Oh, the '80s; some of us try desperately to forget its indelible mark on our culture, while others prefer to revel in its neon nostalgia. Yet no matter your take on über-compressed drum-machine beats, stock analog-synth patches, sci-fi clichés, and cheesy sexual innuendo, there will always (and seemingly quite often) come an artist who mines the era for their own pastiche. New Jersey-based producer Seth Haley (a.k.a. Com Truise) is among the latest batch of musicmakers to do just that. And as his debut LP for Ghostly, Galactic Melt, illustrates, the sonic territory is well past its prime. Read more »
Borderline ridiculous track name aside, this title cut (yes, he named his EP that too) from Victoria, BC resident Monolithium is an impressive feat of adventurous beat work. Hailing from his debut EP (artwork above), "Simon & G-Funk"—in all fairness—does embody a fair amount of G-funk characteristics, particularly in the track's futuristic chords and gliding melodies. But there's also a layer to the tune that takes a more somber, contemplative tone, utilizing dusty chords and melodic thumb piano placed around a set of chopped vocals to evoke a sense of distant yearning. These elements may seem at odds to some, but the unsual combination has proven to be the strength in Monolithium's technique. After downloading the song below, you can head here to take a listen to the rest of the Simon & G-Funk EP.
It was just a few weeks ago that DJ/producer Ezra Rubin (a.k.a. Kingdom) announced he had started his own imprint, called Fade to Mind, which was inaugurated last Tuesday with the release of the Timesup EP by LA duo Nguzunguzu (who is also responsible for last week's XLR8R podcast). Last Friday, Rubin did a bit of a victory lap, and dropped a brand-new mix on the website for fashion/culture hub Oki-Ni. Read more »
Ever since its founding just over a year ago, the Brooklyn-based Tri Angle imprint seems to have consistently maintained a thin veil of mystery surrounding the artists on its roster. So the announcement of a US label showcase tour is a diplomatic voyage of sorts, pulling back the shroud of mystery ever so slightly with Holy Other, oOoOO, and the Tri Angle DJs acting as the ambassadors. Read more »
The NYC-based duo of Eamon Harkin and Steve "One Auff" Raney (collectively referred to simply as Harking and Raney) are set to return with the pair's second contribution to the Throne of Blood label, the Shakes On EP (artwork above). Here we have the release's opening track, an eight-plus minute piece of deep house that does its title justice. Similar to the pair's last outing together for the Rapture-headed imprint (the Word to the Wise EP), "Workin' & Steamin'" finds the producers coming together somewhere between classic house and precision techno, but this time meeting in a much more sinister place characterized by tribal, drum-machine percussion, dark, ethereal pads, and an array of pulsating synths. The Shakes On EP, which comes complete with this tune, the title track, and a remix from Naum Gabo, sees its release today.
New York cyborg-rock trio Battles just recently dropped one of our favorite records this year, the baffling Gloss Drop, and is already gearing up to release more tireless polyrhythms and melodic gymnastics on the world in the forms of a new single and a US tour. Read more »
Brooklyn-based producer Travis Stewart has never been content to sit still artistically. In the decade-plus time he's spent carving his own niche out of the amorphous realm of electronic dance music, the prolific artist has jumped from label to label to label, dropping loads of releases that all flirt with an array of disparate genres and yet sound inextricably linked in production style and quality. Whether making music as Neon Black, Machinedrum, or with Praveen Sharma as part of the Hotflush-signed Sepalcure, Stewart is constantly evolving, expanding his sonic palette to include elements of house, techno, juke, electro, ambient, hip-hop, IDM, and beyond. Now, years after he released the last proper Machinedrum LP, the glitchy Want to 1 2?, Stewart returns with a brand-new solo album for Planet Mu called Room(s), and it's no surprise that it sounds unlike anything he's done before. Read more »
Although Denver may not have the most renowned reputation as a haven for electronic music producers, it's hard to argue that the city has been producing some unique sonic adventurers as of late, including one Drew Englander, who has been crafting his brand of hybrid electro-pop under the name R E A L M A G I C in Colorado's capitol city for a few years now. Here we have the cleverly titled "Crip Tics," one of two tracks available as a free single from the Heart Music imprint, and on it we find Englander running through a smattering of ideas with a string of dusty, sun-drenched melodies to hold it all together. Complete with blistering, pseudo-IDM drums, Englander's own vocal manipulations, and even a bit of playful wobble, "Crip Tics" is a nice primer to his hybrid approach, which seems to incorporate a bit of everything from Leaving Records-style tape music, blissful chillwave, and any number of club-friendly, bass-centric stylings. After taking a listen to the track below you can head here to grab a free download of "No Things Left," the other track to be had on on R E A L M A G I C's new single.
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