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Creator and Artist Stories

Music Tuesday: Portugal. The Man and vintage global sounds

By Sarah Bardeen

Music Community Manager

Summer music festivals are in full swing here in the States. Music fanatics gathered in Chicago this past weekend to attend the Pitchfork Music Festival, and to celebrate, we rounded up videos from some of the best acts appearing there. Last week we also took a look at parodies of Tyler, The Creator’s “Yonkers” video. The unofficial head of the Odd Future hip-hop crew is controversial, but it’s clear his aesthetic has pushed a lot of buttons—and the results are hilarious. And if you need a little mindless fun, we threw up a playlist of ‘80s Summer Party songs for your (guilty) pleasure, which leads us into this week’s heavy dose of retro music.

Portugal. The Man’s sci-fi obsession
People label the enigmatically-named Portugal. The Man an indie rock band, but take one listen and you’ll hear these guys are drawing straight from the classic rock songbook, whether it’s The Beatles, Mark Bolan or Led Zeppelin. That grounding in musical history gives a sense of warmth and even inevitability to their songs—this is sweeping music that frequently sounds bigger than its years. The band also happens to be huge film buffs, which translates into a body of videos which range from the epic to the strange, and which are always visually arresting. Today they take to the homepage to celebrate their new album In The Mountain In The Cloud and to share their two major obsessions: kung fu and sci-fi, with a heaping helping of Wu-Tang Clan thrown in for good measure.

Global Retro
A music movement is afoot. The sound is vintage psychedelic, funk and soul recordings from remote corners of the globe. The labels are Analog Africa, Soundway Records, VampiSoul...the list goes on and on. In the past few years crate-digging for undiscovered music from countries like Ghana, Nigera, and Colombia has been raised to the level of an art form—and the gems these label unearth have given music lovers a new cause for celebration. Now the labels are making videos to introduce us to the often psychedelic radness that went on in other countries while the rest of us were listening to The Beatles...or were more likely not even born.

Joe Clausell “Hammock House”

Continuing in the vintage vein: New York dance music DJ Joe Claussell was recently given unlimited access to the vaults of the classic salsa label Fania Records. Fania was home to the titans of New York salsa, from Celia Cruz to Hector Lavoe. Faced with such riches, Claussell dug deep, remixing a melange of Latin soul and salsa cuts for his new album. We’re psyched to premiere a new, extended video that features the DJ in his native habitat, playing music that still defines the city that never sleeps.