There's a reason that Trax is popularly known as "the Motown of House." Founded in 1985, the label helped to propel house music from a Chicago-based phenomenon into a national—and eventually worldwide—craze. Trax's storied, 25-year history includes a pantheon of artists that includes Frankie Knuckles, Virgo, and the "Queen of House" herself, Screamin' Rachael, who is now the label's president. And now, after celebrating its longevity last year with a 25th anniversary compilation (which also included a documentary called The House That Trax Built, the trailer for which you can view here), Trax is set to release a summer compilation aptly titled Summertrax. Featured here, Screamin' Rachael's "Extasy" is the record's opener (following a short intro by curator Jorge Cruz), and sets things up in classic '80s mode, opening with a pulsing backbeat and Rachael's sultry spoken vocals before switching into high gear with a simple-yet-infectious bassline. You can nab this joint, along with the rest of the compilation exclusively on Juno, or you can wait until its worldwide release on July 30.
This year's Sónar festival brought no shortage of progressive electronic music to the picturesque coastal city of Barcelona, and in that spirit, the Berlin software/hardware manufacturers at Native Instruments put together a five-piece "supergroup" of an ensemble for a one-off performance (though it has since booked further gigs), calling the outfit Mostly Robot. In this behind-the-scenes video, we get a glimpse of the gear which brought the crew (the ranks of which includes Jamie Lidell and Tim Exile) together, along with a few bits of its Sónar performance. Read more »
When the folks at Italians Do it Better released the first After Dark compilation five years ago, that collection of demos, covers, and original tracks rekindled many's interest in the all-but-forgotten sound of Italo disco. Now, we've gotten word that the Jersey City label will be putting out the second installment of that series, featuring both released and previously unheard tracks by acts from all over Italians Do it Better's roster. Read more »
Giving away music before an event is nothing new, but London club night/label Liminal Sounds does it a little differently. It's the only club night we know of that gives away EPs featuring tracks by performers slated to perform at the party (sometimes with remixes, too), and for the fifth and lastest release in this series, Liminal has tapped Edinburgh duo Blackwax (a.k.a. Luke Dubuis and Ross Addy). Enter "Trapped Dub," which defies the claustrophobic connotations its name might give off, as the Scottish duo crafts a sparse, dubstep-leaning track that resonates with immense bass frequencies. This digital EP also marks a milestone in Liminal's history; this Friday, the club night will be celebrating its first anniversary. The birthday bash is scheduled to take place at London's Rhythm Factory this Friday, and will feature Bubblin' Up DJ/producer Visionist, Logos, Elsewhere (who drops a remix on the b-side of this offering), Blackwax, and others. You can check out the Facebook event page for more info on Liminal's auspicous club night.
Since the early-'90s, Developer (a.k.a. Adrian Sandoval) has held down LA's techno scene as a producer and a DJ. More recently, he's also expanded his talents into maintaining and running the Modularz label, but with the label's newest offering, simply titled Modularz 8, Sandoval demonstrates that he hasn't lost his productorial touch. Take from the record's b-side, Developer's "Dirty Drive 1" is a bold, monolithic slice of deep techno that showcases subterranean atmospherics coupled with relentlessly propulsive rhythms. When Modularz 8 drops in vinyl format on July 20 (it'll drop digitally a week later), you can also expect to hear contributions by other Modularz signees, such as remixes by Markus Suckut and Jonas Kopp as well as original tracks by Stanislav Tolkachev and Truncate. You can preview both sides of the double-12" Modularz 8, after the jump. Read more »
It could never be argued that Com Truise (a.k.a. Seth Haley) lacks a distinct sound. The only thing that rivals the New Jersey producer's stylistic consistency is the apparent prolificacy with which he explores his '80s-obsessed, synth-centric world. Taking those factors into account helps make sense of why Ghostly would release a record of Haley's old demos and unreleased tracks barely a year after dropping his debut LP (not to mention the various EPs, reissues, and what not that followed); the guy just has so much of the stuff, and hey, if you're into the neon-hued space jams on Galactic Melt, chances are you'll dig just about everything else bearing the Com Truise name. But even though In Decay is very much a collection of largely run-of-the-mill tunes lifted from Hayley's backup hard drive, dusted off with a crisp remastering, and wrapped up in a nice-looking package for the fanboys, its tracklist hints at a depth hitherto unfamiliar to the "official" Com Truise discography. Read more »
Bambounou's music, the product of a blending of techno and house before topping it off with a sprinkling of UK funky, has been featured on labels like the esteemed Sound Pellegrino, where he released the collaborative Fructose EP with French tunesmith Joakim, and French Fries' ClekClekBoom label, which released his "Night" b/w "Brawl" 12" a little over a week ago. Now, the Parisian producer born Jeremy Guindo has a new offering, called Cobe, slated for release via Modeselektor's 50Weapons. Read more »
Atlantans Mite (pictured above) and Ewalk made blips on the bass-music world's radar when they released their collaborative digital Body Tap EP via B.YRSLF Division back in May. The partnership between the label head (Mite is co-founder of Embassy Recordings) and the relative newcomer (Body Tap was Ewalk's first ever release) proved to be fruitful, as the two beatsmiths have collaborated once again to put together "YKK (Denim Smile)." On this track, the duo follows a similar formula to what had made Body Tap such a fun listen: They douse their low end-heavy 808 rhythms—undoubtedly influenced by their ATL upbringings—with huge helpings of amped-up vocal samples and glossy synth tones.
The production/blogger duo known as Bicep continues to be one of the most dependable outfits of 2012, following up its essential "$tripper" 12" with a surprisingly dark—but no less worthwhile—EP of house-minded rollers, and enlisting Ejeca and Omar Odyssey (a.k.a. Serge Santiago) to collaborate on the effort. Finding an appropriate home on London's equally dependable Aus imprint—which, it should be said, appears well on the way to having its best year yet—You/Don't strikes a balance between being intelligent, subtle, and utterly ideal for the dancefloor. Read more »
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