A member of Portland's Miracles Club outfit, DJ Rafael is breaking out on his own with the Hard Hat Traxx EP. Leading the charge is "Hard Hat Area," an appropriately titled, acid-fueled workout which leaves it all out on the dancefloor, using the five-plus-minute run to tweak a continually growing number of restless synths atop the tune's jacking drum-machine core. "Hard Hat Area" is joined by three other original DJ Rafael productions on the full Hard Hat Traxx, which is out now via On the Prowl.
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With a fascination for "re-sampling, chopping, and screwing sounds from ancient synths and 21st century machines," Dutch DJ/producer Julian Edwardes is able to craft unique sounds from familiar devices. On his forthcoming Rapalje EP, Edwardes fashions bright electric piano compositions, with its title track leading a vast range of smooth and glitchy sonics. Opening with a funky key arrangement, "Rapalje" slowly dissolves as high-frequency shrieks and blips take over the production. It seems to be constantly changing form, alternating between beautiful arpeggiations and orchestral strings, with touches of computerized noise giving Edwardes' tune its smart and distinctive blend of flavors. The Rapalje EP will drop via Fremdtunes on April 28.
Fledgling Brooklyn label Connect has sent over a number of exclusive downloads lately—namely, three different tracks from co-founder Rioux—and is now offering brand-new single from another artist, fellow NYC resident Headaches (a.k.a. Landon Speers). Titled "Stagest," the markedly crisp tune has no apparent loose ends; from the resonating bassline, to the subtle streams of vocals, to the playful percussive labyrinth, it's clear that Speers pays careful attention to detail. It's all asking to be picked apart and analyzed, but just as swiftly as the distinct layers of sound mesh into a cohesive whole, each component is steadily stripped back until only the crunchy synths are left to finish off Headaches' new song.
Taking on a variety of influences—which, unsurprisingly, includes film scores—British producer Boy in a Movie crafts a shadowy, loosely flowing hip-hop beat in the cinematic "Hauntéd." Boy in a Movie retools elements of Beyoncé's "Haunted," and transforms its already dark and forlorn vocals into a deep, spectral haze of melancholy verses. Brightly cascading synths, reverb-heavy hi-hats, and fuzzy static sounds also contribute to the piece's voluminous sound and ghostly aesthetic. The producer's knack for building rich atmospheres definitely isn't limited to this one-off freebie, and can be heard throughout his new, self-released Feel EP, which can be streamed in full after the jump. Read more »
Following last year's Time Out EP, Portugese DJ/producer Branko (a.k.a. one-fourth of Buraka Som Sistema) is set to drop his Control EP on April 7, treating us to the colorful "Broken (feat. JSTJR)" in the meantime. With help from Boston artist JSTJR, Branko opens his smooth production with a throbbing percussive beat, which eventually leads us into a set of cut-up vocals. Appropriately, "Broken" also weaves various broken, organic textures in and out of the more mechanical and glitchy FX that litter its soundscape.
Spanish space-disco stalwart Rayko will return to the Nang label with his Rebirth LP later this spring, and has shared the appropriately galactic cut "Time & Space (Cosmic Club Version)" as a preview of that forthcoming record. Moving at a steady pace, Rayko's dancefloor-ready tune weaves together an acid-touched bassline with bursting percussion. As "Time & Space (Cosmic Club Version)" builds momentum, ambient piano chords and ethereal synths make their way into the piece, shifting the atmosphere towards a more relaxed vibe in the astral soundscape. The rest of Rayko's retro-inspired Rebirth LP can be heard when it drops on May 12.
Described as an "ultra late-night and streetlit collab," Portland producers Magic Fades' and Soul Ipsum's Zirconia Reign casette is set to touch down via Vancouver's 1080p label on April 8. In the meantime, the pair has provided us with "Dumb Wrist .obj," a brief taste of the brand of smoky, R&B-touched electronic sounds the two craft together. The track effortlessly rolls from the opening moments, its fuzzy arpeggio and sparse drums entering with a laid-back swing, and—after only a few bars—exiting with the same ease with which they first appeared.
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