When one thinks of 17-year-olds living in Orange County, it's easy to conjure up a host of generalizations based on that suburban haven—or hell, depending on which side of the county line you fall. But when it comes to the disarming Zeadron Del Gomez bedroom project, those expectations will be swiftly dispensed. A couple weeks back, Del Gomez (a.k.a. Jack Heffron) released a free, full-length record titled Hold My Hand? No through the online magazine Rebel. Compiling his best 11 tracks over a five-month production period, Heffron crafted a remarkably varied record that explores mostly the dark, unnerving sides of UK garage, house, and dubstep. What's most intriguing about Heffron's record is that it threads these inextricably tied sounds into something that nods to the past while uniquely expounding on their potential, an accomplishment reminiscent of Zomby's encyclopedic Where Were U In '92?. UK garage is at work on this particular track, though the patience that is exemplified here is as precocious as Heffron himself, taking two of the seven minutes to set an ominous stage before a machine-like half-stepping groove enters alongside gun cocking, lonely dub piano chords and a wan maternal voice.
Reggae has a lot of icons—but probably only one who's white, British, and looks like "a dentist or an accountant" (his words, not ours). The legendary selector David "Ram Jam" Rodigan worked his way through record shops and school dances before making it to Radio London in 1978, where he co-hosted Reggae Rockers—and really hasn't looked back since. Read more »
Brooklyn's Light Asylum has delivered an incredible video for its '80s club-anthem throwback, "Dark Allies," courtesy of video artist and photographer Grant Worth. The track's intensity fits perfectly with the video thanks to a passionate performance form Light Asylum's front-woman Shannon Funchess, along with a half-naked Virgin Mary-esque figure and tons of overlaying glowsticks. Throw in some expert editing and it all makes for quite a visually stunning affair for a track that definitely deserves a thrilling video accompaniment. (via Altered Zones) Read more »
If this MP3 is any indication, then Daniel Steinberg's debut album, Shut Up, is all about having fun. "Calling Deep" opens with a percussive bang full of cowbell, shakers, chopped-up vocals, and a deep bassline. The Berlin-based producer then employs a calmly confident narrator throughout the track who attempts to make us feel at ease while Steinberg skillfully chops and filters funky guitars and Latin piano until he's ready to drop us back into the deep house groove. Although this is Steinberg's first album as an artist, he's actually been producing tracks for the better part of the last 15 years, emerging out of the minimal, stripped-down heyday of Berlin's scene with his own unique style of Latin- and world-influenced house. And of course, always with a deep bassline. Shut Up is out today and can be purchased here.
New Orleans' own originator of "swamp tech" and inventor of the Drum Buddy, Quintron, has never been one shy of trying new ideas. Case in point, his forthcoming LP for Memphis' Goner imprint was entirely made over a three-month residency inside the New Orleans Museum of Modern Art. Read more »
Last summer Def Jux founder, producer, rapper, and all-around underground hip-hop pioneer of the '00s El-P reemerged with a collection of instrumentals entitled Weareallgoingtoburninhellmegamixxx3 and a performance at LA's premier beat night, Low End Theory. Possibly sparked by that appearance, Low End's resident MC, Nocando (pictured above), happens to grace this menacing instrumental with an incredibly intelligent and impassioned verse. Anyone who's had a chance to catch Nocando on a Wednesday night in LA has probably already been hipped to the MC's style (a mix of clever quips, honest thoughts, and party starting), but for those who are not familiar, this verse should serve as a nice introduction. El-P's mix of fuzzy psychedelia kicks the track off before being taken over by an aggressive breakbeat upon which Nocando absolutely kills it, covering a wide territory of subject matter with a quick, smart, and intense flow. Lines like "My friend said it would be the end of our era soon/And we should trade our Nissans in for hot air balloons" are just scratching the surface. Let's hope there's more of this collab down the line in one form or another.
Out on Monday, January 24 is the debut EP, Complicado, from Argentine producer Ana Helder, a recent addition to Matias Aguayo's Cómeme imprint and greater stable of Latin-influenced house and techno producers. Read more »
The once-elusive fellow behind our 19th favorite track of 2010, DJ/producer/singer Ben Westbeech, has shed his Breach moniker in favor of his given name for his next album, There's More to Life Than This, which will be released sometime in April courtesy of Strictly Rhythm. In preparation for that release, the artist has a few snazzy things to share with us—namely, a fresh look for his website and a brand-new compilmentary tune. Read more »
The Boulder, Colorado electronic music and arts festival, Communikey, has released a small list of performers for the fourth edition of the festival to take place April 13-17. The line-up so far seems to aim at finding a balance between the pioneers and classic artists of electronic music along with fresh talent from electronic music's newer class. Legendary names like Atom TM (a.k.a. Uwe Schmidt, a.k.a. Señor Coconut), Monolake, Mike Huckaby (pictured above), and William Basinski will share the stage with Mark McGuire (of Emeralds), Dark Dark Dark, and ZZK's Chancha Via Circuito and El G among others. Read more »
Oakland-based producer/rapper Trackademicks has sent over this video for the track "State of the Arts" from his forthcoming debut LP of the same name. The track, featuring Oakland songstress Goapele, continues Trackademicks' reputation as a forward-thinking hip-hop producer with its fuzzy pads, skittering beat, and a hyper-synth bassline that pops up for the tune's chorus. The video is a pretty familiar hip-hop affair as we follow Trackademicks while he digs for records, turns up faders, runs into some dancing kids, and gives us a view of his crew in action. State of the Arts, which features a host of collaborators from Mistah F.A.B. to Phonte, is out on January 25 from The Honor Roll Crew. Read more »
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