It's that time again, folks—that time when we reveal to you the most downloaded tracks from XLR8R's highly curated selection of MP3s (and let you download them again, of course!) for the month. Read more »
San Francisco's Kush Arora has put together a new EP of international proportions, tapping the UK's Lady Chann, NYC’s Jah Dan, Chicago’s MC Zulu, Oakland's Undah P, and reemerging Kingston legend Mega Banton to contribute their vast vocal flavors to Arora's funky, futuristic dancehall. For Banton's featured track (which, coincidentally, kicked-off Chrissy Murderbot's XLR8R podcast a few months back), the enigmatic MC rips through an astonishing amount of phrases while bombastic horns and pummeling drums charge behind him. Of course, no Arora production would be complete without the right touch of sinister synth work, and "Shake Sitten" is no different, save for the fact that its intensity is perfectly matched by Banton's blistering vocals. The Spanish Street Riddim EP (artwork above) sees its release August 10, with a special release show—our Bay Area readers will be happy to notice—going down in SF that night (full details here).
For anyone who's had the pleasure of seeing Richie Hawtin's alter-ego Plastikman in its recent incarnation around the world, it should be fairly obvious that there is quite a complex system behind the multimedia experience that is Plastikman Live. Hawtin recently shared some in-depth insight into the elements that make the show possible with Burn Studios (who also had the techno legend briefly discuss his thoughts on art, technology, and success in another video, which you'll find after the jump). Read more »
Over the past 14 months, the Irish Hsüan imprint has been carving out its own space in the bass music world with releases from up-and-comers Drop/Dead, Blacktee, and EOMAC, among others. Now, the label has passed along a track from another burgeoning producer, Pneumatic, who has a forthcoming release for Hsüan slated for later this month. Humbly beginning as a sparse, soulful beat of the futuristic variety, the Irish producer takes to chopping a pitched-up female vocal amongst a host of cyclical synth lines for the first half of the six-plus minute track. Then a few hints of what's to come start to appear—sped-up percussion, a brooding bassline—and finally Pneumatic lets it all go, launching the track into garage territory at just the right moment.
Although JTRP hails from Germany, the duo's relatively short career to date has found the group seemingly inextricably tied to London, most likely because of its relationship with the Deep Teknologi collective. The Hypnotise EP is JTRP's second release on the label, the first being a self-titled EP which dropped early in the year. Read more »
The purple-dinosaur-suit-wearing producer known as Mochipet is a week away from releasing his latest LP, Chicxulub (artwork above), for the 1320 label. Here, we have the record's first single, an energetic slice of epic beat work that matches videogame-style arpeggiators (check the title) along with an over-powering breakbeat and a healthy dose of low-end rumble. Considering "Yoshi's Dinosaur Egg Hunt" is only the second track of the album, which is said to serve as "the soundtrack for an animated novel in which the dinosaurs make their way through the impact of the comet believed to have destroyed them," it's safe to say that Chicxulub is going to be one propulsive collection of boom-bappery when it drops August 16. You can check the full tracklist (which begins to outline the dinosaur novel's plot line) after the jump. Read more »
Air France is so good. However, they aren't exactly prolific, last releasing a single in 2009 and only a couple of EPs before that. Earlier this morning, the Swedish dream-pop duo arose from its lengthy slumber and offered up "It Feels Good to Be Around You" as a free download via the Sincerely Yours website. The song doesn't have any real surprises, as the pair fills the track with wispy, vaguely Balearic synths, steel drum samples, subtle dance beats, and pleasantly melancholy vocals. Unfortunately, the group didn't offer any clues as to whether more new music is on the way. That said, these guys are Swedish. Can't we start some kind of petition for the government over there to finance an Air France full-length? That's how those Scandinavian countries work, right? (We admittedly have no idea.)
Like many of his peers in the Detroit metro area, Alex "Omar" Smith (a.k.a. Omar-S) has a strong working relationship with the auto industry. Reputedly working for the Ford Motor Company as a quality control inspector, Omar-S just might be a perfect fit to release tracks on the only dance music label owned by a car company. Read more »
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