The buzz about James Blake has been building for well over a year via a series of well-received post-post-dubstep releases on au courant imprints Hemlock, Hessle Audio, and R&S. A professional association with Mount Kimbie, the experimental bass duo with whom he shares some noble qualities—a nerdy-but-cool bravura, pioneering spirit, and youthful ambition—has also aided in his ascent. Read more »
The NYC-based, Andy Butler-fronted, vintage disco- and house-loving ensemble Hercules & Love Affair just unleashed its second LP of such classically inspired music, entitled Blue Songs—the first single of which is a song by the name of "My House." Given that that tune is so heavily indebted to old-school Chicago house, it's no surprise at all that one of the godfathers of that scene, Derrick Carter, was commissioned to remix the catchy number. Read more »
New York chill-poppers Small Black have sent over this video for their dreamy indie-casio-pop tune, "Photojournalist" (the MP3 for which we posted quite a few months back), from their debut LP, New Chain. The video features a rather abstract storyline that involves a few girls (most likely the same girl at different ages?) buying fruit, opening a locker, applying make-up, and visiting an aquarium. A single symbolic bouquet floating in shallow water and some slick image overlaying leaves this one pretty open to interpretation. We're leaning towards the coming-of-age-story side of things, but that's the beauty of ambiguous art—you can make of it what you want. New Chain (which you can read our review of here) is out now on Jagjaguwar. Check the band's upcoming tour dates on their way to SXSW after the jump. Read more »
Following a couple of his singles and EPs released last year, not to mention our own podcast from the veteran UK DJ/producer, MJ Cole will drop a brand-new EP via his own Prolific Recordings label. The Satellite EP will feature four tracks of the UK garage/funky sounds and styles Cole is renowned for, and will be available to purchase on March 7. Read more »
Marklion is the new project of Vincent Thierion, a former member of French electro trio Dat Politics. Here we have a track from his new EP, You, and it is an absolute marathon through a delicious variety of analog synthesizer tones, from the square-wave to the acid-soaked and all the rest in between. Thierion skillfully blends and manipulates his rich array of sounds for over eight minutes, employing some classic techno drum work to help move the whole thing along and ensuring that even if you get lost in the shuffle (which you probably will) of pulsating synthesizer rhythms, you'll still be able to find the back-beat and keep your feet moving. If you're interested in taking a trip down XLR8R's memory lane, this MP3 reminded us of the first ever XLR8R TV episode, which featured Thierion's former group playing at Oakland's now-defunct 21 Grand performance space. Oh, 2007! Marklion's debut EP, You, is out now.
Brixton-based producer PhOtOmachine got his start working with garage legend MJ Cole, but his Technicolour EP, which just came out today, demonstrates a more profound love of house music. The title track is armed with a pulsing 4/4, bleeping synths, a snappy vocal sample, and a predilection for vintage 808 samples. Oddly enough, this remix from fellow Brit Throwing Snow is a lot more in line with the country's garage lineage, as it swaps in a skittering, off-kilter drum pattern and runs the vocal snippet through layer after layer of ghostly filters. It's less suitable for the dancefloor than the original—those looking for maximum floor-filling effectiveness should check out the Optimum remix—but it's a warm, gentle listen that's nonetheless quite enjoyable.
After the midwestern creeps and former XLR8R cover stars of Salem shocked and awed the mass of music fans worldwide with their monolithic King Night LP, they're now set to take that show on the road with a tour of North America in the latter half of March. Read more »
Both reppin' hard here for the Bay Area, SF's massive Still Flyin' ensemble—who, incidentally, win the long-and-funny website address game—meets Oakland's Elephant & Castle on this remix of the former's "Bull Riff" tune. The East Bay beatmaker flips the band's busied instrumentation and vocal choruses into almost unrecognizable sounds for his tricked-out remix, an equally eclectic version of the track. Bulbous grooves, floating guitar plucks, warbling horn melodies, classic drum breaks, disembodied voices, and otherworldly frequencies comprise the bulk of "Bull Riff (Elephant & Castle Remix)," and make the track the excellent beat-centric alternative to the indie-pop original.
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