Always reliable for offering a bit of ominous vibes with their dancefloor goodness, the Rapture-owned Throne of Blood label just revealed its latest to us, a three-track record from Belfast production duo Bicep, simply called EP1. "Darwin" is the first of the record's three tunes, and a lengthy exercise in balancing the thumping repition of old-school favorites like, say, "Da Funk," with touches of vintage revivalism from the piano house and Italo realms. But no matter what influences you hear in the song's churning rhythms, there's no denying that Bicep's production is a deep and soulful slow-burner that takes its cues from a wide span of club music history. You can stream the rest of the duo's new record over on SoundCloud, here.
The majority of folks look pretty damn hilarious when they dance. Sure, there are professionals and a handful of talented amateurs that can pull of their rug-cutting moves with a certain je ne sais quoi that transcends the usual silliness, but we can't all be J.Lo—or can we? This video for the latest cut of vintage-inspired house music from Portland's The Miracles Club, "Church Song," shows us that we can all be dancing superstars, especially if we dress as ridiculously as we dance. Read more »
We're used to listening to the more hyperactive side of Portuguese music over here at XLR8R HQ, but we'll take a fresh breeze of sounds from our Iberian friends any day. The latest gust from overseas comes from chillwave-y duo Dreams, and its recently released Forgotten Thoughts EP, which gets a digital release on January 4, 2011. The song, "Swimming in Pink Waters," swirls all about your head with hazy atmosphere, paper-thin vocal transmissions, and a handful of airy synth melodies, like it haphazardly collected all of its sounds while wafting over to our continent. We'd probably be more inclined to qualify Dreams' EP opener into the ambient genre if it didn't have the straightforward dance beat at its center, but we like this piece of amorphous pop all the same.
For some (probably most) producers/musicians/music lovers, "Me & U," the 2006 single by young R&B star Cassie, was the point at which they realized soulful pop music aimed at the masses might offer a wealth of inspiration, not to mention choice listening material. Now, about four years later, London bass hub Local Action is corralling a handful of Cassie's fans—who just happen to be tunesmiths themselves—to make a free mini-album of remixes of the starlet's tunes. Read more »
Honestly, we're starting to think that the first track we heard from Leaving Records boss Matthewdavid, the bubbling and warped R&B of "Trusss," was some sort of fluke. Though not necessarily in a bad sense; it's just that since hearing that beautiful jam, the producer has gone on to make ambient, textural soundscapes ridden with tape hiss almost exclusively—the latest of which is the lengthy "11042010." The composition sounds like some of the more calming moments found in the podcast he recently did for XLR8R (easily one of our top favorites of the year), but stretched out for about a third of that mix's length. It's yet another Matthewdavid track you could easily get lost in, and when paired with his handmade video—his first—below... Well, let's just hope you've got something smokable nearby. Read more »
Young bass and house patron Julio Bashmore already has his plans laid out for the start of 2011: On January 10, the DJ/producer will be releasing a brand-new EP as the first record for the fledgling PMR imprint. Read more »
London's oft-reliable house and techno hub Crosstown Rebels is already gearing up for its first release of the new year with Brooklyn-based artist-turned-DJ/producer Deniz Kurtel. The relative newcomer will drop her second single for the imprint on January 31, a two-song 12" single for her brand-new "The L Word" tune. Read more »
In the past year, Dublin's All-City label has become a major player in the nebulous beat scene, both through its ongoing series of 10-inches devoted to LA producers, and also by championing like-minded artists from their own (relative) backyard. File the new release from Manchester producer Krystal Klear in the latter category, as his four-track EP, Tried for Your Love is largely an exploration of retro-futuristic outer-space funk. (We could also just call it boogie, but where's the fun in that?) But then there's this remix from Scottish beat wizard Hudson Mohawke, who more or less takes the song into an entirely new dimension. Sure, there are remnants of the original's electro-funk, but then HudMo brings in an over-the-top '90s piano-house riff... and that's just the appetizer. The main course is a long, and remarkably effective, saxophone solo that exuberantly brings the proceedings home. Giving the thumbs up to a sax solo isn't something we do often at XLR8R, so rest assured that this tune is something special.
Now, here's a pleasant surprise: St. Louis' Phaseone—a music maker who follows in the ways of bass—made XLR8R a great mix of low-end-centric tunes, and we didn't even ask for it! Obviously, the producer (born Andrew Jernigan) is a nice guy who makes pretty solid tracks (you can download one of those here), but apparently, he knows his way around a couple of turntables, too. Read more »
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