After dropping the epic sound and video for "Stadium Pow Wow", A Tribe Called Red returns with "We Are the Halluci Nation", the lead single and title track from their new album.
Anticipation for the new ATCR album has been steadily building, and now we have a taste of what's to come.
"We Are the Halluci Nation" begins with a beautiful incantation by legendary poet and AIM activist John Trudell (rest in power), and builds through moody electronics that subtly interweave spoken word with the sounds of their frequent collaborators, powwow drum group Northern Voice.
It's a sonic space akin to a dream state as only the Tribe can do. An imagining of an alternate world.
"We are the tribe that they cannot see", begins Trudell. "We live on an industrial reservation. We are the Halluci Nation. We have been called the Indians. We have been called Native American. We have been called hostile. We have been called pagan. We have been called militant. We have been called many names. We are the the Halluci Nation. We are the Human Beings. The callers of names cannot see us, but we can see them...Our DNA is of earth and sky. Our DNA is of past and future. We are the Halluci Nation. We are the evolution. The continuation."
We Are the Halluci Nation features an incredible A-list of collaborators—from hip-hop artists Yasiin Bey, Saul Williams, The Narcicyst and Shad to Indigenous superstars Tanya Tagaq, Joseph Boyden, and Jen Kreisberg, to powwow drum groups Northern Voice and Black Bear —and it looks to be an epic exploration and conceptual leap forward from what they've done to date.
The song and full album tracklisting are now available on iTunes. The album will be released September 16th.
Stream "We Are the Halluci Nation" on Spotify here.
A Tribe Called Red - We Are the Halluci Nation - Full Tracklist
- We Are the Halluci Nation (feat. John Trudell & Northern Voice)
- R.E.D. (feat. Yasiin Bey, Narcy & Black Bear)
- The Virus (feat. Saul Williams & Black Bear)
- BEFORE (feat. Joseph Boyden)
- Sila (feat. Tanya Tagaq)
- The Light (feat. Lido Pimienta)
- Maima Koopi (feat. OKA & Chippewa Travellers)
- JHD (feat. Junior Ottawa)
- Eanan (feat. Maxida Marak)
- The Muse (feat. Jen Kreisberg)
- Indian City (feat. Northern Voice)
- How I Feel (feat. Leonard Sumner, Shad & Northern Voice)
- For You (feat. Lido Pimienta) [The Light, Pt. 2]
- ALie Nation (feat. John Trudell, Lido Pimienta, Tanya Tagaq & Northern Voice)
- SOON (feat. Joseph Boyden)
Download a hype, collaborative mixtape between Staying Underground and RPM's Culturite.
Staying Underground and RPM connected earlier this year over a love of dope beats and good music.
Host and curator Thomas Rapsey's expertly curated Staying Underground mixtapes are, as he puts it, "Where The Future Culture Is Found", and his selections—which range widely through soul, hip-hop, electronics, instrumentals, and destination out experiments—are second to none.
Listening through his Collaborator series—which pairs a guest DJ mix on the A Side, with Rapsey helming the B Side—we thought it would be fire to join forces.
RPM's Culturite (aka Jarrett Martineau), who compiled our Indigenous Futurisms and #NationHood Mixtapes, drops a mix of his latest favourites, while Rapsey rounds out the B Side with some killer cuts, both interspersed with iconic cinematic samples.
And it's only fitting that we drop this new collab on October 12th—Indigenous Peoples' Day.
Let's make this a time to reorient our attention away from the evils of colonial marauders, and toward the celebration of Indigenous life—and the music that unites us in struggle for a decolonized world.
