In recent weeks, the interwebs have been buzzing with excitement over Shangaan electro, a speedy dance sound from South Africa. Now here's the part where we're supposed to step in and act like some kind of authority and tell you all about this "new" and "exotic" sound and remark on its rich cultural history or spew out some other music-blog jibber-jabber. But let's just skip that little charade, because frankly, we're not going to act like we know everything and we had never even heard of Shangaan electro—and neither had 99.99999% of everyone else, might we add—until the folks from Honest Jon's put together the Shangaan Electro: New Wave Dance Music from South Africa compilation and tuned the planet into the music's crazy polyrhythms, 180-bpm marimba beats, and soulful vocals. "N'wagezani My Love" is just one sample, and after hearing it, we're definitely going back for additional helpings. (via Altered Zones)
The folks at 92bpm turned us on to Huess, a fresh name on the UK beat-making scene likely to be getting increasing attention in the coming months. The producer draws a lot of influence from the usual suspects—J. Dilla, Prefuse 73, Boards of Canada, Madlib—but effectively filters those oft-referenced names into something a bit less familiar. Huess' debut EP arrived nearly a year ago on Inaudible Answer, but a fresh batch of tunes has just surfaced, a freely downloadable EP called Broke. The title track from that new release is a shimmering bit of funky beat work loaded with earnest synth melodies and pristinely chopped vocal samples, all working in tandem to deliver one of the most soulful electronic soundscapes we've heard this year. Stay tuned for more jams from Huess when Inaudible Answer drops its first-ever 12", a four-track EP featuring remixes from Fulgeance and Kelpe.
"Cherry B" Byron might be most well known as M.I.A.'s hot-stepping hype girl, but, as one half of De Tropix, she isn't ever content playing second fiddle. A partnership with DJ/producer Damon Bowen (a.k.a. Damon Alexander; formerly DJ Instinct), De Tropix cooks up a hyperactive blend of dancehall and global beats, infused with tinges of lovers rock and even country, which takes a decidedly in-your-face approach to the dancefloor. But to Bowen, it's "just good ol' skankin' music."
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Before Portland's Reporter releases its debut album of dark dance-pop on August 10, we've got the distinct pleasure of bringing you the first of many Time Incredible remixes to come, The Miracles Club's take on "Lab Test." The fellow Pacific Northwest outfit keeps the original's dance beat, but otherwise transforms the tune's angular post-punk into dirty, Chicago-style house tailor-made for your next all-night rave in Berlin. The remix's exotic synth squeals are a particularly welcome addition. Stay tuned for more interesting takes on Reporter's tunes from the likes of PDX's other female-fronted, house-loving outfit, Soft Metals, and NY's disco-house kings, Runaway.
Berlin's premiere electro-informed house duo Booka Shade is only a handful of months past the release of its fourth artist album, More!, but the singles and new remixes keep coming. "Teenage Spaceman" is the latest, and this mix comes from Walter Merziger and Arno Kammermeier themselves. The producers take the opportunity to just about double their tune's runtime, and go absolutely wild with its space theme. Booka Shade's epic mix not only sounds like what you'd think bouncing (or dancing) on the moon feels like, but might also be the ideal soundtrack for traversing the vast, vacuous space between our planet and that distant satellite. The Teenage Spaceman EP will be released August 30.
A man who has long pushed the boundaries of low-bit music, composer Tristan Perich, is set to release his latest piece of single-circuit music, 1-Bit Symphony. The unusual release will not be available on regular formats, as Perich has programmed and built an actual one-bit electronic circuit that "performs" his five-movement composition live when switched on and is housed in a CD jewel case (see above). Read more »
As he evidenced in full on this year's wonderful Swim, Canadian music man Dan Snaith has equally soft spots for electronic-based dance music and summery psych-pop. His latest record as Caribou showcased a proclivity for the former, but Snaith sort of evens the playing field on this epic remix he's crafted for the UK's Silver Columns. The first half of his treatment for "Always On" is pure dancefloor brilliance à la Swim, and he even throws a bit of his own vocals into the mix. But as the track's nine minutes pass the halfway point, the house lights dim, the lava lamp flicks on, some hippie girl wearing a headband and a bikini top slowly waves her arms in the air, and things turn a bit more late-'60s. Caribou's remix culminates in a driving finale that—not unlike his excellent albums—demands repeated listens. (via FACT)
Residents and visitors of Edinburgh, be forewarned, a wonderful event will soon be in your midst. The long-running Edinburgh Fringe Festival is ready to kick off another year of festivities in Scotland's capital, and the fine folks at LuckyMe will be assisting in the celebratory proceedings for its third year. Read more »
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