You'd think that LA native and card carrying WEDIDIT Collective member Earnest Blount (a.k.a. Ian Simon) would have his feet firmly rooted in the well established "beat scene," but his newest EP—which will be released by the newly formed Alpha Pup imprint, Teaching Machine, on June 12—proves that he's at the helm of something much different. Aptly titled Other Directions, Simon's forthcoming record features the scorching opener "You Tope, Ya?," a six-minute journey through soundscapes crafted from chopped-up, high-pitched R&B vocals, shifting syncopated rhythms, and layers upon layers of wonky synths, all of which seems much more UK-inspired than it sounds born of SoCal's beatmaking traditions.
BD1982 (a.k.a. Brian Durr) is a busy man; in addition to being a fixture of Tokyo's club scene, he runs the Tokyo-based label Diskotopia and is a full-fledged member of Starkey's Seclusiasis crew. Almost a year since his last release, a split EP with co-Diskotopia head A Taut Line, Durr has put out a new record via Paris-based label B.YRSELF Division, entitled Iron Trees. This slab of vinyl, which was released on June 5, includes seven original offerings, as well as remixes by Greeen Linez and Qoso. One of the record's highlights is "Cities," a tropically tinged track driven by the interplay of garbled vocal samples and some immense, tumbling percussion. You can stream the entirety of BD1982's Iron Trees EP after the jump. Read more »
As always, this year's edition of MUTEK offered a potentially overwhelming number of shows, parties, workshops, panel discussions, and more. Amidst all the activity, XLR8R also wanted to take the time to sit down with a few of our favorite artists, both to get their impressions of the festival and to check in about what's happening with their music. Fresh off his college graduation, Nicolas Jaar was one of the festival's stars in 2012, and here he talks about his history with MUTEK, a run-in with Ricardo Villalobos early in his career, the appeal of his music, his forthcoming new album, and why he loves making mixes. Read more »
All of the artists involved in the creation of this tune are relatively new to electronic music production. Bonnie Baxter (a.k.a. ShadowBox, pictured above) fronted a rock-oriented outfit before trading in her guitar for a drum machine, while Luke Welsby and Olly Howells (a.k.a. Bodhi) played in bands in their native Cardiff before diving into electronic production just six months ago. On the pair's remix of the budding solo artist, Bodhi brighten up the dark and dystopian synth-pop of the original with major chords and sunny summer vibes. Bodhi also pitches down the vocals and makes them rather prominent in the mix, turning a tune that was once rough and gothy into a drifting bit of vocal-based disco-pop. The original version of "AM" will appear on ShadowBox's forthcoming Haunted by Colors EP, which will drop on July 24 through Pictures Music. And for interested parties in and around NYC, you can catch a live performance from ShadowBox tonight, free of charge, at Tammany Hall in the Lower East Side.
LA bass-and-beats-centric label Friends of Friends is launching a new imprint called Young Adults, and has unveiled the details of its first release, a four-song compilation of house music. Read more »
Vlsonn has made a name for himself in his home city of Toronto as a DJ and a frequent remixer, putting his own spin on tracks by names such as Wiz Khalifa, Pharaohe Monch, and James Blake. He's recently been added to Vancouver-based label Aufect, which released his Black Sea Influence EP on June 4 exclusively through Beatport. On EP closer "Sing2049," Vlsonn crafts a throwback tune that delves into the recesses of deep, dark techno, featuring percussion that lumbers along laboriously as it grows dense and heavy with layers of cavernous atmospherics. Vlsonn's record, which you can stream after the jump, also features a remix of the title track by label boss Cure with HxdB and Sleepyhead, and will be released worldwide on June 19. Read more »
For a certain population of electronic-music listeners, Jimmy Tamborello's 2001 album as Dntel, Life Is Full of Possibilities, is a seminal record. In the over 10 years that have passed since its release, Tamborello has taken on a variety of forms, hitting on some unpredictably huge successes (mainly, as the production force behind the adored Postal Service), as well as delivering a few lukewarm releases under his Dntel and James Figurine monikers. Through it all though, the producer has never appeared insincere—for better or worse, each record has sounded like Tamborello, touched by his keen sense for melancholy and an ability to conjure up gorgeously emotive sounds. On Aimlessness, Tamborello continues in this vein, revealing a record that is nowhere near as monumental as Life Is Full of Possibilities, but nonetheless shows a producer who has gracefully matured, and is able to fit into the context of the ever-evolving electronic music scene without compromising his musical personality in the process. Read more »
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