Published Dec 03, 2013
3. A Tribe Called Red
Nation II Nation
(Pirates Blend/Tribal Spirit)
In a banner year for A Tribe Called Red, it's far from surprising that the Aboriginal DJ trio's second full-length, Nation II Nation, has landed a spot in the upper reaches of our year list. Often credited with the creation of pow-wow step — a mashup of traditional pow-wow drums, electro, dancehall and hip-hop — ATCR have crafted an infectious, inflammatory sound that Nation II Nation owns.
The sophomore album leaves behind the overzealous electro elements of ATCR's first release and instead pushes to the forefront the refined pow-wow music and rich traditional First Nations elements that gave the trio a foothold in the realm of politicized First Nations-electro mashup to begin with.
Aside from this astounding release, 2013 also saw the group shortlisted for the Polaris Music Prize and an extensive North American summer tour. And as anyone who's ever seen the trio live can attest, their shows place a spotlight on cultural appropriation and political awareness that extends beyond the album commentary, offering a truly inspiring view of an act that are creating hype, generating awareness and exposing people to a truly new and monumental sound. (Ashley Hampson)