As an exclusive for XLR8R and in celebration of their European tour kicking off today at London's massive Fabric club, San Francisco's dons of space-bass and electro-blap, Lazer Sword, have handed over their glitched-up homage to that classic Nintendo nemesis King Koopa. "Koopa Boss Mode" borrows from the original 8-bit soundtrack, but the duo also revamp those sinister melodies with their trademark crunchy basslines dropped amongst a slow-grooving beat littered with intergalactic transmissions.
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On the revisited version of the title-track from The Prodigy's latest album, Invaders Must Die, producer Liam Howlett has taken the original's distorted sensibilities and run wild with the group's updated '90s rave sound. The seminal UK group, which we featured on our cover back in April, has reworked its last record for the Invaders Must Die: Special Edition—a release we expect to start parties (maybe fires?) when it hits stores this week.
On "Kilometer," another cut taken from Waking Heat, the debut album by San Francisco post-punk trio Tempo No Tempo, a synthesizer takes center-stage, although it's flanked by jangly guitar riffs and a bouncing drum beat. Soaked in lead singer (and occasional XLR8R scribe) Tyler McCauley's fervent vocal delivery, the track is a prime example of the group's penchant for rhythmic tension and terse melodic assaults. Tempo No Tempo just finished an East Coast tour and slew of dates at CMJ, and Waking Heat is available now.
What is it about Sweden and disco edits? There must be something in the soil that makes Swedes churn out spacy, Hi-NRG throwback tracks with such grace and aplomb, so be sure to pick some up the next time you're traveling the fjords. Anyways, the trio of Jackpot break out the poppers and craft a near-perfect disco diamond, featuring crisp hand-claps, great orchestral pieces, and some detached female vocals that sound a bit like Italo goddess Linda Jo Rizzo. One can definitely imagine crowds getting seriously wild to this slice, so play loud!
The UK's Kelpe straddles many different genres of electronic music, from hip-hop and electro to filter-house, with referents to bass music and dubstep thrown in for good measure. Here, France's Subjex transforms a bass-driven filter-disco tune into a tech-funk monster that could have come from the underground Detroit scene of the late '90s. Above ass-shaking bass and mid-frequency arpeggiations, three-note melodic lines swirl psychedelically, making the track a perfect piece to mix with everyone from Dam-Funk to Mr. De. Kelpe's latest full-length, Cambio Wechsel, is out now.
Not counting the space-traveling two-and-a-half-minute intro, Jens Moelle, one-half of Digitalism who produces solo under the name Palermo Disko Machine, has manufactured a piece of driving, robotic dance music on instrumental anthem "Theme From Palermo Disko Machine." The brooding track of dancefloor-ready disco, soon to be released on Alan Braxe's Vulture imprint, comes complete with catchy basslines, filtered synths, and a classic beat that resonates well with the music's vintage sounds. It's a fine b-side for lead single "Vesuvia," which hits stores and online retailers mid-October.
Some of Luciano's fans have been less than pleased with his upcoming album, Tribute to the Sun, but quite honestly, the haters have cloth in their ears. The record is a gorgeous, well-crafted artist statement, and while much of it might not have overt dancefloor efficacy, whining about it doesn't do Tribute to the Sun justice. "Sun, Day and Night," for example, is a soft-focus, polyrhythmic ride, featuring the warm intonations of Tricky collaborator Martina Topley-Bird over synthetic bells, squelches, and vocal clips. Sure, the track is more apropos of a sunny day lolling about the park than a dank night slamming in the clubs, but when the sounds are so pleasing, who cares?
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