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Review: Dark Sky Black Rainbows EP

Label: Black Acre

Over the past two years, London trio Dark Sky has clawed its way into the bass-music conversation on the back of strong releases for labels such as Black Acre, Pictures Music, Blunted Robots, and 50 Weapons. The strong label pedigree certainly hasn't hurt the young outfit's profile, but the success of Dark Sky can be boiled down to one simple element: drums. More specifically, big, clacking, organic-sounding drums. Often juxtaposed against pastoral melodies which only amplified their impact, Dark Sky's drums capture the snappy, steppy immediacy of UK funky, even as the group utilizes those infectious rhythms in a variety of different ways. Black Rainbows is the trio's latest offering, and marks a return to the Black Acre imprint. Once again, the drums are awfully important, but the record also finds Dark Sky trying its hand at a few new tricks. Read more » 

  • Filed under: review
  • 04/02/2012

Download: Headman "Be Loved (Murphy Jax Dub)"

First Listen
Label: Relish

From the opening piano chords of this Murphy Jax dub, it's clear you're in for an undertaking of tried-and-true house. The Berlin-based remixer works Headman's (pictured above) "Be Loved" (the original version of which dropped late last year) into an almost entirely instrumental dub, stripping most of the vocals away and focusing instead on the track's rythmic offerings: percussion, bass, hats, and the like—all anchored by a steady four-on-the-floor kick. It's clearly a tune inspired by classic house, but one that comes with a crisp aesthetic, placing it squarely in current dance-music territory. This dub version won't be included on Headman's upcoming EP, Turning, which is set to drop on April 30, but the six-track effort will include a proper Murphy Jax remix. You can check the complete EP tracklist following the jump.  Read more » 

Average: 6.3 (28 votes)

DJ Q Drops Free EP

UK bassline boss DJ Q has posted up Sound of Violence, a digital release featuring two versions of the title track, for free download on his Tumblr. Read more » 

  • Filed under: news
  • 03/30/2012

Download: Air France "It Feels Good to Be Around You (Memory Tapes Version)"

We're all still a bit choked up from the bomb Air France dropped on us (he he, get it?) on Monday, when the Swedish duo announced it would be disbanding after nearly six years of making breezy, Balearic brilliance. And almost as a way to help us cope, Memory Tapes, a friend and labelmate of Air France's over on Something in Construction, has let loose a remix he did of the last tune to surface from Joel Karlsson's and Henrik Markstedt's collaborative project, the effervescent "It Feel Good to Be Around You." This new version employs plenty of strings and melodic atmospherics to keep the mood light, which the straightforward dance beat and funky bassline effectively do, too. Then there's this vocal sample; it's a bit indistinguishable, but the last couple of words stand out. Maybe it's just our minds playing tricks on us, but we could almost swear she's saying something like, "Are you with Air France?" And, of course, our only answer can be "Yes." 

Average: 7.4 (64 votes)

Lil Silva Preps White-Label 12"

We previewed the forthcoming white-label efforts from Bedford-based producer Lil Silva a while ago, and now we have the full details of that record. Read more » 

  • Filed under: news
  • 03/30/2012

Download: Supreme Cuts "Lessons of Darkness (Apology)"

First Listen
Label: Dovecote

Heralding from America's third largest city, Supreme Cuts is a duo well-versed in Chicago's traditions of house, juke, and footwork. Flickering images of those distinct dance-music ingredients swim into view on this new cut from the outfit's forthcoming LP, Whispers in the Dark (out on June 12 via Dovecote). "Lessons of Darkness (Apology)" is no mere exercise in genre tropes, however. One could practically cough on the dense, atmospheric production Supreme Cuts exhibits; humid drums emerge from the smoke only to burst through in a sparkling display of celestial melodies and pop sensibility. The project seems to be a fully realized sum of its parts, and as legendary juke veteran DJ Gant Man said about this release, "I fucks with this. Y'all snapped." You can take a look at the cover art and tracklist for Whispers in the Dark before it drops, after the jump.  Read more » 

Average: 8.3 (133 votes)

Clone Readies Second Drexciya Reissue for May

Following soon after one of our favorite records of 2012 so far, Drexciya's Journey of the Deep Sea Dwellers I reissue compilation, Dutch label Clone has announced the imminent arrival of that series' second installment. Read more » 

  • Filed under: news
  • 03/30/2012

Download: Beacon "The World is Quiet"

First Listen

Color-drenched, tropical-tinged dance music inspired by the likes of UK funky stalwarts DVA and Roska seems to be making its way back into the fold, as evidenced by this gritty jam from British producer Beacon. With a new three-tracker set to drop on Four40, Beacon offers up non-EP cut "The World Is Quiet," a paranoid and skittering production buoyed by ascending kettle tones and a nefarious, creeping synth line. The beginning of the tune reminds us strongly of the work of Hessle Audio's Joe ("Untitled" and "Grimelight" in particular), hissing ominously as the beat builds into a shuffling furor. The Freakin' U EP will be released via Four40 in the coming weeks, available exclusively on Beatport for the first two weeks and followed by a limited run of colored vinyl a month later. You can stream a preview of Beacon's forthcoming EP after the jump.  Read more » 

Average: 7 (48 votes)

Daniel Haaksman Prepares for 'More Rambazamba'

Baile funk and global bass connoisseur Daniel Haaksman is set to release a remix album of his 2011 work Rambazamba, with the new project being touted as More Rambazamba. Read more » 

  • Filed under: news
  • 03/30/2012

Gear: Vlek Announces Music-Making App for iPad

Modeling analog hardware into the world of music software isn't an uncommon practice, as there are plenty of apps and DAWs emulating throwback synths and drum machines out there today. But a music-making app that allows the user to draw their own instruments onto a blank canvas? With MIDI capabilities, to boot? Vlek, the locally sourced Belgian imprint that Bubblin’ Up artist Cupp Cave/Ssaliva calls home, will introduce an app for the iPad that does just that, later this spring. Read more » 

  • Filed under: gear
  • 03/30/2012

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