Movits!

The Swedish hiphop/swing band Movits! are making their way through the music world, aiming for the top of the charts. A place they’ve already visited once with their ’08 debut Äppelknyckarjazz. After appearing on the American talk show The Colbert Report, the album climbed to number one spots on both iTunes and Amazon charts. Notable here is that these were American charts and Movits! are singing in Swedish, a language quite far from the lingua franca of the US.

They have indeed come far since the days spent in the family house in Luleå. There, in the most northern part of Sweden, Johan and Anders, brothers and band mates, began developing what would later become Movits!. “In those days we were more into acoustic hiphop and reggae” Anders says. “It was just acoustic guitar, organ and cajun.” They released an EP under the name Planeten Jorden (Planet Earth) called Frihetssånger i Retro Adidas (Freedomsongs in Retro Adidas). The brothers don’t seem to have any problems working together as they have fairly marked out roles to play. Johan, the lead singer, is the lyrics author and chorus builder, while Anders, the DJ, is the producer. “We’ve always been on the same track when it comes to music” Johan says. “And it’s an advantage to work with your brother. If things slow down we can always stage a Gallagher-fight, to fan the media.”

The duo turned trio when the Rensfeldt-brothers were joined by saxophone player Joakim Nilsson and together they took Frihetssånger i Retroadidas on a summer festival tour in 2005. It was at an after-party to one of these festivals they discovered the swing. “It was like a three-way, simultaneous revelation” Joakim remembers. “We were out dancing in a backyard, when someone put on Benny Goodman’s “Sing, Sing, Sing”. The three of us were totally blown away!” After that, their music took a new direction. Inspired by the drums and the horns of the swing era, they started working on the music that would later be known as Äppelknyckarjazz (Applestealingjazz, named after the apple-stealing trousers worn by Swedish street kids in the ’30s and ’40s). Using a dozen different musicians they recorded the album, a process that took more than three years. “Coming from an acoustic background, we didn’t want to use samples. I guess it would have been faster, but I don’t think the result would have been as good.” Anders contemplates. In the midst of all this, the band decided to change their name.

“We felt that Planeten Jorden didn’t really represent the new direction our music had taken” Johan explains. The choice fell on Movits, after the Swedish 18th century musician Father Movitz, sung about by the national musical hero Carl Michael Bellman. The name especially highlights the influence of old Swedish songlyrics in Johan’s writing. With a new name and new music, Movits! were on their way to produce their first full-length album. If the first single of the record, “Swing för Hyresgästföreningen” went by fairly unnoticed, the second made a bigger impact. With a 13:th place on Sweden’s Tracks-listan and frequent airtime on P3 (channel 3 on Sweden’s national radio) it’s safe to say that “Äppelknyckarjazz” is Movits!’ breakthrough single. It was released in May 2008 and after that things really started to happen. After releasing their debut November 2008, they started to play bigger venues in Scandinavia. With gigs every weekend for months, the name Movits! was getting more and more recognized. It still came as a big surprise to the band when they were contacted by the staff at the Colbert Report. “We really didn’t think we’d ever play outside of Scandinavia, being as we sing in Swedish”, Joakim says. “And definitely not in the States!”

Stephen Colbert had found the video to the single “Fel del av Gården” on a forum and despite the linguistic difference, he decided to invite Movits! to perform on his show. On July 27 they played on the Colbert Report and the rest is modern hiphop history. Following up on their success in USA, Movits! embarked on a nation wide tour in January 2010. They were accompanied by fellow Swedish rapper Zacke and a filming crew, documenting every step they took. With sold out dates in all big cities, the “First we take Manhattan Tour” marked the start of a busy year for Movits! During the spring and summer of 2010 Movits! expanded their reach in Europe. The have toured England, including playing at the Glastonbury Festival seven times, and played festivals in Hungary, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Slovakia, Macedonia and Shanghai. They have also appeared on national television in Sweden and perform on BBC Radio 1 sessions in London. During the fall they have been recording their second album, which will be released worldwide during the first quarter of 2011. It’s safe to say Movits! are on their way up. And if things slow down, there’s always the Gallagher-card to play.

Rich Jones is a prolific Chicago artist, community figure, and veteran of the cultural scene. Known for his versatile and evolving style, his new album, The Shoulder You Lean On, firmly plants the hip-hop rooted artist as a powerful songwriter and singer. Jones began in Chicago as part of the group Second City Citizens where he explored his talents as an MC. The group founded a monthly hip-hop showcase in Chicago, now known as All Smiles, that has become a staple in the local scene and has continued for over five years. Through various collaborations with people like Supa Bwe, Taylor Bennett, and The O’My’s, Jones gained praise around the city, eventually being voted second best rapper in the city by the Chicago Reader in 2016, right behind Chance The Rapper. Jones shifted from straight rapping into a more melodic style, culminating in his lush, poppy 2016 release VEGAS. That EP, and several loose singles, prompted appearances in NPR, Chicago Tribune, FOX 32’s Good Day Chicago, and Consequence of Sound.



With The Shoulder You Lean On, Jones found a place he sits in perfectly, blending classic styles with modern production and hitting the right emotional notes. With production by J. Kelr from Blended Babies (Prod. Smoke Again by Chance The Rapper), the album’s soundscapes are gorgeous and piercing, with Jones describing it as “truth telling through melody.”



Thematically, The Shoulder You Lean On deals with restlessness and contemplating the many routes life can take. Within songs like “Coin Toss” and “Dreaming”, Jones is “thinking about the road not taken. Thinking about decisions and choices. Especially, as you get older, you have less time to bounce back from certain things. So there’s definitely a quiet sense of urgency.”



That sense of urgency is palpable as Jones is an artist now firmly planted in his local scene but ready to break out. The album plays with those ideas of outgrowing a place, thinking you might be missing a greater opportunity somewhere else. Jones says, “Once you’ve seen the world, you get kind of teased by the idea of what another opportunity or place could offer you.”



Jones’ message is ultimately of love and acceptance of the realities of life and appreciating the wonderful things you are blessed with, and The Shoulder You Lean On teams with optimism and clarity. “I’ve never been one to try to fake high energy or fake feeling a high level of anxiety. I try to keep an even keel, so I think a lot of this is a way of me navigating through some questions and decisions I’ve made recently to kind of maintain sanity a bit. I think you can drive yourself insane thinking about the ‘what-ifs’ and all that. I feel the album lands on a more triumphant note. It’s not picture perfect, but it definitely allows for someone to feel there’s a certain level of catharsis.”

Yip Deceiver began in 2010 in Athens GA.
as the bedroom project of Davey Pierce (member of
Montreal, Inkwell) in an effort to justify his
addiction to synthesizers and RnB, all while
exercising his love of pop music. He
eventually enlisted the help of
keyboardist/songwriter Nicolas Dobbratz (of
Montreal, Sugar and Gold) and in 2011 they
released the self titled “Yip Deceiver” EP.
This duo version toured the US, Europe,
and Mexico extensively and released their
debut album, “Medallius” on New West
Records in 2013. In 2014 they were joined
by drummer John Swint (Modern Skirts,
Easter Island) and the trio went on to
support Electric Six, Turquoise Jeep,of
Montreal, and Cindy Wilson (B-52’s). In
2018 Davey returned to the studio to write
and record what would eventually become
the KONIEC EP. Yip Deceiver's records
carry disparate influences of punk, rock,
r&b, and pop but are glued together by their
unique production. The latest live version
brings Yip Deceiver back to its electronic
roots as a synthesizer fueled, beat heavy,
one man party, blending live elements with
the signature YPD electro sound.

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