Normally, Zero 7's music is just a bit too, shall we say, Starbucks-y for us, but we just couldn't pass on posting this remix from U.K. funky DJ/producer Cooly G. Eska's golden pipes take center stage atop Cooly's shuffling backbeat while a chorus of angelic back-up singers help lift her melodies above the otherwise darkened production work. Cooly G's rework provides a sinister, minimal backdrop for the original vocal, twisting it into something better fit for Starbucks' back alleys.
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For years now, Jeff McIlwain has guided his Lusine moniker to the coldest of dimensions, subsisting in the tech-house underground where the chilled mist gives life to the bleakest of atmospheres. Now back on Ghostly International after a brief layover on the Hymen imprint, the Seattle native has cracked that realm wide open on his latest, A Certain Distance, and the view is breathtaking. Veering into pop territory, the warm synths and slinky melodies of this track are some of McIlwain's most buoyant offerings to date.
Herky-jerky guitar rhythms, syncopated synthlines, and cyclical time signatures lead off this track from Black Square, the soon-to-be re-released third LP from Toronto's DD/MM/YYYY, who XLR8R featured back in June. Soon, however, the angles taper off into a pool of atmospheric vocals and reverberated percussion that entrancingly rises and swells before exploding back into the song's initial groove.
Portland's E*Rock gives fellow Pac Northwesterner Panther the bedroom-born electro-pop treatment on his lighthearted remix of "Like a Bridge," a track from the forthcoming Entropy album. Warbly vocals, 8-bit synths, and meandering atmospherics highlight the thoughtful ballad, making the track more suitable for that new crush tape you've been working on.
Denmark's Analogik get the remix treatment from Malente & Dex, who manage to transform a quirky Balkan ska number into a banging house piece that recalls dOP's livelier moments, Django Reinhardt, and Balkan Beat Box. The second track featured on Shir Khan's second Exploited label compilation, the track has been getting love from the likes of Sinden, Tomboy, and Brodinski, so you can be assured that it is a floor-filler.
When the day comes that extraterrestrials land on Earth, and they inevitably become professional wrestlers, California/New York-based Lazer Sword will most assuredly provide entrance music for the bad boy of the bunch. As they exhibit on their sinister remix of Swiss duo Larytta's "You Got Nothing" from the upcoming Friends of Friends Vol. 2, the cross-continental beatsmiths lend a certain swagger to their cosmic future-hop productions that sets them apart from the rest of the lazer-blap crowd.
Brooklyn's Jahdan Blakkamoore is hands-down one of the more exciting artists of the moment, with an impeccable flow, a slew of recent collaborations (including an XLR8R podcast), and his solo debut coming out in September on Gold Dust/Dutty Artz. Steele of Smif 'N Wessun took the first single from Buzzrock Warrior and spiced it up, bringing up the bass and adding some wonky synth flourishes, pitch-shifted vocal elements, and a bit more delay, making it a true dub-reggae monster. Watch out for Jahdan's Buzzrock Warrior on September 15.
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