OK, maybe we're a little biased when it comes to Christopher Willits. The guy is from our town (SF pride, wooo!!!) and happens to be a studio wizard—check all those episodes of What You Talkin' Bout, Willits? on XLR8R TV for proof—but he also happens to make some downright sublime pop music. Maybe not pop in the Top 40 sense of the word, but certainly in the sense that "hey, I could definitely see myself humming this later." "Light Into Branches" comes from his just-released Tiger Flower Circle Sun album, and finds Willits blending his soft vocals and acoustic guitar notes with some warbling electronics and hazy melodies. It's a mellow track, the sort of thing that sounds perfect when the sun is going down and you're wrapping up a lazy summer afternoon.
In celebration of his recently released EP for Night Slugs, That Mystic, which we previewed last week and is on sale now, NY's soulful bass music patron Kingdom (pictured above) hooked us up with this unreleased refix of the '05 grime tune "Unorthodox Daughter," by London MC No Lay and producer Silkie. The burgeoning DJ/producer tweaks the track a bit, tossing in some new sounds to Silkie's rhythm, adding a few extra dollops of bass frequency, and trading out No Lay's rapid-fire vocal delivery for snippets of soulful crooning from an entirely different song. It's not that it's better than the original, but Kingdom certainly transformed the song into something slightly more club-friendly and managed to make a five-year-old production sound like it was made last week.
NYC duo Wolf + Lamb is best known for its long-running series of underground parties, but the pair's label continues to churn out a steady stream of quality music that walks the line between techno, house, and disco, and the boys—born Gadi Mizrahi and Zev Eisenberg—recently unveiled their debut full-length, Love Someone. Read more »
Kode9's relationship with dubstep has always been an uneasy one, but with this latest DJ-Kicks installment, his avoidance of the genre is as much a political statement as it is an issue of taste. Only three tracks in the mix even somewhat resemble the one-drop cliché the genre has settled into: Ikonika's "Heston," Digital Mystikz's "Mountain Dread March," and The Bug's "Run"—and even those seem like brilliantly fringe elements compared to the cartoonish wobble most often heard in the trenches.
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Oh, Jimmy Edgar, how we can't get enough of you. Your chilly aesthetic, your oversexed persona, and your unflinching dedication to form and style shine through on every tune you craft, whether original or remix, and we can't seem to satiate our appetite for everything Edgar. And even though your barren, monotone vocal delivery is nowhere to be heard on this remix of Ghost Hunter's "Island Barbados," we can still hear you speak to our nether regions with your hypnotically pulsing rhythms, chopped synth melodies, subtle bass frequencies, and sparkling ambience. Basically, Jimmy, what we're trying to say is, we're glad you're back on the production grind, and we can't wait for you to drop that new record of reliably austere dance jams.
There's no denying that making your music video on VHS—or making it look like it was recorded that way—is a trend that's growing fairly tired, but at least this new piece for Holy Ghost!'s "I Know, I Hear" single also fits the aesthetic of the song. Read more »
As the second release for both Berlin's Los Massieras and the Bananamania imprint, the recently released Better Than Italians EP—an obvious reference to Mike Simonetti's Italians Do it Better label—might wear quite a boastful title, not to mention an amusing Neu!-inspired record sleeve, but it seems the disc has the tunes to carry such a claim. On "Rumores," the DJ/production duo runs with its idea of revamping Italian pop music circa 1970, crafting an exuberant, disco-referencing dance tune full of funky guitar licks, pulsing bass lines, and dusty samples of horn sections and choral vocals. Los Massieras' track rides a fine line between being an edit, a remix, and an original, but will undoubtedly render such labels inconsequential when dropped in the middle of your next vintage disco DJ set.
In another bit of free music from FACT today, Detroit's minimal-techno godfather and XLR8R's current cover star, Robert Hood, put together an outstanding mix for the website's podcast series. Technically, the set itself comes from a live performance the veteran DJ/producer delivered in Barcelona during Sonar, but Hood agreed to publish it as his official FACT mix. Read more »
Since the folks at Ableton recently released the format of their Live instruments to third-party sound artists, a slew of these Partner Instruments have been popping up for sale on the Ableton website. Now, in a generous turn, the company is offering its Partner Instruments Compilation to users of its music-making/performing program for absolutely free. Read more »
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