Staying Underground x RPM prsnt:
A Side: Culturite 1. Phantogram - Fall in Love (RATKING Falling Off Remix) 2. J Dilla - Dillatronic #7 3. Branko - Take Off (Ft. Princess Nokia) 4. Flako - Twelve O'Clock Shadow 5. Frank Liin - Enslaved 6. Little Simz - Is This Freedom? 7. OSHUN - Protect Your Self [Prod. by Eric David] 8. ILLER - Healings 9. Aesop Rock - Cat Food 10. Ras_G - Let _ G Know… (Keep It A Billion) 11. Low Leaf + King Britt - A Light Within 12. Fatima - Circles 13. WOKE - The Lavishments of Light Looking (Ft. George Clinton) 14. emune & deadxbeat - thru time
B Side: Mistah Rapsey 1. Estere - Reptilian Journey (Jordan Rakei Remix) 2. KEITA JUMA - H O L Y 3. Tom Misch - High 4. Mndsgn - Exhale 5. Blu - Cosmophobia [Prod. by fate] 6. Jitwam - Alone 7. Pacific Yew - (((( Bloodroot Bloom )))) 8. Jean Deaux - Who Am I 9. Mo Kolours - Orphan’s Lament 10. +ma - indigo w/ v.wegen 11. Little Simz - Wings [Prod. by IAMNOBODI] 12. Kanye West - Touch the Sky (Johnnie Young Remix) 13. Janita - Let Me Love You (NeguimBeats Remix) 14. montell2099 - found 15. Ta-ku - Krule Love
RPM is pleased to present the 2015 imagineNATIVE mixtape, as part of the festival's 16th annual celebration of Indigenous creativity.
The imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival is the world's largest showcase of film, music, and media arts by Indigenous artists.
Boasting an incredible diversity in contemporary forms of Indigenous creative expression, the festival celebrates the thriving artistry among Indigenous Peoples. Running October 14-18 in Toronto, we are pleased to partner with imagineNATIVE to support the festival's commitment to Indigenous music.
On Saturday, October 17, imagineNATIVE will present a live music performance night "The Beat DJ POW! WOW!" — featuring electronic sets from GlitClit, Madeskimo, and Akkil.
To get you hyped for the show, we've assembled a fresh, new mixtape featuring all three of the artists performing at the show.
Inuk electronic artist madeskimo, a.k.a. Geronimo Inutiq, uses live instruments, digital and analogue synths, and a deft hand at remixing and processing samples to blend traditional Inuit, Aboriginal, modern electronic and urban music into experimental new hybrids.
GlitClit is the DJ project of acclaimed Colombian singer and electronic artist Lido Pimienta, who experiments with Indigenous sonics, beats, live looping, and hypnotic vocals. Known as “Colombian darling” and “SoundSister”, Pimienta has been bumping up Afro-Indigenous chanting and rhythms with brass, experimental noise, walls of sound and her beautiful voice, creating a hyper-coloured hybrid sound that can’t be boxed into lazy genre tags.
Rounding out the night, we will be joined by Akkil - who fuses traditional Sámi joik and Sámi classics with the synth-sounds from the 1980s, to celebrate and honour Sámi musical traditions while infusing them with new dancefloor rhythms.
Hosted by Rachelle White Wind, "The Beat" will also feature breakdancing performances by Jay Robi, Siez Swift & Krystal Riverz, with a special performance by Rhythm Natives.
In addition to live performances, and music-themed screenings, this year's festival will also feature some new experiments with Virtual Reality Portals, where audiences get to experience immersive "Oculus VR" demos featuring music from A Tribe Called Red and Tanya Tagaq.
Don't miss this incredible celebration of Indigenous creativity and community. And join us on Saturday for an epic NDN throwdown on the dancefloor.
"The Beat DJ POW! WOW!" will be held Saturday, October 17th at Revival in Toronto.
DOWNLOAD: The imagineNATIVE 2015 Mixtape
Wolf Saga's Auburn Nights, is the instant classic synthpop album you need in your life.
If you've been sleeping on Wolf Saga, now's the time to get acquainted.
Storming onto the scene with a slew of killer remixes, covers, and 80s-inspired interpretations of everyone from Foster the People and The Strokes, to Lorde and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Wolf Saga is elevating his game with every release.
Toronto-based Johnny Saga is the fast-rising Anishinaabe singer, producer, and multi-instrumentalist behind the project, and he's been rocking a consistently deadly hybrid electronic style that effortlessly blends synth-pop melodic sensibilities with indie rock cred and buttery, analogue elements. Check his recent set of Sessions X videos for a taste.
