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Mad Cool Fest Returns In 2019 With Vampire Weekend, The Cure & More Plus Fest Upgrades
With the lineup and experience upgrades, the festival to be held July 11-13 in Madrid is sure to be one for the books
Mad Cool Festival's diverse musical lineups have brought out a global fan base to its home in Madrid, Spain every year since 2016. The fest has announced its 2019 lineup and musical acts include iconic groups like the Cure, rising bands like Greta Van Fleet and other artists that mesh rock, pop and electro from all over the world. The bill along with its recently announced festival upgrades make the fest sure to be one for the books.
@SmashingPumpkin @NoelGallagher @GretaVanFleet @JorjaSmith @si_bonobo @Jon_Hopkins_ @TheHives @KAYTRANADA @wolfmother @TeenageFanclub @alizzzmusic @rollingbcf y @LewisCapaldi entre las nuevas incorporaciones al cartel! #MadCool2019 #MC19MediaDay pic.twitter.com/2jKTxJXxSh— Mad Cool Festival (@madcoolfestival) November 29, 2018
To launch the fest being held July 11-13, Bon Iver, Vampire Weekend and Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds top the lineup on Thursday that also includes Canada's Kaytranada, La Dispute and The Hives. Friday will bring out The National and the Smashing Pumpkins as headliners and Madrid's own Vetusta Morla, Wolfmother, Germany's Sophie Hunger, among some other exciting acts throughout the day. Saturday closes off the musical celebration with the Cure, the 1975 and Greta Van Fleet. Other artists include Bonobo, Mogwai and England's Jorja Smith.
The 2019 edition of Mad Cool Fest has upgrades that will be an experience within itself. This time, the fest will have more space as it will reduce the number of stages and will get rid of one VIP area. They will also have more restrooms and free metro rides from the Valdebebas to the center of Madrid between 1.30 a.m. and 5.30 a.m.
If this lineup hasn't inspired you to experience the fest, maybe visiting the beautifully historic city of Madrid will. Go here for ticket info visit Festicket.
Photo: Grant Spanier
Bonobo's Favorite Productions: Phone Recordings, A '20s Bulgarian Choir, Moroccan Gnawa Music & More
In celebration of his 2023 GRAMMY nominations and many contributions to electronic music, producer, DJ and musician Bonobo reflects on his favorite productions.
Los Angeles-based producer, DJ and musician Bonobo is a beat master and sampling champ known for his chilled electronic soundscapes and globally inspired, jazzy rhythms. Listening to a Bonobo album is like going on a guided tour of a lively market; it’s an expansive, vibrant sampling of sounds and flavors that remains entirely tasty and cohesive.
"I'm always trying to find something to be excited about," Bonobo tells GRAMMY.com. "If that's a new way of doing stuff; like working on samplers to working on Ableton, to now working with modular synths. There's always got to be an element of exploration, that intrigue is what keeps it exciting."
The Brighton-born artist dropped his seventh studio album, Fragments, at the beginning of 2022, its ocean of emotions born during the early days of the pandemic. Fragments is currently nominated for Best Dance/Electronic Music Album and its lead single "Rosewood" is up for Best Dance/Electronic Recording at the upcoming 2023 GRAMMYs.
Now with a total of seven GRAMMY nominations, Bonobo has reached another career pinnacle. Yet his roots remain ever-relevant and ripe for a revisit, with each release unfurling new movement and exploration.
After a few singles and EPs, Bonobo dropped his trip-hop-leaning debut full-length, 2000's Animal Magic, and signed to legendary U.K. dance label Ninja Tune the following year. He began to introduce collaborators on his third release, linking with German poet and vocalist Bajka on 2006's Days To Come. 2010's Black Sands further expanded Bonobo's sonic world through the introduction of live instrumentation in studio and onstage.
Bonobo's global travels inspired 2013's The North Borders — which opens with the enchantingly moody "First Fires" and features the standout "Heaven for the Sinner" with Erykah Badu — and and he brought a nomadic energy to the aptly named 2017 project Migration.
