Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Gerry Read creats Patterns


Instra:metal helped build the bridge between techno and dubstep that, at this point, seems completely natural.  By refining the marriage of techno’s forceful impetus with dubstep’s brooding ethos, Instra:mental (along with Martyn, Shed ect.) helped unite the German and British electronic music scenes, epitomized by tracks like “Vicodine”.  The muffed out, humble kick drum, and the insistent pulse that urges you toward the floor, capture the numb sensation one feels at a party you know you ought to be having fun at but simply cannot.  The occasional clav echoes into nothingness and you remember why you’ve been refusing to join the vacuous party that surrounds you.

Gerry Read’s “Patterns” begins by navigating that same space.  Muffled pulses surround.  Humid textures abound. But rather than submitting to the claustrophobic emptiness of the club, the track walks over to the bar, politely places its drink back onto the bar, straightens up its tie, and jumps headlong into the party.  The synths surge to the top of the mix, thrashing wildly.  It’s difficult to tell whether these are happy or violent movements but one suspects that such distinctions are besides the point.

A plucked melody soon follows, confining that childlike joy one gets from dancing alone and setting it to song.  Discreet depression gives way to dastardly delirium so seamlessly, one wonders why every wallflower beat-head isn’t thrashing about.

Download the latest Dark Arx podcast below.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Lone - Emerald Fantasy Tracks

Lone started showing up on a lot of people's radar earlier this year because of his association with Werk Discs.  His sound was slow in tempo and gauzy in texture—not unlike label head Actress's music, albeit with more hip hop flare.  Sometime between now and then, someone smacked the blunt out of this kid's hand and gave him some ecstasy.  Lone's sound has grown into a 90s inspired rave-House throw-down with one foot in the warehouse and one foot in the modern UK bass music scene.

Cloud 909 opens Emarald Fantasy Tracks—his latest mini album on his own Magic Wire Recordings—with Lone's familiar barrage of bing-bong rave stabs and it seems things are off to a good start.  4/4 kicks thump, naturally.  Fat snares swipe across the midsection.  Everything is so goddamn swung!  And not the post-Dilla, chugalug kind of awkward hobble.  Lones tracks swagger across the floor with a self assured exuberance that is all but absent in much of the beat-music created in the late-great J Dilla's wake.

Cloud 909 demonstrates a sound that Lone has been exploring for a while now.  He's taken cues from Aphex Twin, borrowing his affinity for vintage synths and long, stretched out melodies that seem to harmonize with themselves.  But where Aphex Twin's fractured masterpieces' synth-lines creep out of some dark paranoid corner, sobbing for attention, Lone's drop from the sky.  The sunny calls rest on top of the beat until the rhythm is so enveloped in hazy joy that it lets go in a fit of hand claps and cowbell hits.

Whether House is just a pitstop along Lone's ever-evolving style, or if its here to stay, Lone has become a producer to watch.

Download the whole EP here. (pw: nodata.tv)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Bok Bok - Say Stupid Things

Bok Bok and L-Vis 1990, who run the London based Night Slugs label, occupy the same super-swag, of-the-moment-cool that Diplo and A-track sported so well during the latter half of the noughties.

These two don't do much that is sonically groundbreaking, but their approach to dance music rocks that same fuck-all, if-it-has-a-beat-then-I-can-dance-to-it inclusiveness that defined Mad Decent's releases for so long.  Night Slugs releases are looked forward to with eager anticipation in the Bass music world because each carefully curated track has an air of carefree abandon, loaded with upbeat charm and teenage vigor.

It makes sense then, why Modeselektor, the German dance music powerhouse duo, would recruit Bok Bok along with fellow UK bass-bandit Ramadanman, for their first installation of the new Monkey Town Records compilation series entitled Modeselektion.  Although 2010 has arguably been Ramadanman's, Bok Bok, probably the least well known of the three, makes a fierce showing. 

Modeselektor shows up in typical fashion—all fat synths and pimp-slap snares—on VW Jetta.  Ramadanman deploys an admirable attempt at aping the Modeselektor sound, but by definition, that kind of endeavor will always fall short of the real thing.  It’s Bok Bok's Say Stupid Things, with its bothered lyric and twitchy shuffle that steals the show.  On what is one of his most serious outings yet, Bok Bok one-ups the veteran (Modeselektor) and the newfound darling (Ramadanman) without ever leaving his ever-growing comfort zone.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Swizz Beatz launches Monster Mondays

If there was ever an industry artist worth taking a promotional cue from, it’s Kanye West.  And that's exactly what beat brainiac Swizz Beatz is doing with Monster Mondays.

