The third effort from San Francisco's Surefire Sound label comes from two of today's most engaging North American producers working in the nebulous realm of "bass music." Atlanta's self-proclaimed Boss of the South, Distal, collaborated with Vancouver, BC's HxdB (Hexadecibel) and fellow Atlanta producer Mayhem for an EP that further exemplifies why the other side of the Atlantic may have a greater voice in 2011. Out today, Distal & HxdB's "Typewriter VIP" and Distal & Mayhem's "Frozen Barnacles" make up the core of this release, while this original of "Typewriter Tune" will no doubt pique your interest in getting the full package. Here Distal and HxdB crafted some of the more intricate and lush percussion among the UK bass familiars with a dizzying array of claps, triangles, and cymbals on constant rotation and synths that slip and slide with natural ease. There is also something wonderfully playful about this track—typewriter clicks and all—that could be completely engaging and fun on the dancefloor with out being overly distracting; a noteworthy feat in its own right.
About nine years into its ongoing production career, Spanish duo Audiofly just dropped its fourth release of tech-y house music for Berlin's Get Physical imprint, a brand-new single entitled "Fela." Read more »
UK's grime scene has been subject to a creative resurgence recently, in no small part thanks to the work of Elijah & Skilliam's Butterz imprint. Now Sonic Router has sat down with one of Butterz's newest signees, Royal T, on the heels of his recently released Orangeade EP to pick his brain and get him to share some thoughts on the past, present, and future of grime. Read more »
Reggae has a lot of icons—but probably only one who's white, British, and looks like "a dentist or an accountant" (his words, not ours). The legendary selector David "Ram Jam" Rodigan worked his way through record shops and school dances before making it to Radio London in 1978, where he co-hosted Reggae Rockers—and really hasn't looked back since. Read more »
When one thinks of 17-year-olds living in Orange County, it's easy to conjure up a host of generalizations based on that suburban haven—or hell, depending on which side of the county line you fall. But when it comes to the disarming Zeadron Del Gomez bedroom project, those expectations will be swiftly dispensed. A couple weeks back, Del Gomez (a.k.a. Jack Heffron) released a free, full-length record titled Hold My Hand? No through the online magazine Rebel. Compiling his best 11 tracks over a five-month production period, Heffron crafted a remarkably varied record that explores mostly the dark, unnerving sides of UK garage, house, and dubstep. What's most intriguing about Heffron's record is that it threads these inextricably tied sounds into something that nods to the past while uniquely expounding on their potential, an accomplishment reminiscent of Zomby's encyclopedic Where Were U In '92?. UK garage is at work on this particular track, though the patience that is exemplified here is as precocious as Heffron himself, taking two of the seven minutes to set an ominous stage before a machine-like half-stepping groove enters alongside gun cocking, lonely dub piano chords and a wan maternal voice.
Brooklyn's Light Asylum has delivered an incredible video for its '80s club-anthem throwback, "Dark Allies," courtesy of video artist and photographer Grant Worth. The track's intensity fits perfectly with the video thanks to a passionate performance form Light Asylum's front-woman Shannon Funchess, along with a half-naked Virgin Mary-esque figure and tons of overlaying glowsticks. Throw in some expert editing and it all makes for quite a visually stunning affair for a track that definitely deserves a thrilling video accompaniment. (via Altered Zones) Read more »
If this MP3 is any indication, then Daniel Steinberg's debut album, Shut Up, is all about having fun. "Calling Deep" opens with a percussive bang full of cowbell, shakers, chopped-up vocals, and a deep bassline. The Berlin-based producer then employs a calmly confident narrator throughout the track who attempts to make us feel at ease while Steinberg skillfully chops and filters funky guitars and Latin piano until he's ready to drop us back into the deep house groove. Although this is Steinberg's first album as an artist, he's actually been producing tracks for the better part of the last 15 years, emerging out of the minimal, stripped-down heyday of Berlin's scene with his own unique style of Latin- and world-influenced house. And of course, always with a deep bassline. Shut Up is out today and can be purchased here.
New Orleans' own originator of "swamp tech" and inventor of the Drum Buddy, Quintron, has never been one shy of trying new ideas. Case in point, his forthcoming LP for Memphis' Goner imprint was entirely made over a three-month residency inside the New Orleans Museum of Modern Art. 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.
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 »
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