Belgium is bursting at the seams with funked-up, beat-obsessed producers these days, and this latest track from Strand finds the burgeoning, electrifying sound in fine form. "Strandalicious" fires ray after ray of molten-hot synthesizer licks throughout its three-minute run time, the melodies ricoheting around a pitch-shifting drum pattern that hovers above an oscillating bassline. The artist, who is actually Spanish but currently resides in Brussels, is set to release a 10-track digital LP with Lowriders Collective, called Slam Funk, which will also have an abbreviated version of six or seven tracks pressed to wax in a run of 300 copies. Having previously been remixed by Hudson Mohawke and Funckarma, expect a suitably exuberant experience from Strand when his new release comes out next week.
An outfit slowly rising to the top of Oakland's budding electronic renaissance, James & Evander (which, incidentally, counts XLR8R contributor and West in Dust label co-head Glenn Jackson as one of its two members) has announced it will release its debut full-length via Velvet Blue. Read more »
Curdling synthesizers suffocated by unstable, bruising kick drums: a sign of '90s-era techno set to a sunrise. Sure, we get it, but when guitars and samples sneak into this remix by Japanese producer aus (pictured above), we're left without such tidy little boxes to place the music in. "Requiem for Genome (aus Remix)" is a transformation from Geskia's original track into a throbbing, organic dance number that refuses to sit still—spewing shards of folk, house, and industrial techno into the surrounding environs in a fleet-footed, cacophonous bout of organized chaos. Twitchy and restless yet thoroughly engrossing, the track is part of a disc of remixes that will accompany the special-edition version of Geskia's new album, 323 Sayonara Memories, on April 27, when it drops via Home Normal.
Now, here's something you don't find on XLR8R every day: a track made almost entirely of non-synthesized sound. Musician/composer William Ryan Fritch impeccably combines dissonant string arrangements, jangly percussion, and ever so subtle touches of electronics into a three-minute instrumental on the title track from his forthcoming third LP as Vieo Abiungo. The results sound something like Johnny Greenwood's soundtrack for There Will Be Blood, if it was all boiled down into a short burst of voiceless, experimental, beat-driven chamber pop. The Thunder May Have Ruined the Moment will arrive on April 17, complete with a DVD of short visual pieces by filmmaker Pete Monro, the mesmerizing preview of which you can watch after the jump. Read more »
As the description reads on this young San Francisco artist's SoundCloud page, "Avalon Emerson will not transcend genre (the job of Cage and Prince and avocado pho), but her no-brow style might transcend the meta tags of your brain’s dumbass heart." Emerson obviously isn't one to mince words when describing her work, and the sarcastic-yet-honest attitude fits her new production, "Horoscope," to a tee. A bounding kick drum and some very loose, pleasantly disorienting toms run rampant across this seven-and-a-half-minute behemoth, which also features Emerson playfully asking us to join in on the hedonism in a series of incomprehensible toasts. Add a twist of carnival-referencing organ melodies to the mix, and you're left with an intoxicating blend of festivities ripe for springtime sunshine.
While the man has been responsible more than a few dancefloor heaters, Untold (a.k.a. Jack Dunning) has never been known for crafting music that's particularly light or happy. The Hemlock boss specializes in dark textures, which are often supplemented by hard-hitting percussion and thick bass tones. That said, his sound, which initially proved rather uniform, has substantially evolved in recent years, and continues to do so. Change in a Dynamic Environment Part I, the first chapter of an announced trilogy, marks the London producer's return to Hemlock, Dunning's first release on his own label since 2009's Gonna Work Out Fine EP. In truth, the songs here sound almost nothing like that record's title track or "No One Likes a Smart-Arse," yet Untold continues to sail in ominously compelling waters. Read more »
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