Modeled after Kanye’s hugely successful G.O.O.D. Fridays series, Swizz Beatz’s Monster Mondays is set to release a new track every Monday, starting with this week's "DJ Play the Beat."

The track is all trumpets and handclaps, featuring the reassured bass bumps that Mr. Beatz has made popular.  Also making an appearance is Kanye collaborator and London based R&B chick Estelle.  If this is any indication of what’s to come, expect big things.

Download the track below by clicking the little arrow on the right-hand side
Swizz Beatz Featuring Estelle - Dj Play The Beat by USRapNews

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Download James Blake — Klavierwerke

Over the past year James Blake has been quietly wooing music critics the world over.  (That sentence began and ended with the same word, ha)  With his singular production aesthetic and wildly accessible body of work, Blake has fast become one of the most important producers around.

The things he does sonically betray every genre they suggest without seeming disobedient or showy.  UK bass music's signifiers decorate Blake's most basic tendencies, but the core of his music is some soul and funk-music quagmire that he navigates via carefully chosen left turns.  Passing associations with dubstep are relevant only insofar as they provide context from whence this music came—a scene characterized by a mile-a-minute progression of new sounds and artists that, in spite of its documented ability to absorb and incorporate its peers' sounds into re-appropriated new forms, has been unable to hold a candle to Blake's unmistakable authority.

Blake's sound is both playfully naive and at times heftily glum.  He tickles his tracks until they let out a flash of uncontrolled emotion, a shriek from say, one of late R&B star Aaliyah's tracks, and your not sure whether to clap or cry so you just press repeat.

Texturally, his music is full of similar contradictions.  Witness dehydrated fuzz blast to the surface for just a moment as liquid bass hugs the bottom end of the mix—both of which operate rhythmically and atmospherically—albeit running in opposite directions.  Experience the vast expanses of his claustrophobic mixing technique or the way in which his tracks breath deeply with life while at the same time choke for air.

Blake's latest release, entitled Klavierwerke or "piano works" (for all you non-German speakers) is, as the title suggests, based largely around his own piano playing.  Far from a classical piece, this EP is a continuation of his warmly futuristic soul contortions—albeit reigned in.  On past releases his tracks rarely raised their voices, throughout this EP they don't climb above a murmur.  Carefully sampling his own humming, hissing, breathing, Blake has created his most personal record yet.

Its a humble move for a guy on the brink of international success.  One that will no doubt encourage more critics and fans to cozy up to his work.

Download the Klavierwerke EP in its entirety here

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Jamie XX releases solo single

Fanboys rejoice. Although not a proper release from the much hyped The xx,  their drummer, appropriately named Jamie xx, has released his first solo single.  Featuring a steel drum lead over some shuffling drums, the track seems to come from a pretty genuine place, rather than some opportunistic cash-in.

Entitled Far Nearer, the release features the pitch shifted vocals that are all the craze among Brit beat makers these days.  Insistent without pounding, relaxed without being breezy, the track suggests a promising future for Jamie xx if the whole indie-darling-come-international-popstar thing doesn't exactly pan out.

Also, download a mix he did for French fashion label Collete over here

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Download Duck Sauce - Barbra Streisand

Armand Van Helden and A-Track collaborate on another lighthearted tribute to New York.  The awesomely titled duo—Duck Sauce—shout out Barbra Streisand on this catchy dance floor track.  While Streisand may seem an unlikely recipient of such praises, as any vinyl enthusiasts can attest, her records are a staple of used record stores all around the city.  Whether that is a testament to how good or bad her actual music is seems irrelevant.  Her records have become a constant reminder of old New York in an era when DJs mine those times for modern cultural relevance.

The video—an endlessly silly take on the New York party scene—features more talented artists than I care to name, but will anyway: ?uestlove, Todd Terry, Santigold, Biz Markie, Smif n Wessun, Fafi, Just Blaze, Dj Mehdi, Buckshot, DJPremier, Ezra Koenig, Kanye West, Pharrell William, Diplo, DJ Premier.

Its always nice to see DJs make music just because its so goddam fun to do.

Download the track here.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Four Tet - Nothing to See

Ever since Four Tet grew out of his bedroom studio's polite, jazzy explorations and got all techno on our asses, I've had precious little quality music of his to hold on to.  For a while it was unclear why he ditched the sound he helped create (and was clearly so good at making) in favor of more club centric music.

It seemed he had been making his older music in the vacuum of his apartment, and when he finally looked and up realized that his fan-base was largely made up of electronic music fans, decided to explore their world a little further.  His first few steps haven't been stellar—this years lukewarm There is Love in You, along with a string of underwhelming remixesbut Kieran Hebden seems to have grown into his own as a club music producer.

