Lots of bands and producers seem to use the whole 'elusive artist' schtick as a crutch, trying to add an element of mystery to music that's nothing particularly out of the ordinary. Hidden faces, uncertain origins, and poorly defined band line-up aside, ceo makes music that is actually unfamiliar and blurry enough to be called mysterious. "Everything Is Gonna Be Alright," a bonus track not found on the outfit's debut, White Magic, carries a mixed bag of influences—dubstep bass and rhythms, Balearic fuzz and buoyance, tropical instrumentation, simple pop harmonies, and club-inspired vocal sampling—that mesh into a sound as ambiguous as it is inviting. The song is a standard length, but feels like an all-too-brief glimpse into a realm of new musical possibilities.
Globe-trotting MC/DJ/producer/party starter/graf artist Kid Acne (pictured above) teamed with Spain's Slick Dixxx and UK label Lex to hook us all up with a free compilation of music directly connected to South Yorkshire—an idea that permeates Acne's quarterly parties in Sheffield, as well. Read more »
Brooklyn's Black Dice directed this lo-fi psychedelic video for fellow NY-based weird-groove makers !!!. The directing band's warped, cluttered aesthetic shines bright throughout "AM/FM"; chopped-and-screwed VHS footage of !!! performing its new number is ran through hyperactive iMovie effect presets, quick editing, and enough ocular-confusing colors and patterns to get the video banned in Japan. Read more »
We've been reporting bits and pieces about the ongoing celebration Ninja Tune is having for its 20th year as a wonderfully eclectic and forward-thinking label. Ninja's been giving out exclusive MP3s, revisiting old-school DJ mixes, and basically proving why they've remained a relevant entity in electronic music through two decades, and now we've got news of the latest addition to its ever-growing goodie bag. Read more »
It probably goes without saying, but MIA's upcoming quasi-self-titled third album, /\/\ /\ Y /\, is sure to be oddly accessible, completely meta, and predictably off-center; so it's no surprise that those three phrases go a long way toward describing this extended version of "Tekquilla," the latest cut to creep out from the tightly guarded new record. The track features rap star Nicki Minaj for a quick verse, which, despite being totally tacked on at random, proves a solid wingman for Maya's sing-song vocals. And though they were never mentioned as possible production contributors, we wouldn't be entirely shocked if Basement Jaxx were credited with the instrumental, as it's overwrought with innumerable micro-samples, blaring synths and sound effects from the repertoire of the re-emerging rave era, and an all-around air of bombastic noise pollution. Still, this is pop music at its most modern and innovative form. (via FADER)
Gettin' lifted in the Mile High City with Alex B.
While producer/label manager Alex B (né Botwin) might often get lumped in with Low End Theory's abstract beat cats of Los Angeles, he's a Colorado boy through and through. In this episode of XLR8R TV, he takes us for a trip through the kissing-cousin locales of Denver and Boulder to show us the region's vegetarian delights, its vinyl havens, and its other unique wonders (Mexican-restaurant jazz clubs, anyone?).
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Former XLR8R cover star and highly touted DFA disco whiz Andy Butler has shed much of the nine-person band that brought to life his songs written as Hercules & Love Affair, and is set to tour in anticipation of the recently finished follow-up to H&LA's self-titled debut. Along with permanent Love Affair vocalist Kim Ann Foxman, Butler enlisted the help of three other musicians from Berlin and Chicago to perform as his band around Europe and the US. Read more »
The black-and-blue-soaked mass of dance music fans in this video for Magnetic Man's new single, "I Need Air," are not hired extras or indifferent folks going through the 'I'm really into this, man' motions. The throng of kids young and old were actual festival-goers at the Parklife festival in Australia, uninhibitedly enjoying the pop-friendly club tune coming from the UK trio of Skream, Benga, and Artwork. Read more »
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