After dropping dope sets of covers and remixes over the past two years, Wolf Saga released My Time, his debut EP of original music, in 2014. He's been racking up accolades along the way: his epic SoundCloud stream has been clocking record numbers (his collab cover of The Strokes' "You Only Live Once" is currently sitting at +614,000 plays and was one of the HypeMachine Zeitgeist's 50 most-blogged songs of 2014), and his Vine-tastic video for "Our Time" is pushing 500k views on YouTube.
Wolf Saga's blowing up the internet and it's easy to hear why.
The title track from his latest Auburn Nights EP immediately brings to mind not only everyone's favourite whistled hook from the mid-oughts (a song that, yes, is another one he's covered), but also Johnny's own penchant for polished production, lush pop grooves, and immediately infectious electronics.
"All In", featured here in both its original form and a New Division remix, is a perfect pop composition straight out of swirling synthesized worlds of early MGMT, while "Walls" is a head-nodding, breezy blend of catchy guitar lines and Johnny's captivating vocal hooks—that pay special homage to the life of his grandmother and the teachings she passed down to him.
Auburn Nights goes deep on some neon summer, 80s-iridescent vibes—it's a perfect sunny accompaniment to the final wave of summer heat that we can all feel shimmering by. Johnny says the new EP is all about "following your dream, finding real love, and gender equality".
We like where he's headed. And it's going to be big. Time to run with the Wolf.
PREMIERE: Stream Wolf Saga's "Auburn Nights"
Catch Wolf Saga live in Los Angeles on September 14th for the Auburn Nights EP release party.
RPM and Aboriginal Music Week are joining forces for an epic closing night party this year. Check our exclusive AMW Mixtape to get a taste of what's to come.
We enlisted the talent of rising Anishinaabe hip-hop producer and DJ Boogey the Beat to compile sounds from this year's AMW artists and it's the perfect soundtrack for #MixtapeMonday.
Bringing together hip-hop and R&B tracks from all of our closing night party performers including—Hellnback, Mariame, T-Rhyme, and Tall Paul—as well as the eclectic electronics of Exquisite Ghost, the rap stylings of Mic Jordan, a guest appearance by Lightning Cloud, and some of Boogey's own killer productions, this is a party rocking, beat-based excursion into the contemporary sounds of #IndigenousExcellence.
DOWNLOAD THE AMW MIXTAPE:
- Boogey The Beat - The Beginning
- Exquisite Ghost - Bringing Dawn
- Exquisite Ghost - Hands To The Sky
- Hellnback - B.T.B.B. Ft. Lightning Cloud
- Hellnback - Spaceship
- Mariame - Electric
- Mariame - Native Ft. Supaman
- Boogey The Beat - Sidestep
- Boogey The Beat - Uja (Tanya Tagaq Remix)
- Mic Jordan - It Feels Good
- Mic Jordan - Miigwetch (Thank You)
- T-Rhyme - Apollo Red
- T-Rhyme - Tha Truth
- Tall Paul - I Don't Need Glove
- Tall Paul - Orange Juice In My Cereal
Boogey The Beat is the principal producer behind the CTL Records releases along with the introductory music for CBC's "New Fire with Lisa Charleyboy." His DJing chops have landed him on stages for the Indspire Awards and Stage 49 at the Gathering of Nations. He's set to take the stage at Aboriginal Music Week's Closing Night Party presented by RPM.FM on Saturday, August 22, 2015. Closing Night Party presented by RPM.FM Tall Paul, Mariame, HellnbacK, T-Rhyme*, Boogey The Beat Saturday, August 22, 2015 9PM - 2AM The Good Will, 625 Portage Avenue Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada Tix $10 | 18+ I.D. Req'd aboriginalmusicweek.ca | #IndigenousExcellence
Listen to Once A Tree's striking debut EP, Thousand Lives, in full.
