Terror Danjah is, undeniably, a grime legend—a key player in the genre's birth and a recurring character throughout its turbulent life span. Few producers can claim to have had such an important—if occasionally overlooked—effect on the UK's underground music landscape over the past decade. In the early years, his lively, richly textured instrumentals provided contrast to the notable emptiness of Wiley's eskibeat, laying the early foundations for UK funky with their shuffling, asymmetric rhythms and mid-heavy synth lines. More recently, his work on Hyperdub and Butterz, along with his own label, Hardrive, has provided the driving force behind grime's triumphant return to UK dancefloors—repositioning it as a genre where the producer is the star of the show, rather than a supporting player behind a stream of vocalists. Yet despite this string of achievements, Dark Crawler, his second artist album, is still the most accomplished, fully realized thing he's ever released. Read more »
Prolific Glasgow-based label Soma released its 100th record this week, a 10-track LP called Bring a Friend by Glaswegian producer Gary Beck. The tunesmith has been a regular contributor to the label for years, but this record marks his first full-length on Soma, and to celebrate, Beck has offered up album cut "Hopkin." The thundering techno track flickers like a camera's shutter, chattering with stomping percussion that grinds as deep as the guttural vocal sample.
XLR8R has closely followed the output of Toronto duo Southern Shores since we got our first taste of its hazily jubilant, Balearic-informed music in the summer of last year. And even though it's been quite a while since producers Jamie Townsend and Ben Dalton dropped their first EP, we expected more solid tracks were on their way when they unveiled "New Love," a warm-blooded cut from the pair's follow-up record, New World. With the release of that EP coming next week via New York/London label Cascine, we're absolutely pleased to premiere the rest of Southern Shores' sophomore outing, which you can stream in full after the jump. Read more »
Berlin's Fabien Vilain (a.k.a. Kjofol) just hooked us up with one of his latest tunes. "Faunome" features a variety of soft, ambient textures—including nearly inaudible whispers, heavily effected vocal clips, swelling white noise, warm pads, and rounded sub-bass tones. The chaotic vocal samples eventually coalesce into a consistent pattern as additional drum sounds are layered over the top of Kjofol's jacking groove. Though this track won't be on the producer's debut album, Lune, look for that record to drop in physical formats on October 8, with the digital package appearing on October 29, both via Apparel Music.
London's Kel McKeown (a.k.a. Kelpe) has spent the last nine years making records that traverse the zones between woozy downtempo and intricately programmed nu-disco. Now a refugee of longtime home DC Recordings, 2012 has seen McKeown take up residence at Serbian outpost Svetlana Industries, for which he released I Felt Fuzzy and an accompanying remix EP earlier in the year. Jazzy and laced with drowsy cut-ups and irregular rhythms, I Felt Fuzzy was aptly titled, but its follow-up, Bags of Time, is a slightly different beast. Read more »
When Berlin's Noah Pred (pictured above) sent us his remix of Little Dragon's "When I Go Out," he was bubbling over with praise for the Swedish synth-pop outfit. "The very first time I heard this song, I was drawn in by the otherworldly melancholy, and knew I had to do a dance floor edit," he told us, before adding, "Bootleg dubs are the new love letter, right?" Pred's remix pins the original's yawning, ambient space to a beat that builds steadily into a head-nodding trance—infusing the Little Dragon's fuzzy layers with a waggling energy. Pred also has a couple of upcoming performances in New York (October 5 at National Underground) and San Francisco (October 6 at The Endup), as well as a few releases up his sleeve for the end of the year.
After months of waiting, James Blake has finally released his first official record under his Harmonimix moniker. The 12" for R&S features two edits of tracks by grime aficionado Trim, both of which we've heard before, but Blake has just unveiled a fresh video for the rework of "Confidence Boost" to mark the record's debut. Read more »
Up-and-coming DJ/producer Severine Erickson (a.k.a. >HxdB) is set to release his latest record, the Up EP, via Sounds of Sumo. The Vancouver artist's new offering features two originals and four remixes from the likes of Bwana, Pasteman, Bassmynt, and featured here, Grenier. Erickson's original is a dark and funky 2-step refix of Aaliyah's classic "Rock the Boat" that features trancey synths and deep sub tones. In Grenier's version, the tunesmith chops up the vocals—rendering the late R&B queen's voice practically anonymous to an untrained ear—and adds in bright, mystifying synths with hard-hitting breakbeat drums. And if you're feeling "Stylish Cadaver (Grenier Remix)," be sure to grab the whole EP when it drops on October 4.
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