There's something to be said for disco's staying power. The genre is basically 30 years past its heyday, yet high-quality new disco tracks continue to worm their way on to dancefloors around the globe. Take "Final Round" from Australian producer Cassian, which marries disco beats with sleazy '80s wah-wah synths and sound effects from Street Fighter II. Taken from the freshly released Friday Night EP, "Final Round" is something like an updated version of the Out Run soundtrack (vintage gamer nerds know what we're talking about), the kind of breezy cut that's perfect for an afternoon spent shut away in your bedroom while you sharpen your hand-eye coordination, periodically throw the controller against the wall, and subsequently apologize to your mom when she hears you screaming at the TV.
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German purveyors of wacky electro and global bass sounds, Schlachthofbronx, handed over the pieces of forthcoming dancefloor burner "Vem Que Tem," featuring vocals from former Bonde Do Role vocalist Marina, to fellow countryman Lorenz Rhode. Rhode stays in line with the duo's initial vibe and uses their fiery source material to craft his own hyperactive dance tune fueled by percussive synths, bouncing beats, and stripped-down vocals. If you like the results, make sure to check out Rhode's Something Hot EP, out next week on the Exploited label.
London upstarts Bok Bok and L-Vis 1990 certainly caught our attention in 2009, but in 2010 dudes are threatening to take over. This month they're launching the Night Slugs record label to compliment their already-off-the-hook party, and the first release comes courtesy of fellow Londoner Mosca. Get a taste with this remix from Greena, which blends up house, garage, UK funky, and old-school rave into a seriously potent T-U-N-E. The Square One EP will be released on January 25 and also features remixes from Roska, Julio Bashmore, L-Vis 1990, and Bok Bok.
Leave it to Gavin Russom (a.k.a. Black Meteoric Star) to have one good idea and stick to it. On his version of "Accusations," one of many stellar tracks from The Future Will Come by fellow DFA compatriots The Juan Maclean, Russom re-records the original bassline using one of his homemade synths and doesn't falter from said melody throughout the song's entire 7-plus minutes. The track is taken from a recent remix collection commissioned by Scion A/V, featuring other reworks from Shit Robot, House of House, and XLR8R Artist to Watch Canyons, and stands as a strangely natural pairing of one of dance music's most pop-friendly acts with one of its more difficult to digest.
UK producer Max Cooper (pictured above) is known for his dancefloor-oriented techno—check his recent rework of Abe Cooper and Blake Baxter for proof of that—but this remix of Brooklyn's Au Revoir Simone finds him applying a softer touch. Reducing the girls' vocals to ghostly reverb while delicately layering tinkling keys and warm sub-bass over the song's delicate original melodies, he transforms "Take Me As I Am" into six-plus minutes of sublime bliss. With remixes on the way for artists like Hot Chip and DJ Hell, not to mention more of his own original productions, 2010 is shaping up to be a big year for Cooper.
The original of "Cathedral With No Eyes" sounds a bit like Rob Barber (from High Places and the Urxed) channeling Primal Scream at their most apocalyptic and noisy. How Adam Forkner (a.k.a. White Rainbow) turned this railcars piece into a spacey, blissed-out carnival ride is slightly beyond comprehension. Nonetheless, the original's near-industrial percussion becomes bouncy and playful, its strained vocals replaced by Forkner's trademark cooing, and its hissing distortion is toned down to a cool sonic wash that builds to a roar by the piece's end. This excellent remix is taken from an upcoming digital and cassette release featuring Lucky Dragons, Panther, Former Ghosts, and others remixing "Cathedral With No Eyes." Look for that in February!
The Madvillainz Beat Crew might remain an anonymous cast of producers, but their remix of "Gazzillion-Ear" is anything but shadowy—the dusty, warm beats of J Dilla's original production are transformed into cutting stabs of bass, rim-shots, and a triumphant sonic atmosphere that nicely compliments DOOM's rich, confrontational rhymes. In a nod to the original's beat-switch, Madvillainz does the same, paying homage to one of the best beat-makers of our times.
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