The most recent release from San Francisco's Mi Ami, a 12" record containing the two songs "Cut Men" and "Out at Night," finds the band in a far more frantic state than it was on their debut full-length, Watersports. Through copious amounts of jangly guitar riffs, syncopated basslines matched with propulsive drumming, grating vocal yelps, and sparse electronics, "Cut Men" sounds as if Mi Ami are channeling the incendiary post-punk of their former entity, Black Eyes. It's a uniformly energetic piece of contemporary no-wave which is hopefully a foreshadowing of sounds to come on their upcoming second album, Steal Your Face.
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With his song "Un Chat Dans Mon Jardin" (which translates directly to "A Cat in My Garden"), fresh-faced French DJ/producer Luca Cazzoni is given the first release slot of Slant's 2010 catalog. A newcomer to the label, Cazzoni's track is equal parts energy and atmosphere—the churning bass and cowbell percussion evened out by reverberated synths and lilting melodies. It's an understated piece of minimal tech-house made even more desirable by the fact that the entire EP is available for free download. Consider it a free sample, as Slant has Cazzoni's even tastier Tourniquet Time EP, featuring remixes from Pezzner and Let's Go Outside, on tap for early February.
Once a part of The Fat Truckers and Gucci Soundsystem, and now in cahoots with the Disco Bloodbath crew, Ben Rymer has stepped out from behind his monikers to release a solo production entitled "La Trinciarice." The UK producer's new track is a bit softer around the edges than his earlier work, but still just as epic and chock-full of analog synthlines and energetic dance beats as his tracks for DFA and International DeeJay Gigolo.
Grasscut's "Muppet," the first single from the duo's forthcoming debut album for Ninja Tune, is a lo-fi, hyperactive, electro-pop number that quickly brings to mind the lovable sounds of Eats Tapes and DAT Politics. In the hands of fellow UK producer Nathan Fake, however, "Muppet" takes on a more somber tone with a more straightforward dance beat and subdued synth melodies—sounding more like a slow-burning rave anthem than a slice of tongue-in-cheek, electronic twee-pop.
The strange live electronics of LA two-piece Jogger, who is less than a month away from kicking off the Magical Properties Tour with Daedelus and Nosaj Thing, are reformed to fit the palette of Eliot Lipp and his Brooklyn-based side-project Dark Party in this remix of "Napping Captain." Originally from Jogger's debut album, This Great Pressure, the track was an eight-minute, sing-songy number until Lipp and his partner, Leo 123, took out the vocals and transformed the instrumental into an atmospheric, 8-bit dance tune.
We're not really sure how Warsaw-based producer Sekta and South African MC Spoek Mathambo managed to cross paths, but we're sure glad they did. "Jabajaws," the lead track from the pair's new EP, is full of buzzing bass, kwaito synth flourishes, and enough dirty raps to make your mom blush. Finally, there's a track that electro banger kids and the global bass crowd can enjoy equally.
While recent years have seen an flood of third-world dance beats on to first-world dancefloors, the flow of "official" releases remains at a trickle. Yet a few fledgling labels are combating this trend; count among them Akwaaba, whose founder Benjamin Lebrave has spent a significant amount of time in Angola and signed up local kuduro heroes to legitimately release (and get paid for) their infectiously frenetic dance cuts. Today Akwaaba is releasing A Minha Face, a new album from veteran producer Killamu. "Tchilu" skews toward the genre's electronic side, pairing hyperactive handclaps with lightning-quick verses and an overwhelming sense that Killamu and friends had just as much fun making this track as you will when it's blaring out of your stereo. For a more in-depth look at Killamu, Akwaaba has put together a mini-documentary that you can check out here.
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