The Swedish software masterminds over at Propellerhead have officially announced the release of Reason 6, an updated and expanded version of its widely used software, as well as the release of a more compact and streamlined version of the program called Reason Essentials. Read more »
Line-Ups Announced for Pittsburgh's VIA Festival, Spain's Electromar Festival, and Ukraine's Kazantip Festival
A flurry of festival news has come through the pipeline this week with a host of locations throughout the world tapping an incredible amount of talented artists for their summertime parties. Read more »
Loose Fit, a duo of reportedly life-long friends Daniel Willis and Johnny Smith, has just unleashed a new release for the relatively young UK label Join the Dots. Here we have the EP's lead track, a slow-brewing, piano-driven outing that floats between artsy house and delicate future-pop. "Loose Fit" is built from a base of looped chords, to which the pair adds layers of percussion, arpeggiators, and distant synth swells to the deep bass and sparse beat that move "Table Beggar" at a solemn, steady trot. The final touches come in the form of understated vocals and rich string arrangements, which result in a dense and rewarding effort. The Table Beggar/Magnetise EP, which comes with another Loose Fit original as well as remixes from Manuel Tur, Ripperton, King of Town, and Ruf Dog, is available now in digital format.
If we're being absolutely frank, there's not too much difference between a good Hype Williams track and a bad one. The enigmatic duo of Dean "Roy" Blunt and Inga Copeland (or maybe Karen Glass, if you like) make a nebulous kind of aimless, lo-fi 'pop' that could be the current epitome of an "acquired taste" in music; they basically use the same ingredients—an oversized bassline, deep synth pads, preset drum-machine sounds, dusty vinyl samples, and (presumably) a shit ton of weed—on each track they create, and you either like the recipe or you don't. Read more »
Now, we're usually wary of tracks that come along with absolutely no information, which is why we had to take a second glance at this one when it popped up on Actress' Twitter account yesterday with nothing but a brief note reading "Sleeping in the next werld," but all signs seem to point to the Werk Discs label head. There's that inherent uneasiness Actress seems to weave into all his tracks present on "Parallel World"—the slightly off-kilter rhythms that slowly make sense as they're pulled apart and piled back together. And then there's the intricate melody, which floats and revolves as if spinning around the song at its own pace, yet somehow still miraculously fitting into place when needed. Then to top it off, the track clocks in at a jaw-dropping nine and a half minutes, surely a mark of the one producer who can weave slow-burning abstraction for such an elongated period and continue to effortlessly hold our attention all the same. Let's hope this tune is a hint at more similarly enveloping pieces from the South Londoner to make their way to our ears sooner rather than later.
One of our favorite labels of late, Hippos in Tanks, recently released the latest record from one our favorite synth auteurs of late, Laurel Halo (pictured above). The original version of "Constant Index" comes from that Hour Logic LP, and here we have an entirely flipped remix of the expansive tune by UK bass experimentalist and Werk Discs label head Actress. Producer Darren Cunningham boils down Laurel Halo's high-flying vocal melodies and churning synth sounds into a more insular piece that juggles broken grooves, negative space, and thumping, four-on-the-floor beats with a lackadaisical skill few others seem to possess. "Constant Index (Actress Violet Remix)" starts out a bit alienating, but once the beat drops, this is one most people should be able to get down to. (via Stereogum)
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