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.
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 »
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 »
Slo Jamz: With Their Debut Album, Oberlin Undergrads Teengirl Fantasy Make House-Infused R&B for Dreamers
Everyone in Ibiza would be humming their tunes at poolside bars, their whimsical name the toast of the town. But that would be too easy, and untrue to the chemistry of the project. The duo's psychedelic, highly nuanced dynamic, palpable in everything they release, makes for some of the most personal, original, and exhilarating sounds around right now.
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A part of the amorphous Deep Teknologi crew/label, J.Bevin (pictured above) steps up to the plate here on his remix of T.Williams' latest soulful bubbler with singer Terri Walker, "Heartbeat." Bevin leaves Walker's sultry vocal delivery more or less untouched, focusing instead on creating a completely fresh instrumental underneath her poignant croon. The vibe on Williams' tune is kicked up into more energetic territories by the fast-paced bounce of Bevin's kick-and-snare rhythms, enormous bass swells, and the warmth of his multi-layered synth melodies. Still, much like the original—which we recently previewed along with the Mosca Remix—this version is even-keeled, as Bevin retains the song's lovelorn energy by never overshadowing it with baroque production work.
Just yesterday, London magazine and online TV station SpineTV talked with grime producer and all-around badman Terror Danjah as part of its newly launched SpineTV Podcast series. The interview, which follows the recent release of Danjah's Undeniable album via Hyperdub, touches on a load of topics relating to his rise as a DJ, the process of becoming an iconic music producer, starting his Aftershock label, working with friend/collaborator D Double E, and more. Read more »
This issue, we dig in deep with the icons of electronic music, and gather intel on how they make their sounds so uniquely original. From Four Tet to Squarepusher to Moby to Mala, there's no shortage of tips, tricks, and musical philosophies to inspire budding producers. We also look at some of our favorite producers of the year—with Oriol, Teengirl Fantasy, oOoOO, and plenty more icons-to-be filling these pages. Read more »
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