Portland-based dubstep imprint Lo Dubs has been releasing well-received 12"s stateside for over three years. They label dropped its first CD earlier this year, Analog Clash, a compilation mixed by 6Blocc, as well as an unmixed bonus disc containing every 12” Lo Dubs has released to date. The release features a substantial amount of exclusive tunes while facilitating a choice representation of the dubstep movement in the Americas. “Guns at Dawn,” off the compilation, comes courtesy of Toronto-based DZ and XI, and has a deeply melodic, downtempo-esque feel with a multi-faceted sound highlighted by stifling deep bass, lightly used, intentional brass and vocal samples, and a slight techy feel.
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In “Catz on Earth,” off Destination: the Moon!, Kenny Galactic gives the impression of a child trapped in a room busying himself with toys and gadgets from past generations. Overwhelmed by an abundance of stimulation, he aimlessly jumps from one dated contraption to another to see what each is capable of. Galactic (a member of the always-referred-to-in-the-third person, so-strange-it’s-ordinary Portland-based collective, Rob Walmart) produces a sample-heavy young and playful track that’s chalk-full of wobbly bass, off-timed, crunchy analog beats, wavering synths, and murmuring loops that converge to have true purpose amidst the chaos.
Following releases from Alex Smoke and FOOL, the third offering from new Glasgow-based imprint Hum+Haw sees the label stepping into stranger territory. Mysterious duo Name & Relucto, who gathered initial praise for their reworking of aforementioned FOOL's "Drama," brings their own unique breed of infectious space-techno to the Hum+Haw roster. With sliced-up computer voices and unexpected noises alpenty, "Loopo" is something for both the weirdoes and the party people, and has us scratching our heads and rubbing our tummies on the dancefloor trying to determine exactly what’s going on.
Microfilm embraces contradictions quite heavily in their music, juxtaposing organic strings, piano, and choral samples with electro-house arrangements on The Slingshot Orchestra, the group's second full-length. Matt Keppel and Matthew Mercer encompass the newly formed PDX-based duo that delves deeply into minimalism coupled with lavish electronics, as seen on this track, “Teenage Symphonies” (yet another blatant contradiction, as we know most teenage experiences more resemble a poorly mixed mash-up than the do a symphony-like experience). Keppel’s effect-heavy vocals don an uplifting, yet withdrawn feel, while Mercer’s production work provides a wide spectrum of sound with great attention to detail, including beautifully layered synths, pulsating bass, and well-executed, syncopated breakdowns.
No one's ever remixed Germany-based DJ and producer Housemeister until this very moment, but AYCB decided the release of his second album, this year's Who is That Noize, was a good time to start such a practice. Who is That Noize Remixes is set for release on October 31, and includes reworkings of Housemeister tracks from the likes of Boys Noize, CLP, and producer Moritz Friedrich, better known to his fans as Siriusmo, who remixed this track and leaked it to the blogosphere in anticipation of the upcoming release.
The original version of this track was a spacey amalgamation of disco rock that was released in 1976 by Italo-disco outfit Droids. Serge Santiago got his hands on it and fashioned up this remix, which maintains that extraterrestrial, outerspace-like feel, but adds contemporary electro undertones. Santiago's been on the rise as a U.K. producer since his days of releasing tracks via Brighton's Stompa Phunk imprint, and he's probably best known for his remix work alongside Matt Edwards, under the Radioslave guise. This track is one in a string of re-edits he's currently at work on.
Here comes another gem from L.A.'s infamous Smell scene. ANAVAN evolved amidst bands like HEALTH, Mika Miko, and Abe Vigoda, and the group is currently two full-lengths in, with its sophomore album, Cover Story, ready to drop in November. Music-wise, the trio of Bret Berg, Aaron Buckley, and Molly Williams paid special attention to the many capabilities of the synthesizer, and the album sees the band pushing hard, dancefloor-ready tracks, usually of the electro variety. Check "BOOM" for further proof of this. Photo by John Shardt.
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