There's something to be said for disco's staying power. The genre is basically 30 years past its heyday, yet high-quality new disco tracks continue to worm their way on to dancefloors around the globe. Take "Final Round" from Australian producer Cassian, which marries disco beats with sleazy '80s wah-wah synths and sound effects from Street Fighter II. Taken from the freshly released Friday Night EP, "Final Round" is something like an updated version of the Out Run soundtrack (vintage gamer nerds know what we're talking about), the kind of breezy cut that's perfect for an afternoon spent shut away in your bedroom while you sharpen your hand-eye coordination, periodically throw the controller against the wall, and subsequently apologize to your mom when she hears you screaming at the TV.
London upstarts Bok Bok and L-Vis 1990 certainly caught our attention in 2009, but in 2010 dudes are threatening to take over. This month they're launching the Night Slugs record label to compliment their already-off-the-hook party, and the first release comes courtesy of fellow Londoner Mosca. Get a taste with this remix from Greena, which blends up house, garage, UK funky, and old-school rave into a seriously potent T-U-N-E. The Square One EP will be released on January 25 and also features remixes from Roska, Julio Bashmore, L-Vis 1990, and Bok Bok.
The latest album from Philly's dance-obsessive weirdos Pink Skull initially seems to have transitioned the outfit into more accessible territory. Endless Bummer begins with "Peter Cushing," a sugary disco-house track that could lure teens onto an all-ages dancefloor, but the rest of the record doesn't follow suit. Read more »
XLR8R’s Inbox brings it home this week with San Francisco-based creative bass producer and Ancestor Media founder, Brendan Angelides (a.k.a. Eskmo). Angelides takes us to the top of his playlist, obsesses over Les Claypool, eats his way through San Francisco, and receives an odd conical gift from fans. Look for Eskmo’s split 12-inch with Eprom, out in early 2010 on Warp.
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English producer Kelpe (a.k.a. Kel McKeown) works in the potentially conservative field of downtempo funk, but in his clever hands, the funk is anything but conventional. Although music that springs from hip-hop-centric techniques can fall prey to predictability as much as any other style, Kelpe repeatedly finds fresh ways to tamper with funk's templates on his third full-length, Cambio Wechsel. Read more »
On his third full-length album, Soft-Core, the imaginative Howard Robot of New York-based My Robot Friend has retrofitted his usual light-dappled indie-electronic milieu with a surprisingly simpatico cast of diverse musical characters. A cover of Luna's "23 Minutes in Brussels" finds Robot alone in his multi-textured electronic element, while "The Short Game," a clicking, infectious collaboration with Germany's Zombie Nation, draws comparisons to Hot Chip with its soft mood and sweetly aching vocals. Read more »
Miles Whittaker has been a bewitchingly busy fella of late, releasing warehouse techno under his MLZ moniker, playing dubby doubles with Gary Howell in Pendle Coven and Andy Stott in the cheeky Millie & Andrea, and now teaming up with Sean Canty in the earthy, neo-pagan Demdike Stare. Spread too thin on the dark side, you say? Read more »
Michael Cina: The Ghostly designer and type wrangler talks about the cosmos, getting loose, and Led Zeppelin.
With clients as seemingly disparate as Hewlett-Packard, Pepsi, and Ghostly International, Minneapolis-based Michael Cina is a workhorse designer whose oeuvre is exemplary of an artist thinking in multiple media without elevating one over another. Read more »
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