With the advent of ringtone rap and hip-hop singles that all sound alike, it is a pleasure to hear some heavy MCs spitting over beats that are more late '90s than late aughts. LA's Strong Arm Steady crew has been rolling together since 2003, and this longevity is evident on "Get Started," where the internal rhymes, political commentary, and clever roasts pop with unbridled energy. Having Talib on the piece only elevates it further, and with Madlib producing, the deal is sealed: "Get Started" is some tight hip-hop for those who are tired of the tacky electro-commercialism of what is played on most "urban" radio stations. From the upcoming Stoney Jackson album on Stones Throw, produced entirely by Madlib himself.
Legendary disco-funk group the Universal Robot Band is perhaps best known for its break-out 1976 single, "Dance and Shake Your Tambourine," but the large URB crew produced a number of other singles before splitting up, including the epic "Doing Anything Tonight," which guarantees a packed dance floor whenever it's played. Part of URB's legend is intertwined with one of the most accomplished producers and remixers of the dance music era, John Morales. A remixer whose prolific output over the past 30 years has helped many people get on the floor, Morales has a new retrospective compilation coming out, The M & M Mixes, which features his extended club mix of this one-off from URB, who got back together to record the track in 1982. Though not revolutionary in its extension of the original, Morales' mix certainly allows Patrick Adams' synths to shine and gives LeRoy Burgess' voice more urgency, particularly in these times of infernal money trouble.
Out-of-control revelers at Berghain might disagree, but it seems like a lot of new techno has been greeted with a collective yawn from the dance music community in 2009. Enter Redshape, a mysterious masked man from Berlin whose debut full-length just might provide the techno world with the true north it so desperately needs. Read more »
Finnish producer Sasu Ripatti (who occasionally works under the name Vladislav Delay) made an interesting step in his musical career with the release of this year's Tummaa, an esoteric exploration of experimental music sifted through the filter of Ripatti's jazz sensibilities. Today, we were fortunate enough to receive the video interpretation of one of Tummaa's darker tracks, the slow-burning and heavily percussive "Toive." Read more »
One of the younger groups from Lisbon's burgeoning kuduro movement, Octa Push has crafted a sound that makes most other bass producers look like 98-pound weaklings. With a ragga underpinning and some lyrical fire from MC Zulu, "Baila Mundo" features some gut-rumbling low-end, a bit of acid squelch, and an infectious chorus. If there's one way to get asses shaking, it's playing this track loud.
Ghent's Beni gets remixed by Southern California's Harvard Bass, who takes a rather par-for-the-course French electro piece and turns it into a veritable minimal electro club banger. While the original's sexy vocal clips are kept intact, the kicks are made monstrous, the main melodic line is pushed to the brink, and rim-shots are brought to the fore. Culled from the upcoming Kitsuné Maison 8, Harvard Bass' remix gives indication that the French label might have its groove back after a string of so-so releases.
Glasgow wunderkind Hudson Mohawke may have titled his debut full-length Butter, but that doesn't mean that the music from this LuckyMe affiliate goes down smooth. That's not to say the music and production isn't on point—it's just that HudMo's ADD cutting and splicing gives his 21st-century digital R&B a hyperactive feel that borders on overwhelming. Read more »
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