Utilizing classic vocal samples and old-school Chicago sounds is pretty commonplace nowadays, but when the attention paid to these elements is as on-point as Reilly Steel's is on "Heart Beat," it sounds less like just another fish in the electronic music pond. The SF-based producer comes off a bit like Jacques Greene in his deployment of seductively arranged synthesizers and desperately longing vocal edits, but what really jumps out about Steel's work here is the clattering, syncopated rimshot that refuses to stay put. Its restless pitch shifting adds an interesting pseudo-hook to the track's main breakdown, which helps lock the listener in for the remainder of the jam. "Heart Beat" is part of a free collection that Steel dropped today, called Post-Pillow Talk Vol. 1 and featuring four more sharply polished tunes. You can stream the release after the jump, or just download it here. Read more »
On Digital Native, the "first proper album" by Polysick, Italian hardware obsessive Egisto Sopor (or Paul Kersex, depending on where you look) presents a wide array of synth-centric music, ranging from lush ambient compositions to unhinged flurries of noise to squelching acid workouts to retro-minded techno jams. It's a smattering of analog sounds that the producer has spent years quietly perfecting on small releases for labels like 100% Silk and Legowelt's Strange Life imprint, and he presents them on his LP for Planet Mu in some of their finest forms yet. But with 15 tracks clocking in at a full hour, Polysick's album is also his longest release to date, which presents an obstacle for any listener with a short attention span and a less-than-insatiable taste for modular synth noodling. Read more »
Devonwho, the astrally inclined California beatmaker, receives a fluttering remix from Seattle-based producer DJAO (pictured above) of his latest single for All City, "Strangebrew." Drifting synth tones and softly contoured chords billow back and forth across the track's intro, sounding something like a sea anemone swaying slowly within its tropical environs. The aural landscape is subsequently placed in the shadow of a massive bassline, which pulses rhythmically to fill each and every pockmark around the track's hollow percussion and robust melodies. A member of the Dropping Gems crew, DJAO has been featured on XLR8R previously, and after hearing this remix, we can only hope there's more on the way.
UK singer Lianne La Havas (pictured above) will release her debut LP, Is Your Love Big Enough?, later this summer, and with its imminent arrival, we've been treated to a string of high-quality remixes from the likes of Shlohmo and Maya Jane Coles (you can check those out here and here, respectively). The most recent of these offerings comes from the elusive producer Ganggaddy, who reworks the title track of La Havas' album into a blistering-yet-classy house tune that relies heavily on a vintage Chicago aesthetic to deliver its peak-time adrenaline rush. "Is Your Love Big Enough? (Ganggaddy Remix)" slices up the original's soulful vocals and repurposes them into a crowd-moving framework, complete with bass-heavy synth stabs and skipping hi-hat patterns—making for another solid showcasing of the UK folk-pop star's vocal talents.
The line between DJing and live electronic performance has been an increasingly blurry one over the past decade. Native Instruments' latest piece of gear expands the company's highly regarded Traktor DJ system to include a dedicated hardware clip-triggering device, not entirely unlike Ableton Live controllers, such as Novation's popular Launchpad or the endlessly versatile and ground-breaking Monome grid controller. Fortunately, the F1 differentiates itself in a host of ways. Read more »
Earlier this week, Sweedish pop outfit Blänk unvieled its latest single, "Do This Thing," through their own Grind imprint. The song was recorded in Atlanta, and while there, the trio enlisted a couple of Southern producers to help out with remix duties. This one is from Texan bass lover Dubbel Dutch, who alters the sugary single into something more stripped-down and percussive. The original song liberally samples from the chorus of Peter Bjorn & John's "Nothing to Worry About," and while Dubbel Dutch leaves much of that intact, he creates an eerie vibe out of the child choir. Missouri's Norrit also contributed a remix, featuring masterfully chopped vocals and fresh warbling synth tones, which you can stream and download for free, along with the rest of the single, after the jump. Read more »
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