Cloud Sounds #16: with Shabazz Palaces, Iggy Pop, Nick Cave and Thurston Moore, Jon Hopkins and more

Our Music team's weekly playlist also showcases new tracks from Liars, Brainfeeder signing Taylor McFerrin, Anticon songbird Baths, Mogwai remixing Yann Tiersen, Guided by Voices, Trans Am, Earl Sweatshirt and more

Feature | 08 May 2014
  • Nick Cave

On this week's Cloud Sounds, a weekly playlist of new music curated by The Skinny, we delve into some deep, alternative hip-hop sounds with Sub Pop deconstructionists Shabazz Palaces and Odd Future wunderkind Earl Sweatshirt; ethereal neo-soul from Brainfeeder's Taylor McFerrin; and delicious electronic pop from Baths and Jon Hopkins (featuring Lulu James). There's also shoegaze-flecked garage rock from Trans Am; frenetic tribal rhythms deconstructed by OOIOO; blistering analogue techno from Factory Floor remixing Liars, and Edinburgh producer SJ Mellia; deep experimental electronics from Oneohtrix Point Never and Mogwai remixing Yann Tiersen; epic riffage from supergroup Killer Be Killed; a new collaboration between rock gods Iggy Pop, Nick Cave and Thurston Moore; and indie from NZ veterans The Bats and Guided by Voices. Something for everybody!

We begin with Seattle hip-hop duo Shabazz Palaces, currently preparing for the release of latest LP Lese Majesty, out via Sub Pop on 29 July. It's the follow-up to 2011's phenomenal Black Up, and, as usual, the band's Ishmael Butler (aka Palaceer Lazaro) is spitting with a laconic flow over some forward-thinking beats which pull R'n'B into interesting shapes, dropping the gloss for pure rhythmic perfection. We follow that up with a new track, which dropped unexpectedly this week from Odd Future's Earl Sweatshirt, featuring Mac Miller. It's a typically twisted blast of filth from the young rapper, who is increasingly the most fascinating creative force in the LA collective.

Next, we're into some delicious neo-soul from Taylor McFerrin, son of Bobby McFerrin (most famous for his song Don't Worry, Be Happy, but also a noted classical conductor). The Brooklyn-based producer, DJ and songwriter is preparing to unleash his debut full-length, Early Riser, via Brainfeeder on 3 June. The first single, Decisions, features vocals from Emily King. After that, another superlative track from the new EP by Anticon-signed songwriter and producer Baths, whose follow up to Obsidian, the phenomenal Ocean Death EP, dropped last week. Next, a re-rubbed track from acclaimed producer Jon Hopkins, with Lulu James contributing the vocals to We Disappear, originally the first track from the excellent 2013 album Immunity. It's out as a single in June via Domino (and available digitally now). 

Things take a turn towards indie rock next, with the new track from post-rock luminaries Trans Am, delivering a heady concoction – equal parts shoegaze and garage rock. It's a track being given away free to those who pre-order latest album Volume X from Thrill Jockey – details here. Then it's the turn of their label-mates OOIOO, the bonkers side-project of Boredoms' drummer and multi-instrumentalist (emphasis on mentalist) Yoshimi P-We. Their new album, Gamel, drops in July, and was heavily inspired by the ancient Javanese musical style of gamelan. The results are infectious, tribal and undeniably punk. 

Our love affair with both analogue techno mob Factory Floor and Australian electro-punk saviours Liars reaches fever pitch this week, as the trio deconstruct the bare bones of Pro Anti Anti, taken from the rather excellent Liars album Mess, into a restrained, percussive four-to-the-floor groove-fest. These bands can do no wrong! After that, some motorik electro from French avant garde producer and composer Yann Tiersen, admirably remixed by the Mogwai lads, fresh from the success of electronics-augmented hit album Rave Tapes. More experimental electronics after that from Warp weirdo Oneohtrix Point Never. His Music For Steamed Rocks (dope title!) is a track from his Comissions I EP, releasd on Record Store Day – it's a take on a piece by composer Witold Lutosławski. 

We make a brief detour into serious riffage with a track from Killer Be Killed – a metal supergroup featuring members of Soulfly, Mastodon, The Dillinger Escape Plan and The Mars Volta. We interviewed KBK and The Dillinger Escape Plan's Greg Puciato about the project last issue – read it here. A quick switch back to electro, with a new track from Edinburgh producer SJ Mellia, taken from his latest album, which dropped this week via Black Lantern Music.

As we approach the end of this week's playlist, two tracks back to back from classic indie bands – first up, Dayton, Ohio veterans Guided by Voices, with a track plucked from new album Cool Planet, out 19 May. Then, it's the turn of New Zealand's The Bats, who are set to re-release some of their classic albums via Captured Tracks, including The Law of Things, from which this song is taken.

Finally, another blockbusting collaboration, and one of the biggest tracks of this week, without a doubt – Iggy Pop enlists Nick Cave and none other than Thurston Moore to cover a track by The Gun Club, taken from the forthcoming Axels & Sockets, a tribute compilation to the band's late, great Jeffrey Lee Pierce, who passed away in 1996. The comp will also feature Debbie Harry, Mark Lanegan, Lydia Lunch, Warren Ellis, Mick Harvey, and Primal Scream.

That's us for another week! Hear the whole playlist below, and follow The Skinny on SoundCloud to keep up to date with our favourites.