We're introduced to "Golden Horn" by a heaving, descending sub tone, one which signals a certain type of artist has arrived. Getting support from such luminaries as Gilles Peterson and Mary Anne Hobbs is no small feat, and the work of London producer Blacksmif doesn't rely upon a simple formula. Swiping jazz progressions and longing vocals from vintage sources and re-assembling them to create a laid-back stepper's rhythm complete with congas is one way of beginning to describe Blacksmif's work on "Golden Horn," but when listening to this unreleased tune, it's the sumptuous sum of these disparate parts that hits hardest. On May 21, he'll will be releasing a new single, "Hoop Dreams" b/w "Microweight," for BlahBlahBlah, but you can stream the full release and a new Blacksmif mixtape now, after the jump. Read more »
It was never entirely fair that Simian Mobile Disco got lumped into the whole electro-house movement back in the mid 2000s; really, it was just the result of convenient marketing. James Ford and Jas Shaw had simply emerged from the ashes of UK pop outfit Simian as a couple of talented and knowledgable producers with an impressive arsenal of analog gear and a propensity for hook-heavy dance tunes, all of which eventually culminated as a few larger-than-life singles. Really, it was just a coincidence of timing that these two Brits became the unwitting godfathers of one of the more gaudy moments in club music's past. So, when SMD followed its excellent debut LP with a record of try-hard electro-pop tracks, it felt wrong; it sounded wrong, too. The list of high-profile vocalists featured on Temporary Pleasure practically overshadowed the two artists who actually made the music. The producers also appeared to have set their sights on the radio rather than the club when writing the album, and its soul was compromised as a result. What a relief it is then that Unpatterns, the third long-player from Ford and Shaw, places its focus squarely where it belongs: the dancefloor-specific beats and single-appropriate hooks of the pair's unique production style. Read more »
Filtered bass drones fly in overhead on this new tune from Last Japan, which features the distinctive drawl of London's Trim. Apparently his final record before cutting an exclusive deal to work on a debut full-length with Rinse, the Roll Deep member hops to and fro over a shiny, chromed-out half-step beat. The rhythms descend into the gutter on the back of those aforementioned bass drones, finding the track's soft spots and attacking with the reclined, but metaphor-twisting flow Trim is known for. Last Japan's instrumental provides a suitable backdrop for the MC's mystical, London-sage style of storytelling, with bright rays of synth darting under the verses and lighting Trim's lyrical path ahead. "East" is out now on Bullet Train; preview the entire East EP after the jump. Read more »
Montreal's d'Eon will release his debut full-length, LP (artwork above), early next month via Hippos in Tanks, but has been maintaining a stream of free music in the meantime. Following his second volume of the potentially ongoing Music for Keyboards mixtape series, the talented artist has bequeathed an actual album cut to the online masses. "Al-Qiyamah" is the final track from LP, and offers an ideal balance between d'Eon's loves for ambient synth music and turn of the century R&B and pop music—not to mention heavy pan-religious references. (via FADER)
The mysterious Leeds-based producer who goes by Last Magpie has only one release using that moniker, but the quality of his EP, No More Stories (artwork above), suggests considerable experience under his other alias, which purportedly exists and is quite well known, but has yet to be revealed. No More Stories was released back in March via Hypercolour offshoot Losing Suki, and the title track was notably featured on Maya Jane Coles' DJ-Kicks mix. "I Need U," an exclusive cut that will not appear on any official releases, shows off Last Magpie's well-developed production skills in the form of a bouncy bit of UK garage. The song incorporates a subtle synth melody and soft chords over a 2-stepping drum pattern, accompanied by intriguing manipulations of Destiny Child's tender 2001 cover of "Emotion," originally written by the Bee Gees.
MSRP: $89, Soniccouture
A proper electric piano is not the cheapest or easiest thing in the world to acquire and keep in good, working condition, especially a classic like the Fender Rhodes Stage 73 or the Wurlitzer 200A. In an attempt to address this problem, Ableton has teamed up with the botique software instrument designers at Soniccouture for Electric Pianos, a Live-only instrument that aims to offer those low on funds access to pristine electric piano sounds. Read more »
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