He has since settled in Los Angeles and, as with many touring artists, spent his longest period at home in 2020. The result was Fragments, which was recorded during lockdown with virtual collaborators Jordan Rakei, Jamila Woods, Joji and Kadhja Bonet. We’ll have to wait to discover what’s next in Bonobo’s sonic world, but the energetic non-Fragments singles he released in late 2022 may be a taste.
In celebration of his 2023 GRAMMY nominations and his many contributions to electronic music, Bonobo reflected on some of his favorite productions. Calling in from Lithuania at the tail end of his massive Fragmentstour, Bonobo broke down some of his most beloved tracks from his discography — including his all-time favorite production.
"Rosewood" was the last one, it was kind of the missing piece of the record [Fragments]. It was from this iPhone recording that I had of me just messing around on the piano in my house, from ages ago….which is the main loop. And then I started adding kick drums and other elements on it. The basis of it had this almost Nina Simone "Sinnerman" kind of feel.
For "Rosewood," I was going for classic Detroit-y house. I was listening to Theo Parrish and Kerri Chandler and that percussive, loop-based kind of house music. That was the mood, at least.
"Otomo" with O'Flynn
I was working with a sample that I'd found from archives of a Bulgarian choir that was recorded in the '20s. That was the main part of the song. I was messing around with that and harmonizing it and trying some chords. This was at the time when you couldn't get in the room with people and I was stuck on how to structure the song.
I like the way O’Flynn switches between very melodic stuff and big percussive stuff, so I was thinking that maybe he was the person to get this one to the finish line, which he did.
"Otomo" is named after Katsuhiro Otomo, who is the creator of [the manga and 1988 animated film] Akira. I liked the mix of the choral and percussion sounds from Akira and that was an influence for “Otomo.”
"Heartbreak" with Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs
(Heartbreak/6000 Ft., 2020)
The Class Action sample [1983's "Weekend"] was a Paradise Garage classic. "Heartbreak" is a homage to a few different eras of dance music, having that throwback to '80s disco, that '90s breakbeat and something more contemporary as well. It's a real patchwork of different dance floor eras.
I collabed with Orlando [Higginbottom a.k.a.], Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs. He had the palette of the tune already and I came in and arranged it and added the vocal, which fit quite nicely.
There are a lot of classic drum breaks in there, little nods to the era of '90s rave and breakbeat and drum and bass. For the synths and other sounds, it's actually a lot of chopped up — micro-chopped — samples. A lot of it is sample-based.
"Brambro Koyo Ganda" with. Innov Gnawa
That one I started as a kind of loop. I was messing around on a Rhodes piano. The drums were a big part too. I added a sample of a Moroccan Gnawa recording from the '70s, I think, but I realized it would be more interesting to record [something new instead]. I knew of these Gnawa players that are based in Brooklyn [Innov Gnawa], so we went to a studio in Greenpoint [Brooklyn] and recorded.
That group is great and ended up coming out on tour with us for a bit. It was this big, impactful dance floor moment, and then having that extra element — Moroccan Gnawa music is ceremonial music, so it was a version of traditional songs but they changed the lyrical narrative to something a bit more secular.
I discovered Gnawa music from spending time in Morocco. I really like that style of North African music. Besides being in Morocco, it's something I listen to a lot anyway. I recorded a lot of music with Innov Gnawa, there are a few other tracks we did. There were also different, longer versions of the single. A good amount of that session was expanded and extended and is out there.
"Heaven For The Sinner" with Erykah Badu
(The North Borders, 2013)
I had that tune for a while, it was just an instrumental. I met Erykah through a project she was doing with Mark Ronson. "Heaven For The Sinner" was the last piece on North Borders. She was in Dallas and I was in New York, and she recorded little bits; she'd do about one line a day over a long course of time, so it was taking the idea she had for the tune and piecing it together. It was an assembly of various recordings.
[I didn't change the instrumental] too much because I'd already left a lot of space for her voice. Mostly when I'm working with vocalists, the track is fairly complete.
She joined us for a few tour dates. At the San Francisco show, we did a version of that song and of "Bag Lady" — it was a beautiful, magical moment.
