If we didn't know any better, we'd say Planet Mu was going soft. Not that we don't like soft, but this track from UK producer Tropics seems to be particularly serene compared to artists like FaltyDL, Luke Vibert, and Venetian Snares, whom he now shares a label with. Even the title of this song from his forthcoming debut for the label, "Soft Vision," conjures up ideas of blurred expanses of swirling melody, subtly pattering percussive noises, and any number of other delicately made soundscapes. We certainly welcome Mu's shift in focus, especially if they continue releasing awesome productions like this. (via Pitchfork)
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This bouncing piece of Afro-tinged techno comes to us courtesy of the Hard Ass Sessions - Volume II compilation, and Italian producer Nic Sarno. Chosen by the Enchufada label, Sarno is one of four hotly tipped producers—alongside Bok Bok, Douster, and Zombies for Money—who were asked to contribute a track to the series that featured their personal interpretation of the kuduro sound somewhere between 135 and 142 BPM. Sarno crafted "Mana Wasa" with a group of crackling vinyl samples of African singing and flute playing, which he intertwined with a thumping four-on-the-floor beat, hypnotic synth melodies, and a ton of percussion elements. It's a great extension of the kuduro style we're familiar with, and piques our already budding interest in the other three tracks Volume II has to offer.
Philly production duo Golden Ages (pictured above) delivers this blown-out treatment of "Swimmer's Ear," taken from lo-fi ambient outfit Viernes' debut album, Sinister Devices. Theirs is a remix that assaults you from the get-go with high-register vocal "aahs," muffled drum-machine beats, and something that sounds like a bassline bouncing in the middle of it all. It doesn't let up its distorted audio attack once throughout its run time—coming across like Wolf Eyes or Nurse With Wound giving a go at radio-ready dance music. Sinister Devices is available now.
Damn! If this remix of Zero 7's "Ghost sYMBOL" by UK DJ/producer Julio Bashmore (pictured above) is anything, it is goddamn dirty. And not like "don't bring 'em 'round your grandma" dirty, but rather, "soaked in crunchy bass and ass-moving rhythms" dirty. Nearly every sound Bashmore utilizes in his track crackles with the fuzz of distortion, and yet somehow manages to remain utterly pristine in its sound quality. Truthfully, this shuffling banger of a tune couldn't be further from the vibe of the original track, but it's a welcome addition to Zero 7's forthcoming Best Of release, Record, alongside other remixes from Fred Falke, Carl Craig, Motor City Drum Ensemble, and more. (Editor's Note: Unbeknownst to us, the initial version we received for this download was a corrupted file. We now have the correct version of Bashmore's remix, which finds the talented producer flexing his usual bass-heavy production style. It's certainly not distorted, but will undoubtedly still get you down and dirty with its thick, rhythmic slap.)
Given the rash of post-punk soundalikes that have littered the musical landscape over the past decade, we're certainly pretty skeptical when it comes to bands sporting angular guitar melodies, funk-influenced basslines, and dancefloor-friendly beats. Yet we do like Foals, an Oxford-based quintet that recently released its sophomore album, Total Life Forever. We also like the band's taste in remixers, as they've enlisted UK 2-step champion Deadboy to put his touch on "Spanish Sahara." Injecting the pensive song with some gently skittering percussion and some mild synth stabs, Deadboy punches up the track just enough to get our heads nodding and toes tapping.
Lifted off Rob Wonder's Scion Radio 17 Host EP, No Static at All, "Pathfinder" by Brooklyn's Kingdom sounds completely sure of which route to take, especially in regards to moving dancefloors with its futuristic slant on the classic house sound. The track has about three essential parts guiding listeners through its five-and-a-half minutes. Each section boasts its own infectious, rave-friendly melodies and deep bass grooves, and never wear out their welcome. In fact, it seems the more times we listen to this jam, the more rhythmic layers of percussion and sound effects we uncover and immediately fall for. You can snag the rest of this EP, which includes tracks from Bok Bok, Kastle, and Rob Wonder himself, here. (via Pitchfork)
"Night Light" by London's Dark Sky—a group of three producers, two-thirds of which comes from the Boogaloo Crew—starts off completely unassuming. Quiet melodies and spacey textures percolate in the distance for a while until a smash of distorted bass synth, bouncing drum sounds, and clambering synth melodies introduce you to what "Light" is really about: hard-hitting bass music tastefully mixed with delicately constructed atmosphere and texture. Check out the rest of Dark Sky's Frames EP when it drops July 12 on Pictures.
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