Let's get one thing out of the way, first and foremost: Light Asylum, the debut LP from Brooklyn duo Light Asylum, is unceasingly, unflinchingly, unapologetically born of the '80s. The record's sound is so entrenched in the aural aesthetics of classic drum machines, analog synthesizers, and vintage genres (industrial/EBM, darkwave, and early synth-pop, mostly) that the music could be rightfully thought of as regressive. It's almost as though singer Shannon Funchess and producer Bruno Coviello previously agreed on a set of rules and constraints—gated reverb on every snare hit, no obvious software plugins, hands off all machine presets, no "live" instruments, etc.—which they'd never stray from while working on their album's 10 songs. Surprisingly or not, Light Asylum actually makes excellent use of the limited toolbox on its self-titled full-length, exhibiting a powerful range of moods and styles despite a more or less obsessive love for antiquated niche pop. Read more »
Maybe you've noticed, maybe you haven't, but Ad Hoc, a new online source for underground/DIY music from the editors of the now-defunct Altered Zones, is finally up and running—an occasion which will soon be celebrated with the release of a compilation featuring unreleased gems from the likes of How to Dress Well, Grimes, Anenon, Laurel Halo, Blondes, Solar Bears, and Matthewdavid, among tons of others. Here, we have Pictureplane's exclusive contribution, "White Lightz." Producer Travis Egedy's bass-driven and trancey tune bursts with blown-out dance beats, cacophonous synths, and the artist's hushed vocal work throughout its five-minute span. Keep on the lookout for the rest of Ad Hoc's massive compilation (nearly 50 tracks!) to appear later this month over on its Bandcamp.
Two institutions of the current West Coast house scene, Portland's Miracles Club (pictured above) and San Francsico's Honey Soundsystem crew, have announced they will join forces for a three-day tour up and down the West Coast. Read more »
San Francisco outfit Exray's is just about two months from the release of its second full-length, Trust a Robot, and has enlisted West Coast beatmaker Devonwho for a pleasantly disjointed remix of one of its cuts. The Bay Area-via-Portland producer stripped the original song of pretty much everything but its rounded bass and synth tones, which he expertly applies to a stuttering rhythm and some sporadic vocal samples on this herky-jerky version of Exray's "Ancient Thing."
The last few years have witnessed UK DJ/producer Jamie Jones rise to the top of the house and techno scene using a signature formula. Jones' tunes are characterized by funky basslines in an exceptionally low register, hypnotic and often dissonant synths, and a dark, minimalist aesthetic. While this method has netted Jones quite a collection of high-caliber dancefloor successes, the pieces don't quite come together on "Our Time in Liberty," which ends up feeling entirely too dissonant and lacks his typical groove. Read more »
Sounding a bit like something we might've heard from the Tri Angle imprint last year, this remix of Lianne La Havas' "Lost and Found" from British house DJ/producer Maya Jane Coles (pictured above) is a slow-grooving and soulful piece with just the right touches of club-ready rhythms and poignant vocal hooks. Sparse synth blips and piano chords occasionally adorn La Havas' soft performance, while the garage-y percussion carries the whole thing to its understated conclusion—making for a nice companion to the percolating version of her "Forget" tune that Shlohmo delivered at the beginning of the year.
We've mentioned the icy synth escapades of WOLS before, and although the former duo has now been whittled down to a solo act, there's still a new EP forthcoming via FUSELab, and the Moscow-based producer has offered up "Red Ways," one of the record's finer selections. A dancefloor jam utilizing a brisk, half-step pace and fraught with starry, drama-filled piano lines, the song serves as a suitable showcase for the type of precise, iron-plated electronica WOLS has made its calling card. Although the track is undeniably modern, one gets the feeling that "Red Ways" could only have been made by an artist with a deep understanding of Soviet culture and Russia's unique history. The seven-track Outgunned EP (artwork above) will be available in a few weeks time on FUSELab, but check the cover art above and have a listen to a full stream of the entire release now, after the jump. Read more »
By now, even casual readers of XLR8R have likely noticed that we've taken quite a shine to Anenon (a.k.a. Non Projects label boss Brian Simon). Back in March, we streamed his excellent Acquiescence EP. Earlier in April, we went inside his studio to examine his Monome manipulations and find out exactly how this RBMA 2011 grad crafts his hazily atmospheric music. Tomorrow marks the beginning of May, and will also see the release of Inner Hue (artwork above), the debut Anenon full-length. This may not come as a surprise, but we think it's quite good, so we've twisted the LA artist's arm and convinced him to stream the entire LP here on XLR8R. Give it a listen, after the jump. Read more »
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