Los Angeles resident Brian Allen Simon has positioned himself as a somewhat unique figure within the current pack of budding electronic producers. Crafting lush, patient tracks as Anenon, Simon recently moved a step beyond many of his contemporaries when he unveiled the gorgeous (and XLR8R Pick'd) Acquiescence EP last month. The five-track endeavor showcased layers of virtually untouched, natural sound sources—mainly a grand piano and Simon's own saxophone musings—alongside expansive and blissful soundscapes. Needless to say, we were curious how Simon managed to fit these disparate sonic sources together, both on record and in his largely improvised live sets, which usually feature the producer alongside his laptop, saxophone, and the ever-mysterious Monome. We caught up with the Non Projects label head in the weeks before the release of his debut LP, Inner Hue, in order to glean a bit of insight into his process. Read more »
Detroit house legend Moodymann has announced the imminent arrival of a brand-new EP, called Picture This, which is set to arrive as a free download over on ScionAV. A day before he unveils the whole release, the inimitable DJ/producer has given us one of its cuts for your listening pleasure. Read more »
We're treated to some sumptuous, percolating styles from Unknown on this riveting jungle-infused remix for "Sa Sa Samoa" by Korallreven (pictured above). Choppy and swinging breaks dominate the, uh, unknown producer's version of the original track, as melancholic, seasick pads provide a lush backdrop to the scurrying, percussive proceedings. It reminds us a bit of the editing prowess and midnight romanticism heard on Modern Love's HATE series from a few years back, as Unknown rolls out stuttering drum phrases in a visceral show of energy that makes a welcome companion to the melodies culled from Korallreven's original tune.
Sometimes, the best way to weather a storm is to hunker down and wait it out. The rise of the so-called "witch house" genre in 2010 certainly created a storm of sorts, one made of naysayers and bandwagoners all fighting over the validity of gothy, rap-influenced electronic music made primarily by white youngsters. San Francisco's oOoOO was practically at the heart of the storm (likely due in part to his strange moniker and affiliations with the shadowy Disaro and Tri Angle imprints), but he never seemed like a real proponent of the sound. Christopher Greenspan was just making the kind of pop music he'd always wanted to hear, no matter what name people gave it. It's been two years since oOoOO released his self-titled EP, an enticingly murky statement peppered with moments of distinct clarity, and the "conversation" surrounding his style of music has all but dwindled away. With the Our Loving is Hurting Us EP, Greenspan takes the opportunity to reassert himself under clear skies, and presents a far more refined version of his sound across the record's five tracks. Read more »
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 »
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.
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 »
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