LA's Nguzunguzu (a.k.a. Asma Maroof and Daniel Pineda) commandeered a primetime set this past Friday night at the "consistently excellent" RBMA stage during the 2012 Sónar festival in Barcelona (check out our wrap-up here). The duo's preferred blend of bassy dance rhythms, world music influences, and tweaked R&B-isms has solidified its place among the outstanding artists featured on RBMA's roster at Sónar, and you're likely aware of our longstanding affinity for the group, too, so, naturally, we're more than excited to premiere this recording of Nguzunguzu's performance. Read more »
Detboi is a Dublin producer with a penchant for inserting guttural and loosely defined funk into his sultry and sweaty tunes, including one of his latest, "Never Be Lonely." This jam's general delirium and free-handed vibes never overshadow the continuous pulse of the kick, as Detboi rolls out a swung house beat that acts as a worthy foundation for his breathy samples and stuttering bassline to assimilate into. "Never Be Lonely" isn't on the Irish tunesmith's most recent LP for Deep Thrills, Darkside, nor his forthcoming Sliding Floors EP which will be available later this summer, but nevertheless, you can watch a preview video of his upcoming three-track release after the jump. Read more »
Oslo producer Boska works in a similar realm to Nordic brethren Desto and Teeth, articulating a spidery, skeletal style of dance music that's faintly colored in with swaths of ambient pads and ping-ponging percussion. The video for "Without Love" exemplifies this style in a visual form. Read more »
Fresh off a trip to Montreal for MUTEK, XLR8R hopped on another plane, this time heading all the way to Barcelona for the city's annual Sónar festival. Frankly, it's hard to take issue with anything having to do with Sónar without sounding like a jerk. Even without factoring in the picturesque setting—Barcelona is definitely one of those uniquely wonderful cities that occasionally feels too good to be true—Sónar is impressive, not only in scale, but in its commitment to progressive programming. Seriously, how many other large-scale festivals are handing over a three-hour block of prime time to Hyperdub? Spread over three days and two long nights, there was simply a massive amount of music to consume. It was impossible to see everything, and frankly, even documenting all the things we did manage to see would be a tedious exercise. As such, we've elected to break down Sónar a bit differently, tagging the festival's various highlights and lowlights as "Winners" and "Losers." Admittedly, it's all a bit crude, but hopefully, an accurate picture of the Sónar 2012 experience has been unveiled in the process. Read more »
Abrasive and dust-drenched dance music has been a recurring theme so far in 2012, with Actress's latest LP receiving plaudits across the board and Hessle Audio announcing their first new artist in quite some time, the enigmatic and distortion-dousing British producer Bandshell. "Cathy Eldred" by Dutch artist Urkelle burrows deep into this aesthetic, too, as he sends his hi-hats into the microwave and sands down his kick drums for a fuzzy effect that will have a late night crowd practically coughing on the disorienting haze. A digital bonus track that arrives ahead of Urkelle's new EP for Lomechanik, When Her Language Goes on Holiday, the tune nonetheless hammers home the producer's unique style that seems to exude high-velocity polyrhythms and caustic textures all while staying playful with a skipping two-step beat. The snaking and obtuse bassline that creeps into the tune adds yet another layer of menace to an already paranoid and intriguing composition. You can check out previews of Urkelle's forthcoming four-track 12" before it drops on June 25, below. Read more »
Of all the outfits aligned with the 100% Silk imprint, Brooklyn-based producer Octo Octa is perhaps the one least fixed on a retro-minded sound. True, his productions do take their share of cues from classic house, but his slant is still decidedly current, and on the Oh Love EP, Octo Octa continues to find fruitful territory that seems fit to please both the hipster-house scene that has sprouted up around 100% Silk and its contemporaries, as well as a larger community of house-music devotees. Read more »
Galloping funky house is the order of the day on this rambunctious new single from Austrian dance music veteran DJ Dizzy. Offsetting the brash bump of the drums with layers of monochrome chords and candy-coated chimes, "Nomeva" makes a beeline for the front of the crowd and refuses to relent in its quest for shuffling, hands-in-the-air dancefloor energy. Add a pleading vocal refrain and some Dirtybird-style bass movements to the proceedings, and we're treated to a second drop that simply bursts with color as a truly roisterous rhythm anchors the track. Fans of Doc Daneeka's and Julio Bashmore's styles of modern, rough-and-tumble house music should get involved with DJ Dizzy's latest EP (artwork above), which comes complete with remixes from The Clonious and Daniel Klauser, among others, and is out now digitally via Top Billin.
As we continue to pick up the pieces of our minds which were completely blown away by Actress' latest LP, R.I.P., producer Darren Cunningham continues to deliver top-notch sounds to the world, the most recent of which is a mix he dropped via Dazed Digital. Read more »
Alpines first broke onto the British dance music scene with a series of singles for Polydor last year—including a moody, peak-time Dark Sky remix that sent the duo's vocal-pop stylings into gritty, London-at-2 a.m. territory. Returning on a self-released 7" this month with "Empire" (artwork above), Alpines has commisioned its original track to be remixed by Maribou State, who turns it into a churning and effervescent production tethered to a four-to-the-floor beat. The use of rounded toms and crinkling percussion brings to mind Mount Kimbie and other early Hotflush releases, but it's the introduction of a syncopated, Detroit-referencing bassline in the tune's second half that reveals its intentions for larger dancefloors. The vocals taken from Alpine's original tune aren't necessarily our favorite part of "Empire (Maribou State Remix)," but with its gently floating pads and sharp sense of summer euphoria, the remixing trio's production work makes up for just about any of our initial misgivings.
It's hard to believe, but yes, in all of his 13 or so years spent as an active DJ and producer, Detroit house icon Marcellus Pittman has never released a full-length album. The man—who delivered a deeply soulful mix to XLR8R late last year—has plenty of records to his name, but will only add an LP to his repertoire come mid-summer. Read more »
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