It's an ideal pairing: the dreamy electronics of LA's Active Child with the airy shoegaze of NY's School of Seven Bells (pictured above). The two outfits will be sharing wax space on a split 7" coming out on October 26 courtesy of Lefse, with each artist contributing a remix of the other's music. Active Child nabs a track off of School of Seven Bells' latest album, Disconnect From Desire, and strips the song of its synth-propelled driving force, instead giving it a bright swirl of harp and vocal arrangements centered around a slow drum-machine beat. That said, synths still play a large part in this remix of "Heart Is Strange," and after the mid-point of the song, a warm bass timbre slowly rises into the forefront of the production, giving the rest of the floating sonics something sturdy to hold on to.
Solo artist and longtime keyboardist for Canada's Cobblestone Jazz Danuel Tate will soon follow up his two EPs for the Wagon Repair label with a full-length solo album. Mexican Hotbox is a genre-spanning LP that will be released on November 22. Its 11 songs are said to be full of the elements of jazz, swing, Latin guitars, funk, modern electronics, and a whole lot of dance music. Read more »
If you missed the first part of our Decibel coverage, you can find it here.
My first two days at Seattle's seventh annual Decibel Festival were perfectly streamlined in regards to catching all of the artists I hoped to see—that is, compared to the following three days of the festival. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday were all littered with DJs and producers I'd long hoped for a chance to watch perform live, many of which played minutes and miles from each other. Read more »
Mixpak Records dropped a new EP today, Hot Plate from 22-year-old Texan Cory Blaine. Blaine seems to be combining a jackin' Chicago house sound with some of Baltimore club's goofy spirit, and his Hot Plate EP finds him also getting remixed by the likes of DJ Nehpets, Zombie Disco Squad, Malente&Dex, and Andy Petr. You'll have to buy the EP to hear all those efforts, but in the meantime, Blaine has cooked up this bootleg re-edit of current Dirtybird club anthem "Mr. Spock" by Justin Martin and Ardalan. The original version is a tech-house monster, and while Blaine's remix may not surpass it, it does dial back some of the big-room vibe, whittling down the drama and stepping up the jack. At the very least, it's a new spin on a track that's being caned everywhere right now.
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 »
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 »
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.
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