For an artist located in Amsterdam, Tom Trago's music sure does have a lot of soul. The shapeshifting DJ/producer, who's been releasing music—primarily through the unparalleled Rush Hour label—since 2006, has dabbled in numerous genres over the years, from off-kilter hip-hop to soulful house and disco. His new album, Iris, came out last week and finds Trago fusing together his various musical infatuations into the lengthiest statement of his career. Read more »
Australian outfit Cut Copy is one of those groups that's long danced at the fringes of more serious electronic music, but we didn't realize that the band was serious enough to enlist Detroit techno legend Carl Craig for a remix. Read more »
Labels We Love: Cascine—Scando pop and Embassy Records combine for an even more international affair.
It was only the start of summer 2010 when Jeff Bratton and Sandra Croft crossed paths and bonded immediately over a mutual love of Scandinavian pop and the in-house cover versions of classic hits released by Embassy Records in the '50s and '60s. Driven by that shared passion for precious, hook-driven music and their discovery of Finnish band Shine 2009, Bratton and Croft decided to form "an experimental pop label," calling it Cascine. Read more »
The two fellas behind Scotland's The Blessings, Dominic Flannigan and Martyn Flyn, just sent over this fresh cut taken from a forthcoming EP scheduled for release via their home label, LuckyMe. "Real Guns" is a booming, high-energy track that finds the duo juggling a load of club-ready sonics of the grittier kind to work out a hyped-up groove. Swelling synth riffs, neck-snapping dance rhythms, and wriggling bass frequencies mash together with an array of vocal, brass, and percussion samples to give The Blessings' tune its unique ghetto-rave swagger. We suggest keeping an eye out for the rest of the EP when it drops later this year.
Pacific Northwest sound experimentalist Grouper just self-released a two-part album called A I A on her Yellowelectric label, one particularly excellent cut from which is the spectral "Alien Observer." Here, that relatively pop-leaning and hypnotic song by Liz Harris is paired with equally strange and beautiful visuals by director Hamish Parkinson. Read more »
Next month, Australian house label Templar Sound will drop a new EP from Grown Folk (pictured above), a Montreal production duo making "house music for the new decade." Although this edit of the outfit's "Steady Moving" tune by half-Canadian brethren LOL Boys isn't on the six-track City Wind EP, it certainly fits well next to the kinds of futuristic dance music that record does feature, save the Damu and Dubbel Dutch remixes that we haven't even heard yet (though we're sure those will be great, too). LOL Boys' edit is also one of the pair's mellowest tunes to date, as the producers seem to have exchanged their fiery, tropically inclined club-tune palette for something a bit deeper that relies more on smooth synth pads, quietly delayed vocal samples, and hypnotic dancefloor rhythms that settle into you instead of smashing on top of you. You can compare "Steady Moving (LOL Boys VIP Re-Edit)" to the rest of Grown Folk's upcoming release here.
According to the press release for the new two-song release by Norwich producer Magic Panda, The Glass Mountains EP (pictured above), his dreamy electronic music has been seven years in the making, only crystalizing into its finished state around January 2010 when he decided to take it out of the studio and onto the stage. That being said, we can excuse 29-year-old Jamie Robson's 'Panda' moniker, and also the sonic similarities he shares with another UK-based Panda on the bubbly "Dream Theory." The bounty of slightly tweaked sounds that make up the melodic portion of Magic Panda's upbeat track float and flitter throughout the ambient soundscape he's crafted here, and are all driven by a quick-pulsing dance rhythm from start to finish. Like we said before, there are certainly elements reminiscent of Gold Panda on "Dream Theory," but Robson brings a somewhat more organic, almost playful approach to the ambient techno sound, which helps set him apart.
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