Marking a bit of a departure from the usual dance-centric fare over at Top Billin is a new EP (artwork above) from young producer PZLD (pronounced "puzzled"). Here we have the release's title track, "Never Better," a tune which comes together with pieces of beat-scene-esque sample chops, echoes of UK bass drum programming, and, at times, touches of legitimate hip-hop thrown into the mix. If his forthcoming EP (set for release tomorrow) is any indication, labelling PZLD's productions as "hybrid" is just scratching the surface. After giving "Never Better" a listen, you'll find the whole four-track effort available to stream after the jump. Read more »
One of the best side effects of the proliferation of the internet has been that artists in relatively isolated areas finally have a voice on the world stage. Providing a means of promotion for these artists are platforms like Splash Recordings, a Slovakia-based net label. They recently tipped us to Again, a free EP from up-and-coming Prague-based producer Felix!. Here we have the electro-tinged titular single, which cruises along at a fast clip with a snappy '80s breakbeat, rising G-funk synth tones, laid-back synth stabs, and an unintelligible but funky vocal sample. Check out the Splash Recordings Soundcloud for the complete EP, which features a full slate of remixes spanning a diverse stylistic territory that includes classic Chicago house, global bass, and early UK hardcore.
Leftfield West Coast producer Shlohmo has a busy month ahead of him. About a month ago, he released Bad Vibes, his debut LP, via the Friends of Friends label. Now, he's back already with Fine, Thanks, a free EP of lost material culled from a backlog of his work from the past two years. Read more »
As reported last week, the Red Bull Music Academy 2011 World Tour is currently underway. The RBMA crew is bringing a taste of its panels, workshops, and parties to 10 cities around the globe, and has just released this video from its first stop in Cape Town, South Africa. Read more »
Classic Detroit techno seems to be enjoying a healthy revival through the productions of a new breed of UK-based producers. Hardly a form of nostalgia worship, this new music takes the sound palette of Detroit techno and then combines it with the aesthetics of dubstep and UK funky. For example, take Zoltan's recent remix of "D-Transition," a new track on Graphics' latest EP, Wiping the Eye, out October 3 on the brand-new Granholme imprint. A case study in the Detroit-UK crossover, Zoltan's remix substitutes in a menacing Cybotron bassline, droney sawtooth leads, and a crisp, hi-hat-dominated drum pattern for the original's pounding UK funky rhythm. It's not a total overhaul, as Zoltan retains a clean production aesthetic and peppers the track with a chopped-up take on the original's vocal hook. Speaking of Graphics originals, you might also want to check "Fine Yarn," which we posted for download last month.
The Beatport sales charts are often dominated by the latest international club smashes, but its vault of music runs deep and covers a wide variety of artists and sounds, which is why XLR8R has been asked to curate a special two-week series of Beatport charts by some of our favorite DJs and producers. Ben Westbeech is a man of many talents, as the UK producer, DJ, and singer has adeptly moved between styles, sounds, and genres over the past several years. Fresh off the release of a new album, There's More to Life Than This, he put together this chart for us, which he simply described as, "tunes that are and will always be in my box!" Read more »
Gerry Read might only be 19 years old, but that doesn't stop him from making timeless dance music. The UK producer already has two releases under his belt (one of which XLR8R reviewed recently) and he's just announced "We Are" b/w "Narry" (artwork above), his third, and the second in a planned trilogy for the Fourth Wave label. Read more »
Torkelsen is both the production moniker and surname of Kristian Torkelsen, a 22-year-old artist and self-proclaimed "crate digger" living in Fredrikstad, Norway. Following a split 7" the tunesmith recently dropped with South Carolina beatmaker Hard Mix via Norwegian imprint Sellout!, Torkelsen is set to release his first album in the beginning of next year. "Lavkarbovår" is a cut from that forthcoming self-titled LP, and shows off the type of jazzy, smoothly off-kilter beatscapes the producer is so fond of creating.
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