Over the past two or three years, plenty of ink, and even more blog space, has been devoted to documenting the international explosion of cumbia, particularly the electronic and/or experimental variety. Yet not everyone riding the cumbia train is trying to put a modern twist on the classic Colombian rhythm—take Los Angeles quintet Very Be Careful, who actually specialize in vallenato, another Colombian folk rhythm that's something like cumbia's cousin. Labels aside, these boys always keep it old-school, even when they're cooking up original, accordion-powered jams like "La Furgoneta." The track comes from Escape Room, the band's latest album, which will be released on April 13.
If Rob Threezy's membership in the Chicago's Ghetto Division isn't enough proof that his tracks represent the new vanguard of the Chicago sound, then perhaps this astounding remix from Finland's Top Billin' will convince doubters. Given the original's stems, Top Billin' somehow make "The Chase" even more of a Windy City club banger, channeling the monstrous kicks of Cajmere, the sampling style of early Larry Heard projects, and even a bit of Adonis' acid. In no uncertain terms, this is a perfect house track, and one hell of a remix.
Maybe it's the two members with art-school backgrounds, but Liars have a knack for taking clichés to sublime places. Considering that the distance between their first album—the apex of dance-punk that might also be a joke at its expense—and the post-grunge miniature songcraft of 2007's Liars seems smaller than some would have you believe, it makes sense that Sisterworld sounds like more of a conceptual wager than a stylistic one. Read more »
The 11th edition of Montreal's Mutek festival is happening this June, and with the announcement of the electronic gathering's initial lineup, it is apparent that Mutek is going to have its best year yet. Featuring headlining performances from Matias Aguayo, the Moritz von Oswald Trio, Matmos, and many more XLR8R favorites, the fest continues to eschew the simply trendy in favor of more reliably astounding performers. Early-bird passes are now on sale at the festival site. Check out the full lineup after the jump! Read more »
Next week will see the release of Triangulation, the second album from Scuba (a.k.a. Paul Rose). "Before" offers a smoldering glimpse of the record, which finds the Hotflush label boss dabbling in house, techno, and other styles while further pushing the boundaries of exactly what a dubstep artist is supposed to sound like. With its vinyl crackle and sultry female vocal, "Before" actually resembles vintage Massive Attack. Factor in the song's pensive synth tones and you've got some downbeat audio gold. Make sure to also peep the kaleidoscope-powered video for "Before," which was put together by director Sam Geer.
Kranky's synth jammers point their revolvers towards the kosmische.
San Francisco's bliss-out dance rockers Jonas Reinhardt take us along for some early morning range shooting—all part of the creative process, they explain. Revolvers in hand, the band defends New Age music while pumping rounds into the ether. Read more »
With a loose, frenetic synth line fluttering over deep, dry kicks and bass throbs, it is easy to compare the techno offerings of Baltimore's Graham Hatke's latest to the recent outpourings of Omar-S, or even a Theo Parrish joint from the early aughts. But there is an undeniable spaciness to Hatke's sound palette on "Miles Away" that brings Michoacan or even Idjut Boys to mind, which sets it apart from its American influences in an interesting way. Definitely an early evening floor-filler, Hatke shows a talent that we hope to hear more from soon.
The powerhouse duo of Georgia Anne Muldrow and Declaime (a.k.a. Dudley Perkins) join up with Kazi on this seriously funkified track. The Black Milk-produced track features a dusty, shuffling beat with an ethereal piano loop riding over it all, conjuring the sort of spacey hip-hop journey that has become Muldrow and Perkins' trademark.
In the age of the ubiquitous, manicured Ableton mix, it's no wonder so much attention has been paid to Martyn's decision to mix Fabric 50 live. But to focus solely on this mix's raw, seat-of-your-pants style is to miss the mark. Fabric 50 not only offers a glimpse into the sounds that influenced Martyn's superb Great Lengths, but it also stands as a testament to the contemporary amalgamation of dubstep, bass, and techno. Read more »
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