We've been on a Once A Tree kick in the past few weeks, since being introduced to their killer new singles "Take Me" and "Howling". Now you can stream the duo's new EP, Thousand Lives, in full, through Spotify.
Thousand Lives lulls, seduces, captures, and holds you enthralled throughout its 6-song cycle of melancholic electronic pop and R&B.
Trust us. Once A Tree is ready to take on the world.
Just wait 'til the soaring final bars of the EP's title track fade out into the ambient, haunted atmosphere...you'll be reaching out for more.
STREAM: Once A Tree - Thousand Lives EP
Once A Tree's Thousand Lives is now available on iTunes
A Tribe Called Red drops a free single on this most colonial of national holidays.
And that song is none other than a 2015 remix of legendary Cree singer Buffy Sainte Marie's classic "Working for the Government". In A Tribe Called Red's capable hands, the song transforms from an already upbeat anthem into a rockin', four-on-the-floor, dancefloor destroyer.
Mixing politics and partying you say? Ironically celebrating Canada, you say? Sounds like a perfect pairing.
And what could be more CanCon than a collab between the first lady of Indigenous song, and one of the newly dubbed Top 10 Canadian Bands of All Time?
Get the free download right here.
DOWNLOAD: A Tribe Called Red ft. Buffy Sainte-Marie - "Working For The Government 2015 Mix"
ATCR - Summer 2015 Tour Dates
July 4 – Eskasoni, NS – Eskasoni PowWow
July 12 – Toronto, ON – PanAM Park, Echo Beach (free show)
July 17 – Trumansburg, NY – GrassRoots Festival
July 18 – Toronto, ON – Aboriginal Pavillion, Fort York (free show)
July 23 – Peguis First Nation, MB – Peguis Arena
July 24 – Brandon, MB – Brandon Folk Music & Art Festival
July 31 – Montreal, QC – Osheaga Music & Arts Festival
August 1 – Sept-Iles, QC – Innu Nikamu festival
August 7 – Washington, DC – Smithonian Museum (free show)
August 12 – Toronto, ON – Nathan Phillips Square (free show)
August 15 – Sudbury, ON – UP FEST, Durham Playgrounds
Sovereign Trax is back with their June playlist of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists.
Our cross-continental collab continues with the crew from Sovereign Trax, bringing you the dopest sounds of "nue & old trax...from contemporary and experimental" artists from the lands of occupied 'Australia'.
Last month, SovTrax launched the second issue of their new zine, Sovereign Apocalypse, blending artful contributions into future imaginings of Indigenous sovereignty. Their latest issue, appropriately rocking on an Indigenous Futurism vibe, is themed around "Galactic Imaginings"—and features an interstellar mix of interviews, art, poetry, fashion photography, lyrics, recipes, and more. Equal parts Indigenous intervention and aesthetic subversion, SOVAPOC is bringing new forms to decolonizing self-representations and Aboriginal reimaginings of our collective present and future freedom.
Shout out to co-creators Hannah Donnelly and Gabi Briggs for pushing the #IndigenousMusic and media movement forward. Check this recent review via The Lifted Brow:
The zine was launched last month in Melbourne with an all-star line-up of live performances by Seeka, Birdz, GekkZ, Tahu Dubs and Marze, as the SOVAPOC collective continues to update your essential listening list with the best of contemporary and experimental music by black artists. Blackfulla musicians, artists and writers en masse whether in performance, playlists or publications can evoke a great sense of solidarity and excited strength among blackfullas, but also offer something thrilling and new to a general public. This is what this eye-catching, tactile zine is doing in Melbourne, I think, and perhaps its applicability is because it feels as if it has come from Wiradjuri country, country pre-colonisation (only 230 years ago, I’ll keep saying it, it’s such a short time), and country now urbanised, slick and gritty and flashy – the mix of both these truths finding popularity in the hand-selling and online selling of this publication.
