We'll be the first to say it: 2010 was not the best year for music videos. It seemed the overarching theme throughout the clips bubbling up this year was the re-appropriation of old footage, edited as the director/artist saw fit. And that's all well and good, but it certainly doesn't make us go 'Wow!' The videos on our 2010 favorites list were made of authentic, inspiring, funny, touching, grotesque, strange, and beautiful pictures, and were apparently born of truly original ideas. We may not be nearly as into the music accompanying the pieces (personally, we thought "Drunk Girls" was one of the worst songs this year), but that's not what this is all about, now is it? Read more »
We're not entirely sure if it's a good or bad thing when you can't tell if a song is made with organic or synthetic instruments, analog or digital devices, people or machines. On one hand, it gives the music a sort of allure because of its ambiguous mystique, but editorially speaking, it's that much more difficult to properly credit sounds to their rightful source. Maybe we're just splitting hairs, but we shouldn't all just sit around being wrong, right? Well, regardless of how these sounds were made, "Yeagh" by Dublin duo Richie Egan and Niall Byrne (a.k.a. VisionAir) recalls the warm vintage synths found in the ambling Krautrock grooves of yore, though obviously invigorated with the sheen of modern production technology. The vibe of the song, which closes out the pair's brand-new A Vision EP (available for free download here), feels like an esoteric Tangerine Dream, Can, or even Silver Apples tune as performed by a guitarless Ratatat on quaaludes. Maybe that sounds weird, but so does this song—in a good way.
Add yet another track to the growing list of remixes for Jamie Woon's Burial-co-produced song, "Night Air." UK 2-stepper Deadboy puts his shuffling version next to interpretations from the likes of Ramadanman and newcomer Becoming Real, which collectively create a trifecta that trumps the original, at least to our ears. This remix lets Woon's voice do its thing while a rolling bassline grooves with Deadboy's go-to riddim and a handful of assorted synth melodies waft about the proceedings. Further into "Night Air (Deadboy Remix)," the producer starts toying with the singer's croon, whimsically pitch-shifting it as the synth stabs grow in intensity.
Bay Area house and techno hub Dirtybird is keeping quite busy throughout the winter seasons. More specifically, the imprint has a couple releases coming out this month, with an excellent holiday party on the way, as well. Read more »
We all know the well-worn adage: Less is more. Here, that philosophy is put to good use by Brighton-based producer Greymatter on his remix of the forthcoming single from Randomer & Adverse, "Alizé." It's not that Greymatter is making minimalist bass music or any such thing, but when juxtaposed with Randomer & Adverse's bubbling originals and HomePark's own deep remix of the title track, it's easily the most pared down of the bunch. A lone tambourine and kick-drum rhythm make up the spine of "Alizé (Greymatter Remix)," on which the producer employs a chopped-up vocal loop, monotone organ stabs, a massive bass drop every so often, and a couple more percussion sounds. There are certainly more than, say, 10 sounds in this shuffling tune, but Greymatter gives each one of them enough room to breathe that you could probably pick out the noises individually at any given time, though you're likely to be too busy moving to the jam's thick groove to even bother giving that a try. You can check out the EP's other three tracks when Alizé drops on January 10 via Super.
Man, Dublin's All-City label is pretty lucky there's an almost inexhaustible amount of beat music coming out of Southern California; their LA Series 10" releases could potentially continue on until Armageddon hits and wipes us all out. Closing out the series' first year, the imprint has enlisted Brainfeeder's resident lady producer, Tokimonsta, and fresh face Mike Gao to come together on a slab of wax called LA Series 8 (out now), from which "Park Walks" is taken. On the track, Tokimonsta interplays a lumbering beat and an obtuse bassline with a few ethereal vocal samples to make up some sort of punch-drunk alien groove. More and more sounds are heaped onto the bulbous rhythm as the song progresses, giving "Park Walks" the sort of frenzy we're sure very few walks in the park have.
Between running his own record label, Brownswood, hosting his own radio show on BBC 1, and constantly searching for the "perfect beat," Gilles Peterson has to be one insanely busy guy. Though he's not one to let that get in the way of sharing fresh sounds with the world. Though he's not one to let that get in the way of sharing fresh sounds with the world. For his label's next release, the inaugural edition of a brand-new compilation series called World Family, Peterson is relinquishing his curatorial duties to friends and fellow DJs Lefto and Simbad in lieu of his own selections. Read more »
Although Brooklyn duo Games and Scottish beat wizard Hudson Mohawke (pictured above) both dabble in sounds that could be described as retro, or even future-retro, they don't exactly share the same sonic palette. Yet on this remix of "Strawberry Skies," the original of which appears on Games' That People Play EP, the marriage of the two seems perfectly natural. That's largely because HudMo has put his schizophrenic hip-hop sensibilities aside and simply tweaked the original song's '80s radio-pop vibes with some additional synths and fuzz. He's also played a bit with the wondrous vocals of Laurel Halo, but his chops and slices aren't terribly severe. To be honest, the whole thing sounds more like an alternate take than a complete re-imagining. It certainly works though, so we're not complaining. Give it a listen and also peep the new "Strawberry Skies" video, which is posted after the jump. (via FACT) Read more »
When they aren't busy compiling obscure bands and producers into questionably titled "guides", the folks over at NYC culture hub Mishka also corral artists for their ongoing Keep Watch mix series. The latest artist to offer a DJ set as a Mishka podcast is Denver, CO, producer Pictureplane. Read more »
- GearWatch Goth-Trad Make a Beat with Ableton Live
- NewsWatch Jeff Mills' 1998 Red Bull Music Academy Lecture
- NewsWatch Just Jam Sets from Mount Kimbie, Loefah, Omar Souleyman, and More
- MP3Kenji Kawai "Making of a Cyborg (Rope Re-Interpretation)"
- NewsThe Lowdown - This Week's XLR8R Top 10 with Untold, Tycho, Jam City, and More
XLR8R Downloads Player