Off a fairly recent release with fellow producer Mala, the track Nothing to See finds Four Tet bridging the gap between his older productions and his new ones.  Whereas his newer material has been clean and minimalist in approach, this track hearkens back to his earlier days of messy jazzy abandon.  However not without updates.  Nothing to See is undoubtedly jazzy, but not free-formHebden's time as DJ has taught him to focus his impulses and tailor them to the dance floor.

The result sounds like Theo Parish's Falling Up meeting the Junior Boys at Pantha Du Princes house for dinner, or, er, something.  Cheers all around.

Breach - Fatherless

Electronic dance music is unique among popular musics in that it's output is largely instrumental.  When lyrics do appear, they are usually functional call outs to get the party started, or create a mood.  Aside from Matthew Dear's outings under his own name I'm finding it difficult to point to an artist who incorporates lyrics into their music for anything aside from rhythmic utility or dramatic effect.

One of the few consistent avenues for literal communication with the listener has been song titles.  It seems like the more minimal a piece of music is, the more thought is given to its name.  Take for example, Regis's late 90s techno masterpiece Delivered into the Hands of Indifference, a stark record to be sure, but one that was given a hefty political undertone thanks to its poetic title.

So it is no small statement when an artist like Breach entitles his latest track "Fatherless."  The brooding, angry track stomps about, wildly searching here and there, seemingly lost among the flutes.  If a picture can tell a thousand words, how many words fit on a 12"?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Lil B is a Dangerous Mind

Every so often something comes along that throws into question everything you've been listening to for a while.  Funny how I had convinced myself that Drake and Co. represented some kind of resurgence of quality rap.  This track by Lil B is a quantum leap for rap music.  Its new and unusual but undoubtedly organic.  Its futuristic only insofar as its pretty much unprecedented.  None of the stark futurism or intellectual posturing that characterized the underground hip-hop of the turn of the century can be found here.  Its as though that phase in rap music was the necessary evil that broke down conventions so that a track like this could come in a rebuild them anew. 

I haven't heard rap music this unselfconsciously vulnerable since an 18 year old Dizzee Rascal released Boy in Da Corner.  This isn't vulnerability in the vein of Kanye West.  Kanye's troubles are simplistic and uncomfortably juinor-high.  Today's squeamish, contrived, R&B-drama inflected "confessional" (think Kid Cudi) finds no audience in this track.

Lil B's stream of conscious flow is lyrically dense and stylistically fresh, hopping from topic to topic with ease. The first 30 seconds are spent waiting for the beat to kick in, and by the time the fifth minutes passed your happy it hasn't.

Machinedrum does The World Famous Show Mixtape

Machinedrum continues his acrobatic genre shifts on his new mix for LuckyMe. More than any other artist out now, Machinedrum represents a chameleon-like approach to production.  Where other artists attempt to don 20 different hats within one song—often sounding messy or stylistically awkward—Machinedrum keeps things streamlined per track, exploring an entire genre via one well executed track.  His tracks are varied and schizophrenic when compared to one another while remaining internally coherent.

This mix starts with an emphasis old school Hip Hop, laying down tracks that have been sampled until infinity.  If these tracks are familiar to you because of Nas and Maria Carey then you need to get up on your Hip Hop game, and this is the perfect opportunity.  This isn’t tongue in check or nostalgia driven.  Machinedrum knows the deal and he sounds eager to share with the public an era that has proven endlessly influential to the producers of the 1990s and DJs of the post-2000 electronic music explosion.

Download the mix here

Also, check out Machinedrum rehearsing for a live show on a kitchen counter in Brooklyn.

Machinedrum RAW from machinedrum on Vimeo.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Deep house, actually.

In the world of electronic music, artists seem to largely be treading the same water these days.  With the explosion of talent splattered across the internet media machine, if one were only to read about, without listening to, the music that is being released at breakneck speed, they would surely assume that these were the most important and fruitful times in music production history.  After all, when each hyped release is delivered with the adjectives revolutionary and mind-blowing standard, how could one reach any other conclusion?

Clearly there is has been a disconnect somewhere between quality music production and relevant music criticism.  Online magazines eager to break the next Burial, or Flying Lotus—each of whom represented major Events (capital E) in the progression of music in the 21st century—greet each new artist as the forebear of some great new genre.  New genres are invented around artists who are largely unimportant.

The modern incarnation of Deep House is one such example.  A few DJs started rehashing old styles, that fell out of fashion somewhere in the late 90s and people loved it.  The talking heads rejoiced and Deep House was brought back from the dead.  Not in the rebirth sense or the awesome zombie sense, but rather in the somewhat disrespectful Weekend and Bernies sense.  Critics and DJs alike parading around an old, powerful force of nature so that they can seem important and part of the in-the-know.

