Mike Shannon isn't what most people would call flashy. The Canadian-born, Berlin-based DJ and producer is a veteran artist who doesn't seek the limelight, instead preferring to operate behind the scenes—and behind the decks—and simply let the music do the talking. That said, his contributions to the world of techno really shouldn't be understated, as Shannon was one of the first artists to make a connection between Canada and Berlin, a path that has now become well worn by a myriad of producers and DJs. Over the years, he's released music on seminal imprints such as Force Inc., ~scape, Plus 8, and Wagon Repair, while also finding the time to head up his own Cynosure and Haunt labels. The latter imprint seems to be an especially shadowy operation, which is why it's mildly surprising that Shannon will be showcasing its sound this Saturday, July 14 at London's Fabric. (All the details can be found here.) In an effort to help spread the word, Shannon offered up an exclusive mix for the XLR8R podcast series, and we jumped at the chance to get an in-depth sampling of his current musical headspace. Read more »
The Seattle bass-music wunderkind known as Kid Smpl has had a very busy past two years. He's released a slew of EPs (Ghostsuit, a split with Daega Sound, Collapse, and Digital Hands, among others), a bevy of remixes, and he even has a few videos tucked under his belt. But the 21-year-old beatsmith born Joey Butler isn't one to take a break; he's got a new five-track digital release called Escape Pod dropping on August 7 through Seattle radio DJ Alex Ruder's newly launched Hush Hush label. Kid Smpl has often mentioned the music of Burial as a major influence on his sound, and on Escape Pod's opening title track, the similarities shine through, as slow, muted percussion crawls beneath a bed of graceful atmospheric strings. "Escape Pod" sets a sparse and ethereal stage for the rest of the young producer's EP, which includes three other original cuts and a strangely upbeat remix of "Pulse" by WEDIDIT Collective associate D33J.
"Au Seve" marks the latest milestone in the rise of low-end-loving house producer Julio Bashmore. In case you've somehow missed the hype, the past few years have seen Bashmore emerge as the one of the bright young hopes of British dance music, emerging out of Bristol's club scene (with some support from Claude VonStroke and his Dirtybird imprint) to claim a place at the forefront of a mini house renaissance. Over the past 18 months, Bashmore has kicked that rise into overdrive, owning 2011 with omnipresent floor filler "Battle For Middle You," scooping a slot on BBC Radio 1's late-night schedule, and scoring DJ gigs of ever-increasing prominence. Now, he's launched his own label, Broadwalk, and "Au Seve" has arrived as the inaugural release. Read more »
UK trio Rounds (a.k.a. Andrew Chapman, Robert Cooper, and Ashley Kemp) has prepared its debut release for burgeoning label moun10, the six-track Escapist EP. The first leak from the record, "Sideways," showcases Cooper's and Chapman's surging synth tones and the pulsing drum work by Kemp, which all culminates in a rounded and subtle ride. "Sideways" places a heavy emphasis on rich melodics and plenty of layering, driving the sound into the slower, introspective end of the bass-o-sphere alongside artists like Anenon, who provided a remix on the forthcoming release. Rounds' Escapist EP is due out on July 23.
On the latest offering from his ManMakeMusic imprint, George FitzGerald's curatorial skills have again proven to be as razor sharp as his production abilities, as he's picked out a pair of deep, grooving, and exceptional tunes from Brighton upstart Leon Vynehall. Read more »
Nottingham's Pasteman first caught our attention through his partnership with fellow UK producer Mak, and now he has returned with a new collaboration and "fully focused alias," known as Leon Chase. The fresh project is a joint venture with 19-year-old Winchester native Tanka, who surfaced a couple weeks ago on the remix for Lokiboi's "One House." The duo's debut offering, "Do Without You," invests most of its intricacy in the mesmerizing two-step beat, which clicks and crackles under a similarly hypnotizing vocal loop and downtempo keys. Leon Chase's debut EP for Overcooked is on the horizon, but other than its imminent arrival, we have no further details about the release.
Although it was a "long, strange trip" for Brooklyn's Dre Skull to become a dancehall producer, his work in that field has always made him sound like a natural. The tunesmith's latest release, Loudspeaker Riddim, earned him XLR8R Pick honors back in May, and he continues his winning streak with a video for "The System," Popcaan's vocal-version of Dre Skull's firey riddim. Read more »
Tensnake (a.k.a. Marco Niemerski) has been on the scene since 2006, making a name for himself by churning out unabashedly '80s-inspired dance jams, like 2010's "Coma Cat," a tune which sounds more suited for the sultry scenes of Miami than the producer's native Hamburg. Now, the artist has put together the newest installment in FACT's ongoing mix series. Read more »
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