The Bay Area's Roche was being as straightforward as possible when naming his new song "Space Blue Pt. 1." Released on Solos, the label he co-founded, Roche's cosmically soulful offering is equal parts Kraftwerk and Dilla with a sampled R&B bassline thrown in the mix for good measure. As the four-and-a-half minute journey begins to touch down, one can't help but speculate where the second part of "Space Blue" might take you—thankfully, it's the next track on the release.
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Parisian label head and Italo patron Cosmo Vitelli and Tekel's Julien Briffaz are the automobile-obsessed Bot'Ox, whose leftfield new-wave disco offers some of the coldest productions in recent memory. On their remix of the French duo's latest track, "Blue Steel," Toronto's Azari & III take the track's chilly sounds and puts them into an even deeper freeze—making for a haunting number with singer Anna Jean crooning sublime melodies from what sounds like a barren ice tunnel.
Chillwave, glo-fi, haze-pop... You can tag whatever name you want onto the warped, fuzzy sounds of Toro Y Moi, but it doesn't change that the South Carolinan producer utilizes just as many genres for his songs as he does languages for his moniker. "Blessa" showcases many of those influences in style—ambient textures, faint guitar plucks, simple drum-machine beats, and plaintive vocal delivery à la Panda Bear—making the track a warm introduction to Moi's forthcoming debut album, Causers of This.
Fresh off their highly-touted debut album with singer Esau Mwamwaya as The Very Best, Radioclit keep the ball rolling with a reissue of their Secousse EP. The record comes complete with remixes from Brodinski, Round Table Knights, and, featured here, Riva Starr. Starr's treatment finds the UK producer relying on wobbling bass, a four-on-the-floor beat, and enough percussion and delayed synths to drive listeners straight to the dancefloor. If that kind of remix doesn't make you want to add the 12" to your collection, maybe the fur cover will.
Scottish dance experimentalist Gravious produces tracks that quickly and confidently coalesce the choice elements of some of dubstep's heavy hitters—Burial's tweaked and sampled vocal snippets, Zomby's booming and wonky bass, and Joy Orbison's refined sheen. Here, he unlocks the dubby grooves of Australian tech-house producer Deepchild's latest single, "Wannado." The house elements shine through Gravious' shuffling beats and give his remix a slight retro garage feel while remaining focused on dubstep's future.
Here, France's Douster takes a dancehall-tinged house track and emphasizes the dancehall elements to such an extent that it is essentially un-housed. But while Malente & Dex's original definitely sizzles, the remix scorches, throbbing with deep bass, epic drops, and a real pushing of the melodic line. The vocals from New Kidz only serve to make "Lions" one of the more versatile remixes around, appropriate for dancefloors where cumbia, funky, and dancehall are spun.
What begins as a slow-motion disco track becomes a different monster when guest vocalist Jacob Bellens pipes in with his rich, resigned baritone. Suddenly, the piece carries a palpable emotional weight, with lovelorn lyrics that track ecstasy, jealousy, and agony. Copenhagen's Kasper Bjørke certainly knows how to produce an interesting track, but it is really the guests that make "Young Again" work: other than Bellens, famed strings arranger Davide Rossi has provided some melancholy swells here and there, and Dennis Young of Liquid Liquid fame has leant his hand with some secondary percussive elements. In fact, Bjørke doesn't really own this track at all, but with its autumnal sense of loss and searing lyrical content, who really cares?
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