hip-hop, urban, reggae, soul, jazz, indie, pop, rock, grime; so many influences make up the Rizzle Kicks package, and the result is phenomenal. This blog isn't the most clued-up on this style of music, but from Owlbynight's point of view, if you like a monstrous blend of De La Soul, Audio Bullys, Sway, Jamie T, The Ordinary Boys, Akala and Katy B, then Rizzle Kicks is definitely going to be your eardrums next best friend.
"Down With The Trumpets" is the track stepping into the spotlight on this occasion. With an EP ("Shun The Non-Believer"), a mixtape ("Minor Breaches Of Discipline") and a superb music video for the outstanding single "Prophet", these two are gradually making progress and turning heads. "Down With the Trumpets" is a delightfully infectious tune that is perfectly suited to those hazy summer days by the beach. The song kicks off with iconically smooth New Orleans-esque trumpeting shoved alongside a determined, sturdy and thumping beat, that strings the song along neatly from start to end. The lyrics are cheeky, amusing and carefree. However they are also relevant, sincere and excellently put together, working symbiotically with the song as as whole. These boys are humble, polite almost; polite Mc-ing does indeed work industriously, and Rizzle Kicks are proof of that. The song tumbles along with an air of early 90's hip-hop; spitting out bubbly pop and skittish feel good vibes. Lyrics such as "Girls make our judgement cloudy" and "We don't wanna be lousy, or shameless, but we're running around like we're blameless" epitomise the youthful rambunctious nature of modern teenage living and mirrors the excitable composition of a typical Rizzle Kicks song. "Down With The Trumpets" is savvy and full of verve; perfectly encapsulating the DIY bravado the duo uphold so easily.
"Down With The Trumpets" punches on through with a buzzing bass-line, an energetic quirky beat, intertwined with sassy instrumentals layered on top. The vocals and lyrics are refreshingly honest and breezy possessing a spirited wit and characterful charm. Being a Brighton-based blog, it is clear that this city has influenced Rizzle Kicks; fun-loving, individual and charismatic. They are like a fluffy version of 'Kidulthood', replacing guns and drugs with beach parties and summer anthems. The music video for "Down With The Trumpets" reflects the creative DNA instilled in this duo; vagabond-like and mischievous. Visually urban and concrete, cutting between streets and promenades with enthusiastic motivation. The filming techniques at around 2.46 onwards are fantastic, contextually reminiscent of Late Of The Pier's video for "Heartbeat" with the cascade of shots that "fall" into the next cut; subtle yet superb.
Rizzle Kicks are making waves; big ones at that. They are in a select band of artists who can effortlessly string together genres and repackage it into their own unique and individualistic style which is colourful, lyrically enticing and fun. The record label vultures will soon be circling no doubt, but in the mean time, show these guys some love and check out their Facebook/Myspace/Youtube pages and watch the music video for "Down With The Trumpets" below.
WOLF GANG - "THE KING AND ALL OF HIS MEN"
If you cast aside images of furry aggressive canines hunting in packs amidst snowy boreal forests or classical composers with terrible hairpieces, you will be able to acquaint yourself with a new type of wolf and his gang. Today, at present, Wolf Gang is the humbling yet suave London based Max McElligott and his three-piece band. They have been around for several years now and have churned out some brilliant tunes already; namely "Pieces Of You", which was met with positive responses from the music scene in general. Now, however, Wolf Gang is gearing up to release his debut album "Suego Faults", having worked with Blue May (Lykke Li) and influenced by the genius that is David Fridmann of MGMT fame. Packed onto the album are some sparkling diamond wonders, including the latest single "The King And All Of His Men".
From the off, "The King And All His Men" starts with a powerful amount of shimmering keying and steady drum beats creating an encouraging amount of subconscious bodily swaying and foot stepping for the listener. This song doesn't hold back, surging forth with melancholic charm and mysterious agendas. The enigmatic synths hark back serenely to the progressive electro heydays of David Bowie and Talking Heads, as well as the pop ready commerciality of say, someone like A-Ha (based on their comeback in the mid-noughties). The song excellently pulls together folky indie and kindly ushers it against the more vibrant and neon tones of electro synthesising, creating a musical style that cascades so fluidly amongst one another. The watery sublimity and dynamic flow of the synthing works well in combination with the more subtle yet satisfactory punchy bass-line.
The amalgam of competent drumming, whimsical synths and stocky beats carries on through to the chorus which encompasses the unique blend of musical genre styles that Wolf Gang harnesses so perfectly. The chorus is airy and flows with relative ease thanks to the silky smooth vocals of McElligott; haunting and piercing, they inject the song with a resolute and fervent passion, emphasised further by the rich and romantically dark emotive lyrics. Lines such as "How to be sure that what you say is the truth. When I see flaws in every thing that you do" underline the heavy weighting behind this tune. The nature of this song and musical direction is reminiscent of more modern acts such as Lykke Li, The Sound Of Arrows, The Presets, and Frankmusik, or a more melodic sounding Infadels crossed with a more adventurous Cut Copy. Either way, 'the sound' creates a splendid contemporary blend that takes the form of one talented Wolf (and his Gang).
However, despite the seemingly heavy undertones of such lyrics, the velvety charms of McElligott work diligently with the robust nature of the chorus to create a more upbeat thoroughfare upon hearing this stunning anthemic number. The song builds further into a powerful indie-electro-pop track, perfect for a warm summer evening; pre-drinks before the gritty indie club night ahead sort of listening. Wolf Gang has a solid presence throughout this song and it simmers through effortlessly. The composition is nice and functional; the masterful balance of energetic indie, the raucous drumming, buoyant electro synthing, coupled with strong lyrics and a harmonious voice sit neatly together. "The King And All Of His Men" is a charming song ready for the UK masses. If you like excellently crafted and credible indie-electro-pop that has meaning and depth as well as a man with aptitude for creating contemporary musical brilliance, Wolf Gang is definitely the furry mongrel choice for you.
Check out Wolf Gang's Facebook fan page and press the 'like' button and show the guy some well earned love by visiting his Myspace/Youtube and personal webpages. Watch the music video for "The King And All Of His Men" below, sit back and enjoy.