As TOKiMONSTA, California producer Jennifer Lee’s charted a fascinating career over the past seven years, and Lune Rouge is her exhilarating next step. The third proper long-player from TOKiMONSTA is both a logical progression of her sound and a surprising left turn from an artist that rarely ceases to surprise. A smoky, patient, and altogether lovely collection, Lune Rouge mixes modern sensibilities with old-school sounds to make for a heady brew of moonlit music.
Lune Rouge is the culmination of all the experiences I've encountered so far," Lee explains the album's genesis, which she started work on in late 2015 before being diagnosed with a rare neurovascular condition called Moyamoya. A year later, after two major brain surgeries and extensive rehabilitation, Lune Rouge was finished. "During its creation, I faced some of the most difficult and uplifting moments of my life. Seeing myself at the edge of my own mortality and how I chose to move past is a story told in this album."
Lee’s work as TOKiMONSTA gained widespread recognition from the very start: her 2010 debut album, Midnight Menu, saw release on Flying Lotus’ Brainfeeder imprint and cemented her reputation as a formidable presence of the then-emerging West Coast beat scene. 2011’s Brainfeeder release Creature Dreams EP expanded on Midnight Menu's palette with successful forays into vocal-led cuts thanks to the presence of regular collaborator Gavin Turek; the 2013 LP and Ultra Music debut Half Shadowsfound Lee exploring darker shades of her sound with guests such as Kool Keith and MNDR in tow.
Following Half Shadows’ release, Lee collaborated with artists like Jessie Ware, Anderson .Paak, and Kelly Rowland, while also putting out several records on her own Young Art Records imprint that served as practical blueprints for the dusky environs
of Lune Rouge. Mini-albums Desiderium from 2014 and last year’s FOVERE elegantly deployed pitch-shifted vocal samples to add new textures to the TOKiMONSTA sound, and in 2015 she added her capable touch to Turek’s own mini-album, You’re Invited. All these roads lead to Lune Rouge, a lush work that stands as the summation of what she’s been cooking up since Half Shadows.
TOKiMONSTA’s sound has always kept one foot in the pop stratosphere, but Lune Rouge finds her diving in with glee. Her effervescent beats serve as the perfect framework for these gorgeous songs: Malaysian singer-songwriter Yuna weaves in and out of water-droplet tones and a stuttering chipmunk’d sample on lead single “Don’t Call Me.” "I'm super grateful to have created a song with Yuna," Lee gushes. "I was a fan of hers for a while, so I have to shout out the world wide web for allowing two people on different continents the ability to create together. The message of the track is really more than unwanted phone calls, but the idea of people deciding to show up only when they need you."Elsewhere, the MNDR-featuring “We Love” serves up perfect summer vibes with aquatic synth stabs and an instantly infectious chorus. Featuring a searing vocal take from Selah Sue, “I Wish I Could” fuses the clean-sounding classicism of contemporaries like Rhye with a buzzing throb that embodies the modern cool of contemporary R&B— and “No Way,” with features from Isaiah Rashad, Joey Purrp, and Ambre, sounds lovingly ripped from the dusty glory days of 90s hip-hop.
"I chose the title Lune Rouge, which translates to 'red moon', because I think people perceive it to hold ominous weight," Lee explains her thinking behind the album's title. "However, a red moon is rare and pretty awesome event from a scientific perspective and, to me, means significant change." And Lune Rouge is the latest change in her prismatic career—a testament to the healing powers of art in the face of insurmountable difficulty.
A fearless artist at his challenging yet melodic best, Mykki Blanco released his long-awaited debut full-length album Mykki (produced by Woodkid and Jermiah Meece) in September 2016 on his Dogfood Music Group imprint via !K7 Music.
Mykki Blanco has metamorphosed many times. The multi-faceted star was a child actor who founded a performance art collective as a teen, ran away from home, and won scholarships to two prestigious art colleges, quitting both as he realised that “the art world is just one big scam for rich people” - an idea touched upon in album trackHigh School Never Endswritten with Woodkid, which premiered on FADER in May.
Finding fame first as a fearless noise rap poet, he published a book From The Silence Of Duchamp To The Noise Of Boys. Then what started as a video art project about a “teenage drag rapper” transformed into 2 years of Blanco living as a transgender woman in his personal life. Though eventually not transitioning, Mykki Blanco graduated in real life experience as well as artistically into the non- binary gender-queer post-homo-hop musical artist that we see before us today. Needless to say, it’s impossible to pigeonhole Blanco and his unique and beautiful sound is no exception.
Amassing a vast online following with a savvy and savage social media output, Mykki is hailed online as a digital warrior princess who rules across the underground music scene with mixtapes likeGay Dog Food, cult hits like Kingpinning and sensational videos like Coke White, Starlight, The Initiation, Wavvy, and Haze Boogie Life. Blanco’s output to date has been hailed as razor sharp, ahead of its time and sometimes deliciously far out. Yet this album seems to leave much of the mayhem behind, marking yet another departure, this time in favour of melody and musicianship, and Mykki comes of age as a serious chart contender.
“I realised as an artist I need to focus on myself and on my work. Arguments with people online distract from that. I used to have a problem with the media trying to define me, either as a drag queen, or a transvestite, as a homosexual rapper, a transsexual or an HIV positive pop star, but most people need labels and my true fans know who I am and what I'm about"
Mykki Blanco’s referential framework is both archival and futuristic: a myriad of culture references, spiritual anecdotes, designer labels, make-up brands, hippie jargon, Fendi here and Snapchat there – all perfectly reflecting the creative dialogue digital landscape we live in.!
GAVLYN is a female Hip Hop artist born and raised in the San Fernando Valley, CA. She started out doing spoken word at the age of 16, deep in the heart of the Arts District of North Hollywood. She slowly transitioned into rap music once she decided to apply her poetry over instrumentals. Once she turned the age of 18, she started going to hip hop clubs in and around the Los Angeles area religiously. She became fully enamored with the rap lifestyle. She dropped her first video on YouTube titled "WHAT I DO" which was shot and directed by POETIC DEATH. The video went viral and went on to reach over 10 million views. GAVLYN has also dropped another music video last year which is gaining the same amount of attention titled "WE ON" which was produced by DJ HOPPA. That number is still climbing and currently has hit over 4 million views. GAVLYN has been consistently touring globally and locally since 2012.
"I never knew how real the internet was till I went on tour." - GAVLYN
GAVLYN is on an independent record label called BROKEN COMPLEX with her long time friend DJ HOPPA. GAVLYN & DJ HOPPA have been working closely together since 2012. They just recently dropped their second album together titled "HEADSPACE."