As far as we can tell, singer/producer Mikey Maramag is still figuring out what his prolific Blackbird Blackbird project sounds like. He's dabbled with sunny, guitar-driven beats, blissed-out chillwave, tweaked hip-hop, and other poignant electronic sounds of all imaginable permutations, and he continues to look for his own particular style on this Four Tet-indebted tune, called "Euphoria." The production exhibits Blackbird Blackbird at his most reserved and mature, favoring low-filtered vocal samples and deep synth melodies over the unbridled exuberance of his usual sound palette. We don't know how the rest of Maramag's new music will compare to this understated effort, but we'll find out when his Erasers LP drops late this summer via Brooklyn's Old Flame label.
Downloads - Page 455
Normally we would advise against messing with songs by the legendary Arthur Russell. That being said, London-based duo Labyrinth Ear (pictured above) has tastefully put its own touch to the iconic musician's "This Is How We Walk on the Moon," and we're kind of into it. The electro-pop rework pays homage to the original by maintaining a stripped-back, vocal-driven feel, but also moves along at a faster pace and is adorned with swirling synths and female vocals that trail Russell's own. It all builds toward a washed-out finale that pushes a subby, four-to-the-floor 808 beat, stuttering modulated vocals, and pattering percussion into the forefront. With a rework as on point as this, we'll make sure to keep a look out for what comes next from Labyrinth Ear.
This week saw the release of the Distance & Lights EP, a free, two-song offering from the Edinburgh-based Cut imprint, a net label launched earlier this year by dub-techno producer DFRNT, who also oversees the Echodub label. Cut's stated intent is to only put out free music while maintaining the quality of traditional releases, and the Distance & Lights EP doesn't fall short of those aims. Crafted by German producer Essáy, the EP contains a pair of wonderfully laid-back pieces of music that touch on techno without getting anywhere near the dancefloor. In an era where the term "chill" is often equated with lo-fi production techniques and intentionally sloppy construction, a song like "Love & Air" shows that it's still possible to deliver a relaxing vibe within the context of an impeccably assembled song. With its subdued piano melody, whooshing white noise, and keen placement of various field recordings in the background, "Love & Air" is the sort of inviting number that you want to wrap around yourself like a blanket. Give it a listen below and then head over to the Cut Bandcamp page to download the entire release.
Here, Solar Bears and Young Montana? (pictured above), two oddly similar artists from across the pond (Ireland and England, to be exact), mash together their shared love of shimmering melodies, intricate aural textures, and inventive rhythmic work on this remix that effectively highlights all three areas of interest. The young English producer (who, incidentally, just dropped his debut LP, Limerance, via Alpha Pup) applies a few herky-jerky beats and some woozy synth tones to the thick, crackling atmospheres of the Dublin duo's "Dream Valley," which altogether yields a sound that floats somewhere in the company of Warp roster favorites like Flying Lotus, Boards of Canada, and Bibio. "Dream Valley (Young Montana? Remix)" is upbeat yet languid, clear-eyed yet psychedelic, fresh yet familiar, and, most importantly, highly enjoyable. We certainly wouldn't mind more of these remixes from the pair in the future.
From a forthcoming remix record for the slow-burning "Light of Love" by Portland vintage-house ensemble The Miracles Club, which will drop next week via Cut Copy's own Cutters imprint, this fresh version of the 2010 jam was crafted by the aforementioned Australian dance-pop band as the release's opening track. The first three quarters of "Light of Love (Cut Copy Re-Vision)" sounds more or less like a pumped up version of the original track, but once the dense, shimmering wash of synth melodies starts to dissipate towards the end, you can make out the subtle percussion rhythms and basslines that Cut Copy added into its mix. Even still, the whole remix remains equally reminiscent of each outfit's classically inspired approach to buoyant dance music. You can check out more info on the forthcoming 12" over on the Cutters website, here. (via Pitchfork)
The New York-based label UNO definitely hit the ground running with the release of its brilliantly spaced-out and disco-fied debut single, "Future," by Eddie Mars. Staying strong, UNO is back with another heavy hitter, "Lay It Down," the US label debut of Montreal-based sensation Jacques Greene. As a way of whetting our appetites, we've been slipped the Nacho Lovers remix to share with you. Nacho Lovers tastefully retain the acid bassline and overall vibe of the original track while still giving the song their trademark deep treatment. The rhythmic emphasis is shifted from snare to kick, a full-stop organ is added to the mix, and completing the transformation is a synthesized sax riff ripped wholesale from 1992. "Lay It Down" is out next week, so give the remix a listen now and be sure to pick up the single when it becomes available from your favorite retailer.
Last month, XLR8R reported on the soon-to-be-released remix compilation from London's Deep Teknologi label, simply titled Deep Teknologi The Remixes. With its release on the immediate horizon, we have here a teaser in the form of veteran UK rave DJ Zander Hardy's remix of T.Williams' "In The Deep." Hardy takes the original's minimal bass-bump and busies it up with skittering hi-hats, wooshing toms, a synth line reminiscent of '80s b-boy electro, and a stop-start kick drum that injects the song with more than its share of pregnant pauses. Give it a listen below and look out for Deep Teknologi The Remixes on May 23.
XLR8R Downloads Player