Young Jasper Patterson has been doing his thing as Groundislava for some time now—roughly four years, actually. Most of that timespan has seen the producer toying with blippy 8-bit video game sounds and punchy instrumental hip-hop, attempting over and over to find the perfect balance between that kind of niche pop-culture nostalgia and the most nod-worthy of beats. Truthfully, it's relatively familiar territory, especially for an LA-based artist making tracks with a computer. His self-titled LP for SoCal imprint Friends of Friends, which is over a year old now, exhibited 12 examples of that same pairing over the course of about an hour, and yielded a fair amount of surprises, despite the fact that Groundislava was working with well-worn ideas. But it appears that the LP was more than enough to get this stylistic impulse out of his system, as Patterson's latest record, the TV Dream EP, eschews shoehorning more hip-hop tropes into his emotive synth melodies in favor of a focus on refashioning elements of '80s synth-pop. Read more »
London producer Visionist (a.k.a. Louis Carnell) has really come a long way. Back in February, we featured him in our Bubblin' Up series as he rode the wave of popularity gained from an EP and single for Diskotopia and 92 Points, respectively. Now, he's back again, and this time with his own digital label called Lost Codes, which he's introducing to the world by offering this exclusive cut by American beatmaker Sd Laika. "36" is an unabashedly bass-heavy banger that sounds inspired in equal parts by grime and similarly minded Americans, like Starkey or Eprom, and features dirty synths that constantly change octaves, as well as a fair amount of gun cocking littered through the beat. Sd Laika has also been slated to produce the first release for Lost Codes, a six-track EP called Unknown Vectors (artwork above), which is set to drop in July.
London's George Fitzgerald opened this week's XLR8R podcast with two slices of soulful, bass-heavy house from his label ManMakeMusic. One of them, "Don't Know Why" by Brighton-based producer Leon Vynehall, will be included on the imprint's next release, which also happens to be Vynehall's second record. Read more »
The ticking beat, rising tides of low end and ghastly vocal samples that The Range (a.k.a. James Hinton) uses in "Nothing Left" arouse a heavy-hearted energy in the Rhode Islander's production. Although the vocals are hard to place at first, the lyrics ("Til the lights go out, til the smoke clears out") make the sample easier to identify; they're lines form Nate Dogg's contribution to Eminem's "Till I Collapse," pitched up and diced to the point that the words are nearly unrecognizable. "Nothing Left" will be officially released in late July, when The Range unleashes his five-track Disk EP via Donky Pitch.
The best mix series are institutions. Like academies acknowledging talent within their field of focus, the top series in the DJ world—Fabric, DJ-KiCKs, and the like—serve as litmus tests for electronic-music talent you should take note of. Berlin's Watergate, like Fabric, has proven that it can translate its club appeal to a packaged product and that it knows how to cherry pick the right DJs to help with the job. Across its 11 releases, it has snagged some top-tier names in techy house, including Ellen Allien, Tiefshwarz, and, now, Diynamic label owner Solomun. Read more »
About a month ago, one of the "friends" on Diplo's new BBC 1Xtra program Diplo & Friends, Buraka Som Sistema's J-Wow, kicked off his mix with "Cameron," a siren-heavy, collaborative tune from Seattle's Astronomar and Melbourne-bred Swick. The two producers have been working together from across the world on their upcoming Horse Code EP for Enchufada, which drops on June 25. The record features three cuts of high-energy, juke-influenced rhythms and sliced-up vocal samples like those heard on "Cameron," which boasts pugnacious kick drums surrounded by vacuums of white noise and hectic air raid horns.
The 2012 edition of Sónar certainly kept us busy—check our review for proof—but amidst all the activity, XLR8R did manage to convince a couple of our favorite artists to sit down for a quick chat during the festival. Nina Kraviz actually pulled double duty at Sónar, performing live on Friday night in the SonarDôme and then closing out Sonar by Night in the early hours of the next day. We spoke with her soon after, and although she was operating on little to no sleep, the Russian producer happily talked about her Sonár experiences (past and present) and her new live show. Read more »
Last week, California-based label Body High—run by Samo Sound Boy and LOL Boys' Jerome Potter—posted a preview of the six tracks included in its newest release. The record arrives today from LA producer Floyd Campbell, whose bio remains more or less a mystery. "Drifted," the title track from the elusive artist's brand-new EP, revels in a rain of stuttering percussion and dollops of gummy synth tones that glide from stereo to mono. The tinny melody and heavily edited vocal samples take a page from LOL Boys' playbook, as Campbell matches tweaked tropical melodies and monosyllabic vocal samples with the sheer intensity of his track's machinegun beat.
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