You wouldn't think there's a price to be paid for releasing a widely loved, breakout album, but it's true. Anyone and everyone wants to (and will) remix its songs for far too long after its release, to the point of nausea-inducing repetition that's enough to almost make you dislike the original music. It's certainly happened to the UK's The xx, who've suffered through their fair share of remix clunkers, but we're happy to let this new take on the band's "Crystalized" tune slide by without too much chagrin. The funky disco-house producer behind the remix, fellow Brit Jamie Jones, hooked up The xx's trademark boy/girl vocal duet with a thick dance groove and bouncing bassline that nicely suit the pair's mellow cooing. Jones' minimal production mirrors the aesthetic of the original "Crystalized," and ends up overshadowing all of the other interpretations of the song we've heard over the past year.
If this track wasn't labeled as a remix, we would've immediately assumed that we were being treated to a brand-new original from our favorite spun-out drag trio, Salem (pictured above). But even though we do know this is a supposed 'reworking' of "Hologram" by These New Puritans, we can't seem to find anything connecting that original track to this new one. It's sort of like the band said, "Hey Salem, we love your work! Would you guys be into remixing one of our songs?" and Salem agreed but forgot to do it by the deadline, so instead just gave them an unreleased song they'd been sitting on and called it a remix. Don't get us wrong, though; we're not complaining. Salem's 'remix' of "Hologram" finds all of the outfit's hallmarks intact: synthetic vocal melodies, ominous synth tones, crunk beats, and that irreplaceable, pitched-down slur. Keep it coming, guys.
Barcelona's Balearic-flavored dance-pop outfit (and former XLR8R cover stars) Delorean is now a month and a half from the release of its wonderful Subiza album, and have has been busy touring the world sharing the good word (and tunes) with all who will listen. Now, the quartet is ready to do it all over again, and this time they'll have their latest single in tow. Read more »
Off the recently released Brownswood Electr*c compilation, "Blad" is an old-school-sounding piece of soulful beat work from the UK's Letherette. The producers utilize what appears to be no more than two—maybe three—sample sources to flesh out the slow-grooving funk of their exclusive track for Electr*c, as each guitar strum, bass pluck, horn stab, drum hit, and vocal utterance chopped up and sequenced into "Blad" sounds as cohesive and complimentary as if it had all been performed live in one room, and not on an MPC. Letherette's impeccably crafted tune is just a small taste of the eclectic mix of beat-heavy music to be heard on the excellent compilation from Gilles Peterson's Brownswood label.
For only one day in September, the We Like Music Festival will take over parts of downtown Detroit for an explosive celebration of forward-thinking music and art. The unusually brief music festival just announced the lineup of artists and performers that will push their wares from within one of two venues. Read more »
This remix of "Sun," from Danish house producers Kenton Slash Demon, comes from Alan Abrahams (a.k.a. Portable a.k.a. Bodycode), who transforms the bouncing original production into a soulful techno track more than twice its initial length. Portable's entrancingly epic composition and its accompanying forefather, are both part of the Sun EP, which is the first installment of Kenton Slash Demon's trilogy of releases entitled The Schwarzschild Solution. The first release drops July 26 via Tartelet, with the subsequent EPs, Matter and Daemon, following in the months ahead. If the quality of original tunes an remixers follow suit with this offering, we're sure to have a solid set of tracks on our hands when the Danish duo's triptych is finished next January.
Thousands of Miles and Decades Removed from the City's Glory Days, Robert Hood Takes the Spirit of Detroit into the Future
When Robert Hood came of age in Detroit, radical change was in the air. People, ideas, and product were on the move. The 1960s and '70s were marked by political and cultural swings, growing black empowerment, and abandonment by second- and third-generation ethnic whites on one hand; urban guerrilla creativity busting out across the racial spectrum on the other. Read more »
The latest single from Dim Mak's resident DJ Them Jeans is the tunesmith's inaugural release as part of the ever-expanding Top Billin artist stable. His new track, "Balloons," is a big, bass-laden future-house number with a buoyant dance beat and lots of woozy synth work filling out most of its five and a half minutes. Jeans' production seems content enough to stay rooted in only a few relatively even-keeled movements, as it never quite crescendos with the bombastic effects favored by his hyperactive Dim Mak peers. The Balloons EP, with remixes from LOL Boys, Mad Decent's DJA, and Camo UFOs, is out now.
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