There are many meaningful artistic layers to San Francisco producer Paul Salva's debut, Complex Housing. First, there's the title's clever play on housing complexes—prefab city dwellings where people live fascinatingly intricate lives. Similarly, Salva's album initially sounds like standard computer-driven urban music, but listen closer and plenty of twists, variations, and colorful nuances pop out unexpectedly. Read more »
Nicolas Jaar is only 21 years old, but he's already had quite the life. Much of his childhood was spent in Chile, but his formative years were spent in NY, where he entered the world of electronic music and released his first record before he completed high school, on the renowned Wolf + Lamb label no less. Read more »
As a DJ in NY's illustrious TURRBOTAX® crew, Contakt is responsible for spreading the good word of next-level house, techno, and bass tunes. As a producer signed to the burgeoning Local Action label, the NYC-based artist is responsible for crafting those sounds himself, and he does so with apparent skill and aplomb. (And—in the interest of full disclosure—as an XLR8R employee, he helps keep our game tight in all manner of ways.) Contakt's first release, the Not Forgotten 12", dropped just yesterday, and now we have a track that didn't make it onto that slab of vinyl. Like the aforementioned single, "AuH20" kicks off with stomping beats and deep pads that collectively evoke both the past, present, and future of dance music, with a heavier slant on the latter of those eras. Contakt continues to mix in large helpings of squelchy low-end melodies, catchy synth hooks, and ricocheting percussion through the song's four minutes, not once losing sight of the two elements that form its foundation. (via Dummy)
On April 2, DFA label head James Murphy and his LCD Soundsystem will join the likes of The Arcade Fire, Jay-Z, and Rammstein with a headlining performance at the legendary Madison Square Garden in New York City. Sadly, this landmark concert will also be the band's last. Read more »
Though dark, muddled, and vintage-inspired sounds are nothing out of the ordinary at this point, New Orleans' duo Belong has been mining the depths of such music for about five years now, and is releasing a brand-new LP soon via Chicago label Kranky, too. This cut, called "Perfect Life," lies just about in the center of the outfit's forthcoming Common Era album (pictured above), and shines with a murky glow through the layered shadows of distorted synth hooks, distant drum-machine patterns, and dense white noise. It's like New Order performing its first single from the bottom of the ocean, or a transmission of a band like, say, Cold Cave, broadcast from the opposite end of our galaxy. You can see how the rest of Belong's record compares when it drops on March 21.
Musician/producer/engineer Phil Manley (of Trans Am, Jonas Reinhardt, and The Fucking Champs fame) recently shared with us the title track from his brand-new LP for Thrill Jockey, called Life Coach, and now we're treated to a funny video from the San Francisco-based artist. 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 »
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 »
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 »
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