"Eyesdown" with Andreya Triana
(Black Sands, 2010)
I was living in London at the time [and] I was very immersed in what was happening in London around 2008, 2009, which was sort of the post-dubstep scene with [the club] Plastic People and [one of its club nights] FWD>>.
That tune was just a beat, really. My friend came over and listened to some stuff I was working on. I played him the instrumental for "Eyesdown" and he was like, "Wait, what was that one?" I was surprised that was the one that he liked, it was something I could've thrown in the trash at any point. But he was like, "Yes, that’s the one!" I was all, "Oh s—, okay. I'll work on it."
The cherry on top is Andreya's vocal, which is actually just one line repeated a few times throughout the track. I produced her first album; we were spending a lot of time working on her record in my studio. Once we were working on her record, it was a case of me asking "Do you have any ideas for this song?" So we were doing vocal takes for Black Sands at the same time we were making her record. We had a year long of working together a lot.
"Between The Lines" with Bajka
(Days To Come, 2006)
I think that actually started out as a remix for someone else, and I was like, "Nah, you're not having that" and ended up keeping the beat. I was really happy with that one. I'd been working with Tom Chant who's a woodwind player. He did the intro, that really strange sound, which is made with a technique he has of playing the alto saxophone with the end on his leg; it has insane harmonics. We were recording together a lot at the time. He also recorded the saxophone parts on Black Sands.
It was that very simple, heavy beat and some of those weird saxophone harmonics and Bajka's vocal.
(Dial M for Monkey, 2003)
Oh yeah! That was a sample from one of those big band records from the '60s, these sort of party records. The production on them is insane. It's the build, the tunka tunk tunka tunk, and it just looped up really well. I was like "This is fun" and that was kind of it, it was quite simple. It came together quite quickly, as I remember. It was a fun process making that one. I was in [his hometown] Brighton at the time. But honestly, I don't remember that much because it was such a long time ago.
Erykah Badu - "The Healer"
(New Amerykah Part One (4th World War), 2008)
Ooh, [my favorite production from another artist has] probably got to be Madlib's beats for Erykah Badu's "The Healer" from [2008's] New Ameryka. I think that's my favorite beat that's been made.
Sonically, it's crazy, like nothing I've ever heard. There's a sample from a Japanese prog rock band, and it's all these very quiet sounds against delicate sounds that are very prominent and there's all this incredible stuff going on. Madlib on that beat is one of the most incredible productions I've heard.
Press Play On GRAMMY U Mixtape: New Year, It’s Poppin'! Monthly Member Playlist
The GRAMMY U Mixtape is a monthly, genre-spanning playlist to quench your thirst for new tunes, all from student members. GRAMMY U celebrates new beginnings with fresh pop tunes that will kickstart 2023.
Did you know that among all of the students in GRAMMY U, songwriting and performance is one of the most sought after fields of study? We want to create a space to hear what these students are creating today!
The GRAMMY U Mixtape, now available for your listening pleasure, highlights the creations and fresh ideas that students are bringing to this industry directly on the Recording Academy's Spotify and Apple Music pages. Our goal is to celebrate GRAMMY U members, as well as the time and effort they put into making original music — from the songwriting process to the final production of the track.
Each month, we accept submissions and feature 20 to 25 songs that match that month’s theme. This month we're ringing in 2023 with our New Year, It's Poppin'! playlist, which features fresh pop songs that bring new year, new you vibes. Showcasing talented members from our various chapters, we felt these songs represented the positivity and hopefulness that GRAMMY U members embody as they tackle this upcoming year of exciting possibilities.
So, what’s stopping you? Press play on GRAMMY U’s Mixtape and listen now on Spotify below and Apple Music.
Want to be featured on the next playlist? Submit your songs today! We are currently accepting submissions for songs of all genres for consideration for our February playlist. Whether you write pop, rock, hip hop, jazz, or classical, we want to hear from you. Music must be written and/or produced by the student member (an original song) and you must be able to submit a Spotify and/or Apple Music link to the song. Students must be a GRAMMY U member to submit.
