The City of Los Santos: a place you dare to dream, lifestyles for the rich and the famous, and those who strive for fortune and notoriety believing it is theirs for the taking. From the fashionable beachfront Del Perro to the culturally rich Little Seoul to the deprivation found in the neighbourhoods of Strawberry and La Mesa, there is bound to be a bounty of underground music scenes to uncover and radio stations to match. And although Los Santos belongs to the fictional video game Grand Theft Auto, the vibrations over the airwaves are as real as can be.
As part of the Cayo Perico Heist update on December 15th, there are fresh stations for the soundtrack to your cruising with the addition of K.U.L.T. 99.1 Vespucci Beach Low-Power Radio. Curated by no other than Julian Casablancas, this a tribute to his personal favourite 99.1 FM VENICE station. Close your eyes: You can imagine Julian's band The Voidz hanging out and jamming after a nibble at Sharkies Bites and a visit for props to Vespucci Movie Masks. The track they would be playing is Alien Crime Lord, revealed as part of Casablancas' show; it is incroyable.
Loading as GTA does, a Thrilleresque laugh and gritty, sexy guitar is joined by a Kavinsky styled beat, where the mood is Arabia meets aliens accompanied by a quick-fire rap: "Run from the cops, have no fear, police on our backs, we don’t care" pushing the sensation of being chased and stalked by wheels. In a lush little Strokes crossover like how Voidz caressed The Adults Are Talking, the melody of voice takes tones of Ode to the Mets, with a denser bass introduced and horror movie synth notes.
In 2018, a recording from a soundcheck in Toronto, AutoTuneJam, caused a commotion; many believing that is was a catchy new song from the lads. We reach a section in ACL that replicates this, however, auto-tune is present throughout in an engulfing twist. The ending of a funky, dance tune comes out of nowhere, but, the intention of this artwork changes so subtly that the listener may not notice at first, empowering themselves to be swept up in a vortex of detail until the tumbling drums signify that we are done and have reached an unplanned destination.
Alien Crime Lord perches alongside over thirty specially selected tracks including plucked-bass heaven in Too Much by Automatic and electronic New Order punk with Age of Consent. Psychedelic smoothness for Mac DeMarco's On The Level contrasts with some of the best backing vocal arrangement in town from the original Tainted Love by Gloria Jones. From the Cult Records family, there are a couple of Strokes numbers, Hard To Explain being one and another Voidz track, Where No Eagles Fly. Cult son Promiseland joins the register with the immense, filthy techno Take The House Down enticing listeners for the album drop next year and more intensely wild performances.
The fusing of K.U.L.T., The Voidz and Grand Theft Auto lights sparks, with each tune on the radio's playlist repping the imagery, aura and vibe of the area, dragging the soul into the dead of night where just no one fully grasps or even wants to know what is coming."Welcome to Vinewood! What's your dream? Everybody comes here; this is Vinewood, land of dreams. Some dreams come true, some don't; but keep on dreamin' - this is Vinewood. Always time to dream, so keep on dreamin'."
Article by Beverley Knight