From DFA veteran Shit Robot's debut long-player, From the Cradle to the Rave, comes the audio behind these psychedelic images. LCD Soundsystem and Juan MacLean crooner Nancy Whang is at the center of the "Take Em Up" single and its accompanying video, a wonderful exhibition of rotoscoping from director Eoghan Kidney and his crack team of animators. Read more »
DJ/producer Ellen Allien's eclectic and innovative record label, BPitch Control, which has released illustrious artists like Ben Klock, Apparat, Modeselektor, and Sascha Funke, will turn 12 years old next year, and the label head has a special release planned to commemorate the occasion. Read more »
The London bass outfit adds a singer and delves into the pop world, with mixed results.
One of the most compelling releases of 2009 was Darkstar's "Aidy's Girl is a Computer," a single that turned the post-dubstep soundworld on its head by amplifying the simple, sweet murmurs of robots in love. That wasn't its only hook. The song hummed with just enough sub-bass thunder from below, hit the right targets in the mid-range with melodic synth lines and vocal trickery, and used two gorgeous breaks to inspired, dramatic effect. It is a stunning five minutes of near-perfection that holds up strong over a year later; it's so good, in fact, that it overwhelms and undercuts the other nine tracks on Darkstar's debut LP, North. Read more »
Here we have another selection from Brooklyn-by-way-of-Michigan producer Shigeto's recently released full-length album for Ghostly, Full Circle. Part fractured hip-hop, part free-form jazz, part ambient collage, and part Ableton tomfoolery, "Brown Eyed Girl" is as dense with ideas of electronic music's future as it is lushly adorned with familiar vintage sonics. The super-compressed, shuffling rhythm at the center of Shigeto's production is surrounded by twinkling chimes, airy synth melodies, and a bit of textural white noise for most of its runtime, never really veering far from the main compositional idea. Instead of constantly changing its trajectory, "Girl" flips its beats, samples, and melodic elements to and fro with an orchestrated nonchalance—the equivalent of a ramshackle jazz combo from another universe jammin' just because.
If you were to ask them, New York's Cubic Zirconia (fronted by former XLR8R covergirl Tiombe Lockhart) makes "ethnic disco," but releases on the burgeoning Night Slugs label and affiliations with the likes of Ikonika and Egyptrixx might place them closer to the speaker-busting dance genres currently running UK clubs. No matter what you call the band's slick, vintage-leaning music, one thing is for sure: Cubic Zirconia can wrangle bass, beats, and booties with the best of them. And we'll soon get our first taste of those sounds in an LP format, courtesy of Scotland's LuckyMe label. Read more »
Jali Bakary Konteh doesn't make kwaito. He's not even from South Africa. He hails from Western Africa—Gambia, to be exact—and specializes in playing the kora, a 21-stringed lute instrument. Earlier this year, he released the Konteh Kunda album via Akwaaba, and now the label has followed that up with a new EP of remixes, available for purchase here. This version of "Combination" comes courtesy of German bloggers Hat+Hoodie, who have put their extensive knowledge of tropical bass to work and given the song a distinctly kwaito flavor. The house-like beat skips along, the synth melodies twist and turn, and the bass bounces with aplomb. Hat+Hoodie may be mixing and matching African genres, but it's hard to argue with the results.
Nearly a month ago, we dropped the news that veteran dubstep outfit Horsepower Productions was prepping a brand-new album to be released on November 29 via the reliable Tempa label, and now, weeks before it comes out, we can listen to half of Quest for the Sonic Bounty. Over on Tempa's SoundCloud profile we're treated to five of the nine songs featured on Horsepower's forthcoming full-length, including "Water," "Mexican Slayride," "Kingstep (LP Version)," "Damn It," and "Exercising (Horsepower Remix)." Read more »
DJ/producer Sascha Ring (a.k.a. Apparat) released his own installment of !K7's ongoing DJ-Kicks series at the end of last month, an interesting and personal mix album featuring a few new tunes from both Ring himself and his friends. "Lengthening Shadows" is one such track made by Telefon Tel Aviv for the Apparat mix, and it has some serious weight to it. As Ring puts it, "[Telefon Tel Aviv] make such beautiful music. Sadly, Charlie Cooper died at the beginning of last year. This is the first track that Joshua Eustis (pictured above) has made since then. I think he was wondering whether he would carry on the Telefon Tel Aviv name. I asked him if there was anything he could give me for the album. He made me this track and said he’d like it to be as Telefon Tel Aviv. It's very poignant." And it's true. Knowing the headiness of the song's origins bolsters its stirring mood into emotional realms we're sure only Eustis and the friends and family of Cooper could understand, but hearing the song is equally moving; "Shadows" is a haunting bass music gem on par with some of the genre's most provocative productions.
South Africa's premiere leftfield electro-pop export Spoek Mathambo—who we featured in our pages just earlier this year—is headed for the US and Canada this week, bringing along with him a full live band to help perform cuts from his debut album, Mshini Wam. The brief stint across North America kicks off this Friday in NYC at the American Museum of Natural History for FADER's One Step Beyond party, and goes on to make stops in San Francisco for Tormenta Tropical, LA for School Night, and a few more. Read more »
Apparently, not even the fizzled-out dud of a record that is M.I.A.'s /\/\/\Y/\ can keep her and her producer buddies from working together again. On January 25 of next year, the man behind tunes like M.I.A.'s "XXXO" and "It Iz What It Iz," Charles Smith (a.k.a. Blaqstarr), will drop a brand-new solo EP on Maya Arulpragasam's own N.E.E.T. imprint. Read more »
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