The same thing happened last year with disco edits.

And the point is, these records weren't dusty recollections of themselves when they came out.  If you are an artist and you like something, great! Go ahead, be inspired, take cues from your influences and make your own music.  Don't steal a genres most basic signifiers (which mean exactly NOTHING out of their given context) and slather them in artificial laptop static and call them purist Deep House.  Go out and make a record that is actually deep, soulful and sexy.

James Teej's track Get Off the Phone did exactly that.  It may be a throwback in vibe but in execution it is anything but.  The clipped male vocals and the careful production flourishes are the sound of an artist taking full advantage of a 21st century studio.  The result isn't stale or derivative or masturbatory, but straight up angst ridden, sexual (and most importantly) modern dance music.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Creating Black City

Matthew Dear's landmark new album Black City, the twisted piece of pop genius that it is, has yielded its first video.  Less a music video by the numbers, and more a making of, the video explores an artist crafting the cold shapes that made up the album's art work.  The song Monkey blares in the background as the artist meticulously casts the pieces.  As the track gets more and more unhinged, the sharp metallic pieces come into their own.  The "I can be your monkey" refrain repeats itself as the synths become increasingly insistent in their maniacally childish manner and then all we are left with is Matthew Dear's name on black.

Matthew Dear - MDBC Totem from Ghostly International on Vimeo.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Robert Hood gets interviewed

Robert Hood, considered by many the father of minimal techno, gives an in depth interview with a local Detroit radio station.  While minimal techno is considered by many to be functional, repetitive club music, given the context that surrounds it, Hood's latest release on his M-Plant lable, Omega takes on a spiritual and political depth that most overblown anthems tend to only heavy-handedly grapple with.  What might seem like nihilistic, if sinful music to some seems to come from a genuinely religious place in Robert Hood.

Hood disucesses his middle-class upbringing in Detroit, chronicling his youth going to basement parties and listening to black and white artists playing side by side on the radio.  He goes on to describe the experience of having his city literally collapse all around him.  Starting with the crack epidemic, on through the disintegration of the job market, Hood interestingly points out that as many parts of the country were experiencing increased growth and opportunity, Detroit has grown increasingly segregated.

It is not surprising, then, that Hood's latest release draws its inspiration from the early 1970s film The Omega Man, staring Charlton Heston—a mediation on loneliness and faith in the face of absolute decimation.  Based on the 1950s novel I am Legend, the film confronts day-to-day life in post-apocalyptic reality.  The parallels are everywhere, and with song titles like "Are You God?" and "The Plague (Cleansing Maneuvers)" this is not your typical club record.

Expertly crafted and lovingly curated this is the sound of a devout man intent on spreading his message the only way he knows how—through the sound-system.


Thursday, September 2, 2010

Big Boi: "You Ain't No DJ" [ft. Yelawolf]

The continually slept on Big Boi album, Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty, has yielded another single.  Criminally underrated and largely overlooked, this album has already bestowed upon us three huge singles.  Will this be the one to blow up? Probably not.  Looks like that ship has sailed. 

Oh well.  For your viewing pleasure:

Thursday, August 26, 2010

FREE mp3

DJ C makes dope beats.  MIA, The Heatwave and Gregory Isaacs all know this already, since he's remixed them.

He'd pioneered a sound that he's trafficking as Boston Bounce.  His beets are springy and compressed.

This one is free.
click here

Chemical Brothers

For the last 15 years, the Chemical Brothers have been some of the most uncompromisingly true-to-self producers out there.  Rarely have they adjusted their sound to fit current trends.  Instead they've always just stuck to what they do best, sure that the rest of us would like it.

And that's pretty much always been the case. Even when their albums weren't spectacular they've always had at least a few tracks that reafirmed their brand of Big-Room electronica as relevant and oddly current.

Their latest album seems no different.  They are still working with the same sound palette that made them famous in the 1990s (Hey Boy Hey Girl).  Yet the song sounds fresh.  Corney names aside, Escape Velocity is a pretty solid dance floor track.  It sounds like Blinded by the Light updated for 2010.

The music video is equally solid.  Where some of their old videos were high minded, big budgeted exercises in psychedelia, this one is as simple as laying back on a sunny day and soaking in the simple joys of getting high and staring at the sun.

Escape Velocity from Victor Hugo Mafra on Vimeo.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Mark Henning - Supersonic

Mark Henning is a man on a mission.  As a producer working within the techno genre its hard to resist caving into the cavernous displays of echo that dubtechno is so intent on pushing these days.  Not to detract from the guys out there who are really pushing a great sound, but it seems like a lot of banal, boring and ultimately vapid tracks are getting swathed in reverb and echo and getting passed off as quality music.