On the musical tip, the latest selections of Sovereign Trax celebrate indigeneity and resistance in multiple forms, featuring new songs from the likes of R.3.B, JPoint, Robbie Miller, and Lady Lash. The talent runs deep and the sounds are an effortless mix of hip-hop, electronica, R&B, reggae, and bluesy-acoustic...all representing Indigenous pride and power.
STREAM: SOVEREIGN TRAX - JUNE MIX
Sovereign Trax: June Playlist - Track List
- E.T.P - Habit’s Die Hard
- Nathan Morrison x Robbie Miller - Oceans
- Golden Features x Thelma Plum - No One
- Coedie Ochre Warrah - GRIIIND
- Marze x Seeka - Lady Lady
- Lady Lash - World Gone Silly ft. Pyne
- Philly - Dreamchaser
- JPoint - Get Wrecked
- Zaacharia Fielding - She is the Light
- Scott Campbell - Tipsy
- Bow and Arrow - Midnight
- Paul Gorrie - Pay the Rent
- Karate Surfing - Shadows
- Eastern Reggae - Grog’s No Good
- Marlene Cummins - Pemulwuy
Silver Jackson drops a video for the title track from his latest album, Starry Skies Opened Eyes.
One of our favourite releases of 2014, Silver Jackson's Starry Skies Opened Eyes is a bold imagining of an Indigenous future found in the reclamation of life and the rediscovery of present possibilities in the here and now.
Collaborating with Diné filmmaker Dylan McLaughlin, the Tlingit Unangax̂ artist has released an evocative black and white music video for the album's title track, "Starry Skies Opened Eyes".
Here's what he had to say about the clip and the album:
"Starry Skies Opened Eyes features" vocals from multidisciplinary Métis artist Moe Clark. The album was recorded over a three year period that saw Jackson narrowly escape death in a hunting accident, and traces his path to newfound perspectives on life through love and gratitude…friends and family.
Watch the video below and stream the full album, Starry Skies Opened Eyes, right here on RPM.
Toronto duo Once A Tree drops their latest single, "Take Me".
Once A Tree is a band of the moment.
Although their trap-inflected take on downtempo, dreamy, electronic pop at times harkens back to the chilled out sounds of the early 90s, Once A Tree wraps their low key beats in a hazy 21st century collage of aesthetic influences.
Saulteaux singer Jayli Wolf's lilting vocals pair beautifully with husband Hayden John Wolf's 808-stamped beat production, and their sound is completed with soaring synths, spacious pads, and drifting melodies.
"Take Me" fits the bit bill perfectly and further locks Once A Tree's rep as a duo to watch closely as they continue their rapid rise into pop cultural notoriety. It's only a matter of time.
Their debut EP, Thousand Lives, drops July 10, 2015 on Foreseen Entertainment.
STREAM: Once A Tree, "Take Me"
Winnipeg-based electronic producer, Exquisite Ghost, shares insights into his creative process and the burgeoning Indigenous beat-making scene.
Jordan Thomas, aka Exquisite Ghost, is something of an anomaly in the contemporary Indigenous music community.
Although headlining acts like A Tribe Called Red have claimed a centre stage spotlight at the intersection of electronic dance music and powwow-infused rhythms, more cerebral and esoteric beat excursions by Indigenous producers have received less critical acclaim and attention.
But that's not for a lack of innovation and creative expression.
If anything, Exquisite Ghost's productions offer a more nuanced and exploratory set of aesthetics than many dancefloor-focused DJs can provide. Echoes of J Dilla, Flying Lotus, and Aphex Twin can be heard in his production style, but Thomas is crafting his own uniquely melodic and ethereal take on contemporary beat-making. Through an evolving set of sonic experiments, Exquisite Ghost brings a deft hand and hip-hop-inspired touch to his head-nodding and hypnotic compositions.
Following the 2013 release of his debut album, Shrines, on Salient Sounds, Thomas has been steadily dropping gems on his SoundCloud. Although, by ATCR standards, he's still flying under the radar, Thomas is definitely a producer to watch—one who's changing the game in the process.
We caught up with him to talk music, creative inspiration, collaboration, and upcoming album plans. Stream and download new tracks from Exquisite Ghost below.
