After releasing music from Neon Indian, How to Dress Well, and several other high-quality, lo-fi artists, it would be totally okay for the folks at Lefse Records to rest on their laurels a bit. Instead, the Sacramento-based label is indulging its inner TLC impulses and expanding with a new series called Way Slow. In the words of label head Matt Halverson, "Each release will be a unique creation from start to finish. Many of our artists are going to be releasing material that is well outside of their normal sound, some will be collaborations, some will be from parts of the world where most of us will never see... Our physical products will be hand wrapped/sewn/carved individually for every release and presented as a heartwarming package of beautiful sound." The first offering comes on October 12 from London's Banjo or Freakout, and if the rest sounds as good as the dreamy, washed-out haze-pop of "Over There," this Way Slow series could be something special. Future installments are forthcoming from artists like Houses/Teen Daze, Phaseone, Ganglians, Sonny Smith, Sunnybrook, and Tape Deck Mountain.
Scottish producer Offshore (a.k.a. Robertson) is a recent addition to the Big Dada roster, signed off the strength of his self-titled EP on Stuff, that label's final release before becoming part of the ultra-rad Numbers conglomerate. Like many of his fellow Scots, Offshore shares some sonic territory with dudes from the LA beat scene, not that we're complaining. "Round and Round" trundles along on bouncy hip-hop beats filled out by fuzzy synths and lighthearted 8-bit flourishes. It's taken from the Aneurysm EP, which comes out October 19 and will be followed by a full-length album next year.
Barcelona's El Guincho will be bringing his infectious rhythms and moody Spanish dance pop to North America at the end of September and into October with dates in New York, LA, and San Francisco. Read more »
Hot on the heels on Nadastrom's free moombahton EP comes another batch of low-end Latin bounce, this time from Windy City duo Sonido Rampage y Nader. Rampage is part of the Ghetto Division crew—the same one that did that amazing Chicago podcast for us a few months back—but on this project with Nader he's taking a break from blaring bass and new-school house to focus on slower tempos and sexier sounds. Their 6-song release is called The Cornflake y Platano EP, and it's available for free download on their Soundcloud along with some similarly banging remixes of French Fries, Zombies for Money, and Bassjackers. Frankly, just about every track is a winner, but "If You Leave" is especially good with its diva-ish vocals, subtle synth stabs, and thick, loping beats. It's cumbia meets reggaeton meets Chicago house. Sign us up for an extra-large helping.
After a string of excellent 12"s and EPs for the Hemlock, Hessle Audio, and Brainmath labels, the soulful dubstep-rooted tunesmith known as James Blake will follow up his CMYK EP with another release for the R&S label, called Klavierwerke. Read more »
Bassline and grime producer TRC sent along the title track from his upcoming Oo Aa Ee VIP EP, out next month on Elijah & Skilliam's Butterz label. The tune is a mid-tempo bouncer that flexes some thrifty-sounding hi-hats and canned brass chops to great effect over the dark bassline and moody synth work. TRC introduces the song with a few distorted vocal samples, but that's the extent of vocals on the otherwise instrumental number. If you're anything like us, you'll likely spend the remaining three minutes after TRC's intro imagining your favorite UK MCs spitting fiery verbiage over his beat. Or maybe we could just chop up bits of Wiley's Ustream rant, and make this one into some sort of "Kumbaya" for the grime scene. Or maybe not.
Apparently, the young chap behind South Carolina's chillwave heavy hitter Toro Y Moi, Chaz Bundick, has another moniker under which he produces tunes, Les Sins. Bundick's alter ego has actually been around for over a year, listening to a whole lot of Daft Punk and getting ready to drop its first 12". That record's title track, "Lina," is a funky dancefloor cut that relies heavily on thinly layered string melodies, flitting guitar plucks, and a smooth, deadpan vocal delivery from an anonymous ladyfriend. The lyrics to the song seem to be a sort of tribute to Bundick's homestate, but the sounds themselves pay homage to the kinds of music that've long been blasting from dark Parisian nightclubs. To say the least, "Lina" is an interesting sidestep for a growing producer who is slowly becoming anything but a one-trick pony. (via Gorilla vs. Bear)
If you caught our write-up of "Home," by Brooklyn-based indie starlet Glasser, you probably gathered that we're pretty into the music coming from her debut album, Ring. That record doesn't drop until September 28, but the good people at True Panther and Matador were kind enough to give the internet a full stream of it before the release date. Read more »
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