Though Steve Reid may not be a household name, nearly anyone born before 1990 has heard the percussionist's recordings—from Martha & the Vandellas' "Dancing in the Street" to James Brown's "The Popcorn" to Fela Kuti's Africa One album, Reid's intense, crisp drumming is present. Read more »
With new album Pumps, Brooklyn-based avant-electronic outfit Growing is the closest it's ever been to making straight-ahead club tracks. Since their last record, 2008's All the Way, they've expanded to a trio with new member Sadie Laska, also of IUD and Extreme Violence, who lends samples, electronics, and chopped-up vocals to these celestial jammers. Read more »
UK drum & bass head Zero T has just finished up his own contribution to the illustrious Fabriclive mix series. The DJ set comes comes nearly 10 years after DJ/producer Cian McCann hit the scene with a string of singles for the Irish Bassbin label, and features 29 tracks from T's bass-loving peers and cuts from his own Footprints label. Though, this isn't a mix solely for D&B heads. Read more »
A wealth of percussive sounds and samples are minced into a finely prepared dish of beat music on Shigeto's "Baker Blunt Basics." The track, taken from the Michigan producer's latest solo EP, Semi Circle, moves along an even-keeled trajectory, and only stops momentarily through its journey to allow brief harp and string samples to take the spotlight. By the time "Baker Blunt Basics" is over, Shigeto's crunchy beat has come full circle through a land of familiar synths and samples all the way back to the wobbly melody that started the whole thing off.
Two years following their last album and not much longer after a move from San Francisco to Baltimore, the experimentally inclined pair of Martin Schmidt and Drew Daniel (a.k.a. Matmos) have finally put the finishing touches on their collaborative work with Brooklyn's So Percussion. Read more »
The pairing of Southern California beat maker Teebs with the UK's Jackhigh has yielded some decidedly mellow sounds, as heard on this track from their collaborative seven-song EP, The Tropics. As Teebs & Jackhigh, the duo crafted "Clutch," a song which seems to borrow more from Teebs' penchant for ambiance than Jackhigh's sample-heavy beats. The song's atmosphere is laid thick as a London fog—allowing only particularly shimmering elements and low register rumbles to break through the swirling haze. It's perplexing to think how that sound came about given the duo's creative process; each song on The Tropics EP was crafted by manipulating a single sound file, instead of the usual arrangement of stems tweaked within computer software. Such unique approaches, sound experiments, and hand-painted art work by Teebs (shown above) make for one of the more interesting beat records to come out as of late.
Buenos Aires-based three-piece Tremor have been blurring the lines between traditional and digital musics for quite a bit now, and so it's no surprise that one of the kings of digital cumbia, El Remolon, has done a fantastic job in remixing the late 2009 piece. Though he strays from the saya rhythm of the original, El Remolón keeps the cross-cultural sonic textures of "Viajante" relatively intact, allowing both native South American music as well as Balkan melodies to weave in and out of each other in a seamless fashion. Ideal for an international dance party—or just any party. Taken from the just-released Caracol EP, which also features remixes from Clorofila of Mexico's Nortec Collective and fellow ZZK artists King Coya and Chancha Vía Circuito.
For her debut solo album, Ninca Leece throws small organic touches (think: babbling child) and quirky glitches into a melodic dreamland that alternates between subtle Télépopmusik-era house and bouncy electro-pop. The playful French producer's vocals could easily go bitchy à la Miss Kittin, but tend to end up cheery and sweet, as exemplified by the infectious, funky-bass-inflected single "Sitting on Top of the World." Where Leece opts to croon in her native tongue ("The Beast"), her simple lyrics suddenly become mysterious and sensual. Read more »
XLR8R favorites FaltyDL and Ikonika have featured remixes on Ital Tek's upcoming EP, Moment in Blue. Ikonika's remix of "Moment in Blue" takes the somewhat dark atmospherics of the original and turns it on its head, crafting a breezy, near-tropical funky track that is perfect for summer, whereas FaltyDL keeps some of the original's shadows in place. Read more »
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