Henning on the other hand has nothing to do with that movement.  His latest release, Supersonic, can trace its lineage more directly to Matthew Jonson's Decompression than the type of techno your likely to hear at Berghain any time soon.

Like that now classic track, Supersonic is a builder.  It starts slowly, quietly.  The synth paces around its small room, brooding.  Henning introduces unintelligible, downpitched vocals that seem childish and demonic at the same time.  They're almost teasing in tone.  You can hear the synth getting agitated, flaring up in the mix as the track progresses.

The biggest thing this track has going for it (besides it being a fucking total monster of a track) is how restrained the whole thing is.  Cool hats shimmer and cut across the top of the mix.  Anger and frustration are constantly suggested, but never projected.  Its all a kind of taken in stride, making it that much more bottled up—that much more disturbing.

Reckless With Your Remixes

Azari & III released "Reckless With Your Love" last year to huge acclaim.  The track was the go to tune for DJs looking to evoke Old School NYC house without loosing the modern dance floor crowd.

The chunky chord stabs mixed with the insistent male vocals brought to mind Marshal Jefferson, while the production details made it clear this was a 2009 banger.

Azari & III commissioned some remixes, the standout of which is most definitely Tuff City Kids' effort.  Keeping with the old NYC vibe, they add a heavy bassline, handclaps and some cowbell.  But just to mix things up a bit Tuff City Kids get all euro on our asses, dousing the mix in some Italo Disco style strings, to great effect.

Listen to all 4 remixes below:

Starkey - Gasping For Air In This Vortex

Starkey is an impressive character.  Despite the Philadelphia-based DJ and producer's already massive discography he is insistent and airing out his hard drive, and its hard to discourage him.

Gasping For Air In This Vortex opens like an instructional, "how to chop an orchestra and make it sound like more than the sum of its parts."  Wasting little time on introductions, the first few string stabs feel more akin to the AV club setting up the stage than like Starkey trying to build tension.  Which it inevitably does.

But only briefly. By 0:30 the massive bass line that holds the track together debuts in full form.  Drums stomp in true grime fashion as cheese-ball chords massage the whole production into place.

Download the track free, here.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Lukid - Hair Of The Dog

Werk Discs wunderkind Lukid released this awesome clip for his track Hair of the Dog a few months ago.  The title is supposedly an English (British) term for drinking alcohol to get over a hangover.  Sounds good to me.

Lukid works with the same blunted, humid textures that make Actress's releases so goddamn funky. Hair of the Dog is a more solemn affair though.  The clip is vintage in aesthetic and morbid in theme.  Watch it till the end to get the full effect.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Machinedrum - Carry the Weight

Huge song from Glasglow's Travis Stewart AKA Machinedrum.  The track is an expertly crafted amalgam of all things electronic.  It's pace is perfect, switching from 4/4 squelch to slow-mo hip hop on a dime.

Check out the track below, followed by a batshit remix by London's BOK BOK.

Machinedrum - "Carry The Weight" 
Machinedrum - Carry The Weight (Bok Bok Remix)

Midland - Leitmotif [Midland Remix]

This release from on Phonica Records is an interesting intersection of genres that works surprisingly well.  Fusing the clunky forward momentum of tech-house with joy orbison's cliped vocals and the depth of dub techno, Midland has pulled off no small feet.

Check out the track below

Midland & Furiku - Leitmotif [Midland Remix] -PHONICA005 [128 KBPS Clip]

Friday, August 13, 2010

Jam City

Jam City - Ecstasy [Refix]

Glasgow's Jam City remixes old-school British funk band for this track.

The Refixes EP is out now now via Night Slugs.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Martyn remixes Tiga

Tiga, the Canadian electro-pop producer and head of the record label Turbo, has been making some stylistically interesting moves.  His last CD Ciao! found him moving between rave, indie dance and electro-pop.
For this release he tapped techno man extraordinaire, and fellow Canadian Matthew Jonson along with the perpetually contemplative Efdemin.  Neither of which hold up next to Martyn, the genre defying bass music artist who has been straddling the line between techno and dubstep for some time now.

After a minute long vocal/string workout, things start to move.  Martyn drops in a simple driving keyboard line and a purposeful beat and the stage is set for a pretty effective tune.

As he moves from strength to strength, it seems there is no stopping Martyn

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Whores: The Movie

El-P, head of the now defunct Definitive Jux record label, released Weareallgoingtoburninhellmegamixxx3 the other day.  The third installment in the obnoxiously long titled mixtape series is an instrumental beat tape displaying the new styles El-P's picked up since his last release, I'll Sleep When Your Dead.

