We're used to listening to the more hyperactive side of Portuguese music over here at XLR8R HQ, but we'll take a fresh breeze of sounds from our Iberian friends any day. The latest gust from overseas comes from chillwave-y duo Dreams, and its recently released Forgotten Thoughts EP, which gets a digital release on January 4, 2011. The song, "Swimming in Pink Waters," swirls all about your head with hazy atmosphere, paper-thin vocal transmissions, and a handful of airy synth melodies, like it haphazardly collected all of its sounds while wafting over to our continent. We'd probably be more inclined to qualify Dreams' EP opener into the ambient genre if it didn't have the straightforward dance beat at its center, but we like this piece of amorphous pop all the same.
The majority of folks look pretty damn hilarious when they dance. Sure, there are professionals and a handful of talented amateurs that can pull of their rug-cutting moves with a certain je ne sais quoi that transcends the usual silliness, but we can't all be J.Lo—or can we? This video for the latest cut of vintage-inspired house music from Portland's The Miracles Club, "Church Song," shows us that we can all be dancing superstars, especially if we dress as ridiculously as we dance. Read more »
For some (probably most) producers/musicians/music lovers, "Me & U," the 2006 single by young R&B star Cassie, was the point at which they realized soulful pop music aimed at the masses might offer a wealth of inspiration, not to mention choice listening material. Now, about four years later, London bass hub Local Action is corralling a handful of Cassie's fans—who just happen to be tunesmiths themselves—to make a free mini-album of remixes of the starlet's tunes. Read more »
Honestly, we're starting to think that the first track we heard from Leaving Records boss Matthewdavid, the bubbling and warped R&B of "Trusss," was some sort of fluke. Though not necessarily in a bad sense; it's just that since hearing that beautiful jam, the producer has gone on to make ambient, textural soundscapes ridden with tape hiss almost exclusively—the latest of which is the lengthy "11042010." The composition sounds like some of the more calming moments found in the podcast he recently did for XLR8R (easily one of our top favorites of the year), but stretched out for about a third of that mix's length. It's yet another Matthewdavid track you could easily get lost in, and when paired with his handmade video—his first—below... Well, let's just hope you've got something smokable nearby. Read more »
Young bass and house patron Julio Bashmore already has his plans laid out for the start of 2011: On January 10, the DJ/producer will be releasing a brand-new EP as the first record for the fledgling PMR imprint. Read more »
London's oft-reliable house and techno hub Crosstown Rebels is already gearing up for its first release of the new year with Brooklyn-based artist-turned-DJ/producer Deniz Kurtel. The relative newcomer will drop her second single for the imprint on January 31, a two-song 12" single for her brand-new "The L Word" tune. Read more »
In the past year, Dublin's All-City label has become a major player in the nebulous beat scene, both through its ongoing series of 10-inches devoted to LA producers, and also by championing like-minded artists from their own (relative) backyard. File the new release from Manchester producer Krystal Klear in the latter category, as his four-track EP, Tried for Your Love is largely an exploration of retro-futuristic outer-space funk. (We could also just call it boogie, but where's the fun in that?) But then there's this remix from Scottish beat wizard Hudson Mohawke, who more or less takes the song into an entirely new dimension. Sure, there are remnants of the original's electro-funk, but then HudMo brings in an over-the-top '90s piano-house riff... and that's just the appetizer. The main course is a long, and remarkably effective, saxophone solo that exuberantly brings the proceedings home. Giving the thumbs up to a sax solo isn't something we do often at XLR8R, so rest assured that this tune is something special.
Now, here's a pleasant surprise: St. Louis' Phaseone—a music maker who follows in the ways of bass—made XLR8R a great mix of low-end-centric tunes, and we didn't even ask for it! Obviously, the producer (born Andrew Jernigan) is a nice guy who makes pretty solid tracks (you can download one of those here), but apparently, he knows his way around a couple of turntables, too. Read more »
Essentially Humanly Impossible: Four Tet's Kieran Hebden Delivered One of 2010's Best With 'There Is Love In You'
Over the past 12 years, Londoner Kieran Hebden (better known as Four Tet) has forged an impressive career crafting music that is thoroughly modern yet somehow timeless, expertly mashing hip-hop, jazz, folk, techno, and house in a thoughtful blaze of abstraction. Read more »
We're still about a week from the release of Shackleton's contribution to the ongoing Fabric mix series, Fabric 55, and just to make sure you didn't forget about that stellar set of new, unreleased, and classic material by the Skull Disco co-owner, both the producer and the label have relinquished a downloadable tune from the disc. The previously unreleased "International Fires" is nearly right in the dead center of Shackelton's mix album, so it's no surprise he's knee deep in a bed of throbbing bass tones and erratic rhythms built from reverberated percussion and otherworldly vocal samples. The sparse production of the tune might give this one a quieter vibe, but if you try talking over "International Fires" in a club, your voice is likely to find itself muffled by the oppressive frequencies having their way with the airspace.
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