Stockholm-based producer/singer Niva just released his debut EP, Feverish Dreams (pictured above), via UK label Something in Construction, and here we have one of those six preciously simplistic synth-pop tunes. The clean-cut production features a straightforward electro-house beat, a few lo-bit synth tones, a slightly funky bassline, and some quietly cooed and slightly warbled vocal hooks—basically, the go-to recipe for upbeat electronic pop music these days. Despite its predictability, Niva's "Boy From the Sun" displays an earnestness from its creator, as the artist crams all of those genre hallmarks into a quick, well-crafted two and a half minutes that never feels a moment too short or the least bit half baked. There's a pretty little music video for the song to boot, which you can check out after the jump. Read more »
Berlin-based audio troublemaker Jason Forrest (a.k.a. DJ Donna Summer, Nightshifters label co-owner) just announced that he'll be releasing his first full-length album under his given name in six years on May 3. Called The Everything, the 11-track record follows his recent Utopia EP (from which we shared this track) for the Deathbomb Arc imprint, and will be released by German label Staatsakt. Read more »
Each month, UK grime imprint Butterz offers up a free ZIP file of goodies, usually stuffed with unreleased b-sides and remixes. It was hard to pick a favorite from the recently released April edition, but we settled on this tune from Butterz acolyte Mr. Mitch (pictured above), who you may remember from this post at the end of last year. He recently turned in a remix for Canadian grime MC Tre Mission's "Maxin Everything" tune, which is good in and of itself, but just to keep things interesting, the imprint is now giving away this instrumental of his remix. You can probably tell immediately after hitting the play button that things are a bit slower and a touch more sparkly on Mr. Mitch's instrumental, at least when compared to what we're accustomed to hearing from his high-energy label. Nevertheless, the production quality and audio intensity are very much still intact: The producer's beats punch and crack immensely, the bass vibrates the space between your ears, and the deep synth melodies swirl around your head. It's a refreshing change of pace, but if you're after the usual Butterz goodness, you can grab the rest of the label's free monthly giveaway, here.
Once an integral force in helping solidify Montreal as an electronic music hub, and now an expat living in Berlin, minimal dub producer Deadbeat (a.k.a. Scott Monteith) was last in XLR8R's pages for an interview he did with fellow expat and techno-inspired producer Scuba. Nearly a year later, it seems that Berlin's musical hotbed has begun to work its way into a new chapter in Deadbeat's already-illustrious career. Read more »
No matter where you look, Japan and its national crisis is ever-present. The same goes for the opportunities to donate to what is, and will continue to be, a colossal recovery. Among the many music-related fundraising campaigns, this effort from Finland's Top Billin' imprint has intrigued us most, partly for the serendipity of its back-story. Read more »
Although SónarSound Tokyo decided to keep this year's festivities in the aforementioned location despite the recent natural disasters, the 2011 Red Bull Music Academy has gone another route, and will not be hosting its 2011 workshops in Tokyo. Read more »
There is no question that Los Angeles label Hippos In Tanks has emerged as a remarkably consistent supplier of next-generation artists reinventing '80s and '90s synth soundscapes. On April 19, the label will release Dark Bloom, a split 12" shared by Montreal artists d'Eon and Grimes. Each side will contain roughly an EP's worth of material from each artist (the complete tracklist is posted after the jump). On this cut from the d'Eon side, glittering gospel-organ chords introduce what could be '90s-era Brandy, but instead accompany d'Eon's equally captivating and effeminate voice. The rest of the track's production is no less rich, as the song is expertly executed to sound both vintage and disarmingly fresh. If the rest of d'Eon's contibutions are anything like this piece of throwback perfection, the growing contingent of male R&B vocalists will have a serious contender in its ranks. (via Altered Zones) Read more »
On May 13 and 14 at London performing arts venue Roundhouse, iconic record label Mute will partner with the Short Circuit Electronic Music Festival for two days of eclectic live music from a long list of veteran artists and fresh, exciting projects. Read more »
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