NYC techno don Abe Duque collaborated in 2004 with fellow producer Blake Baxter on the single "What Happened?," a veritable call-out of clubs and musical icons who dropped the ball somewhere down the line. Now, following the recent release of Duque's Don't Be So Mean album, the contemporary techno hit has been reissued and newly remixed by the UK's Max Cooper. Cooper's version trades the original claps and percussion elements for a stripped-down electronic bounce and glitches out Baxter's vocal through just about the song's entire six-and-a-half minutes.
Blockhead makes instrumental hip-hop that merges the crate-digging sensibilities of early DJ Shadow with the more electronic proclivities of Prefuse 73. With a warped jazz loop, a booming breakbeat, and various melodic passages peppered in, the NYC-based producer/DJ takes the listener on a slow-grooving journey with "Which One of You Jerks Drank My Arnold Palmer," a track taken from his forthcoming third album, The Music Scene. The composition plays a lot mellower than its title would suggest, and makes for a perfect head-nodding soundtrack for that early-morning ride to work or late-night walk home after the bars let out.
Fabric might be famously located in London, but the album series spawned by the club has been admirably international, and although Toddla T is a fellow Brit, his entry into the line reflects the same border-hopping spirit. The 24-year-old is a Sheffield boy, and his mix of 21 tracks draws heavily on dubstep, dancehall, and ragga. Much here comes courtesy of Toddla T himself, but he manages to shoehorn in Busy Signal, a Duffy remix, Sticky, and others in a relentlessly breathless set. Read more »
Patron of deep house grooves and esoteric field recordings, French-German Pantha du Prince has decided to switch his label home from the Hamburg-based, boutique Dial to the UK's eclectic Rough Trade. Read more »
As part of the kick-off for our brand-new City Guide page and mobile application, we've invited some of our favorite artists to put together special editions of the XLR8R podcast highlighting the artists and sounds that make their hometowns unique. Read more »
Nite Jewel: Ramona Gonzalez uses eight-track logic—and a touch of Heidegger—to craft wistful lo-fi disco.
Ramona Gonzalez’s resume overflows with creative projects, but the soft-spoken voice of LA’s three-piece experimental synth-pop group, Nite Jewel, is still just finding her legs musically. Using a self-proclaimed “technically amateur” approach—messing around on a keyboard, singing in her head, mumbling aloud until something sticks, and then hitting the record button on her portable eight-track cassette deck—Gonzalez creates music that alternately evokes doe-eyed innocence and dark sensuality. Read more »
The closest thing to rock music you're likely to hear from this glitchy, Vienna-based live electronics trio, Radian, can be found on the opening track from their upcoming new album. Coming four years after the group's last effort, Juxtaposition, Radian's Chimeric is built around live recordings of drums, bass, and guitar, although they've been cut up, rearranged, and tweaked into near oblivion. Despite efforts made to keep "Git Cut Noise" away from anything easily called "straightforward," passages of stripped down and crunchy rock flirtations do bubble to the surface.
Dave Huismans, who works under the monikers of 2562 and A Made Up Sound, has made a startling rise to the top ranks of dubstep and deep, dubby house within only a few years. As 2562, Huismans creates atmospheric dubstep that has as much to do with shuffling Detroit house and dub-techno as it does with the current Hyperdub roster. In front of a dusty dubstep beat, "Flashback" features a lush, two-note synth line reminiscent of Theo Parrish, spacy squelches, breathtaking polyrhythms, and synth flourishes that somehow recall Aril Brikha's first full-length. There's an undeniably organic sonic quality to much of Huisman's work, and "Flashback" is definitely not a departure from his oeuvre. Taken from his new album Unbalance.
The first full-length from Traxx (a.k.a. Chicago-based DJ and producer Melvin Oliphant III) touts the most jacking-est of styles—"jakbeat," an Ann Arbor and Chicago sound that’s both an ode to and update of early Chicago house. Traxx, no purist, reaches back even further (“Parametric Melody” nods to Larry Levan, quoting Peech Boys’ “Don’t Make Me Wait”) while also looking ahead. Vintage as the drum programming and acid synths are on a track like “Enka,” Faith has a soulful, futuristic quality throughout. Read more »
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