About GRAMMY U:
GRAMMY U is a program that connects college students with the industry's brightest and most talented minds and provides those aspiring professionals with the tools and opportunities necessary to start a career in music.
Throughout each semester, events and special programs touch on all facets of the industry, including the business, technology, and the creative process.
As part of the Recording Academy's mission to ensure the recorded arts remain a thriving part of our shared cultural heritage, GRAMMY U establishes the necessary foundation for music’s next generation to flourish.
Not a member, but want to submit to our playlist? Apply for GRAMMY U Membership here.
Photo: Paul Natkin/Getty Images
5 Artists Influenced By Paul Simon: Harry Styles, Lorde, Conor Oberst & More
Paul Simon’s songs linger long, and are examples of excellence for generations of musicians. Ahead of "Homeward Bound: A GRAMMY Salute to the Songs of Paul Simon," airing Dec. 21 on CBS, artists reflect on Simon's profound influence.
Paul Simon is a living legend. For nearly six decades, the New Yorker has gifted his songs to the world. An innovator — not just a folk singer — Simon’s curiosity led to constantly discovering new soundscapes. He incorporated these rhythms and instrumentation into his melodies, and then added poetic lyrics to create character-driven narratives.
These compositions are like old friends; they linger long after the needle lifts or the stream ends. Generations have sung Simon’s songs — finding joy in their playful rhythms and sorrow in their beauty.
The accolades and awards are endless: a two-time inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, a member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, a 16-time GRAMMY winner, multiple recordings in the GRAMMY Hall of Fame and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Recording Academy to name just a few.
In a clip from "Homeward Bound: A GRAMMY Salute to the Songs of Paul Simon," airing Dec. 21 on CBS, Elton John calls him "one of the greatest songwriters of all time" — high praise from an artist with 35 GRAMMY nominations and five wins. Simon’s contemporaries are not the songwriter’s only fans: The writer of iconic songs such as "Bridge Over Troubled Water," "Graceland," "The Boxer," and "50 Ways to Lose Your Lover," has generations of artists as worshippers of his art who continue to discover his deep catalog.
Singer-songwriters, pop stars, country artists and rappers all claim Simon as a musical mentor. For example, Kid Cudi sampled "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover" on his debut mixtape A Kid Named Cudi in the referentially titled "50 Ways to Make a Record." In a Forbes Q&A, Canadian songwriter Donovan Woods cites "Obvious Child" as his all-time favorite.
In advance of the GRAMMY salute to Simon next week, here are five artists that credit the songwriter as a key to their musical education.
Listen to Harry Styles’ turn of phrase and poetic lyrics, and hints of Simon’s influence are evident. Even back in his One Direction days, Styles cited Simon as a touchstone. In an MTV interview, following the release of the boy band’s 2015 bestseller Made in the A.M., Styles said his favorite track was "Walking in the Wind" since it was inspired by Simon.
"I’m a big Paul Simon fan and I think the inspiration behind it is Graceland," Styles said. "The way in which the verse is so conversational and informal, and it’s not like melody melody melody — it’s like spoken word, and kind of drifts and peaks and troughs. I love that album and when I listen to it I love hearing the influence from that in his song."
In a 2019 Rolling Stone interview, Styles again gave a nod to Simon. "I wish I had written '50 Ways to Leave Your Lover,'" he said. "That’s the greatest verse melody ever written, in my opinion. So minimal, but so good — that drum roll."
In a 2011 New York magazine profile on Paul Simon, the singer-songwriter from Omaha, Nebraska, is quoted talking about what a major influence the writer of "The Boxer" is on his art. "I grew up with my folks listening to him," Oberst told writer Alan Light. "But as I got into songwriting, I realized how profound what he does actually is. His work over the years is a treasure trove of ideas."
Listen to Oberst’s cover of "Kodachrome," recorded with his alt-country band the Mystic Valley Band, which he once performed at the Austin City Limits Festival in 2008, telling the audience it was a popular sing-along on the tour bus.
