Out on Monday, January 24 is the debut EP, Complicado, from Argentine producer Ana Helder, a recent addition to Matias Aguayo's Cómeme imprint and greater stable of Latin-influenced house and techno producers. Read more »
Last summer Def Jux founder, producer, rapper, and all-around underground hip-hop pioneer of the '00s El-P reemerged with a collection of instrumentals entitled Weareallgoingtoburninhellmegamixxx3 and a performance at LA's premier beat night, Low End Theory. Possibly sparked by that appearance, Low End's resident MC, Nocando (pictured above), happens to grace this menacing instrumental with an incredibly intelligent and impassioned verse. Anyone who's had a chance to catch Nocando on a Wednesday night in LA has probably already been hipped to the MC's style (a mix of clever quips, honest thoughts, and party starting), but for those who are not familiar, this verse should serve as a nice introduction. El-P's mix of fuzzy psychedelia kicks the track off before being taken over by an aggressive breakbeat upon which Nocando absolutely kills it, covering a wide territory of subject matter with a quick, smart, and intense flow. Lines like "My friend said it would be the end of our era soon/And we should trade our Nissans in for hot air balloons" are just scratching the surface. Let's hope there's more of this collab down the line in one form or another.
The once-elusive fellow behind our 19th favorite track of 2010, DJ/producer/singer Ben Westbeech, has shed his Breach moniker in favor of his given name for his next album, There's More to Life Than This, which will be released sometime in April courtesy of Strictly Rhythm. In preparation for that release, the artist has a few snazzy things to share with us—namely, a fresh look for his website and a brand-new compilmentary tune. Read more »
The Boulder, Colorado electronic music and arts festival, Communikey, has released a small list of performers for the fourth edition of the festival to take place April 13-17. The line-up so far seems to aim at finding a balance between the pioneers and classic artists of electronic music along with fresh talent from electronic music's newer class. Legendary names like Atom TM (a.k.a. Uwe Schmidt, a.k.a. Señor Coconut), Monolake, Mike Huckaby (pictured above), and William Basinski will share the stage with Mark McGuire (of Emeralds), Dark Dark Dark, and ZZK's Chancha Via Circuito and El G among others. Read more »
Oakland-based producer/rapper Trackademicks has sent over this video for the track "State of the Arts" from his forthcoming debut LP of the same name. The track, featuring Oakland songstress Goapele, continues Trackademicks' reputation as a forward-thinking hip-hop producer with its fuzzy pads, skittering beat, and a hyper-synth bassline that pops up for the tune's chorus. The video is a pretty familiar hip-hop affair as we follow Trackademicks while he digs for records, turns up faders, runs into some dancing kids, and gives us a view of his crew in action. State of the Arts, which features a host of collaborators from Mistah F.A.B. to Phonte, is out on January 25 from The Honor Roll Crew. Read more »
Stream Tracks From Scuba, Instra:mental, and More on Exit Records' Forthcoming Drum & Bass Compilation
Back in November we got word of a new drum & bass comp from dBridge's Exit Records imprint to feature a slew of well-known and on-the-rise producers including Scuba (pictured above), Instra:mental, Skream, Commix, and dBridge himself. Now we've gotten our hands on five streaming tracks from Mosaic Vol. 1 representing the wide range of drum & bass that the compilation attempts to cover. As we said before, this is not "your daddy's drum & bass." Read more »
As part of the ongoing Frite Nite Trax single series, San Francisco-based electronic imprint Frite Nite just unleashed this collaboration between label boss/producer Salva and MC Vortex. "Pumpz" is a straight club jam to be sure, but not one without a handful of twists and pleasant surprises. What starts out as a basic, upbeat house-leaning tune quickly turns into a wobbly "post-juke," dubstep-y bit of bubbling bass tones, choppy synth stabs, and disjointed rhythmic sounds. Salva's production switches back and forth between the two club-friendly motifs while Vortex delivers snippets of verbiage about a "young female club-goer"—maintaining its deep vibes and slick swagger all the while.
Los Angeles MC/producer Blu has been steadily bubbling up from the underground with a string of releases including collaborations with fellow LA-based producers Exile, Ta'Raach, and Mainframe. Blu's been bubbling so much, in fact, that he's currently working hard on his major label debut (that's right, Warner Brothers), so in the meantime the freshly founded New World Color imprint is set to release an EP based on Blu's standout track from his 2009 Her Favorite Colo(u)r mixtape, "Amnesia." Read more »
One of the eerier numbers by the recently tragedy-stricken Broadcast band (pictured above), "Until Then," is covered here by ambient artists Benoit Pioulard and Rafael Anton Irisarri in remembrance of singer Trish Keenan, who died last week. The haunting song is given a whole new meaning in reflection of the recent events: lyrics like "There's a place I have never explored/Another world we have yet to conquer" feel even heavier delivered by Pioulard's low-register voice. And while the simple piano and guitar notes are struck, a thick wave of white noise and bass rumbles builds slowly from beneath the music until it overtakes the gorgeously sullen composition. Irisarri's and Pioulard's song is an ideal tribute to the memory of Keenan and to the legacy of beautiful, innovative music she left behind.
Artistically speaking, LA-based producer and Brainfeeder acolyte Tokimonsta couldn't have less in common with sultry crooner Andreya Triana—the former makes obtusely experimental hip-hop-leaning tunes and the latter seems to have a serious penchant for the second coming of jazz music. Nonetheless, the two work well together on this remix of Triana's "Far Closer" tune, which drops with on a single featuring other versions of the song on February 15 via Ninja Tune (artwork above). While Tokimonsta works out a bulbous, alien-G-funk bassline, a slick boom-boom-crunch rhythm, and some spacey atmospheres, the singer delivers syrupy line after sweet, syrupy line of classic jazz inflections. The complete odd couple quite easily became a winning pair.
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