Without his marble-gargling white-boy raps crowding out the mix, its much easier to give the beats the attention they deserve.  Whores: The Movie finds El-Prodcuto fusing the claustrophobic-funk of his now infamous Fantastic Damage era beats with double bass-drum punk/metal drum patterns to great effect.

Every time El-P seems like hes totally irrelevant, he puts out a track that makes it reaally hard to write him off.

FaltyDL: My Friends Will Always Say...

FaltyDL - Phreqaflex
New York producer FaltyDL releases another stellar EP, this one for Planet Mu. The 3 track release entitled Phreqaflex, finds DL reining in his squiggly synths, opting for a more restrained outing this time around.

My Friends Will Always Say... opens with heavy breaths and a simple break beat that sounds like the ghost of 2-step garage circa 2000's past.  Vocals enter the mix, sung by what sounds like Lauren Hill.  Pitch shifted and looped, the simple line "my friends will laugh and say" takes on powerful meaning.

In a scene dominated by UK beat heads, its always nice to hear a fellow New Yorker holding it down.

Throwing Snow

Throwing Snow's new single marks a pretty interesting take on what dubstep has become.  Its a lush chords and jazz shuffle sound calibrated and refined.  And yet the track is undeniably a part of the post-dubstep music scene.

Its encouraging that this kind of music has developed a sound and aesthetic that can be identified as such even when many of the traditional elements are not there.

Good riddance.

Un Vingt by ThrowingSnow

Monday, August 9, 2010

Squarepusher on Ed Banger?

IDM artist Squarepusher has just announced he will be recording for the french filter house record label Ed Banger.  This is a strange move from Squarepusher considering hes almost never recorded outside of his home at Warp Records.  Warp is home to such landmark producers as Aphex Twin, LFO (no not that LFO), Flying Lotus and Brian Eno.

Whereas Warp has long been highly regarded for its genre defying musical feats of imagination, Ed Banger has experienced somewhat of a backlash because of its concentration on the stagnant culture surrounding electro-house.

Regardless, listen to the new track along with a remix from the one and only genius of the Ed Banger family, the singular Mr. Oizo.
Squarepusher - Cryptic Motion Edits by Hypetrak

Cheaters never win

70s kitsch recast as 2010 floor banger.  No generation clash here.  The giddy remix is a seamless declaration of purpose for Teengirl Fantasy, USA's newest dance-pop export.  Weiss and Takahashi—two Brooklyn kids who go to Oberlin college—don't rely heavily on distorted bass or beefy drums to update the sample source for a modern dance floor.

They take the original track and pitch down the vocals, slowly revealing it as the song steadily builds.  The track is sincere and emotive and if cheaters never win, Teengirl Fantasy should be just fine.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Is Matthew Dear the new David Bowie?

The two artists are formidable sex symbols, each working to define their singular identities against the backdrop of an unforgiving modern landscape.  They are both fans of chameleon-like transformations of characer (with Bowie recording as David Bowie, Ziggy Stardust ect, and Dear sporting monikers from False, Jabberjaw, and Audion to plain old Matthew Dear.)

However their similarities are more than superficial.  Beyond their innocent boy meets debauchee via sexual androgyny image construction, the two artists have more than a few things in common.  Each sing in arresting baritone, slowly and disaffectedly as if nothing and everything are at stake.  And through their relentlessly modern, otherworldly dance music they leverage the weight of their problems against the weight of the beat.  Both artists implore their listeners to dance the night away, to dance thier problems away.

Bowie, born in the South London borough of Brixton, grew up in the post WWII era when the area was decimated by Nazi bombing raids.  With urban decay as his backdrop, Bowie went on to produce countless hits of flashy swagger cracked by self-aware insecurity.  One of his greatest hits remains "Fame", a startling example of how the modern incarnation of fame is a process of decay in and of itself - ruthlessly taring apart its subject, much in the same way that hyper-modern cities had torn themselves apart.

The new millennium from Matthew Dear's perspective is equally daunting.  His music is the jittery godson of the Detroit Techno music scene - an artistic movement that draws inspiration from the cultural detritus that has settled in Detroit since the manufacturing giants that had built the city into an  economic powerhouse left it to rot.  Dear's music has the same air of self-assured apprehension that made Bowie's music so affecting and enduringly relevant in our postmodern world.

Anyways, the man has a new album out which i implore you all to buy.  Stream the whole thing below

Matthew Dear: Black City by factmag

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Jack Dixon

Everyone and their mother thinks they can write an epic song.  From the thunderous buildups of electro workouts to the relentless thump of dubstep, it seems like people are leveraging drum rolls and sound effects against musicianship and quality production.

