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July 14, 2014

Sunrise, Sunset: Doe Paoro

The Fast-Rising Brooklyn Songstress Takes a Walk on the Wild Side in Our Series With Yours Truly

“Part of my process is to spend as much time creating in silence as possible,” says singer-songwriter Doe Paoro of carving her own brand of ethereal R&B. “Silence clarifies that relationship with sound.” Abandoning the bustling environment of her New York base in favor of a bucolic retreat––the Wisconsin studio of Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon––Paoro shows off her distinct wavering voice in a live performance of new track “Walking Backwards.” Having encountered an age-old Tibetan folk-opera tradition during a backpacking trip, the singer distilled its influence into her recent EP Ink on the Walls. “Making the record in Manhattan would have been a nine-to-five experience,” explains Paoro, who was captured for the latest episode of Sunrise, Sunset by NOWNESS regulars Yours Truly after making waves in this year's festival circuit. “I guess there is no set time when inspiration strikes; it might happen at 2pm or 3am.” 

Ink on the Walls is available now on Middle West.

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William Onyeabor: Fantastic Man

New York Roller Dancers Skate to the Nigerian Synth Pioneer’s Swirling Beat

“We were looking for a group of individuals that had something otherworldly about them,” says musician and filmmaker Adam Bainbridge aka Kindness on the stars of today’s video for “Fantastic Man” by near-mythical psychedelic funk artist William Onyeabor. “I then remembered the energy, the sense of camaraderie and above all, the love of music of the Central Park skaters.” Co-directed with Camilla Wasserman, the joyous short spotlights the cosmic funk of the artist from Enugu, Nigeria, whose backstory is virtually unknown. After a prolific musical output in the 1980s, Onyeabor became a born-again Christian, refusing to talk about his past; one that may or may not have included a period studying film in the Soviet Union and setting up a recording studio, pressing plant and record label when he returned to Africa. “I found out that Damon Albarn was one of the few guys who was familiar with his music,” says Eric Welles-Nyström from Luaka Bop, the label founded by David Byrne and Yale Evelev that released last year’s critically lauded compilation, Who is William Onyeabor?. “It wasn't until we spoke with Damon that it hit me how funny Onyeabor's music can be. He told us how, after listening to the lyrics of ‘Fantastic Man’, he imagined Onyeabor’s behavior towards his lover—showering her with compliments all day long, he finally wants to get some love back.”

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The Acid: Basic Instinct

The Shadowy Trio Enlists Filmmaker Dugan O’ Neal and Art Troupe WIFE For a Spellbinding Music Video

The otherworldly movements of Los Angeles dance outfit WIFE cast a meditative spell over The Acid’s synaesthetic music video from filmmaker Dugan O’ Neal and the band’s Ry X. The Acid have so far built up a following as an anonymous totem of haunting vocals and dismembered electronics, but are today revealed as the LA-based singer-songwriter Ry X, Team Supreme collaborator and veteran electronic artist Steve Nalepa and Grammy-nominated British dance producer and DJ Adam Freeland. “I have always felt very connected to aesthetics in line with music—they are part of each other and the whole,” says Ry X of the singular audio-visual vision for this new musical collaboration. “When we came up with the idea for the video, we brought WIFE into the fold before all else.” Captured against the dramatic backdrop of the Santa Monica Mountains at the end of last year, WIFE’s Kristen Leahy, Jasmine Albuquerque and Gabriella Vincenza Cataldo star as the choreographers, performers and costume designers of “Basic Instinct”. “I love creating visually dramatic narratives, but the one through line is a subtle sense of surrealism or magic,” says O’Neal, whose varied work joins the dots between web comedy series L.A Rangers and music promos for TV On The Radio, The Glitch Mob and Ellie Goulding. “Ry really pushed to make it as simple as possible and let the song be the narrative. It definitely reignited my relationship with music videos.”

Can you tell us about the serendipitous genesis of the band?
The Acid:
Ry X and Adam had known each other for years before we made an unlikely reconnection in Los Angeles. Steve and Adam already had a studio session booked just hours after. We all followed the flow of the synchronistic timing and jumped in.

What is your musical approach?
It can be a hard thing to strip something to its core. Musically, some people tend to be afraid of space, they want to put a lot of things in to hear it bigger and better. Most of the time, allowing space for the critical elements makes them much more potent.

How about the visuals for “Basic Instinct”?
We birthed the concept in the first days of being in the studio together, inspired by the photos that our friend Toby Burrows made for his Fallen series. From there it was a collaboration and the process took care of itself.

The Acid EP is released April 14 on Infectious Music and The Acid's live debut is London's Chat's Palace March 31 

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