As San Francisco producer Jasper Reeder (a.k.a. NastyNasty) said in his email when he sent this track over, "The Weeknd (pictured above) is on fire right now," and it's completely true, if not inescapably obvious (the Canadian outfit just announced over 200,000 official downloads of its free House of Ballons mixtape). And what happens when that kind of hype surrounds a fresh, young artist? The (unofficial) remixes start pouring in. Just as we finished clearing our inboxes of edits, reworks, and covers of every song The xx ever wrote, tweaked versions of The Weeknd's tracks filled them back up. It makes sense, too; silky, slow songs like "The Morning" and "What You Need" are practically begging for a double-time dancefloor edit. NastyNasty's own contribution to the onslaught is a footwork-slanted take on House of Ballons opener "High For This," which essentially tosses breakneck 808 drum patterns and buzzy synthscapes over the slow-burning tune. Thankfully, Reeder doesn't overload the already stellar song with his production ideas, and strikes an ideal balance between his own hyped-up musical style and the grimy soul of The Weeknd's original.
Japanese electronic music imprint Mule Musiq has its second installment of the Enjoy the Silence series slated for release next month. The second volume of the ambient-focused compilations comes two years after the first, and will feature the likes of Terre Thaemlitz, Koss, Lawrence, and Kassem Mosse (pictured above), among others. Read more »
Here's a quick update for those of you curious about where Red Bull Music Academy has moved its 2011 workshops since announcing they'll no longer take place in Tokyo. The new location will be in Madrid, Spain (insert bull-related joke here), where classes are still scheduled to take place between October 23 and November 25. Read more »
A couple months back, Detroit's prestigious electronic music festival, the annual Movement, announced its first wave of performers, which included the likes of Green Velvet, Soul Clap, Scuba, Marcel Dettmann, and many others. Now, 55 more performers have been confirmed for the massive dance music celebration. Read more »
Last month, we posted "Brushmetal," a Devonwho track taken from Gem Drops, a benefit compilation put together by the beat-minded Dropping Gems imprint. Apparently not a crew that rests on its laurels, the Pacific Northwest collective bunch is already back with another release, the Holodecker EP (pictured above) from Citymouth. Available as both a free digital download and a limited-edition cassette, the five-track release finds the producer combining moody soundscapes with hip-hop's traditional boom-bap, and extracting results that match up nicely with some of his Southern California contemporaries. Here we have the EP's title track, a solemn number highlighted by crackling percussion, stretched-out synths that border on drone, and just enough melodic blips and drum-machine claps to perk up the proceedings.
NYC-based photographer Josh McNey, who has shot countless photos for XLR8R, including last year's Night Slugs feature, and this issue's piece on ballroom house, will unveil his latest show, Protect From Light, at Casa de Costa, a new studio/arts salon in New York, on April 29. Read more »
Where: Manchester, UK
Another entry in the long line of British youngsters who have been producing since their teenage years, Sam Schorb's experiments with songwriting actually started on piano and guitar. But the 21-year-old beatsmith eventually made the switch to his laptop, where he first started banging out breakcore and hip-hop tunes before finding his groove in the world of house. Read more »
Just last week, San Francisco house and disco party-cum-label Honey Soundsystem released a 7" single for Oakland-based singer Alexis Penney's "Lonely Sea", a song produced by Nick Weiss, one half of Oberlin's hotly tipped Teengirl Fantasy outfit. For this remix, Portland house revivalists The Miracles Club teamed up with another member of its Ecstasy crew, Avalon K of Finesse, to refit the classically inspired tune with its own take on sprawling, vintage house. The collected producers inject a somber and deep mood underneath Penney's plaintive vocal melodies with warm synth pads, bulbous basslines, sparkling arpeggiations, and a bare-bones 909 rhythm. It's not a massive change from the original song, but hearing The Miracles Club's tasteful analog touch certainly adds a distinct element. Hear more of that sound when the PDX house combo hits San Francisco this Saturday, April 16 alongside Legowelt at Public Works. You can check out more info on that shindig here, and the new video for the original version of "Lonely Sea" after the jump. Read more »
Fresh from Wolf + Lamb and Soul Clap's recently released collaborative contribution to the renowned DJ Kicks series (artwork above), we have this track from Boston supergroup SECT, a collaboration between Soul Clap, Sergio Santos, and Tanner Ross. As it happens, the tune also features the vocals of burgeoning UK producer/vocalist (and recent XLR8R podcast contributor) Ben Westbeech. Mechanical percussion scrapes and rattles amongst a giant, sparse bassline and gorgeous pads as Westbeech provides a self-harmonizing chorus of voices which poetically describe an evening in the park. As the song progresses, it gently glides forward, sprinkled with moments taken by a lonesome woodwind, flowing gracefully around the track's machine-made elements before returning to SECT's vast production. "In the Park" is definitely not a burner, and it's better for it, as the song proves to be a powerful example of the moving possibilities that lie in subtle, intricately made house music.
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