The Norwegian duo of Erik Skodvin and Otto Totland (collectively known as Deaf Center) impressed connoisseurs of deep, ambient instrumental music back in 2005 with its Pale Ravine LP, but the pair has scarcely been heard from since. Finally resurfacing with a new LP, Owl Splinters, earlier this year, Deaf Center has reinstated its reputation for crafting slow, melodic sonic landscapes, trading in the partially lo-fi aesthetic of previous works for a much richer, studio-quality sound. Credited as cellist and pianist, Skodvin and Totland do much more than simply play cello and piano on "Close Forever Watching," as both musicians emote dark textures from their respective instruments while utilizing electronics to conjure long drones that flow together into one massively epic movement. For those interested in seeing/hearing Deaf Center perform its majestic compositions live, the Norwegians will be making a rare US appearance this month on April 7 as part of the Beyond the Dark series for the New York edition of the Unsound Festival (full details here).
Tomorrow, the Austin-based dark-pop solo project of one Stefanie Franciotti, Sleep ∞ Over, will release a two-song 7" (pictured above) via LA's Hippos in Tanks label in preparation for its full-length LP, which is scheduled to drop this summer. The record features her "Casual Diamond" song on one side, and on the flip, this remix of the tune by Brooklyn's own gothy chanteuse, Laurel Halo. Her version of the track eschews the original's brooding '80s-pop aesthetic—reformatting it into something closer resembling an early industrial or proto-techno jam you might have heard back then. But it's not all churning rhythms and cyclical basslines on Halo's remix; translucent synthscapes and heavenly vocal clips wash over the production, keeping with the kind of ghostly moods that help make Franciotti's music so enjoyable.
You might remember Danish duo Taragana Pyjarama from this vibrant micro-techno track we offered near the beginning of the month. That tune comes from the outfit's just-released self-titled EP, as does the buoyant dance production "Girls," which is paired with the colorful video piece above. Read more »
One of our favorite songs from last year, which also just so happened to be on one of our favorite albums of 2010, Teengirl Fantasy's wonderful "Cheaters" tune recently received the official remix treatment from John Talabot and Beautiful Swimmers, and will be released by Spain's Hivern Discs label next month. Read more »
Win Win has got all the elements of a killer collective project—slick production from XXXchange and Chris Devlin, involvement from visual artist/producer Ghostdad, and guest mic spots from Spank Rock’s Naeem Juwan and Gang Gang’s Lizzi Bougatsos. So it’s beyond us why no one’s really making much of a deal about the electro-hip(ster)-hop super-group. In any event, they’ve added another “name” to their ranks, with Hot Chip’s Alexis Taylor crooning on the outfit’s new “Interleave” track, which was just coupled with the colorful images above. Read more »
Arthur Cayzer isn't unique among his producer peers for venerating Burial, declaring the influential artist's Untrue to be one of the greatest things he's heard in the last few years. "I'm probably pretty indebted to that album," says the 22-year-old, now living in East London. Read more »
The Huntleys & Palmers party began in 2007 in Glasgow as a boutique hub for forward-thinking dance music, and now, after years of energizing dancefloors—not to mention a move to London—the H&P crew is expanding its operations and launching a proper record label. The first release comes from Auntie Flo, another Glaswegian, albeit one who's originally from Goa, India. His Goan Highlife EP (artwork pictured above) includes two slices of percussion-heavy house music with an upbeat, almost tribal feel. Although "Highlife" doesn't bear many traces of the distinctive guitar melodies that define the African genre of the same name, the tune's incessant drums and occasional bursts of swirling synths still combine to form an infectious listen, which is probably why people like Villalobos and Optimo have been featuring the song in their sets. The song also features an equally fun, dance-filled video, which we've posted below, and folks in London can celebrate its release in person at the Huntleys & Palmers label launch party at Plastic People on April 9. Auntie Flo will be spinning alongside T. Williams and others, while Mim Suleiman will be performing live. Check the flyer with all the details after the jump. Read more »
Berlin-based audio troublemaker Jason Forrest (a.k.a. DJ Donna Summer, Nightshifters label co-owner) just announced that he'll be releasing his first full-length album under his given name in six years on May 3. Called The Everything, the 11-track record follows his recent Utopia EP (from which we shared this track) for the Deathbomb Arc imprint, and will be released by German label Staatsakt. Read more »
Stockholm-based producer/singer Niva just released his debut EP, Feverish Dreams (pictured above), via UK label Something in Construction, and here we have one of those six preciously simplistic synth-pop tunes. The clean-cut production features a straightforward electro-house beat, a few lo-bit synth tones, a slightly funky bassline, and some quietly cooed and slightly warbled vocal hooks—basically, the go-to recipe for upbeat electronic pop music these days. Despite its predictability, Niva's "Boy From the Sun" displays an earnestness from its creator, as the artist crams all of those genre hallmarks into a quick, well-crafted two and a half minutes that never feels a moment too short or the least bit half baked. There's a pretty little music video for the song to boot, which you can check out after the jump. Read more »
- GearIn the Studio: Surgeon
- GearKuvo: What Is It, How Does It Work, and Is It a Good Idea? (a.k.a. an XLR8R Interview with Pioneer About Its Newest Product)
- GearAsk the Experts: Vladislav Delay
- NewsWatch a Documentary on the Club Music Culture of Colombia's Caribbean Coast
- NewsWatch a Live Performance of Jacques Greene's New Single
XLR8R Downloads Player