June 22, 2012

It would be almost impossible to find a label out there who’s killing it as hard as 4AD. And we’re not just saying this because four of their artists are featured in our Sin Issue, or because we threw an awesome party with them last night. We’re saying this because it’s true. And last night, in the basement of the New Museum, they proved it. To a hushed crowd of industry folk and press, 4AD gave a tour of their various artists, past, present, and future, and the whole experience left us with one overriding thought: these people have great taste in music.

Highlights from the presentation include:

+A sneak peek of the third video from Grimes‘ breakout album, Visions, for the song “Be a Body.” It was dark, balletic, and full of, well, bodies.

+They played a track from Love This Giant, the upcoming record from St. Vincent and David Bryne. The song, “Lazarus,” featured dueling he-and-she vocals, and gave a pretty clear indication why the 4AD brass is so excited to share this record.

+An introduction to one of their newer acts, Inc., whose song “Black Wings” blew us away. (We e-mailed 4AD this morning to ask them to send it to us, but that was a no.) Inc. are two 23 and 24-year-old brothers from L.A., who until now have been session musicians and producers for r n’ b acts like Rafael Saadiq. Get excited about this.

+They showed the clip for “5 Seconds,” the first single off Twin Shadow‘s upcoming record, Confess. Thanks to the lovely internet, you can watch it here.

+A clip of 4AD Sessions, featuring Miami rapper SpaceGhostPurrp, who, looking directly into the camera, rapped “it’s all about the power” with absolute power.

+The debut of “Fineshrines,” off Purity Ring‘s forthcoming, sure-to-be-great album, Shrines. The track is now online, and it’s amazing.

+And finally, a new track off Scott Walker‘s upcoming album, which clocked in at about ten minutes, and was as schizophrenic a piece of music as we’ve ever heard, in a good way.

After the presentation, guests moved to the New Museum’s Sky Room for some outdoor/indoor drinking. The sun was setting when Purity Ring’s svengali producer Corin Roddick took the decks and spun crunching beats, followed by his labelmates, Gang Gang Dance’s Lizzie Bougatsos and Brian DeGraw, who closed the night out with some good old fashion experimental dance music. Special thanks goes out to 42Below vodka, Stumptown Coffee, Smartwater, and Sixpoint beer, for keeping guests refreshed and generally feeling it.

Photography by Antwan Duncan

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