Its like reaching for new heights while losing your footing.  And finding this out about musicians triggers the same lukewarm disappointment kids get when they realize that no, adults do not, in fact, have their nose.

Not everyone can write an epic tune.  Epics are not democratic, they are forces of nature.  Virgil wrote epics.  Not Rusco.  Not Wolfmother.  Not Deadmou5.  And in the end its the music that suffers when we replace substance with drama.  Its important for music to have emotional resonance, but it must possess those qualities based on its own merits and on its own terms, not via some worn out silence-->buildup--> drop convention that stopped being important the exact moment Benny Benassi became a has-been.

On that note, its refreshing to hear soulful garage jams like "Coconuts" by London producer Jack Dixon.  The drums pulse without pummeling, the bass booms without bleeding.  None of the melodrama that characterizes mid-range hyper-compressed wobblestep dares lay a finger on the genuine subtly that this track sports.

Its got a certain summer night swagger.  The drums bounce loosely as the bass hits like a humid breeze, and its all a very classy affair.  This tune is proof that you don't have to be in the eye of the storm to get your feet wet.

Around the two minute mark the bass drops out and a clipped vocal eases into the mix.  The treble's turned up and the dry funk of AM radio's heyday serves as a nice breather.  And then (here's the important part guys) the beat pops back into place.  Perfect. To the point.  Like summer night rain it kinda just happens, and we feel all the better for it.

Coconuts (Original Mix) by jackdixon

Thursday, July 15, 2010

EGGATRONIX vs Mount Kimbie

Glow 4 Broke from Elliott on Vimeo.
EGGATRONIX is a madman.
Loving the wide format
Song is Mount Kimbie - Maybes (James Blake Remix)

Who? Milyoo.

Instrumental music begs categorization.  Casual listeners demand something to cling on to so as to bring music’s elusive artists to the fore.  To make music intelligible in spite of its enigmatic origins.

Like many emerging beat makers, Milyoo’s identity is largely unknown, leaving his music prey to critics eager to tag it as part of this scene or that.

The guys at FACT are sure Milyoo’s bedroom-beats are the kin of motor city’s greatest. But this track has less to do with Dilla than it does with much of the UK Bass music they regularly report on.  Deep sub bass tones frame the bottom of the mix.  A low-strung, quivering note suggests something cavernous.  But hailing from Kentucky, Milyoo’s drums are pure Americana.  They split the difference between hip-hop and prog rock.

Somehow though, the same skittering bongo patterns that drive Funky find there way into the mix without imposing their usual burst of energy on the mellow track. “Damage” is chill without being bogged down by the all of the usual signifiers.  It’s nostalgic without predicating its success on swashes of fuzz.  Laid back without being beach-y.  Put simply, its smooth.  Milyoo sounds like he’s chopping up a YES song instead of mining typical Motown stomping grounds.  Encouraging stuff, someone to watch.

Download the track here.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Get schooled in Flying Lotus

Meet the best producer in the game by a long shot


 Flying Lotus - LTWXRMX (Bliccups Edit) - 8A by Bliccups

Hyperdub - Flying Lotus - Disco Balls by JohnBaker

Gonjasufi - Ancestors (Produced by Flying Lotus) by camoril

Mount Kimbie stream Crooks and Lovers

Whereas most dubstep reveals itself to be total trash the moment you step foot outside the club, the UK's Mount Kimbie's music is nuanced enough to make sense on your headphones without making your ears bleed.   Taking cues from alternative rock and bedroom pop, the producers' brand of loop-heavy electronic music shows us what we wish Four Tet would sound like these days.

Chopped up vocals and guitar loops sound like a PC playing open mic night and the smokey local pub.  Mount Kimbie's Maybes of last year only hinted at this new direction.

Head over to FACT to check out the whole album.  Not to be missed

Album: Crooks & Lovers
Release Date: July 19
Label: Hotflush Recordings

01 Tunnelvision
02 Would Know
03 Before I Move Off
04 Blind Night Errand
05 Adriatic
06 Ruby
07 Carbonated
08 Ode to Bear
09 Field
10 Mayor
11 Between Time

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Maxmillion Dunbar

This kid is nice with the cuts.  Maxmillion Dunbar uses disco and soul samples like keys on a piano, hopping between them effortlessly.  His tracks could easily be peak-time floor bangers but he keeps things slow.  Far more interesting than most of the lazy disco edits floating around...

Download Wouldn't Matter off his new Bare Feet EP here.

New Panda Bear

Holy shit this song is awesome.  Panda Bear's layered vocals sweep in and out of the reverb drenched mix of "Slow Motion" to great effect.  His much anticipated follow up album to Person Pitch entitled Tomboy will be out via Paw Tracks sometime soon (hopefully)

Download "Slow Motion" in high quality here.   The remix opportunities are endless with this tune.

