Even as the internet continues to circumvent borders and make seemingly any kind of music available with a few simple keystrokes, certain corners of the globe remain veritable musical question marks. Russia is a prime example. It's a giant place, a nation undoubtedly ripe with artists and musicians, yet the country's reputation when it comes to the modern musical landscape often boils down to its role as a massive clearing house for pirated material. Nevertheless, that hasn't stopped mysterious St. Petersburg-based producer Nocow from cobbling together lo-fi, experimental beat work that seemingly borrows from both UK bass music and the Low End Theory crowd. His most recent EP, Pulkovo Heights (pictured above), came out earlier this month via the Siberian Gimme 5 label, which also doubles a a blog. "Moonlight Flit" didn't make it on the record, but it's a choice offering that combines clattering, Burial-esque percussion and moody atmospherics with smooth vocals that could have been taking from your favorite '80s R&B slow jam. If other Russian producers have this sort of talent up their sleeves, it's time to open the floodgates and really see what the rest of the country has to offer.
“Funky? I don’t even know what that is. I don’t even know what dubstep is," says Rolando Rocha, laughing, on the phone from his new-found home of Edinburgh, Scotland. "I’m not sure if I should be ashamed of that or something. I mean, the first time I heard [dubstep], I think it was a year ago in Spain, and someone was playing it in the car on the way from the airport. And I was like, ‘Man, this is really hot, what is this?’ And the guy was like, ‘Dubstep,’ and I haven’t heard it since.” Read more »
Atlanta producer Distal is nothing if not prolific, as the man's name has been popping up on a litany of remixes and releases over the past year. This week, he's unveiling his latest collection of tunes, the Android Tourism EP (pictured above), a four-song offering on the Scotland-based Fortified Audio label. Here we have a remix of the title track from relative unknown LDFD, a Texan beat slinger who has taken the Ritalin-infused funky of Distal's original and transformed it into something that is simultaneously more ponderous and hyperactive. What begins with light crackles and serene tones suddenly shifts into breakneck footwork and back again, a neck-snapping journey sewn together with bent neon synths. LDFD maintains the rollercoaster-like feel over the song's four minutes, repeatedly taking breathers before plunging headlong into another burst of juke. And like any good coaster, the ride leaves you a bit exhausted, but at the end you disembark with a smile on your face.
German reissue label SPV just announced that, in tribute to Popol Vuh founder Florian Fricke, who died 10 years ago, they will be releasing Popol Vuh Revisited & Remixed (1970-1999), a—duh!—collection of remixes and reworkings of the classic Krautrock band's hits and obscurities. Read more »
As we reported not long ago, the nebulous Downliners Sekt recently released the third installment of its EP trilogy, Meet the Decline, and are now giving us the opening track from that release to share with you. "All I Can Hear Now" is a prime example of what makes the production outfit so hard to pin down: The pair seems to utilize all of its musical ideas and influences at once, not worrying too much about styles or genres. In this song we hear what sounds like tweaked recordings of a folk singer playing a ditty on an acoustic guitar, brief piano flourishes, distorted transmissions from a pocket radio, distant orchestral compositions, and a constant rumble of low-end. Downliners Sekt's song is at once melodic and off-kilter, mysterious and familiar, and, above all, touchingly beautiful. You can hear how the rest of the Meet the Decline EP matches up, and stream it all here.
We know we're running the risk of serious overkill when it comes to news stories on this year's Movement Festival in Detroit, but it's worth mentioning that Ricardo Villalobos will be one of next weekend's headliners, the festival announced today. He'll be performing on the main stage on May 29, and some boat party (just Google it, okay?), too. Read more »
Before Toronto's austere techno imprint Thoughtless releases the debut album by local DJ/producer Arthur Oskan on May 25, we're treated to a sizeable taste of A Little More Than Everything, courtesy of the hypnotic "Tracksuit." The relentless production is ripped from center of Oskan's 10-track LP, and shows the artist hard at work crafting sparse-yet-vibrant dance grooves, and pairing those infectious techno rhythms with equally mesmerizing synth melodies and rubbery basslines. It's a deep tune that offers an accurate glimpse into the intricately crafted moods and soundscapes of the producer's forthcoming album.
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