South Londoner Halls (pictured above) has taken this bubbly indie-pop tune from Theme Park deep down into the dark, desolate cave where we imagine he makes all of his tracks. Slowing "Wax" down enough to feel like it's effortlessly floating, Halls laces the song with layers of gorgeous pads that build and bellow as they gradually turn in baths of reverb. Theme Park's vocals serve as the only obvious trace of the original track, and even they are generously processed and slowed down, rendering them even the more intimate. Like most things we've come to expect from Halls, there is a certain amount of introspective feeling buried beneath the lush soundscapes and occasional skitters which mark this remix, and "Wax" is certainly better for it.
It can at times seem overwhelming to keep up with the pace that the UK churns out new beatmakers, but it usually proves worth the effort, as, more often than not, one can happen upon some really talented producers while looking for fresh names within the bass music spectrum. One such name is Beacon, a young producer with a handful of promising tracks to be heard on his SoundCloud, the latest of which he's offered up for download here. With its pitched vocal refrain and tuned percussion, "Got Mine" is a slice of Night Slugs-style bass with a touch of Mount Kimbie and a hint of [name-another-well-regarded-UK-post-dubstepper here]. That's not to say that Beacon's work is a complete derivative, but rather it's a new amalgamation of the sound permeating throughout the forward-thinking UK music culture, one he seems to understand enough to move beyond replication and begin the process of leaving his own imprint. With his "Got Mine" white label on its way and a forthcoming release for the Seinan Music label due sometime in the future, we suggest you keep your eyes and ears open for more.
Citinite, the label run by design powerhouse Optigram (who created the gorgeous artwork not only for Kode9 and The Spaceape's Black Sun, but also for our accompanying cover story) on the duo, just released a free compilation to commemorate its fifth anniversary, entitled Some Walk By Nite. Read more »
A young producer currently calling Ann Arbor, MI home, Jeremy Malvin makes tender, beat-centric pop tunes under the name Chrome Sparks. Some tracks on his recently self-released My <3 EP bring to mind summery sounds heard from the likes of contemporaries Toro Y Moi, Hard Mix, Star Slinger, or Blackbird Blackbird, while others seem to dive a bit deeper into the emotional pool, touching on more somber themes. "<3 & Soul" is one such cut, and juxtaposes flitting xylophone melodies with downtrodden vocal hooks, broken drum patterns, and smooth synth chords for a subtly moving effect. What makes the tune even better is that it's followed by a flipped version, called "Soul & <3," which immediately earns Malvin brownie points for making such a classy move. You can stream and download all of Chrome Sparks' My <3 EP on Bandcamp, here.
Autre Ne Veut is easily the hardest pill to swallow when it comes to the extremely nebulous indie-R&B thing. Though his nasally, often grating voice stands apart from his peers first and foremost, the music that drives the Brooklyn artist's discordant pop also requires a certain amount of patience; at first, you may need to give it the benefit of the doubt. But as we experienced with Autre Ne Veut's self-titled LP for Olde English Spelling Bee from last year, the more time one spends with his strange sounds, the more one can appreciate what he is doing. On the new four-song Body EP, a record largely about personal relationships and identity, that process is streamlined to great effect. Read more »
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