These New York indie rockers burst onto the scene in the mid-2000, and comparisons to Simon abounded beginning with their 2008 self-titled debut. Listen to "Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa" from their debut; the Simon influence is undeniable — especially his Graceland period.
In a 2019 interview with Radio X, frontman Ezra Koenig was asked about a show that would stay with him forever. He paused, then answered Simon’s Homeward Bound Farewell Tour in 2018. "He is such a legend…We’ve been compared to him many times and he is an influence. We are from the same part of the country…I have a lot to look up to and find in common with him."
The three-time GRAMMY winner Shawn Colvin considers Simon a key piece of her songwriting education. Colvin’s father played guitar and taught her early on; he also played many of the singer-songwriters of the day that included the boy from New York.
Particularly at the start of her career, Colvin always performed "Kathy’s Song" in her sets. In a 2015 interview, the songwriter cited Simon as one of her mentors. "Joni Mitchell was a big time [influence on] me, but also James Taylor, Paul Simon and Bob Dylan to an extent," she said.
The expressive and introspective New Zealand singer-songwriter considers Simon the benchmark for excellence in her craft — a bar she reaches for each day. In a 2017 profile in The Guardian she revealed the following goal:. "I want to be really, really good one day. I think I’m pretty good now. I think I’ve made a good start. But I want to be Paul Simon." Four years later, Lorde named Simon’s "Graceland" as the song she wishes she’d written in this Vogue 73 vide interview.
Photo: Rachel Kupfer
A Guide To Modern Funk For The Dance Floor: L'Imperatrice, Shiro Schwarz, Franc Moody, Say She She & Moniquea
James Brown changed the sound of popular music when he found the power of the one and unleashed the funk with "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag." Today, funk lives on in many forms, including these exciting bands from across the world.
It's rare that a genre can be traced back to a single artist or group, but for funk, that was James Brown. The Godfather of Soul coined the phrase and style of playing known as "on the one," where the first downbeat is emphasized, instead of the typical second and fourth beats in pop, soul and other styles. As David Cheal eloquently explains, playing on the one "left space for phrases and riffs, often syncopated around the beat, creating an intricate, interlocking grid which could go on and on." You know a funky bassline when you hear it; its fat chords beg your body to get up and groove.
Brown's 1965 classic, "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag," became one of the first funk hits, and has been endlessly sampled and covered over the years, along with his other groovy tracks. Of course, many other funk acts followed in the '60s, and the genre thrived in the '70s and '80s as the disco craze came and went, and the originators of hip-hop and house music created new music from funk and disco's strong, flexible bones built for dancing.
Legendary funk bassist Bootsy Collins learned the power of the one from playing in Brown's band, and brought it to George Clinton, who created P-funk, an expansive, Afrofuturistic, psychedelic exploration of funk with his various bands and projects, including Parliament-Funkadelic. Both Collins and Clinton remain active and funkin', and have offered their timeless grooves to collabs with younger artists, including Kali Uchis, Silk Sonic, and Omar Apollo; and Kendrick Lamar, Flying Lotus, and Thundercat, respectively.
In the 1980s, electro-funk was born when artists like Afrika Bambaataa, Man Parrish, and Egyptian Lover began making futuristic beats with the Roland TR-808 drum machine — often with robotic vocals distorted through a talk box. A key distinguishing factor of electro-funk is a de-emphasis on vocals, with more phrases than choruses and verses. The sound influenced contemporaneous hip-hop, funk and electronica, along with acts around the globe, while current acts like Chromeo, DJ Stingray, and even Egyptian Lover himself keep electro-funk alive and well.
Today, funk lives in many places, with its heavy bass and syncopated grooves finding way into many nooks and crannies of music. There's nu-disco and boogie funk, nodding back to disco bands with soaring vocals and dance floor-designed instrumentation. G-funk continues to influence Los Angeles hip-hop, with innovative artists like Dam-Funk and Channel Tres bringing the funk and G-funk, into electro territory. Funk and disco-centered '70s revival is definitely having a moment, with acts like Ghost Funk Orchestra and Parcels, while its sparkly sprinklings can be heard in pop from Dua Lipa, Doja Cat, and, in full "Soul Train" character, Silk Sonic. There are also acts making dreamy, atmospheric music with a solid dose of funk, such as Khruangbin’s global sonic collage.
