The hype surrounding London's Roska is inescapable, and for good reason: his work is some of the freshest bass-driven beat music around. Though he's been throughout Europe and the UK several times, this April marks his first venture to North America, with high-profile stops in LA, San Francisco, and New York City. Check out tour dates after the jump! Read more »
Being an electronic pop act is a lot harder than it used to be.
It wasn't that long ago that lo-fi electronic pop was all the rage with the indie set—remember when The Postal Service was blowing everyone's mind in 2003? Whether cobbled together by a lone soldier in his bedroom, or assembled with old synths, some spare instrumentation, and often sparer musical ability, the music was ostensibly indie pop, owing a lot more to C86 and twee than it did Detroit techno or Chicago house. Now that 2010 has rolled around, the indie pendulum continues to swing back and forth between laptop producers and more traditional guitar-based instrumentation, but the simple act of being a DIY electronic act is no longer revolutionary. As such, new albums from High Places and Javelin, not to mention genre veterans Lali Puna, have a tougher hill to climb than their counterparts of a decade prior. Read more »
Sitting on the back of a truck rolling through foothills of the South African bush, Nthato Mokgata’s cell phone keeps cutting out. Yet the 24-year-old rapper/DJ/singer/graphic designer, better known as Spoek Mathambo, brims with cocksure swagger even while bouncing across the rural landscape to film a video with his dancers. When you’re as busy as this dude, sometimes you have to do the walk-and-talk. Read more »
It's good to know that the glittery soul and sexual shimmy of future-funk is alive and well in a city currently best known for its electro-house exports. Parisian producer Onra teams up his solid grooves with Olivier Daysoul's wacky falsetto on the dancefloor heater "Long Distance." Paying homage to his rave-minded peers with his super-compressed beat, Onra still keeps the boogie alive with a bouncing bassline, tons of spacey synth sounds, and a hook that rivals just about any of Daft Punk's catchy melodies. The music is brilliant in and of itself, allowing Daysoul's colorful vocal delivery to serve as the icing on the cake.
Joshua Harvey produces under a couple of monikers, namely The Count and Hervé, all of which propagate buzzing party beats meant for late-night dance-a-thons. From his Hervé project comes Harvey's latest single, Zombies, and this hyperactive club tune, "Hot! Drum Attack." The beat-heavy rave-up scales the heights of intensity many times over within its six minutes, as Harvey uses every punchy drum sound, tweaked vocal sample, and filtered synth at his disposal to get the job done right.
Variety can either be an enhancement or disaster on full-length album projects. In Nick Chacona’s case, cohesion steers his debut album, Love In The Middle, toward brilliance. Born wanderer, former XLR8R scribe, and prolific producer, Chacona artfully unites house, reggae, disco, and cosmic dance modes. Right off the bat, opener “Especial” brings percussive disco beats, reverby keys, and steady, dub-inspired bass pathways together at a sunny intersection. Read more »
VBS produced this great 16-minute piece on London's still-burgeoning pirate-radio scene. Read more »
Honey Soundsystem, San Francisco's paragon of gay disco and house parties, has released its first compilation. Brotherhood is a 13-track, unmixed CD of the best in underground queer dance music from around the world, featuring everyone from London's Filthy Luka to Oakland's very own Party Effects crew. Only 500 copies are available for purchase here so cum and get it while it's hot! Complete tracklisting after the jump. Read more »
Flight Facilities are quickly emerging as the best new thing in retro-house sounds, and this version of "Crave You" will only cement their reputation. With a monstrous proto-house bassline charging behind a sentimental piano chords, the path is cleared for Giselle's sultry vocals to enter and make the track into certifiable dancefloor fire. Sometimes recalling Debbie Harry if she was involved with golden-era Frankie Knuckles, "Crave You" is the sort of piece that will be heard everywhere in the coming months, from house nights to the gayest of afternoon brunch parties.
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