On Monday, XLR8R posted a link to download a free compilation from the Friends of Friends label entitled Pop Massacre that featured 13 pop memorables fully re-worked by beat-centric artists like DNTEL, Strangeloop, and Mexicans With Guns. Among re-interpretations of Prince, Mariah Carey, and Abba is San Francisco/L.A. hopper Shlohmo's version of Soulja Boy's "Pretty Boy Swag." The track is a great candidate for exploring new territory—the cavernous, graveyard-deep original is a nice fit for Shlohmo's cacophonous soundscapes. However, unlike his tightly wound version of Khia's "My Neck My Back" from earlier this year, here Shlohmo opts for a wounded vocal sample that pares down Pretty Boy's swaggiest moments to something resembling modesty.
Never mind Diplo Presents Dubstep. Now the DJ/producer known as Wes Pentz is staking his claim in the field of reggae classics with Riddimentary: Diplo Selects Greensleeves, a forthcoming mix album in which the Mad Decent head honcho reinvigorates the Greensleeves vaults for your listening pleasure. The mixmaster has his way with Gregory Isaacs' "Night Nurse," Eek-A-Mouse's "Anarexol," Trison Palma's "Joker Smoker," and 12 other tracks, all of which drop on February 8 via VP Records. Read more »
This year's podcast section blew up like never before, and it's a testament to the power of the DJ, we suppose, who brings all the fanfare and flourishes of a hot night out to the banal locale of our desktop. Out of the 50+ mixes that premiered on our website over the year, the 10 below are not only the best executed, most unique, and wholly memorable (even controversial at times), but also the sets we personally keep returning to when in need of a solid DJ mix. Enjoy. Read more »
For those of you who've been playing out YouTube audio rips of South African kwaito producer MZO Bullet's "Casablanca," your murky set moments will soon return to crisp clarity. On December 27, London's New State Music will release "Casablanca" in both vinyl and digital formats, and packaged alongside a remix from sweat-inducing duo Hot City. If you haven't seen the dance-move-inspiring (watch for the lone "mzungu") video for "Casablanca," take a look below, and then check out the Hot City remix from New State's Soundcloud. Read more »
We're not entirely sure if many elements of "Cash and Carry Me Home," the lead single from burgeoning UK wordsmith Ghostpoet's forthcoming full-length debut, actually made it into this remix by Londoner Alex Patchwork, but the quality of the deep bass production certainly speaks loudly enough in their place—not to mention that it's one of the official remixes coming out on January 24 via Gilles Peterson's Brownswood label. Patchwork nabbed a few of Ghostpoet's injured utterances from his touching hip-hop tune, and applied them to a swirling mix of gelatinous pads, crescendoing synth melodies à la Joy Orbison, skittering percussion, and plenty of sub-dedicated sounds. The vocals in "Cash and Carry Me Home (Alex Patchwork Remix)" aren't necessarily integral to the pulse and trajectory of the song, but we're happy to hear them nonetheless. Regardless, if we want to hear the original, we can always peep the video, which we premiered back in October. Ghostpoet's debut LP, Peanut Butter Blues & Melancholy Jam, drops on February 7. The album artwork and tracklist are below. Read more »
Late last month, London DJs Elijah & Skilliam represented grime's new school with an exclusive mix for the XLR8R podcast series. This week, we're bringing in grime grandaddy Terror Danjah, who's been in the game for nearly a decade, but still has plenty to bring to the table. Read more »
It's unfortunate that Berlin's Marc Houle is probably best known for "Techno Vocals," his cheeky 2007 stab at the trend of pitching down vocals in minimal dance music. The plodding parody of that piece lies in direct contrast to the stark, depressing tones of most of the tracks on Drift, his fourth full-length for the Minus imprint. Read more »
For the latest addition to its surprisingly impressive single series, which has already included the likes of Todd Edwards and Juan MacLean, car company-cum-culture hub Scion A/V has released a brand-new tune from old-school freestyle/Hi-NRG artist Corinne (who has only recently returned to the spotlight, thanks to NY's On the Prowl label), along with four remixes from Mugwump, Runaway, Midnight Magic, and Harkin & Raney. Here, the original version of Corrine's song, "Dream a Little Dream," reminds us of the salad days of Miami's club scene while simultaneously flexing a contemporary sheen to its retro-futuristic production. Analog synths dance lightly around the machine-gun stutter of a vintage drum-machine beat, and Corinne croons innocent verbiage about fantasies, dreams, and "the one" with the grace of a soft-spoken diva who's done it all; the song might as well be from the '80s. And if you're curious enough to find out what the remixes sound like, head here to download those for free.
Starting the new year off with a sizzurp-slow bang will be the first-ever compilation of the spuriously named "witch house" genre. The compilation, titled ISVOLT, will be released in January by East London's Robot Elephant, but is ultimately a snapshot of artists signed to early witch house champion Robert Disaro's label, Disaro Records. The comp is available now in physical 12" vinyl and CD forms but will be released into the worldwide digital ether on January 17. Below is a preview of three tracks from the record by artists White Ring, Raw Moans, and Mater Suspiria Vision. Read more »
Belgian duo Mustang is made up of DJ Renaud Deru and Andy Faisca, a collaboration between two Italo-disco obsessives. Mustang's second EP Apocalypso, released yesterday on Abracada, features the title track and a song called "Dick Reverse." Despite the dubious titling of the aforementioned track, this remix of the EP's title track from Acid Wash does exactly what the alias implies by injecting Roland's signature 303 sound into all the cracks and crevices of the original. Layered in lush pop melodies that rise and recede throughout, the only thing missing are well-paired vocals to highlight the track's vintage whimsy.
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