There are many bands that play heavily with funk, creating lush grooves designed to get you moving. Read on for a taste of five current modern funk and nu-disco artists making band-led uptempo funk built for the dance floor. Be sure to press play on the Spotify playlist above, and check out GRAMMY.com's playlist on Apple Music, Amazon Music and Pandora.
Say She She
Aptly self-described as "discodelic soul," Brooklyn-based seven-piece Say She She make dreamy, operatic funk, led by singer-songwriters Nya Gazelle Brown, Piya Malik and Sabrina Mileo Cunningham. Their '70s girl group-inspired vocal harmonies echo, sooth and enchant as they cover poignant topics with feminist flair.
While they’ve been active in the New York scene for a few years, they’ve gained wider acclaim for the irresistible music they began releasing this year, including their debut album, Prism. Their 2022 debut single "Forget Me Not" is an ode to ground-breaking New York art collective Guerilla Girls, and "Norma" is their protest anthem in response to the news that Roe vs. Wade could be (and was) overturned. The band name is a nod to funk legend Nile Rodgers, from the "Le freak, c'est chi" exclamation in Chic's legendary tune "Le Freak."
Moniquea's unique voice oozes confidence, yet invites you in to dance with her to the super funky boogie rhythms. The Pasadena, California artist was raised on funk music; her mom was in a cover band that would play classics like Aretha Franklin’s "Get It Right" and Gladys Knight’s "Love Overboard." Moniquea released her first boogie funk track at 20 and, in 2011, met local producer XL Middelton — a bonafide purveyor of funk. She's been a star artist on his MoFunk Records ever since, and they've collabed on countless tracks, channeling West Coast energy with a heavy dose of G-funk, sunny lyrics and upbeat, roller disco-ready rhythms.
Her latest release is an upbeat nod to classic West Coast funk, produced by Middleton, and follows her February 2022 groovy, collab-filled album, On Repeat.
Shiro Schwarz is a Mexico City-based duo, consisting of Pammela Rojas and Rafael Marfil, who helped establish a modern funk scene in the richly creative Mexican metropolis. On "Electrify" — originally released in 2016 on Fat Beats Records and reissued in 2021 by MoFunk — Shiro Schwarz's vocals playfully contrast each other, floating over an insistent, upbeat bassline and an '80s throwback electro-funk rhythm with synth flourishes.
Their music manages to be both nostalgic and futuristic — and impossible to sit still to. 2021 single "Be Kind" is sweet, mellow and groovy, perfect chic lounge funk. Shiro Schwarz’s latest track, the joyfully nostalgic "Hey DJ," is a collab with funkstress Saucy Lady and U-Key.
L'Impératrice (the empress in French) are a six-piece Parisian group serving an infectiously joyful blend of French pop, nu-disco, funk and psychedelia. Flore Benguigui's vocals are light and dreamy, yet commanding of your attention, while lyrics have a feminist touch.
During their energetic live sets, L'Impératrice members Charles de Boisseguin and Hagni Gwon (keys), David Gaugué (bass), Achille Trocellier (guitar), and Tom Daveau (drums) deliver extended instrumental jam sessions to expand and connect their music. Gaugué emphasizes the thick funky bass, and Benguigui jumps around the stage while sounding like an angel. L’Impératrice’s latest album, 2021’s Tako Tsubo, is a sunny, playful French disco journey.
Franc Moody's bio fittingly describes their music as "a soul funk and cosmic disco sound." The London outfit was birthed by friends Ned Franc and Jon Moody in the early 2010s, when they were living together and throwing parties in North London's warehouse scene. In 2017, the group grew to six members, including singer and multi-instrumentalist Amber-Simone.
Their music feels at home with other electro-pop bands like fellow Londoners Jungle and Aussie act Parcels. While much of it is upbeat and euphoric, Franc Moody also dips into the more chilled, dreamy realm, such as the vibey, sultry title track from their recently released Into the Ether.