London producer Rival Consoles (a.k.a. Ryan Lee West) crafts a delicate interpretation of German duo SpringerParker's "Libretto," from the upcoming album There Are Places in Our Heads One Can Travel To (out on November 23). West preserves the warbling Norwegian vocals of opera singer Lilly Jørstad and the piano melody from the original, but he also puts his own touch onto the track, layering it with fuzzy synth bass, drums, guitar, and rustling noise. This track can be found on the recently released Polar Circle & Remixes, alongside a remix of "Arctic Flowers" by Benoît Pioulard and "Tundra," an original track from SpringerParker's upcoming album. You can preview that record over on Butterfly Collectors' website, here.
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. First up was leftfield beatmaker and LA native Shlohmo, who spoke about his experience living in New York, his impending return to the West Coast, and the multiple sides of his musical personality. Read more »
Driving digital funk is the style Stockholm-based Fredrik Mjelle (a.k.a. Beem) is working with on his second release for the Flogsta Danshall imprint, Sings with His Hands. "Race to Digital" is a romantic and emotional romp through glinting, squealing synthesizers and what sounds like a harmonica lifted straight from and '80s infomercial. The effect is one of longing and re-appropriated kitsch; the charmingly nostalgic lilt of the melodies is enhanced by a grinding, mid-range-heavy bass synth that realigns the jam into a contemporary context. Listeners attuned to the works of France's Fulgeance and dÉbruit will no doubt be enamored with Mjelle's richly realized aesthetic. Beem's eight-track Sings with His Hands LP is out on June 12, but you can check out its tracklist, along with a teaser video for the album, after the jump. Read more »
Preceding his live performance at an upcoming Hyperdub event at KOKO (part of the Hidden Depths series of label showcases at the London venue), UK Funky stalwart DVA mixed a 40-minute session of material from his label's expansive discography. Read more »
It's hard to imagine that a person as reserved and unassuming as LA producer Jimmy Tamborello is behind some of the strongest and most widely loved electronic music to be released in the last decade or so. He's a man of many accomplishments who wears even more hats. As a youngster during the late '90s in Figurine, Tamborello helped lay the groundwork for the coming onslaught of synth-pop revivalists; as Dntel he crafts tender and sullen IDM whilst working with a wide range of vocalists; his best known project with singer Ben Gibbard, The Postal Service, has made the multi-faceted artist about as close to a household name as any softspoken music lover could hope to become. Read more »
Rupert Taylor has been consistently prolific over the years, with releases dating back to 2009 for a variety of labels. He's tried his hand at garage, house, hardcore, and just about everything in between, but his latest as xxxy sees the producer exploring the retro American flavors of electro and acid house in rambunctious fashion. "Werk" tears out of the gate with a blisteringly uptempo beat that seems to have percussion coming at it from all directions in a cavalcade of shakers, hi-hats, and snares. Detuned pads and a pitched-down vocal urging the crowd to keep pace set the stage for a funky, head-bobbing bassline, cowbells, and shape-shifting, vocoded synths. The Bash EP will feature three new tracks from xxxy in addition to two remixes from French Fries and Isotonik, and is available this week on 12" and digital formats from Halocyan. You can check out the record's other two tunes, "Bash" and "Give in to You," after the jump. Read more »
There are essentially two primary components that made Kuedo's Severant LP our eleventh favorite album of 2011: drums and synths. Really, you could potentially say that about a ton of records, but what made Jamie Teasdale's productions stand out among the crowd is how he applied his Roland 808s and his Juno 60s (or their sonic equivalents) in ways that are simultaneously nostalgic, futuristic, and of the now—evoking both the ethereal Blade Runner soundtrack and Lex Luger's menacing trap beats at once. Kuedo's new single, "Work, Live & Sleep in Collapsing Space," aims for that same sound—albeit on the grimier end of the spectrum—using the same tools, but somehow lands in a zone which is relatively unfamiliar to Severant's tracklist. Read more »
Vancouver imprint Hybridity focuses on artists who combine production prowess with a talent for live performance, and with local artist Calamalka, the label has found its archetype. Utilizing his experience as a composer for short films and interactive gaming, as well as using his background as a drummer to foster an innate rhythmic sensibility in his beatmaking, the producer born Michael Campitelli displays a multi-dimensional side to his music with "Bad Scene." Fluorescent synthesizers heave to and fro over a cataclysmic pendulum beat, which is strung together by syncopated computer blips and a kick that's set to a slow, stomping march. As the song builds steam, new synths begin to spill over the heavily side-chained compression in a whirlwind of panning color that melts away only within the last five seconds. "Bad Scene" is taken from Calamalka's forthcoming LP, All the Way Up, which will be available on July 24.
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