At this point, it's beyond cliché to say, "the internet is amazing," but when a track like "Even Though (Teen Daze Remix)" drops into our inbox, it's hard not to marvel at the wonders of the information superhighway. After all, none of the three parties involved—San Francisco's Giraffage (pictured above), Orlando's XXYYXX, and Vancouver's Teen Daze—live even remotely close to one another others, which means they likely bonded online over an affinity for each other's SoundClouds. The original "Even Though" will appear on the forthcoming Kitsuné America compilation, but has also been released as a stand-alone single with remixes by Slow Magic, Reid, The One AM Radio, and this take from Teen Daze. While the Canadian beatmaker is often lumped in with the chillwave crowd, his remix swaps out the song's clicky hip-hop beats and sparkling synths for a propulsive 4/4 rhythm and some housey piano chords. It's an interesting turn from Teen Daze, and solid work from all the artists involved, even if they've never actually met in person.
When we spoke with Berlin-based techno/robo-funk producer Jimmy Edgar about Majenta, his forthcoming LP for Scuba's Hotflush imprint, he described it as "something more concise and raw," before going on to say, "A lot of the ideas are based on consciousness shift." Now you can figure out exactly what he meant, as the whole album is currently available to stream. Read more »
It wasn't that long ago that Lapalux (a.k.a. Stuart Howard) was just another young UK producer perking up people's ears with a hard-to-define mix of low-end-heavy, but undeniably experimental, sounds. Even when we tabbed him as a Bubblin' Up artist last summer, largely on the strength on his then-fresh Many Faces Out of Focus EP, the full extent of his potential was only beginning to reveal itself. Then came this year's When You're Gone EP, released on Flying Lotus' Brainfeeder imprint, which displayed a whole new level of sophistication and a real penchant for sonic whimsy. With this kind of skill at his disposal, we were curious to see exactly what Lapalux could do if tasked with putting together an exclusive mix for the XLR8R podcast series. Read more »
Maybe you've noticed, maybe you haven't, but Ad Hoc, a new online source for underground/DIY music from the editors of the now-defunct Altered Zones, is finally up and running—an occasion which will soon be celebrated with the release of a compilation featuring unreleased gems from the likes of How to Dress Well, Grimes, Anenon, Laurel Halo, Blondes, Solar Bears, and Matthewdavid, among tons of others. Here, we have Pictureplane's exclusive contribution, "White Lightz." Producer Travis Egedy's bass-driven and trancey tune bursts with blown-out dance beats, cacophonous synths, and the artist's hushed vocal work throughout its five-minute span. Keep on the lookout for the rest of Ad Hoc's massive compilation (nearly 50 tracks!) to appear later this month over on its Bandcamp.
Let's get one thing out of the way, first and foremost: Light Asylum, the debut LP from Brooklyn duo Light Asylum, is unceasingly, unflinchingly, unapologetically born of the '80s. The record's sound is so entrenched in the aural aesthetics of classic drum machines, analog synthesizers, and vintage genres (industrial/EBM, darkwave, and early synth-pop, mostly) that the music could be rightfully thought of as regressive. It's almost as though singer Shannon Funchess and producer Bruno Coviello previously agreed on a set of rules and constraints—gated reverb on every snare hit, no obvious software plugins, hands off all machine presets, no "live" instruments, etc.—which they'd never stray from while working on their album's 10 songs. Surprisingly or not, Light Asylum actually makes excellent use of the limited toolbox on its self-titled full-length, exhibiting a powerful range of moods and styles despite a more or less obsessive love for antiquated niche pop. Read more »
Two institutions of the current West Coast house scene, Portland's Miracles Club (pictured above) and San Francsico's Honey Soundsystem crew, have announced they will join forces for a three-day tour up and down the West Coast. Read more »
San Francisco outfit Exray's is just about two months from the release of its second full-length, Trust a Robot, and has enlisted West Coast beatmaker Devonwho for a pleasantly disjointed remix of one of its cuts. The Bay Area-via-Portland producer stripped the original song of pretty much everything but its rounded bass and synth tones, which he expertly applies to a stuttering rhythm and some sporadic vocal samples on this herky-jerky version of Exray's "Ancient Thing."
The last few years have witnessed UK DJ/producer Jamie Jones rise to the top of the house and techno scene using a signature formula. Jones' tunes are characterized by funky basslines in an exceptionally low register, hypnotic and often dissonant synths, and a dark, minimalist aesthetic. While this method has netted Jones quite a collection of high-caliber dancefloor successes, the pieces don't quite come together on "Our Time in Liberty," which ends up feeling entirely too dissonant and lacks his typical groove. Read more »
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