After the hustle and bustle of the first two nights of the Amsterdam Dance Event, I wasn't quite ready for what happens in Amsterdam on Friday and Saturday nights—the population seems to double. All of a sudden, venues that previously had 100 or 200 bikes outside their ADE-associated shows now had 400 or 500. This meant that every club would be packed to capacity before the night was through, requiring some tough and hasty decisions as to who to see and where to go. Here is the slice of performances I was able to cut out of ADE's weekend offerings. Read more »
Steve Hauschildt, who splits time between his eponymous solo project and the Cleveland, OH-based Emeralds trio, gives us this taste of his forthcoming Tragedy & Geometry LP before it drops on November 14 via Kranky. "Batteries May Drain" boasts much of the same drifting analog synth melodies and indelible warmth that we loved on Emeralds' Does It Look Like I'm Here? record, but without the guitar noodling and with some driving, krauty rhythms carrying it all into spacey oblivion.
UK producer Damu has had himself quite the year, dropping tunes on the Local Action and Keysound labels, and, of course, being tagged as a Bubblin' artist here on XLR8R. (OK, maybe that last one isn't that exciting.) He's also just released his debut full-length, Unity, and sent over the LP's closing track as a little taster. Read more »
LA beatmaker and Low End Theory regular Jonwayne has completed a new EP, The Death of Andrew, which will be released October 25 on Daddy Kev's Alpha Pup label. Full of wonky drums, synthesized melodies, and spacey atmosphere, the six tracks that make up the release fall within the kind of leftfield hip-hop fare we've come to expect from the greater Los Angeles area. Read more »
There's something really wonderful about two brothers working together to make music. San Francisco's Roche (a.k.a. Ben Winans) is an artist we've featured multiple times on XLR8R, but his big brother Bret (a.k.a. CB Radio) makes quality beats of his own out in Brooklyn. Why it took this long for the Winans boys (pictured above, sometime in the '90s) to properly collaborate remains a mystery, but "Rayne," created under the moniker Samuel Max, is a wonderful start. A house tune of the most relaxed variety, the song skates along mellow, clap-punctuated percussion while cooly rolling out breezy synth melodies and a plucky bassline. Yes, it's a little Balearic and more than a little retro, but it's all tastefully done and thoroughly enjoyable. Mama Winans should be proud.
There is an abundance of paths that can lead two people to collaborate creatively—sometimes it's by a chance meeting, sometimes it stems from a gradual sharing of ideas, and, in some cases, it can even be part of a calculated plan. With Karenn, the collective endeavor of Londoners Pariah (a.k.a. Arthur Cayzer, pictured left) and Blawan (a.k.a. Jamie Roberts, pictured right), the drive to collaborate is equal parts a genuine admiration for each other's work and a joint desire to reach into much deeper sonic territory. Read more »
With his latest album, Chinoiseries Pt 2, all set for release next month on All City, French hip-hop and boogie maestro Onra (a.k.a. Arnaud Bernard), has been kind enough to provide us with a free sample from the new record. "A New Dynasty" is a deceptively dense piece of instrumental hip-hop, one that begins with scratchy vinyl ambiance and a woman speaking Chinese before dropping into some classic, synth-laden boom-bap, complete with funk drums and interwoven flourishes of Asian melody.
Justice is not afraid of kitsch; in fact, the duo practically depends on it. Ed Banger-reared French electro-house darlings Gaspard Augé and Xavier de Rosnay are renowned for the re-appropriation of '80s hair metal and Jackson 5-style pop that littered their debut LP, †. That mix of bombastic aggression and ebullient dance music proved to be a widely enjoyed cocktail back in 2007, and, truth be told, could probably be updated a touch to bode fairly well in 2011. But Justice has not taken the easy route on its sophomore effort, Audio, Video, Disco, instead setting its gaze on the indulgent realm of early-'70s prog rock. Apparently, the choice was a poor one, as the album is a watered-down pastiche of that dubious genre at best, and just flat-out laughable at worst. Read more »
Seattle-based electronic explorer Parsod (a.k.a. Dale Parsons) recently dropped a new, five-song EP, Manifold (pictured above), which he's offering at a "pay-what-you-want" price via Bandcamp. Although that undoubtedly means that most of the cheapskates out there will grab it for free, tunes like "Hive" are certainly worthy of a hard-earned dollar or two. Constructed with a loose skeleton of unobtrusive 808 drum sounds, it's a midtempo number with a vaguely '90s and pleasantly psychedelic feel. The real strength of the track lies in its chime-like synth notes and the bubbling acid sounds that percolate over its four-plus minutes.
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