Montreal is just too fucking cute. Honestly, the word picturesque doesn't do justice to this place. It's like a charming wonderland with vintage architecture, cute food, urban greenery (so many trees!), great music, fashionable people, and a laid-back, devil-may-care lifestyle. If it wasn't for the brutal winters, Montreal might be in serious danger of overpopulation. Of course, among the city's many accolades is the fact that Montreal is home to MUTEK. Now in its 13th year, MUTEK continues to be one of the most cutting-edge festivals on the planet, an impeccably curated event that brings together innovators from the worlds of technology, visual arts, and music and explores the interesting territories where their efforts overlap. Of course, part of that exploration includes the presentation of a whole lot of electronic music, which is probably why XLR8R was invited once again to take part in the festivities. Read more »
Sampling as an art form is often overlooked in lieu of more prominent parts to a song, such as a lead synth or the beat. But the right sample in the wrong hands can prove to be staid or even disastrous, and even a poorly ripped sample or phrase utilized by a smoother touch can fall short. "Test Me," a new jam from Flosstradamus (pictured above) and Jersey native DJ Sliink (one of our Bubblin' Up producers), thankfully knows how to work its central motif by battering the sample into submission with rushes of chrome-tipped hi-hats, gut-rumbling 808s, and an adroit sense of dancefloor pacing that dips, weaves, and cuts at just the right spots. The vocal snippets are left to drip and ooze into the crevices of the beat, emerging around the midway mark for a full-throated beckoning that will whip even the most skeptical party into an absolute frenzy. "Test Me" is off of Flosstradamus & DJ Sliink's forthcoming new EP, called Nomads, which will be out via Fool's Gold in the coming months.
It seems that the Super Nintendo stylings of Southern Californian patron of bit-crunched sound Groundislava has been updated for 2012. Producer Jasper Patterson's latest work, which will soon appear on an EP and an album later this summer, features a more robust and refined aesthetic that sees him departing from 16-bit to, well, 32-bit. "Weekend in the Tropics" showcases this evolved approach with spindly reggae chords dappled over cowbell-accented drums and a bouncy little bassline that portrays a similar sentiment to any surving chillwavers. Taken from the upcoming TV Dream EP, the tune is undoubtedly lo-fi and comes from the same mindframe that crafted his previous efforts on Friends of Friends, but listen closely and you can hear a little more thump, a little more texture, and even a pop sensibility begin to come through. Look for Groundislava's new five-track EP on June 26.
Recently released via Marble, "Chords" is a new track from High Powered Boys' Streetwise EP, a glistening experience in complimentary synthesizer textures and softly rolling, smoothly contoured percussion. Surkin's and Bobmo's collaborative tune opens with airy, spacious chords ringing out over ascending vocal pads that give way to a strumming bassline and quick, driving snaps. The interpolating melodies and morphing nature of the jam is best exemplified when an agile arpeggio struts into view halfway through, captivating the listener as even more synths enter the fray after it. Have a listen to the duo's Streetwise EP in full, and be sure to check out the accompanying video for the record's title track, after the jump. Read more »
West Norwood Cassette Library's final offering in its quietly impressive run of 10" singles (a series which has been running since 2010 and included the debut of Blawan and Pariah's Karenn project) closes on a high note with an original tune that merges East Coast garage with a touch of summertime flair and comes backed by a masterful remix from Hessle co-head Pangaea. Read more »
The work of new Irish producer Frank B came to us by way of XL star Jamie xx, who dropped one of his tunes in a recent set on the Emerald Isle. Now we're treated to "Chain of Fools," a shape-shifting house number with classic Chicago etchings all over its six-minute frame. Weighted and pristine production values don't hurt, but it's the crafty way in which Frank B introduces each element of the song that really marks this young producer as one to watch. Razor-sharp hi-hats scatter left and right off of propulsive kick drums and a thrusting chord melody, which are put into the service of a diva whose siren call is diced into a myriad of arrangements to create a soulful, hands-in-the-air kind of dancefloor experience. We haven't been able to dig up much information about this mysterious new artist, but you can be sure we'll be keeping our eye out for what comes next from Frank B.
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