Listen to and download Panda Bear's Noah Lennox preform  Slow Motion live at the Primavera Sound Festival in Barcelona here

Friday, July 9, 2010

Aeroplane vs Friendly Fires vs Flight Facilities

With about a million names on it, this track was bound for greatness.  Sunny pop for summer days.  Free mp3 download available when you click on the down arrow on the left side of the track.
I Crave Paris by Aeroplane (Official)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Brackles Releases Songs for Endless Cities

Opening track Mr. Chippy by much beloved LA madman Flying Lotus sets things off right.  Dubstep House hybrid Floating Points make appearances along with Zomby, champion of the dancehall.  2562 and Dorian Concept round out the lineup with great contributions as well.  Out now via !K7 / Cool in the Pool

Tracklist below:

01 Flying Lotus: "My Chippy"
02 Floating Points: "Peoples Potential"
03 Zomby: "Tarantula"
04 Roska: "I Need Love" [ft. Anesha]
05 Brackles: "Blo"
06 Martin Kemp: "No Charisma"
07 Kyle Hall: "Luv for KMFH"
08 Cooly G: "Love Dub Refix"
09 DJ Dom: "Sunshowers"
10 DJ Mystery: "Speechless" [ft. Natalie K]
11 Hypno: "Over The Top"
12 Rishi Romero: "African Forest"
13 Breach: "Fatherless"
14 Deadboy: "If You Want Me"
15 2562: "Dinosaur"
16 Dorian Concept: "Trilingual Dance Sexperience"
17 Funkineven: "Must Move"

Foreign rap that doesnt suck

Feel good summer track for those sunny days.  Laid back funky sample with simple party lyrics.  Its that easy.

Who knew Swedish rap could be more hip hop than most of the craprap coming out of the U.S. these days?  Daydrinking encouraged.  Out now via Chateau Disc, Japan


Unrelesed Burial Tracks

There's been a bunch of these unreleased Burial tracks making rounds about the old interweb for the past few years.  Speedball2 was supposed to be on Untrue but didn't make the cut.  Not for its lack of interesting ideas though.  This track sees Burial applying his meticulous production technique and thorough drum programming in a much more sinister way than we've seen on his proper releases.  Burial nods to jungle and drum and bass, giving us a pretty interesting glimpse as to what this man is really capable of.

Another standout has been Stairwell taken from a Kode9 set at the Sonar Festival back in 2007.  This monster knows nothing of the introspective lingering atmospheres that Burial built on his two albums.  Its a persistent, downright militant jaunt; its trashcan drums galloping through bass tones deep and rich.  His pitched vocals are here in full effect but this time they play hype-man.   Gone are the androgynous characters that bemoaned love lost.  A crazed female vocal shrieks atop the skittering beats ("Baby!"), piercing the air with shrill excitement while a laid back MC challenges, "don't pop, boi."

If these hectic tracks are any indication, the next Burial album is gonna be a game changer

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Pictureplane blowing up

Another messy house track by Pictureplane.  This one seems decidedly less downtrodden.  Even when his older material was aimed at the dance floor, its hands were always still firmly in its pockets.

Kind of a slow burner but its worth it.

Download an exclusive mix he did for his new home, Isomorph records, here

Ramadanman Works Them

Track speaks for itself.  
Ramadanman goes in heavy on a vocal loop and some 808s. 


peep this slowed down version just for kicks

Friday, July 2, 2010

Martyn - Miniluv

Listen to UK producer Martyn's new track Miniluv here.

The guys at Berghain in Berlin love him, going as far as releasing  the track on their latest comp Berghain 04.  Blurring the lines between techno, dubstep and house, Martyn scores again.

Hyph Mngo Edits

Last summer's jam
remixed for this summer.

Heres two alternate takes:

Number one come from Ben Jurrassik.  Adding some jungle breaks to Joy Orbison's debut track seams like a obvious choice but it works nicely
Joy Orbison - Hyph Mngo (Jurassik's Where's the Whistle Crew? edit) by Jurassik

Slowed down, Andreas Saag locks it into a four-to-the-floor beat with some deep bass tones.
Joy Orbison - Hyph Mngo (Andreas Saag's House Perspective) by andreassaag

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Weclome to Death Row: Unreleased

The crew from Compton is back! Well sort of. Well not really at all. But a ridiculous amount of unreleased music has just been made available for download thanks to the guys at Steady Bloggin.

Over a period of five years Death Row put out some of the most memorable hip hop the world has ever seen. This mix provides a kind of parallel story to what we saw and heard.
If only Snoop from '93 could see the clown hes become. Oh well. Enjoy
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...