Lately, it seems like all a producer needs for a solid track is one really good idea, coupled with a small handful of complimentary sounds. For "Ice Job," by San Francisco producer Roche, that one good idea is a ghostly descending melody looped ad infinitum, paired with some subtle bass tones undulating underneath it and the accompanying polyrhythms. The ongoing loop (we can't quite tell what instrument it is exactly) seems like it'll never stop, but somewhere around the 4:20 mark (go figure!), it takes a reprieve and wafts about in a brief limbo while the beat and bass continue to groove like nothing's changed. Roche's mesmerizing proto-house cut is the lead song on his recently released four-track Degage EP, which you can nab for a decent price here.
For the third release from Glasgow's Phuturelabs imprint, fellow Scotsman S-Type hooks up a few purply, nod-worthy cuts, which include this mid-tempo jam, "Terry Nutkins." The tune starts grooving from the get-go with a stuttering melody and a hip-hop beat bouncing in half-time, occasionally peppered with some warped vocal exclamations, and takes no time joining up with an arsenal of keys—organs, lead synths, pads, wobble bass, etc.—that grows larger and larger with each passing minute. At times, S-Type's production is a bit anthemic, a bit grimy, a bit wonky, and a bit (as said before) purple, but no matter which sound "Terry Nutkins" pushes, it remains ready, willing, and able to move you at the push of a play button.
Leave it to New York sound artists The Books to make something out of anything. First, they made one of the most interesting and enjoyable albums to be heard this year out of self-help tapes, recordings of children's stories, and other pieces of "humanity's sonic hodgepodge" (as our 9/10 review of The Way Out puts it). And now, the duo of Nick Zammuto and Paul de Jong made a wacky music video for their funky "I Didn't Know That" tune with manipulated VHS footage of golfers, car explosions, airbag testing, and plenty of other randomness. Read more »
Pretty much everyone into contemporary indie music knows that The xx has some serious chops, and gradually, it's becoming ever-apparent that at least one of the band's three members has his own solo chops, too. Jamie xx has been showing us what he's made of with his upcoming single for Numbers and a couple of choice remixes, including this new jam for Nosaj Thing's forthcoming Drift Remixed record. This re-work of "Fog" is a spooky, shuffling, and off-kilter bass tune that alternates between a sluggishly staggering pace and subtly spirited mood. On his production, Jamie xx keeps true to the original's cavernous sounds and those arpeggiating melodies that are so reminiscent of the "Castle Theme" from Super Mario Bros. (via Pitchfork)
Hamburg's disco- and house-indebted DJ/producer Tensnake (a.k.a. Marco Niemerski, featured in our pages here) is taking his wealth of club-friendly dance music—including the breakout "Coma Cat" single—across the pond for a 10-day tour of North America, starting on November 11. Read more »
Though the Downtown-affiliated imprint has been in business for nearly four years now, Fool's Gold, the label run by DJs A-Trak (pictured above) and Nick Catchdubs, is only now releasing its first compilation. Today, Fool's Gold Vol. 1 dropped both online and IRL, featuring a 14-song tracklist of completely brand-new music from the label's roster. Read more »
You see, guys, not everyone associated with the beat scene has to match a wobbly bass tone with a herky-jerky rhythm, throw in a couple of samples, and call it a tune. Like Leaving Records affiliate and hot weather lover Sumsun shows on his "Ants" track, it's okay to drop a simple beat (that's perfectly in time), wrap it in a single sun-bleached soundscape that's as beautifully orchestrated as it is lo-fi and indecipherable, and ride the waves for about four minutes. The producer, born Judson Rogers, reminds us a bit of what we've been hearing from Teebs lately, but with a more prominent dancefloor beat and a slightly stronger slant toward chillwave. We'll see how the rest of Sumsun's record compares when Leaving Records drops Samo Milagro on November 2.
Seven years after his LP, Make Your Peace, paved the way for what the whole world now calls dubstep, Maddslinky is back. In fact, he never actually went away, but the recent popularity of music inspired by his early work has brought the man also known as Zed Bias back to everyone's attention. Read more »
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