Where: Rotterdam, Netherlands
When Dave Nada slowed down some Dutch house tracks to reggaeton speed and stumbled across a new sound that he eventually called moombahton, he had no idea that half a world away, a 21-year-old Dominican producer living in Holland would be inspired to take the sound to the next level. Read more »
Here at XLR8R, witch house is currently holding a unique position as both one of our favorite new genres and one of our most frequent targets of ridicule. Internal turmoil aside, it's hard to deny that this remix of San Francisco duo Water Borders (pictured above) is a quality listen. While the original version is one of the band's usual dark and droney sonic explorations, albeit one featuring the vocal contributions of Glasser, this remix by SF producer Bookworms turns up the drums and stretches out the song's spooky vibes over the course of nearly 13 minutes. Much like his excellent remix of Mi Ami, this remix has a stripped-down, almost Detroit sound punctuated by plenty of tribal drums. It was actually commissioned for Water Borders' new 12", which came out last week and features the original "Rome," a-side "Akko," and a couple of remixes, but Bookworms didn't quite finish on time, so his work is instead finding a home on XLR8R.com.
Scotland's Phuturelabs is really showing everyone how the whole blog-turned-label transition should be done. After kicking off their release schedule with a stellar single from the UK's Wira, the Glasgow-based hub is quickly coming back with another release, this time from Canadian producer Hissy Fit (a.k.a. Matthew Hiscock). His Crosstrainers EP will be available in October as a free download, but the Phuturelabs guys have sent along "Outdoor Life" as an appetizer. The song has a nice shuffling beat and a standard-issue farty bassline, but what really makes it shine is the Balearic guitar melody that comes in about halfway through. Somehow, Hissy Fit has managed to take the whole UK post-dubstep sound to the beach, and the results are sparkling.
Colorado beat scientist Alex B is in the midst of a massive US tour that kicked off shortly after he completed his recent XLR8R podcast, but this new bootleg remix just surfaced last week. The 1320 imprint has released a free label sampler, and this re-work of Missy Elliot is one of the standout selections. It's nothing too fancy, as Alex B lays Missy's inimitable flow over some propulsive hip-hop drums and, as expected, plenty of bass. Things do get a bit wobbly toward the end of the track, but the song got our heads nodding, so we'll give it a pass.
It pains me to say this, but I've never been to a proper 'electronic music' festival. Be it geographical location or lack of appropriate funds, getting to those kinds of massive happenings somehow always skirted my grasp. So, when travelling up to Seattle, WA, for the city's annual Decibel Festival, I was brimming with an eagerness and excitement usually reserved for pre-teens on Christmas morning. And here I am on my third day of the experience, still riding that high of anticipation and the overload of a whole lot of great music. Read more »
Not to pat ourselves on the back too hard, but gathering the likes of Untold, Cooly G, Fantastic Mr. Fox, and Jamie xx, for last night's XLR8R-sponsored Icee Hot event (and official after-party for The xx's Oakland show), was no small feat. Read more »
Yet another example of the Northwest's emerging electro scene, Portland's Copy and Starfucker have connected for a remix of the former's track, "I Can Smell It." Starfucker's remix, "Can You Smell It," is a mid-tempo instrumental banger, complete with some 808-ish drums, fast arps, an abundance of sweet synth lines, and some sort of chopped-up clav breakdown (say what?!). The song builds up and breaks down a few times during its three and a half minutes, and when it fully kicks in you'd be hard pressed not to shake your head or stomp your foot. Copy's new LP, Hard Dream is out now on Audio Dregs. (Via Impose)
Polish duo Catz 'n Dogz is getting to release its second full-length album, Escape from the Zoo, next month, but in the meantime, the boys have passed along this non-album cut. "To Be Cool" is a sturdy techno/house hybrid with thick drums and a sexy vocal that's been thoroughly chopped, sliced, and filtered without sacrificing the song's sultry spirit. Apparently Escape from the Zoo features the guys stretching their creative legs and dipping into street bass, R&B, hip-hop, and disco; kudos for that, but honestly we don't know if anyone would complain too much if they just turned in 10 more "To Be Cool" soundalikes.
White Sea (a.k.a. Morgan Kibby of M83) has turned in an epic, blissful remix of LA's Seven Saturdays. While the original is sparse and ethereal, White Sea's remix is a driving, pulsating mass of melodies completely drenched in processing. Kibby's vocals take center stage, layering intricate loops of oohs and ahhs before giving way to the triumphant climax. It sounds like the kind of heavenly electro-dream pop you'd expect from a member of M83, and that's a good thing. Keep a look out for an EP from White Sea some time in the near future.
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