There's something of a close kinship between techno retrospectives and the act of framing graffiti in a museum. Both are dynamic forms of art, yet the act of canonization always seems to remove the momentum that lies at the heart of both. Of course, you'll find no shortage of either, as there are plenty of techno retrospectives and folks like Futura 2000 and Rammellzee (R.I.P.) went highbrow a long time ago. Read more »
Out now via French label B. YRSLF, the six-track Not Too Young EP from Polish newcomer Umba is a frenetic digital record with productions tailor made for the club, one cut of which is the percussive "Acid Rain." Even though we expect to see plenty of tunes bearing that same title, Umba's does well in setting itself apart with a hefty share of slick synth tones, rude drum sounds, and menacing basslines. You can check out the rest of Umba's EP, which includes a remix from Unknown to the Unknown, after the jump. Read more »
Here, we have our second taste of the music conceived and born at Red Bull Music Academy 2011 in Madrid, the first of which was a '90s-inspired house cut from Ghosts on Tape, Krystal Klear, and Broken One. "Power Up" finds French tunesmith Canblaster and UK up-and-comer Nightwave working together to create some ultra-smooth grooves that wouldn't be all that out of place in a Top 40 radio rotation. (We mean that in a good way.) Look for the rest of RBMA's exclusives when the free Various Assets compilation (pictured above) is released on February 24.
Glaswegian blog/net label Phuturelabs has another free EP set for release in the coming weeks, a new effort from fellow Scottish bass head Jetsam. "Beneath the Ice" is an appropriate enough example of the kind of space-age hip-hop we can expect to find on the forthcoming digital EP, with its sharply toned low-end and revolving, trance-indebted synths. And, of course, there's enough skitter here to keep both hooded sweatshirts and fitted caps alike moving in constant motion. This synth-laden slice of boom-bap (emphasis on the boom) will come packaged with five other similarly bass-centric productions when the HMS Below EP (artwork above) drops on the Phuturelabs site on February 27. In the meantime, the whole effort is available to stream over on the net label's SoundCloud.
For some, the work of Norwegian producer Hans-Peter Lindstrøm is irrevocably important and possibly one of the biggest catalysts for the prominent rise of the "space-disco" sound throughout the aughts. Dancefloor gems like "I Feel Space" and "There's A Drink in My Bedroom and I Need a Hot Lady" have certainly become classics in their own right, but the sprawling psychedelia of Lindstrøm's proper debut LP, Where You Go I Go Too, and his collaborative work with Oslo-based vocalist Christabelle on the brilliant pop album Real Life Is No Cool firmly testify to the artist's wide-ranging versatility. As he continues to showcase his abilities and expand his notable discography (the latest addition to which will be the daringly maximalist Six Cups of Rebel LP for Smalltown Supersound), Lindstrøm's influential shadow also grows; it wouldn't be a stretch to say that it's already touched up-and-coming Brooklyn duo Blondes. Read more »
The quality of music available (legally) for free in the world right now never ceases to amaze us here at XLR8R headquarters. Add to the growing list a new endeavor from NYC label UNO, which has just launched a bi-monthly series of free digital releases. To kick off the series, UNO has tapped Venezuelan producer Arca, who delivers four tracks of twisted, gritty electronics that traverse the territory between futuristic bass, abstract house, and instrumental hip-hop with an expert ease. "Spira" is the EP's final offering, and, clocking in at over seven minutes, it really feels like two tracks. First, Arca takes us along with a laid-back beat and gorgeously soulful sample collage, luring us into a purple-minded state until he eventually feels like flipping it all around for something entirely more dark and brooding. You can grab the free Baron Libre EP (artwork above) here, and be on the lookout for Arca's proper UNO debut, which is set to drop in March.
Kompakt's annual collection of pop-tinged soundscapes enters its twelfth year with label mainstays Wolfgang Voigt, Superpitcher, and The Field's Axel Willner (operating here as Loops of Your Heart) joined by a cast of names old and new. The resulting ten tracks are aligned in their gradual approaches to ambient composition with a handful of highlights and a few low points found along the way. Read more »
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