Tag Archives: Danger Mouse

Newest Love: Palo Duro

“Surrounded by an ethereal haze of guitars and billowing bass lines, Michael J. Winningham’s bittersweet vocals simmer as he croons over an ’80s-era snare” — SPIN

Palo Duro is the pulsating, technicolor universe of Michael J. Winningham, an Austin based songwriter previously fronting the band Gold Beach.

In July 2012, Michael reached out to his childhood friend, producer Sam Cohen (Kevin Morby, Benjamin Booker) to continue work on a new Gold Beach record. As teenagers, Sam helped Michael arrange his first song at a house party in Houston TX. They were 16 years old at the time. Fast forward many years later and this creative synergy proved to be strong—Instantly, in the studio, exciting and bold ideas emerged.  Collaboration and endless possibilities informed the arrangements between Sam, Michael, and keyboardist Carlos Orozco, and a new spirit was born. This was no longer Gold Beach.

Two years flew by and a rotating cast of musicians were invited to join the recording process. New songs emerged from studios in Wimberley TX, New York City, and Los Angeles. In this time, 23 songs were recorded, and eventually, Michael would name the project Palo Duro. In the summer of 2016, the music was introduced to 30th Century Records founder Brian Burton, aka Danger Mouse, and plans began to release the music.

The first single, “Darken the Glow” is a William Onyeabor inspired pop song with scaling guitars, a dirty back beat and a chorus that soars in the direction of Quincy Jones. “Darken the Glow” embodies the trust, the celebration, and ultimately, the creativity of this body of work and the people involved.  The found footage video, featuring hundreds of skeleton-clad Lucha Libre fighters dancing while eating ramen, sumo-wrestlers, and dragons falling from the sky, echoes this celebration.

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New Electric Guest Album, Mondo, Out Tomorrow

Asa Taccone and Matthew Compton–collectively known as Electric Guest have confirmed an April 24 release date (that’s tomorrow!) for their Danger Mouse-produced Downtown Records/Fontana North debut album, Mondo.

Stream: Electric Guest – “This Head I Hold”

The thoroughly unsettling video for album cut “American Daydream,” directed by Jorma Taccone (The Lonely Island, Saturday Night Live), premiered across MTV’s various platforms on January 23.

The duo is set to begin the second leg of their national tour on April 25.

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Video: Mati Zundel – “Senor Montecostes”

“In Zundel’s electronic music and in this song “Señor Montecostes” you can hear the sounds of South America but also the sounds of Africa in the cumbia dance rhythms, the sounds of Detroit and some dubstep.” – Bob Boilen, NPR Music

“ZZK is the first label to push the sound of Argentina from the villa (ghettos) to the uptown.  ZZK is a big part in bringing this to the attention of the people.” – Diplo

Mati Zundel’s is the first proper album release since Waxploitation (Danger Mouse, Gnarls Barkley, The Causes Compilations) joined up with ZZK Records out of Buenos Aires. If you’re unfamiliar with ZZK and Mati, they’ve been pioneering a new type of experimental dance music that fuses everything from dancehall to dubstep with música tipica of South America. If you’re looking for a good background on what’s going on down in the Argentine experimental dance scene, DJ Rupture’s feature in Fader a few years back is a good place to start. And for more info on Mati, check out NPR’s piece where they named him one of the favorite new artists of 2011 (read HERE).

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Check It Out: Waxploitation / ZZK Compilation

“Whether it’s making thousands of European ravers lose their shit at Roskilde, winning over tents of sunburned Americans at Coachella, or inspiring Argentines to dance to something besides endless drum and bass, the artists of Zizek have gone from their own tropical new-school cumbia club night in Buenos Aires to stages all over the world.”Blackbook

“There’s really nothing like ZZK Records anywhere in the world: the avant Argentinian label releases experimental, digital cumbias and other unique interpretations traditional Latin genres; acts as a family, collective and nightclub in Buenos Aires; and, of course, travels the globe.” Fader

Buenos Aires’ ZZK Records officially signed on with Waxploitation here in the U.S., and to celebrate the partnership, the labels have released an compilation of all the label’s artists for free via Soundcloud. You can hear it HERE. If you’re not familiar with ZZK, they’re the label that’s leading the experimental electronic music scene in South America, mixing disparate genres like grime and dance with cumbia and other influences. You can read Fader’s feature on the scene here for some background.

The labels will be jointly releasing the Argentinian label’s catalog, which includes Temor, Frikstailers, Chancha via Circuito, and more. Waxploitation/ZZK will be putting out the debut Super Guachin EP, Piratas y Fichines, today, followed by Fauna’s full length album Manshines on January 10th, as well as Mati Zundel’s debut album Amazonico Gravitante on March 27th. If you’re not familiar with Waxploitation, it’s the label/management company that brought up Danger Mouse, Gnarls Barkley, and Broken Bells, as well as the Causescompilations.

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Broken Bells Released Today!

Danger Mouse and James Mercer’s collaborative project Broken Bells FINALLY released their self-title debut today.

Track listing: (my favorites are in BOLD)

1. The High Road

2. Vaporize

3. Your Head Is On Fire

4. The Ghost Inside

5. Sailing To Nowhere

6. Trap Doors

7. Citizen

8. October

9. Mongrel Heart

10. The Mall & Misery

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Highly Anticipated: Broken Bells

The Shins’ frontman James Mercer has teamed up with Danger Mouse to form Broken Bells.

As soon as I heard a sentence similar to that, I immediately had to check out the video for their first single “The High Road.”

You can listen to the song through YouTube above, or you can click here to check out the actual video.

(Album comes out March 9th. Mark your calendars and begin the countdown!)

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