Thanks for talking with us. Please introduce yourself and tell us what nation you're from.
I am Jordan Thomas, Exquisite Ghost, from Peguis First Nation, and thank you too.
Where'd you grow up? What's your connection to your home community?
I was raised in Winnipeg, with a large branch of my grandparents and family living in Peguis, which I have visited at times since I was young. My grandparents were taken through residential schools and, as I grew up, they told stories of how they made their way to rise above. My immediate family is working with many First Nations in design and media, building projects.
How did you get started making music?
I think watching my dad firsthand getting his architecture degrees, as I was growing up, the long path to developing forms and conceptions until they are concrete, and to have musical experiences and inner questions about what is salient when these things have to come together—they're are all sort of the beginning of my path to music. I began playing guitar, which was my dad's, and we had a recording studio when I was younger, which was my uncle's. They all played music, my grandfathers on both sides, virtually everyone, my mother too, so it was definitely something that was waiting to happen.
What inspires you to create?
These days after all the hundreds of jams and tracks and ideas and days spent with music, I will be inspired by a feeling or memory, or musician, movie, show, a friend in conversation, a sound of a train outside...it's this idea about how, these days, there's a fluidity of information that we're faced with, organizing these messages constantly, so it's always interesting to arrange music in a very open sort of way. The effects of fusion in music, in a global sense, are becoming very apparent, so a musical conversation between timeless Indigenous cultures is being recognized and engaged with in excitement, fun and playfulness. Not without due respect for the places of origin—in time, in people and places—but it is this way that we learn and discover more about ourselves.
A lot of your music has an otherworldly quality to it. What do you think of Indigenous Futurism? Do you feel like your work fits in that vision?
The idea of Indigenous futurisms feels exciting. As some descriptions mix and blend over time, proto-neo-post-meta-style, fusion, world music mixing with jazz, rock, pop, dub, bass—my country or yours, this land or that land—the qualities of my own vision of the music are intrinsic to a combination of these. That might include connections to other things: like sci-fi, literature, or design in general. A thread I followed through my life, was when my dad was thinking about what Indigenous architecture ought to feel like, or how to describe it, and to demonstrate the connection between the two words.
So the feel of a lot of my work has been created from inversions of mixtures of textures and places I listened to music from— worldwide, from any time, past or present, that I felt was interesting, and from trying to get deep into finding out what it's affecting by listening and playing. It has a futuristic feel for sure. Sometimes I like to imagine what music in clubs or spaceships, or as you walk down the street far into the unrecognizable future, might sound like, and why.
Your first album, Shrines, dropped in 2013. Since then you've been posting some dope new tracks on your SoundCloud. Can we expect a new album soon?
Since Shrines, I have had to deal with a time consuming, unexpected house fire that took up a lot of space and showed me a lot of things. Six months without internet for one. Life has changed. Producing music now, in this state after getting engaged with it fully, finally feels great. And there are plans and themes for an album of Exquisite Ghost music that I've been fine tuning for the past year. I am working on sound and music for a game as well, that is underway, involving Space and Canoes. It's an Indigenous Futurist piece, and I'm learning tons about producing these projects, culturally and creatively.
Who are you collaborating with on your new stuff? Is there an Indigenous beat-making scene emerging that we can keep an eye for?
I am always seeking people to talk with about music, or just about ideas in general. The idea of sampling, contextualizing, is integral to growth, and welcomes surprises, and the music I'm working on now is shaped to be remixed, or to inspire anyone interested in it to reach out and chat. I want to make music for people. That's what truly inspires me. There is always music around to find: the Indigenous Futurisms Mixtape on RPM was incredible, wonderful music, along with the artists listed on the site, the shows of Aboriginal Music Week, the musicians I played to, all have really brought something special to my own music. I'm enjoying exploring.
Listen to new tracks from Exquisite Ghost
Watch Exquisite Ghost, "Evening"
Exquisite Ghost's Shrines is available in digital format and on limited edition vinyl from Salient Sounds.