As spelled out in our current cover story, Midwestern trio Salem is a "gothy/witch-house/dream-crunk/"fucking hipster"/drag-step/worst.band.ever./genius/crack-core/amaaaazing/hiding-behind-fuzz/wigger/fake-black-metal/angelic/homo-thug/Michael Stipe-endorsed/post-juke band from no place in particular." Basically, they've become one of those bands that can be whatever you want them to be; the notion of what exactly Salem is threatens to engulf what Salem's music actually sounds like. So today, on the day the group's debut album, King Night, is being released (buy it here), we're happy to focus on the latter by presenting Sleep Now My One Little Eye, an exclusive mix that Salem put together for the XLR8R podcast series. Read more »
This Friday, Vienna's Big-N-Hairy label will release the debut EP from Tim Turbo, the Hush (Iggy, Iggy)/Linyora EP. Featuring the vocal talents of Spoek Mathambo and his wife Gnucci Banana, the EP finds the pair rapping with a healthy dose of South African slang over the Berlin-based producer's synthy bounce. Read more »
NYC's Beg to Differ (pictured above) is a collaboration between local heroes Nick Chacona and Wurst label head Roy Dank (a.k.a. My Cousin Roy). The duo has been mucking around in the studio since last year, and now they've released a few of their remixes on a new EP. Simply entitled The Remixes, the a-side includes a killer re-work of Afrobeat heavyweights Bibi Tanga & The Selenites, while we've got the b-side, a remix of UK indie outfit The Hours. Beg to Differ's dub workout is a pulsing disco-house number punctuated by some emotive strings, a thumping bassline, and some choice early-'90s synths. And for those looking to savor a little more of The Hours' vocal stylings, the digital version of The Remixes EP also includes a proper remix of the song.
Shit Robot's debut full-length is also a coming-out party for Marcus Lambkin, the spotlight-shy guy behind the unusual handle. Closely associated with DFA, Shit Robot also embodies the label's meticulousness: He has only dropped an EP a year between 2006 and 2010, skipping 2008. Even though From the Cradle to the Rave's running time roughly equals the rest of Shit Robot's discography, this collaboration-driven album is a low-stakes affair compared to the label's 2010 marquee release, LCD Soundsystem's This Is Happening. Read more »
Last week, Serbian imprint Svetlana Industries offered up a free label sampler called Come On Lets Go. Belgrade doesn't exactly seem like a hotspot for beat music, but the label has put together an impressive collection of tunes, including selections from Teebs, 1000names, 8Bitch, and a slew of other dudes you likely haven't heard of but undoubtedly have a bajillion friends on Facebook and are quietly running the file-sharing, message-board-posting game. (That's just how this scene operates, right?) Anyways, you can download the entire compilation here, or just start with "Turbines" from young UK producer Jackhigh (a.k.a. Bnjmin a.k.a. Singing Statues). The track is founded upon some basic boom-bap, but what makes it shine is the song's fuzzy melody, which seems to be constructed of some light synths and a single vocal snippet looped about 1000 times. It's simple yet effective.
A few weeks back, we previewed Bicho de Luz, the new EP from Argentina's Frikstailers. Part of the ZZK collective, the duo (pictured above) is currently in the midst of its first North American tour (click for dates and venues), making a stop tonight in San Francisco. To help get us Bay Area folk amped for the show, they've donated this remix of "Fuego" by Colombian outfit Bomba Estéreo. The original has been an anthem on forward-thinking Latin dancefloors for a while now, but the Frikstailers have put a nice twist on it, warming things up with their trademark microsamples and synth stabs before kicking into a banging reggaeton beat. After tonight, the boys will be making stops in LA, Seattle, Brooklyn, Pittsburgh, and Boston—if you're in one of those cities, just put the show on your to-do list.
Our friend and contributor Walter Wasacz reports in Detroit's Metro Times that house producer/DJ Aaron-Carl Ragland has just canceled his European tour after being diagnosed with lymphoma. Read more »
Here at XLR8R, witch house is currently holding a unique position as both one of our favorite new genres and one of our most frequent targets of ridicule. Internal turmoil aside, it's hard to deny that this remix of San Francisco duo Water Borders (pictured above) is a quality listen. While the original version is one of the band's usual dark and droney sonic explorations, albeit one featuring the vocal contributions of Glasser, this remix by SF producer Bookworms turns up the drums and stretches out the song's spooky vibes over the course of nearly 13 minutes. Much like his excellent remix of Mi Ami, this remix has a stripped-down, almost Detroit sound punctuated by plenty of tribal drums. It was actually commissioned for Water Borders' new 12", which came out last week and features the original "Rome," a-side "Akko," and a couple of remixes, but Bookworms didn't quite finish on time, so his work is instead finding a home on XLR8R.com.
Where: Rotterdam, Netherlands
When Dave Nada slowed down some Dutch house tracks to reggaeton speed and stumbled across a new sound that he eventually called moombahton, he had no idea that half a world away, a 21-year-old Dominican producer living in Holland would be inspired to take the sound to the next level. Read more »
Scotland's Phuturelabs is really showing everyone how the whole blog-turned-label transition should be done. After kicking off their release schedule with a stellar single from the UK's Wira, the Glasgow-based hub is quickly coming back with another release, this time from Canadian producer Hissy Fit (a.k.a. Matthew Hiscock). His Crosstrainers EP will be available in October as a free download, but the Phuturelabs guys have sent along "Outdoor Life" as an appetizer. The song has a nice shuffling beat and a standard-issue farty bassline, but what really makes it shine is the Balearic guitar melody that comes in about halfway through. Somehow, Hissy Fit has managed to take the whole UK post-dubstep sound to the beach, and the results are sparkling.
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