What is it with the standard bearers of minimal techno these days? If it's not Isolee noodling around on his bass, or Wighnomy Brother Robag Wruhme going ambient, it's Ada (a.k.a. Cologne-based producer Michaela Dippel) testing out jazzier waters with finger-picked Spanish guitar. Whatever the case, it's clear that nearly a decade after the great minimal hype, the style required a bit of a makeover... and we're probably just in its foundation stage right now. That said, while it's not an impeccable album, Ada's Meine Zarten Pfoten (German for "my tender paws") does offer some pretty exciting experimentation and a few really great pop songs. Read more »
As a young co-founder of the Club Cheval crew, French DJ/producer Myd hasn't released that much material, but what he has released, we've liked. Last year, we shared with you his "Train to Bamako", a playful romp through an imagined African soundscape. Now he's back with the titular track from Octodip, his new EP on Marble. Sharing similarly playful atmospherics as his previous work, "Octodip" takes the rhythm of funky and melds it with a distinctly Gallic club sensibility, complete with pulsing compression, a "funky worm" synth line, and chopped-up vocals that wouldn't sound out of place coming from an ambulance. The Octodip EP is out now.
Really, it was only a matter of time before these two dark-pop outfits came together on a track. Taking sparse elements of an unreleased cut from 2009 by Brooklyn duo Light Asylum (pictured above), fellow goth fiends Salem create an ominous remix of "Shallow Tears" that sounds much more like a cover than anything else. The Midwestern band uses its own deep synth sounds, skittering drum-machine beats, and warbling, distorting effects to give the already sullen ballad a blown-out, far-gone tone. And though we miss the soulful, commanding baritone of Shannon Funchess, the treatments Salem uses on her voice really drive home the otherworldly vibes. (via Altered Zones)
Detroit-born, Abu Dhabi-based techno producer Kamau Baaqi (a.k.a. Darling Farah) is set to release his first EP, Exxy, on June 28. At a youthful 19 years of age, the influence of Baaqi's birthplace shines through his music. A gentle blend of dubby house and techno, Exxy is exactly what you would expect to hear in the early morning hours drifting out of a cavernous warehouse in Detroit. "Picture" is a perfect example of Baaqi's dub-tinged style with its lush, chordal stabs filtered and drenched in delay, sweeping amorphously over the top of a swung house rhythm. Faint voices reverberate in the distance as the stabs pulsate around the beat, demonstrating Kamau's ability to strip back beats while maintaining his productions' simplicity and patience.
Henry Maldonado (a.k.a. Son of Sound) and recording artist Javi Silva are the men behind Brooklyn-based vocal electro duo Native Underground. Reared in New York's underground music scene, Maldonado first made a name for himself during the late '80s and early '90s by releasing cuts on various esteemed US house labels such as Strictly Rhythm, MAW, and King Street. It wasn't until 2009 that he would meet future partner Javi Silva while auditioning male vocalists for a new project. The collaboration came to fruition with the release of "Til it Hurts" in 2010 and now the pair has released a new single, "Night Vision," on Under the Shade. The new record features remix work from Ultracity, Iron Curtis, and Brennan Green. Here, the group has offered up a free download of the prodigious Jimmy Edgar's (pictured above) disco-house-inspired rework of "Night Vision." Known for his sultry beats, unrivaled production technique, and eclectic taste, Edgar manipulates Silva's vocals and turns them into a syncopated rhythm of syllables and phonemes. Take a listen to his handiwork and also check out the video for the original version of "Night Vision" after the jump. Read more »
For several years, Diskjokke (a.k.a. Joachim Dyrdahl) was the sort of producer whose music could fairly easily be put into a neat little box. Granted, it was a really nice box; Diskjokke's lush, spaced-out productions expertly wove together Balearic strains of disco and house and were rightly lauded alongside those of Oslo contemporaries Lindstrom and Prins Thomas. However, things have changed with the release of his third album, Sagara, an ambient effort which takes its primary inspiration from Indonesian gamelan. Read more »
On his recently self-released EP, 22-year-old Bay Area producer Luca Young (a.k.a Kouta) delivers four tracks of preciously handcrafted electronics that all lean heavily on slow-moving beats and fractured vocal hooks. Productions like the syrupy "Granola" maintain an essence of early-'00s electro-pop—think DNTEL's more pensive moments—while simultaneously recalling more contemporary artists, such as Baths and Gold Panda. It's not the most original thing you're likely to hear today, but Young's attention to texture and mood certainly make these tunes worthwhile. You can download the rest of Kouta's Orinda EP here.
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