Music is weird. I say that as someone who gets paid to write about music. It really is strange. What do I mean? Well, there’s just so MUCH of it around these days. Any kind of music you want to hear, hours and days of it at your fingertips. And no matter how much you listen to, there’s always something new just around the corner that you haven’t heard yet, but love as soon as you do.
This type of thing happens to me all the time. I’ll discover a band with a great sound, then I’ll find myself trying to explain the new find to friends, comparing it to one band or another, hopefully getting a chance to play something for them that they’ll like. This is where YouTube is a sweet resource. So much good music just chillin’ there, sweet and free.
So I get to thinking, why not share what I listen to with our readers? I can make a playlist of some good music on youtube, talk a little about some great bands, and maybe turn you on to something you’ve never heard before. It’s easy to assume that everyone’s heard a band just because you listen to them all the time. Yet too many people are still sleeping on some great music. This week, I’ll turn you on to a type of music for which I don’t really have a name. Head nodding breakbeats? Power soundtracks? Three innovators who make great music with few lyrics, composed of great samples and solid rhythms? Yeah, the last one. We’ll go with that.
Let’s start with Onra, or as his parents call him, Arnaud Bernard. Onra was born in Germany to French parents, but is of Vietnamese heritage. His music melds hip-hop beats with traditional Vietnamese music and pop to create these catchy, beautiful soundscapes, perfect for cruising the beach, samurai battles, or light housework. What I love about music like this is how muti-purpose it is. You can listen to it intently, and derive some insights. Or you can put it on in the background to enhance whatever you’re doing. My friend Darcy first turned me on to Onra by putting a track on the splash screen of a DVD she made me. Note to those of you who make DVDs for friends: This is a great idea. Because I’m too lazy to make you all a DVD, here’s an Onra playlist to check out:
More proof that the French are funky. Wax Tailor, otherwise known as Jean-Christophe Le Saoût, is better well known in his home country of France than here. I doubt I’ll change that, but I can at least invite you to hear the flowers of his musical talents. You may have heard someone play “Que Sera,” and you never knew who it was. Well, they have some other great tracks as well, supplied for you on a sweet YouTube platter. Four albums worth, in fact, with another on the way. It has a little more rapping than Onra, but not so much that it gets overly distracting. If you’ve missed out on Wax Tailor up till now, get caught up below.
Out of the three bands I’m sharing with you here, Omega One was the hardest to research. Despite working on some of Aesop Rock’s early beats, and going on to work with Ghostface Killa, Method Man and Immortal Technique, Omega One is a bit of an enigma. Omega One released two impressive albums: The Lo-Fi Chronicles and Postcards from the Third Rock. Aside from the fact of him being from New York City, other information on his life is sparse. I came across Omega One while looking for other music, and I was won over instantly. Smooth samples perfectly layered, making great backgrounds for life. I’m glad to be able to share some of this great music with others. Below is a sampler of my favorite Omega One tracks to get you through the day.
Hopefully you’ve learned about some music you haven’t heard before. These three bands make up a lot of my sonic backgrounds lately, so maybe you’ll enjoy them as well. Sure, there’s some other stuff I’m listening to now as well, but three bands is enough for now. Feel free to post comments with what you’re listening to, I’m always looking for something new, and I’ll give you a shout-out if you’ve unearthed a good find.