Though dark, muddled, and vintage-inspired sounds are nothing out of the ordinary at this point, New Orleans' duo Belong has been mining the depths of such music for about five years now, and is releasing a brand-new LP soon via Chicago label Kranky, too. This cut, called "Perfect Life," lies just about in the center of the outfit's forthcoming Common Era album (pictured above), and shines with a murky glow through the layered shadows of distorted synth hooks, distant drum-machine patterns, and dense white noise. It's like New Order performing its first single from the bottom of the ocean, or a transmission of a band like, say, Cold Cave, broadcast from the opposite end of our galaxy. You can see how the rest of Belong's record compares when it drops on March 21.
Musician/producer/engineer Phil Manley (of Trans Am, Jonas Reinhardt, and The Fucking Champs fame) recently shared with us the title track from his brand-new LP for Thrill Jockey, called Life Coach, and now we're treated to a funny video from the San Francisco-based artist. Read more »
The NYC-based, Andy Butler-fronted, vintage disco- and house-loving ensemble Hercules & Love Affair just unleashed its second LP of such classically inspired music, entitled Blue Songs—the first single of which is a song by the name of "My House." Given that that tune is so heavily indebted to old-school Chicago house, it's no surprise at all that one of the godfathers of that scene, Derrick Carter, was commissioned to remix the catchy number. Read more »
The buzz about James Blake has been building for well over a year via a series of well-received post-post-dubstep releases on au courant imprints Hemlock, Hessle Audio, and R&S. A professional association with Mount Kimbie, the experimental bass duo with whom he shares some noble qualities—a nerdy-but-cool bravura, pioneering spirit, and youthful ambition—has also aided in his ascent. Read more »
New York chill-poppers Small Black have sent over this video for their dreamy indie-casio-pop tune, "Photojournalist" (the MP3 for which we posted quite a few months back), from their debut LP, New Chain. The video features a rather abstract storyline that involves a few girls (most likely the same girl at different ages?) buying fruit, opening a locker, applying make-up, and visiting an aquarium. A single symbolic bouquet floating in shallow water and some slick image overlaying leaves this one pretty open to interpretation. We're leaning towards the coming-of-age-story side of things, but that's the beauty of ambiguous art—you can make of it what you want. New Chain (which you can read our review of here) is out now on Jagjaguwar. Check the band's upcoming tour dates on their way to SXSW after the jump. Read more »
Following a couple of his singles and EPs released last year, not to mention our own podcast from the veteran UK DJ/producer, MJ Cole will drop a brand-new EP via his own Prolific Recordings label. The Satellite EP will feature four tracks of the UK garage/funky sounds and styles Cole is renowned for, and will be available to purchase on March 7. Read more »
Marklion is the new project of Vincent Thierion, a former member of French electro trio Dat Politics. Here we have a track from his new EP, You, and it is an absolute marathon through a delicious variety of analog synthesizer tones, from the square-wave to the acid-soaked and all the rest in between. Thierion skillfully blends and manipulates his rich array of sounds for over eight minutes, employing some classic techno drum work to help move the whole thing along and ensuring that even if you get lost in the shuffle (which you probably will) of pulsating synthesizer rhythms, you'll still be able to find the back-beat and keep your feet moving. If you're interested in taking a trip down XLR8R's memory lane, this MP3 reminded us of the first ever XLR8R TV episode, which featured Thierion's former group playing at Oakland's now-defunct 21 Grand performance space. Oh, 2007! Marklion's debut EP, You, is out now.
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