UK producer Hyetal has whipped the percussion composed by Brooklyn group Lemonade into a manic patter on his remix of "Softkiss." The original tune, a standout cut from Lemonade's new Diver LP, has emerged from Hyetal's creative process stripped of its lyrics and imbued with blasts of white noise. At the beginning of "Softkiss (Hyetal Remix)," before any beat has kicked in, the fuzzy interjections startle and offset the twinkling melodies which the tunesmith wove throughout his mix. After getting your fill of this new version of Lemonade's jam, check out the band's forthcoming UK/Eurpoean tour dates, after the jump. Read more »
While we await the forthcoming sophomore LP by Keysound label heads Dusk & Blackdown, the duo's imprint will release a four-track 12" as the first installment of the Keysound Allstars series on August 6, but you can listen to the whole thing—featuring exclusive tunes from Visionist, Walton, Gremino, and Vibezin—now. Read more »
With the house renaissance now in full swing, Deniz Kurtel does deserve a bit of credit for attempting to go against the grain on her sophomore LP, delivering a collection of songs that bares little comparison to her 2011 debut, Music Watching Over Me (which saw a release on the monster Crosstown Rebels imprint). To that point, The Way We Live offers up little in the way of dense, rolling tunes, instead operating in the electro-tinged, soul-laden regions of funkified electronic music. The resulting 12 tracks dip into surprisingly slower tempos, frequently landing in hip-hop BPM ranges, as Kurtel and her cast of collaborators weave together strange pieces of house-indebted fare. Unfortunately, amidst the album's constant push and pull between art and pop and its attempt to forge new sonic ground, Kurtel seems to have forgotten an essential part of music production—to make it interesting. Read more »
Johannesburg MC Okmalumkoolkat (a.k.a. Smiso Zwane, pictured above) has collaborated once again with London-based production trio LV on a bonus cut that premiered via German magazine Spex's website. The trio also teamed up with Cape Town tunesmith Das Kapital for fiery jam "Inhliziyo Yami Izibozi," on which arpeggiated synths and thudding kicks sink into a deep grime wobble under Okmalumkoolkat's mumbled rhymes. The MC seems to trade off between rapping in English and a lisping African tongue, but somehow manages to repeat the phrase "follow me on Twitter" clearly every time. "Inhliziyo Yami Izibozi" wasn't included on LV's recent Get a Grip EP, nor will it appear on the trio's upcoming album, Sebenza, which drops on September 4 via Hyperdub.
Moving from DJ to label owner would seem like a natural progression. Lively UK radio personality Heidi (née Heidi Van Den Amstel) has recently embarked on this path, building upon her BBC radio show and traveling European party brand with The Jackathon, a DJ mix of exclusive material harkening back to the boompity house sounds of the Big Apple during the late '80s and early '90s, and, now, a label, Jackathon Jams, dedicated to the endeavor. Nevertheless, skill as a selector doesn't automatically translate to success in releasing artists' original work. When it comes to the former, Heidi has her pick of the litter, so to speak. She finds a great song, and she plays it. In commissioning all-new material for her first commercial mix endeavor—from a respected cast of contemporary producers, no less—she had to make do with the results, and not everything on The Jackathon lived up to the name. The mix certainly had its weak points, but so long as Heidi can maintain the ear for quality that she's used to build up her well-deserved reputation over the years, she should be able to curate more carefully moving forward. Judging from the material on the premier release for her newly minted imprint, it's already starting to happen. Read more »
News flash: Soundsystems are important! It seems like a simple fact, but still one that is so often overlooked in the hustle and bustle of party promoting and club nights. The subject is discussed further in this video from the folks behind Croatia's Dimensions Festival, as we get a chance to hear a bit of the frustrations and joys inherent across the entire spectrum of soundsystem reinforcement from three men—Mala, Carl Craig, and Midland—who have seen their share of it all. Read more »
Oakland producer Shortcircles (a.k.a. Matt Tammariello) has unleashed his new Remember Me EP today, which arrives with a remix from XLR8R contributor and fellow Bay Area beatmaker Glenn Jackson. Jackson's rework of "Searching for a Reason," the original of which comes from Shortcircles' self-titled EP from earlier this year, allows the clicking hi-hats and wavering synths to build for a minute before introducing its uptempo house rhythm. And though this version of the tune places more emphasis on the percussion elements, it thankfully doesn't sacrifice Shortcircles' penchant for wandering melodies. After grabbing "Searching for a Reason (Glenn Jackson Remix)," make sure to nab the rest of the Remember Me EP after the jump. Read more »
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