Composer, sound designer, and certified Ableton Live educator Laura Escudé certainly has the electronic music street cred necessary to back her forthcoming debut album, Pororoca. The title track of her new record is chock full of smooth strings, delayed synths, and ominous choir vocals, all of which combine to make up the bulk of her moody piece. In fact, a beat doesn't make its way into the song until two minutes in, and disappears in half the time—reminding us of an era when electronic music was more centered around melody than rhythm.
Philadelphia coldwave patrons Cold Cave released Love Comes Close last year, but they're just now getting around to releasing a proper 12" single for "Life Magazine." The track is treated to remixes from the likes of Pantha du Prince, Arthur Baker, and, here, Optimo. Fresh off the finale of their long-running weekly Sunday-night party, the Glaswegian duo's intent is clear from the onset; JD Twitch and JG Wilkes are gonna make you move. Their mission is accomplished with much aplomb through hijacking the vocal from its original synth-pop resting place, and placing it in the middle of an energetic space-disco workout. Optimo also has an entry in the venerated Fabric mix series the comes out next week, and the "Life Magazine" 12" drops on June 8.
San Francisco's Sugar & Gold has always been about crafting fun, sexy dance music with a genderless quality, a combination tailor-made for the queerest metropolitan area in the United States. But while the group's sophomore record has some undeniably grooving moments, these are offset by the fact that the group often uses the same sonic palette to guide every piece. Read more »
Fever Ray, Soulwax, Caribou, Tricky, Lali Puna, LCD Soundsystem, Washed Out, and More to Play Berlin Festival
The German capital city's annual music festival, simply called Berlin Festival, has just announced its lineup for the upcoming extravaganza. For two days in September, DJs and bands from far and wide will convene at the historic Tempelhof Airport to do what they do best: perform live music. Read more »
The ever-growing mass of electronics heard on "Niobe," the closing number from Caribou's last album, Andorra, could be retroactively interpreted as a transition from the summery psych-rock explorations of Dan Snaith's past to the synthesized indie-pop found on Swim, his fifth full-length. While the Canadian producer previously used electronics and modern technologies to craft and adorn his intimate bedroom-born songs, his latest album pulls those sensibilities into the forefront—and with captivating and brilliant results.
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Since 2006, the Jus Like Music site has been championing sonic gems from the worlds of hip-hop, neo-soul, jazz, dubstep, funk, and more, but earlier this year, these bloggers decided to take their advocacy to another level and launch their own online record label. After releasing the debut single from Londoner BUG, the young label's catalog was bolstered significantly with Oscillations, a two-part compilation featuring contributions from Slugabed, Alex B, Om Unit, and a bunch of other newcomers who could be lumped beneath the ever-expanding "beat scene" umbrella. One of those newcomers was Bnjmin, a young UK producer who also records under the more widely known Jackhigh and Singing Statues monikers. His song "Arose" was originally slated to appear on Oscillations, yet time constraints forced it from the final tracklist, so Jus Like Music has passed it along to share as an XLR8R exclusive. If you like its washy tones and subdued vibe, then you'll probably want to go ahead and grab Oscillations online, as both parts are available for free download.
Milwaukee's Signaldrift has been releasing music since 1998, but have been relatively silent in recent years—the duo's last album was 2005's Set Design. Later this month, the ambient-shoegaze-Krautrock outfit is getting back into the game with Two Agents, a limited-run double LP on Portland's Audraglint label. "Yesterday's Tomorrow" is public's the first taste of Two Agents, and it sounds like an extra-chill Neu! song bathed in a warming glow of soft reverb. If all Kraturock-influenced music sounded this good, we're thinking there would be a whole lot more girls in the scene.
Midwestern doom-juke (yes, we just made that up, but it fits, okay?) outfit Salem has unleashed another DJ mix on the world. The Raver Stay Wif Me mix is available for free download courtesy of Dis Magazine, and, as expected, features a panic-attack-inducing combination of sounds, from nightmarish pitch-shifted pop and hip-hop to screwed versions of Darude's "Sandstorm" and Alice Deejay's "Better Off Alone." We're hard pressed to think of anything much more frightening. Read more »
Who: Doc Daneeka
Where: Swansea, Wales
Another offering from the UK's fertile pool of post-garage producers, Doc Daneeka (a.k.a. Mial Watkins) originally sought to make drum & bass, but he began dabbling in trip-hop and eventually wound up producing highly percussive house music rich in tropical drums and syncopated rhythms. Read more »
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